Thursday, August 27, 2015
This week flew by which is a good. We have the exact same 16 hour schedule every day so it can get a little bit monotonous. Every now and then the whole CCM will have different fast days. So far we have had a "worldly fast" where we aren't allowed to talk about anything from home, a "no complaining fast" (my personal favorite), and an "English fast" (we couldn't speak English for an entire day), the hardest one by far. That was a very quiet day in the CCM for sure. Last Friday we received notice from one of the teachers that we were having an emergency meeting with President Gonzalez, he is president of the CCM. So of course we all assumed the worst and nervously walked to the chapel where we would be meeting him. But long story short Elder Bednar is here today! He will be speaking to about 800 missionaries in the stake center next door later today. President gave us packets with talks from Bednar that we needed to study. We have learned that Elder Bednar is a very interactive speaker and today's meeting will be an open questionnaire. He also is very intense and blunt when speaking to missionaries so we are a little bit nervous to ask him questions. I am super excited though it should be great! Yesterday we had to drive to immigration about an hour away from the CCM. It wasn't too eventful but we all got super car sick because driving on these roads is a little hectic. Lima is a massive city from just a short drive. Sooo many people. Being here hasn't been easy but its been a lot of fun! I just always try to keep a super positive attitude and know that whatever I am struggling with is only temporary.
Please pray for me to receive the gift of tongues! We watched a video and Elder Bednar's wife told the missionaries to have their families pray for them to receive the gift of tongues. My brain feels like its going to explode after 9 hours of class in only Spanish. Almost all of us can completely understand the teachers and communicate on a basic level but I still need your prayers!
Anyway I don't have too much time today! But I miss everyone so much!
Love you all,
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Every day here feels like an eternity. Our schedules are jam packed with hours and hours of classes and workshops. Not a minute is wasted and I have never been more exhausted in my life!
I sat by Elder Norman and Elder Droubay on the flight form Atlanta to Lima. When our bus pulled into the CCM elder Norman said, "Welcome to the life as a gringo, just smile and pretend you know what they are saying." Those were some wise words no doubt.
We checked in at the CCM at 3 am and sat in a classroom singing spanish hymns for 30 minutes while some Peruvian supervisors were weighing luggage. It was definitely a test of our patience, all 45 or so of us were zombies. Finally at 4am we were assigned bunks and just a short 3 hours later alarms were blaring... 45 zombies were assigned name tags and companions.
My companion is Hermana Spainhower and she is from Payson! We get along super well and have a lot of fun together. People comment on how close we are and it's great. I'm grateful that the first person I have to spend every second with is her!
Here at the CCM they have little mini houses with two couches and a lamp inside complete with a "bienvenidos" floor mat. We have to teach lessons in spanish to our "investigator" Carlos in his house and it is the hardest thing we have to do here. We actually haven´t learned grammar or too many words and it is extremely hard to have to speak spanish with him. We have 9 hours of class a day and I am very confused the majority of the time....along with most of the other missionaries. Some of our teachers don't speak english and sometimes we have to play a few games of charades. But little by little we pick up more and more!
My favorite part of the day is easily physical activity (: I play soccer with all of the elders on the full sized turf soccer field that they have. I'm pretty sure I am one of the very few gringos that has played soccer before and it's kind of fun to kick some elders butts occasionally (; I think the latinos like me because they always want to talk to me about futbol. It's good spanish practice for sure.
Oh and the food...The food is pretty good and you're allowed to skip rice. So I haven't eaten any rice. :) Also one time I got this mystery meat that ended up being ground up liver. I was dry heaving it was so nasty! You're not allowed to waste food so I made it look like I had finished my plate. Also, mom you would be so proud because I only eat veggies and chicken because it's safe and always good. Also I never drink the sugary juice...only water. So if I gain weight, then something is wrong.
Today is our first p day! It was a mental and emotional boost for sure. We woke up at 5:30 and exited the CCM. It was liberating I have to admit. Sometimes I feel like a big fish in a tiny fish bowl and no matter what direction I swim in there will always be a 15 foot wall to block my path. We packed into a tiny little sardine city bus and drove to the temple. At the temple there was not an English word said. It was a little bit of an adventure trying to understand what in the world was going on. The peruvian people are amazing! They always are so eager to talk to us but the language barrier is ever so present.
After returning to the CCM we saw our mission president and his wife!! That was soooooo exciting! I almost wanted to cry because they are just such warm and loving people! Only 5 more weeks until I see them again!
On Sunday we had sacrament meeting in Spanish but our lesson was in English and it was so refreshing to hear my native language (: The teacher was a senior missionary from Cedar City, UT. He gave an awesome lesson and shared something one of his previous latina missionaries had said while he was serving as a mission president in mexico. This latina missionary said, "Cuando cask sea obedient, cask recibira la benediction." This translates to: "When we are almost obedient, we almost receive blessings.
There are so many rules that come with being a missionary and most of them are very easy to follow but others sometimes seem irrelevant or petty. But at the CCM we have talked a lot about exact obedience and how important it really is. I definitely get very frustrated with the language and I think all of us missionaries just wish we could grasp onto everything we are taught or give amazing lessons. But it is only when we make that commitment to become the Lord's instruments that we are able to see success and fulfill our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ.
I love you all so much and think about everyone back home so often! (probably too often) I am also realizing how little time we are able to email friends and family. So if you can, just send me an email that I can respond to in my long letters because there is just not enough time to write emails to all of my awesome cute friends! love you all and hope everything is going well.