Letter 12: "A Day With Hermana Pappas"

Sonsonate, El Salvador
March 10, 2011

This is my life
Have you always wondered how it would be to be one day with me, Hermana Pappas? Well, wonder no more, here we go:

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6:30 am: Awaking
The alarm beeps and Hermana Bermudez and I jump out of bed (in reality we slide off the bed onto our knees... some days we jump out of bed because if we don't we wouldn't wake up)...

I am actually amazed that I have been able to do this really, it is a blessing. And Hna. B. is great because she told me the first day: "Don't think, just do it..." and it works!

7:00 am: Cockroaches time
Usually I take a shower at night, but if I don't want to deal with the cockroaches I will take one in the morning. I don't know why but the cockroaches LOVE the bathroom.

Perhaps because it's the darkest place in the house... most especially they love the shower! I don't get it and i don't like it. Before the mission I never. NEVER saw a cockroach, but here it's a daily event.

I think at the beginning I hated cockroaches more than I hate spiders (for real!) but I'm getting more and more used to them and RAID has become my best friend... speaking of which, I think I need to get some more today.

7:30 am: Breakfast time
My diet has changed drastically here, I must say the food is definitely a highlight! Platanos are my new favorite food, I have them almost everyday.

Platanos fritas (Fried Platanos) or platanos con carnela... mmmm Magical! I need to learn other ways to make them too... oh and beans. Always, always red beans. They are delicious!

8:00 am: Self Study
ESTUDIO PERSONAL!!! I love it. I can't believe " never spent an hour a day before the mission studying the scriptures! There is so much to learn!

I always learn something new and I always find something that helps strengthen my testimony and can help me teach others.

9:00 am: Companionship study
Estudio CompaƱerismo... Also a highlight. We are supposed to share what we learned in our personal study and read and learn something together, but a lot of times we never make it past talking about our personal studies.

Like [happened] this morning, I studied "Our Purpose as a Mission" and she, Hermana B. studied "King Benjamin's Speech"

Anyway, she started talking about service which led us into a half an hour talking about how we can serve the ward we're in. It was pretty enlightening.

10:00 am: Language study
Idioma....hmm...it's hard! But I am surviving. Sometimes it hits me that I feel like I've known Hna. B since forever but we've only known each other five weeks and have never spoken English...

It's amazing to me that I have been able to get to know a person through another language... I don't know why but sometimes I have no idea how I communicate with people... but i'm learning... slowly... (very slowly...)

Yesterday we taught Relif Society and I'm pretty sure the sisters just pitied me. But I'm alive and grateful for this hour... even though I really only get it three or four days a week.

11:00 am: The day begins!
We usually spend this hour visiting MARCs (Menos Activos y Recien Conversos) (Spanish letters for Less Actives and New Converts)

Not too many people are at home and we are lucky if we find three before lunch. I like visiting the New Converts (NC) because they are thirsty to know.

The Less Actives (LA) always have excuses that they feel they need to share with us. I like it though when we can call them out on it.

Usually we try to serve them mostly. There is a family with three little kids that are CRAZY! So, we go share a message with them at least once a week and help around the house.

There are a lot of old men that live alone, Enrique, for example, supposedly lives with his son, but his son is never there and Enrique can't do much.

So we go clean his house... most people don't let us serve them, and the people that do it's because we don't listen to their "No, thank you" and just do it anyway.

1:00 pm: Lunch
Almuerzo!... We have a Cook for lunch. Her name is Hermana Arminda. [The food] usually is really good. Sometimes it's not.

There is always rice of course! And fruits and vegetables that [before my mission] I've never had before... There is this one vegetable that I love, but I never remember the name and I've come to find that I hate, hate, hate papaya... I will be quite alright if I never eat it again! :)

Anyway, our cook is great. Hna. Arminda is always happy to talk to us and her family is really nice.

2:00 pm: Back to work!
From 2:00 pm until 9:00 pm we find, teach, pray, listen, pray and hope to Heaven that there is somebody that will listen to the message. It's pretty hard here.

The people are so nice and helpful, they are willing to listen but they don't understand and they...[?] hear the message.
I can't tell you how many times we explain about authority and how we need the authority in the Church of God, prophets and all that... And they "Understand" but then we ask them to read the Libro de Mormon (Book of Mormon) and pray and go to Church, they say "Oh, I have a church," "Oh I've already been baptized"...


I'm getting used to this whole patience thing, but sometimes I have relapses... on a great day we will teach 9 or 10 lessons but usually it's 6-8 and we've had a few days where we have only taught 3 or 4...

It's hard to imagine that there are missions where you are lucky if you teach once... I am greatful for my calling here... I couldn't imgine going to a place where I didn't know the language, and where the people AND the weather were cold! I am blessed to be here!

I love the warmth too... I am going to be in trouble when I get home I love the heat! Good thing I still have 15 months! Whoa! I've been out three months!!!! I can't believe it! Anyway. ...

9:00 pm: Back at the house
Planning for tomorrow. Not really all that interesting.

9:30 pm: Dinner time!
We eat dinner when we get back to the house at night because the time that the handbook says to eat dinner is prime time for contacting...

We usually eat pupusas three or four times a week.

Iif we don't eat pupusas, weeat platanos and beans... this last week I got spaghetti to change it up a bit, but we ended up making it for a family that is investigating the Church... I made Hna. B some garlic bread, it's the first time she's had it and she loooovvveeed it!

10:30 pm Bed time
I'd be lying if i said it wasn't one of my favorite parts of the day! And there you have it. day in day out. This is my life.

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"But at the end of the day"
This week though was different because ever day we had something different to do, on Monday we had p-day, on Tuesday I had to go to San Salvador (and hour and a half by bus!) to get my visa, on Wednesday we had a District and Zone conference, Thursday we had a conference with Elder Fallabela (Area Seventy... Awesome!!!!!!!!!)

Friday is our weekly planning (we don't start proselyting until 2:00 pm) and Saturday we helped out with a Primary activity...

So this week was crazy, but you get the idea... it's hard... dirt, tears, and a lot of sweat!

But at the end of the day...it's amazing!

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