I am so sorry for not telling my many tales of the CCM very well last week, it was pretty emotional to see all of the emails from my family and friends so I spent a good chunk of the time crying...but this week I am in tip top shape and ready to tell you all of my adventures here!
The CCM is the most beautiful place I have ever been before in my life. It is seriously a little slice of heaven here in Mexico City. There are trees everywhere and birds singing all the time, it is hard to miss home is such a gorgeous place! The spirit here is also so strong. You can feel it all day long and it makes you feel like this is your new home, which in a way, it is! The teachers here are here to help you become the best missionaries you can be even if that means making us run around the building because we are starting to fall asleep in class...whoever said the MTC was like spiritual bootcamp was correct!! We are always practicing something whether it is our spanish or our teaching skills and we are always striving to become better! I know my companion and I work really hard to improve each and everyday and so far we have helped eachother get pretty far!! Here at the CCM we have the opportunity to teach investigators which help us learn spanish and practice our teaching skills at the same time. I like this experience because it is a little bit what it will be like in the field and so I feel when we get there, we will have a little bit more confidence! Last week we taught a girl who was interested in the gospel. My companion and I had an amazing first lesson, a terrible second lesson (we forgot to pray), and an amazing third and fourth lessons! What I loved most about this experience was that when my companion and I couldn't come to an agreement, we would turn to the Lord for guidance and something we hadn't even thought of would pop into our minds. This in turn would bring up experiences in the lesson that helped us connect what we were teaching to a person's real life experiences. We also got to invite her to be baptized, and even though she was a fake investigator, she said yes! (Investigators are our teachers here)
To all of those who are in high school taking Spanish now, pay attention. Don't slack off like I did because Heavenly Father knows you and He will send you on a Spanish speaking mission. I have found in my time here, that the Spirit is truly helping me understand and speak spanish. I know on my own there is no way I could ever be where I am at now. I am beginning to think and dream in spanish and am working on reading the Book of Mormon in spanish because I heard somewhere that if you read the Book of Mormon in the language of your mission, by the time you finish it, you will be fluent. I have faith that that is true and the more I study and ponder the things I am reading, the more I feel it to be true. We have this program here that is called TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) and it is my favorite. Everyday for an hour we get to go on the computer and practice phrases and grammer that are all used in Preach my Gospel. That has been a huge blessing in my life here as a missionary. Grammer is still kicking my butt but I am working on changing that! As I work with my teachers, I can feel myself becoming better at it. Our morning teacher also taught us vocabulary from the show sponge bob square pants...which we didnt know until the end, but it was really funny and it lightened the mood a lot!
Even though we study Spanish all day long, our devotionals are in English!!!!!!!!!!! Thank the LORD! I love the devotionals here because I feel that each one I go to has a message specifically for me. One of them we learned the acronymn JOY to be Jesus, Others, Yourself. I really like this because it shows where our priorities need to be especially as missionaries. Also I learned that the president of the MTC, president pratt, was mission companions with Elder Holland which was very interesting to learn. There is so much that I learn at devotionals it is hard to write about it all, but one of my favorite questions I have heard is What does the Gospel mean to me? as I thought about this I realized that I didnt have a definate answer. I knew it made me happy but I didnt know what it meant. I sat down and pondered it for a while, we do that a lot here, and I came up with this: The gospel is my life. Everything I do is because of what I believe and everything I believe is because of the feeling of joy and peace I get from studying this gospel. As I prepare to teach others the importance of the gopsel, I now know what it means to me. It means that through our faith in Jesus Christ, all things are possible and that families can be together forever! It also means that we have a perfect example to follow, which example also died for us so that we may return to live with our Father in Heaven.
Look up these scriptures because I cant remember why I liked them but I liked them enough to take the time to write them down!
3 Nephi 5:22
D&C 12:8, 121:7-9, 43:15-16
So now that I have all of the spiritual stuff out of the way I can get to probably the best part of the CCM. The FUNNY stuff. Lets start with last week. Last week I was blessed with the introduction of a potential future husband...His name was Elder Hammond...and he looked like Stefan from The Vampire Diaries...it was so amazing. My companion and I would always say Hola to him so we could see him smile back at us...he probably thought we were super creepy, but we kind of were. I also know why I could never find an attractive man at college or at home! They are all serving missions! Have no fear though, I have my priorities in order and am focusing on the work of the Lord! There are also some crazy rainstorms here. Typically it rains here every evening which I love but this one time it just poured and poured for two hours. Within a span of ten minutes the streets of the CCM were flooded. It was fantastic. One elder here was running in the water, fell, broke his nose, and on top of that knocked out two of his teeth which is also fantastic...it made me laugh super hard!! I don't know if I would consider this funny but the spanish word for Burnt Offerings is Holocausto...just food for thought. And here at the CCM the food is fabulous, most of the time, when it isn't I eat froot loops. Last week I ate enough frootloops to last me a life time! So needless to say, I am done with cereal for a while.
From the subtitle you may think that I have two companions but you would be thinking incorrectly. I have three companions. Their names are Hermana Boud, Cookson, and Jacobsen and while Hermana Jacobsen is technically my companion, I consider the other two mine as well because we are always together. They are sitting next to me right now actually! We help eachother out, make fun of eachother, and serve one another which is something that I love. Hermana Jacobsen and I started to sing hymns in the morning because I was grouchy and that seemed to help, but I am no longer a grouch in the morning!! Just at night when I am tired. She also has an addcition to sour candies which is no bueno because she feels the need to share and I feel obligated to take some. We do however work out everyday! And I know my family wont believe me but I actually do work out and I push myself pretty hard!! We are not very coordinated though and we trip just about everywhere we go!! One thing we have been pretty good at is setting goals. We each set a personal goal each day and come up with a companionship goal. I like it because I feel that it helps us have more focus during the day. This past Sunday was fast Sunday and it was a hard day, but we came up with something to make the day better!! My Aunt Jenni bought me some stickers to use in my letters, but then she and my dad also told me that they used to put stickers on the back of their nametags and it would brighten their day! So come fast Sunday, I busted out my stickers, shared the story, and gave them out to the girls in my casa, and the elders in my district. It was a nice act of service I think and everyone loves their stickers! Not to mention, it really helps when you are having a hard day to flip your name tag over and see a chunky smiling owl!
Well, these past two weeks have been truly extrordinary and I am so looking forward to my many adventures ahead! This is week Three so I am half way there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all and I thank you for your emails! It really helps me out to see how much support I have from my friends and family! I love you and I will write you next week!!