Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CCM - Week One

HELLO! This has been the longest and most difficult week of my life. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had the coolest experience getting here. I was sitting first class, reading Jesus the Christ, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a man and he said: Did you serve in Riverside California? (Thanks Dad for the luggage tags) (Also this is a Spanish keyboard that does not have quotation marks) It turns out that he was a member, and he served in like Carlsbad, California! He owns a business in Mexico City, so that}s why we were on the same flight. He stayed with me all the way until we were out of security. He wouldn't even leave me until he found the driver for me. While we were waiting for luggage, we actually saw two Elders and knew they had to be..well....Elders! So we scooped them up too and he finally left after he found our guy. The driver didn't have a sign and spoke zero English so this Brother was honestly a tender mercy for the three of us. One of those two Elders is actually in my district! Elder Hagemeyer or something weird German. So we call him Elder Hache (h in Spanish). The other one was super cool and I got to talk to him for like an hour since we waited at the airport for two hours for more missionaries. However, the huge group of eleven missionaries never showed up, just one, Elder Snowden (also in our district). That was the flight my companion was on, and their flight got delayed FIVE hours because of a funny smell.

My district is fantastic. Our district is actually famous around here because we have SEVEN Hermanas and only four Elders. Usually districts are lucky to just get four Hermanas. Hermana Harper is my companion and she is such a goon. She has four brothers just like me, and one of them is even named Jacob! We also both went to BYU-I, but not at the same time because she did a year of school and then worked the semester I was at school. Then in our room we have Hermana Bassett and Hermana Tueller. Then we live in a house with five rooms, so there's a total guessed it...twenty Hermanas in our casa.

The CCM is so beautiful. Sure, it looked like a prison when we pulled up because of the walls and the security gate, but still. You can see the colorful slum houses up on the mountains right outside the walls and I love it. I also love the people here. I felt inspired on the first day, second meal, to go sit with some Latinas. It has been such a blessing. We have so many new friends, we can work on our Spanish, and I have grown to love the people I am going to go teach. What was really neat was when our Mission President found out that the Latinas that we sit with aren't actually our district. He came up to us the next day in the street and talked to us more about how being in the CCM is truly a blessing for us American stateside missionaries because we have a chance to learn every chance we get. Usually the Americans sit by district, and the only Americans who get put in Latino districts are the ones that are here for three weeks like them. He even said: Y'all are the best Hermanas here at the CCM. How cool?? And now a lot more Americans sit with the Latinos during meals. However, a couple days ago we realized that the other pair of Elders were super homesick so now we have District Dinner so we could feel more like a family. Not as good, but there has to be balance in all things. The food is INCREDIBLE. Papaya is def my new fav fruit. There's always a ton of fruits and vegetables during every meal, and there's usually always beans and tortillas. Every meal has a different dish, and on Tuesday night we have PIZZA! Speaking of which, the only time I have used dairy pills is for pizza. I have decided to just eat the food I can eat so my body will like me a little better and so I can truly cherish when I do use my pills and eat dairy. The salsa is always SUPER yummy (our teachers speak only in Spanish but will insert a really enthusiastic SUPER sometimes, so we joke around about it)

So, they made us teach a fake investigator the entire first lesson in Spanish before even having our first language class. Her name is Nilka and she is actually our teacher. It's so difficult to teach in Spanish, especially when the church vocab is way hard. I'm not going to go into detail about every lesson. Just know that we have had good ones and bad ones. The coolest one was when I read the First Vision in Spanish to Nilka and I started crying when the first word came out of my mouth. The spirit testified so strong to me that the Restoration did happen and that Joseph Smith truly saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. Just the spirit in general here, I have felt it so many times I don't have time for all of them.

There's way way way more, but I really don't have time. I love y'all so so so much.

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