Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mexico City CCM—Week 5

Mexico's Independence Day Celebration!

Family and Friends!

Saddest Day
On Sunday morning we heard a rumor going around the comedor (cafeteria) that every missionary going to Chile was leaving this Wednesday. We thought it was ridiculous, so didn’t do anything about it at first, but then Hermana Avery decided to go check and see if it was true—it was. That means Hermana Avery, Page, and Elder Miller are all leaving Thursday morning/night. I guess it’s their independence day, and the airlines were booked, so the church could only get flights a week early or a week late and they are going a week early. It was a really sad day, but I’m excited for them. We just weren’t expecting it, so it was a really big shock. It’s going to be very different without them around. Our “goodbyes” will be earlier than expected this week.

I’m Leaving on Monday!
Usually the departure information isn’t posted until the Wednesday or Thursday before, but since the Chilean missionaries were changed, they printed the spreadsheet for Bolivia and Ecuador as well, but not anyone else. Now I know when I’m leaving! So my flight is on the 23rd at 6:45 a.m. which means we will leave the CCM on busses at around 2:45 a.m. or earlier. Hermana Garrett's flight is at like 2:00 a.m., so she will be leaving here at 10 or 11 p.m. on Sunday night. I will probably just hang out in the casa until my bus comes since I won’t have a companion.

Blog, Blog, Blog
We got permission from our district leader (Elder Maw) to look at our mission blogs, so I got to go on and see mine. You have done a marvelous job, Mom! Very proud of you! I like that you put the pictures where they are supposed to go and everything. It looks awesome!

Okay, so you asked about how I got my packages from Jacoby and Elder Dishman. Usually, if we have time on Tuesdays, we go to the Thomas S. Monson building to help the new missionaries take their luggage to their casas and such. While chatting with Hermana (Mama) Jones, Elder Davis came in and told me he had something for me from you guys and that he would get it to me later. After a few days, I got anxious and found him. He had left it at reception for me, so I got it and I was so surprised! It was a great package!

Mama Jones (at Oak Canyon Jr. High)
As for Elder Dishman, we checked with Mama Jones the day he was supposed to arrive and she said he wouldn’t be here until like 7 and we'd be in devotional, so I asked her to find him and give him my info. Since she got busy, she wasn’t able to find him. After a few days and no package or any word from Elder Dishman, I decided to go find out where he lived and which district he was in. We went to go find Hermana Jones, but found another awesome senior sister (Hermana Christansen) and asked her if she could get that information for us. She was really sweet and took us back to her apartment and showed us around and then we found Elder Dishman’s information. We went to his classroom, which he wasn’t in, and wrote a note on the whiteboard asking him to come find me. The next morning (Friday), he came to our class and brought it. It was huge! I was not expecting that much stuff (but there was the stuff for Emily and Jacoby as well). I got Emily’s and Jacoby’s to them and it was all great. Tell Sister Livingston “thanks” for the cute little package she sent. It was a sweet gesture! I got the card from Mom last p-day, just after we finished emailing. Thanks! It was so sweet and so unexpected!
Chaco Tan
Kelsey will appreciate this . . . my Chacos are my favorite shoes, and I think if they wear out, I may have you send me some new ones. They didn’t have to be broken in, they breathe, they match with pretty much everything, and they are just so comfortable. Oh, and I’m getting a pretty sick tan line already—even though it’s actually kind of cold here. Hopefully, Kelsey, in 17 months, I’ll come back with a really sweet Chaco tan that even you won’t be able to beat!
Casa Drama
Long story short, we had 12 new hermanas move into our casa last week and it’s been very dramatic all around! Imagine sharing one floor length mirror between 19 girls. Yep, it’s a mess. That’s all I’m going to say about that, but we will all be glad when we get to leave this house full of girls!
Girls, Girls, Girls Everywhere!
Sickly, Sickly
I got a bit of a cold this week and it has been more annoying than anything. At first, it was just a cough, so I went through like 2 packs of cough drops. Then, the next few days I just had a runny nose. I’m hoping it goes away before Monday so I don’t have to be sickly on the plane, but it hasn’t been too bad. Hey, at least I don’t have a parasite (knock on wood)!
Nacho Libre!
One of our favorite ways to joke around and make each other laugh is to quote Nacho Libre constantly. It’s getting to the point where it just weaves into our English and Spanish vocabulary. The other day, we were in a mock lesson and Hermana Avery totally slipped up. Luckily, the whole class knew exactly what she was talking about—except for the teacher. The conversation went kind of like this: Hno. Hernandez, (in Spanish of course): "Hermana Avery, why haven’t you been baptized? "Hna. Avery: "I didn’t get around to it, alright?" (said completely in English and a Nacho accent. It was hilarious and completely perfect)!
Mexican Night
Mexican night was crazy! All the latino hermanas and elders joined us of course, and they were going crazy! I mean, it was their Independence day, but really, Americans have no pride compared to Mexicans! We watched some videos about Mexico’s history and such, and then they had a group perform dances and songs for us. I will try to send the videos as soon as possible because they were really awesome. I loved the dancing because it was so cultural and different. The group that performed must have been members because the closing number was the EFY medley in Spanish. They all sang it and it brought the most amazing spirit into the room! It was a fun break from all of the usual things.
Mexico Independence Day Celebration

Ultimo Templo Visita
Today was our last visit to the Mexico City Temple. We were hoping we would be able to sneak in next week, but we will be leaving on Monday, not Tuesday. It was a really great experience as usual. We got to take some pictures and have a fun time with our district for one of our last times together.
Hermanas at the Mexico City Temple

District 8A at the Mexico City Temple
This week, we've been talking a lot about grace. Hermana Page loaned me a talk by Brad Wilcox on grace called, “My grace is sufficient.” I love the concept of grace—especially since it is so necessary in the lives of missionaries. Look up this talk and read it if you have a little time.
" . . . and Elder Holland, you light it up!”
This quote is from a devotional by Elder Bednar that we watched a few weeks ago. It was a month after the General Conference missionary announcement and he was talking about how the apostles don’t plan their talks, but if they did, it would go something like this, "Elder Bednar, you talk about missionary work, Elder Nelson, talk about obedience, and Elder Holland, you light it up!"

This quote is true pretty much every time we watch a devotional with him in it. He talks a lot about the same things, like "don’t come home the same person you used to be,” and "let this mission change your life,” and "don’t you dare come home!" etc. But this week in his devotional, he added a part about Peter in John, Chapter 21. Jesus asks him three times if he loves him. Each time, Peter answers, "Yea, Lord, I love thee, thou knowest that I love thee." All three times, Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. After Christ’s death, Peter goes back to the only thing he knew before Jesus came—fishing. But Jesus didn’t want him to go back to what he used to do and what he used to be. He wanted him to change and feed his sheep. That is what we are doing here on our missions. We are feeding his sheep, and when we go home, we need to apply the things we’ve learned on our missions to our lives and never go back to the old habits we used to have and the old things we used to do.

I love what Emily said in her email and I feel the same way. It’s awesome here and so beautiful! We are blessed to be able to be in such a beautiful place learning Spanish, even though there are those moments of wishing we could be somewhere else.
I love you all so much and I’m praying for you all every day! Next time we “talk,” I’ll be in Bolivia!

Love you muchly!

Hermana Nelson
Some more pics . . .
Hermanas Nelson and Hymas

Playing a little joke on the Elders
Our Elders on our last visit to the Mexico City Temple


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