I didn't have time last week to write a summary of the week, so I'll be doing that now.
The flight from San Jose to Dallas went alright. I read about half of Our Search for Happiness on the flight there. I was about to reach for the magazines but remembered just in time that I wasn't supposed to read it. When I got to Dallas, I had to take the shuttle to the different terminal. When I got to the terminal, I met up with a bunch of Elders and Sisters who were going off to various places. On the flight from Dallas to Mexico City, I finished up Our Search for Happiness and talked to a grandmother and mother who were sitting next to me. I didn't really share the gospel with them, but I did brush up on my Spanish a bit. When we got to the airport, we went through customs...all my bags were there thankfully. One of the sisters lost one of her bags. We then took a van to the MTC (el CCM). It was a pretty sketchy ride over, the other elders and sisters were a little scared with some near misses, but our family trip to Puerto Vallarta the year before prepared me for the sporadic driving. When we got to the CCM, we had Costco Pizza for dinner, got our nametags, and all our materials. I also had to get a Tetanus Booster, but it was fine.
The first couple days were just filled with orientation classes -- security, schedule, worthiness, etc -- and it was difficult to stay on top of things.night, we watched a MTC Devotional address from Elder Holland. It was pretty inspiring. As Schmidt would say...CHILLS! My favorite part was probably when he said My mission meant EVERYTHING to me. Everything good that has occurred in my life can be pointed back to the preparation from my mission. It was awesome. Afterwards, we ate dinner and then watched The Testaments. Every and , we watch a devotional address and then we also watch a church movie Night before heading back to our casas.
It's amazing how much you feel the spirit in the CCM. Not only do you feel awesome because of it, but you are able to learn a lot faster. We had our first lesson with a guy named Carlos. It was extremely difficult, especially to do it all in Spanish.
So, my district.
- Elder L - from Utah...going to Nicaragua (my companion and also a Zone Leader)
- Elder R - from Southern California...going to Nicaragua (District Leader)
- Elder N - Tongan from Hawaii...going to Nicaragua
- Elder N - from Utah...going to Nicaragua
- Elder S - Saoman from Utah...going to Nicaragua
- Hermana F- from North Carolina...going to Denver, Colorado
- Hermana M - from Utah...going to Honduras (comuylanga or something like that)
- Hermana B - from Ohio...went to BYU...going to El Salvador
- Hermana C - from Idaho...graduated from U of Utah...going to El Salvador
- Me - from California...going to Honduras (Zone Leader with Elder Lau)
Right now, there is only one other district in our zone. They are really cool too, but I won't list them here. Every Elder in my district is going to the same mission, but there are two elders going to my mission that live in my casa. They are Elders J and G. Elder R is our District Leader...he is awesome, he is going to be a great missionary. Elder L and I are the Zone Leaders for our Branch. My companion was a little too excited after we received the call. He was saying stuff, but I calmed him down and helped him to not be so in your face with the leadership position with the other elders in our casa.
Pretty much everyday, we study PMG (or Predicar Mi Evangelio), las Escrituras, y Español in books and TALL (basically missionary computer language program). At night, we teach a lesson to an investigator. Throughout the day, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is really good here. Lunch is the best meal of the day...it is also the biggest meal. We also have GYM fromto around . We have planning session at so we leave gym a little later than . We play ping pong, basketball, volleyball, and workout. Hermana B ran track at BYU so she just runs for the whole time and then says its too short and she wants to run more.
It seems like we've been here for months, but the days go by very fast. They all just mesh together. On New Year's Eve, we didn't even really know it was a holiday until our teacher told us there would be a lot of noise that night. We couldn't sleep. It was super loud, fireworks were going off, the church fires blanks with a cannon, gunshots, etc. The noise was pretty much. Oh ya, gunfire doesn't really bother us anymore. We usually here 2 or 3 gunshots minimum per night.
We finished this week by going to the Mexico City Temple. It was beautiful. The architecture was similar to the Aztec temples. Right when you walk in, their is a HUGE mural of Christ visiting the Americas (the one that's in pretty much every copy of the Book of Mormon). The session was good and we all had a great time. Unfortunately, it will be closed for the next year and a half to two years for renovation. We were the last set of missionaries to go. It closes. I'm grateful I got to attend.
The weather in Mexico City is kind of like Carmel actually. It's cold in the mornings, but heats up to high 60s and low 70s by the afternoon. Unlike Carmel, there is no fog, just smog. The first couple days we got here, every time we went outside we could smell the pollution. I don't even recognize it anymore. We are all used to it, I guess.
By the way, the Spanish keyboard is difficult to type with so please be patient with my spelling. I can't find the quotes so quotes are italicized. Also, my English spelling and grammar will probably go down the drain as well especially when I get to Honduras.
Well, that's all I have for this week. ¡Adios!
CCM 12/27/13 - 1/2/14
Dinner from Costco upon arrival at CCM--Bueno!
Bunk Beds at CCM--"Gunshots don't really bother us anymore. We hear 2-3 per night."
The Mexico City Temple
Elder Lund and his District--the last group of Missionaries to attend the Mexico City Temple before it closes for a renovation project for two years. What a blessing for them to be able to attend!