Hola mi familia! I love you guys so much! I can´t believe were already on week 3. Time goes by SO fast here. The days are slow sometimes but the weeks fly by. So this past week was a struggle more than last week was for several reasons, but there were some amazing highlights as well. To start off with, the food is amazing here, it´s a mix of American food and Mexican food. I´ve officially converted to liking Mexican food, there´s so much more flavor to it than regualr blan American food. The weather here has been beautiful as always, and during our personal and companion study time mi hermama y yo go outside on the benches and study. I´m getting SO tan and have more freckles on my cheeks! Going to CO is going to be so hard after living in paradise for a month and a half. I've decided that I would love to serve a mission in another country if I was given the opportunity. The culture here is SO alive, with there language, lifestyle, food and so much more. I'm absolutely blessed to have the opportunity to be in the CCM right now and I know that the Lord needs me to be here and learn Spanish. So earlier this past week our wonderful district had a little testimony meeting in our class room from 8-9;30 before bed. It started out with mi and mi companera sharing our experience with our investigators and the spiritual experience we had during our lesson. After our experience we shared, it turned into every person sharing their experience on why they chose to serve a mission. Everyone was completely honest about their previous personal experiences and lives it was an eye opener for me. I´m SO proud of the elders in our district because they made the right decision to serve. The spirit in our little class room was SO unbelievably strong. Everyone in the room was in tears- even the elders. Elder Watkins and Elder Goodman shared their testimony on their diabetes trials. After Elder Watkins shared his experience on being in the hospital I connected with his testimony on surgeries and trials right away. So in our district we all have this thing going, that we´ll write little notes to each other either an uplifting note if we know someone is struggling or just something sweet. I´ve given several notes and have received quite a few. I´m staring a collection of them now. I love our district and we all came to conclusion that we were all placed together for a reason. We all help each other out, and even though our Elders give the hermanas a hard time we still love them.
So my hermana and I are done with teaching Carmin and Fermin now :( We were so sad! We have grown to love them so much during the 5 lessons we taught them. Now we are actually teaching our Spanish teacher in the morning and our second Spanish teacher in the afternoon. As of this week we now have two teachers so one in the morning and we learn a new Spanish verb and then another Spanish lesson in the afternoon with our new teacher. During our first lesson with our new teacher this past week we had to do a drill that almost made me pass out. So we would learn a new verb like- gustar and then we would translate it into a short sentence, them the teacher would call on someone to say their sentence and we would have to repeat it. Each time getting faster and faster though. We would repeat this sentence about 100 times out loud then he would point to you and you’d have to say the sentence back to him in front of the class. It got quite comical at times because we would be speaking so fast and then completely butcher it. Dad- I thought of you when we did this exercise and how you would sometimes talk in Spanish and make things up and say them really fast haha. But this is no joke, the first time I had to do that I was sweating so bad because I was so nervous, and every time I would butcher the words. Not to mention, the slowest speaker in the class. It´s hard to train you mouth to talk that fast! Yesterday my hermana and I planned and studied our first lesson to teach our new investigator (who’s actually our afternoon teacher). What I´m struggling with right now is having the confidence that I´ll remember what I studied so that when I get into the lesson I will be able to speak it. Anyways, so we get into our lesson I semi remembered what I studied, input some thought/testimony at times and it went okay. Towards the end our investigator started saying how he was already baptized and was questioning why he would have to get baptized by the right authority in our church. I didn´t know how to explain that doctrine in depth so my hermama took over. We left the lesson really disappointed because it didn´t go the way we thought it would go. We felt like he was on the defense the whole time and questioning our beliefs. Guess we better get used to that I guess, because it won’t be the first time.
Tomorrow we teach the first lesson in the morning. What´s really hard for me is since my companions first language in French, she’s caught onto Spanish very quickly, like she should’ve been in the advanced class. So it´s really hard for us to find a balance of us both talking during the lessons. Although that is difficult I´m blessed to have her as my companion. I love her to death, and were always laughing about something. Yesterday after we taught our investigator lesson we had the repetition language drill again. Guess who was talking the fastest in the class? I´m improving quickly in talking faster and it’s such a blessing.
Saturday night was a hardship for me. Sometime during the day my hip went out of place and it got worst as the night went on. After dinner as mi and mi hermanas were walking back to our casa to go to our language computer class I broke down because the pain was so bad. My wonderful hermanas decided to skip ALL language class with me so we could go back to the class room to try and get my hip back into place. After they helped me stretch it out a lot, I believe it went back into place but was then very agitated because the tendons were stretched so much. My companion finally said “stop being so stubborn and just ask for a blessing.” After our district got back to the class, I asked an Elder Watkins to give me a blessing (I´ve gotten to know him pretty well and we´ve connected with our health trials). After he gave me a blessing I immediately felt peace and comfort. He blessed me that I would be able to serve my mission without any hip issues. The pain was still there the next two days but now I fell great(:
The next day was Sunday and before Sunday everyone has to prepare a talk in Spanish in case you’re called on to speak. It’s a 5 min talk and 6 people get chosen each Sunday from our zone to speak. My hermana got chosen last Sunday, so I think this Sunday I´ll get chosen. After all of the experiences I´ve had here so far I have thought many times that I wished I would have volunteered to give a prayer or bore my testimony more. After you are chosen to speak or say a prayer in Spanish the whole dynamics change! It´s a lot more difficult. I have mastered how to say a prayer in Spanish, recite the mission objective, bare my testimony, and now I´m working on reciting the first vision. .
I started studying JSH Vision two nights ago, after the first night of looking at it, I decided to pull out my father’s blessing and patriarchal blessing and read it. I read the part that talks about how I will be able to share the message of Joseph Smiths Vision. Not long before that I was studying in the class room how to recite that. It´s amazing to see how some of the things in my father’s blessing and patriarchal blessing are happening now! Last night during class time from 7-9:30 I was barely able to stay awake and so was Hermana Willis so we came up with a wonderful study habit. We walked about the whole CCM and recited the first vision 2 times. It´s amazing how much we remembered today! I have it down, just keep mixing some words in the second part.
Guess what?! This morning at 8am our district went to the Mexico Temple an hour away from the CCM. It´s still closed for renovation but we were able to take the tour through the visitor’s center and visit the shop. The visitor’s center is absolutely stunning, more beautiful with colors and pictures then the one in Salt Lake City, at least I think it is. I will attach some pictures. While we were there we watched a video on families and God's central plan for everyone. I thought of you guys the whole time. My testimony has grown so much and my love for families has increased immensely since I've been here. After the video my hermam and I went into this beautiful room that had pictures of Christ on the walls. The pictures were illuminated and were the most beautiful pictures of Christ I´ve ever seen. I felt the spirit SO strong and sat down on a bench next to the picture of Christ walking on water and said a prayer full of gratitude. I could feel my Saviors love for me so strongly in that room. What a neat experience. I´m so grateful for my opportunity to be here at the CCM and to venir a cristo (come unto Christ). After going through so much hardship and trials I know God loves me and I want others to know that God loves them too no matter what they are going through as well. I love the people here with all my heart and I want nothing more than to share with them God´s plan of happiness for families. I want nothing more than to be able to speak with these people in Spanish. It´s such a beautiful language. Well my time is running out, and I will attach some pictures for you guys. Going to play some volleyball with our district! Have a wonderful week, I love you guys with all my heart. I pray for you several times a day(: