Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hermana Saunders Carta #1

15 Reasons Why the CCM is actually Hogwarts

1. It feels like the letter is never going to come but when it does- you are through the roof excited!
2. When you get to the train/airport you notice other kids are dressed funny just like you and it is obvious you are all heading to the same place.
3. When you arrive and the platform/mexico Airport you are all standing around looking at each other wondering what you should do when a big guy, that you cant quite understand yells "First years over here"/ "Missionaries!"
4. You ride the boats/bus with amazement as you see the surrounding splender of the area(Mexico City... Whooooaaaa)
5. When you arrived you can immediately tell who your friends will be and who your enemies are (My sweet Companion Hermana Graham (:) (And well Satan... du)
6. You are sorted into houses (Zones and districts) and all the 2nd-7th years (weeks) clammer to give you advice
7. Following your sorting you eat a grand feast of foods you have never even heard of before- but enjoy immensely
8. After the feast the wise headmaster(s) give you some great tips and rules on how to stay safe
9. One of the rules is to stay out of the forbidden forest..... (coincidence? I think not)
10.You end up being best friends with the chums you share a dormitory with (ours is actually a casa [or house] and it is super nice)
11. You have the wises and the crazies professors
12. You learn strange words, and new pronunciations 
13. The places is swarming with unusual birds.
14. You study hard and adventure hard
15. Lastly, here we have magic. (or faith. Which is basically the same thing)

Wow I am loving it here! The first few days were a little slow, but things have really started to fly by. The compound we live in feels like it is right in the heart of the city. We always hear things going on out there. One night we went to sleep hearing a mariachi band and when we woke up at 6 they were still going. This city never sleeps! Our compound is surrounded by big stone walls and barbed wire, we joke that it feels like we are in the Truman Show.

The food is really good! Some things are better than others, but we always have the options of salad or cereal if the options of the main course are less than appetizing (the only things that aren't are the tomallies- in my opinion) We eat a lot of both American and Mexican food.

Weather expectations for Mexico= Hot, humid and sunny - reality- cold, dry and cloudy (and a little rain)  It is not SO cold, but even the Latinos have said this winter has been usually chilly. Most days we bring a light jacket with us all day.

Nuestra casa esta bonita! ( I just love it) We have about 20 girls living in it and it is seriously nicer than my college dorm. I was expecting more bugs here, but everything is really clean. We have our own clean water supply separate from the city and we mostly drink bottled water (because they say it tastes better & probably just to be extra careful). I haven't heard about anyone getting sick.

My Companions name is Hermana Graham and I absolutely adore her. Seriously she is the coolest girl. She is from Gilbert Arizona and went to BYU Provo Fall semester. Her mother is from Guatemala and so she knows a lot of Spanish already, which is such a blessing. We are both going to Concepción. I really love the other two girls in my room/district too- Hermana Salazar and Hermana Wagstaff. Hermana Salazar is from California and she was the first member of her family to convert to the church. She was 14 at the time and her parents and most of her siblings aren't members. She is such a rock. She is going to Denver. It is really nice to have her perspective in class. Hermana Wagstaff is from Holiday Utah and has the most hilarious sense of humor. She is going to Houston. WOW I love them all. If we are this close now I cant wait to see us in 6 weeks. We are also really close to the elders in our district- Elders Love and Reyes who are also going to Concepción and Elders Dowda (heading to California) and Sandivald (heading Salt Lake North).

We are so trusted here. We study independently most of the day.  The first few days we were all a little chatty but, we have grown so tight that it is much easier to help each other get work down.

I  love my zone. Seriously cool people here. We attend church together as a zone. This week I had to give a talk.. IN SPANISH! AH! The deal is that everyone prepares a 5 min talk and 6 or 7 people are randomly chosen to speak. It was so scary! I am pretty sure I murdered every word, but I did learn a lot from it and hopefully it means I won't have to do it again here.

We have an 'investigator' right now. We started teaching him Friday and have had 3 lessons with him so far. His name is Jorge and he is a really good guy. We struggle to communicate with him each day but the spirit is always there, and that is what is the most important thing for now. We learn so much from him each day.

Everyone and their dog tells you 'just make it to Sunday' here, but I have never felt like I really wanted to leave. In my room we all laughed about how everyone made it sound like their first week was so horrible, but it was actually really awesome for us. Sure we all had some home sickness, we all reached in our bags looking for our phones at least once during the week, we all miss music and none of us are really accustom to the amount of work and sleep we get each day (Lots of work and little sleep) but we all have faith. We all know that we are in the right place and that we are on the Lord's errand. We all struggle with Spanish. The teachers basically have just throw us into the water. Some days it feels like I have been set up to fail. Satan still gets in your mind here. But I know that I will not fail. I know that if I will put my Trust in the Lord will bless me. I can already see the blessings. 

Before I came out I thought I was taking one big leap of faith, when in reality I am learning that a mission is made up of taking giant leaps of faith EVERYDAY. It's a hard lesson, but I am not discouraged. Who the Lord calls he qualifies. I know that!

The spirit is powerful here- it is awesome to be surrounded by such great men and women everyday.

With Love,
Hermana Saunders

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