I am so happy to hear from you! And I hope you got my pics last week!
To answer your question, yes the session in the temple was done in Spanish (and they played the old endowment video!), but luckily they had the translator headphones, and I got to do the veilwork in English. I got into the Celestial room and could not find my companion anywhere. Elder Whipple told me she already left, so I didnt get to stay in the Celestial Room for long. I get to go two more times these next few weeks. :)
SOOOO MY LIFE..... Life here in the CCM is hard. Seriously, there are some days where Hermana Baker and I sit outside and just wonder what the heck we are doing here. She and I are SO alike in that we are so impatient with ourselves, and we have a hard time with the language. But I am always reminded that we are not here at the CCM to learn Spanish. We are here to learn how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to His children with love and with the Spirit. I have been amazed over and over how much of a difference it makes to have the Spirit in your lesson. Our first lesson was a train wreck, but the next few lessons were awesome because we prayed to have the Spirit with us. I still dont know much Spanish, but as my teacher likes to remind me, I know more than when I came here.
My teachers. Our morning teacher is Hermano Hernandez. He is pretty cool! Our new afternoon teachers are our previous investigators "Ulises" and "Alex". They are really Hermanos Castalleno y Encico. Encico is my favorite. He is getting married in May to his girlfriend in Texas. He is the best teacher ever. He learned English while serving in Ecuador, and he is so patient and knows when I am getting overwhelmed, and he knows just what to say.
Last Tuesday we had a devotional with Elder L. Johnson. He was amazing! (we have devos every Tuesday night here.) And on Sunday we had a general authority speak to us. I guess he wasnt technically a GA, but he was the Managing Director of the Missionary Dept. of the Church. Funny story. Earlier on Sunday, Hermana Baker and I were leaving the lunchroom (el comedor), and we started talking to these two older gentlemen who turned out to be Kelly Mills (Director of all foreign MTCs) and Steven B. Allen, the Managing Director of the Missionary Dept. We had no clue he was the one speaking at the devo. They asked for our suggestions on how to improve the CCM. And then Brother Mills said to me, "You look like you have some Japanese in you. Where is your family from?" I was all weirded out. Now my roommates all tell me I look part Japanese. What the heck?! I have never heard that one before!! I told him where our ancestors are from, and he just asked where I got my dark eyes from then. haha. Made my day.
My district. We are slowly getting better. The boys are all immature still, but we get together every few nights and share stories and testimonies. We are always laughing together and quoting Nacho Libre. Seriously. I QUOTE NACHO LIBRE ALL THE TIME. It is so applicable to my life. You have no idea. "Dont you know these are the Lords chips?"
K, so I seriously know EVERYONE here. I am friends with EVERYONE. I walk through el comedor, and all the elders and hermanas are like, "HOLA HERMANA PORTER." For realsies. Its awesome. I find like 10 connections a day with people. We bond. Its awesome. It drives my roommates nuts, but I am loving it. I love the people here!!
My compañera, hermana Baker, is seriously the best comp ever. I am so blessed!! We are always talking about what we can do better, what we do in study time, and trying to help each other out. She is so awesome. Shes older than me by a year or so, but we are on the same level and wavelength. I love her to death! She is always reading my mind. When I feel we are having issues with the district, she is thinking the same thing. We pray about it and discuss it, and its wonderful. I wish I could keep her when I go to Kentucky!! She and I also bought the same London Fog coat. COINCIDENCE? I think not!
We had a service project in el comedor last week where we were taking the stickers off the fruit (I eat plums here every single day). This worker was telling us how he used to work at Fazzolis in the US and how he had left a birthday message for his boss before he went home one night, and the next day he was asking her how she liked her "massage" (he meant message). everyone was laughing and she got all flustered. He was just pronouncing it wrong. Too funny!!
BTW. Dont send me letters here please!! The mail takes 4 weeks to get here. I just got a letter last week from my mission president that was sent Sept. 27. UGH. So I would suggest emailing me while I am here in Mexico and just sending letters to me in KY. Please! Not that I dont want letters! If youve already sent me one, thanks! I hope to get it these next couple weeks! But dont send me anymore! Just email por favor!!
haha so the guys in my district think its awesome to sing to our investigators before a companionship teaches him, so they are always getting together, singing Battle Hymn of the Republic to the investigator, and then leaving. They are so dumb haha. Not really. Its just funny. elder Fastle from New Mexico, he is always singing in the mornings, terribly, and Hermano hernandez one day was like, "Can you shut the door...when you leave please?" So funny. Chuuurrrroooo. I also taught the district what the word "trunky" means. Hno. Hernandez brought it up.
Theres a girl here who quotes movies with me in the gym every morning. I love her. Were always quoting Robin Hood Men in Tights, every Adam Sandler movie, etc. LOVE IT.
funny story. So sunday morning, Hna. Baker and I were out the door at 7:00 am for personal study time in the classroom, and no one was there. Then in comes Elder Feuz, our District leader, and his comp, and theyre like, "Well, apparently its daylight savings time." Soooo we could have slept in an extra hour. Ugh. Sunday was a long day.
Oh!! Tell Dad Happy bday for me!! :) I did not forget!
hahaha another funny story: Hno. Hernandez took half of us outside the classroom so he could give us a role to play as investigators. I was standing there listening to him in the hall when I looked out the glass doors when I saw a bird drop out of the sky and start having a seizure. I watched in horror the entire time as the bird flopped around batting its wings. I was freaking out inside. I dont remember listening to Hno .Hernandez. AHHH.
The weather here is crazy! One day its freezing and raining, then the next its sunny and a million degrees outside. What the heck Mexico!
Um um um what else can I tell you.... I got my haircut today. The ladies in the salon only speak Spanish, so I didnt talk to them much. My stylist had me take off my glasses, so I just let her do whatever. Thankfully she just trimmed my layers and thinned my hair. PHEW. I know very little Spanish!
Life here is good. There are somedays where I think of what I am going to email you, and it is not always positive stuff. I get so frustrated with the language, and sometimes I just hit a wall and stress turns to distress, and all I want to do is cry. Luckily the other day when that happened, we had a stress management class. It helped me a lot. I am good at managing my stress, but man, that was a bad day. I think it was Saturday. I wish I knew the language, but I am learning that the Spirit will say what it needs to say, and I just need to study so it can have some words to work with. Hno. Castalleno was helping Hna. Baker and I read El Libro de Mormon yesterday, and asked how we were feeling. He reminded us that we need to be grateful for what we DO have rather than what we dont because thats when missionaries get caught up in it all and cant feel the Spirit. I just have to remind myself I know more than when I first came here. Its just hard because Hna. Baker and I feel like, we already know what we want to say in English, but we cant express it in Spanish. I do wish I was preaching the gospel in English, but if the Lord needs me here, then I need to stick with it. Im just grateful I will be serving in the US so there will be some English speakin goin on. I miss America!! I miss you guys!!
I am learning so much about myself here. I am learning that patience, charity and love are some Christlike attributes I really need to develop. I have to tell you about that. This morning I took a Christlike attribute test in Preach My Gospel, and I decided I needed to be more loving and patient with others. Well, one of my roommates started talking about how much she hated Mitt Romney at lunch and how she loved Obama, etc..... I had to zip my mouth shut and look down the entire time during lunch because I AM TRYING TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO BE LOVING AND PATIENT WITH EVERYONE. Woof. Its hard!!
I am doing better than I thought I would here. I dont have time to miss home, but I do. I miss being home with you guys and seeing everyone. I was looking at my photo album this morning and just thought, "I dont even remember that life!" I feel so different now, but I am still the same person. I just do a different work. I wouldnt want to be anywhere else. Somedays are so hard that I feel like I cant do this, I need to go home, but I am never serious about it, and I just think, "I would never regret finishing my mission." The mission is the best. I know the Lord is taking care of you guys even though life is hard there, but I am trying to be as obedient as possible so the Lord can bless you all with everything you need.
I JUST GOT BIT BY MY FIRST MOSQUITO. The door in the TALL lab is open, and I just got bit. DANG IT!! I was doing so well!! UGH!
Anyway. Im having a good time overall. Despite the hard times, I ALWAYS go home at the end of the day happy and ready to start the next day.
SEND ME PICS PLEASE! I dont want to forget what you guys look like! I miss you all! I hope everyone is doing well! I emailed Sarah back. TELL BRADON TO FREAKING EMAIL ME PLEASE. Or else I will use my lucky machete on him. Tell him: "When the fantasy has ended, and all the childrens are gone, something deep inside me helps me to carry oooon! I ate some bugs, I ate some grass, I used my hand, to wipe my tears.... Ill break my vows, NO NO NO NO NO NO WAY JOSE! Unless you want to, we'll break our vows togetherrr, ENCARNACIOOOOON!!! Deedle lee da leedle leeee!"
Oh, and "IF WE WIN WE GET 200 PESOS"
I miss Bradon. Hes so funny!!!! UGH.
Okay, but really. I love the CCM. Even though I am quite the gringo here, I am learning new things every day. It will be a while before I am fluent, but I will get there! One day at a time. My testimony is growing stronger everyday because I am witnessing the Lord's hand in my life every day. He has blessed me with a great companion, a MILLION FRIENDS HERE, and tender mercies. I cant focus all the time, but the Lord knows when I need to reboot in order to focus, so all is well.
I miss singing in English. You never know what you have until its gone! The elders in my district LOVE singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic in Spanish, and we are always singing Called to Serve in Spanish. I almost have both memorized. LOL. But really. There are some things I can only express in my native language, and I am so grateful that I can speak English. I hope Spanish has a significant meaning to me someday soon, but for now...I love English. lol.
Dont get me wrong. I love Spanish. I just need more work with it. I am still in the memorizing phase, but someday itll mean something. Pray for me!!
I am so glad to hear from you. Email me as many times as you want during the week. I am always writing down stuff to tell you guys. I have so many funny quotes and stories written down to tell you guys and Ashley Mendoza. LOL.
I love you guys so much. The Church is so true. I was telling Sarah that I cant imagine what life would be like if I didnt know who I was, where I came from, who my Father in Heaven is, what my savior did for me, what my purpose is here on Earth, and where I can go after this life. I want to be fluent enough in Spanish to be able to teach those things to other people in their own tongue. I pray every day that I can be diligent in learning Spanish and that the Spirit will help me. I will have the gift of tongues someday soon I hope. The Church is true! The Book of Mormon is true! I bear testimony that I know our Heavenly Father loves us and is SO SO aware of each and every one of us. Even though life may seem hard at times, we just need to obey his commandments and all will be well. I KNOW THAT. Have hope! And have faith!!
I love you all! I will attach pictures to this email! I LOVE YOU ALL!!
P.S. I NEED A NEW CAMERA. The one I got from Sarah is kind of sucky. I cant look at the pictures after I take them because it freezes. I MISS MY CAMERA DESPERATELY :( :( :( It breaks my heart!!