I have now officially been here at the CCM (Mexico City MTC) for 10 days! How insane is that? I have had so many wonderful experiences already that I could never fit them all into just one email, so I guess I´ll just have to tell you all about them in person in 18 months.
First of all, Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t email you on Wednesday (Note from Savannah: We were originally told her P-day was going to be Wednesday, but didn’t hear from her until today). My first day here, they closed my district because we were so small. I was originally in a trio, but Hermana Christensen got bumped into another companionship, so it’s just me and Hermana Jensen now. We’re both from Utah and we’re both going to the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission, so that’s muy bueno. We live in a little casa on campus, and there’s supposed to be four hermanas in a room but there’s just two of us. As a result, I now have an extra pillow and blanket to sleep with a night. One could say I’ve been very blessed indeed. Anyway, as a result of having our district close, we were moved into a new district and thus got a new P-Day.
The español is coming along much faster than I would have guessed! Just two days after arriving, we taught our first lesson to an “investigator”, and it went surprisingly well. We’ve now taught all the lessons, which is just insane to believe is possible after having only studied the language for about a week. All I can say is that the gift of tongues is real! At the end of our last lesson, Hermano de Santiago pulled us aside and told us we didn’t need to be so nervous when teaching the lesson because our language was doing great. It was so nice to hear that, because some days you feel like you could speak all day in the new language, and some days you’re not sure if you learned anything and it’s really hard.
The food here is also great! Hermana Jensen and I have already determined that by the time we leave, we will be VERY fat, but then we can lose all our weight when we get to the field.
I’ve had some funny experiences here already. On Sunday, we had interviews with our Branch, and the assistant to the Branch president was interviewing me. He doesn’t speak a lot of English, but he asked me what my ethnicity is because I looked Latin American. I just laughed and told him I was half-Filipino. But a lot of the Latin missionaries have asked me if my last name is Spanish since I’ve been here. I think they’re a little confused because I look like a Mexican but my companion is blonde and has green eyes, so obviously I’m not a local. I hope they weren’t too disappointed.
Our Sister-Training-Leaders are the absolute best! We give them hugs everytime we see them. One of our teachers loves giving the missionaries hugs, but of course you can’t hug the Hermanas, so he gives us “special handshakes” where we shake hands, do a hand hug, then a fist bump with sound effects. It’s funny, but we’re a little hug deprived, hence why we hug our Sister-Training-Leaders all the time.
Most of the Hermanas here are going Stateside. I’ve only met two other missionaries going to Bolivia, and most of the missionaries who flew in here with us are going to either Peru, Uruguay, or Paraguay. It looks like Bolivia is a pretty rare mission indeed!
One day, Hermana Jensen and I were walking down the street when some of the Latin missionaries pulled us aside and asked if one of them could practice his English with us. We said sure, and after asking the typical “where are you from, where are you going” questions, he got to one that he refused to ask. After arguing with his buddy for a few seconds, he then turns to us and says, “He wants to know if you’ll wait for him!”. It was funny but a little awkward, so Hermana Jensen was just like, “Um, page 33 of the mission manual, guys.” (Basically no relationships on the mish). The guys laughed and then asked if we had anyone waiting for us, to which we just said no, or at least none that we know of. It was pretty funny afterwards.
We did meet one Elder who’s actually from Bolivia, Santa Cruz, and when he found out that’s where we’re going, he got super excited. Apparently his mom has been cooking for the sister missionaries there for 18 years, and he wants us to contact her for him when we get there.
Tomorrow, we will have one month left at the CCM until we head out to Bolivia! Even though we still know very little Spanish, we’re all so excited to get out of here and do some real missionary work! The Spirit is so strong here at the CCM, my testimony has grown exponentially. I was labled at the “most excited missionary” when we first arrived, and all I could think when I heard that was, “Well, yeah! How can you be unhappy when you’re doing the Lord’s work?” This is probably the happiest I’ve ever been, and even though we literally live in a classroom from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM and we study all day long, I feel so grateful to be here and I wouldn’t change anything for a minute.
I hope you are all doing just dandy!