Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fruit Overload!

Hola y'all! (You like that?) haha 

I hope you are all doing fantastic! As for me, I am so good, and SO unbelievably tired. I'm not sure I have ever had to take so many naps in my life. Exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. But its not that my body is tired.. its that my eyes and my brain cannot seem to stay in the game.. #languageoverload 

the beltrans

Let me tell you all about my week, I'm sorry in advance for this being so scattered and crazy. I've decided the word of the week is double. Double dinner.. Double lunch.. double the exhaustion.. double the joy.. double the family.. Double the stuff.. Double the wardrobe (thanks to having a companion my exact same size).. Everything in my life seemed to double, in a good way of course. :) 

Monday after we got transfer news we went bowling with the Woodstock Sisters, then had dinner at the Masons. Oh how I love them! After dinner we went to do our FHE with the Beltrans (a family from the Spanish congregation in Woodstock) Well.. We showed up for the FHE and I noticed that the table was set.. with food.. lots and lots of food.. And then I looked at Sister Smith who had a look of sheer panic.. And I whispered.. "double dinner.. just smile and eat." The food really was fantastic though :) our hogar de noche with the Beltrans was so awesome! I LOVE them! Their little 9 yr old daughter kept pestering me about my Spanish (because they knew I was going to be switched to Spanish speaking) And made me share my testimony with her and say the closing prayer. It was nerve-wracking.. but it was good to get the first one in a big group out of the way with a family I'm comfortable with, you know? I'm going to miss them! 

Tuesday was nuts! We were in back to back to back appointments.. forever! It was so busy! Once again being fed non stop.. I wanted to die! haha But I loved seeing everyone and teaching so much. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but not at the same time? Isn't it weird how that happens. You put roots down so quickly as a missionary and you love the people so much, it should be so hard to leave.. And it is in a way.. but I just knew there was a reason that I was leaving and that I had done all I could. 

Sister Wilder had a little get together at her house so people could stop by for an hour and say goodbye to us departing missionaries. What an awesome idea :) I got to say bye to so many more families than I thought we would, so perfect! We had the Dixons be our last stop of the night. I miss them.. I really do. I just loved being with them in their home and sharing my last message with them. I love them!!
Enough of the sappy stuff... Now lets talk about my new life here in Buford. My companion is Hermana Garcia Valle, from Utah. Another from Utah.. :) But I mean technically she was born in Mexico and lived there until sometime in Elementary school (don't exactly remember when) so that's a good claim to fame. She's super funny and we've been having a lot of fun. We're the first Hermanas here in this area so that's exciting and also a little overwhelming.. But its all good! Oh and I have become a mute.. so that's cool. haha Someday, I will learn to communicate well in Spanish. But really, can you imagine me silent? I never could.. but now its my reality! haha
 Hermana Garcia Valle and our branch president and his wife, who thinks he served his mission with Jana.. just sayin'
Since being here in the area we've already seen so many miracles which is super exciting! We received sooo many referrals from members and missionaries we don't even know where to start as far as meeting them all. Two of them let us come and teach them and we have return appointments for tomorrow night :) Crystal and John. Crystal is the cutest and just wants to be a good mom :) She called us today just to say hi and make sure we would come back and teach her tomorrow. Ya.. that never happens, how cool is that! :) In our lessons I just say the prayers and share my testimony and do my best to follow the conversation. Which I do surprisingly well, I just can't string the sentence fast enough to respond while it would still fit the context. But I'll get there :)
Saturday we helped a few families in the branch (congregation) get ready for a sweet Mexican wedding.. With the Mariachi band and everything. :) Well.. lets just say we cut my weight in fruit.. Then we came home for dinner after having helped and done service basically all day.. 8 hrs helping set things up move things around and only hearing spanish is EXHAUSTING. But lets just say.. I have never seen so much fruit in my life. We literally cut enough food for 300+ people.. yikes!
alice, a recent convert in the ward
I LOVE the members here. They are fantastic! I love how every woman gives us a big hug and kiss on the cheek. And then they call me "the cute little American" haha I love their testimonies, the Spirit is so powerful when they speak. Truthfully, I probably only understood about 60% of church.. yet I felt the Spirit probably the strongest in those meetings than any other church meetings on my mission and probably also in my life. The congregation is tiny sooo small. But so loving and so wonderful. Relief Society was first, and the woman just handed me a piece of paper to read, nothing like your 4th day learning Spanish and you have to read a HUGE paragraph in front of a bunch of native speakers.. :)
There isn't anyone who can play the piano, so Hermana Garcia and I are going to take turns who plays and who leads the music, which will be fun. I love the hymns in Spanish by the way! :) Then there's the whole they asked us to both speak in sacrament meeting.. They said mine could be just a long testimony 4 or so minutes.. So that's what we did for Language study on Saturday and I made sure that we told people it was only my 4th day as a Spanish Sister. Afterward Hermana Sarazua came up to me and said "Oh! It makes sense! I thought you were just really really quite and couldn't figure out why you didn't know the language that well since you'd been out so long." haha So.. everyone thought I was a literal mute.. NICE!
I don't have a lot more to say, life's good. So good! I am super happy! We have a super nice running trail behind our apartment so we've gone running every morning which is SO nice! :) I'm amazed at the miracles. Last night we stopped by to see a recent convert, he's from the Dominican Republic and their accents are so hard so I had trouble following all his story lines.. But I just kept praying to know what scripture we needed to share.. I then prayed for the courage to interrupt the conversation a bit and figure out how to introduce the scripture. I did so and it was cool to see me be able to read it to him without any problems. I was amazed to hear how perfectly it fit what he needed to hear.
If there is one thing I know, its God isn't limited by language. The Spirit can speak to all men and women the same, and it will if we ask for its guidance, comfort, and help. Its probably the biggest lesson I have learned this week.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!! Pray for me!! :)
Hermana Hamilton

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