Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Week 3!"

From 7 July 2015

Hermanas Glauser & Houghton

I'm not going to lie, the CCM is the best!  It's also super-hard and I spend 12+ hours per day learning Spanish and such.  But it's great :)  

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been a whirlwind of learning, growing, eating, not-eating (fast sunday), and Spiritual growth.  I have now graduated to a third-weeker (that's what they call it, even though we've only been here for a week-and-a-half) and while the classes are getting harder and they're asking us to plan more and study harder than ever, it is great.  My investigator from the first week (we taught him 5 lessons) became our afternoon teacher on Friday, and it was super-weird.  His name is Hermano Osorio and he pushes us (and checks-in to make sure we're working) to plan more and work more diligently to learn Spanish and prepare ourselves spiritually as well.  Hermano Soto (my morning teacher) and Hermano Osorio (my afternoon teacher) are acting as investigators that we teach every other day (one on each day) named "Giovanny"and "Juan Jose." On Thursday my companion and I have a "field trip" to finish up getting our visas (there's an extensive process once you get here in Mexico to get all the paperwork cleared up), and then in the afternoon we are doing our first TRC.  TRC is when you teach a volunteer investigator who may be a real investigator, a less-active, or a member.  Of course, all of our lessons are in Spanish, and I think we have improved quite a bit since lesson 1, but it still takes quite some time to explain things, and talking to Latinos when they're speaking at normal speed is quite difficult.  Our teachers talk slowly and simply so we understand most of what they are saying, but lately they have begun to ramp up the speed so we get used to listening to normal-speed Spanish.

Anyway, we did celebrate the 4th of July here.  There are actually a lot of Americans, since most of the Latinos who come through only spend 2 weeks, and the Americans are here 6.  The Comedor staff made hamburgers and apple pie for lunch, and a fruit tray of coconut, watermelon, and blueberries arranged as an American flag.  Then, in the middle of comida (lunch), some elders placed a tiny American flag atop the drink machine and began proudly singing the National Anthem.  The Americans all stood up and sang along, and the Latinos took pictures. Then, they didn't feed us dinner or breakfast because of fast Sundays.  You should have heard the elders complaining about the 24 hour fast!

My District

In other news, I realized that my guessing of Minnesota mission calls has finally yielded results.  My entire district (except for my companion) is going to Minnesota Spanish-speaking!  It took me long enough to realize...  So that's what's happening here.  Oh! and my district played basketball and tennis this morning for our P-Day, because my companion LOVES tennis, but there are only 3 raquets.  The grounds here are spacious and beautiful, and there are tennis courts, a few fields, a track, several basketball and volleyball courts, a work-out room with stationary bikes, a weight-room, and a full gym (and foosball and ping-pong).  So we stay busy and have a lot of fun.

On a more spiritual note, this Sunday we got to listen to Elder Bednar's MTC devotional, "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary," and it was awesome!  The prophets are so inspired, and being a missionary puts you right in-line for their excellent counsel and advice.  Also, I've joined the choir here.  We only sing for our Tuesday evening devotionals, but it's all in Spanish, and it's pretty fun.  Oh! BTW, on Sunday nights we get to watch a "movie" (usually a church-bible video) and this Sunday we watched "The Testament".  Some of you  may have seen it, it's about a fictionalized story of a boy and his poor decisions in the Americas right before Christ visits.  Anyway, there is a bit of romance and kissing (very pg), but it was SO funny to be in a room full of missionaries for it!  My companion said "I felt like I needed to close my eyes or something!".  Anyway, I trust all is going well in the U.S!  I did hear that Elder Packer died, which is very sad.  We will probably watch his funeral here on Sunday or something.

I hope you all are having a fantasmical Summer!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton (#3)

P.S. I apologize for this random conglomeration of thoughts and experiences...

This is our House.  It's adorable.  And PEACH! colored.

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