Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#4 Mexico City MTC

Guess what I did this morning! We did a temple session in Spanish! I needed help near the end, but I was amazed at how much I understood throughout the endowment. I pray for el don de lenguas every morning and night and I think it´s really starting to kick in. While I was sitting in the Celestial room, I could picture Grandpa Skousen peeking around the corner and giving me a squinty little smile and in my head I could hear him say "hello princess!". I just know that he is thrilled that I´m in the temple, especially speaking Spanish. I love it so much, and I love the temple in Spanish! All the workers are so sweet and the other ladies in the session that we ran into in the dressing room shook all the hermana missionaries hands after and said hasta luego. There is so much love for the missionaries. I put Grandma Skousens name on the prayer roll, and I feel like every short sister in the temple is just a latina Abuela Skousen, and there are plenty short sisters. 

I really love my district. It hit me that I´m almost done with the CCM, and I don´t feel prepared at all. Hermana Martinez told the elders that our district was using week 2 Spanish, and we´re almost our third week. so it really freaked me out. Whenever I get more than a tiny bit discouraged, I lose all confidence in myself, and I tend to talk less and less. I´m working on getting over this, but it´s difficult, because I don´t like doing things that I don´t think I´m good at. Anyway, yesterday I was feeling a little down because I thought I was doing great and then we were told that we were two weeks behind.  We were having class in the morning with Hermano Sanchez, and we were all practicing teaching the third lesson in ten minutes with another missionary. It was one on one, so I didn´t have my companion with me to start things off, and I am just not conversational, in English or Spanish. So I sat there in the beginning, not sure how to apply this lesson to the fake investigator profile we had been given, and it didn´t help that Hermano Sanchez was kneeling next to Elder Baggs, who was supposed to by the fake investigator, waiting for me to say something. Hermana Sanchez always seems to picks up on when I lack confidence. He asked me which points I was going to teach of the lesson, and when I told him I honestly had no idea how or what to say, he said "No, that´s not true. You are a great missionary, and you know what to do." He told me that he and Hermana Martinez had discussed how I am always able to express myself in the lessons where Hermana Martinez plays our fake investigator, Mía, even when the lesson takes a turn that we didn´t plan on (which is often. This Mía character is difficult). He told me that Hna Martinez was amazed at how much Spanish I knew, and they wondered how to get me express myself during in class exercises. It was really nice hearing some good stuff, because we really only receive counsel on what we aren´t doing well or what we need to do  better. I guess subconsciously I assumed that because I wasn´t receiving good news, I must not be doing anything right. Turns out that whole two-weeks-behind thing didn´t apply to me, which I like. After this exercise, we were released on the CCM to do some "contacting". There were hoards of new Latino missionaries arriving at the CCM with their families, and we went up to them and asked if we could share our testimonies or share a quick message with them. It was so fun! For an 45 minutes or so, we talked to people arriving, and then we helped some Hermanas take their luggage to their casas, and we talked with them, all in Spanish. When the crowds dissipated, we talked to some of the maintenance guys. We bore our testimonies or shared messages thirteen  times, which put us in the lead, and you know I like winning. But it was just fun to see how much we could actually express.

Then, yesterday night, we had a devotional. It was Elder Walker of the 4th Quorum of the Seventy. He and his wife are Argentinian, and she gave a short little testimony before he spoke, which he translated for us. I was struck with how powerful a simple testimony can be, because after translation, her testimony was very simple. I ended up writing half a page of notes while she was speaking, even though she spoke for maybe five minutes. After devotionals, we have a district devotional review where we just talk about what we liked or learned, and that´s the thought I ended up sharing. I just shared that I know that we don´t need to be eloquent with Spanish in order to teach with the Spirit. I was reminded on the quote where Brigham Young talks about a man without eloquence. It´s on page 199 of the English Preach My Gospel I believe. I don´t have it with me, but it was a comforting thought and a concept I really like.

Monday we taught Hermano Rangel´s fake investigator character, Iván.  We were prepared to teach him the Plan of Salvation, but when we walked in and asked him how school and work were going, he launched into a big story about how he was overlooked for a promotion at work and how he was worried about something in his family, and he was angry about something and felt abandoned and a bunch of other stuff that we didn´t completely understand. But we understood that he wasn´t doing too great. It ended up being a really cool experience though. We are only allowed to bring our Spanish scriptures and the Spanish pamphlets with us into lessons. I haven´t read much in the LDM, and our scriptures don´t even have an index like my English scriptures do, but it was cool because I was able to recall that there were a few verses in Alma 7 that I should share. I was able pick out the verses I was looking for in my Libro de Mormon, even though all the verbs are written in the unfamiliar vosotros form and I definitely was not sure what the scripture even said in English. I haven´t been able to just remember scripture references, even in English, ever. I usually have to flip around a bit and look for specific markings in my own personal scriptures, but during that lesson I was able to find an unmarked verse in a set of scriptures in a different language, within a matter of seconds.  He thanked me for sharing the verse and said that it brought him a lot of comfort, both directly after sharing it and at the end of the lesson as we were saying goodbye.

We have class with Hermano Rangel right after we teach him, and in class he said that even though he was in character as Iván during our lessons, the experience he shared was something that had happened to him this past week. He said that me and Hermana Fox showed excellent love for our investigator and that he felt our genuine concern, and because we were teaching with the Spirit, we shared something that really helped him. I loved it! 

I know I said this last time, but I love my teachers! Hermano Sanchez brings us Mexican candy to try out and called us his Distrito Amado, and Hermano Rangel is just so happy that we are happy, even though by the time he teaches us we´ve been in the same classroom for twelve hours and it would be easy to be in a foul mood. I love the CCM. I am tired 100% of the time, but it´s a good tired, because I know I´m doing good things. 

I still want letters! Emailing is once a week for an hour, but we can read letters whenever, so make the little girls write me some letters or something for FHE! If we have some pictures you can send, so that too, because the only pictures I have are in the big calendar, and our district likes to share pictures and talk about our families when we walk home at night. 

 I have to go, but I love you all, I want letters, and the church is true. Tell the married people that they have to write me too! 

Attatched is a pre-video Sunday night selfie.
 In the back is Elder Hendricks (funniest guy ever); Elder Nelson, his companion; Elder Christensen, our district leader; a photobomber; and Elder Scott. Front is Hermana Chalmers, Hermana Fox, and Hermana Cefalo.

  Me and Hermana Fox today at the temple

Me and Elder Maughan on Sunday (he flew out to the field yesterday I believe)

My lovely district today at the temple. I love this picture because everyone looks so uncomfortable. From the top, Elder Christensen, Elder Nelson, Elder Hendricks, Elder Scott, next
Elder Kemp, Elder Reynolds (he´s a Travis), Elder Magnussen, Elder Baggs, then me, Hermana Chalmers, Hermana Fox, and Hermana Cefalo. The names are mostly so I can remember. You know, just in case.

You can´t really tell, but this is the hardest rain I have ever seen. My shoes and skirt were soaked through in minutes, and it hailed for a few seconds. ´The weather´s been gorgeous the last couple days, but I miss the rain.
I also think there´s mud on my face in this picture. No idea yet on how that happened.
My shoes and skirt were soaked through in seconds.

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