You can officially call me Hermana Ingram!
After many tears and hugs, I walked away from my family about to embark on the greatest adventure yet. It was amazing how I felt right at home almost immediately. They gave my my name tags, 18 pounds of books, and bused me down to West Campus. I saw so many people I know: Amy Jacobson, Austin McCarthy, Jordan Hanson, Dakota Kennedy, and Kallee Wilson's mom. When I first saw them I accidentally called them by their first names and got some dirty looks but I'm pretty used to the whole Hermana, and Elder thing. The spirit here is amazing. Upon walking in, you can immediately feel it.
So, I'm living at Wyview in the exact same building I lived in while I was going to BYU! I feel right at home! My companion's name is Hermana Benson and my two other roommates are Hermana Call and Hermana Amis. We share a bathroom, and since we have to be out the door at 6:30 we have to wake up pretty early if we all want to shower and stuff. Waking up at 5:00 or 5:30 has become pretty normal now though. It's amazing how none of us are too homesick. Probably because we have no time to think. We are constantly learning Spanish and studying the scriptures. Work work work and no breaks but days still seem to fly. I'm already growing to love the other sisters and my zone. They have become my family away from home. West campus is a lot of fun because everyone is learning Spanish here so we are always speaking Spanish. Sacrament meeting is in Spanish and we have to write our talks in Spanish too. It's weird going outside of west campus because people give us all weird looks when we start speaking Spanish to them (like what is this white girl doing speaking Spanish to me?)...I have to remind myself that not everyone speaks Spanish!
|Hermana Call, Amis, Ingram, and Benson|
We met our branch president a few days ago and it was hilarious because his wife was sick so she didn't want to hug us. But she didn't tell us so when we went to hug her she would stick her elbow out and give us an elbow bump. We figured it out but the elders had a really hard time figuring out why she constantly had her elbow out and not her hand for a hand shake. The other Hermanas and I couldn't stop laughing.
We are learning so much so fast. We pray in Spanish, bare our testimonies in Spanish, and even teach investigators (actors) lessons. It's so crazy how real it seems when you're teaching them. My Spanish is already coming along so well. We teach our investigator out of preach my gospel every day and since my companion doesn't know any Spanish at all, I am usually the one who teaches most of the lesson. Our investigator, Noemi, doesn't speak any English whatsoever so that makes it pretty tough but it's amazing how much we can teach her. Spanish class is pretty easy for me right now and the teacher has noticed so I get to teach the class sometimes. I love teaching my district Spanish! It's so much fun! So after about a week of teaching Noemi the first few lessons, the craziest thing happened. We knew it was our last day to teach her so my companion and I decided to teach her about baptism and to invite her to be baptized. We did and she agreed. We went back to class and continued to study while the rest of the companionships taught her. Elder Young and Kingsford went last and when they came back, behind them came Noemi. She came to the front of the class and informed us that she is our second teacher. What?! I was so surprised! And at the same time I was embarrassed because I had practically bawled my eyes out to her the day before when I was bearing my testimony in Spanish in our lesson. But I'm super excited!
Gym is the greatest! We get about an hour everyday and can choose between basketball, volleyball, or soccer. I usually go and play basketball and I'm usually the only girl in there with like 30 other elders. The only problem is that Elders aren't allowed to guard the Hermanas so if I want to play I have to find another sister to play with me and guard me which is near impossible because either they are kind of bad, not one bit competitive, or just straight up refuse to guard me. So as of now, I'm on the lookout for a sister who plays basketball! For now, I'll continue to kick the elders butts at lightning. I was at lunch the other day and as I was getting salad at the salad bar, from behind me I kept hearing, "Hermana Splash, Hermana Splash, Hermana Splash." I ignored it at first but turned around to see about 15 elders looking at me while saying that. They were the Elders I had played basketball with. I guess you could say that I've got a little fan club going here;) haha (splash means that you can't miss a shot by the way) Nicknames are kind of discouraged here...but I'm not opposed;)
Mom, remember how you sarcastically wished me luck on laundry? Well guess what? We did laundry today and I practically taught my whole district how to use a washing machine. Thanks to me, the Elders were able to take their Sunday shirts out of the wash perfectly white and not pink. Just know that if you see any Elders wearing a pink shirt, it's because I wasn't there to teach them. Seriously, mom you should be proud;)
I joined the MTC choir and it is the funnest thing ever! We get to practice every Sunday and it sounds amazing! Singing alto is my favorite. We performed our song at Tuesday devotional and it sounded super amazing! Imagine 300 missionaries singing amazing songs in parts...it is the best and it is so powerful. I can't wait for the Christmas devotional because we are learning two songs and get to sing for 2 apostles...it's a surprise as to who they are but I know it will be amazing.
Every missionary I've ever talked to always tells me that a mission is one of the hardest things they have ever done. They're right. It's hard. But worth it. It's a "million dollar experience you wouldn't pay 10 cents to relive." As of now, I know that this is a million dollar experience. We'll see about the second half of that quote;) I know that through hard work, I'll be able to accomplish what I came here to do: to make a difference in the lives of others.
I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas season! Don't forget to remember what Christmas is really about! Feliz Navidad!
Hermana Ingram (aka Hermana Splash)
P.S. Thanks for all the letters, packages and Christmas cards! Ya'll are the best friends, family, and neighbors anyone could ask for! Love you all forever!