June 16, 2015
Hi! First of all, I love you all.
Second, these keyboards are strange. So excuse any and all mistakes.
I LOVE IT HERE. It's the best. Everyone kept saying things like "if you can just make it until Sunday youll be okay" and other similar things my first few days, but I really didn't have a hard time! I dont know if it is something about being set apart to be a missionary, but I haven't been home sick or missed my phone or even music. It's been really amazing. And it really is not torture to be at the MTC like a lot of people say. I mean, they let us watch "Meet the Mormons" on Sunday. We are so spoiled. And our houses are so much nicer than I expected. Our bathrooms have granite countertops and a luxurious shower, for heavens sake. I really feel so blessed to be here.
The plane ride here was great! I pulled it together a bit after saying goodbye to you guys and was able to make a lot of friends (: There were like 30 missionaries on our plane!! Crazy. It was the coolest thing. Flying into Mexico City was the MOST AMAZING sight. There are houses EVERYWHERE. This place is SO huge! I am so excited to teach these people! I sat next to another missionary who is headed to Arcadia speaking Spanish. She was super nice and it was fun to get to talk and be excited together!
Driving through the city was INSANE. The people here drive so CRAZY! Just totally loco. And we saw several people just stop their car in the middle of the street and have someone get out of the car and then dash across 3 lanes of traffic narrowly escaping death. Everything is so colorful here! It's so fun to see. The CCM (MTC in Spanish, we never call it the MTC, only the CCM) is so beautiful and peaceful in such a crazy city! But we laugh because they keep assuring us that "as long as we are in these walls we are safe" but we are staying in Mexico City sooo... We hear these loud bangs that sound like gun shots a lot, but one of the teachers told us that they are fireworks from the Catholic church. Something funny happened the other day. We were talking about how they keep telling us how dangerous Mexico City is when you aren't at the CCM (don't worry, it's not that bad, they just dont want elders to get any ideas and try to leave, I think) and we were saying that we hope we don't die and then this bird just flew into a window and died right in front of us! So sad, and so Ironic. Elder M, our district leader, called it an omen. Haha.
My companion is AWESOME. Her name is Hermana Jones and she is from Twin Falls Idaho. She is super hardworking which is great!! And we get along so well. We find so many opportunities to laugh throughout the day, which prevents all the studying and everything we do from feeling monotonous. And my district is amazing! Jake Van Leeuwen's cousin is our district leader! I was happy that he was in my district. His comp is Elder C. and he is super nice! Hes from Utah, like me. Then the last comp is two Hermanas, Hermana G. and Hermana C. Both amazing people as well! We are all going to the Mexico City Southeast mission which is SUCH a blessing because I would have a really hard time saying goodbye to them! Im happy that I will get to work with them my entire mission.
We work a lot! The days here feel really long because we do so much. But this is not a bad thing! I'm so glad the days feel long because it allows us to get a lot done.
It has been so surprising to me how quickly you get thrown into everything! I have already taught THREE LESSONS to an investigator IN SPANISH. And they are all like 25 minutes long. Obviously, the Spanish is very broken and there are many errors and we can't always express what we want to, but it is amazing how fast you improve and how REAL the gift of tongues is. I can pray in Spanish and bear my testimony, which is so cool! Also, we have to prepare talks every week (in Spanish). We dont know who is going to speak in Sacrament until just before. And I don't mean just before the meeting, I mean just before you get up to speak. Like the person conducting gets up and says "next we will hear from..." and you head on up there and speak. So you have to be prepared! I wasn't selected last Sunday, but Hermana C. from my district was. There are only about 20 people in our branch and several speak each week, so Im sure we will all be selected a few times.
Even though I said that the days feel long here, there is never enough time! Its difficult to plan a lesson to teach to your investigator nearly every day, write a talk, study the language, do some personal study, and go to classes! You really have to have the spirit with you to help you out because we have never gone into a lesson feeling like we are totally prepared but somehow Heavenly Father helps you out. Our investigator, Carlos, even told me that my Spanish was good. By good I think he means that it had improved, not that it was actually good, but even still I know that that was NOT me. Heavenly Father helps us so much. We just have to recognize it.
One thing I've really learned is that missionaries are not perfect. Some people don't want to study (really though, I'm always hoping for more study time, so I don't know why) and some people are disobedient. My comp and I even accidentally slept in one day because our clock was set to Utah/idaho time (you better believe we were on our knees praying for forgiveness like the second coming was happening that day). But I've also seen that the Lord helps those who try their best to live the mission rules. It's remarkable what happens when you do what you should. The same thing applies when you're home. If you want help, keep the commandments.
The food at the MTC is good! I think that they switch off between American and Mexican food. One day American, one day Mexican, to keep everyone happy. The native speakers are so great! A lot of them know English, and so they help us a lot with our Spanish. And they are so friendly and patient. Our teachers are great too! Both of them are from Mexico. It's really such a blessing to have Native teachers, especially when working on our accents. Its kinda like a game of telephone, if you hear it from the source you are going to be much better off than the distorted version of the original sentence that gets passed on after a while. Learning from people who have perfect accents helps us a lot. Also the weather here is perfect! I am so happy to get to stay here.
Finally, happy birthday Sara! I thought about you all day (: I love you so much!!! Your mermaid tail sound so cool, send me a pic!
I love you!