13 PaGeS LoNg

WhErE tHe PaGeS oF tHiS bOoK nEvEr EnD

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"It doesn't matter if those around you don't understand....

Hola, mi familia y mis amigos!
So this week, I would like to start out with the concept of `time`. It is such an inception-like idea! In the CCM, time soo strange. For example, last week was the longest week of my life. I felt like it was never going to end and that it lasted for atleast a month! This week has been the exact opposite. This was the quickest week of my life. And now the days are long, but the weeks of fast. Es muy muy MUY loco. Perro, està bien. I think it has a lot to do with perspective. So my advice this week is: Be optimistic and look forward to every day you have! Make every day a good one and have mini adventure every second you get! Cause then no matter if time is crawling or speeding by, you will be able to enjoy the ride :)
Up next: The hermanas in my district have dubbed p-day as our music day. (The CCM president, Pres. Pratt, doesn`t let us listen to music in the CCM...no one knows why for certain). But yeah, so we listen to our music on P-days to renew our spirits cause good music is great. And we are going un poco loco without it. Today while we were listening to music on one hermanas ipod, the song `Return to Pooh Corner` by Kenny Loggins came on. I almost cried cause it made me think of me and Dad being in his Gold Toyota Camery singing that song together and lots of other Kenny songs. Good memories!
So our old fake investigator, Fernando, is getting baptized! We challenged him to baptism last week and he said yes! Not that it`s real or anything, but the spirit was there, and I was super happy for him still! Except the spanish was kinda of a barrier for me expressing my excitement cause I don`t know many words....so I kept just smiling like a looney tune and saying BUENO BUENO MUY BUENO! ESTOY ANIMADO POR USTED. Haha it was pretty funny after the fact.
To help us learn Spanish, our district is reading the Book of Mormon in spanish, and then when you get to a word we don`t know, we have to stop, look it up, and write the translation over the word. It takes FOREVER. (It took me a over an hour to do the first page in primero Nefì. Perro, our branch president said that if we did it, that when we got to the end of the Book of Mormon, we would be fluent in good `ole español!
Speaking of my branch president, President Torres, I had an interview with him on Sunday, and I asked him what I should do to continue learning spanish. He quoted Elder Scott and said that if I want to untie my tongue, I need to read the Book of Mormon in spanish outloud, I need to pray in spanish outloud, and I need to talk in spanish as much as I possibly can. He said, "It doesn`t matter if those around you don`t understand what you are trying to say cause the one of matters most (Dios) understands and He respects my efforts and He will reward them." That got me really excited to continue trying, cause sometimes it`s hard to stay optimistic. Since I had pretty much zero effective Spanish background, I feel so far behind everyone else, but I know I`ve made lots of progress! It`s just hard to remember that being in the moment, ya know?
Saturday night in Mexico City is fiesta night. They`ve all got Sturday Night Fever or something! No joke, everyone and their grandmother cranks up their music and parties into the wee hours of the morning! I honestly think it`s kind of funny... Lots of others get annoyed when trying to sleep though. Està bien. It keeps things interesting!
Sunday, once again, was the best day ever. We watched an Elder Holland devotional from last year at the Provo MTC. It was so great, and as always, Elder Holland was the man. If you can look it up, you should. It was from February 2012.
Also on Sunday, we get to watch a movie at night. This week we watched The Testaments. Goodness, I love that movie! The part at the end when Christ is with the Nephites and He heals the blind father...it gets me every time. Like clock work.
Two other awesome things happened on Sunday: First, the elders in our district gave us hermanas blessings (many of them for the first time since they are fresh out of high school). The spirit was so strong, and everyone felt so unified afterwards. It was wonderful. Second thing: I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. So the way they do it here is on Friday or Saturday, they give everyone the topic of Sacrament meeting for that week. Everyone is supposed to prepare a 5 minute talk. Then in Sacrament meeting, you find out if you are giving a talk or whatever if during the opening annoucement stuff they say your name. It`s pretty stressful honestly. But anywho, yep, I gave a talk. I gave it on 1 Nephi 3:7. We are `supposed` to give them in Spanish, but mine was straight up Spanglish....meaning mostly english, with a spice of spanish phrases every once in a while. But the spirit was there and I felt good about it, so I was happy.
Yesterday it rained, so I of course ran and jumped and did all sorts of craziness in it. The elders got a kick out of it for some reason.
Oh, and there have been 3 earthquakes since I`ve been here...but not even big enough to feel so no worries.
I know it`s not important, but this week at lunch we had curly fries AND popcicles!! I thought I had died and gone to heaven it was so wonderful! Normally, we have semi-questionalbe stuff to eat, so these little treasures were well welcomed by all! Since I am already talking about food, I would like to take this moment to say, you Americans are SPOILED. Yes, very spoiled indeed. You live up there in your big `ole country with your clean, safe water everywhere you turn. I think that is one of the things I miss the most about the USA. I miss not having to worry about the water I drink. Heck, I could drink out of the hose out back for all I cared. Here, I can`t do nothing like that. I have to drink all my water through a filter bottle. It is a bit annoying honestly, but I guess if I don`t want to die of bugs and parasites and all that other nonsense, I better do it.
Me and Hermana Nelson (an Hermana from my district) sing disney songs together when we are in the shower cause our showers back up to one another. It`s pretty great, and very entertaining.
One last thing: I met an Hermana from North Carolina the other day. She is from Chapel Hill and apparently she knows Dallin and Jaclyn! AND she kinda-sorta dated Kyle (as in Kyle Kyle.....Kyle Schultz). Bahaha... Anyways, yeah, it was so crazy! Her name is Hermana Kendra Harlos. She is super nice, but I bit crazy around the edges. It was nice talking to her though cause everything that I miss and I love, she knew about! It was so great having someone who got where I was coming from with Cheerwine and Cookout and the Blue Ridge Parkway and all that jazz..
So far, I`ve gotten no mail... but the elders in our district get mail out of the wazoo. Oh the injustice. I may have some today cause I still have to check, so HOPEFULLY I do! I want mail so bad, but it takes forever to get back and forth. And then reading and responding to all these emails is so hard under the time restriction, but I love it too! It`s a no win situation to be honest. Mail is sooo slow, so after probably friday, I wouldn`t send anymore mail to Mexico cause I won`t get it. Send it to Chile, por favor y gracias. I sent birthday cards to Marissa and Matt on Friday, so please let me know if you get them eventually! If you don`t get them...know that I thought of you guys and I sent you really cute and thought-out cards for your day of birth fiestivities! And I`m sending some letters out today and tomorrow. Sorry I haven`t sent any before now...I never have time to write them! And when I do have time, I feel bad using it for that and not for studying spanish. My balance between english scripture study and spanish language study is SO hard for me to keep in check. I`m working on it though!
Couple more random things, then I`m done:
-Zach, one of my teachers is learning japanese and I was wondering if you could send send me a little letter asap in Japanese for him. He would love it! His name is Hermano Hernandez and he is super awesome. So if you get a chance, that would be grand!
-I can`t send packages from Mexico so I will probably be overweight when I leave for Chile cause they gave us like 15 pounds of extra books and manuels and stuff. So I`m sorry if I end up having to pay a fee :/
-I may need another SD card for pictures eventually. Apparently, sending them home through the mail is a problem cause they get wiped out during processing... yo no sè for sure though.
-Also Mom, if you are ever wondering what to send me in packages, send me WHOLE FOODS POR FAVOR. I miss real food so much! Like some granola or craisins or almonds would be a God sent. Just make sure to cover it up in Jesus and Mary stickers!
I love reading everyone`s emails and hearing how everything is going! I`m so sorry if I don`t respond to individual emails...my time is pretty limited and with these novels that I`m writing there isn`t much time for anything else. And I`m soo grateful to all those who send them to me. I don`t know how my emails are being read (whether through an email list or on my blog), but I`m SO SORRY for how long they are...I`ll work on shortening them for next week..
I love you all and I miss you all and I hope you all are doing well! Y`all are all in my prayers and on my mind constantly.
Know I am doing great and that I am loving being a missionary. Even when I am having a hard time, I am learning to love it, and I am learning to rely on the Lord for everything in my life. It`s great :)
Til next week!
Love always and always,
Hermana Abigail Page

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Elder Holland, you light it up"

First things first: Mom, you know how you cut me a piece of my coconut cake on Monday? Well I forgot to eat it!! I was honestly so sad when I realized that on the plane haha. Sooo on February 10th, 2015. We shall eat coconut cake oltra vez.
It`s super weird not being able to call and tell you guys everything..
Another big change that I am having to get used to is having mi compañera with me all that time. There is literally no such thing as `alone time` which is something I miss LOTS. It`s okay though cause my companion is super sweet! Her name is Hermana Avery. She is from South Jordan Utah, and she is 20. The other hermanas that are in mi casa that are also in our district are super awesome too! They are both from Utah as well and are named Hermana Nelson y Hermana Garrett. Since there are only 4 Hermanas in our district we are always together...we are kind of like a `quad` together. I like it cause it gives us more people to bounce off of, ya know? We have already decided that we are all gonna go get pedicures together when we get home cause I`ve never had one :)
Anywho, the Elders in our district are super awesome as well! We all get along great! And sometimes, it`s almost too great cause our attention span with studying (with no teacher around) is rather short. We are working on getting better though!
So I`ve officially been in Mexico for over a week now...woah weird. It still blows my mind sometimes that I am in Mexico. I thought "oh Mexico, it`s gonna be hot there". Uhhh, I was dead wrong. It`s perfect weather here in Mexico City! It`s cool/sunny every day. And honestly, it can get pretty nippy at times. It rains almost every night, which I love cause it keeps everything fresh, ya know? Speaking of Mexico City, Uncle Barry was right...the houses are literally on top of eachother and they never end. The latinas here think I`m crazy, but I think it is super pretty...in a ghetto kinda way. It`s never quiet here though. There are always horns or super loud music (during the sacrament on sunday we could hear from the city "THIS GIRL IS ON FIIIIIRRREEE"..thank you Alisha Keys) or dogs or bombs. Yes bombs. Actually, I`m just kidding. We don`t know what the sound is. We have many "big bang theories" (see what I did there?). Some say fireworks, some say it`s the jail down the street, others say guns or bombs or a clock.... Yo no sè. But it booms multiple times everyday. Slightly sketchy.
The food here is ummmmmm let`s just different from the Provo MTC. Those missionaries should COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS..getting Papa Johns and Creamery icecream and lots of delicious food. I think here they are training us for the field in the sense that we won`t always like our food..or know what it is. We "think" the majority of the meat is spam, so we stear clear of that. Some weird combinations they have had are whoopers (like the chocolate candy) and honeydew, spam and peaches, and refried beans and cantalope! I mostly eat fruit. An apple (or two or three) a day my friends.
We watched "Only A Stonecutter" on Sunday...made me think of home cause that was the last movie we watched as a family.
Random sidenote: Last real world song I listened to....Bennie and The Jets by the wonderful (and slightly creppy) Elton John. Love that guy.
You know the song "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks? Well I am feelin those lyrics lately! I am in a double fenced-in with the occasional barbed wire complex. It is super nice and open compared to the rest of the city though I guess.
The CCM president banned music (of any kind) on campus, which STINKS. So bad. I MISS PRETTY MUSIC SO MUCH. One of my teacher though played some Paul Cardall the other day and I coulda swore I had died and gon to heaven. Goodness I love piano music. Hearing it literally made my soul lighten by a literal ton; I could have cried it felt so good.
Okay so now to tell you about the LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. Again, this was literally the longest and hardest week of my life. I honestly don`t know how to explain the intensity of everything, and it`s one of those things that you can not understand in the slightest til you experince it. The first full day felt like atleast two weeks. I`m not gonna lie to you guys...I seriously considered going home multiple times. And on Saturday morning, after having yet another panic/depression attack, I had decided to leave...
I can`t pinpoint the exact moment of complete 180 change that happened on Saturday/Sunday, but I`m almost crying now (the good kind) trying to explain it to you guys. I know I`m supposed to be here. I know I got the call that is perfect for me. I know I`m on the Lord`s errand. I know He is watching out for me and will help me through all my trails, big or small. The first couple days that I was here, I was in a constant struggle not to break down from anxiety about the language, the mission, me measuring up, me falling behind, home, what will happen to me, and a million other things. I kept thinking of Matt cause I kept quoting Nacho Libre and saying "IT SUCKS TO BE ME RIGHT NOW." ;) But now, I can promise you all that I am so happy. Even when I`m not happy, I still am...if that makes any sense haha. I`m viva la vida-ing! I love that I have this opportunity to serve the Lord for a teeny while. I know it`s gonna be super tough, but now...I`m ready. "Here I am Lord, send me."
So for the most miracle-ish and spiritual thing that has happened to me here (and possibly in my life). As most of you know, I don`t know Spanish. In the slightest. It sounds like "asñidfhañlsnbdgjhañierhgweioh" when I hear it. I have been struggling hard core (worse than Marissa-type struggling ;)) with learning and catching on to the language. I know it`s not japanese, Zachary. But it`s still super difficult for me to get. Anywho, we start teaching our first "investigator" on Friday...when we still didn`t know any English. So my companion and I would bring tons of notes and pretty much read straight from them the entire lesson and they would only go for 10-15 minutes. I had been struggling with how to gain access tot he gift of tongues, I had been promised it multiple times but I dind`t know how to get it goin.The spirit wasn`t there every time and it was just bad. On Sunday, the Elder Bednar devotional said, "You don`t pray to know what to say so THEN you can open your mouth. You FIRST open your mouth and pray and trust that the Lord fills it." That taught me that in a way, I was lacking the faith that the Lord would fill my mouth if I prepared and then trusted Him. So I told my companion that we weren`t going to bring any notes to the next lesson, and she thought I was crazy. After explaining that the Lord can`t bless us if we don`t first trust Him. We said a prayer and went. The lesson was so wonderful!! We had the gift of tongues out the wazoo, and the spirit was so strong. I cried bearing my testimony (typical). And even though Fernando isn`t a real investigator, that was the biggest miracle I have experience. I`m so grateful the Lord was there for me and Hermana Avery. Goodness, it was so great.
Talking about General Conference talks, Elder Bednar said if there was preplanning, it would go a little something like this, "Elder Bednar, you say this, Elder Scott, you say this, and Elder Holland, you light it up." I thought that was pretty funny.
Anyways, I`m already over time emailing, so I`ve gotta run. Just wanna say, I love you all and I miss y`all like the dickens. I hope you all are doing well and having adventures todos los dìas!
You`re all in my prayers everyday.

Love always and always,
Hermana Abigail Page

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another full Sunday

Yesterday we paid a visit to dad on our way to Caswell for Jordan's homecoming. Ad always he loved having us visit. While in Greensboro, we had to drop by and get Katie as well. She is enjoying UNCG. We ate at Yum Yum's and saw the missionaries and invited them in from the rain for some ice cream. Its always fun when you spot missionaries. Gotta take good care of them! Jordan did a great job on his talk. Welcome home Jordan, sorry we could not stay afterwards. Sydney was also blessed today, Little Baby Sydney welcome to the Page clan, so happy for Tyler and Savannah. I came home feeling sick! I am ready for a new week....bring it on!

Friday, August 16, 2013

God Speed Hermana Page

Tuesday Morning finally arrived. Saying goodbye is always so hard. But letting them go at the same time is so easy. I know that they are in the Lord's care, on the Lord's Errand, and that everything will be alright. I have witnessed it over and over again. I would rather them be no place else. God Speed Hermana Page, we will see you soon.

Hey Momma,
The keyboards are different here (they are all spanishfied), so I`m sorry if my emails turn out weird or short cause I was struggling.
Anywho, I`m not dead! And I safely arrived in Mexico at around 1ish local time. I was actually the first missionary to arrive today. CRAZY. I was so confused as I went through customs and all that jazz, but I stalked some business guys that were on my flight and watched how they did everything haha. Exchanging money is so weird...So I have no idea how much I have in pesos! Hopefully it`s all I need while I`m here.
Also, something funny that happened at the aiport.. the Nickeloden boy band Big Time Rush came while we were waiting for more missionaries. TONS of spanish teens were screaming and chasing them down..SO FUNNY.
But yep, this is suppose to be quick so I just want y`all to know that I am safe and I`m gonna be okay I`m happy, and I`m ready to get to work. I don`t know when my p-days are yet, so you`ll have to wait and see.
I love you Momma and Dad (and everyone else!!)
Talk to ya soon then.

Love, Hermana Abigail Page

Monday Brunch with friends

The last gathering before Abby left was with the Mitchell's. She so wanted to spend some time with them before she headed off. So we had a brunch Monday morning with our dear friends. We always enjoy their company, and it is always an uplifting event with them. Thank you so much Sharymn and Jon for being such a wonderful example, especially to our children, they love you both so much!


Sunday was Abigail's farewell. She did a wonderful job on her talk. Her spirit is going to touch so many there in Chile, she will be well loved! It was wonderful having family over for lunch and to just be near, together, that's what it means to have family right! Thanks for coming all of you who did. We really should do that more often. So many came that evening for the open house, but we had so much food left over!!!! EAT UP PEOPLE!!! There were so many friends that came to wish her well and send her off with lots of support! I can't believe I will be doing this one more time, next summer for our Last Elder. I love missionaries!!!!

A day out with Dad

We surprised Dad with a day out. We took him to his favorite spot Yum Yum (was also Katie's first time going) and a day at the Nature Science Center. I use to take the kids there all the time when they were little and we lived in Greensboro. He loved it!!!!

Abigail Enjoyed her time with Little Claire Bear, they became quick friends.

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