Thursday, October 23, 2014

His Truth is Marching On. Week 2 at the CCM

Time flies at the CCM well relatively, it’s crazy that today is P day again but each day seems to drag on forever. The best is when we forget we haven’t had dinner yet and then we get so excited. I forgot to say in the last letter how good the food is here. I am kind of worried about gaining weight here, there is french bread and fruit always available to us in the caf, and the meals are such huge portions. It’s kind of a joke how much they give us and it’s always mainly meat and dessert, ya we have dessert every meal including breakfast, they always have these like pies for breakfast. Good news is we get an hour of physical activity each day so maybe that will help me. 

So this last Sunday was seriously amazing, every Sunday is so nice because it’s basically like a P day. We have sacrament in the morning, this week’s topic was the fall. Our district leader, Elder Drubay is so amazing, ya he is the AP now, no big deal. But anyway, for our district meeting we all went around and shared why we came on a mission. It was so awesome to hear everyone’s decision making process and how much they love our Savior. I love all the people in my district, there are 5 companionships of Elders and 2 Hermanas. Me and Hermana Rozsa and Hermana Bronson and Richards. We are all so close, mainly because we are seriously together all day long every day. 

So Sunday night we had a way awesome fireside with the Latins and North Americans mixed which is always a trick because pretty much they just speak Spanish most the time. But it was on our heritage in the church. Just at our CCM we had members from 10 countries. They had someone from each country come up and read about the heritage of the church in that country, in their native language, and then on the screen would be the other language, English or Spanish. It was really cool to see how the church has grown in South America in the past just 5 years. Paraguay’s membership is 84,000 and they said that it has doubled to that in the past 5 years. That’s is so crazy to me. 

I forgot to mention last week that every Sunday night we get to watch a church movie. Last Sunday it was 17 Miracles and this Sunday was the Joseph Smith movie. It was so good. I hadn’t seen that movie in a while. When we found out that we get to watch a movie every Sunday we got really excited because we thought that meant we would get to see Meet the Mormons but no one here has even heard of that movie, including president Willis, so I am pretty sure we won’t get to see it. 

Monday the temple was open special for the missionaries because the batch before us left Tuesday. Going to the temple in Spanish was very interesting. The really cool thing was that there were two missionaries that didn’t have temples in their countries so they went through for the first time and the hermana sat right next to me!!! It was so cool, but I felt so bad for them. It’s just really overwhelming to begin with and I felt so bad that their families didn’t get to be there. But I put my arm around her and held her hand through it and helped her when she needed it. The Buenos Aires temple is sooooo beautiful. Everyone should go look up pictures of it. It’s so different than any temple I have ever been to. It was so amazing being there with all missionaries. We filled the whole celestial room. 

So like I said Tuesday everyone in the whole CCM but our batch was leaving, all the Latins that came with us and the old batch of North Americans. So for 2 days my batch, which consists of two districts and about 25 people, had the whole CCM to ourselves. It was so fun. Then yesterday we started getting so excited because today we get a whole fresh batch of people!!! Hermana Rozsa and I get 4 new roommates, 2 Latinas and 2 North Americans, we are so excited. One of the Latinas I guess really isn’t a Latina. She is from Spain (which made me think of Ali’s dad, he served his mission in Spain) and she arrived last night at midnight. I woke up around 5 this morning and I saw her and it was like Christmas. Once I knew she was there I wanted to talk to her so badly. This morning we got to talk to her a little, a mix of Spanish and English. It was really good, I’m really excited to meet all the rest. So that’s why I had to get up at 6:30 to write you guys this morning because later today all the new missionaries will be writing their families about arriving safe and so we got the worst time.  Next week hopefully won’t be so bad. The best part about the new missionaries is that we will be with the North Americans for 4 weeks! The last ones we only got for 10 days and even 10 days we got pretty close to the sisters. It is just exciting to not be the new ones any more too. The Latins will only be here for 2 weeks but still we will get to know them too. 100 missionaries in one building all day long, every day, you are bound to get pretty close. 

The other thing I wanted to talk about was teaching. I kind of said last week that I had to teach 2 days after I got here, but it wasn’t like one lesson, done. He was like our set investigator. For 2 weeks we taught him all the lessons and then just this last time he told us he doesn’t want to be baptized any more. It’s cool because the people we teach are our teachers but they come up with the investigators from real people from their missions. So we got two new investigators this last week Victoria and Renzo. The first two lessons they both yawned a lot which I guess means we need to work on getting through a 15 min lesson without reading everything from our notes. It’s really tough to paraphrase when we can’t speak the language, but I can pray now without notes and bear a way, way simple testimony. Our teacher had little interviews with us after we ended the last set of lessons. He told me my Spanish is coming a long really well, which I think he has to say, but I was still way happy to hear it. He told me that when me and my companion teach he can always feel the spirit which was a huge compliment because that is all we seem to talk about in class is not focusing on what we are saying but if we have the spirit. My companion is so awesome, I really don’t know what I would do without her. She speaks so much more Spanish then me. This week we went to the temple and just talked to people around it. We talked to some girls that had done baptisms for the dead. They were so cute, when we walked up they were like "missionerias missionerias." I contributed some to the conversation but for the most part it was my companion. This Saturday they will load all of our batch up in a bus and drop us off at different parts of the city to go proselyting.  I thought it was like for an hour, but no, it’s for 6 hours. I am kind of nervous about that, but good news is my companion is boss and so I think we will do good. 

I am learning so much and I still have so much more to learn. One of the missionaries I loved so much that just left told me that the MTC really isn’t about learning the language, it’s about being obedient. So that’s what me and Rozsa try to do. We just try and be obedient all the time. It’s hard sometimes, like making sure we get up before 6:30 and going to bed at 10:30 and sometimes we fail, but we are working at it. 

Hermana Ball 

PS: you should look into how Dear Elder works down here. I thought that you could only do it at Provo MTC but I saw some people get one the other day. The pouch is also way nice.

Oh, I forgot to say also this week my district tried to do an English speaking fast. Oh man it was really, really hard. Basically I just didn’t say much, but we wanted to go 3 days and we kind of made it like half a day, so hopefully next time we try that we get better at it. 

PS: Tell my friends to email me, I want to hear from them.

This first one is me and Hermana Bronson at the airport.
She flew with me from Salt Lake. She is from Tremonton, Utah.

This is a pic of all the girls in my batch - one hermana richards she is from Cali and we didn’t know she
was coming. She is hermana bronson’s companion, they live across the hall from us and are in our
district so we see them all the time.  The other three in the pic are in a trio.  The girl 2 from the left
came from Arizona but spoke pretty fluent Spanish so she was fast tracked to the two week program. 

Better view of the CCM

Us outside the CCM. We hadn’t been outside the gates of the CCM for like a week, but finally this last
Sunday we got to go take pictures outside because the old batch was leaving. 
So this is the CCM, just one building haha.  It’s so small. 

Me and my companion taking a quick pic, we aren’t really supposed to
 take pictures at the CCM but in our rooms. They just don’t want taking 
pictures to become a distraction fromlearning, which is actually a 
way good thing.

These are our Latina roommates. For some reason they never smile in pictures.
 It took like 10 tries to get the one on the right to smile. She is from Bolivia and the one on the left is from Peru. 

Me and the hermanas are getting really close.
 I let Bronson wax my armpits last P day. It was very painful. 

I am teaching my companion, Hermana Rozsa, to be snuggly, she is struggling. 

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