Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yoohoo Family!

Hey guys! It's been another awesome week! 
This week, Pday stands for Pioneer Day! Happy pday!!  


Today we had a special off campus activity and we got to go to the temple and the visitors center. It was so exciting. The Mexico MTC has these great big walls, so to get out we have to go through this gate. So I was singing "for the first time in forever" from Frozen and everyone was laughing at me. Sometimes I get in trouble because I'm not singing hymns. 

Like there's this President here and he drives around in this golf cart and every time he drives by me and my friend Hermana Burnham go "they see me rollin, they hatin" and then bust a gut laughing.
It's perfect. 

But anyway. Mexico is fabulous and colorful, as usual.The visitors center was gorgous, the statue of Christ always gets me. We were standing there and they asked us to introduce ourselves, where we were from, and where we were going. And everyone was all official about it, I felt like we were soldiers reporting to war. I stood up, "Hermana Bills. American Fork, Utah. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania." And I felt enlisted. It was so cool to have the statue of Christ up at the front like, "I've showed you the way to combat sin. Now go out and feed my sheep."
So legit. 
So hardcore.

Okay so here are some funny stories and random happenings from this past week.

First off, our teacher Hermano Garza is the cutest little Mexican of all time. We were talking to him one day and trying to figure out how tall he is and how tall his novia is. But they measure things so differently in Mexico so I stood up to compare myself to him and I'm pretty tall here in the CCM which is weird for me. 
But I stood up and he looked and me and was like, "Oh, Hermana. you are so high."
And me and my compañera just laughed so hard and explained to him that he can't say that. it doesn't translate directly over from Spanish. We told him what it meant when he told  me that and he just buckled over laughing. He apologized and said "You are tall, Hermana. you are Tall." 
But now whenever I say weird things in Spanish or do weird things he tells me, "Hermana, you are so high."
Like the other day when Hermana Burnham and I were talking about how we're going to make MOTAB dubstep and then do yoga to it and we learned how to say DROP THE BASS in Spanish and he told us that we were weird but... what are ya gonna do. 

So every Firday we have these service projects that we do. This week, we were taking these giant jugs of water to every house and edificio (what is the English word for this? I don't remember...) anyway, all around the CCM. But right as we were leaving to go do the project, it started raining and hailing so hard. I was like "Oh hail no." So we got to go in the back of this truck to deliver the jugs. The hermanas weren't doing a lot cause... well, cause we're women. And those were like 50 pound jugs. But somehow it ended up that our district leader and two other elders were jogging behind the truck in the rain and running the jugs to every house and the other elders weren't doing anything. I was just like... "really, guys? Three of you switch out." 
But none of them would! 
I was loosing so much patience so fast. But then instead of getting mad, I asked myself what Jesus would do in this situation and then I was like "He would lead by example." 
So I hopped out of the truck into the stupid, smelly Mexican rain and I jogged behind the truck and helped the other three elders deliver the jugs. They were so heavy I looked like a penguin waddling around. But at least I was contributing. I felt so happy after.
Then we skipped gym so I could shower.
Cause remember what I said about the Mexican rain being stinky?
Yeah. That ain't no lie. 

In other news, the virus is gone! Yay for a normally functioning digestive system. :)

Also, a bomb went off in the city on Saturday so that was nice. 

Here's another story about Hermano Garza (because we love him) So we were crying the other day cause he was leaving us (and we love him too much) and he was like "you all need to be so quiet. I have to go to the university" In his little Mexican accent. Love him. But there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. So He shut off the light and we were all so confused that we went quiet and he was like "Ha! You all cannot speak without the light!" Then he turned it back on and we cried out to him until he shut if off and we went silent again.
That went on for like 5 minutes. He had tears streaming down his face because he was laughing so hard. 

We have a good time here.

The original picture
Someone go to AFHS and find out where Brother Caspar served his mission and ask if he served with an Elder Cates and converted a Diego Reyes.
Cause that'd be so crazy. 
Also someone tell George Julian that we had corn dogs the other night for dinner and sang the song.
He will know what it means.

My "corn dog"
Also, we decorated our classroom door. I drew little cartoons of everyone and the elders colored in their ties and the sisters decorated their dresses and it's so cute. I love my district. They are so supportive. 
But speaking of drawing. My companion is a freaking artistic champion. She drew this picture of Christ that was spectacular. But then I was being all sarcastic and dumb and I was like "I bet I could draw it way better." so Hermana Burnham and I drew our own versions and we were laughing so hard. It was perfect. I included the pictures. 
Our district leader, Elder Shin, said mine looked like a corn dog. But I actually think mine is the best. 
Anyway! My time is up for the week. I just want you all to know how amazing this church is! It really is Christ's church, He is the leader. The gift of tongues is real. Miracles happen. This gospel is the most important gift anyone will ever receive. Of this I am sure. It blesses individuals, families, nations... the world. The Savior loves us and suffered for our sins and invites us all to come unto him, and I get to do that, too! For the next 18 months! 
I know that I am so far from perfect, but I love serving my Savior! He loves you all, as do I! 


Letters . . . anyone?

 If you guys want to send letters but don´t get them sent off before Saturday, please do not send them to the Mexico MTC. It takes about two weeks for them to get here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hey! Can't you see that this woman is a nun!?

Hey y'all, It's me again! 

First of all, shout out to Ricky Stephenson!! Happy birthday, you winner! 

This weeks happenings included learning how to tell people that I am from the hood in Spanish and playing volleyball with our elders in the rain. All good things.

I've been getting an awful amount of bug bites as of late, and I couldn't figure out what was happening. But they come around and give us new sheets every Monday so I was tearing my sheets off the other day and guess what I found?
I literally cried for days. I've been sleeping with spiders. So inappropriate and horrifying. So now Hermana Stoddard does a Native American chant over my bed each night (since she's 1/32 native american) and she sprays it with bug spray and peppermint and it's all very ceremonial. 

Also, our Maestro Hermano Garza started excelling our progress. By that, I mean he's teaching us things that we're not supposed to learn until week 4 and we're in week two. And he's all like "i know this is hard but you guys can do it" and we're all just wiping the little tears out of our eyes because he doesn't realize that we really can't. What we're doing in scripture likening in Español. So we have to listen to the needs of our investigator and immediately think of a scripture that would help them. I'm getting better, but I definitely did not know the scriptures like I thought I did. 

Everyone picks on me here... just like every other time in my life, so I feel right at home :) The elders and the teachers are all making fun of me all the time, and even the Hermanas join in. It's so funny. It doesn't help that I contracted the Mexican virus. I think I wrote about it in my last email... but it's SO BAD, YOU GUYS. Let's just say there's a lot of abdominal pain and a lot of time spent in the bathroom. So that adds to the teasing. I've blushed super bad a bunch of times... but hey. It's how life works out. 

Another embarrassing story for y'all... So I was walking down the hallway to class one day and for some reason Hermana Burnham (she's my soul mate) was trying to wipe her sweaty armpit on my shoulder. I... I really don't know. So I was trying to swerve out of the way and all the sudden I  lost my footing and slipped and flung up into the air, falda flapping, heels over head, arms scrambling... and smacked down onto the tile. You don't have to tell me, I know how graceful I am. But for real, yos. It hurt so bad. I have the gnarliest bruise on my knee. It's fantastic. So that happened. 

In other news, my compañera always tells me how she thinks my personality most resembles Emperor Kuzco (mom, I hope you are so proud of me). 

Sunday was probably the most eventful day of the week. We always have to prepare these talks completely in Spanish but they don't tell us who is going to speak until right before the sacrament, so we're all sweating in our seats... So we had to prepare for those, and then Elder Shin asked me and Hermana Burnham to teach a lesson on the Diez Mandamientos. It was so stinking funny. We gave everyone a commandment and they had to come to the front of the classroom and act it out and some of them were just hilarious. Elder Cates drew this horrendous cow and started bowing down to it and we all just had these tears streaming down our faces. It's always a good time with these people.

 Then Hermana Stoddard spoke in Sacrament meeting. And then guess what else?

We got called to be Sister Training leaders. 

We'd only been there for ten days and they called us to lead a whole zone. It was so embarrassing because I was leaning down to get my Himnos out of my bag and the ¨Presidente asked us to be the leaders (they just extend the call to you right there  in front of everyone and ask if you accept). But they ask in Spanish and so I didn't catch it at first (cause I wasn't paying attention, cause I didn't think they would call me...) And I look up and he was like, "Hermana Bills?" And I just had this like blank stare on my face and I was like "What? What am I doing?" I was so oblivious. it was embarassing. Everyone started shaking their heads at me. but we accepted the call and I have loved getting to know all the sisters in our zone. I don't feel qualified for the calling, but the Lord is strengthening me. 

Okay here's a cool story for ya. So I told you guys that the food is good last email. And it is. It really is. But it's kind of the same thing over and over. 
well on Sunday we had this devotional where we learned about this thing called Specific Prayer, and here's how it works:
you come to the Lord in prayer with a specific problem. You explain to him your problem and why it is so frustrating for you. You express your faith in his strength. Then you present a solution to your problem, and asking humbly for it to come to pass.
So I decided I'd test it out.
And of course, being the fatty that I am, I decided to pray for hamburgers and curly fries.
Guys. No one actually thought it was going to work. I knelt down by my bed Sunday night and I told the Lord, "Lord, I can't eat another plate of beans and rice. Those cheesy potato sandwich things make me want to cry. I'm so hungry all the time. I know that you are omnipotent, and maybe it's silly... but if I could just have a hamburger and curly fries to eat, I will be the happiest misionera ever."

Bet y'all can't guess what we had for lunch on Monday.
Hamburgers and curly fries.
I dang near cried.

I went up to the Hermano who gave the talk on Specific prayer and told him my story and how I was so happy, and he looked me dead in the eye and was like "that's nice. But maybe next time you should pray for something more important."
Haha the hermanas all laughed at me. 
But hey, specific prayer works you guys!! 

Anyway. Spanish is coming really well. I really seriously am not trying to toot my own horn, but I think I'm probably the most fluent in my district. That means I get to help out the others a lot of the time which I love.  The teachers always ask me for help and I feel so happy. It's really not me, though. It's all coming from God. I know that he lives and that he is blessing me. I'm working really hard, and he is rewarding me with the don de lenguas. 

I am continuously grateful for your support and prayers! 
Someone tell my punky brothers to email me! :)

Christ lives!! 

 / Hermana Bills


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Its Not Even Warm In Mexico!

Hermana Bills here, reporting from the CCM!

First off, I finally know why missionaries never write about the MTC or tell you anything about it. THEY CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER. I feel like I've been here for three months. Seriously by the end of my 6 weeks here I'm going to feel like I've already served my 18 months, so I'll probably just head on home. No one really needs me in Pittsburgh, right?

Just kidding.

  It's the coolest thing when the teachers here tell us about how we represent Jesus Christ and how we need to be our best selves. Here's an intimidating quote for you guys, "You don't need to be a good missionary on your first day out in the field. You have to be a perfect missionary. You have to be the best missionary you're ever going to be right from day one."
So. No pressure or anything.

We do a lot of Nacho Libre quoting here in district 15D. Our favorite is "Get that corn outta my face" whenever they serve corn in the comedor. 

July 4 was pretty awesome. I was super stinking homesick though. I missed the motherland. But they made us bbq sandwiches and french fries and corn on the cob and all sorts of other wonderful American foods, and all the sisters dressed in red white and blue and then we all stood in the cafeteria and sang the national anthem and don't you even doubt that I was shedding manly tears for the country I love. 

I miss you guys.

I'm so freaking lucky to serve stateside. 

Okay here are some random happenings in no particular order.

My compañeras is Hermana Stoddard. She's from Utah and she´ll serve in Seattle. She has a great dimple in her left cheek.

We study Spanish with this program called TALL which stands for technology assisted language learning. But on the first day, our teacher was asking us what we thought it stood for and I said, "Talkin all the lovely languages!!!" and Hermano Garza (our maestro) looked at me with so much disappointment. Like I have never seen so much disappointment on anyone's face before. 

Most people don't know what to do with me. Like, our roommates seriously just can't even deal sometimes. Cause I kinda don't have a filter... so I say things that just throw them off guard. We wont' go into detail. 

ALSO. Can we just take a moment to discuss the birds?
So flirtatious. Like they always tryna get the ladies. They flap their little wings and puff up and strut around. It is THE greatest source of entertainment I have ever experienced.

The rain is FABULOSO.

 It dumps rain every single day. I mean, I'm kinda disappointed cause I'm in Mexico and it's like 40 degrees, but... I also can't complain cause "rain is a good thang." The thunder is so loud, and there's always like this brilliant lightning. so pretty.

Mexico is ranky stanky. There's always an awkward smell.
It´s probably from all the beans.
I can't even handle all the beans that we have been eating. 

There is this virus going around right now in Mexico that gives you massive bathroom consequences, so you're not allowed to shake hands with ANYONE. so funny. 

Also, I was thinking the other day in my class about how Christ is like the bridge bot on Ratchet and Clank. If you guys don't get this reference, I'm so sorry for the loss of your childhood. but anyway, Christ gets us across gaps that we can never handle by ourselves. His church exists for that purpose. I'm constantly amazed by how much I learn every single day out here. I thought I was pretty smart when it comes to doctrine and church stuff. But there's always something else.
Line upon line, yo's.

Also, I'm so emotional. I cry about everything. Someone is like, "Hermana, your skirt looks ravishing" and I just bust out in tears like "Oh my gosh thank you so much how are you people all so nice"
No but legit. I'm like a little black rain cloud.

Okay let's talk about my district. They are my family. I love them so stinking much. 

We've got Elder Cates and Elder Lundgren. Elder Lundgren is going to Pittsburgh with me. He's really short and nice. Elder Cates is the funniest person alive, probably. He makes us all laugh so hard. Then there's Elder Monson and Elder Shin. Elder Shiiiiinnnn is the coolest guy ever. He is 22 and a recent convert to the church. He's our district leader and he's so nice and puts up with all this youngblood in such an admirable way. Then there´s Elder Ellis and Elder Thompson. Elder Ellis is such a sweetheart. He's in love with this girl and he thinks she's the one and it's so tender. Then we've got Elder Wells and Elder Jensen. They have major strugs with the language but I can't wait for miracles to happen for them because they are so faithful and try so hard. and then there's the other set of sisters... Hermana Burnham is the funniest lady. I love her. She has the best laugh and she's just like me. We have the exact same kind of humor. She's a winner. And then ASHLEY MEADS. 

HERMANA MEADS IS IN MY DISTRICT. What are the odds that that would happen. And yet, here we are. I'm so stinking pleased.
But like I said, my district is amazing. We always end every night by standing in a circle and singing a hymn in Spanish. sometimes it's a struggle because of the language. But we do it anyway. and then we pray as a district. 

I'm loving it here. It was super hard the first couple of days. On our second day, we had to teach an investigator. I can barely speak the language and they expect me to teach? But it was awesome how the Spirit can still be there, even if you're speaking in completely broken Spanish. And good news! We committed him to baptism yesterday.
I mean, he's just one of the teachers acting and pretending to be an investigator, but the questions and the lessons are real and legitimate. Way cool. 

Anyway, as a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ, I just want to leave you all with my testimony that this is His church, and we are His disciples. I love Him so much, you guys. I have had doubts in my life... probably more than my fair share. But I KNOW that He lives and adores me. I don't want to be the only one who feels that way. I want to find His children who feel lost or doubtful and to SMOTHER them in His love, because I know it will change them forever in the way it has changed me. Representing someone who lived a perfect life is an enormous responsibility, but I can feel Him daily, strengthening me and magnifying my good attributes and cutting out the bad. I am seriously so blessed to be out here. Thank you for your prayers and for your support. The work moves forward! 

I'm sorry if I forgot anything, I tried my best, but they don't give us a lot of time. So, I'll talk to y'all again in one week!! 

 Hermana Bills

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Email Home

This keyboard is in Spanish #wut

Hey, I arrived at the CCM! It´s gorgeous. I cant figure this keyboard out, though. Awkward. 
Anyway. Im just supposed to send you this stuff.

Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Sister Brittani Bills
11/08/2014 15-D
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is August 11, 2014. The use of the above address on all correspondence will greatly facilitate delivery to your missionary at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

So anyway. Im freaking tired out of my mind. I need waaay more sleep than I got. I slept for like two minutes on the plane. Someone bust me out of here. Jk I love it.

I have my name tag. Im officially a missionary. #ganando

Also, havent met my companion yet, but her name is Sister Stoddard. Apparently I am the senior companion or something? However that works, it is messed up business. I cant even hold my own weight. Im a limp noodle. 


Anyway its freaking crazy that Im here. Did anyone think that I could ACTUALLY be a missionary?

Also, apparently my pdays are on like Thursdays or something. I think. So dont expect to hear from me on Monday

Gotta go. LOVE YOU

Departure Day

 Plain ol' Brittani Bills

Plane - Oh, Brittani Bills

After a final day of packing, running errands and tears, plain ol' Brittani Bills was set apart as Hermana Bills. She headed out on the plane to the Mexico Missionary Training Center to begin six weeks of training. She will then serve the Lord for 18 months as a full time missionary in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mission.