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This week has been one of the hardest and most rewarding weeks of my life. Also, SORPRESA, it's P day today!

It all began last P day, just after I wrote last. We went and did a session at the temple, in which I was asked why I was so tall, and before I could answer, one of the other workers said, she's gotta be from Utah, which I couldn't deny. After our temple visit, we took a few pictures, visited the Distribution Center at the temple, and went back to the CCM! We officially switched districts and branches that day, joining in on meeting our new district and branch president that night. I also got a calling that day: I'm the coordinadora de las hermanas en mi rama! Callings. Fun and stressful things. Hna Rodriguez, from California, and I interviewed the sisters and got to know them a bit! It's been a hard adjustment to the Latino district. However, I feel that I couldn't have an easy experience in the CCM, I needed a challenge, because the mission field? Not that easy.

I know we're supposed to stay away from talking about hard experiences in the CCM, but it was a big part of my last week, so it's going to be shared. On Thursday, it hit. I believe Satan works hardest in the CCM, for it's the last chance to stop us from going out and making a difference in the real world. I felt so inadequate with the latinos, the language, and my calling. All of this stress culminated during dinner, and I was so overwhelmed with a feeling that I couldn't do this that I couldn´t eat. I left dinner to talk to Hermana Moore. I've always felt feelings and expressing them was a weakness, but this day and the next proved to be a crash course in how that could be a strength. I talked at length with both Hna and Presidente Moore that day, and they both really helped me to remind myself of why I'm here.

Presidente gave me a blessing to feel comfort and strength, and it was everything I needed to hear. I talked more with Hna Moore after the blessing, and as we talked, she reminded me of the importance of being myself, especially in challenges, for knowledge pales in comparison to the confirming feelings and testimonies of the truth of Jesus Christ. She also jogged my memory of a quote from Alice in Wonderland: “I'm mad. You’re mad. We're all mad. But I'll tell you a secret; All the best people are.” I also had such an incredible feeling of support. My roommates and Presidente y Hermana Moore helped me to feel such love and support.

The next day, I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually DRAINED. However, I also felt so much peace. I wrote my talk on faith in Jesus Christ and the Atonement (four missionaries are randomly selected each week to share, all have to prepare!) We played American football (flag) and I got even more turf burn. Afterwards, we taught THREE investigators, Luis, Isabel, and another new one; Carlos, played by our old teacher! I gave every bit of juice I had left to these lessons and was so exhausted after that I couldn't really function well, and Hna Moore saw me and told me to get some rest. After dinner, I went upstairs and prayed really hard for strength. The words of my farewell song came back into my mind: Here Am I. It was a great comfort to me to simply feel my Heavenly Father´s love for me. I slept for a very long time, and I got my strength back. Sometimes the Lord needs to take us low so that we can be raised higher.

We taught Isabel again the next day! I loved this lesson a lot. At one point, I felt prompted to go on a little tangent of a brief overview about the Plan de Salvacion. I opened my mouth and spoke, but now I could not relate a single word of what I said. It was perfect and brought back the central message of families and God's love, but all I can say is that el don de lenguas is REAL. Whenever I am teaching and putting my heart, might, mind, and strength into the leccion, words just come. These past few days have been a lesson on how to rely fully on the Spirit, and I'm really grateful for the lesson. We played futbol again today, and I got a HORRIBLE turf burn on my knee. After that, we taught a less active, which I think is much more difficult than an investigator, but it went well. Following this, Hna Calderon and I taught one at a time to our teacher. He asked us lots of questions. It was really great to talk with him about the incredible blessing it is for me to teach. I also planned Relief Society and my mini talk on the White Bible (missionary rules).

Sundays here are INCREDIBLE. We began with the leadership meeting, where we talked a bit about all the hnas and elders in our branch. I directed the music in sacrament meeting, and one of the speakers passed out during his talk (one of the elders), so it was a pretty frightening moment, but he's alright. After relief society, where I played piano and gave my mini talk on first impressions and their importance in Spanish, we had a directing music class in which I played the piano for about an hour. One of the songs was an only Latin American song, and I'd never heard it before, which was really difficult, but it worked out! We watched the Joseph Smith video again, which I'm incredibly grateful for. Joseph Smith died for this gospel, the least I can do is live for it. We watched a talk Elder Rasband gave to the Provo MTC, and I saw 5 of my friends in the video! It was fun to see them and hear an incredible message about the sacred nature of mission calls. I am getting to know and love my district even more.

Yesterday, we had picture time with our branch, district, and all the hermanas with Presidente y Hna Moore! This was accompanied with lots of tall jokes, so I'm pretty sure the nickname of Hermana Alta (Sister Tall) is not far in the future. We taught Isabel again today, and here comes my fun story. She is an enfermera (nurse), so she said that she likes her job because she gets to help people. I said that we were there to help her! She responded with asking if we were nurses, and I said “somos enfermeras del Espiritu!” (we are nurses of the Spirit!) My humor is finally coming through in Spanish, which makes me quite happy. It was hilarious.

We are going to the temple later today and then we have a DEVOTIONAL! They haven't told us yet who is coming to speak, but I was asked to put together a special musical number with all the Sisters who wanted to join. We don't have music to the song, but that's not an issue. I have the opportunity to arrange my own accompaniment! We are performing Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I´m very excited for this.

I should be leaving the CCM either next Monday or Tuesday to go to the mission field! We are also proselyting here in Lima on Saturday, and our classes officially end on Thursday. Although this week has been an incredible challenge for me, I've grown much closer to the Spirit and to who I want to become. I'm grateful for the amount of support and love that exist here in the CCM, but I'm incredibly excited to serve the people of Huancayo so soon.

Con mucho amor, Hermana Schmid

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