Alrighty. I'm not sure where to empezar sin preguntas de mi mamá. Pero, I will try. (trataré)
First off, let me just give an overview of my feelings about the CCM, porque I feel like that is a necessity.
I really do love it here. The weather is perfect and it's so open and doesn't feel at all like a prison, Jesus prison or otherwise. (Hermana Haws' dad calls the MTC Jesus prison.)
Then, I have got the best maestros of all time. Hermano Villalobos just returned from his mission in May, I believe. He served in the Culiacan mission, if I remember correctly. He just turned 22 and our elders frequently speak to him about how eternal marriage is a prerequisite to get into the celestial kingdom. Yesterday he told us all about his date on Saturday--it didn't happen. So he told us about how he dated this girl before the mission and then the rest of the story up til now. He told us that she is different now than then and so is he. He kind of described it, in the most humble way possible, that he grew so much spiritually on his mission and now they're on different levels with regard to that.
And it's so cool to think about how that's gonna be true for me probably. I mean, I thought I was spiritual before I left, but now I think I wasn't hardly at all. If I don't grow a lot on my mission then I must be doing something wrong.
And then there's adorable Hermana Velázquez. She told us that while we're away from home and our mothers, she will be our momma. Oh man. She's great. She's cute and tiny and sassy. When she and Jensen get going at it, it is quite the sight to see/hear. Also, she is not exempt from the marriage counsel. There was one day when we walked into class and she was crying. She told us how that day she had seen this guy she had been dating seriously--and engaged--and then he broke it off just before the marriage. At least, we think that's what she said. We can't be sure because our spanish is más o menos. But now she's dating this guy that works/used to work here, Hermano Solomon. They are adorable together. They are three to five years apart (I can't remember what age Hermana Velázquez has), and she's older. We're not sure if that's weird in Mexican/LDS culture but we don't want to offend her or anything so we haven't asked. Either way, I hope it works out. We told her we expect pictures when it happens. I say when because our understanding is that Solomon is going to be speaking with el padre de Hermana Velázquez in a week or so.....so, cross your fingers that it all works out. Though I'm sure it will. She deserves it.
Then we have some teachers that come in and help out periodically during the day. And it changes from day to day. There Hermano Sanchez who Bronson calls his "brother from another mother", and there is no better way to describe him. He's like the Mexican version of our ginger Bronson. He's awesome. SO funny. There's also Hermano Peréz, who is 21. He served in Panama, though i can't remember when he got back. He told me yesterday "you know a lot of spanish words." I'm hoping that's a good thing--now if only I could put them to better use. Also, he is honestly probably the most attractive Mexicano I have ever seen. Just as a side note. Then Hermana Arnaud. She is the most adorable little thing of all time. She served in St. George and her English is muy bien. The elderes keep trying to hook up her and Hno Villalobos, but she says that they're just friends. They grew up in the same ward and one of them dated a sibling of the other, so I believe it. The elderes don't, and they are very persistent. Plus, Hna Arnaud has a boyfriend. Anyway. We see some other teachers too on occasion but I don't know much about them. Half the time we don't even know their names....ah well. Suffice it to say that we've got the best set of teachers/supporters in el CCM.
Then there's the food. It's usually honestly really good. A veces, I choose to just eat cereal, but I'm trying to be better at trying new things. Ah well. For the first two or three weeks, the food did some scary things to my digestive system, but now it's all good in the hood. (Todo está bien en el vecindario. Though don't quote me on that.) My favorite by far is the tacos duranos/floutas. They're delicious. Tuesday is pizza for dinner, from Costco. Every week, it is heaven sent. Whoever decided that deserves a prize of some kind....today for breakfast we had pan francés. Oh boy. Probably the best French toast I've ever had....mm. Yes.
My dearest friend Hannah asked me about my living conditions, so I should probably clarify about that. I live like an average human being in America, I believe. We have tile for floors and the bathrooms are generally not bug infested and the casas are made of bricks. It's probably a really sweet deal actually. Our bunk beds are really short so I've hit my head on the top bunk a few times, but not hard enough to do any damage. Honestly, if I wasn't going crazy, I could live here forever. Amo la ciudad de México.
Próximo. ¿Qué pasó esta semana? No estoy segura.... No mucha, pienso.
Obvio, conferencía general. Santa vaca. Ésta fue muy bien, ¿no? mm. Loved it. The afternoon sessions were my favoritas. Also, got to watch the women's conferencía durante la sesión del sacerdocio. Oh boy. That was fantastic. At the beginning, before we started the video, Hermana Pratt told us something along the lines of "I don't know if it's because we're women, but we get to have musical numbers and videos and fun stuff, unlike the Priesthood session." Boy was she right. Those Korean primary kids were straight up adorable. And then the video of women all over the world, bearing testimony of the temple? Mm, yes. I was very glad to be able to understand the Spanish ones without the subtitles--more or less. Very happy about that. I still can't get all the natives say (especially when they don't slow it down for us greenies...) but I think I'll get there.
However, I should mention that I don't feel like I've learned much Spanish here. What I have learned is how to understand Spanish. My speaking capabilities have improved only slightly, and my written is about the same, but I understand so much more. That I think is the reason that the CCM is fantastic for learning Spanish. You get so much more Spanish immersión than you would at Provo. But, that's just me.
Side note: I was looking at the photos on this computer I'm using and guess who i found! Annika Jaccard! Oh baby. I miss her dearly, but I'm sure she's killing it in Washington. As Jensen would put it, she's givin' them heaven.
Okay, so my favorite quote from conference was this, from Jörg Klebingat: "Acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don't be immobilized by them because some of them will be your companions until you depart this life." So good.
I think his talk was my favorite. Maybe, I dunno. It's hard to escoger. His I loved because it was so straightforward and so true. Hermana Capps enjoyed that he talked about physical wellness. haha
Also, in case you're wondering, we all cheered, sort of, when they announced the first speaker to talk in spanish. Unfortunately, because we were watching the conferencía itself in English, we did have a translator, so no español, for us. But it was still awesome. I'm hoping that I can watch them when I get back and be able to understand it all....what a cool opportunity.
Something weird/cool/odd that happened this week was after the tarde sesión de domingo. One distrito en nuestra zona left yesterday and two of them came into our room with ties tied around their heads, and holding an umbrella. They made us go, one at a time, into there aula after being "cleansed" by standing under the umbrella. Anyway, so basically what happened what we inherited this book that records the "travails" of distritos en zona 5. Along with this nasty girl's sweater that Olsen was supposed to wear yesterday--he was sick so didn't wear it much. Anyway, this book is so funny. Everyone has written in it with the language of scriptures, talking about their time in the CCM. We're all gonna write something for it too. Jensen's got his all drafted. I died, reading it. I'm working on mine. Hermana Powell thinks that Jensen and I will write the best ones. Can't say I disagree, to be honest. Bronson told me he's probably gonna need me to edit his and I told him I love correcting people. (in a joking manner, mind you.) I love editing...
Oh, we got travel plans. Sort of. If you're traveling to "oosa" haha you find out legit travel plans 24 hours before leaving...so all we know is that our bus leaves at 2:30 am. Fun fun fun! On Sunday night/monday morning. So we're planning on not sleep Sunday night and just staying awake, chatting. We may end up chillin in our aula all together but we may end up just us hermanas en nuestra casa. We'll see.
Our devocional on martes was of Elder Bednar. I swear, all these devocionales we see from MTCs are fantastic. The apostoles are just so funny when not in conferencia. We figure it probably has to do with the fact that conference is watched by members and non members alike, whereas MTC devocionales are just missioneros. Basically it was about taking notes. I tried a new method of notes for conference, but it didn't last. I did try to focus less on quotes and more on what I was feeling though. Mamá, if I don't get a chance to obtain my own copy of the conferencía ensign, will you send me copy? I'm not sure when it'll be out so I may be able to get my own in Illinois, but we'll see. I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday for TRC we ended up joining with the "new" district and we taught each other. The chica I was with was, I think, a little overwhelmed by my Spanish. Not trying to brag, but she seems confused much of the tiempo. I taught first and I think she got freaked out when she taught. Afterward when she asked if I had any constructive criticism, I told her just to trust her gut. She knows more spanish than she gives herself credit for. I think we all do, but that's just me. So that was kind of a fun "training" moment for me.
We had FHE yesterday. Just two of us distritos left. So we ate Chokis and played Big Buddha. Oh man. It was so funny. Took us forever to be able to do it, but it was fun all the same. Hermana Powell wants to teach us this game called Bunny Bunny which is really similar. I'm excited. I told them about Hua too. We were hoping to play today during P day but we'll see about that. We're running out of tiempo....
Wow, I guess nothing really happened this week.... I can't think of anything else.
Well, I guess today stuff happened.
La madre de Hermana Haws sent Krispy Kreme donuts so we ate donuts as a distrito.
We went on a walk around the outskirts of campus and took photos. (I'm way back at the end of this photo....not sure why Capps and I didn't stand at the same tree. I guess we just don't love each other at all.) [that was sarcasm, p.s.] (also, I'm so awkward.)
I figured out there are some cool effects things on my camera....that was nifty. The elderes y Hermana Powell y yo got haircuts today. Hna Powell y yo just got trims. All the boys looks so sharp now. They think it's too short, but they've got a week before they get to Nicaragua; it'll grow.
Yup, that's all I got. Sorry. Here are some photos too, I guess. I've been messing with the file size, so I dunno what they'll all be/how many I can get in one email. We'll see I guess.
Well, next time you hear from me I'll be back in the States, in the lovely if freezing state of Illinois. Pray that I don't freeze and have to be shipped to the mission home as an ice cube.
Thank you so much to everyone for all the love and support. I feel the prayers every day. There are moments when I wouldn't be able to go on without them. ...okay, maybe that's a tad melodramatic, but I do appreciate all the prayers. Love you all.
Con Todo Mi Amor,
Us, on our walk.
One morning. Man, we look tired. But mamá, look at my cabello. Is so curly... (:
I stole Bronson's name tag without him knowing during Sunday school before conferencía en domingo. So we wore each other's gafets all day.
donut selfie with my comp. we are soooo adorable...
selfie in the mirror. I have no idea what these things are but they still freak me out when I see something that doesn't match the background out of the corner of my eye... I can't explain it, but it's odd.
selfie with the mexican flag.
Man, you'd think I actually liked selfies, but YOSO (you only serve once....)
take one of this flower with an effect
the elderes with their spiffy new hair cuts
these weird lego hand looking things just outside the wall... we have no idea what they are. Can anyone enlighten us?