In precisely two weeks I will be en route to Fort Lauderdale. That is unREAL. Time has passed so quickly! Tomorrow I will have been here for one month! Only seventeen more to go! Life is weird. Time is weird. Everything is awesome. Despite the difficulties of trying to teach in another language, life in the CCM has never been happier. Fortunately, it is becoming a wee bit easier to focus every day because our impending departure draws ever closer and Hermano Candia tries to bring us back to that reality every single day. It is much easier to focus on the task at hand when you think about the real people with whom you will be interacting in the future and when you remember that what you do now will matter so much then.
We had our first ‘real’ TRC last week, and were extremely excited when we saw that our room contained an unfamiliar face – to be plain, we were going to be teaching a non-employee/non-missionary!! We were then informed that we were teaching in a quad with Hs. Buhman y Jones and after saying a quick prayer together we marched in with confidence. Unfortunately, no one gave our man any directions and we quickly learned that he was in the bishopric in his ward and that he loved feeling the Spirit while we were praying and while he was in the temple. Great. Trying to not be phased by this unusual turn of events, we tried to press forward and share a message about Jesus Christ. To our dismay, however, each time after any of us spoke, he would simply say, ”Gracias, Hermana”, and then proceed to correct our Español. I don’t think that he knew we were supposed to be teaching him a lesson, so that was a wee bit awkwardo (that isn’t real Spanish, just so you know). Hopefully this week will be a bit more successful.
We have little weather widjets on our computers, so I’ve been checking the weather in Rolla lately! Dad, you’re supposed to be getting rain all this week! Your weather is actually rather similar to Fort Lauderdale’s lately. You can certainly have some of our rain if you want it though. Holy Moses, I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced more torrential and frequent downpours. Last week it was raining and hailing (almost quarter-sized) sideways and our sidewalks all turned into little raging rapids (Hno. Candia’s paper boat fared rather well in it). I am thankful for the rain here, though. None of the buildings have air conditioning – including our casas – but usually it’s mild enough because of the rain clouds that it isn’t too bothersome. There are windows everywhere which keeps things comfortable, naturally light, and beautiful, though. I love it.
We do service every Monday morning and are always directed by one of the workers here at the CCM for our activity. Our first one was cleaning bleachers in the gymnasium and we were lead by a wonderful man named Javier. Ever since that activity, he comes up to us every day at mealtimes and gives us all fist bumps and tells us about his life. He is a wonderful person. He also likes to inform us every time we eat chicken that doing so will give us wings. I guess that we’ll be beautiful chicken angels to our investigators? That’s what we think he tells us, anyway. He talks pretty fast and it’s always loud in the comedor, but he’s either saying that or that the chickens we’re consuming are up in heaven singing. Everyone here is so friendly and joyful! It’s just part of their nature to smile and be friendly – Americans could take a few notes from the Mexico City natives.
On Sunday we had a few excellent lessons and did a twenty-four hour fast! It was awesome! During our Relief Society lesson, we were proposed with an interesting concept. Hna. Pratt, the CCM presidente’s wife, related our lives to a pattern of Gardens of Eden and Lone and Dreary Worlds (forgot to write down the scripture reference). She described how before our missions we were certainly in the Garden of Eden – living with our families and having them take care of us. We then entered the Lone and Dreary World, a.k.a. the CCM, and had to immediately adapt to a new and difficult lifestyle. It certainly did feel lonely and dreary for the first week, but after making it through the hardest part, it quickly became my Garden of Eden – no dishes, wonderful people, and a joyful cause. Now our next Lone and Dreary World is quickly approaching – the mission field. This pattern is a testimony to me that any difficult place can become a Garden of Eden with time and with a willingness to adapt. We can truly find happiness wherever the Lord chooses to send us if we are willing to follow Him.
A few quick happy moments:
°We got to go to the Mexco City Visitor’s Center today!!!!!!!!! It was beautiful. Unfortunately, the temple is closed for refurbishment until next year (SUPER LAME), but we still got to enjoy the Centro de Visitantes in all of its glory. It was so awesome to leave the compound! Hno. Candia got to come with us too, so we all took some lovely ‘family’ pictures (those should come next week).
°My good friend Elder Taylor (Stewart) arrived this week! So good to see him. We now have five members of the old Provo YSA 114th ward here! A ward picture should be on its way soon.
°This week we discovered the joys of spending our gym time at the ping pong table. You’d be surprised at how big of a work out it is, running around the whole room.
°We watched the Testaments on Sunday – awesome movie! Again, countless giggles at the ‘flirting’ from the missionaries. We are babies.
° A butterfly with a ten inch wingspan lived on our ceiling for two days. We named him Kevin. Hno. Candia arrived to class one day and we quickly probed him to find out if it had a special name in Spanish. He took one look at it out our classroom window and ran away saying, ”Oh, es muy mal.” We urgently asked, ”But what do you call it?!” Without missing a beat, he replied, ”El Diablo.” I attached a picture for your viewing pleasure, but it’s hard to understand how big it really was without some sort of size comparison. Hopefully he comes back soon so I can compare it with my hand.
If you want to understand why my subject line says, ”Shower! Shower!”, you should look up Elder Octaviano Tenorio’s general conference from October 2007. He came on Sunday and gave us an awesome Sunday school class and showed us his general conference talk too. He shared an excellent message about faith and the power in the scriptures.
Lessons are going great! I love you guys! Write me stuff!