Thursday, July 17, 2014
MTC P-Day #1
Hola!! I'm so excited to be writing! It's been a long 8 days waiting for this day to get here. First of all, thanks to Dad, Nana, and Aunt Robin (Please forward this to Aunt Robin, but I have Nana's e-mail so I'll send it to her, too) for the Dearelder letters! Please keep writing those because we get them almost immediately and it's so fun to get mail. Okay, now I'll move on to my experience. I am LOVING this life. It's such a strange life though, haha. I'll try to help you understand some of the things I'm doing here. Day one was crazy and overwhelming, followed by the same thing every day until Sunday. But it was also exciting and inspiring. Here's a little about how my schedule goes: We wake up at about 6:10, get ready, go eat at 7:15, go to class at 7:45, stay there until lunch at 11:35, eat, go to change to gym clothes at 12:15, have gym from 12:30-1:20, go back to change to mission clothes, back to class by 1:50, in class until 4:55 for dinner, eat until 5:40, and then back to class until 9:30 when we go back home for the night, and in bed by 10:30. EXTREMELY scheduled. I love it. Also, I didn't know that most of your CCM (MTC en espanol) experience is learning to self-teach. In the classroom we only are actually taught by our maestro (Is that right, Gunnar?) for like 2-3 hours. The rest of the 9 or so hours are divided between personal study, companera study, and language study. It's definitely been an adjustment, but I'm learning to be better at it! Our district is really great. There's eleven of us, and I'll try to send pictures before I get off here of us all. There are 8 elders and us 3 hermanas. We all get along really well, which is nice, because we spend A LOT of time cooped up in a tiny apartment a little smaller than my colonial apartment because that's our classroom and our district is our class. All 3 of us hermanas and 4 of the elders are going to PANAMA, so we're hoping to all be able to fly out together in t-minus 5 or so weeks! SO EXCITING! Last week took a little while to end, mostly because it was so much information all at once, but this week is absolutely flying by! Which is great because we're all so anxious to get into the field, but also a little scary because the CCM is my safe zone and I know I still have sooo much that I need to learn before I can feel even somewhat okay about mi espanol. (Like my spanglish? Our maestro is alll about us using the espanol parables (I think that means words) that we know whenever we can). So mis companeras are FANTASTIC! We all get along so well. Hermana Hall is 21 and is from Utah and is just sooo sweet. She levels me and Hermana Patrick, who is 19, out because we're both a little sassy haha. Hermana Patrick is sooo funny. I laugh a lot when she talks. She says I'm gonna be so black by the time we get into the field because of her hahaha. We really have so much fun together, though, all three of us. We all laugh a lot. We probably have a little TOO much fun some days because we get distracted from our studies, but we're trying very hard to work on that! The elders in our district are great, but we can all definitely tell they're 18 some days, haha, but it's great anyway. Our maestro told us hermanas that we are to be the examples to them, so we're doing our best! So espanol. Shoot. Where do I even begin. The first few days were tough, like I said, mostly because Gunnar was absolutely right, Spanish is hard!! But we pray every day for the gift of tongues and we can already see it coming to us because our maestro will talk and we'll understand about 75% of what he says, and there's no way we could do that without the Lord's help. It's difficult, but it's also so cool to learn it. Mis companeras y yo spent one day, after being challenged to do so by our maestro, only speaking espanol. No ingles!! It was really hard, and we were A LOT less talkative than usual haha, but it also forced us to learn new words, which was great. We've set a goal to only speak espanol when we are in the cafeteria and some days we're better at keeping that goal than others, but it definitely makes a difference. I can pray and bear my testimony en espanol! They're very simple, but like our maestro just told us yesterday, we were called to learn this language because doctrine is SIMPLE and it forces us to teach it in the SIMPLEST form possible, which I think is so true. By the way, our maestro ONLY speaks spanish to us (unless we REALLY aren't getting something haha), so that's helpful, too, even though it's a challenge and a little frustrating sometimes. So let me tell you about teaching. We've been teaching an "investigator" (she's an actor who is already a member...
), since day 3. It's so hard. She only speaks spanish to us, absolutely no ingles. And we can only speak spanish to her. SOOO hard. Shoot! Quick side note before I forget, I was called as the District Sister Training Leader on Day 2, so that was pretty cool. I attend branch meetings (our zone is our branch) to report on our district, the hermanas mostly, along with our district leader. Mis companeras were just called as the Zone Sister Training Leaders on Sunday, which is also really cool, and that also meant we were in charge of welcoming in the 4 new hermanas that joined our zone last night. It was SOO nice being the "experienced ones" (it's amazing how experienced just one week can make you feel!) and being able to help the new ones especially since we literally we JUST in their shoes. In the CCM, your age is described by how long you've been here. For example, we are no longer the "youngest" missionaries, but we're still pretty young. The older missionaries are the ones who've been here for 5 or 6 weeks. It's really funny how it works actually. Also, everyone is SOOO friendly on West Campus, which is only Spanish speaking missionaries. We say Hola, Como Esta to like EVERYONE we see as we're walking on campus and everyone else does the same. It's so much fun. Everyone is so friendly.... Also West campus is just fantastic because we get APARTMENTS! Did you get my letter I sent on day 2 about that? It's really awesome. Man, I have a lot to say, but I'll try to write letters during the week and mail them, too, so I don't have to catch up so much in my e-mails.
Anyway, back to teaching. Alma is 24 and is so sweet (I think, I can't really understand what she's saying a lot of the time haha). The first lesson was difficult and simple, but the second lesson was better. We talked to her about prayer and we asked her how she felt about Dios and she said she feels like He's far away and she can't really connect with Him. So we tried to explain to her that He isn't far away when she prays, and that he loves her so much. We bore our testimonies to her about the love Padre Celestial has for all of us, including her and SHE CRIED! She understood our broken spanish and was able to feel the spirit even though we could barely say what we wanted to say clearly. It was the most incredible experience and I wrote all about it in my journal. And then yesterday happened, our 5th lesson with her. No bueno haha. We tried to talk about families and temples and being together forever with her and basically all she heard was that we were telling her that she 'wasn't sure about her family after death'... So that was rough. That's a hard thing to explain in English, let alone spanish. It ended with her saying "no me gusta" and waving her hands over our books and scriptures haha. So sad. But we get a new investigator next week, so we'll keep trying and keep learning to be better!
Okay, I think that's good for now because I want to upload pictures and I only have 10 more minutes!
First though, CORSON! How are you doing!! I've been thinking about you sooo so much!! When's your p-day? How's mexico? How's espanol? How's your companero? How's the food? Are you as exhausted as me?? Someone dear elder me how he's doing so I don't have to wait a whole nother week to hear! I love you soo much and pray for you all day everyday! I'm sure you're kicking butt down there!
I love you all and miss you all a lot, pero mi Padre Celestial KNEW I needed to come here and He was so right. This is going to be a hard next 18 months, it wouldn't be a mission if it weren't hard, but it's going to be soo great!! Post this to my blog please and let family read it! Gracias :)