So much happens each week, it's hard to organize my thoughts. Also, my p-day was changed fromto Thursday this week so there's even more to try to fit into an email.
My p-day was switched because today we went to get our visa stuff finished. The traffic in Mexico City is absolutely insane, so the bus ride took a while. This city is honestly the strangest, most amazing, intense place in the world. Downtown is really nice and SO beautiful. Our bus driver took us by some of the famous monuments! But even just a few blocks away you see people living in really harsh conditions. I'm in love with Mexico city, though. There is so much culture and LIFE here. The CCM really is so different from the city, it was so strange to drive just outside the walls and go "this is where we are?"
Going to the city was a huge reality check. For one, I realized what Mexico City is really like. And secondly, I realized that I know VERY LITTLE Spanish.something magical seemed to happen. It was like the language clicked. I could form sentences and get through a lesson without needing to script most of it and I was just feeling amazing. That was really refreshing because the couple days before that I was starting to get a little discouraged. However, stepping out into the real city was really eye-opening. I usually feel like I can understand essentially everything that people say at the CCM, but out there, the people talk so fast and they use words that my teachers haven't used and wow was I humbled. Long story short, I have a long way to go until I am fluent. But still, the gift of tongues is real and I really have learned more spanish in these past 2 weeks than all of High School.
Part of the reason I've learned so much Spanish is because we speak Spanish all the time. We're friends with some native speakers and we used to practice with, but they all left on Monday. Some of them speak pretty good English, but some of them don't. It really is amazing to see that friendship can transcend that language barrier. And it has also been amazing to see that the gospel is a world-wide thing. I knew that before, but I didn't understand it. Moreover, many latins are converts and it is so cool to see the blessings of missionary work. This church is true.
We also speak spanish pretty much all the time that we are in class. We have a spiritual lesson every day for like half an hour or an hour that is in English, but the rest of the time we try to speak spanish. It can be really frustrating, but when you have to speak spanish you find ways to say what you want to say and you become way more comfortable with the language. Our teacher, Hermano O., gives us marks on the board every time we speak English. We are supposed to do wall sits for every mark we have, but the whole thing got sort of out hand and one of our other teachers, Hermana V., ended up erasing the whole mark thing.
We have 3 teachers total. Hermano O., Hermana V., and our newest teacher, Hermano P. Hermano P. was our investigator, Carlos! Tricky, tricky. I had heard rumors, so I was sorta expecting it, but it was still so weird to have him walk into class the first day wearing a suit. Hermano P. is a great teacher. I learn so much about the language and how to be a good missionary from him. Really all my teachers are amazing. I'm so blessed!
One super random thing: There are SO many birds here. Just like hundreds. Probably mostly at the CCM because it's so nice and lush compared to the rest of the city. The other day there was a bird flying in our classroom that we couldn't get to leave. It was super funny. We were worried it was going to run into the window and die like the other bird.
There are also a lot of mosquitos here. My comp is super funny and likes to try to catch them. She's actually really good at it. I said this last week, but I have a great district and a great companion. I hardly know these people, and yet we are all best friends!
One funny story: We do these activities to practice teaching certain things in spanish where we watch an "Im a mormon" video and then pretend that we are teaching that person the gospel. We pair up with someone in our district and one person acts like the investigator (pretending to be the person in the im a mormon video) and the other person pretends to be the missionary. During this practice, I was acting like Ingred, a 28 year old woman from guatemala who had her legs amputated when she was younger. Elder M. was acting as the missionary teaching me. This day we were teaching someone how to pray. He went through all the steps of addressing Heavenly Father and saying your feelings and what you are grateful for and then closing in the name of Jesus Christ but then invited me to kneel and pray with him, I just looked at him funny because I was playing someone who didn't have legs. It was pretty funny.
We also find ourselves making really dumb missionary jokes. Like yesterday I told an Elder who only got bread for dinner "man cannot live on bread alone." The mission makes your sense of humor really strange. My district wrote a rap about missionary work. Maybe Ill send it next week (:
We work hard here and learn a ton and I love it! I love being a missionary, and putting on my tag every day is my favorite thing.
Love you all,