Thursday, July 31, 2014
GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT I LEAVE FOR THE FIELD IN 5 DAYS CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? Because I sure can´t. Time is a strange entity her at the CCM. You know how they say that to God, 1000 years is a day? Or something like that? I think in this world of representatives of Jesus Christ, we get a smidgeon of this perception. Because I´ve never, ever experienced longer days and I´ve also never, ever been so surprised when a week flies by so quickly. Time is in the eye of the beholder and at this point in the CCM, I´m one exhausted and rather messed up beholder.
Messed up is probably a negative term, and I most definitely am not trying to be negative! I love the CCM and all that comes with it, so much. There just comes a time in any young, greener-than-green missionary´s life where the nest of the CCM starts to feel too small. Maybe it´s the comedor carbs fattening them up, or perhaps their ever-growing stack of study materials has reached the max capacity of their tiny, 3 story nest (I´m switching from metaphor to reality and back again here, sorry). No matter the reason, this little, chappa-wearing bird is ready to stretch her wings and fly the coop. It´s time for my mommabirdcoughteacherscoughalsobabysitters to pick me up and throw me out. I´ll probably fall pretty hard. But Adam fell too, and he ended up ok (reference- PMG Chapter 3, lesson , Plan of Salvation, 3rd paragraph). So if Adam survived, I can too. This baby bird is heading out! I´m getting dropped, head first into Spain- jokes on me because I still don´t know Spanish. But it´ll come. Life is good. Let´s fly.
This week has been great, though, in all seriousness. I wish I had some incredible, life changing and potentially Ensign-making material to share, but unfortunately, that is not the case this week. ON Monday, I studied Spanish and the Gospel, played futbol and ate. On Tuesday, I studied Spanish and the Gospel, played futbol and ate. On Wednesday, I studied Spanish, played futbol and ate. Thursday-HA! Gotcha. Thursday is the ever predictable plot twist of my week. This time it came in the form of bowling at the mall. Wow it was weird to wear jeans and hear music and thrust my fingers into the nasty, germ filled confines of a bowling ball. But I survived the weirdness and it was good. The best part of Thursday was... well, in reality it was the temple because who doesn´t love the temple? I did the session in Spanish for the first time and it was beautiful, if not understandable. But the second best thing was the devotional that we listened to by Elder Bednar. He talked about how the Gospel is divided into 3 parts- doctrines, principles and applications. Often, we as members focus too much on the applications rather than the doctrine, and that is where misunderstanding and, as a result, disobedience occurs. If we choose, however, to focus on the doctrines-the pure and simple truths of the Gospel- we will understand and have the desire to obey. It was amazing. IN the midst of the war of words about this issue or that within and without the Church, where is the easiest place to find peace? The veracity and simplicity of the Doctrine of Christ. We have access to all of it- just read 2 Nephi 31 or Mosiah 4 or, what the heck, just read The Book of Mormon. The Bible. Pray. We have the truth and the answers and most importantly, we have Heavenly Father. He is our answer and He always will be. Our only job? Read D&C 11:20-
When I email next, I´ll be a real life, living, breathing, door knocking and street contacting missionary! I could not be more scared, excited, and inadequate. But it´s ok, because Christ is adequate. This Gospel is His great novel of life, and I´m just the pencil. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! I love you all!! Until next week!
Friday, July 25, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
I got sooo many letters this week which was so fantastic, tell everyone thank you so much! Parker´s hasn´t got here yet but I got two from you and one from Mia and one from Jake. It was funny because there is this Elder that I´m super good friends with and every day I get super excited about getting mail and when I don´t get any he says "Seegmiller. Accept it. They´re just not writing you!!" But then I got so many this week! So that shut him up. haha.
I love the CCM!! I love my friends here and I´m going to be really sad to see everyone leave, but I guess that´s just what happens. I´m so excited for the field, though!
I´m finally figuring out how to send you a few pics, hopefully this works! Last week for P-day we went to downtown Madrid and walked around. I tried to take a few cool pics for you guys, it´s so beautiful here!! The buildings and history behind them are unreal. We saw the Palace of the King and a big ole Cathedral that was so beautiful. For some reason they didn´t let my group go inside which kinda disappointed me but I guess I have more time to do that
This week was awesome! The park was great, we met a lady from Tennesse that we talked to for awhile. My Spanish is coming along well! Slowly but surely. P day was great and I love going to the temple! Not a ton to report, I´ll write another letter soon with more deets about my mish life. I love it out here!! So so much. Spain is my place. It´s the happiest I´ve ever been. I love serving the LORD!!!!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Dear Familia y Amigos Who I Love So Dearly,
Hellllloooooooooo. This week was a super great one! I´m exhausted and ready to eat different food besides the five staple meals that they cycle through here at the CCM comedor, but besides that, life is muy bien here in Espana. We got a lot of new people here this week, which has been superbien (that´s my favorite word that my teacher Hermano Lopez uses. He also says “vale” more than he breathes, probably. Vale means ok. We counted how many times he said it yesterday, and in 20 minutes, he was up to 72. It was incredible). There are three new missionaries from Ukraine, 2 sisters and one elder. One of the sisters and the elder speak really good English, so it´s been pretty easy to communicate with them. The rest of the new people are about 6 or 7 elders that got transferred here from the Provo CCM. They are going to Russia on their missions. Yeah. Weird, right? They teach Spanish and Russian as second languages here, and then when Italian, Portuguese or French missionaries come and they will be speaking their language in their mission, they will bring teachers in that are Italian, Portuguese or French to teach them for the 2 weeks that they are here. It´s a confusing system but I guess it works. I like all the new people a lot! My Spaniard group is still mi favorite, though. I love the kids that have been here the whole time with me. They´re so great.
So this week, this week, this week. Hmm. Honestly, everything becomes such a blur after awhile here because every single day is basically the same. On Thursday we went to the temple and even though I slept (on accident) through a fair amount of the session, it worked out just fine. I love the Temple here, it´s so beautiful. Living next door to it is quite the privilege. On Saturday, we went to the Park, which is becoming easily my favorite part of the week. It feels like real missionary work, which is so awesome. We get different companions for the park and this week I was with the same Hermana that I was with the first week, Hermana Shake. Before going to the park I prayed that we would be able to have a better experience then we did the first time, because the first time was ROUGH. I prayed to be able to teach people and not just hand out pass along cards. Well, the prayers worked! We talked to four people, which isn´t a lot, but they were great conversations that I was really grateful for the experiences. One the way home on the metro, we sat across from a family. I tried to start a conversation with them, but they blatantly ignored me, which isn´t unusual but I still hate it when it happens. Not only that, though, but I had really felt like we picked the right part of the metro to get onto in order to talk to someone, and I was convinced it was going to be the family. After they played the invisible game with us, they got off a the next stop and we were then sitting by nobody. I looked around and I saw this guy and I really felt like I needed to talk to him, but he was a few benches away and looked super grumpy. I kept thinking and feeling like he was our guy, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to move over and talk to him. Lucky for us, he got off at the same stop as we did, and he started talking to us! It was great- Heavenly Father gave me a freebie on that one. He spoke English and was a Bishop for an Episcopalian church. He was so kind and we ended up giving him a Restoration pamphlet. I don´t know why I felt so strongly to talk to him, but I´m glad that I did… well, I guess he talked to me. But I´m grateful for that!
I probably forgot to mention this in previous forms of communication, mainly because it´s not very exciting, but I am currently serving as the CCM pianist extraordinaire. That means I play all the hymns, choose all the hymns that I then play, arrange musical numbers and play prelude for every single meeting we have. It´s way over my head and I play from the Spanish hymnbook, so when I´m playing prelude I don´t actually know what song it is until I am in the middle of playing it. So that has lead to a few Christmas longs in July. It´s been awesome. But really, I like having a calling here (besides the slightly less important call of missionary, I suppose :)
I love my teachers here. I´m mainly saying this because a few of them said they´re going to read the blog, so if they end up following through with that, hi Hermano y Hermana Giorgino! But for real, the teachers here are all so great. I have Hermana Ganazah, this cute, short, fiery Spaniard lady who talks so fast and teaches us all about Spanish and spiritual things. Then we have Hermano Lopez after lunch. He speaks super good English and seriously makes me laugh. He has a very serious, murderous resting face. But then he starts talking and you realize he is not, in fact, murderous but actually quite hilarious. Sound effects are his forte. And then there are the Giorginos. They´re this young, married Italiano couple who actually live here in the CCM with us. So they´re our friends. He plays soccer with us everyday and destroys. They both served missions in the US and speak perfect Spanish and I don´t know, we just love them. I´ll miss them when I leave the CCM. (There you go, guys, I laid it on pretty thick. Hope that suffices).
Ok, one last story and then I have to sign off for the week. So you walk into the park, and the first thing you see is a group of 5-7 black guys, sitting on the benches by the entrance. They´re there every week, and last week, my angel of a park companion, Hermana Jones and I, decided to talk to them. We walked up to one of them and we told him about the Church! He said, ¨”Yes, I know your church, I was baptized into your church in 1996.” Way cool. We asked him why he doesn’t come to church anymore, and he said that business didn’t allow him too. So we left after a little bit, but I started thinking about how we needed to go back and get his information so that we could have the missionaries contact him. Jones and I agreed that if he was still there when we left, we would get it from him. As we were leaving, we thought we saw him, so we ran back over there. But it wasn’t him. BUT! Some other guys told me to meet him next week with an English BOM. Well, surprise, the next week he wasn’t there. I was way bummed. Later, I was talking to Hmno. Giorgino about it, and guess what. Those guys are drug dealers. They were messing with us, naturally. The business that didn’t allow that guy to go to church anymore? It´s not that he works on Sundays, its that he sells drugs. Yeah. Drugs. Cool. No wonder. So, here I am. Sam Seegmiller from Riverton, Utah, preaching the Gospel to African drug dealers in Spain. Life rules.
The Church is true! Heavenly Father loves us all, so much. Be missionaries! Every day, remember who you are and how many people are watching and learning from you. I promise that it is more than you think. Life is the time to prepare to meet God again, but life is also a time to have joy! So, be happy! Start everyday with a smile and try to keep it there, smack in the center of your face, for as long as you can. It works. Heavenly Father loves all of us, whether we are drug dealers in Spain or BYU students from Riverton. He just loves us so much. (See how preachy I am getting? (Don´t you love it?) :)
I love you all!!
Love, Hermana Seeg
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Hello from Madrid! This week has been awesome. A lot like last week, but that´s great! I LOVE being a missionary. I´ve been thinking about what I most want to tell everyone about my life here this week, and I´ve come up with a few things that I think are worthy candidates for this email. I wish I could somehow tell you everything, but seeing as that is not a possibility and also that probably no one wants to know that much, I think this will suffice.
My compañera and I have become best buds! We stick together mostly because we have to,but I like to think part of it is because we actually really like being together. We both eat an orange at every meal, like raw peppers, have seen all the same 1986 Aerobics National Championship Youtube videos (pre mish, of course), and we work really well together during lessons (that means when I run out of the 10ish Spanish words that I know by heart, she covers for me). We do situps together every morning in our skirts and she laughs at all my incredibly unfunny jokes. She is my better half (that sounds a little weird but it´s true). As we say in Spanish, I fall for her. In Spanish saying “me gusta mi compañera” or “I like my companion” has a weirdly inappropriate meaning, but it´s normal and acceptable to say that you fall for your companion. I don´t know, Spaniards are nuts.
The Park this week was incredible! My park companion and I talked to so many people, and none of them yelled at us or shooed us away. Maybe a few, but I don´t really remember. A ton of them spoke English, which ruled, and we had 3 or 4 genuinely interested people. We got their contact information to give to the missionaries in the field. The best contact we had was Lorenzo. He was this crusty old man who seemed genuinely interested and excited to hear about the Gospel. He was so kind. I just had the feeling that we was waiting for us. Hopefully the field missionaries will contact him.
Ok, funniest story before I have to finish this up. So we are teaching two “investigators” right now. They are actually just our teachers, acting like investigators. It´s cool because they have a story, we meet with them everyday, and it feels so real. Like, the other day we thought we were going to have to cancel our appointment with one of our investigators. I was going to tell my teacher/investigator and I thought, “Well, I´ll tell Hermano Gigorgino, but who is going to tell Mark (his investigator name)?” They are two separate people, in my mind. So anyways, yesterday we were teaching Mark and Juana (Hermano and Hermana Giorginoo) in the foyer on the 6th floor. The foyer is right next to the kitchen and the elevator, so people are in and out of our lessons all the time. Usually Mark will joke and say “Oh, that´s our cook” or “that´s our butler”. It´s really funny. So as we were teaching yesterday, I was in the middle of talking about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and this random, really fat boy got out of the elevator. I laughed a little and tried to say, “Oh, is this your cook?” The word for cook is cocinero and the word for food is very similar, being comida. Being the idiot that I tend to be sometimes, I actually ended up saying, “Oh, is this your food?”. They lost it. They couldn´t keep their straight faces in the slightest. I called this hugely fat guy their food, right in the middle of a lesson. We were all laughing so hard to the point where it completely ruined our lesson. Afterwarrds, Hermana Giorgino told me that was the funniest thing she´s ever heard in a practice lesson like that, and she´s been working here for almost 2 years. So yes, my name will forever live in infamy here at the Spain CCM.
Well guys, the church is true! It´s so true. The Atonement is real and incredible and so undeniably beautiful. The Gospel is for everyone- I know that. When we stick to the basics of the Gospel, everything else will make sense. Jesus Christ is our one hope and our way back home and I´m so grateful for Him. I miss you and love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Hermana Seeg
PS- There was a talk given by Elder Bednar at the Provo CCm a few years ago about following the Spirit. Look it up, it´s incredible!!