Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mexico City CCM—Week 2

To My Wonderful Family and Friends,

I’ll answer questions first:

There are no cats in the compound, but I’m sure I will see many when I get out in the field. The only animals we see here are birds . . . lots of weird-looking birds. And bugs, galore . . . yay? (Alyssa has been catching bugs for 9th grade science). I’m jealous you get to eat shave ice! I’d kill for some ice right now—read the part about my dream—it was awesome! (haha) By the way, “jaja” means “haha” in Spanish, that’s how they spell it because they say their “j's” as “h's”.  (I usually take out the jaja references so the letters are easier to read.) That is so awesome you guys got to talk to Mrs. Jones on the phone! I’m really jealous of her—she gets to talk to my family and I don’t?! Have fun with that bug collection stuff. I didn’t!

Yes, I have to write a whole list during the week of things I do—otherwise, I can’t remember what happened—the days all run together. I hope I don’t include too many details, but let me know if I do. I’m sure the blog looks awesome. I am bad at blogs so tell Ellen thanks for helping out! I really don’t think they are very careful about the food and things like refrigeration, but we are getting used to it. That is awesome that Sheridan (Rockhill) would help the other hermanas! She is such a sweetheart, which is why she was so missed when she left here. And that is amazing for Chad (Madsen). If you see him before he heads out, tell him I am so proud of him and that I’ll be praying for him every day. Tell him he made the right choice and that he will be an amazing missionary! I will include more about my study, language accomplishments, and stories later on. And tell Dad thanks for sharing that scripture. I showed all the girls and we all love it!

(D&C 80:1-5: "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant, Amanda: Go ye, go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of your voice. And inasmuch as you desire a companion, I will give unto you my servant, Hermana Garrett. Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss. Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true. Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.")

Okay, now to the good stuff:
I hope it isn’t too annoying, but I’ll probably write the way I wrote my last email. I think I would enjoy reading it better this way:

People I’ve Seen
So last Tuesday, we watched a devotional by Elder Bednar. I was sobbing all the way through both videos since I am a cry baby, and when we were all getting up to leave, I saw Mrs. Jones (one of Amanda’s—and everyone else’s—favorite English teachers at Oak Canyon Jr. High) out of the corner of my eye and totally freaked out! I ran right over and we both started sobbing and she said that she was so happy to see me because she had been having a rough time adjusting and I was like her "daughter here" it was really sweet and it’s been awesome seeing her almost every day!

(I heard that she and her husband would be leaving on August 26th to serve in Mexico, so I called her to see if she could take a few things for Amanda. I didn’t get a hold of her, so I tried again on Sunday evening and she answered—but she was already in Mexico! It’s been so nice to know that she is there with all of these missionaries—taking care of them like she did at school! I am so grateful for her. She said she has eaten lunch with Amanda and has seen her almost every day and it helps both of them feel at home.)

I also ran into Hermana Livingston (Emily and Amanda grew up together and spoke in Sacrament meeting together before they left) and her companion Hermana Dodsen! Sadie Dodsen went to PGHS with us and they just happened to be companions! What are the odds? I also ran into Hermana Hymas (Cassie is also from Lindon), but I don’t see either of them very much because they have different meal schedules. Yesterday, I saw a kid I went to EFY with almost 5 years ago! It was my first year and I had the biggest crush on him! His name is Elder Larkin and I’m pretty sure we are still Facebook friends from way back when. We both recognized each other so it was fun.

The food has been getting a little better. Most of the meat is cooked (way over cooked, actually), but at least it’s not raw like it’s been in the past. We did have a few weird meals as usual, hot dog and potato soup was one of them. They pretty much put hot dogs in everything—the rice, the beans, the soup, and most of the time the vegetables. They’re even more sketch than American hot dogs, though, so we don’t eat them.
Earlier this week, we had curly fries! We each went back for seconds and then thirds. They tasted like Arbys! It was like heaven. They also give us popsicles on the daily. It’s rad. They taste like those fruit bars Mom and I love, but like ten times better.
Cereal is a must-have here (and don’t worry mom, I am eating fruits and vegetables . . . and lots of beans . . . cocoa beans! ;)
Today was the best ever though. While feeling like it was just any other breakfast, we got our waffles and went to go get some cereal, but guess what they had?? NUTELLA and PEANUT BUTTER!! For our waffles! It was a good day!
So there are tiny little earthquakes very often here. I think we have had four so far and there are sensors all around the CCM that go off as soon as even the tiniest one hits. None have been bad, it’s just annoying that we all have to go outside during class and meals and such. Hermana Page is praying one happens while I’m in the shower so I’ll have to go out in a towel. What a goof ball—but I love her!

Cockroach in the Beans
The other day an elder found a cockroach in his beans. Yeah, that’s pretty much the extent of the story. We are extra cautious now to say the least . . . haha!

District 8A Beach Volleyball Champions
We play beach volleyball with our elders at gym time sometimes, and us girls stink really bad. I think they don’t like playing with us, but they feel like they have to because they are stuck with us. We have fun, though, and there’s a really nice beach volleyball court, so it’s a good time, except that we get mosquito bites galore (like seriously—I got probably 12 in the hour we were out there). But oh well, what can ya do? (Maybe use some of the four bottles of bug repellant your mom packed?! Or maybe they’re resistant to that . . . )

We are only allowed to take pictures on p-day, so we will be taking some today, but I was only able to download 2 to Dropbox. They were on self timer, so they look really bad (it’s our district in our classroom). I will put a few more on Dropbox as soon as Hermana Avery sends them to me.
I Sent Ya’ll Some Letters
I sent a bunch of letters—hopefully you’ll get them. I sent some for friends to you guys, too.

Thanks, Dad, for all of the awesome music you put on my iPod! The other hermanas and I love all of it! We dubbed p-day ‘disobedience day’ where we listen to music. Don’t worry, we are only breaking that rule because without music, we may all go insane! (Luckily it’s all Hymns, EFY, or classical music—I don’t think they can get too wild with that!)

I Had a Dream . . . about Ice
So, there is no such thing as ice here. The milk is usually warm unless it’s in the morning, and the water is all warm. Pretty much I’m missing cold beverages and ice. So the other night I had a dream all about ice. It was really nice. In my dream the cafeteria workers brought out a huge cart of ice (like the ones we used to have at the Garden Restaurant), and they were like, “Dig in!” So we all ran over with buckets and scooped as much as we could and took them back to our casas, but by the time we got home, it was all melted and we were crying. A bit ridiculous, but I really wish we had ice. (Amanda worked at a Shave Ice stand before her mission and LOVES cold drinks—she’s really suffering! I think the pioneers might have something to say . . . )

Under the Sea . . . or the Shower Head
We have back-to-back bathrooms and you can hear everything that is going on in one bathroom to the next, so, whenever Hermana Page and I shower at the same time, we like to sing Disney songs and break into parts. It’s kinda awesome and it bonds us . . . kinda weird, but yeah, we are just practicing to be a really great duo when we get home!

The Mexicans are Shooting Each Other
There are always random large boom sounds that we hear mostly on the weekend, but also a lot during other parts of the day. Our teacher said that there is a jail close by so that is what she thinks it is. I’m not sure why there would be a lot of gunshots at the jail unless they are killing people . . . and another person said they are fireworks. Another said that every time someone gets arrested, they shoot in the air. I’m not sure which is true, but it’s making everyone’s imaginations go crazy!

It’s pretty much the same every day:

Wake up, Personal Study, Breakfast
Personal Study, Investigator Teaching, Language Class, Coaching, Personal Study, Lunch
Language Class, Planning Session, Investigator Teaching, PME (PMG in English), Dinner
Service/Study Time, Gym, Study Time, Bed
Yep, it’s a party!

Maestros y Investigators
(Teachers and Investigators)
For the majority of the morning, Hermana Balderes is our language, PME, and LdM (BOM) teacher. She is really sweet and she says the funniest things. We all have the same phrase running through our heads whenever we do or say something wrong and it is, "no misionaras, ¡no!" she says this constantly when we do things in class she doesn’t like.
Such as . . .

When we were studying the parts of the body, she kept saying a word, and no one was getting it, so then she says shakira, and immediately I think ‘hips don’t lie’ and start dancing a little jig. Apparently dancing is not allowed because that phrase was screamed at me! I thought it was funny. But what is she thinking saying something like that and not expecting us to all think ‘hips don’t lie’ and dance? I mean really. Maybe she should choose her hints a little more carefully . . .  :)
and . . .

Our investigator, Fernando, became our night teacher as well as Hermano Hernandez. They are really funny and we keep begging them to tell us about their dating life/newlywed-status, but they won’t. Maybe one day we can get them to tell us a little about the real world. It’s killing us not hearing things like that!
Hermana Balderes and Hermano Hernandez are two new investigators (or should I say their characters are our new investigators). We are practicing a lot and I’m feeling more and more prepared for the field.

Study and Language Accomplishments
Studying is going well, as is the language. It is very surprising how much we do know already, but at the same time, how much we don’t know. We have made a goal to only speak Spanish unless we are in our casa or it is p-day. So it’s super quiet and thoughts are spread out since we have to look up like every word we don’t know.

Spiritual Highlights of My Week
We had our devotional on Sunday and it was from the February 2012 MTC devotional and IT WAS AMAZING!! If you can look it up, all of you should!! It will seriously change your life—whether or not you are a missionary!

My other favorite thing that happened was on Sunday. Us girls were feeling a little homesick and overwhelmed with language studies and investigators, so we decided to ask our Elders for priesthood blessings. They were nervous and a bit hesitant at first, but they agreed and we were all four able to get one. One of the elders in our district, Elder Fiefia, had never given a blessing before. I had the privilege of being his first blessing ever and the spirit was so strong. It was short and sweet and you could tell he was very nervous, but afterwards I could tell he was trying to hold back tears. I shook all of their hands, and he tried to hug me, but of course that isn’t allowed. He came up to me later, though, and thanked me for the opportunity and said he’d never felt the spirit as strong as in that moment. He’s such a sweetheart and he’s going to do amazing things in Guayaquil Equador!

Scriptures to Read
I found these scriptures today and love, love, love them!!
Mosiah 2:41
John 14 (pretty much the whole chapter, but mostly 16-24ish)

Please Pray for Hermana Garrett
Hermana Garrett received an email today saying that her twin sister, who is in Minnesota serving her mission right now, is having a really rough time, as is her family, so please pray for her.
Well, that’s it for this week. I love you all so much!!

Sorry if it was a really long email! I guess I had more to tell you about than I thought.


Hermana Nelson:)

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