HOLA FAMILIA!! k, my P-day is Thursday (obviously) so I've been dying all week to write...
K, before my first plane ride I met Hermana Hambin (thegirl whose mom was freaking out when she saw us). She's adorable, but she probably thought I was a creeper when I just walked stright up to her and said "Rachel Hamblin!" When I got on the plane I was sitting next to this little Indian Man and his wife was across the median thing. They were legit Indian too. The ones I LOVE. So we didn't really talk at all but I listened for sure to them talking (maybe I am a creeper?). BUT when the plane landed my nose just started instantly bleeding! Like what the heck?! The flight attendees would have yelled if I got out of my seat before we were at a complete stop so I just sat there and shoved my fist up my nose. The Indian man looked over and literally jumped out of his seat. I had blood running all over my hands and face which is something you normally don't expect to see on a nice airplane ride from Phoenix to Miami. Well, he was a sweatheart and ran down the hall to get me all the napkins he could find. My love for Indians just keeps intensifying.
In miami we met up with 20 elders and like 8 sisters and all got on a plane to the DR. Our flight was delayed so we didn't get off the plane till LATE when it was pitch black outside. We were all hustled onto this big bus and driven to the CCM (say-say-emmeh). Their driving is so insane too. We were given dinner once we finally got there at like, and then put into our rooms. I am with six sisters in a two bedroom room (split with a door in the middle). For the first day I didn't have a companion because she was still arriving so I had to stick with the elders in my dristric all day, which I'm sure they loved. My companion came , late afternoon. She is Hermana Fletcher, from Utah. She's super duper sweet and pretty quiet until she laughs, which is great because you all know how loud I can laugh. I really really have grown to love my district over the past 7 days! It is 6 elders and us 2 hermanas. It's super fun because they're just dorky and weird immature elders, yet sometimes they just surprise you and say something really awesome or are so on top of things that i'm just like where did you come from?? My DL is Elder Cunico who is probably the most respectful and ready to be a missionary. Every day we wake up at , eat breakfast at 7, and then start personal study at . We then have lots of spanish lessons and gospel PMG lessons and stuff. Every day is just a hige blur because we learn so much stuff and I can't remember like 80 percent of any of it. I really really need help with my espanol... I just hope it starts to come better next week.
Our main teacher is Hermano Nuñes. He's HILARIOUS. Seriously he's the funniest thing ever. All the teachers are dominican, too. They are really amazing. We always joke around with him too and he just says the randomest things that make us die.
The temple is three inches away from the CCM, which is pretty cool. We went to the temple this morning! My district did sealings (I don't even know how to spell that?) and then an endowment session. It was so cool. Also, the DR is the place to be. Provo MTC doesn't even compare. We can walk around the temple whenever we want, we know everyone here and always just joke around with the dominicans. There are like 15 Haitian elders who are adorable and all the hermanas are obsessed with them because the only english they know is "you are so beautiful".
For an hour each day we get gym time... which I love because a few sisters play volleyball with a bunch of elders and it gets kindof intense. All the sports are outside because the CCM is puny so we have a small parking lot to play soccer, and basketball and then a nice space for colleyball. I get really into it and my intensity plus the humidity makes me sweat like a man. It's pretty gross. Also, shout out to Emily Glauser for putting up with my TERRIBLE volleyball skills for a whole Molten season, because now I'm not even afraid to play and get my knees scraped and I'm just really glad I'm able to play because its what I look forward to EVERY day out here. Exercise is the best way to relieve all this stress! We decided to kind of switch companions for during the exercise time with Hermana Hamblin and her companion because Hamblin also loves to play volleyball and her companion doesn't so it works out perfectly! And it's also allowed, so I still have not broken any rules.
K, I know you're all wondering about what I eat every day. Rice and Beans.
I've been writing in my journal every day, and I'm so glad I am, so thank you Annika and Michael for that advice. I know I will be so happy to look back and be able to see where I was at and my progression every day. Also, thank you all for the cutest letters!!! I'm not gonna lie I read half of them on the plane because I had nothing else to do..... Lo siento. But i really loved them all and I finished all of them yesterday and they were all so helpful and uplifting! I love you all. Well so farhas been my favorite day! We had an awesome fast and testimony meeting and I got the courage to bear my testimony (which had to be in spanish!) it was short and maybe it didn't even make sense, but I did it! Also, I have played the piano a couple of time (yes dad, you read that right!) and I lead the music quite a bit. I LOVE every time we sing the hymns, as a whole CCM or even just our district. The spirit is just so strong. (Also, myentire district like ROCKS at singing, and we seriously go into like four part harmony every time we sing a hymn which is like 5 times a day or more... so we need to form like some kind of missionary band one day because I think that would be pretty cool, no?) Ok, sorry back to .... we heard from Elder Bednar and His wife from some conference a couple years ago but it was awesome and about listening to the holy ghost. Really cool stories he shared and he also is supper funny. THEN, we watched the atonement video that I've probably seen a bajillion times but this time it just really got to me and I started crying hard core and I am just SO grateful for our savior and all that he has done for me.
Annika, thanks for the letter, I hope your b-day was ok besides the fact that the Titanic IS a really depressing movie (i never understood why that movie made people go so crazy) and i really want to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I was definately thinking of you, and talking about you a lot which I'm sure wasn't so fun for the hermanas in my room. Also, Izze and Emma, thank you for the cute emails! I LOVE hearing from you girlies and its finally hitting me how hard a year is gonna be without you guys. seriously. Isabel, I can't wait for cross country for you this year! Emma, I hope your new dance studio is going well! Dad and Mom, thanks for the fifty emails! haha and I'm not being sarcastic... I looked really cool when I opened my email box and had literally 17 emails. halfly thanks to you guys. Dad, your cool story about the guy who wants to be baptized is awesome! If only it were always that easy!
K, sorry mom, but my camera stinks. Everything just turns out black and brownish. The lighting is awful. So could you send me a low light one or should I just buy a new one? Because I don't even care to take pictures they're so bad. K, I only have 5 more minutes or this dang computer is going to turn off..... so I love you all more than my luggage. I am praying for you guys every day and hope that every thing is going well back in Mesa! Has it been raining? It has here! I LOVE IT!
I'm probably forgetting like a million things but I guess I can write them next week if I have to.... HASTA LA VISTA.
p.s. the hallways ALWAYS smell like tacos and churros.