Saturday, July 30, 2016

Holy Hannah It's Hot!

So this week had a lot of ups and downs in a lot of ways but there were more ups than downs I think.  Our investigator is pretty hard so we've been getting frustrated with that and it's hard when you can't communicate everything you want to say because you don't have the vocab to do it.  But, I feel like my Spanish is improving.  I'm understanding a lot more of what my maestros are saying so that's Bueno and I can talk to my investigator a lot more without looking in the dictionary or my notes too often.

I think I've already said this, but I LITERALLY play soccer everyday.  It's so fun because I don't care if I'm horrible.  I just want to get outside and get sweaty through some good old competition. But, it's 100 degrees or hotter every time we play, so we are dying, but we don't really care.

Biggest spiritual moment this week was the park. I was comps with Hermana Christensen from my room and I love her so we were stoked.  We made a goal to teach people and not throw a lot of info at them.  So, we went out there in the mindset of let the people ask us who we are.  So, I honestly didn't think it was going to work, but it was the best experience I've had yet!! We talked to soooo many people.  We just talked to them about their lives and they actually asked us about what we do and what we believe.  At one point, we were talking with a couple who was on their way to mass and actually the wife filled out a referral card!! I think we wanted to heel click all the way down the path, but we couldn't so we just gave each other a little fist bump.  Oh, and the first guy we talked to, we didn't even talk about the gospel.  At first, he tried to wave us off but we just started talking about his life and we had a really nice chat with him and learned a lot about him. His name was Francisco.  Hma. Christensen was so funny and kept telling him he needed to visit Utah.  But, after we were on our way back to the metro, Hma Soelberg ran up to me and said, "Hey! Me and my comp ran into someone you talked to.  We started talking to him and he said he had just gotten done talking to some other sisters, Hma. Christensen and Hma. Twede! We ended up placing a Book of Mormon and he promised us he would read it and made sure he had the right number for the missionaries!!" She said that if we hadn't talked to him first, then we don't think he would have been interested.  So that was a huge great thing!! PLANTING SEEDS PEOPLE! The gospel is great.

I finished the Book of Mormon now and I'm starting over and have a goal to finish it before I leave the CCM. But, I'm taking Elder Bednar's advice and want to be more charitable.  So, I'm using a paperback copy and highlight whatever I find about charity.  Super stoked!! Also, I was reading in Preach My Gospel and came across something.  It's in the section for Lesson 2 and it just talks about exaltation is living with our families for eternity.  I just made a note next to it saying, "Why wouldn't you do everything you can to get here?!" And it's true!! All we have to do is obey Heavenly Father and keep our covenants and then we get to live with our Father in Heaven and families for eternity!! I mean, come on!! That alone should make being exactly obedient worth it...not to mention all the blessings you get.  Anyway, that's all.  Love you guys a whole bunch!! Y'all are great! Oh and read 2 Nephi 31 when you get the chance.  Great chapter.

Kia Kaha!! Buenos Dias Hermanas y hermanos!

Hermana Twede

P.S. Totes jammed my finger in soccer yesterday...and I am playing hymns on Sunday.  Fun times!!


Hermana Twede loves gelato!

Day 2-Madrid Temple

Hermanas in Brielle's District (left to right)-Hermanas Soelberg, Martens, Meredith, and Twede (of course).

Madrid with Hermana Soelberg

Hermana Twede sent this picture, "Because Spain is so cute!"

Arrival at Madrid CCM & Madrid Temple Next Door

Gelato is delish!


Day 2-Madrid Temple with Hermana Soelberg

Thursday, July 21, 2016

First Full Week in CCM

So life in the CCM is definitely not what I expected.  I sleep on a little cot that I unfold every night and fold back up every morning.  Some of my clothes are on hangers above my cot and I pretty much live out of my suitcase. But it's fine! I room with Hermana Christensen (little red head whose just a spiritual fireball and has the same love for Miranda Sings that I do), Webster (from Texas and she's so hilarious), Matsu (my travel companion. She's just great and we have a good time), and McKeown ( a Brit who lived 2 floors above me at BYU and she's so funny and everyone loves her accent. She said I have a very good British accent and wants me to talk in it all the time).  Mi compañera es Hermana Soelberg from Cali.  She's super laid back and chill and if you know me you know that can stress me out when people are so calm when it's stressful.  So that was a bit of an adjustment but it's good for me to chill out and "find joy in the journey".

Presidente y Hermana Packer are SO WONDERFUL!! Presidente Packer is so full of the spirit all the time and it's so awesome to just hear him talk because he is so close to the spirit and knows what everyone needs. It's great. He kinda reminds me of Uncle Scott in how he's so interested in everything you have to say all the time.  He's just great and makes you feel like a million bucks all the time.

Holy cannoli Spanish is HARD.  I never thought I would have as hard of a time as I'm having.  My companion and I made a goal to only speak Spanish from breakfast to lunch.  It's a work in progress and we talk a lot less, but we're getting better. I'm trying to be patient with myself and I'm actually learning a lot and starting to understand my teacher more (because they're mostly all from Spain so they speak more Spanish than English during class.) We are studying all the time. So that's rough and my brain is ready to go to mush right around activida fisicica (physical activity).  But then I get a good second wind and play through the last 4-5 hours.

So I guess I better give a run down of a typical day at the CCM:
6:30: Wake Up
7:00:  Breakfast
7:30:  Daily Planning
8:00:  Personal Study
9:00:  Companionship Study (if we're lucky)
Then it's grammar, learning lessons and other stuff until lunch.
12:00:  Almuerzo (lunch)
1:00:  Companion Study (AKA mad panic to translate your lesson into Spanish because you didn't have time the night before)
1:30:  Teach our investigator (Her name is Sara and she's actually one of our teachers and half the time I think she's laughing at us poor Hermanas who are struggling to put together sentences and just want to hit our head against a brick wall. But it's fine. Good practice.)
4:00  BEST TIME OF THE DAY!!! Physical Activity!! (We decided to do stuff as a district so most of the time we go play futbol. I actually don't do too bad, which is great. The sisters in my district say I'm good and I just laugh at them because that's a joke. But yesterday we got to play volleyball with this cute Italian couple who teach here and it was SO FUN! All those summers at Clear Creek have definitely paid off:)).
5:00: Shower and get ready for dinner
5:45: Dinner
6:30: Back to classes (We are literally confined to our classroom almost all day. It's kinda rough. One of the elders in my district said, "If the mission has taught me anything so far, it's that I don't want to go to jail. Because this feels like it and I can't imagine what actual jail would be like." That was funny, but true.)
9:30: Finally get to go back to our rooms
10:30: Everyone has passed out on their bed because days are long here in Spain.

So yeah, that's the daily run down.  We had to go get our residency cards and stuff the last few days which was fun to try to understand people.  This cute little black baby girl came and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Every Saturday we go to the park here in Madrid and we go contacting.  It's so fun and crazy because we don't know what people are saying but we're trying to share the gospel and it's sometimes a mess but I like it.  Every Thursday, we go to the temple.  So, last week we got to go and it was sooooo great.  It's so beautiful.  And we get to go again today which makes me way excited.  Also we're going sightseeing today and getting churros and chocolate, so that's fun.

Quick story.  On Sunday, one of my buddies from BYU came up to me and asked if I'd play something for the devotional in like an hour. So, I of course said yes. I told him I'd play "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" because that's the only one I have ready.  Then Presidente Packer gets up to teach and guess what is devotional is on? The Atonement! So that was cool.

Also, I love my district and a lot of my group here. I feel like I know them from somewhere, but we've never met..  Also two of the Russian elders here I know from home!! Elder Jake Wilkins from Westlake and Elder McKay Kelly from working security at the MOA at BYU!! So that's great too.

Love you all!!!

Hermana Twede

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

First Letter from Madrid MTC

The flight felt longer than my flight to Fiji because no movies. Although I will admit, the lady in front of me was watching Finding Nemo and I may have watched a little while quoting it in my mind.  I LOVE my travel companion (Hermana Matsu). She went to Timpview but also played water polo and swam through high school so we had lots to talk about right away.

I did get some sleep so that was good.  But, my legs got all crampy at one point and then towards the end of the flight I completely fell asleep until we were flying over Germany.  Oh man, that country is beautiful and I wanted so bad to take at least a day to tour it because the houses are so cute and there are forests everywhere.  Europe is just great.

I LOVE the CCM (MTC) President and his wife...they are so sweet and they already knew who we were right when we walked in, so that was awesome.  My next P-Day will be a week from Thursday, so I will write more then.  Love you lots!!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Adventure Begins

Hermana Twede departed Salt Lake for Madrid, Spain today at 3:35pm.  She was so ready to get going.  No tears were shed on her behalf as she was so excited to start her adventure. She was all smiles! We had Darrick skype in from St. Louis, where he is working this summer. And Bumpa and Grandma Twede as well as our "adopted other child", Maddie Brown, came to the airport with our family to see her off. We saw the Mortensen family at the airport with their missionary, Tyler, and was able to take pictures with them. This was fun for both families because Brielle and Tyler have grown up together as families we have shared a long friendship.  So fun for us to stand next to each other and watch our new missionaries go through security and head off on their missions to Spain.  Safe journey, Hermana Twede!!!
Darrick Skyping in from Missouri
Leaving Home
One More Family Picture
Hermana Twede and Elder Mortensen
Twede and Mortensen Families
Bumpa and Grandma Twede

Our sweet Maddie Brown and Brielle!