“I’m More European Than You’ll Ever Be!”

March 19, 2012

  I feel like I haven’t been doing my part in making my letter interesting to read lately, but I swear email time is getting shorter and shorter. The mission is like the Twilight Zone, or something. I’ve pretty much lost all conception of time. Except when a Sacrament meeting speaker goes over and my investigators are getting antsy. Then I feel every second.

 First off, I’ve found my calling in life: Spanish ward choir director. I don’t think there’s anything I could enjoy more. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week, and definitely one of the most entertaining. Too bad ward conference is next week and we’ll perform and it will all be done.

 Funny moment of the week (actually, I think it was last week. Twilight Zone, I’m telling you.): E’s not-husband yelled (literally, yelled. Not an exaggeration!) at us because we said he was from Latin America. He was born and raised in Honduras, and is very proud of his Honduranian-ism. Actually, we didn’t even say anything about where he was from. We said something in passing like, “Our ancestors are from Europe.” and he yelled “MY Grandparents are from Spain! I am more European than you’ll ever be!!!!” It was really intense in the moment, but it was really funny afterwards. Occasionally, I will yell it at Hna B: “I’M MORE EUROPEAN THAN YOU’LL EVER BE!” I feel that yelling really improves our relationship. With all the Asians, Hispanics, and apparently Europeans here, I am truly serving an international mission.

 I’m finally feeling like I can kind of communicate in Spanish. It’s gotten a lot better the last few weeks since now I am not just following Sister R around like a lost puppy. When you’re thrown into the fire, you deal with it and start speaking Spanish. Try it. Throw yourself into a fire and you’ll start speaking Spanish. I am afraid though that I won’t be nearly at the level that Maren and Daniel and Raymey are when I come home, so I am afraid to ever talk to them in Spanish. I still have another year to improve.

We didn’t get out nearly as much as I would have liked to this week, and I felt guilty. It’s still just a little bit hard. It is so hard to adjust to new companions. I thought it would be more adjusted after two weeks, but we are still working on it. They say the mission is preparation for marriage, but hopefully when you get married, you aren’t changing your companion every six weeks!

 The work is good. I really do enjoy it. Whenever I start to get frustrated, I think, “I’d much rather be doing this than writing a paper, or being yelled at, at the parking office, etc.” I think “etc.” in my mind. Honestly, we’re just not having a lot of measureable success in this area and it is hard to not feel like I am the weak link, since I have been here for more than four months. Then again, this area has not had a baptism in over a year. I just have to tell myself that if I am working the best I can and doing all I can, it is enough.

I know President appreciates my efforts, but it’s hard sometimes to not have any baptisms, or have weeks where your numbers are really low. Because that is what the ward sees and what the mission leaders see, not the daily struggles and efforts. But, I’ve been getting better at telling myself that I am not here to serve them, but the Lord. I’ve just always cared too much about what other people think of me, my whole life. Actually, my good friend D wrote me this week and told me he didn’t have any baptisms until his 5th transfer. That actually helped, because I know that he was a super dedicated, hard-working, humble missionary. But you can’t force others’ agency. Anyway, that’s my ramble for now.

 Daniel. Happy Birthday. Sorry it’s late.

 My district leader hasn’t gotten mail in 4 months. I told him I would petition my friends and family to send him letters. I hope this doesn’t happen to me when I get older in the mission. Everyone, promise me you won’t forget me. Thanks. Okay, good.

 His name is Elder Hillegas and he is at the same address as me. Ready: Go! Write! And write me while you’re at it.

 I haven’t really said anything about this week, but I am out of time. I love you! I’m great. California is great. The Gospel is Great (and also true).

 Con amor,

 Hna Poulson

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