Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday: Pachanguita

Today I played the piano in church!  The first couple of weeks here were super fun, but I also had some stressful and some trying experiences and realized in those weeks (for the billionth time in my life!) how much I love playing the piano because I really was missing it.  I asked Joel last week to email me the music for a song I love to play in church - it's an arrangement of "I Feel My Savior's Love" - and decided I wanted to play it in church so I could share my testimony of all the help and love Heavenly Father gives us.  Last Sunday I asked the bishop if I could play this week, and last night I invited Carmita to come if she wanted to. I didn't know if she would or not, but she told me this morning that she would! I was so excited!  We were told not to proselyte here but that we could answer questions and such if people had them, and I didn't know how many opportunities there would be to share the gospel, but so far I have had some very meaningful discussions with our family and looked forward to this being good for Carmita, too.  It did make me way more nervous than normal, though! :)

When we got to church I kept feeling like I should check with the bishop to make sure I was on the program but I was too afraid... so I didn't. And when he announced three speakers and no musical numbers, I was so scared I'd been forgotten and that Carmita would wonder why I invited her or something!  I proceeded to spend the rest of the meeting praying he would look at me and remember or something, but it turns out I shouldn't have worried - all three speakers gave very short talks and I went after them. I should've still asked, though - I probably could've had a much more enjoyable meeting! :)  

When it was my turn, I had decided I wanted to share my testimony and at least the title of the song before playing it because my experiences here are the reason I chose to play it in the first place.  I decided this morning, though (and give the credit to Heavenly Father for letting me think of it early enough!), that since Carmita was coming and didn't know the words to the song, I wanted to read them as part of my testimony. So this morning I got on, found the song in Spanish, and wrote down the words for the three verses and chorus so I could share them, and I'm so glad I did.  In my testimony I didn't say very much - I just wanted it to be a brief introduction - but I told the name of the song, that I love it, and that I had had some trials since coming that made the song that much closer to my heart.  It was amazing - maybe this is what the gift of tongues feels like - but I can't remember a time where I've had an easier time speaking Spanish. Jill commented on it, too, when I sat down. She said that what I said was perfectly great for introducing the song, but she also said that I had conjugated everything and said everything correctly.  I'll be honest, it was a pretty amazing feeling speaking like that without having doubts about what I was saying or anything!  

The actual playing of the song also went well.  Because I had been so nervous and just thinking about getting up there, it was harder to focus on the Spirit while I was playing - I was still trying to get rid of my jitters! - but it went really well.  I'm very happy with how everything went :)  Carmita really liked it, too, so that was cool. Jill sat by her at church, which was good - she did a great job at explaining things to her and talking to her beforehand and everything, at making her feel welcome there.  Also, there are only four seats per row and the fourth/epmty seat in our row was by Carmita.  I kept hoping someone would sit by her and help her feel welcome there, and a few minutes before church, Laurel did.  She's a very nice and good person; I look up to her a lot.  I was really thankful she sat there :)  

After church, one of our friends from the ward took us home and I took a nap! It was great.  We had lunch - Chinese food! - and it was actually pretty good! Last week or so Jill and I tried a sample of food from a Chinese place and it was super nasty, so I was a little worried, but I really liked it.  It tasted just like American Chinese food :) While we were eating I thought about something that happened in our first few days here. We were talking to someone about the kinds of food we'd been eating and when I told her that we'd been eating really normal food, similar to what we eat in the states when we imitate Mexican food (as in fajitas, not as in Taco Bueno :) she said, "Oh, I'm sorry!" and I didn't really know why because I love the food we've been eating!  I was thinking about that today during dinner - some people in our group might've been disappointed to eat Chinese food for lunch in Mexico. They might think it's a waste of being here, but to me, I thought it was perfect.  I love that our family treats us like their family.  They don't go out of their way to cook a ridiculous amount of food for "the guests," they didn't throw a crazy party to meet the entire family or make sure they always make authentic Mayan food or Yucatecan food for us.  They eat like a normal family eats and live like a normal family lives and invite us to do the same.  Normal families eat Chinese sometimes; normal families order pizza sometimes when they don't want to cook; normal families sometimes eat similar things a few days in a row; normal families have cereal for breakfast; normal moms occasionally oversleep and don't cook breakfast for their kids (that happened one time last week).  I love that about our family.  I couldn't have asked for a better family during this whole experience.  

I got to talk to Kelli, Rachel and Mom today! That was fun.  I was sad I didn't get to talk to Dad, but he had to work today :(  I showed them the dishes I bought yesterday and told them about our trip to Chichén Itzá, and when Carmita came in to tell us she was going to mass, Mom yelled "Hola, Carmita!" in a super-gringa way, which was super funny :)  And Grandma got Skype today so I'll be able to talk to her now!  I've been wanting to call her but didn't have a way to do it, so this will be fun.  

Tonight we had a fun party! We invited everyone in the group plus people we know from the ward, and quite a few people came! Not everyone, but it was really fun. We played Jenga, Uno, Egyptian Ratslap, Settlers of Katan (sp?) (yuck - I just watched that one for a minute), Nertz, and Jenga "Extreme" - we played where we had to play blind and it was so fun!  Ariana also had a blast playing with us. People loved her :)  Emma told me about a bus we might be able to take that goes from our house to school and we'd only need one bus! I want to try it on the way home tomorrow and see how it goes. If it works out, that would save us a LOT of money!  It would actually save a lot of money for the majority of our group.  They live right by the school and it's the bus they took to our house tonight. My only question is if it runs early in the morning.  It'll be fun to see...

Also tonight I got to know Alee better.  She's in the ward and is only 19, so she just recently started going to YSA activities.  Actually, I think the first one we went to a couple Wednesdays ago was also her first one.  As a result, she also doesn't really know anyone.  I decided I wanted to be friends with her so I spent some time with her tonight.  She's really fun! We were a team in Nerts. (nertz?)  It took her a while to get a hang of the game, but it was good.  She also likes a lot of the same stuff that I like.  And her birthday is in two weeks!  I decided it'd be fun to have a little party for her, like maybe a few of us go see a movie or swim at her house b/c she has a pool, get ice cream, something like that.  Also I got to know Tracee better, too, which was fun.  I haven't spent a lot of time with her this trip, but we all three were tired towards the end so we weren't playing Scrum with everyone else and just talked about different stuff - what we like to do and stuff.  Tracee likes to go to concerts - isn't that so fun!  She seems really cool.

Well, we have class at 7 tomorrow and I should probably already be in bed, so I guess I'd better go :)  Have a good night, all!  Buenas noches! 


Mom said...

You have had some great experiences! I'm glad I added some humor to your day! When dad got home from work, the girls were telling him about my gringa way of saying hello and the laughing started all over again! I have no idea how it came out like that, but maybe it's because I AM a gringa! I love you honey!

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