Wednesday, September 4, 2013
First Week (Aug 14 2013)
¡Holá mi familia y amigos!
It has been a whirlwind of a week, but it has been so wonderful! I cannot believe that it was a week ago today that I entered the CCM with wonderful people and started such an aamazing experience!
First thing`s first - mom, I have eaten tomatoes, green beans, guacomole, avocados, plátanos, and numerous other things that I would not have eaten a week ago. And guess what? I like it! The food here is AMAZING. Every meal is a mixture of Norte Americano food and Guatemalan food. It`s delicious and fun to see and taste new things. My companion, Hermana Darger, is probably tired of hearing me say, "If my family saw me eating this, they would laugh and laugh."
Hermana Darger is sweet - she`s from New York and just finished her first year at the Y. I`m one of the older girls in our zone, but not in the CCM or the mission. it`s been fun to talk with girls and see where they were a few months ago and what they were doing in their lives.
I`m slowly but surely learning the language. I can introduce myself and mi compañera, bear my testimony, pray, and talk about the First Vision pretty effectively. It`s been fun to talk with Hispaños and try to talk with them. Some of them speak English, but it`s a really good thing that we get to talk with them and practice our Spanish with them. There`s nothing that can replace that experience.
The trip here was fun. I met up with a sister in LAX and then there were about 40 of us by the time our flight left (I think there were 38 of us). I got some sleep, but not very good sleep, but that`s ok. We were able to take a short nap when we got to the CCM.
Our first day here felt like a week in itself and the past week has felt like a month. Our first night here, we experienced a flood on our floor from a burst water pipe in the ceiling. No one`s stuff got ruined, but it was around 11 when it happened, so we all lost some sleep. Dad, I looked at the pipe after it happened and they had replaced the broken pipe with a galvenized (sorry if that`s spelled wrong) pipe and I thought of you and Horizon trips. =]
Our district is teaching a REAL INVESTIGATOR. His name is Daniel (pronounced like Danielle) and he works in the kitchen in the CCM. He`s really sweet and he just committed to be baptized last night after our devotional (it was from Provo and Elder Scott was talking baout prayer - it was exactly what he needed). We`re really excited for him and our last lesson with him is tonight. We`re going to have the "real" missionaries (the one`s that are in the mission field) teach him. If we can, though, we want to go to his baptism.
Sundays here are wonderful - it`s basically 10 hours of church. You wake up, hacve breakfast, have 2 Relief Society meetings, District Sunday school (where you practice teaching in Spanish), Sacrament meeting (where people are called from the congregation to speak - we all prepare talks and then we`re randomly chosen), and then watching old Devotionals the rest of the day. It`s a really good experience here and I`m going to be sad when we leave. Oh, and we do exchanges with the Latinas (native speakers) and that`s good beacuse we get to practice our Spanish more. And our district sang in sacrament meeting - Nearer My God to Thee (in Español, of course).
Our District is the best! We sing himnos all the time and we get along really well. And our teacher is the strictest one in the CCM, but that`s why she`s the best because she pushes us and knows that she can push us. We are learning a lot from her and she is really nice and sweet.
We`re going to the Temple today and I`m so excited! The CCM President and his wife go with us and it`s going to be a wonderful experience. The temple is right next to the CCM - there`s only a Shell gas station between the CCM and the temple.
A good experience that I had here at the CCM was yesterday. Our teacher asked us to prepare a ten minute lesson in 5 minutes and to be ready to teach about the Restoration. I got about a sentence figured out before she said that it was time to teach. My companion and I worked through our lesson with one of the CCM teachers and we were able to talk about how Joseph Smith and the first vision. We used James 1:5 and Joseph Smith History 1:16-17 and taught her how to pray. After the lesson, the teacher was saying how our Spanish is better than we think it is and that we shouldn`t be nervous but to "have faith in the Lord and yourself" and that she felt the spirit during our lesson. I think that is the biggest lesson that I have learned here in the past week. The Spirit is the one that teaches the investigators, not you. We - as missionaries - may not be able to speak the language and you may not think that you can communicate the feelings of your heart, but the Spirit can take care of that. the Spirit speaks all languages and can communicate with all people. So we, as missionaries, cannot rely on ourselves alone. We have to rely on the Spirit. The Spirit makes up for any shortcomings that we have after we have worked and learned and studied as much aas we can. I know that. I felt that yesterday when we were teaching that teacher from the CCM. Before that moment, I thought that I needed to write out what I was going to say because of my inadequacies of knowing the language, but that`s not true. I know now that with God, all things are possible, including learning and speaking a language that is really hard.
I love all of you so much and miss you, but it`s all good! I know that I`m supposed to be here. I know that it will be hard - it has been hard - but it will all work out and be an amazing experience.
With much love, Hermana Conover