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.)
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,
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.
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.