Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mexico City CCM—Week 3

Hello Family and Friends!

First Off . . .
Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Cozzens for the letter this week! I was excited to hear about all the family news and things that are happening in everyone’s lives!

Scriptures to look up that I think are awesome!
1 Nephi 1—Pres. Pratt said this is one of the most commonly read and most commonly forgotten chapters—so go back and read it!
Mosiah 2:41
3 Nephi 12—The Beatitudes
Mosiah 28:1-9

I Dreamed a Dream . . . in Spanish!
Yep, I had my first dream in Spanish. It was mostly just like a regular day in the CCM trying to communicate with people, but yeah, I was trying to speak Spanish in the dream. I guess that’s progress?

The Best Day Ever
The "la tienda" (store) here has Jolly Ranchers that are square shaped! I will be sure to buy some and send them home as soon as I get to Bolivia. I was eating the pack this week and guess what?! There were only watermelon ones! Yep, God loves me.

A Letter!
So I was really not expecting to get anything in the mail—ever—since we email and mail takes so long to get here, but the other day I totally got a DearElder in our district mailbox! It was from Wes. It was a really funny letter and I sent him one right back, so he should be expecting a letter in the next week and a half!

I didn’t realize how much of a letter writer I was until I got here . . . I write letters constantly. I wrote you guys another one this week, but don’t get too excited because it isn’t much, but I am going to try to send one each week. I just finished writing letters to all of the elders in our district yesterday. I included that scripture you guys told me about in the Doctrine and Covenants and also the Beatitudes. I really just think that notes make peoples’ day! At least they make my day! I thought I had way too much stationery, but I may not have brought enough.

Rain, Rain Go Away (but really, don’t because it’s actually really nice)
It rains every day here at about dinnertime, and this week, it was insane! I don’t remember which day it was, but we were leaving dinner and there was a river running down the road. We decided it would be better to just take off our shoes and run. Our teacher didn’t have an umbrella, and I figured she needed it more than I did, so we all began to run as fast as we could to the classroom. Well, apparently Mexico’s paint is really slick (or maybe they just repainted a lot) but while crossing the crosswalk, Hermana Page, who was right in front of me, did a nice little dive into the river of water. She slipped and landed face down in the gutter! Yeah, we were all laughing so hard, then three other hermanas did the same thing right after her. One of them slipped three times. It was comical. but Hermana Page scraped up her knee real nice. It’s all good now. We had a good laugh about it.
We ALL Wanted Pictures on the Nacho Bike!
Companionship Inventory
We decided to do a double companionship inventory last night since it helps to have more personalities and opinions involved. Instead of talking about the things that bother us, we decided to talk about the things we like about each other . . .
Hermanas Avery, Nelson, Page, Garrett
Here is the list of things the hermanas said about me:
Funny, Smart, Thoughtful—writes a lot of notes
Not afraid to wet my pants when laughing (like I can control it!)
Will go to the bathroom at any time in case someone’s companion doesn’t want to (this is true—my bladder is always on call here)
The "weird" little sister of the bunch who never really knows what is going on (this one is not true—I just have hearing problems)
Always willing to do everyone’s hair multiple times a day (I really have rekindled my love for doing hair out here). Hermana Avery’s hair is extremely long and I keep coming up with new ways to put it up, and Hermana Page’s hair is short and it’s fun coming up with short styles as well. They all think I should do hair when I get home.

El Templo
We were able to go to the temple again today and it was really neat. It still seems a bit dramatic in Spanish, but it’s the House of the Lord and no matter which temple it is, you can feel the same love and comfort all around you.

Fellas in our District:
Elders Miller, Knowles, Evans, Williams, Maw, Bradshaw, Folland, Fiefia

Us Ladies at El Templo
Scripture Mastery Saves Lives
I am super glad I memorized the scripture mastery scriptures in Seminary and that I still remember most of them—we use them so much in our lessons! I heard that the Church came out with an updated list of scripture mastery scriptures.
When we got here the first week, they gave us really nice copies of the Spanish standard works with post-it tabs where the scripture mastery scriptures are and it has saved us in our lessons with our investigators. So—ya'll taking seminary (or should be taking seminary!)—memorize scripture mastery and find out ways to use them to share the Gospel. They are inspired and a great tool!

Elder Maw (Right) is in my District and is really good friends with Jordan Tanner!
We are teaching two investigators right now—one is named Lenina and one is named Jonaton. As usual, they aren’t real investigators, just profiles that our teachers have made of people they knew in their missions. But the lessons have been going well. We haven’t gotten very far because we only have 15 minutes to teach and most of the time we have to teach both of them about the importance of prayer because they don’t get it, but it’s been a cool experience and we have really been blessed with the gift of tongues in our lessons

El Don de Langues (the gift of tongues)
It’s a real thing! Seriously, though. I see its power every day when I remember words and phrases that I haven’t spoken since junior high and things just stick much better out here. This doesn’t mean ya'll can stop praying for me, though. I can feel your prayers every day helping me get my message across in the most inconvenient ways imaginable. When I can’t find the words, I just work my way around until it makes sense. But it’s coming, slowly, but surely.
24 Hour Fast
It was Fast Sunday this week, which means we didn’t have to write talks (which I was very happy about)! I decided to start my fast after lunch on Saturday and continue until dinner on Sunday. I was the only one in the district who decided to fast for a good 24 hours, but I figured this was the last time I’d be able to fast like this before I get out in the field where they make sure you are staying hydrated. I was a little bummed out when lunch came around and they made macaroni and cheese and had ice cream for dessert. It was very hard to resist, but I just kept thinking that I had better have some sweet blessings if I’m going to miss out on the ice cream!

The Book of Mormon reading has been going well. I’ve been translating the Spanish copy they gave us at the beginning of the week, and it’s taking forever but I am learning more and more every day. I also decided to buy a copy of the BOM in English at la tienda so I can mark up a new copy. I was really against this at the beginning, but after trying it out for a few chapters, I decided I am getting more out of my BOM reading now than I was before. I came up with a really cool way to mark it as well. I made a marking key at the front of the book and I’ve been using the YW value colors to mark phrases I like and color them based on the value colors. I’m really enjoying it, and I’m not very far but it gets my head thinking a little more. I have also been changing the names if they could pertain to me personally. For example, 1 Nephi 1:1 says, “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents . . . and I will write, “I, Amanda, having been . . .” So, if you are wanting to try something new, do this. It’s pretty cool.

Movie Night
On Sunday we had movie night and it was different than the usual movies we watch. I think it was called "A Rare Possession" and it is a really old movie. It started out a little different, but it got better toward the end. It was a story about an Italian minister who was a scholar of the Bible. He moved to New York to go to school and preach at the Italian branch there. One day he came upon a Book of Mormon, but it was very old and used. The title of the book was completely worn and the first few pages were ripped out so he didn’t know what the book was called or who wrote it. He restored the rest of the book since it was very dirty, and began reading. Soon, he started answering questions from his congregation using the book because the bible couldn’t answer their questions. He began using this book to teach the members of his church and got in trouble. He was told to either burn the book or be removed from the priesthood. He had taken Moroni’s challenge in Chapter 10—he had prayed about the book and he knew it was true, so he was removed from the priesthood. After returning to Italy, he researched the book and came up with the Mormons and BYU. He wrote a letter to the president of BYU and asked for missionaries to come to his house in Sicily to baptize him. He waited and waited and finally, 10 years before he died, he was baptized and was able to go to the Switzerland Temple. If you can find this movie, watch it. It was pretty interesting.

Being an Investigator
In one of our manuals, it asked us to write down a profile for someone we know who is inactive or not a member. I decided to write about someone I know because I feel like her story is different and she’s really one of the only inactive members I know much about. I just thought we were making profiles to talk about people we knew, but after writing their stories down, we shared them with the class and then picked one to practice with. Everyone had chosen people closer to their age and most of their lives weren’t too complicated. When I read mine, everyone wanted me to be the investigator. We took about an hour in class teaching the first lesson and it was one of the coolest experiences ever. Hermana Balderes (our teacher) asked me to pray and be in the mind-set of her and what her thoughts and feelings may be toward the church. Each person in the district drew a number for when they would be teaching with Hermana Balderes and then we started.

Hermana Balderes was the "senior companion" and the rest of the missionaries were the other companions since we don’t know as much Spanish. I was able to speak only English to respond to their questions in Spanish, and it was nice being able to express what I was feeling in English. When the first elder started, he asked me why I invited them to come over and I immediately thought about when we were at the Visitor’s Center and the sister missionaries asked us for a phone number of someone we knew that they could call. I used that to explain that the missionaries had called and that I was at a rough spot in my life and I decided to let them come over because it is what my mom would have wanted be to do. The spirit I felt was amazing in that lesson. I was able to act kind of how she would act and think how she probably thinks without really having a lot of background about her. I really felt like I was her when the missionaries were teaching and it was really special. At one point, when Hermana Page was teaching, I opened up to them a little and told them about my grandma passing away and how hard it was on me and the rest of the family. Hermana Page and I both broke down since her grandmother passed away recently as well. It was interesting putting myself in her shoes and feeling what she probably feels. I was really glad for the experience and so was the rest of the class. A lot of them came up afterwards and thanked me for sharing her story because there are a lot of people with similar situations and experiences that we’ll be teaching.

Please send awesome quotes when you email. I use them on the backs of letters and I am already running out of quotes. So please send concise, uplifting, awesome quotes every once in a while.

Please Write Me!
If you are a friend and are reading this, then you need to write me—okay? I like to hear lots about the outside world because we don’t get any of that out here. It’s a nice break to hear about dating, school, Utah, pretty much anything that doesn’t have to do with Spanish. Don’t get me wrong—we are having a real nice time here, but if you thought that Utah county was a bubble, just come over here and see how it is here! The teachers won’t even tell us about their spouses or girlfriends. So, please write! You’ll be glad ya did!

Love you all!
Until next week . . .

Hermana Nelson

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