So let’s jump on in.
Belize has brought many new adventures.
Many eye opening experiences.
Horizon broadening moments. Get the gist? yeah?
First, I’m going to employ the tried and always true list approach because I’m a freak for lists. Here is some gooood stuff about Belize friends.
1. Everyone here is trilingual. This is absolutely incredible to me because no matter how amazingly uneducated a person may be in this beautiful Caribbean country, they know 3 languages....THREE. I’m struggling for two-- and they're spitting out Spanish, English, and Kriol in one wild conversation. I kid you not--I will start teaching a lesson in English, and halfway through, we’re suddenly speaking Spanish and my brain REVOLTS. I start spewing out Spanglish like a complete moron. hahaha ok it’s not really that bad, but my brain is pretty upset about the transitioning. It’s really very hard. I don’t know why but your brain gets into a track and when you have to go back and forth its nearly painful. one day...
2. Everyone here also enjoys the pastime of smoking weed. I know approximately zero things about weed but I am learning...haha. All I know is that in a lesson last week an investigator told us he smoked 11 rolls (maybe packs? or containers? or bins? I don’t know what the dope smoking mechanism is called!!!) every day. We had a member there with us who formerly smoked weed and so I just watched his every reaction to try and discern how I should react to the drug stats we were being given. So when the member was stunned at our investigator saying he smoked 11 'things' a day, I tried to mimic his facial expression, and would offer a deep and contemplative 'oh yeah man that is a lot of dope...' to help aid the conversation. But in all seriousness. It’s a huge problem here and we are trying to help people understand that it is wrong to smoke weed and that they will destroy themselves! It’s a work in progress.
3. So… my coma subject line. I feel like I have come forth from a coma. Why? Because everyone here speaks English and I finally, FINALLY, understand what is going on. It’s literally, using no exaggeration whatsoever, like I have awoken from a coma. I love teaching in English. I love knowing what people are saying to me. I LOVE COMMUNICATION. It’s a gift from above. But I’m simultaneously obsessed with Spanish and I miss hearing it 24/7. No worries. My Latina companion is under contract--I told her she must speak to me in Spanish at all times.
4. Sis Simon says my Spanish accent is very good and that I speak almost perfectly!! I just need a bigger vocabulary...you know I’m working on it. But that was the validation I have been looking for for 3 months now. What a sweet relief. #blessings
Ok. Kriol is the bees knees and I will learn one day. The accent is literally beautiful.
WHY IS THERE NEVER ENOUGH TIME IN THE EARTH FOR ANYTHING EVER.
On that note I need to wrap this baby up. I want to share a quick little story. But first, I want to share my testimony. again. I know, I know. I share it all the time. But I can’t get my fill folks. I’m insatiable. I LOVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. It fills you with so much life! and joy! and love! and peace! Its indescribable. And I love sharing it. Even though I have 439,834,502,847,509,427 things to learn still.
But here’s a fun quick lil story…There is a member of the church in Sweden. At the time of this experience, she was a new member or a recent convert. She was riding her bike to her aunt’s house one day--and this was a long bike ride, 90 minutes. On her way home...the winds started and it was mostly uphill on the way home so she is really struggling and also feeling very alone bc many of her friends and family had ostracized her after her conversion to the church--mainly bc she no longer participated in activities that they enjoyed. So this woman-Natalie for our stories sake--is riding in the wind, uphill, struggling. She decides it is time to test God, time to see if He is real. She stops and offers a prayer, and says, God if you exist and you are listening to my prayers--I want you to do one simple thing--stop the wind. Then Natalie jumped on her bike and kept going. Uncannily--the wind did not stop. So she gets to the top of the hill, right by her house, and cynically gives a thanks to the heavens. Immediately after she heard a still voice which said, 'I didn’t stop the winds, I gave you the strength to overcome them' after which Natalie noted she had made her ride in 60 minutes and not 90.
Ok, so I loved this story. Not to prove God exists. Nothing like that. But to demonstrate that we need trials. We need struggles. We need hard things in order to make us stronger. And the Lord always gives us strength. Always. HE. WILL. NOT. ABANDON. US. He loves us and all his children. EVERYTHING CREATED IN THE UNIVERSE...EVERYTHING...was created for us. For the purpose of our joy. To teach us to become perfect.
Christ lives. He died. And now he lives. What can we do for him this Christmas? I know I have a lot I can give to the Savior. There are a lot of things I can do a little better. So with that, Merry Christmas... if I don’t write again before the holiday, I add my solemn witness that He lives and that He loves us and that God is our father and that the truth and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. Also john 21. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/21?lang=eng
ALL MY LOVE