This has probably been the logest but best week of my life. The CCM is awesome, Ive met so many new people here and they just have you start learning Español by listening to it 24/7, thats literally what everyone talks in all the time. I speak a little English now and then, just mostly with my room buddies when we're studying. Mi compañero es Elder Johnson, hes from St. George and hes a pretty funny guy. The other companionship in my room is Elder Ostler and Elder Wilson, also from Utah (Highland and Ephraim). Theyre a lot better at Spanish than Elder Johnson and I because they took Spanish all 4 years in highschool but esta bien, we can learn too. Heres how my week turned out:
When i left out of Idaho Falls i was on the plane with 3 other missionaries to Salt Lake. When we got there we ran into like 80 other missionaries and that was the coolest thing ever to see us all together like that. The plane was mostly missionaries but i actually ended up sitting by a Hispanic familia and we talked for a bit. The plane ride was smooth, but when we got to the aeropuerto en La Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City) some elders got lost and we ended up sitting there for almost 2 hours waiting for them. We took an autobus to the CCM, where we got a cool welcome tour and had an awesome devotional (they give one every Tuesday). I was so tired though i was dozing off during it and so was like every other new missionary too.
Bienvenidos Bienvenidos Bienvenidos!!! Thats literally all you hear your first week as a new missionary. They give you these white dots to put on your nametag and you cant take it off until your primera semana (first week) is over. So during that time thats how everyone teases the newcomers, but ill get my revenge haha. My district is the best!! We have gotten to know each other so much better now and I feel like I've known the hermanos y hermanas por siempre. We also met President Kharriman, our branch president and he's such a humble and spiritual dude. We had a lesson with all the other new missionaries where they brought in volunteers and we asked them questions about the gospel and some of the elders had some really heartfelt experiences that they shared with everyone.
Spanglish! Yo no soy cansado anymore. I think I'm getting the hang of the routine here and Elder Johnson and I memorized el primero vision de Jose Smith and the missionary purpose in Espanol. I'm still kinda worried about learning the language because I feel a lot of people are better than me at it but what can you expect from being here for 3-4 days now? I'm not even going to be fluent for another 8 months or more probably. Ive been praying for the Holy Ghost to be my constant companero because that's the foundation of missionary working and teaching others what they need in their lives, I don't want to just be a robot reciting all these memorized palabras y frases.
Today we were in the classroom like all day long and it was honestly really difficult. Everyone was kinda frustrated but we are getting better and we have to keep working at it. I've had so many spritual moments here and I feel like I'm more in tune with the Spirit than I ever have been in my life, there's no wordly influences or distractions whatsoever and I feel like I understand the Book of Mormon even better. Some of my favorite scriptures from this week were Alma 29:9, Mosiah 5:13 and 12, and Mosiah 26: 20-21.
The days just keep getting better and better here. It's kinda funny though because everyone here always tells me how crappy their first semana was and I kept thinking to myself about what Daden told me a long time ago. If you have a positive attitude, it makes all the difference in the world. I have remembered that every day and I can honestly say I have never had a bad day here where I haven't learned something and gotten better at the language. I taught my first lesson today to Crystel, but Elder Johnson and I werent really prepared so we got a little frustrated when we couldn't say what we wanted to in Spanish at the exact moment we wanted to.
This was the best day so far for me. We had sacrament with our entire branch and there's so many talented piano players here, it really makes me want to practice way more when I get back and get myself back into the groove. I really wish I would've stayed in piano lessons and maybe I could've been prepared enough to be a pianist here. We had a video in the afternoon from Elder Hollands devotional back in 2011 titled "Feed My Sheep" and I have never felt more purpose and desire in missionary work after listening to him. They only show that in MTC's around the world and it was so powerful, me and hundreds of other missionaries were in tears and I could feel it in my heart so much. Later en la noche we had a BOM discussion just about the title page and introduction of the BOM, and I had never really noticed how great the testimonies are in those two pages. I invite everyone to read those two pages and see just how true the Book of Mormon is in our day, its incredible.
Today wasn't as exciting as yesterday, but we taught another lesson from Crystel and this time we were much more prepared. We made sure to ask a lot more preguntas (questions) and try to connect with her more than just spew a bunch of information at her. Also: one of the hermanas in my district, Hermana Gallagher, is from Minnesota and she's going to the Pocatello Idaho mission!!! Mom and dad, if you guys hear about her make sure you feed her and have her over for dinner.
Today we practiced Hablar con todos las personas, or speak with everyone. It was one of the best experiences and I felt like my casual conversation with latinos has gotten much better. Well, I've written way too much already, I don't want to challenge Elder Smallz to a novel writing contest so see ya next week everyone. I miss you all and can't wait to talk next week!