Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CCM: Week 4 What I Wish I Had Known

Mom/Editor notes:  these are the questions I asked her this week, which she answered in her letter first off:
5 Questions:
1) Did you leave your little iPod charger plugged in in the family room?  We found one there and didn't remember whose it was. It looks newer, so I thought it might be yours.  I hope you took your new one with you.
2) Can you print the attached sheet music?  Or do I need to send a hard copy too?
3) Did you get to watch the Women's Meeting?  Or is that for the Hermanas while the Elders are in Priesthood meeting Saturday night?
4) Did you get the other letter I sent via the Mexico MTC package service?  I'm curious with the time frame of getting it to you.
5) How is the laundry situation for you at the CCM? Are the facilities like school? Are your clothes getting clean enough?  Do you have enough supplies?

Primera, respuestas:
1. I nunca charged my iPod in the family room....so it's not mine.
2. I don't believe we can print. If we can, we've gotta supply the paper. But I just drew/wrote the music down for Come Thou Fount. It was so dim that my photo of the computer screen wasn't visible. The other one will be fine. I used to have it memorized so I think once I play it some more I'll be fine.
3. We didn't watch the women's meeting last Saturday, but we get to watch it this Saturday mientra the elderes watch the session de sacerdocio. We are stoked. I've loved Conference for a long time--especially once I began taking apuntes--but this time is unlike any other. I can't explain it. I mean, we have devotionals here two or three times a week, but conferencia general is gonna be like devotionals on steroids, times five. So, yeah, we are pretty dang excited. And then, our last Sunday, our topic for talks is our favorite discurso from conferencia general. So, it'll be even more fantastic.
4. I got two letters in the mail from the Dear Elder thing (one I got the email of first) but nothing else. Well, I did get a letter from Grandma Jo--I will write back Grandma, I'm just a slacker--but nothing else from you guys. So if there is something else, no I have not gotten it.
5. I'm good on laundry supplies. In our casa we have three washing machines and three dryers--though one doesn't work at all--so it's fine. We don't have to pay for it so that's super bien. I believe my clothes are getting clean enough.... I feel clean, anyway. And I guess that's what really matters.

Mamá, ¡es una mujer loca! I know Scott really appreciates everything you do at work, but just in case you need another reminder: you're awesome. Really. You've taught me so much sobre working hard and giving every task my all. Por ejemplo, ayer for servicio, we got to help fold laundry--we don't have to wash our own sheets every week--and I got put on the crew folding fitted sheets. The cute latino hombre taught us how to and the whole time I was thinking, "mi mamá me enseñó cómo hacer este." You are great. Mis hermanas were saying they wished they knew how to do that previously. So, thanks to you, I'm one step ahead of the game. Gracias.

A dear friend on our ward was going through some tough times, and I asked Jill to include her in her prayers
I will definitely keep Doris in my prayers. She is such a fantastic ejemplo para yo y todas las chicas en el barrio. (I can't remember the word for ward, only branch...) Por favor, diga a ella que yo le amo. Mucho.

We found out this week that we're actually an intermediate Spanish class. That was a little weird. Mis elderes (specifically Elder Olsen) said I ought to be in the same class as los latinos. ja, yeah right. They're sweet though. I also found out today that Olsen's familia found my blog. So, if the Olsen familia is reading this, shout out to you guys! Sister Olsen, you have raised quite a good young man, though I'm sure you knew that already. Though we tease him about "Isabel", he really is a fantastic missionary--plus she left today. He's decided that lecciones are better when he doesn't write anything down for them. (I can see his point.) He does such a good job as our líder de distrito. He may be silly frequently, but he has some really good spiritual insights when he tries. And I don't know how much he's told you, but we decided what animal everyone is most like: he's a flamingo. He disagrees, but he is, he is. And we all love him.

Mamá, please get Cameron for this next paragraph or so. This is going to be specifically for him.

Cameron: sorry about your calc test. But who said this was going to be easy? Because I guarantee I didn't say anything of the sort. But, need I remind you: you are a strong, independent [man] who won't let no calculus test bring him down! Look, in all seriousness, you are a brilliant kid. And I know we've told you before, but you just need to apply yourself. Look at how far you've come with golf. Do the same exact thing with calculus! You had Henry for golf; find yourself a tutor or a friend who will help you through it every day. I'm willing to be that Amy will help you when she has the time. You golfed hours on end EVERY day this summer. You need to apply yourself just as much with math. I know you've got other responsibilities, but you really need to apply yourself in class. And then set aside some time EVERY day for calculus. If something doesn't make sense, then call up a friend who can help you out. I know you've got the resources, you social butterfly, you. If I were a commercial, you know what I'd say? Just do it! Plus, YouTube has some great stuff on there about math. Use the Internet--productively. I promise you can do it. If you put in all the time that you can and then pray for help, I promise you that you will succeed. (I'm a missionary remember, and I do not tell lies nor slander.) Success may not be exactly what you want it to be, but it will be success all the same. I promise you. Okay? Okay. Good talk. P.S. What was the name that you always called Trent? Not that I want to call him that, but I've a point to prove with Jensen. I can't remember what it was, but you always had one specific name for him....remind me, please. Thank you. Love you, brah.

Sorry about your visiting teaching, Mamá. I imagine in a month or so I'll be able to really relate to that....but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

That Medical Explorers thing sounds fantastic! Man, I don't know exactly what suturing pigs feet will be like but it sounds thrilling! Wish I could do that....I miss chemistry and bio so much. I know, I'm such a nerd....but I do. Today, I was talking with Hermana Capps about my knee grinding and she said it's probably my meniscus. My first thought was the meniscus in a test tube or graduated cylinder.....I'm such a dork. I know. But, when you're a biochem major, what else do you expect?

Cam and I were asked to "chaperone" a singles dance last week and I told Jill about that experience.
A 30+ singles dance....? That just sounds....painful. Oh man. I feel for Amy and Chris and Heather. No está bien....that's rough. I don't even want to contemplate that. I can't even contemplate dating in 17 months. Uh, yeah, just, no.

Oh man. Talk about rain. EVERY single time it rains super badly, I'm wearing those off-white flats I have--that have holes in them. Oh my goodness. It's awful. My feet are soggy and gross way too frequently. No me gusta.... I love the lluvia, but not having mojados feet.

Sunday was our annual Sacrament meeting Primary Program
Glad the Primary Program went well. All three of my hermanas taught primary at one point and liked it and I was just like...I subbed a few times...and I never wanted to go back.....ah well. Maybe someday I'll like Primary. Just kidding. I mean, hopefully maybe but I am doubtful. Which means I will most assuredly be in the black hole of the church at some point....wow don't I sound like quite the optimist....lo siento, mamá.

I told her of plans for care packages to two darling friends in the Provo MTC prior to their leaving fro foreign countries soon.
Oh hey, speaking of Josh: I saw him! I mean, we watched a live streaming devotional last Tuesday (I think) and he was singing in the choir. I watch for Maddie every time but have yet to see her....ah well. I think it's more fun than playing I Spy for Mr. Whitaker during conferencia....I should probably pay more attention, but it's kind of hard to take notes during a choir number. I will say that it's kind of weird to hear english music now...when we have live devotionals from provo and they put the words on the screen, Presidente Pratt makes us find it in our himnos and sing it in Spanish....it's kind of weird. Watching the chorister is trippy when he's singing the wrong words, too. If you get ambitious, try singing along to a song during conferencia in español. Es muy divertido. But, don't feel pressured to do that. It's just kind of fun and trippy.

Okay, so: antes I tell about my week, I have compiled a list of things I wish I would have known prior to entering el CCM, and some things I'm glad I knew. Here it is:
1. Bring laundry detergent and dryer sheets. The Tide pods work fantastically. You can buy laundry detergent at la tienda, but it's kind of a hassle. Each tiny bottle is only good for two loads, is my understanding....but those are your options. Also, you don't have to wash you sheets. Just take them off every Monday morning and put them in the pile of sheets by the door. Then get a new stack of sheets at the end of the day from the closet by the cleaning supplies. That is really great.
2. Hermanas, you are required to wear a slip. 24/7. So don't forget one. I did, and had to buy one at la tienda. They're about 80 pesos, I think. So not terribly expensive, but I wish I would've just brought mine.
3. You're going to use muchos papeles. Bring notebooks to write in. Especially if you're learning a language. Mi compañera es muy listo. She has one notebook for spiritual stuff (devotionals and classes and whatnot) and one for Spanish stuff, including lesson plans. Do things like that. You can buy notebooks here, including a cool little binder thing to reuse with notebooks (I would highly recommend getting one because where else are you gonna get something like that? Exactly.) But you'll want paper.
4. You don't need bedding here en el CCM. However, you do need towels. Do NOT forget towels...that would be bad. Those microfiber towels work really well, and I would suggest bringing a towel for your feets when you get out of the shower. Currently there is no rug on the floor and the floor gets really quite disgusting....so, be warned.
5. It's actually cold here in México, on occassion. You probably ought to bring sweaters and cardigans and leggings and other warm things. I would also suggest bringing boots. You will use them. Promise. Though, it is extremely hard to guess when it's going to rain (and when I say rain I mean, pour.)
6. Definitely bring an umbrella. I don't care where you're going after the CCM. You will want an umbrella. Also, rain coat. That would be a good idea. Yeah.
7. You're given oodles of language help books, plug Preach My Gospel and Predicad Mi Evangelio & español escrituras--no need to bring your own. So many books, so little time. Seriously.
8. If you like water, bring a water bottle. They do have their own clean water here so you won't need a filter during your stay in el CCM, and they will give you a water bottle with a filter before you leave. (We've been told everyone gets one regardless of where they'll be serving. Not positive on the truthfulness of that information though--stateside is questionable.)
9. You'll get a "debit card" of sorts to use at the tienda. Do NOT just throw away the paper that it comes on. There is a PIN underneath where the card is. Do not lose that PIN. If you do, to check your balance or withdraw pesos or anything, there will be a fee. Just, don't lose it. Hermanas will begin with 120 pesos on the card and then get 120 each Wednesday for the next four weeks. Elderes begin with 100 and get 100 each week for four weeks. So if you forgot something you desperately need, you'll be okay. Most likely.
10. If you want to buy things at the temple book store, bring cash. You can exchange American dinero for pesos, but Finanzas en el Recepción building has weird hours. So get that all figured out in advance before you go to the temple. You can't use cards at the bookstore. Only cash. Also, in case you're wondering, the scripture cases I got are 45 pesos each (90 for the set), and then there are t-shirts, as well as Mexican looking shirts and skirts (for Hermanas). They also have HLJ rings, and bookmarks and lots of other fun things. Lots of people will get scripture cases for family members or other things as gifts. So, look forward to that trip.
11. Hermanas, you're not allowed to wear earrings here that are longer than an inch long. So...yeah. That didn't affect me, but Hermana Powell says that most of the earrings she brought are too long. So watch out.
12. When I asked mis elderes for their top piece of advice, they all agreed unanimously: more corbatas (ties). You can bring more than you'll wear and even some you don't want to wear to trade ties with people or give them to gifts (hermanas, you may want to bring some for your elderes. I promise you'll learn to love them.) So, lots of ties. That's the number one things from mis elderes.
13. My hermanas said more skirts and shoes. We decided a black skirt is necessary, as well as white and grey and navy. We were told that we're not allowed to wear Toms because they're canvas and the rain is kind of a problem with that, but I still wear mine because they're not too casual looking (they're sparkly black Bobs). But I wish I would have brought a pair of black flats. As well as nude flats. Also, I'm wishing I would have brought more/different shirts. Bring shirts you love, not just shirts that match everything. Also, wish I had more shirts that don't need to be layered. Because it gets hot here....cardigans are great because they keep you warm when you're cold and you can just take it off when its too hot.
14. Elder Jensen's piece of advice: "it doesn't suck." Enough said.
15. The food here IS good. Yes, there is a lot of authentic Mexican food, but there is cereal for almost every meal, plus milk, and they frequently have nutella and peanut and bread by a whole line up of toasters. Peanut butter and nutella sandwiches are heaven sent some days. But you'll like the food. Just give it a chance. However, you may want to bring your own snacks. Mexican candy is an acquired taste. Mis hermanas wish they would've brought Swedish fish and Tootsie Rolls and chocolate and things. You'll want some normal American treats every once in a while...
16. You'll want more SD cards than you think. I've brought a total of 32 GB, and I think I'll be okay, but if you take a lot of pictures, you may want more. I dunno. Also, I would strongly suggest getting an SD card reader that works (test it before you get here.) It is fantastic. Plus, then if you get sent pictures you can put the pictures on your SD card and have them for sure. Also, you could probably set up a Dropbox account for pictures instead of using so many SD cards. Just get it set up before arriving, and then email the link to your myldsmail account so you can easily access it. I didn't do this, so I'm just guessing that it would work. I know some missionaries do that.
17. I wish I would have brought one or two more pairs of shorts for gym. We're not allowed to wear spandex of any kind. Some loose fitting sweats (from the PJ section of Target) would also be advisable. If you don't get too hot when you work out....I'm probably gonna invest in some when I get to Illinois.
18. I wish I would have brought more T-shirts too. Mostly I brought black T-shirts and my shorts are black as well...so I look a little odd. But yeah. If you don't sweat a ton or work out that hard, I wouldn't worry about it. These are just my musings.
19. Tide-to-Go pens. You will want these. Whether or not you are prone to being messy, I would bet money (if I were a gambling sort of missionary) that a member of your district will be prone to messes. I can't tell you how many times I've used mine. They're fantastic. The elderes especially use them frequently.
20. You may want to bring your own whiteboard markers. You can buy them at the tienda, or you could bring them, or you could not use them. If you have them, make sure they are clearly marked as your own. Mine has Hello Kitty duct tape all over it (thanks to Hermana Haws) so no one will be taking that anytime soon.
21. Flash cards! Bring some index cards and scissors so you can cut them up into smaller cards. That helps a lot with vocab. If that method of learning works for you, do it. (Again, these materials are available at the tienda if you don't bring some then later decide that you want some.)
22. I wish I would have brought a laundry bag of some kind... the closets are not optimal for anything really so currently I use one of two drawers for my dirty laundry. Then there is a small sort of shelf and then some hanging space. You can bring your own hangers but there are also some in the casa--see if you can't find any more when you get here.

Okay, that's that. Now, let me tell you some stories about the week. 

Currently, we are listening to Primary songs in Spanish. ¡Está muy bien!  Oración de un niño, en este momento.

Uh, yesterday Elder Bronson had about a half an hour long discussion with Hermano Sanchez about whether or not Sanchez should bring him some ties from outside the wall. (He's not allowed to.) But Bronson just kept trying to convince him to do so. Oh man. He just would not give it a rest.

We've been trying to memorize la Primera Visión en español. Pero, está muy difícil. So, we developed a game of hand volleyball. Every time we hit the "ball" we say the next word. It is actually really effective. And muy fun. We got the baptismal invitation memorized through that, and we've got the first half of la primera visión down tambien.

En Jueves, we had un devocional, live aqui. We had two people come speak to us. One was Elder David F Evans and the other was stephen B Allen. One is the managing director of the missionary program, and one is the executive director. It was amazing! One of my favorite quotes from it was "Your pruspose is not so much to be doing missionary things but to become a missionary." Also, they told us "Plead with the Lord for help, then get up and go to work!" I think that applies for all aspects of our lives. Whether or not you're a missionary, plead with the lord for help and then get up and go to work. That's as simple as it gets.

Durante Sociedad Socurro, en domingo, we talked about the doctrine/gospel of Christ, contained in 2 Nefí 31 y 32. It was really good. When we read the part in 32:4 that says if you don't understand it's because you haven't asked, my first thought was when Nefí has his visión y Laman y Lemuel don't understand so they ask him to explain and tells them "have you asked God?" and they're all like "uh, no." Okay, so the only reason they didn't know was because they didn't ask. And it applies to our investigadores: they could have spiritual experiences like Laman y Lemuel pero if they don't ask, then it'll be for nothing.

Entonces, en clase con el CCM Presidencia, we talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the difference between the gift and the power. My favorita parte, by far, was a quote by Parley P. Pratt. Go and find this in it's entirety: "The gift of the holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organ or attributes... In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being." Oh man. How fantastic, no? Yes.

Then, for our Sunday devotional, we watched a recording of a devocional from Provo, recorded on Christmas Day. It was Elder Bednar. ¡Santa vaca! It was amazing! He spoke about the true character of Christ, and how we can exemplify that. The biggest prompting I had during it was this: by Him and through Him, all things are possible. Conversely, anything we do is by Him and through Him. I mean, we're called the dust of the earth, no? Everything and anything we do is because He helps us to do so. That was kind of mind blowing for me.

Then we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration for our video. I had this thought during the video: When we tell people the story of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, logic dictates that this story cannot be true. But the truth of this Gospel is not dictated by logic. Our spirits can feel the truth of it far deeper than our logical minds can comprehend. That is the level we need to be reaching with our investigadores. They need to FEEL the truth of the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that is the only way to KNOW the truth.  I shared this thought in our discussion as a distrito afterwards. Jensen told me that I write like a general authority....uh, yeah. I don't think so. But thanks anyway. He's nice, usually.

Now, about non-spiritual things:

We played tennis as a distrito one day. We tried playing around the world. Oh man. It was fun, but hard. We needed a few more people I think. Plus, we weren't particularly good at it. Then, the rest of our distrito decided to play volleyball, but Hna Capps and I stayed and played doubles with Jensen and Hoffmann. Jensen and I were on a team, and I think it was the longest time he's gone without saying something sassy to me. It was odd, yet refreshing. Funny kid.

Durante TALL ayer, Hermana Velázquez was with us, and there was this giant thunderstorm and the power got knocked out briefly so we convinced her to let us have a jam session on the piano again. She didn't sing along with us though she knew the songs. Oh man. It felt so good to sing songs other than himnos again. I love himnos, but sometimes I need a break. Plus, I've had Love is An Open Door stuck in my head for days--Hna Powell and I jammed out while she was in the shower and I shaved one night to all the Frozen songs. Plus, one day we passed an hermana who was singing For The Longest Time and that was also stuck in my head for days. Today, Olsen was singing the piña colado song. Oh man. I detest that canción....no me gusta nada. Ayer we sang a bunch of snippets of songs in class as well. Mucho enjoyable. Jensen makes us sound like an angelic choir, that's all I'm sayin'.

En Miercoles, we had our first TRC. We teach "real" investigators a short lesson with almost no preparation. It's hard but I liked it. Our first was a woman who is less active because she works on Sundays. The second was a guy who is an active member. It was fun, but difícil. We do TRC again tomorrow.

Hoy, durante almuerzo, Hermano Shawn Cates came and sat with us. He's the director of the CCM. Oh man. He did a devocional a while ago and it was fantastic, and I've always assumed he was a great person (he sounded like it) but now I know for sure. He asked us what our favorite and least favorite parts of the CCM are (I told him my least favorite part is having gym in the middle of the day...) and we talked to him about his plans after this job (it is a job, not a calling--we didn't know that until we asked.) His darling children are fluent en ingles y en español. It was a really fun chat.

We met a pair of hermanas at dinner one day and one of them was named Hermana Purnell. She was roommate's with Melanie Andersen at BYU. That was kind of coincidental.

There's been an Elder here who has sung a few musical numbers for devocionals and whatnot. His voice sounds like IL DIVO meets Josh Groban....it was trippy. He sounded amazing though. We could've listened to him for days....

A pair of sisters of Jill's childhood friend Brittany are missing, having run away fro home together in July...
I had a thought this week: has there been any news about the Wolferts sisters? I'm keeping them and Britt in my prayers..

En viernes, Elder Bradbeer drew a fantastic picture of Jesus (based on a folleta) on the white board, and en la mañana de Sabado, Elder Olsen tried drawing a different picture of Jesus. The hair on Jesus wasn't straight and wasn't curly so someone asked about it, Olsen turned around and goes, "it's like Hermana DeBuck's hair!" Uh.......yeah. I'm still not sure I feel about that...it was random.

Also, Bronson was trying to tell Hermano Villalobos that he was cool but he wasn't getting his subject and verb matching, so he changed his sentence to "Su cuerpo es muy suave." Villalobos cracked up. He told us that that means his body is squishy. haha (he's not squishy at all. he's a twig.) 

I made papers for a bunch of irregular verbs that have seven different conjugations on each of them. I must really love my distrito or something.

Okay, my biggest spiritual experiencia this week. You ready?

Sabado we were doing practicing teaching. One of us misioneros was the investigador and the other the misionero. I was the investigador first (Rosana) and it was fine. Hoffmann was my partner, and while his spanish wasn't perfect, I could still feel the Spirit. I'm trying to get out of the habit of correcting people because it isn't that important; the spirit is what's really important. Anyway, so that was fine. Then we switched and I was trying to follow the Spirit as I taught. And I honestly can't tell you what happened exactly but Hoffmann and I ended up arguing. Immediamente, I felt the Spirit leave. And I could NOT continue. Without the Spirit, I am useless. I tried to continue, but I just couldn't. So I left the room, went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet seat in my stall and prayed. Which means I ended up crying. Man. It was...awful...but amazing. I realized how much I need the spirit in my life, especially as a missionary. And it made me realize that even though I don't always feel the presence of the Spirit, he is almost always there. And I am so grateful for that. hermana Capps ended up coming in and asked if I was okay. Which set me over the edge so then I was really crying. I eventually told her what happened, between sobs, and i was alright in the end. She and hermana Powell both gave me hugs. I'm so grateful for them. Y por their words of comfort too. Hna Capps later told me that she was kind of jealous about my experience. I'm not sure why because it wasn't fantastic, but at the same time I kind of see her point. It was really powerful for me. I also shared this experience on Sunday for fast and testimonio meeting. The boys later told me it sounded like I was mad at the elder I was with. Apparently i didn't explain that well enough: I was mad at myself. I should know better. But, live and learn. "Eso sí que es" or whatever.

Well, that's about all I have time for. I love you guys lots. I know this where I need to be, and I'll see you 17 months. We ship out in 2 weeks--13 days technically. how crazy is that! Oh my. Also, I'm afraid I'm going to freeze when I get to Chicago....ah well. I'll survive.

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Hermana DeBuck

 Our district with one of our good friends, Hermano Sanchez (he wasn't one of our teachers, but he visited often)

 Us hermanas with Hermana Velasquez, our investigador-turned-maestra. Love her!

Hermana Capps and I with Hermana Arnaud (also not one of our teachers--but we think she and Hno Villalobos should get hitched.....)

Our distrito plus maestro, making fat faces.... (I don't think Hno Villalobos has enough skin to make a fat face...he's too skinny)

 The Elders took a ride in the elevator--and may or may not have gotten trapped for a short time.

 FHE: the most hard-core game of rock-paper-scissors of all time (most likely)

Service at the CCM: we would always ask to go fold laundry--the guys there were so fun!

Mexico has letters on "mountains" too! B for "Benamerito", the name of the Church's school here before it was the CCM.

A note from our maestra, Hna Velasquez. She's so sweet.

God's Plan of Love: this may be slightly misleading, but it's still pretty cool, you've gotta admit.

Hermana Capps and I are super and here we're models, so....fill in the rest yourself.

Our district: whiteboard version.

Lego hands in Mexico!!

Me and Sister Jones. (:

Yes, we actually fit in the cupboard where we kept el gato de Satanas...

Oh what do you do in the summertime--when you have to exercise every day except Sunday? Well, we play volleyball, no matter the weather.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CCM: Week 3 ¡Vamos Al Templo!

Editor/Mom note:  Here is what I asked her this week, and she begins her letter with answers to these questions:
Here are my 5 questions for this week:
1) What is the schedule for you on P-Days? Do you ever get to venture out into Mexico City, at all?
2) Are you able to forward your emails home to me and I can put them all in a folder for your personal mission papers/journal/blog when you're finished?  I didn't know how long you will have access to your ldsmail account.
3) How many districts meet together?  In classes?  In your branch? In your casita?
4) Is your digestion still giving you trouble, or are you getting used to the food?
5) What was your sign in info for your familysearch.org account?  And may I break in to it to see your "golden hints"?  (Sister Dye was here today trying to get me into our family history stuff again.)

Primera, respuestas:
1. P-days are actually a lot like regular days, except you just take out all the stuff in the middle of the day. We wake up at six, study at seven, have breakfast at 7:30, and then study until 8:30 or so, then P-day technically begins. And then we have (more) freedom until 5:30 when we have daily planning, dinner at six, study until the devotional at 7:30 (the devotional is just on Tuesdays, not P-days specifically. We have the best P-day.) and then we have a devotional review afterwards with our district. Usually, during the day, we take pitures of our emails in the morning, do laundry, clean our casa, and play volleyball. We play lost of volleyball...but it's so fun, and it's really all we can do as elders and hermanas, todos juntos. However, today was different. Which I will get to in a moment, or so.
2. Uh....I'm not sure what you mean by forward my emails home.... You get all my emails home... unless you're talking about my emails to other people. I could forward them home, but I think I'll have access to my email account for at least a little bit afterwards. Plus, if you really wanted to, you could log in to my email account from home and pull them off there, if you wanted to. It's just my lds.org login info.
3. Well, during class it's just our district. The ten of us, and then we have a teacher in the mañana and a teacher en la tarde. For sacrament meeting, our zone meets all together. At the moment there are three districts in our zone. And then for relief society and sunday school (basically) everybody meets together. Same with devotionals and the videos every Domingo. In our casa, there are four or five rooms that each hold four hermanas (or elders, if the casa is for elders) but I think we currently have one empty room...that may change today or tomorrow. Though we're hoping not so Hna Capps and I can steal/borrow a second pillow....that helped me sleep so much this last week.
4. So far, so good, for my digestive system. I'm hoping Easter's doesn't return until April or so.... I think I am getting used to the food. In general, I usually think it's pretty good but they serve some of the most random foods together. Por ejemplo, para desayuno uno mañana, they served huevos y hot dogs....juntos....oh man. It was so strange. Not bad, but just weird. Muy raro...
5. My family search log in is the same as my lds.org. Pretty sure.....yeah. Yeah, that's it. I'm not sure what you mean by "golden hints" though....

Okay, antes I forget, I received one DearElder letter last Wednesday, and then today received the letter of the email I got from you....so I dunno when you sent each of those, but I have both now. I also got a letter from Grandma Jo this week which made my day. She is the sweetest.

Also, I finally figured out how to change the image size of the pictures on my camera, so there shouldn't be 18 emails today. Woohoo!

I'm glad everything is going well at home for you guys. Sounds like the temple dedication was fantastic, though that's no surprise. And momma, it sounds like you're having some of the same emotional problems as me. I am trying ever so hard to be nice and patient....but oh boy. This is definitely a trial of my faith. It helps that I have such a great compañera who feels the same way as me, so we can talk about it, just the two of us, and then continue with our days. That helps a lot. Hermana Capps is such a blessing in my life. Now I'm just hoping I get as lucky with my compañeras en Chicago. If not every time, at least every other time. That'd be great....

Does Cameron even read these emails? Because he really ought to. I think he'd enjoy what I'm about to talk about:

Basically, Elder Jensen in my district, who is from Logan, Utah, is like a reincarnated version of Cameron. They have basically the same attitude and they both care mucho about their hair. Jensen, in high school, was a hipster. I'm not sure exactly what look Cameron is going for, but some days that's what it felt like. However, there are differences. One is that Elder Jensen was in a band. He plays the piano and the guitar--this last week we were privileged to hear him play the piano and we had a jam session before TALL one day. Oh man. That boy can tickle those ivories. Hermana Capps and I walked in when he was played some Styx and then he played some Journey and it just about made my entire week. Then, we had the pleasure to have an elder come into the room and begin belting the lyrics. It almost brought a tear to my eye..... just kidding. But it was so much fun.

I did see Hermana Paige Mecham, from PG, this week. That was kind of exciting. And then Saturday when we were walking around asking people questions, the other Hermanas found an Elder from PG. I didn't know him, but his name is Elder Thayne.

Also, I was going to return my tray in the comedor one day and I heard the last half of my name, so I turn around and there my friend from USU, Elder Eric Lambert. That was pretty crazy. He's going to San Antonio Texas, if I am not mistaken. At first I didn't recognize him because it's been so long, but it was great to see him again. There's also an elder here who looks like he could be the fraternal twin to one of Kate's friends at school....it seriously freaked me out when I saw him.

Currently, our entire distrito is emailing from our TALL lab, which is also currently occupied by this nasty giant spider. Oh man. I thought I was going to cry or something when I saw it. Ick. I hate spiders..... (follow the spiders? Why'd it have to be follow the spiders? Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?)

I told my distrito my star wars joke.... I think only Hermana Powell and Elder Bronson really got it. But it was so funny....haha I'm just so hilarious. (Thanks to my coworkers for giving me such good jokes.)

I'm sitting here trying to think of what else happened this week....every day is basically the same, which is one reason i think time is so odd here.

For Sunday School--it's technically called Class with the MTC Presidency--Presidente Pratt spoke this week. He spoke about la Expiación de Jesucristo, but specifically the grace and fuerza del Señor. We read a bunch of examples from the scriptures about receiving strength from the Lord and then he said to us, "This strength is available to you." I'll include the scripture references: (1 Nefí 7:17-18; Mosíah 9:17; Mosíah 10:10-11; Mosíah 24:14-15; Alma 14:26, 28; Alma 31: 30-31, 33, 38. Then he ended with the verses Alma 7:11-12; Mateo 11:28-30; Eter 12:27. Christ knows exactly how to succor us so when we ask for strength, you can bet we'll receive the best help for us, even if it's not exactly what we asked for.

Sunday, for our devotional, it was a recording of a Provo MTC devotional of Elder Bednar. This man is a genius, I swear. He talked about the five requirements to becoming a Preach My Gospel missionary:
1. Understand that you serve and represent Jesucristo
2. Be worthy
3. Treasure up las palabras de la vida eterna
4. Understand that el Espíritu Santo is the ultimate and true maestro
5. Understand that teaching is mucho más de talking and telling
Holy cow. It was an amazing devotional. I mean, they all are. But I got so much out of this one....I ended up with four pages of notes. (This is one reason why I should have brought more paper goods....) One thing in particular that I loved from his talk was when he was speaking about  being worthy. He said, "We can only proclaim and preach with power that which we are striving to become." He went on to say that we are not commanded to be perfect right now, but we are commanded to be clean. So, even (or maybe especialmente) as misioneros, we do not have to be perfectos. Pero, we do have to be limpio. And we must be striving to become perfectos. Oh man. That was just perfect. All of our apóstoles are amazing and magnificent. Definitely called of God, no pregunta. Also, loved this quote: "The Holy Ghost operating in your life is the surest indicator of forgiveness." Man. I needed that. So much. Once again, tender mercies. Tender mercies everywhere. (picture Buzz and Woody for me please.) And one last quote: "A release from full time missionary work is a call to life-long missionary work." Holy cow. If that's not a call to arms, call me a toucan.

Okay, so. Today. We found out on Sunday that we would be going to the temple/visitor's center in two days. Oh man. At first I was a little sad because we'd be gone so long during the day, but vaca santa. It was amazing. We got to do a little tour with the hermanas serving there (they're just as adorable as the sisters at temple square, if not more so....just sayin') and we watched a video about an apostle (we picked Elder Holland, go figure) and then we talked about el Libro de Mormón. They asked if three of us would share our testimonies. And guess who one of them was. Yes, yours truly bore her testimony en español in front of people other than my district and zone. It was a really spiritual experiencia for me because I was contemplating volunteering and then I made eye contact with the hermana as she pointed to me and said "you". I mean, I know missionaries are in tune with the spirit. But holy cow. These ladies were definitely at the top of their game. That's exactly how I want to be. And then we went into this little room to watch the video about eternal families. It's the same video in Salt Lake. And it definitely brought me to tears. Multiple hermanas needed tissues, and I could even hear our elderes behind us sniffling a bit. Oh man. That movie is brilliantly done. So much love. If you haven't seen it, you need to make a trip to Salt Lake specifically for it. It's straight up beautiful.

After our tour, we got to go to the bookstore (la Libería Zarahemla). Can I just say how much I love México. We had been told that the scripture cases were 400 pesos, right? Well, that was for the leather inscribed ones... I got some patterned ones that, for the two, were 90 pesos. So I had a lot of extra pesos. So, let's just say I have quite a few souvenirs, including one for mi mamá, mi papí, y mi hermano. Though, I will say, Papí: you are so hard to shop for. So if you don't like yours......too bad I guess. I know Mamá will like hers, and Cameron will probably be indifferent, but ah well. Be grateful you've got something legitimately from México and a hija/hermana that loves you. (:

Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment. If I think of more, I'll send you another email. If I think of it before P-day is over, that is. Plus, have some pictures. I have oodles...

Also, I have a few requests:
1. momma, will you photocopy some piano music for me and then send it to me? If you just email the photocopy to me that's fine, or if you send it in the mail somehow, that would work I guess. I specifically want Come Thou Fount (since it's not in the himno libro) and then, this will sound random I know, there's one called Jacob's Theme. I wanna say it's two or three pages long. It'll be with all my piano music, assuming you haven't gotten rid of any of it. That'd be great, if you could. If not, no worries. I can play out of the himno here too. I'm gonna practice my piano and Hermana Capps is gonna learn how to lead music then practice while I play.
2. Will you find the entirety of this poem? It says "I've wept in the night for the shortness of sight"... I know there's more. President Monson quoted it in a talk that we watched during Sociedad Socurro this week. That you can just email the words of to me. That'd be perfect.

Hopefully you all are doing well. I miss you guys lots but there is no where I'd rather be.

¡En tres semanas yo estaré en Chicago! Loco, ¿no?

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Su Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

 the sunset one evening, after many fireworks the past week. So many chemicals in the air = beautiful sunset
  "Seguimos a Jesucristo" means "We follow Jesus Christ"
  selfie with President Monson.
 "Venid a Mí" means "Come to Me". I love this phrase.

el templo de ciudad de México
 the entrance to el CCM
 we wrote a bunch of puns on our little whiteboards, but this is by far my favorite.
 at the visitor's center with my darling compañera
 us with the Cristus.
the Cristus

our district at TALL one evening
 all the hermanas in our zone, prior to the last district leaving last Monday or so
  the hermanas in our zone at the visitor's center
 Our elders, doing "sí se puede", all together. This is almost as good as the video of Elder Olsen, but it's also better because it's all of them. The faces. Kill me...
  Our jam session, with Elder Jensen at the piano.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CCM: Week 2

Editor/Mom note:  I have tried asking Jill five questions with each letter as a way for her to tell me more details of her experiences and give her somewhere to start...like she needs the prompts...but so far that has worked well.  She answered those questions with the numbered answers at the first of her letter.  Here are the questions I asked, so her answers make more sense to everyone else:  
5 or so more questions for you:
1) What is your typical schedule each day?
2) How much time do you have to email each P-Day?
3) Do you feel the time dragging by or flying by?  How?
4) Will you get to watch General Conference in Spanish?  Will you understand enough by then to "get it"?
5) Would you like any info from friends in my letters to you?  Like the friends serving missions that I can peep in on with their blogs?  Or would you rather not?
Alright, first things first:

1. Typical schedule? We wake up at 6 and get ready for the day. We have study time at 7 until breakfast at 7:30. Then more study time afterwards. Class starts at 9 or so most days, where we have language or fundamentals or Book of Mormon or coaching. I think those are all the options. Oh, we also teach during that time. Lunch is at 12:30 for us and then right after we have gym. Usually we play volleyball but our favorite district just left and we always played with them, so who knows what's gonna happen. After wards, we get all cleaned up again (I shower because I smell worse than a dog in a washing machine) and go back to class to continue our studies. We do have two different teachers--one in the morning and one in the afternoon now. (That's recently new.) Hermano Villalobos is with us in the morning (he just got back from his mission in Enero or so....) and then Hermana Valásquez is with us in the tarde. She was also our first investigator (Enya). The both of them also act as investigators for us--we now have two investigators. Villalobos' person's name is David and Hermana V's person's name this time is Erika. Back to the schedule: we do TALL in the evening, right after dinner--it stands for Technology Assisted Language Learning. And it's exactly what it sounds like. And then we go back to our classroom for some more study, though usually without a teacher this time. We head back to our casas at 9:30 or so and then write in our journals/talk until 10:30 when lights are supposed to be out. But we aren't always to bed on time. Frankly, we aren't frequently on time to anything. Which slightly irritates me because I like to be punctual. But my hermanas like to look nice everyday, even if it makes us late. But, it's fine.
2. We are supposed to have an hour to email, but we are unsupervised so it's not an exact hour.....what we've decided to start doing is go in to the computer lab in the morning after breakfast or so and then take pictures of emails so that we can read them but not use up that hour. Then we come back later to respond. I think it's working, though the computer screen is hard to read on my camera, even when I zoom in.
3. The days drag by but the weeks zoom. I can't believe we're already ending our second week. It's crazy! The schedule is pretty draining so maybe that has to do with it. What's weird to think about is, on Sunday, as we said goodbye to our favorite district (5D), we only have one month left. Four sundays, then it'll be us saying goodbye.....oh man. And this time next week, we'll be on the downward slope of this. Santa vaca....it's insane.
4. I have no idea if we'll be watching Conferencía General en Español o en inglés. Hopefully in inglés.....but sacrament meetings are in Spanish every week....so we'll see. If it is in Spanish, I will not understand enough to get a ton out of the meeting....
5. I have no opinion on the matter.

Okay, on to business. I'm gonna try to work forwards from last week. Maybe. First off, some stories on my elderes:
1. Elder Bronson is a class clown if ever there was one. He says the greatest comments at just the right moments. He makes everyone smile, no matter what. One great moment, from yesterday actually, happened at dinner. {First you need to know that he is probably the whitest ginger American of all time. He has a terrible greenie accent and doesn't conjugate verbs....he's a treasure and we love him. But one of his favorite words in spanish is "apuñular", which means to stab. It's become a joke for our district and we say it all the time, at the top of our lungs. It's actually quite applicable to many situations, surprisingly.} (He's from Idaho, this is important.) So they were actually serving mashed potatoes during dinner and then Hma Capps and I found some potato chunks with cheese stuff (sounds gross now that I say it but it was delicious) and so he wanted some of those too. (Idaho. Potatoes. You know...) And then he and Hma Powell were having a competition of sorts to see who could eat the most with just a knife. So here he is stabbing these potato cubes with a knife and then eating them. So he starts saying, in a sing-song voice, "Apuñular some papas, put 'em in your vaca". He meant to say "boca", meaning mouth, but instead he said "cow". Oh man, we were dying.....so fun.
2. Elder Olsen is our district leader. Turns out he went to Copper Hills high school and did pole vault with Tay-Tay. That was kind of a weird coincidence. But anyway, he's six foot three or something and quite the gangly, skinny kid. (You may have noticed from my pictures.) But he started saying "¡sí se puede!" for some reason--or someone started saying it--which is from a movie called Kick it Up or something like that. It means "Yes you can!" But when Olsen says it, he does this fake cheerleading move and jumps up, kicking his feet together to the side and acting like he has tiny arms and pom-poms. It's straight up adorable. I wish you could see the recording of it.... Oh my. So that's become our district's motto: ¡Sí se puede!
3. Elder Jensen. Oh man. This kid. He has got the sass of a middle-aged black woman. He reminds me so much of Cameron, actually. Though I think Jensen is actually more sassy, if that's possible. (Sassy en español = atrevido). And this kid is the definition of sassy. But, story time: he was eating this weird donut thing and Hma Powell saw and said it looked like a crocodile (which is apparently a type of donut....though I've never heard of it. And I know my donuts...) But Jensen either didn't get it or didn't hear (and we're trying to speak solamente español at cena) so his response is "¡¿Qué hora es?!" Oh man....so now, anytime we feel incredulous or confused, we say that. That may not sound funny, but it is. Pinky promise. Also, at dinner when we're trying to speak only spanish, if we can't say something in spanish we say "¿Cómo se dice _____?" One evening, Elder Jensen turns to us and goes, "I think we use 'cómo se dice' like hashtag..." And he makes a valid point. Because that's exactly how we use it. So that's turned into a district joke as well.

Last week was Hermano Villalobos' birthday. But he didn't tell us. Hermana Arnaud told us. So we made him a birthday card and then sang to him--two days late. I wish I had a picture of the card. It was pretty good. Hermana Arnaud also told us that Hno Villalobos told her that he loves us. Which made us happy. Also, weird enough, it turns out that in his last district he had three elderes/hermanas going to Chicago West. So that was pretty sweet.
We had a stress management class on Sabado. I think I'm doing fine in the stress department, though I do seem to have made myself sick. Not happy about that. I've got a fantastic head cold, not to mention the alternating diarrhea/constipation. You know, CCM life. 
Also, FUNNY stories that illustrate how perfect my compañera is for me: one day we were trying to write our lesson but our district was being obnoxiously talkative so we went into the hallway for some quiet and ended up taking "fat pictures". Oh man. We are....adorable. Then, she also has a tiny bladder and has to pee as frequently as me. And when we go, we have stalls that we use every time. The one time we went in and our were taken, I was tempted to wait..... then, we were talking about how the food here is upsetting our digestive systems, and then ended up quoting Nacho Libre. So, from now on, we refer to diarrhea as Easters. This is a companionship at it's finest, if I do say so myself. "Easters is back/coming." It's great.
Here's a quote from a video we watched: "Your first day [in the MTC] is like trying to get a drink from a fire hose--you get a little bit of water in your mouth, but mostly it just hurts your face."
One day, the elderes asked Hno Villalobos if he drives a motorcycle (they're trying to get him dates.....how they'll accomplish that I have no idea) and he said no. They told him he should because then he'd be like James Bond. But he'd be: Lobos. Villalobos. (He told us later that James Bond in Spanish is Santiago Rubio. I was like, "James Blonde?!" He said yes.)
Elder Olsen also has developed a small fascination with one of the hermanas here, who goes to BYU (where he'll be going after the mish) and the elderes have nicknamed her Isabel, referencing Alma 39:3. Too good.....I think he blushed when they made him read that verse.

Okay, so, this week. Officially. Hermana Peréz left us for another district...that was disappointing. But she hugged us before leaving and said she'd see us again, so I suppose it's alright. That after noon we were finding out who our new teacher was and when it turned out to be Enay/Hermana Valásquez, we thought Jensen would have a heart attack. He told her no more surprises. I am so glad we have her though. She keeps us on task, whereas Hno Villalobos is usually too shy to tell us to shut up and get on task. It's great. (Our district is not very good at focusing....at all.)
Also, here's how regular Sundays work: the week leading up to it, everybody writes a talk. And then we get to sacrament meeting, and after the ordinance, the branch president gets up and says who will be giving talks. So, it's all up in the air until it comes crashing down. I got called on to give the opening prayer so that was a little nerve-wracking, but then I knew I wouldn't have to talk so that was a bit of a relief. It's also completely in Spanish, so that was intimidating the first week. But I can already tell that I'm understanding more. So I'm happy about that. We also have Sociedad Soccuro/Priesthood meeting before sacrament meeting, but that's in english. We also have district meeting in between the two meetings. Then, later, we have a devotional and sunday school with the MTC presidency. This week Presidente Tenorio (used to be of the 70) taught and he started out talking about celestial marriage....we were all pretty confused. But he told how he proposed to his wife and whatnot so it was cute. Then, at the devotional, the MTC director spoke about staying on target. The whole theme of the day was kinda "leave what's at home, at home, and focus on here and now". Then we watch a video later in the day (this time it was The Testaments) and then we watch a video of all the pictures of the districts leaving in the next couple of days and sing the spanish version of God Be With You Til We Meet Again, which is beautiful.

Yesterday was our Mexican Night, as it was Independence day for México. We got to watch some of the natives do a bunch of dances and one chica sang two songs. It was amazing. Mexicans have so much more culture than us American swines. Also, they are SO patriotic. I thought we were, but when you compare what they do with what we do....it honestly really doesn't compare. So good. We also watched a video highlighting some of the things that are distinctly Mexican, as well as some people that are distinctly Mexican (that I didn't really recognize....so I think that was the point...but I'm not entirely sure.) Oh man. It was spectacular. Loved it. So now I wish I was Mexicana. Desperately.....ah well. Speaking of ethnicities. Elder Jensen one day, randomly said, "You know, if you had told me you were of Asian background, I would have believed you." So, I guess I really do have Asian eyes...And I told my hermana that I'm like a mash up of all the ethnicities, with Asian eyes, muy blanco skin, and black woman lips. And she agreed. haha If only I were Latina.....

Unfortunately I don't believe we are allowed to access Dropbox here in the CCM otherwise I would definitely do that. But....nope. So, sorry for all the emails. I'm gonna try to get two in one. If only I could compress the files or something......but I dunno how to do that. In this email I'll just include my darling compañera and I. I did end up taking approximately 150 photos from Mexican night, but I won't send all of those....maybe just a couple.

Oh, I will send some pictures of people you won't recognize because they're from district 5D. They gave us their soft chairs last night since they're all leaving soon. Plus, the hermanas from that district gave us Paco. A rain coat. Of tradition. I don't have a picture at the moment, but I'll send one sometime. It's kind of really sweet.

But, I think that's about it..... I'm just gonna apologize right now to anyone who doesn't get a direct response from me: Sorry. I still love you.

Anyway, I think that is really about it. So I look forward to hearing from you all next week. Also, will you please somehow coerce Cameron into writing to me. I want to hear from him too....
Love you!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana DeBuck

This is the decor in the comedor. (I can't remember if I've sent this picture or not.) We are really hoping that they don't take these down. The squares almost all say "VIVA MEXICO". So sweet.

And then this is our casa, where we live. There are four or five rooms that each hold four people. Though it's not totally full at the moment, it might fill up tomorrow. 

One day we had this giant rainstorm. And I convinced Elder Olsen to pose for me. Isn't he adorable? Plus, look at all the puddles! Oh man. SO MUCH WATER.
Same day as the previous picture. All of us were wet, but the elderes were sopping. Dripping, even. But, I would like to say that their mothers raised them right: we were eating in the comedor with them but then they left us and we thought, oh well, they're lame. But then they came back from the classroom with umbrellas for us. So sweet. I would've hugged them if I could.
 Hermana Capps and I, all matchy-matchy for Mexican Independence Day. Neither of us had any green, so were were just in red and white.....and I believe you can see Elder Jensen photobombing in the background. He is one smooth puppy.
 Us hermanas with Hermana Soliz, from Distrito 5D. She's going, with Elder Gonzalez, to Washington Federal Way. Though I suppose she may already be there by now. Unfortunately, her compañera, Hermana Bown, left at 2 am Monday morning, so we didn't get a picture with her....it was terribly sad to say goodbye to these two.
 These are our zone leaders. Though I guess they WERE are zone leaders, and no longer are.....which is sad. They were probably the most perfect companionship of all time. Elder Dahl, on the right in this picture, was always super peppy and just happy and optimistic. Oh man, so great. And Elder Johansen was always a bit of a downer, but it wasn't really negative...that makes no sense. Anyway, they were pretty much opposites and were perfect. They're both going to San Diego California, and left this morning with Elder Gonzalez and Hermana Soliz. We'll miss them so much....

 This is our district (cinco ah) and their district (cindo de). I will try to name everyone from left to right, top to bottom:
Back row: Elder Hoffmann, Elder Knight, Elder Johansen, Elder Bronson, Elder Dahl, Elder Olsen, Hermana Haws
Awkward middle row: Elder Wasden, Elder Wilkerson, Elder Ruiz, Elder Jensen
Front row: Elder Black, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Macdonald, Elder Bradbeer, me, Hermana Capps, Hermana Powell, Hermana Soliz

I honestly don't know what we'll do without these guys...already miss them. They also gave us their American flag decoration for our door. What sweethearts....they said we were their favorite district, and they were definitely ours..
Okay, also, just remembered: I found out from Hermana Jones that Josh didn't make it here to el CCM because his Visa didn't go through so he's at Provo. You probably knew this already but didn't say anything in your email so I figured I'd check. I ended up just buying a slip from la Tienda. I did find out that we can exchange American dollars for pesos so I'll be just fine. I'm planning on getting a scripture case from the temple/visitors center when we go, so I'll just exchange some money before then.
I am wishing I would have brought more notebook/paper....my one notebook is already practically full and I only have on regular spiral notebook that I'm beginning, plus my little study journal....I can get notebooks at la tienda though so I should be okay. Did I tell you I got a CCM t-shirt? Oh man, it's sick. We're planning on getting a district photo one day when we all have them. Then you'll see what I'm talking about.
Lastly, if you would make a dropbox or something and then just email me the link, I can upload pictures to that instead of emailing. I just don't want to take the time to create the folder and whatnot... If not, no worries. You'll just have loads of emails.... Plus, I have been told that we get locked out if we try to send more than 30 emails, so that would be no fun. If you do create a Dropbox folder for me, I'll upload all my photos from last night's fiesta. I'm just gonna send two of the dancers and then one of Presidente Pratt with the flag, just before we sang the national anthem (their's has eight whole verses!)
Anyway, now I'm really done.
Love you lots momma. You mean the world to me.
Love, Su Hija, Hermana DeBuck

They men all worse masks and carried canes, acting like old men. This was by far the funniest part of the night. For some reason, it just reminded me of Cameron. Maybe because he too has acted like an old man on more than one occasion...


This is one of the photos that turned out the most clear. It was the first dance of the evening. I just love their dresses. They look so fun. Plus, they danced beautifully. All in all, it was just a fantastic night.

Okay, one last (maybe) picture. I take it back, I have two more. This, I think, accurately describes our companionship....

 And then this accurately describes Elder Dahl. It's just so perfect...