Letter from India on 18 Sept. 2015

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Hi!!! I´m sorry, I had no idea that my P day would be so long after my arrival. These 10 days have been CRAZY.

Alright, so a typical day goes like this:
     I wake up at 6:30, take a shower, get dressed, and put on makeup all in that time. Then at 7 I sit on my bed and wait for Sister Hollandsworth to finish putting her makeup on. Then we have personal study until 8:30, with a half hour for breakfast in the middle. We then have to teach a lesson around 9 or 9:30, study until 12:15, eat lunch (almoço) and then have language study with our teacher, Irmão A. until 5:15, which is dinner (jantar). Then we have more studying until 9, when we plan, have a snack, and go to our rooms at 9:45 and have to get into our rooms for bed by 10. I have 2 roommates who aren´t Americans. One is Brazilian and TINY named Sister S., and one is an exuberant Argentinian named Sister V. They´re nice but there´s a big language barrier still.
     So much work!!! The first few days I actually was actually a little sad and homesick. Being on a mission is nothing like what I expected. But now I´m getting along well with my companion, my district is awesome, and we get to have physical exercise time to break up the endless studying. We have two new “investigators” and one of them we haven´t taught, so that will be good.
India CTM roomates
       My companheira is Sister H., who speaks French but has never learned a foreign language. (She learned French from her mother as she was growing up). She had A REALLY hard time with the language for the first few days. She couldn´t remember words, didn´t understand how to conjugate, and just sounded French when she spoke.  She was getting so frustrated.
One day in class our teacher came over and talked to me. He basically told me that a mission is super hard, but that my Portuguese was doing great. Then he said something that really stuck with me. He told me (in Portuguese, because then my companion couldn´t understand) that my first mission while I´m here is to help my companion learn Portuguese. That it was my responsibility to help her. And I just kind of realized that he could be totally right. Because if I don´t help her learn português, she might not ever learn it. And then her whole mission could be ridden with mistunderstanding and frustration, and maybe some of the people she was supposed to find and teach wouldn´t be able to be understood.
     And from that moment I just started praying for her to learn, and for me to have the insight and patience to help her do it. And you know what happened? The next day, I made her translate her whole lesson into português by herself without me just telling her what every word means, and she learned. She could have a conversation. She can say a prayer, and she understands what the teacher says to her WAY MORE that she could on Thursday. It turned my whole week around! We work so well together and get along well. The dom das linguas (gift of tongues) is SO REAL. In one week I know generally how to teach someone about our church and understand about half their words. And when I teach them, words come to mind that I haven´t said or practiced in days. It´s a milagre (miracle).
I love my district a lot. There´s four elders and four sisters, and they´re all hilarious. Sometimes that means we don´t focus as much as we should, but their humor basically keeps me sane.
India CTM district
I love you guys a lot. Hope you´re doing well.
Muito amor,
Sister West

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