Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Like Water from a Fire Hydrant

Being in the CCM is like drinking water out of a fire hydrant! There is so much to drink that it just ends up hurting your face! hahahahah!! I am going to be trilingual by the end of my mission, because I am learning Spanish annnnndd... AUSTRALIAN! Let me tell you story and then I’ll translate! The other day, everything was all g-- I was looking at my palm cards when all of a sudden heaps of sausage dogs started chasing me down the street so I had to really leg it. I was so smashed I wanted to chuck a wobbly! And my stockings got all stuffed up. Then a total dag made fun of my running writing but I didn’t want to be a dibber dobber so I got over it. TRANSLATION the other day everything was fine, I was looking at some flash cards when all of a sudden lots of wiener dogs started chasing me so I had to book it. I was so exhausted, I wanted to throw a tantrum. My socks got all screwed up and then a loser made fun of my cursive and I didn’t want to be a tattletale so I dealt with it. Last p-day we walked around Santiago! So amazing, and the queso empanada changed my life!! We went to Lider (Wal-Mart), which is pretty grubby, but it had what we needed, ha-ha. Okay also CHILEAN BREAD is literally the best thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I eat so much bread, I’m gonna weigh 1000 pounds!! We also have an unlimited and always accessible supply of ice cream so that’s no bueno. And ice cream down here is somehow even better than it is in the states, it’s like fluffier?? Getting to go to the temple each week at the CCM is such a blessing, It really keeps us going. My Spanish has gotten so good I can’t even explain! I get compliments from the Latinos all the time, which is much appreciated!! Like I said last week, my district is all girls and they really are the best girls in the whole wide world. Hermana Jimenez, one of my teachers said that I sound like a Latina! She may have just been trying to make me feel good but it still made my week. We also got a new investigator, Pricila, who we love! Her progress is really incredible! The other morning we were sitting waiting for class to start when a teacher came in and said, "Why aren’t you in la capilla??" so we legged it (heehee) over to the chapel to see that a General Authority, Elder Bragg, was there to see us. I got asked to play the piano for the meeting so that was stressful, and so he came and talked to me for a bit. Then after we started he told us he wanted to shake everybody’s hands, so he did! He gave a great lesson, and he talked about getting to watch the general authorities assign mission calls! On Sundays, we each have to have a five-minute talk prepared about a specific topic in Spanish, and then once the meeting starts, Presidente calls a few people to come and give their talk! I haven’t gotten called on yet but it’s only a matter of time! This last Sunday we also had a devotional where nobody bothered to translate to English for us so my district was super lost! Me and Hermana Sandal had to try our best to translate and it was super hard. I thought we did pretty well for some gringas, ha-ha. Slip up of the week was surgery and suggestion, and cantidad and castidad (quantity/chastity). Someone was supposed to teach la ley de castidad and instead she taught la ley de cantidad. I cried. I’m pretty sure a girl in my room has bed bugs? Like I’m not positive because her Spanish is SO FAST but she definitely said bugs, is covered in bites, and was beating out her bedding... oh boy! Okay yawl, read Mosiah 14:3-5 because its true! I can feel it in my own life every single day!
Love, Hermana Stanley

with Hermana "DJ" (Aussie)

Santiago Temple

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hermana Stanley arrives at the CCM!

Hola! Okay, first of all my flight down was just fine. Met up with three other sister missionaries in Salt Lake headed to Santiago, and then three more in Atlanta. We had to cross the Atlanta airport, but that went just fine. I sat by a guy headed into Atlanta who was a pastor or something that had worked a bunch with Mormons and he was very kind. The seven of us who met up in the airport are all in the same district, plus one Aussie, who is actually going to be the nurse in my mission! She is super cool and her first name is Maddie! There are no elders in my district, which is a first for the CCM here, I think. 5 of us are going to the Santiago West Mission, others to Viña del Mar and Rancagua. There is definitely no intermediate Spanish class here, it’s too small! But the good news is that we are surrounded by Spanish speakers! In my room, there is a girl from Guadalajara, Mexico, Lima, Peru, and I forgot where in Colombia. They don’t speak any English....its great practice and they are really fun to talk to! The Mexican sounds like she is speaking in slow motion compared to the Chilenos, so I never wanna hear a missionary in Mexico complain ever again! Ha-ha just kidding! They feed us A LOT and ALL THE TIME. Also, much respect for the Latinas, because those girls can EAT FOR DAYS. Super jealous! But the food is all pretty healthy. Weirdest thing so far was some sort of lima bean type dealio, and it actually wasn’t bad. They do eat rice with everything which I love! They also eat all of their cereal with yogurt instead of milk. I totally love it! I play the piano 2-4 times a day (not well I might add) but I try my best. The very first time I played they made me play Llamados a Servir. oiiiiii. Every day we exercise and we alternate between volleyball and futbol. When we play vball, gringos win, when we play futbol, Latinos win ha-ha. It is so much fun, we all love the outside time a lot. I LOVE Sundays here at the CCM! They let us do most of our meetings in English so we can just focus on the spirit. It’s nice to just be spiritually encouraged for a day. The CCM presidente Brady, has a 37-year-old daughter with down syndrome. Her name is Annie and I love her. She is such an inspiration to me. She wears a name tag, and she helps her mom pass out treats. She makes the missionaries smile, she is amazing because she is a missionary just like me, doing the service that she can! She introduced herself to us over the pulpit and she said, "When Jesus comes, I am going to get married." And in that moment I knew that she would have that opportunity, there was and elder in front of me who was crying so hard I had to give him some tissues. We had a super amazing fireside the other night, presidente had us pick our favorite hymn, write it down, and then Annie pulled a few out of a hat. Those who got chosen spoke about why it was their favorite, and then we sang a verse in Spanish and a verse in English. Annie asked if we would sing Silent Night because it is her favorite. I guess she learned the sign language to it when she was little. SO SWEET. One girl in my district was in my first ward up at BYUI. I LOVE HER, she is so fantastic!! We have had some pretty fun Spanish slip ups in my district, like mensaje/masaje, y huesos/huevos. H. Pugmire at the end of the first vision the other day said SPOON instead of escuchalo by accident. I have the missionary purpose, first vision, DyC 4:5, something in second 2 Nefi, and articles of faiths 2, and the baptismal invitation all memorized in Spanish already! My companion really likes to memorize stuff. Her name is Hermana Sandall. I can’t believe how much my Spanish has already grown. Presidente told the Latinos to learn English, so now we are having a riot in the casino every day over what language we are going to speak ha-ha. Everyone wants to touch my hair. The other day I had extra time so I put on makeup and they all laughed at me about how light my make-up is. THEY DON'T HAVE PEANUT BUTTER DOWN HERE HELP SEND PB! But they have some in the cafeteria at the CCM for us gringas ha-ha. That’s all you guys! Classes are great, I’m learning a ton, its hard work but I love doing it. Everyone pray for me please, I need all the help I can get. 1 Nefi 13:37. Heart you all    Hermana Stanley   
With my district, Hermana Brady, and Annie

Atlanta Airport

Companion, Hermana Sandall

First look at Chile

Sunday, October 15, 2017

From Maddie's Farewell Talk

I never wanted to serve a mission. It always sounded lonely to me. But I am a singer and I love to perform. During the summer of last year, I decided that I wanted to audition to be a young performance missionary in Nauvoo Illinois. As I prepared, I began to reason with the Lord, explaining why I knew that this would be a good opportunity for me. At some point, I realized that I only had credibility if I really was willing to be obedient. So I changed my prayers, and told the Lord what I wanted for myself, but that if He wanted something better for me, I would listen; particularly that if the Lord wanted me to serve a full-time mission, if He would simply give me the desire, I would go.

The day that I was supposed to turn in my audition for Nauvoo, I had a knot in my stomach and I knew that the Lord had something in mind for me. That was in November, and by January of this year (2017) I had started my mission papers.

That semester was the hardest time of my life and I leaned on the Lord more than I had ever known how. I’m so grateful for the experience I had during that time of my life. In May I submitted my papers, keeping it a total secret from everyone, apart from my immediate family.

I took Spanish in high school, so while expecting my call, I realized how desperately I wanted to go Spanish-speaking. I prayed for the Lord to take away that desire and help me to be willing, but needless to say, when I opened my call I was ecstatic. Regardless of how it turned out, I learned how to be honest my Heavenly Father and show him my weaknesses.

The trials I faced as a part of getting my mission call have brought me so much closer to the Lord because they were HARD. But my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior, not only got me through it, but ultimately lifted me to being the person I am today. He is many different people to me, and I’m so grateful for every role that he plays in my life. 

My Grandma and Grandpa surprised me by coming all the way from 
Mexico (where they are serving a mission) to be here
for my farewell! It was SO fun!