Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mexico City CCM—Week 1

Mexico City CCM
My Dearest Familia and Friends,

Wow! So much has happened this week. People aren't kidding when they say that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. I had that exact experience this week—mostly the first day, and then each day seems shorter and shorter.

I am going to write this email a little differently since I have so much to talk about. I’ll put it in little sections and if you don't want to read something, just skip it.

First, I'm going to answer questions:

Prayers on my behalf would be more than appreciated. I am having a hard time adjusting, but every day is getting better. I have become really close with the other companionship of girls in our district and we are having a good time adjusting together.

My schedule is full all day every day. We don't have many breaks, but I'm learning a lot. Most of the day is comprised of language class, then personal study, with meals in between. Gym has become a great blessing so we can have some down time after dinner and final planning to go and take out our stress. I only wish I could listen to some music while doing it, but it's okay.

My P-day, as you have probably already figured out, is on Tuesday. I will probably be writing earlier in the day, but today we went to the temple, so I wasn't able to get here as quickly as I'd hoped.
Bus Ride from the Airport to the Mexico City CCM
We did get money cards with 120 pesos added to them each week (don't even ask me how much that is in dollars, because I have no clue, but I do know we get 20 more pesos than the elders). I usually don't spend the money. The only things I've gotten are stamps and paper and flash cards. I'm going to try to spend as little as possible to eventually save up for these awesome sandals in the "la tienda" (store), or I may just not use it and give it back to the church so other missionaries can have some as well.

We don't need sheets at the CCM (MTC), but since Emily comes today, I'm sure it's already too late—sorry.

That is awesome about Mrs. Jones!! I will for sure look for her. I don't think I've even seen any missionary couples yet . . . kinda weird, but I'll for sure look out for her. (One of Amanda's favorite English teachers at Oak Canyon Jr. High is leaving on 8/26 for the Mexico MTC!)

The food is okay. I will tell you more about that later as well. I'm not sick, so that's good news. My clothes and shoes are working out great! All of the hermanas are getting blisters and my shoes didn't even need to be broken in, so that was money well spent! (Thanks to Chacos, Keen, and Ahnu!)

That’s awesome that obedience was the topic in Stake Conference! I actually wrote a Sacrament talk about that for church on Sunday—more about that later.

Mexico is a bit sketch outside the walls of the "compound" as we like to call it. But yeah, driving in and out is a little weird and when we are in the CCM (MTC), it feels like we are in a whole different part of Mexico! They keep up these adorable little gardens (I'll send pictures) and the palm trees are cute.

Thanks for not calling me dude, dude. Tell the Singles Ward I miss them as well and get involved! Accept your callings! Seriously—it will enrich your life. Look at me being all grown up and telling you what to do! The meals are okay . . . not sure if I want "all I can eat." We aren't in heaven here like you were at the MTC!

Okay, now on to the good stuff:

Scriptures to read
Genesis 22:2
Esther 4:14
(These got me through most of my week)

New Address
Hermana Nelson
Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No. 828
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg. G.A. Madero
C.P. 07230, Mexico, D.F.; Mexico.

Pancakes for every breakfast and they don't have maple syrup—just chocolate syrup. They must think we are fatties in America or something . . .

All-you-can-eat cereal. That has pretty much saved me here . . . Dad, I've been eating Cocoa Pebbles for every meal! Oh, and they have box milk! The church is true!

Weird foods we've gotten:
—A bowl of Spam and peaches—um, gross!
—Honeydew and Whoppers, yep, Whoppers—like the chocolate candy. I'm not really sure what they are thinking, but apparently that is a good combination.

People I've Seen
Elder Cutler (Brayden's little brother)
Hermana Moore (Tiffany)
Hermana Moore from Lindon
Hermana Howe (Allie)
Hermana Sargent (Ashley)
Brother Clark (Jenny Clark's cousin!)

Our District
8 Elders
4 Hermanas (including Hermana Garrett and I)
Our District
We've gotten really close with Hermana Avery and Hermana Page, and it's been fun being in the same casa (house) with them! It's like a slumber party every night, except they aren't in our room.

We are sort of empty right now because the latina hermanas left yesterday, so it's been quiet and all of the rooms are empty now. The casas are really nice! They used to be for the girls going to school here, so they have a kitchen (but they took out all of the appliances), they have a dining area (where we don't eat), and a family room (that we don't use too often). There are 5 rooms, 4 to a room, and it's been fun. The latinas that lived with us for the first few days were really sweet, but they didn't speak English and we didn't speak much Spanish, so it was fun trying to understand what they were saying.

Hermana Avery and Page live down the hall and they are the sweetest! Hermana Avery is from South Jordan (originally Maryland) and Hermana Page is from Charlotte, North Carolina (and she was actually in Kelsey's ward at BYU)!
Hermana Avery and Hermana Page
Upon Arriving at the CCM
I unpacked and found all of your cute notes and Devan's stupid letter . . . jk. But really, though, I guess it could be useful . . .
Alyssa's (and other) Cute Notes Decorating the Casa
Running Shoes Panic
We were going to gym for the first time on Thursday, and I panicked because I thought we didn't pack my shoelaces. I was seriously about to break down, because I'd just been frustrated the whole day, when I reached inside and there they were! Thanks for remembering everything, Mom.

Temple Trip
We were able to go to the temple this morning and it was great. It's a really cool temple. It almost looks like a Myan temple or something. It was hard doing the ordinances in Spanish, but there were plenty of workers to help us out.

Girl Probs
I promise this isn't gross . . . but I wish it were! We met our Branch President, President Torres on Friday. It was really nice getting to meet him, but while talking to us about our experience at the CCM, he kept saying stuff that was making me really homesick—stuff like, "I know you miss your moms and want to give them big hugs right now . . ." and "I know you miss your mom's cooking . . . " and "Your dad was probably your best friend . . ." Anyway, I was holding back my tears the whole time because after saying all that, he said, "Being homesick is silly and just come talk to me if you are." That didn't help any. Then he asked me to pray in Spanish, which I'm not very good at yet, and I couldn't help but cry a little during the prayer. But afterward I was talking to the other hermanas, and they all felt the same way. So we cry and laugh and do pretty much everything else together. It is much fun.

Sacrament Meeting Chaos
Well, first thing they tell us on Saturday about our Sunday meetings is that we are all required to prepare a 5-minute talk for Sacrament Meeting in Spanish, and that we will be called at random by our Branch President . . . and we won't know until he announces us that we are speaking. I was very nervous, but luckily Hermana Garrett got called and not me. 

Rules, Rules, Rules
I'm not disobedient, I think, but the CCM has extra rules on top of the white handbook rules that I think are a bit much, but hey, I guess I will just have to obey if I want to succeed. I can't listen to music because they don't want it to distract from the spirit . . . honestly, I think it would bring the spirit more, but I'll obey.

Hermana Rockhill
She is a legend. Sheridan left the week I came in, and all the hermanas miss her so much! It was nice to hear things about someone I know though!

Fernando Montes
Fernando is the investigator we have been teaching. He's really just a teacher, but we are supposed to teach all 4 lessons to him in Spanish because he doesn't speak English (even though he does). It's been cool and miraculous to have the "don de lenguas" or gift of tongues in our lessons. We are learning mucho! We've been singing in Spanish during our lessons and it has been going well. It brings the spirit and Fernando loves it. I may just keep up this tradition during the mission because it really opens people up.

Ferocious Diaria
(Not sure if I spelled that right)
During orientation, the doctor here at the clinic made it apparent by repeating this phrase over and over again when talking about washing our hands before we eat and such. I just had to add something gross in there!

The Spanish is coming along—slowly, but it is coming. I'm starting to remember more and more of what I learned in my Spanish classes at school and it is nice. There isn't much time in the schedule for anything else but studying the language, so there has been a lot of that.

The Packing List Lied
First off, it's cold out, and I should have brought more warm things, but it's all good and I'm doing just fine. Hangers are apparently required here—didn't know that. I went without them for awhile until the other hermanas in the casa left and then I acquired some of theirs (just because they left them of course). Chacos (or really just sandals in general) are okay for any warm place that rains. So yeah, we could have gotten more summery sandals. Oh well.

We pray so much here. I thought we would, but seriously I am getting so much practice because we pray like 15 times a day.

Until next week,


Buenas tardes!
Hermana Nelson
Hermana FawAn Amazing Hermana in our Casa

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