I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!
There is SO much to tell you all. So I guess I´ll just start from when I said goodbye to you at the airport :)
It was a blessing that we ran into President and Sister Ware right then, because it helped me get that one BIG "I´m a missionary and this is the best thing EVER" feeling :) So thankfully, I didn´t cry at all when I left, I was just so excited! So I got to SLC, met up with Steph (which was wonderful), and then got on a plane at 1am to Atlanta. I met one other sister missionary on that flight, so that was cool! Once in Atlanta, we met up with a few other missionaries on the flight to Mexico City. I think there were.... 7 of us? Maybe 8. I don´t remember jaja. One of the Elders I met up with was named Elder McDonald - we found out right away that we were going to the same mission (WHAA?!) So basically we were like BFFs the whole flight to Mexico. Which was long by the way. hahah but so fun because Elder McDonald and I just goofed around and got so stoked to be leaving the USA hahaha.
Soo... when we got to Mexico City, all the missionaries on our flight huddled together and figured out how to get through customs and all that jazz. Thankfully, we all made it through without any casualties. We got to where we were supposed to go, and found our escort Hermano from the CCM. He spoke zero English................ so there began my use of Spanish ALL THE TIME. hahaah. En serio. He took us to this super sketchy looking bus, where we all threw our stuff in the back and got in. Holy cow- they aren´t joking when they say that NO driving rules apply in Mexico City. jajaja it was like a 45 minute ride, and I swear we almost got ran over like 34 times. jajaja. but it was an adventure. We got to the CCM, and there were tons of missionaries there to meet us. One of the misioneros who greeted us was Elder Josh Peterson! (friend from school), so that was super cool. Kinda nice to see a familiar face in such an unfamiliar country :) The CCM is....... SO BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, outside the walls of the CCM is this filthy, gross, overpopulated ciudad, but inside it is like heaven. I love it. Palm tress, green grass, happy people.... ahh. es la mejor.
Okay. I can´t really remember all the details of what happened next, basically we had about a million orientation meetings, and that´s when I got to send you that tiny email! Then we took all of our stuff to our casas, and ate dinner and unpacked and stuff. Mi compañera didn´t get here until almost 3 horas after I did - oh man I´ve gotta tell you about her :) Okay - Mi compañera es Hermana Lindstrom. She is from Utah, and she is the BEST. We get along so well. I will send lots of pictures and definitely tell stories during this email hahaha.
Okay..... BIGGEST BLESSING HERE AT THE CCM. Mi distrito. My district. I. love. Them. So. Much. In the CCM or MTC, you spend pretty much ALL of your time with your district. Class time... study time... absolutely everything except sleeping time basically.
I´ve gotta just explain everyone individually..... hahaha so bear with me :)
Mi compañera - Hermana Lindstrom. We are the only Hermanas in our distrito!! Which is so fun. I get along better with boys anyway hahaha. She and I laugh far too much, and the Elders are always accusing us of smiling too much. No such thing.... ;)
Elder McDonald - Yeahhhhhh my buddy from the airplane!!! When we found out we were in the same district, we high fived, fist pumped, jumped up and down - we were SO excited. He is basically like my twin except he is a boy and he´s from North Carolina. We have so much in common, it´s a blast.
Elder Roberts - Elder McDonald´s companion! Probably the funniest person I have ever met. hahaha. He is so witty, and such a goofball. He is from Utah, his dad is a theatre teacher so he is just SO animated and hilarious. Oh my gosh he makes me laugh so hard.
Elder Lowe - he was actually on the plane with Elder McDonald and I to Mexico City! He is a giant teddy bear. He seems like a big tough guy, but he has the biggest and gentlest heart that I have ever seen. He struggles more than any of us with Spanish... but he works so hard. He´s from Florida!
Elder McLaws.... hahahaa. He is from South Dakota, and is the quirkiest person ever. hahaha Hermana Lindstrom makes fun of him all the time. His catch phrase is "Que bueno!", probably because that´s the only thing he knows how to say in Spanish, and he says it about every other sentence hahaha. We had to teach him what a selfie was - he used a rock as a pillow for 2 years - the stories just go on and on. Hence - Elder South Dakota ;)
Elder Davis - our District Leader! Also the most humble person ever. He´s from Utah, has red hair, plays soccer.. haha he is great :)
Elder Wrye - He is probably the quietest in our distrito, pero when he speaks he is so funny!!! He is Elder Davis´s compañero, and he is from South Carolina. Good worker, good friend... great Elder :)
Our distrito is so close. It has only been one week, but these 6 Elders and my companion are my FAMILY here in the CCM! We have the absolute best times. All of the Elders are going to Lima South with me (Yeahhh!!!), and Hermana Lindstrom is going to Lima West! I know I am going to be friends with these Elders and my companion for the rest of my life. They are such a blessing to me. I learn so much from them spiritually!! We basically cry every night together because the spirit is so strong and we love each other so much. I can't even imagine how it is going to be saying goodbye to them in 5 weeks.
Our maestro (teacher) Hermana Gallegos is the best. He is 23 years old, lives here in Mexico City, and served his mission in Chihuahua! He speaks practically no English..................... hahahaha so from day 1, EVERYTHING EN ESPAÑOL!!!! I am so grateful that my comprehension skills are so good... because from the very beginning I had a HUGE advantage. Hermano Gallegos would say something, and then he would ask me to translate to the rest of the distrito! haha it still happens sometimes though... now everyone is kind of catching up on understanding though.
I feel so blessed that I already knew so much Spanish when I got here. I haven´t felt overwhelmed at all yet - which is practically unheard of!! It is a little frustrating at times, but I am so much more able to speak and understand that anyone else who has only been here una semana. I talk con las latinas y latinos all the time - which helps me a lot :) today, nuestro distrito tenemos una meta hablar SOLAMENTE español!!! sooooo..... today I am actually speaking ONLY spanish all day. hahaha. It´s kind of hard... but really exciting :) I have only been here a week, and I can go an entire day without speaking any english!! Dad you would be so proud :) I love speaking Spanish! Also, when I talk to the Latinos, they always assume that I have been here for like 5 weeks because of my spanish, and how well I speak and everything. They never believe me when I tell them I have only been here for una semana. hahaha :)
okay.... mom you asked what a typical day looked like!!
6:15 wake up. Shower. Get ready.
7:00 personal study in our classroon with our distrito
8:45-11:30 Hermano Gallegos teaches us, we learn language.. doctrine.. lots of stuff, solamente español!!
11:40-12:30 GYM time. Lemme tell ya, I have become a PRO at ping pong. I challenge Elders from all over our zone and WIN. It´s seriously my hidden talent ;)
1:45-2:30 comp study and planning, in the classroom with the distrito, we basically just plan for our lesson............. with our investigator!! (I´ll tell ya more about that)
2:30-3:30 TALL (technologically assisted language learning) it´s this computer program that we use to practice grammar and vocab and stuff
3:45 - 6:00 teach our investigator!!! slash comp study when we are not the ones teaching
7:15-8:15 language study with our distrito. No teacher, just us, SO FUN
8:15-9:15 additional study
9:15 zone meeting
That´s the schedule everrrrryyyyyydayyyyy!!!!!!! hahaha soooo yeah things get a little repetitive, but it´s okay because I seriously love everything about it :)
Soooo.... guess who one of my roommates is? :) Hermana King - aka Tommi :) We freaked out when we found out hahahaha :) So it´s Hna Lindtrom and I, and then Hna King and her comp. I love it.
Okay, sooo.... my second day here, we taught a lesson to our investigator Ana. 40 minutes long, ALL EN ESPAÑOL. My second day here!!!!! Whatttt?!?! It was crazy. hahaha I don´t even know how we did it. Hna Lindstrom reaaaalllyyy struggles with the language... so I did about 90% of the talking. We have taught 4 more times since then, and we are probably at about 70% and 30% as far as who talks. BUT, we committed her to baptism, she is keeping all the commitments, and every lesson just gets better and better :) I know she isn´t a real investigator.. but it feels real. And I love teaching :) Even though I have to speak in Spanish, and I spend a while trying to come up with the right word... the Spirit is there. And when I teach and bear testimony, my words and magnified and the Holy Ghost takes over. It is the coolest feeling ever.
JUST REMEMBERED - An apostle is coming on Saturday!!!!!!!!! And he is giving a devotional, and is going to shake ALL OF OUR HANDS :) I bet that doesn´t happen in Provo ;) tehe. It is Neil L. Anderson!!! I am so excited :) This will be the 3rd apostle I have met! It will be great. So glad that I am here for this opportunity!
Okay, I have to tell you about the food here. Sorry this email is SO scattered hahaha.
Basically, I just put loads of hot sauce on EVERYTHING, and then I can eat it. jajaja. Enchiladas?...... hot sauce.
Tacos?........ hot sauce.
Strange, unidentifiable meat?............. HOT SAUCE.
Then it´s edible ;)
I have had so many personal spiritual experiences since I have been here. Every day I am reminded of how GREAT my calling is, and how important it is that I am here doing the Lord´s work. I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that the Lord is preparing me for great things, and that as long as I TRUST in Him and am OBEDIENT, he will qualify me and help me become the servant that He needs in His vineyard. Without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I wouldn´t be able to speak Spanish. Without Him I wouldn´t be able to work SO hard all day long. I know that it is BECAUSE of Him that I am so happy, and I love this work so much :)
Even though this email is RIDICULOUSLY long, there is so much more I could tell you :) Email me if you have any questions that I didn´t answer, and I will do my best to fill you in on everything!!!
I will continue to be on email for another hour or so, and then we are coming back later this afternoon to send tons of pictures :)
Pday is the best :)
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
The church is true!!!