¡Familia y amigos!
Here in the CCM, we’ve developed a new catch phrase to describe the crazy excitement we have to feel in order to avoid extremely overwhelming feelings. Whenever anyone asks district 7-E ¿Cómo está? the response is ALWAYS ¡Super bien!. All of our native teachers just laugh and laugh at us because of our ridiculous American ways, even though it is proper Spanish (we think).
I have had yet another wild, rip-roarin’ week here in the heart of El Ciudad de Mexicó! Being a Sister Training Leader is way harder than I anticipated. Though I am confident that Herm. Madsen and I were called for a reason, because the only problems we’ve had with any sisters in our Branch have been with the companionship that happens to share our room. What a coincidence! Thanks a lot, Holy Ghost. This week has probably been the most stressful of my whole life, but, fortunately, the last two days have been my happiest here! Basically, these two Herms. were having so many issues compromising and being kind and simply being in the same room together, that one of them was seriously considering going home because the other always makes rude comments and yells at her. It has been a trial keeping them here. There were two pretty serious incidents on Saturday, during which we had to intervene. It has been so difficult to show love to them both and to know how to most appropriately handle the situation. I have never prayed so much in my life for answers. We want so badly to do what the Lord would, but it is difficult to know in such a sensitive situation. I am pleased to report, however, that things have been significantly improved! We have been encouraging them to pray together and for each other and have been trying to gently remind them why they are here (TO LOVE OTHER PEOPLE), but it is still difficult every day. Fortunately we have our thirdish party observers, our Branch Presidency and our Zone Leaders, who were all able to give good advice and are fantastic people. Enough of this craziness.
We finished with our first ‘investigator’, Esdras, last week after teaching him five lessons. Fortunately, he was a trooper to make it through five 20-30 minute intervals of VERY broken Spanish, and he accepted our invitation to get baptized after he quit his addiction to drugs! The days after we completed our fifth with him, we walked into our classroom for a ‘big’ surprise: there was Esdras standing there in a suit and a name tag that read ´Hermano Candia¨- he is our newest instructor! He is one of the happiest and kindest people I have ever encountered, and I am so pleased that we get to learn so much from him every day! He just got home from his mission rather recently and is an artist who makes prosthetic teeth (maybe he made mine)! We all just adore him, but, Holy Moses, he speaks faster than the rain falls here in Mexico City [which is probably faster than bullets exiting a machine gun (maybe not, but the rain here certainly rivals the great rains of Missouri)]. We all just adore him.
We’ve begun teaching our next two ‘investigators’, Daniel and Guadalupe (Hermano Camacho and Hermano Candia both posing as real people they taught on their missions), which is an exciting thing! Our first lesson with Daniel was quite successful, probably our best so far, and we teach Guadalupe for the first time tomorrow. We have a couple of pretty musical Elders in our district, Elder Wolfe and Elder Pollock, who are arranging a lovely little rendition of Oh, creaciones del Señor (All Creatures of our God and King), which we are hoping to perform at a devotional in the coming weeks! We are auditioning this Friday, but seeing as we were the only ones signed up, I think our chances are pretty super bien.
Last week we had half a day without water! It turned off halfway through my extremely fast eight minute shower and didn’t turn on until about three o’clock. It was fun.
I wasn’t asked to speak in church, AGAIN. By the time the third speaker was finished, I started feeling like my talk was pretty solid (not because the first three did so poorly, but because I had been scrambling to finish it, I promise). Our topic was ‘Preserverar hasta el fin’ (enduring to the end), and I related ‘Brillan rayos de clemecia’ (Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy) to our lives. I realized that no matter what happens, we aren’t dead yet and that means we have to keep going. Whether we are the lighthouse keepers who brighten the beam to share with those who are faltering in the storm or the ships out at sea barely clinging to that beam of hope, each of us needs to keep moving forward in faith. Every day is a trial of faith, but it is so worth it.
I love you guys!
Final random story: we practice being missionaries and investigators with the other members of our district several times daily during class. When paired with Elder Wolfe, a goofball, Herm. Janes tried to extend the baptismal invitation to him in Spanish. He replied no because he was a famous musician who was too busy to read the scriptures or pray ever. She suggested that he pray before he begins and read during his breaks from conducting when his arms get sore. He simply responded, ‘What?’. After repeating herself twice, he replied, ‘I can’t hear you. I’m Beethoven!’. Leave it to Elder Wolfe to keep life interesting, though he claims that he’s just trying to make the situations more ‘realistic’. The other day he was a billionaire for me who owned 400 houses in Canada and was willing to drop a million dollars for tithing after his baptism.
CCM1 is a picture out the window of our house after it had been raining/hailing for literally ten minutes. TEN MINUTES. It rains here almost every day!
CCM2 is an attempt at a selfie of all of the girls in our district, but we cut Herm. Janes (my secret favorite) out on accident.
WE are only allowed to take pictures on P-day here. promise that I don’t wear the same outfit every day.
CCM3 is, yes, your eyes are not failing you, a picture of me posing with some Bimbo products outside of La Tienda (Mollie and Emily, this one’s for you).
CCM4 is Sister Madsen and I on a lovely bench!