So this week has been the craziest, most amazing week of my life. Every day is absolutely packed with meetings and meals that I am so exhausted at the end of the day. It feels like I just got here, but at the end of the day I look back and feels like it has been a month!
So when I first arrived, a ton of elders came out in the rain and got all of our luggage for us. It was an amazing feeling stepping out of the van. It’s funny, the CCM is so nice compared to the city around it! We even have a barbed wire fence around us. As soon as we passed through the gate I could feel the change from the outside world and entering into this place. It is absolutely amazing and the feeling hasn't left me yet. I love it and I don't want it to leave. The CCM campus actually used to be a boarding school called Benemiento, that's why there is a huge B on the mountain here.
So I guess I'm pretty good at Spanish! I can understand everything my teacher, Hermano Rodriguez, is saying, so that's really nice. By Thursday night I was able to pray and bear my testimony in Spanish. Friday was a different story. I thought I was doing really well, and then we taught our first lesson to an investigator. I couldn't understand half of what she was saying and it was so hard! But by the end we were able to get her to commit to read the Book of Mormon, except we didn't have one to give to her...so we had to go to la tienda to give to her at the next lesson. It was so stressful and scary. The next day we had a lesson on how the Spirit can help us with anything. We were taught that when you listen and love the investigator Christ will assist in the conversion. So our lesson on Friday went about the same. My compañera and I were still so scared about the language, so it was really hard. We taught her again yesterday, but this time we started with a hymn. We sang Creo en Cristo (I believe in Christ) and it totally brought the Spirit. We now have her committed to baptism!
On the second day I was here, I had already lost count of the Elders and Hermanas that I have seen that I know. 7 of the boys from my YSA ward at BYU are here, so now I have to remember not to call them by their first names, which is much harder than you would think. On the bright side my companion thinks I'm super popular ;)
While I'm here I have so much time for personal study, but I sometimes feel like it’s still not enough. I wish I could just study the Book of Mormon all the time, but I also have to worry about Spanish and Predicad mi Evangelio (Preach my Gospel).
Sorry if I keep using Spanish words, my brain is already switching over to Spanish mode. We try not to talk in English much so we can learn the language better. Mi compañera is from Las Vegas, Nevada and her name is Hermana McMillan. She is the cutest and I love her already! The other girls in our room and district are Hermanas Snowden and Gubler from Orem, Utah. Our district is awesome!
Some of the best things I learned this week : Spanish is not a goal, it’s a tool. And I am a tool in the Lord's hands. In Nefi 1:3 it says that he writes in the language of his father. We talked about this in class, and we decided that he wasn't talking about reformed Egyptian, he was talking about the Spirit. He learned to speak the language of the Spirit which is universal. We have been trying to use that language ever since we heard that idea.
I just want to let you all know that this is the happiest I have been in my life. The days are long and hard and scary, but I'm learning so much and I have the Spirit with me all the time. It is something I never want to lose.
For Dad- The food here is alright. They try to make a lot of American food, so we have a lot of hot dogs. We've also had fish, and i was stoked about that. They just don't use much sugar or salt in their food, contrary to America, so it’s different.
This Sunday was probably the best in my life. I didn't get my normal Sunday nap, but that won't happen for a while unfortunately. We had constant meetings all day, some in Spanish and some in English. Funny story, in sacrament meeting-which is all in Spanish- one of the Elders was up there speaking and he told a joke, so I started laughing. I guess I was the only one who understood what he said because I was the only one laughing with the Branch Presidency.
My heart melted 3 times yesterday! One was in our lesson with our investigator, Ana, when she committed to baptism. One was when Hermano Rodriguez was talking about his wife. He said that she was away with social services and wouldn't be back until Friday and that he prays every day for the Lord to help him because he misses her so much. Then he said that we can ask for comfort from the Lord when we are struggling with Spanish. The third time was last night. After language study, out district sang some hymns. The elders only sang once with us, but then at the end, Elder Ballard (not M. Russell) asked if we would sing one more. So we sang Angels We Have Heard on High. It was really good! We have 4 sopranos and 2 altos and we blended so well. The Spirit was so strong, and I have a testimony that hymns are a sure way to bring the Spirit into any meeting, place, or event. I have a new love for them that I hadn't realized before
It seems like every time I start to feel discouraged about the language, we have another devotional or meeting where we feel the Spirit and we are told that we can do it with the Spirit.
I'm running out of time, but I loved reading all the emails I got. I'm sorry if I couldn't respond to all of them, there's just not enough time. Love you all. Just know that The Lord loves you and knows you by name. I am so happy here at the CCM. It’s changing my life and I hope that you can all let the Spirit have that power in your life. It will make you so happy and you can do anything, even teach a lesson in Spanish! Love you all! Until next week :)
By the way it is really weird that that is my name. I can't believe I'm a missionary! I've been waiting my whole life for this and it’s finally here :)
|Hermana's Moberly and McMillan|