Thursday, September 25, 2014

Did You Miss Me?

¡Hola familia y amigos! 

The District
I have been en el CCM for a month. Una mes. WHAT?! Actually, I mean, it isn't technically a month yet. BUT this is my fourth P-Day and my calendar says Week 5, so there is that for you. Just let that roll around in your heads for a minute. 17 more months. This time is going by so fast, I can't handle it. 

Last night, my best friend Hermana Sierra Brooks left the CCM. She went to go dominate the world in Seattle. I am so ridiculously proud of her. She will be the most amazing missionary that Seattle has seen. 

When I write out this email, I always have a really hard time knowing what to write. Because my weeks end up being such a blur. The days are so long, and the weeks are so fast. "The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days." That, my friends, is the gospel truth. (I hope you all sang that in your heads like the muses from Hercules. If you didn't, please do so now. Muchas gracias.) So I'm sorry if these emails, which are actually blog posts, aren't boring. It's hard en el CCM, because basically every day feels the same, más o menos. Which is great. I'm so, so happy here. But it's hard, because then I don't know what to write about. 

What I really would love to do at this point in time, is express to all of you how much I love my district and how perfect I think it is. But I don't have the time to write out why I love all of them so much. But I want you all to know that my district is my favorite. They are my family here. We have the best bond. I love them more and more every day, and I swear that my heart has no more room for any love and it somehow keeps expanding. That's just how it is period here. My heart feels like it's going to explode. 
Hermana Chandler

I just had to meet with my Branch Presidente, and he asked me if I was having any problems with anything, specifically my district. And I think I straight up told him, "The only thing is that I feel like my heart is going to explode every day, because I love everyone so much." He laughed at me, I think it's because he thinks white people are weird, and told me that it was good. 

So I guess that's what I want to tell you all today. Love. Love is so important. It's what gets you through hard times. It's what pushes you to be a better person (missionary.) It is basically what makes everything right in the world. And as a missionary, I get told cada día how important it is to love everyone. Love those you serve. Love those you serve with. Love the people that make it hard to love them. Love. Everyone. 

I love you all so much, and pray for you all the time. 

Hermana Sherilyn Harper 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

¡Feliz Dia de Independencia, México!

¡Hola amigos y familia!

¡Feliz Dia de Independencia, México! Última noche, we had Mexican Night. And it was basically the most wonderful thing. We all got together in the auditorium and watched a performance of traditional Mexican dances. And it was so much fun! AND I WANT THOSE DRESSES. I don't have pictures, lo siento, pero saben que los vestidos son muy bonitas. 

Mi español es mucho mejor. Antes mi mision, no hablo español, pero ahora hablo español mejor. I wear a tag on my name tag that says, Sólo Español so that I only talk in Spanish. It doesn't work very well. But I try. And it is helping my Spanish be so much better. My teacher in the afternoon is now so insistent that we speak only Spanish in the class that we have to do push ups if we speak in English. Yesterday, Hna Chandler and I both had to do four because I had said something in Spanish, but Hermana Chandler no entiende, so I was explaining in English. No bueno. But we will be muy fuerte cuando we leave the CCM. 

I can't think of one specific thing to tell you all about from this week. This week was much better than last week, because I'm no longer sick. Except that I still have crazy coughing fits every time I am in the comedor. I think everyone thinks that I am choking, but...I don't know. My lungs just don't like being in the comedor I guess. Hermana Chandler always jokes that I'm just allergic to the comedor. I think she might be on to something, there. 

Oh! I know. I haven't told you yet about how Sundays are the best days in the CCM. Also how Tuesdays are the best days for P-Day! Sundays are my favorite, because it means A) I have successfully made it through another week, and I have one more day to power through before P-Day, B) I get to go to church meetings, which are WONDERFUL, C) We get to have a devotional and D) we get to watch videos. This week we watched The Testaments. So that was great. And now I'm gonna tell you why Tuesdays are the best days to have P-Days here en el CCM. A) Because P-Day is a wonderful day, no matter what day of the week it is. B) It is the first P-Day of the week, and everyone gets really jealous that you get it first. C) We have Devotionals every Tuesday night. And they are always wonderful. And D) Tuesday night = Costco Pizza Night. Enough said. Costco Pizza Night is like super huge deal to todas las personas en el CCM. Por qué, no one seems to like the food a whole lot here. I think it's fine. There's a few things that freak me out (if you know me, you know that I have issues with meat.) But generally, the food is fine. BUT Costco Pizza is seriously the best night. Because, I mean, it's pizza. And I love pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? Weirdos. That's who. Anyway, everyone gets really excited about Pizza Night. And that is why Tuesday P-Days are the best, because it is one whole day full of happiness. 

Famila y amigos, yo sé que este Evengelio es verdadero. Yo sé que José Smith fue un profeta. Yo sé que El Libro de Mormón es verdadero. Tengo mucho amor por El Libro de Mormón. Yo sé que Jesucristo vive. Yo sé que por medio de la expiacion, podemos volver a Dios y Jesucristo. Estoy agradecida por las oraciones de ustedes. Estroy agradecida por la oportunidad servir un mision. Estoy agradecida por todos los misioneros. Estoy agradecida por la oportunidad estudiar en el CCM. Tengo mucho amor por ustedes. 

I love you all so much, and pray for you all the time. I hope that next week I have something más interesante to write to you about. I also hope that one day, I can write an entire post in Spanish. (Sorry that Google Translate isn't accurate all the time.) Be prepared for when I get home and I only want to speak in Spanish. Even though pienso que español es muy dificil ahora, pienso es una lengua muy bonita. I can't wait to not suck. Hahaha. 

Love and miss you. So much!  

Hermana Sherilyn Harper 

{Also. If you can all e-mail me. ;) -- I would love to hear from anyone and everyone. Also, I'll get you guys my actual letter address when I get back to the states. My Mexican address is just entirely too long, and ain't nobody got time for that. Especially me. Because I don't have it memorized, and it's not currently with me.}

Hermana Roy and I -- I met her in Butte a month or so before we both got to the MTC and now we are roommates! It's wonderful.

The picture above is of my and my Latina friends that left this week. They helped me practice my spanish!

 This is Hermana Chandler and I. And the picture basically sums up our relationship. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week Two

¡Hola familia y amigos!

Esta semana en la CCM...okay, nope. I can't do this in español for you guys. Lo siento, pero español es muy dificil para mi. 

I can´t believe that I have already been in Mexico for two weeks, only four left and I'm shipping back to the states! I love, love, love, Mexico, but I'll be so excited to be back in the states. Especially in Colorado, because it is going to feel so much like home, I think. Mexico is lovely, and Hermana Chandler says it reminds her so much of Hawai'i, but...I miss my mountains. People who aren't from Montana don't understand why I love my mountains so much and why I think the ones here are pathetic. 

This week has been hard, I have been really sick. Probably the sickest I have ever been. (We'll just blame it on my dang immune system.) I woke up on Saturday night and thought I was going to die, because I couldn't breathe, I had so much gunk in my lungs and in my throat and this is all suuuuper gross, and I apologize for that, but I just want to get across to you how sick I was. I was so miserable. All of Sunday, I cried basically all day, because it hurt to breathe, and I couldn't get anything out of my lungs, and I was just in pain and I hadn't had enough sleep. One of the elders in my district told me that I should cheer up, and I told him I couldn't because I literally felt like I was dying. So they all offered to give me a blessing, but the new zone leaders are in my district and they had been informed that if I need a blessing, we would have to get in touch with our Branch President to make sure it was okay or something? I don't know, I didn't understand very well. But they all told me that they would pray for me. I had so many people pray for me on Sunday night. And when I woke up on Monday morning, I still wasn't completely better, but I was soo much better than I had been the day before. So. I want to tell all of you how important prayer is, and how powerful prayer is. Because my testimony of the power of prayer has grown so much in my two weeks here en la CCM. Prayer is such a wonderful tool, and Heavenly Father WANTS us to ask for things that we need. He wants us to come unto Him, to humble ourselves and ask for the help that we need. On Sunday, I didn't even want to ask people to pray for me, because I have a bit of a pride issue I guess. But I knew that I couldn't get through that trial, and that illness by myself. I knew that I needed help. And that is exactly what Heavenly Father wants from us. To be humble, to know and admit that we can't do things by ourselves. I encourage you all to make your prayers more sincere. Really think about what you are saying. Prayer is the best time to be so close to your Heavenly Father. I don't know, just some spiritual thing to keep in mind. 

I can't even really think of what we did this week. It was all such a blur, because being as sick as I was, my mind just...kind of died, I guess. It has been a pretty solid week though, minus the sickness. I love the Elders in my district so much, we have such a special bond. Being bonded with people in a spiritual sense is so much...I don't even know how to describe it. But I know that I love those Elders with all of my heart, and I love them all more and more every day. They are such examples to me, even though they let their 18 year old boy show. A lot. One of the older Hermanas in my zone told me this week that we come into the CCM thinking of the Elders as our little brothers, and one day, they are going to be like our older brothers. I can't wait to see that transition. Because I really do love them, and think very highly of them. But if it can get better than that, I can't even imagine. 

You know how earlier I was talking about how excited I will be to get back to the states? Well, I am. But I also never want to leave here, ever. Because I am already so attached to my district now and it has only been 2 weeks, I can't imagine what another month is going to do. Leaving them will be so hard, but the Elders are going to bless the lives of the people of Perú so much I can't even imagine, and Hermana Chandler and I have to go do work in Colorado. I don't want to leave the people I love so much, but that's really how the whole mission thing is, I guess. First you leave your family, then parts of your zone leave you, then you have to leave your zone AND your district, and I KNOW that I am going to become so attached to my Coloradians (I don't even know if that's a thing?) But I know that my life has already been so blessed by my service, and I know it will continue to be so blessed. 

It has been two weeks, and they have been the best two weeks of my life. Even when I am having hard times, I am still the absolute happiest I have ever been. And I am pretty sure that's not something you can even understand until you serve a mission. Because it is literally the hardest thing I have done with my life, learning Spanish seems like it is going to kill me sometimes. But the levels of joy, and happiness, and love that I feel and have? I would never trade it for the world. My heart has been so full here, I never knew I could love so much. 

I hope everything is going well for all of you back home. I love all of you so much, and am so thankful for your prayers and everything that you do for me. You are in my prayers constantly. 

Have a lovely week, 

Hermana Sherilyn Harper

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week One!

Okay, the first thing I want to tell you, the most important thing this email will contain is...


I'm glad everything is well at home. I miss everyone so much, but am definitely not letting it distract me from my work. So that's super great. 

I absolutely LOVE being here en la CCM (the México MTC.) It is so amazing. I love everyone here so, so much. My heart is so, so full and I just keep finding more room to love these people more and more every day. My companion is THE BEST! I love her so, so much! Her name is Hermana Chandler. She is from O'ahu, and she speaks dang Hawaiian, and if that's not the coolest thing you've ever heard, you better check yoself. She is really great though, she sings with me all day, and we like the same TV shows, and we like similar movies, and basically we're very, very similar people. She didn't take ANY Spanish before she got here, so she's having a pretty hard time with the language. But I can see her improvements every day, and she is such an inspiration to me to keep striving to study harder and be better. (Below is a picture of Hermana Chandler!)

I am gonna tell you about my District, because they are literally the best. Hna Chandler and I are the only hermanas in our district. But we have THE BEST Elders. There are 10 of them, and I love all of them so, so much. They are perfect. They love us, too. They call me the queen, because I know some things about Spanish and can help them. But it's hilarious, because they would all rather ask me than our District Leader, Elder Mask, even though he knows just as much, if not more Spanish than I do. But, E. Mask is great, because the two of us can get up in front of the class and write on the board to explain some of the Spanish to our fellow missionaries during our language study. We have this one elder, Elder Heiner, and this week, he is my favorite. He told us this story of how he asked his girlfriend to prom and it's just perfect. And I am gonna tell it to you right now. So, his girlfriend is afraid of heights, so he said Let's get you over that fear of heights, and she thought it was just a joke. But he had connections to this guy who is a pilot and can just fly around little four-seater planes. SO they got like 300 feet of Christmas lights and wrote PROM in a big field with them and flew over it. IS THAT NOT THE MOST PERFECT AND ADORABLE THING YOU HAVE EVER HEARD?! People like that actually do exist. He also likes to sing with Hna Chandler and I. And he's perfect -- he sounds exactly like Hercules (think I CAN GO THE DISTANCE.) So wonderful. 

I do get to see Hermana Brooks, like, all the time. Well...not all the time. But, quite a bit. I see her at every meal, we generally sit together. It makes me happy, and Hna Chandler and Hna Brooks get along really well. I love it so much. (Hermana Brooks is in the picture below!), it is HARD. I am working the hardest I have ever worked in my life, and studying the most I have ever studied in my entire life, and being the absolute most frustrated I have ever been. BUT, it is all okay. Because even though it is hard, and sometimes I get so frustrated, I am also the happiest I have ever been.

I love being here so much. I love all of the people here so much. My district is like my immediate family, and my zone is like my extended family. (our zone gets together every night to sing a hymn and pray together, and on Monday nights we have FHE where we just play a giant game of signs and it is perfect.) I don't ever want any of these people to leave me, and I never want to leave them. But, as my man Enjolras says, "We strive towards a larger goal, our little lives don't count at all." That last part may have been a bit intense, but it does get my point across. We are all going to be doing some of the most amazing work, and we are going to be some dang
amazing missionaries. I don't mean to sound boastful, but we all have specific talents and personalities and REASONS we have been called to our assigned missions. I know that even though I will be sad to see them leave and eventually leave myself, it is going to be so, so worth it. Because we have literally the most amazing callings ever to exist. 

I love you all so much, and am so, so grateful for your support. Thank you all for being there for me. You are all great, and in my prayers continually.