Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wizards or Jedis

Ah I love getting your emails! And I got my first letter from Mom!! It´s so wonderful to hear from you all. I´m excited for your package and the rice krispy treats.

Entonces, after I emailed last week, the next day my health just tanked. I had gotten Hermana S... sick and I felt like I just wasn´t getting better, I guess Heavenly Father still had some stuff for me to learn - namely, that missionaries actually get sick and there isn´t anything wrong with that. We were trying to be exactly obedient and just pretend we weren´t sick and then finally we went to the doctor and he essentially said, "No. That´s dumb. Go home and take care of yourselves and get more sleep." So we slept in for 2 days and now we are doing great. I´ve learned that with being a missionary, there is a lesson and purpose to everything. I learn so much everyday, it´s insane. Also, being sick as a missionary is the worst, and I hope they sell DayQuil in Ecuador.

Stockton! Time to answer your question. So, we learn about a year´s worth of Spanish every week or so. Last week we started past subjunctive which is like 3 or 4th year Spanish. I literally do not remember anything from high school. I´m sure we learned present tense conjugations and a bunch of vocab but that´s all I remember. Everyday we do maybe 30 min of Spanish lesson in my morning class, and then after lunch for an hour my district will do our own language study where we try to teach each other how to understand all the new grammatical concepts and do our homework together. I have learned many a thing from "Subjunctive Head" and I now know how to say "If Harry Potter died, then I would cry" in Spanish (Si Harry Potter muriera, lloraría). Then we have an hour of TALL lab which is a computer program that we practice grammar on, and then we practice more language study in my evening class. So that´s all there is for structured stuff. We try to speak Spanish as much as possible, which isn´t too hard in Mexico because nobody speaks English, so if you want your hot water fixed you need to know how to ask for that in Spanish. The impossible thing to believe is how fast I´m learning. Concepts that I never understood in school or that took me a month to learn I´ll understand within a day, usually. Except for subjunctive, which is like the boss level of Spanish. But I'll just learn a grammar concept, or tense (basically whoever invented Spanish decided that every verb needed 50 different conjugations, but somehow I can remember all of them, usually), I´ll try to use it as much as possible. My district is very encouraging, we all try to help each other understand, like one elder used subjunctive 5 times in his talk on Sunday so when he finished we all started cheering for him until we remembered we were in Sacrament meeting. Anyways, that´s a day in the life of the Mexico CCM. Not just saying this, but our district really has progressed faster than anyone else. I don´t know how I landed myself in the intermediate class but every day I thank God that I did cuz I would not speak this well without them.

So, something funny: My companion sleep talks like crazy. But the best part is, she sleep talks in PERFECT Spanish. I can´t get her to speak like that in lessons. When she is asleep, she has a perfect accent, she conjugates perfectly, sometimes she´ll be giving a lesson or talking about our teachers but she is fast asleep and it is perfect Spanish. It blows my mind.

So, Sundays here are the best. We had 3 devo´s, one was an old devo by elder Holland from Provo MTC, and he gave a dedicatory prayer for the 3 newly renovated buildings, this was back in January, but I seriously cried through the whole prayer. It was so weird. It was so cool to hear all the blessings he put on the MTC, like he specifically said that the angels of heaven would stand guard at it´s gates and that no bombs, guns, etc. would ever be able to enter. But another thing I was thinking about was how the last time I heard him give a dedicatory prayer it was at the City Center temple groundbreaking, and how if someone had told me that the next time I hear him give a dedicatory prayer it would be when I was on my mission at the Mexico City CCM, I probably would have said something like "neither of those things exist." So crazy. I´m so glad to be here. Being a missionary is something I wish everyone could experience. It´s unlike anything else.

Okay, embarrassing experience of the week. There is a teacher here who is Joseph Smith in the flesh. I don´t even know his name, in my mind he is just The Prophet Joseph Smith. Even his personality is just like how I imagine the Prophet´s was. So one day he stopped by our class and immediately one of our elders pointed at me and started telling this teacher all about how I think he´s the Prophet and how I don´t even know his name, I just call him Joseph Smith, how I think he should play Joseph Smith in the movies, all of which are true, all of these things I´ve definitely said before but I was so embarrassed I just wanted to drop dead. The poor teacher was like "well...thanks?" and then laughed just like how the prophet would have. Ahem.

Okay okay just a few more things: So it´s really funny here how American products are like a commodity. I definitely did not spell that right. They got Milky Ways and M&M´s in the tienda and I literally yelled out loud when I found out. One Elder here had Reeses from home and he convinced everyone that the Tienda had started selling them, it was the most evil thing I have ever witnessed. The Tienda also sells Arizonas, which are a soda thing from America, and all of the elders in our District are obsessed with them. My companion made them a deal with 2 of them that if we watched Legacy on Sunday night, she would buy them Arizonas, and once Legacy came on the screen they both stood up and started yelling and everyone turned around like what in the world is going on. The food here is just so weird. We calculated today that I eat about 4 tacos a day, and I´ve been here for 28 days, so I´ve eated about 112 tacos. That is just way too much.

Also before I forget, the Cates say hi. Their kids are so cute.

I know I say this all the time, but I love my district so much. I feel like all of them are my very best friends and I´m going to cry my heart out when we leave the CCM because only 3 of us are going to Ecuador, the rest are going back to the States or to Chile. 2 are going to Aubrey´s mission though, so that´s pretty cool. We work so hard every day, but we also have so much fun too. The other day we had an organized debate about whether Wizards or Jedi´s would win in a battle, and we got a bunch of other districts involved, it was great. Obviously, I was on the side of the Wizards. We are always laughing and joking around, but we get so much done. We have the perfect balance, it is so great. And we have the best teachers. I´ve learned so much from our morning teacher, Hermano C..., who is also obsessed with my hand sanitizer. It´s Caramel Apple, and now our whole district loves it. Little things like that, but every day. Our evening teacher is Hermano R... and Hmo. F..., aka Armando, and they are both great too. We get pretty burned out in the evening so Hmo. R... will try to come up with ways to keep us entertained but still learning Spanish. It´s all so much fun.

Finally, I decided on Sunday to try to read the Book of Mormon all the way through before I leave, which gives me about 2 weeks. I also decided to read it backwards, and to count how many times the Savior´s name is mentioned. 3 very random things, but it is really cool, and I've never read the Book of Mormon this fast. I´m halfway through 3rd Nephi right now, at this rate I´ll get through all of Alma in 2 days. I love the book of Mormon. In Relief Society we learned how the Book was literally only written for our day because the Nephites never ever saw it. By the time it was finished, they were all dead. It´s like, we know that, but I never thought of it that way, really. So, READ IT!!!!!!!!! Read it every single day, and, this is a missionary promise, I promise you that your life will be filled with more joy, and you´ll be able to recognize the blessings, and you will come to have a greater testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ.

Well, that´s all for today, as always, I love you all so much!!!!!!! Please keep writing me, I love letters and emails, and keep me updated on Camille, please? Also can I get her email?? I´m fasting for her today, I didn´t last week cuz I was sick but I really hope she will be on the road to recovery soon.

Have a fantastic week!!!! I love you all!!!!!

Love, Hermana Carter

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