Hola! I’m finally here at the Mexico City MTC.
The weather is gorgeous! The plants, grass, and trees around the MTC are beautiful.
There are mosquitos EVERYWHERE though, but they´re not aggressive. I got bit a lot in the beginning, but ever since I´ve been diligently taking my Vitamin B1 supplement, I haven´t had any problems.
I´m also glad that I brought the probiotics. My companion felt a little sick yesterday. They did have an epidemic a few weeks ago, so they´ve told us not to shake hands, to wash our hands frequently, and to be smart.
The food here is AMAZING! I feel like I am in paradise with all the fruits and vegetables they serve here. YUM!
Here´s a typical day at the CCM for me this past week:
6:15am levantarse [Time to get up!]
7:00am desyuno [Breakfast]
7:30am personal study
8:30am-11:30am classes (Preach My Gospel, Español, practicing what we´re learning, etc.)
11:30am personal study
1:00pm language study
3:00pm prepare for next activity
3:30pm TALL (technology assisted language learning program)
4:30pm companionship study
5:00pm plan for the next day
6:30pm personal or companionship study
7:30pm teach investigator
8:00pm more study
9:20pm zone hymn and prayer
9:30pm journal and prepare for bed
My Spanish is coming along well. I now read my Predicad Mi Evangelio [Preach My Gospel] and mi Escrituras [scriptures] en Espanol (with my English versions on the side). My district also set the goal to speak only Spanish before 12:00pm. It´s not easy, but it forces us to use what we know and think about how we can speak en Espanol.
I love my district. There are 4 hermanas and 8 elders total, and they are absolutely amazing. We are like one big happy family. All of the sisters and most of the elders are going to the Utah Provo Mission as well. (Except for two elders going to Saint George and another one going to El Salvador.)
This week has been full of new things. On Thursday I gave my first public prayer in complete Spanish – it was really scary and I was shaking afterwards, but now that I´ve been saying all my personal, district, companionship, and other prayers in Espanol, it´s not as formidable anymore. I actually want to speak and read and sing and do everything in Spanish. (So if I start writing in Espanol, you´ll know why.)
On Friday Hermana McDermaid (my wonderful companion) and I taught our first lesson to an investigator (Jacobo). He only understands Spanish, so we had to use the Spanish we´ve learned so far (and the help of the Spirit) to do it. At the end of the lesson, as I bore my testimony of President Thomas S. Monson, I felt an overwhelming feeling encompass me, and I started crying. I knew the words that I was speaking were true. With the first few lessons we did, we wrote out what we were going to say almost word for word, but now I am working on learning the vocabulary and certain phrases in Espanol, so I can bear witness of these topics from my heart. I was excited when I could look at Jacobo more than at my notes and just explain the Plan of Salvation in my own words. (Btw, using scriptures in your lesson, especially the Book of Mormon, and bearing testimony through the lesson works wonders in bringing the Spirit.)
It´s true — for Sunday, we all wrote a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then President Gil called missionaries on the spot to come up and give a talk. Even though I wasn´t called on to give a talk, I´m grateful that the CCM has us do that. The things I wrote helped me understand el don del espiritu santo better, and it helps us explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 5 minutes. As I listened to the talks, it amazed me how much I was understanding! Hermana McDermaid and I (and the other hermanas) were talking about this earlier today – it´s amazing that we´ve been here for only a little over a week and we can understand a good amount of Spanish.
I’ve got to go now. The scripture for the week is 1 Nefi 1. We read through this on Monday and discussed how we as missionaries are like Nephi (born of goodly parents, have afflictions, and are learning a new language) and Lehi (bearing witness of the truth to others, pray and receive revelation), and how our investigators are like Nephi, Lehi, and their families as well.