Week 3: Guadalupe, Daniel and Nachooooooooo!

¡Familia!
Just like that, my time here at the CCM is already half over – I leave in precisely three weeks! It is truly remarkable how much the Spirit aids the learning process here. Fortunately, all of our teachers are natives to Mexico and literally speak no English to us, unless they are asking us how to say a word in English for their own learning benefit. We are all in the learning process together which is a very interesting thing. I just love it. We currently have three ‘investigators’ that we’re working with: Guadalupe, Daniel, and Nacho. The fact that one of them is named Nacho brought up a whole stream of wonderful quotes from an excellent movie that we all know and love (or should). Go watch it for me.
We’ve had a lot of interesting, yet random experiences this week. Even when he’s not being Beethoven, Elder Wolfe always keeps us on our toes. Just this week he went to the hospital because of a too intense soccer game, jumped out of and back into a window, and gave a fabulous rock concert rendition of (Master, the Tempest is Raging).
Dad: thanks SO MUCH for the news about the world cup! We did find out from the news that Germany was victorious (I haven’t been able to get the German national anthem out of my head ever since), but I wasn’t given many details. I kept intending to ask you all about it, but would always forget amid the stresses of writing everything in an hour! How was the Netherlands v.s. Argentina game?? So excited for the details of the final – THANKS! ALSO, oddly enough, Elder Robishaw in my district reminds me so much of you! He is a super hard worker and is very serious about learning and not wasting time, but he has this hilarious streak that comes out more and more every day. I have a feeling that if you were the same age you would be buds. Your humor is very similar.
Alaska sounds fantastic! Hopefully I make it out there eventually! I haven’t quite enough time to read all the details now, but I will later today! Thanks for the pictures (more of all of you would be great!)!
Emily: Sorry that I couldn’t reply directly to your e-mail last week. THANK YOU FOR THE DEFINITIONS. They’ve kept me up at night. That and the raucous parties that go on outside the compound on the weekends from the first sign of dark until literally seven in the morning. I love it though. Helps remind us that we actually are in the real world.
I absolutely love my district. We’re still having some difficulties with a couple sisters, but at least one isn’t screaming at the other in class or at home anymore! We had to intervene last week, can’t remember if I told you, and the Branch President has recently gotten involved (he was out of town last week), so hopefully things will continue to improve. Otherwise, District 7-E is pretty perfect. I don’t know how we will let go of each other in three weeks. Especialmente without hugging each other. My district leader, Elder Frodsham, is a huge example. He has an amazing story to share and his dedication is inspiring. His companion, Elder Blaylock, is the same way. Last week we had TRC, which is usually teaching with a volunteer or real investigator but because it was our first one we just taught a more senior district, in which our companionships were all switched up out of nowhere. I got to teach with Herm. Jones (Brother & Sister Gale’s granddaughter)! We were super successful, and afterwards we convened in our aula with Hno. Candia. He sat down and just stared at us for a while, making us all think we had been below the bar, but once he started talking all he could keep saying was our Spanish was WOW (way better than the more senior missionaries by whom we were taught and whom we taught, haHA!). He went out and bought us candy that night – Mini Mamuts – which tasted like the ambrosia of the Gods because we ate it while relishing in his praise. I shouldn’t be too proud because I’m nowhere near where I need to be to be in the field, but hooray for progress! Herm. Madsen and I are really hitting our stride. After a less than successful lesson last week (they’ve begun timing us which makes it easy to lose your head – fifteen minutes goes by amazingly fast), we both have been praying hard to prepare and teach with the Spirit. Our last several lessons have been ¡super bien! It’s terrifying, but we’re going in without any notes and nothing written out beforehand and are just trying to be prepared to teach anything based on needs or interests.
Spanish is hard. English is hard. Everything is hard. But it’s definitely all worth it. Thank goodness for preparation day – without it I’d be a petrified tree or a dead duck – because we use it to play games with our district, do laundry, catch up on journal writing, and prepare more lessons (sometimes to my chagrin, to be honest – my companion is a huge stickler, but were trying to help each other balance out).
I still haven’t had to speak in church yet – did I tell you that every sacrament meeting is conducted entirely in Spanish? Probably. Everything that isn’t Spanish or the Gospel in my short term memory is evaporating – thank goodness I made a commitment to write in my journal every day!
This truly has been a joyful week. It’s difficult to find the balance between stretching your bowstring so tight that you might snap and leaving it too loose – does that make sense to anyone but my brain? On Sunday we got to hear a really fantastic devotional from Elder Holland (no cool general authorities actually come here, but at least we get to see recordings of when they go to Provo). He gave some really fantastic reminders of who we are, how big this work is, and how much we represent. It is easy to forget that this is real life, but he told us that this is as real as life gets with a capital R and a capital L, and that we will truly have the opportunity to eternally change lives, not only while being set apart missionaries for la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días (it’s a mouthful to say at someone’s doorstep), but for the rest of our lives. He makes me so excited to get out there, but reminded me that this is no small task to be taken lightly. Every day I am learning not only how to bring others closer to Christ, but how to bring myself closer as well. We still have so much to learn, yet His unconditional love for us is a truly beautiful and motivating thing. Cool snippet from Holland: no phrase appears more in the Libro de Mormón than “they taught with great power and authority” and it frequently refers to young missionaries (Helaman 5 – 8000 isn’t a bad number, am I right?). It gives us hope that we can become what the Lord needs us to be – the best missionaries the world has ever seen.
Every day I am inspired by the small things. Your e-mails mean so much. By the way, I sent a postcard to both Mook and Em last Tuesday – should get to the states in the next couple of days. I am trying hard to keep up with everything, but an hour is so short! I love you guys and am already looking forward to hearing from you next week!
Much love,
Hermana Burdett

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