i’m a hermana

Hola!

I’m officially a hermana! Mi nombre es hermana Porter! I’ve been here in the ccm for a week now. This is gonna be a long email just a heads up 🙂 i’m sitting here in  computer lab with the rest of the gringos emailing and its like a mad house. everyone is typing like crazy, it feels like christmas morning being able to write home
time is such a weird concept here, I seriously feel like I’ve been here a couple months now. I can hardly believe that just a week ago I was at home eating in n out for the last time and now I’m in south america?! Crazy. But I am so happy here! My comp is Hermana Jacobsen and I swear we’re twins. She’s from Temecula, Ca. She just finished up her freshman year at BYU and is a dancer. She trained in ballet and was on her high school’s dance team. We have so many of the same clothes, we have the same sense of humor, we’re both so extra, we even came here with the same perfume! It’s trippy how similar we are. She has a strong testimony and is so diligent in her studies, I am so grateful for her
The ccm in santiago is so small! there’s like 30 missionaries here tops and most of them are leaving next week. and there’s only 6 gringa hermanas! Every day at meal time I try to sit with the latinas to practice my spanish. they are so sweet and so patient with all us gringas! I love them.
The language is coming slow and steady for me. If I’m being real, sitting for over 12 hours a day practicing grammer and memorization is hard, but its all part of the process. And i’ve definitely improved a lot since last wednesday. El don de lenguas is real!
Missionary life is different but its so fun. To the outside world, what I think is funny is probably nothing but when you work 16 hours every.single.day. the little things are everythinggg. Like when I’m filling up my water bottle and I walk past a group of elders and I overhear them talking about how ‘hot their  girls back home are’ or when all us hermanas let a stray dog into the ccm or how we almost missed our flight from atlanta to santiago hahaha.
the food here is wayyy better than I expected. I thought all I’d be eating is bread and meat and that my rice cheeks would blow up within a couple days but they have a salad bar and lots of fruit so I’m lucky! but I still eat bread, like every day lol
the ccm is right in the middle of downtown santiago. it reminds me of Berkeley! I love it.
I’ve only cried twice here! Yesterday me and hna Jacobsen gave our first lesson to an investigator and it was so hard. it hit me that the language barrier is so real. i started crying in the middle of the lesson haha it was bad. but its good! It was a learning experience forsure
there’s lots of flirting here. not from me though haha. sometimes I laught at it and sometimes I roll my eyes. It all depends. A lot of the elders here are immature, they’re all 18 years old and straight outta high school but that’s alright. On sunday, we had a devotional and they all bore their testimonies and a few of them made me cry. they’re definitely here for the right reasons.
general conference here was amazing! as a missionary listening to conference brings a whole new importance to it. In the saturday morning session I loved when Brother Pingree said ‘Christ uses ordinary people for extraordinary things´ that meant so much to me. its easy to get discouraged here, for multiple different reasons. but I know that as I put all of my faith in Christ and trust that there is a reason i’m here, I can be a powerful instrument in the lord’s hands. its not random that i’m here in santiago. my testimony has grown SO much in just this past week. I am so grateful for my Savior. This gospel brings me so much peace and happiness, I truly hope to bring that same joy to my brothers and sisters in Santiago
also mom thank you for the package, I felt like harry potter when he got his Nimbus 2000! ,
I love and miss you all more than you know. thank you for all your support and prayers, I can feel it all the way here in santiago
xo Hermana Porter

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