My teachers here are amazing. SO amazing. Three of my most favorite teachers are Hermano Pino, Hermano Ruitor, and Hermano Canas. Hermano Pino just got back from his mission to Peru about 4 months ago and has the most amazing testimony!! Its crazy, because he doesnt speak much English, but we're still SO close to him. Honestly, I feel like he's one of my best friends here! He's such an incredible teacher, all of them are!! Even though he's only 20, I feel like he's so wise and teaches us so much. I'm so forever grateful for the love that they show to us! You can tell that they really care about our success in the mission field and its so great.
This morning, 5 districts left the CCM, leaving for the big bad world!! Theres literally only like 20 of us left here at the CCM. Its so empty its weird! But you know what that means... tomorrow afternoon is when the NEW NOOBS come in!! Its honestly like high school here in that when you first come to the CCM you feel like a noob freshman until the old guys move out. Now, were technically sophomores here so we think were pretty dang cool. Haha!
Hermana Smith and Hermana Phelps left this morning too, though. Honestly, I can't thank them enough for the impact that they made on me. They changed the first two weeks of my mission. I was so lonely, so homesick, and so wanting to go home, but they made me feel so incredibly loved that I kind of forgot about all of those awful feelings. Last night, everyone was hanging out and saying bye, and we all got in a big group hugging each other, and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"and everyone was crying and laughing and hugging and there was just SO MUCH LOVE. The Spirit was so strong. Theres something really amazing about feeling united, feeling like ONE. If you think about it, were all here for the exact same reason...because we love our Lord and Savior Jesus Chirst and we want everyone to know Him and follow Him. We are ALL in this together, and its the best feeling. It was pretty hard saying bye, but I know the Lord will take care of them!!
GOTTA SAY THIS REAL QUICK. I'm in love with Chile. Everything about it. The people, the hustle and bustle of Santiago, the food, the LANGUAGE. Its absolutely incredible. The Chilean people are the warmest people you will ever meet...and even if you cant speak that great of Spanish, they get it! I already dont want to leave this place. Its definitely pretty frustrating though, when you run into people who want to talk to you and you want to talk to them SO BAD but the language barrier is just too thick. I'm working on it though! It'll come with patience.
PATIENCE. One thing that I KNOW the Lord is trying to teach me right now. I never really considered how hard it would be to be with someone literally 24/7. Its exhausting. I feel like Im somewhat introverted as well, so sometimes I just want some ME time and its almost impossible here at the CCM!!! I love my companion, Hermana Maxfield. As different as we are, were alike in a lot of ways. We both have an enormous love for music, so were are ALWAYS singing!!! We also have some really good conversations, ones that make you think, you know? Shes a beautiful person inside and out!
Dad, real quick question. Do you know an Elder Hardenbrook who served in Santiago North from 1989 to 1991? If so, I know his son!!! His son is serving in the Oeste mission, west mission, and just left for the mission field!! Hes a great guy!!
One really great thing that just keeps me going is that I've been told many times by different people that my accent when I speak Spanish is really good!!!!! That makes me so happy, because I really really try to pronounce the words the way native Chileans would! The Spanish language is so beautiful, so much prettier than English!
So we have this investiagator named Hector...hes actually our teacher Hermano Pino, but we pretend hes a real investigator. Weve had about 3 or 4 lessons with him, completely in Spanish, which is really hard. But here at the CCM they put a really big emphasis on TEACHING BY THE SPIRIT. You can be 100 percent perfect at speaking spanish, but if the Spirit isnt with you helping you, you arent going to get through to your investigators. Well, our last lesson, IT HAPPENED FINALLY. It was almost as if I wasnt even thinking about it, and I was just speaking and the Spanish was coming to me. And then a scripture that I had read a few days ago popped into my mind and I asked Hector to read it and it just was incredible! The Spirit was so strong, and I cant really explain it, because I know that it wasn't all me. Ive learned that if God knows your trying your best, He will 100 percent help you make up the rest. He's our LITERAL Father. What Father wouldn't do anything for His children?
Funny story, we were teaching another one of our investigators, Carla, and mi companera Hermana Maxfield was trying to explain that God has a body of flesh and bones, just like us. She accidentally said "carne y juevos"instead of "carne y huesos". For those that dont know, "juevos"in spanish means eggs. So she told our investigator that God had a body of flesh and eggs, and Carla, our teacher Hermana Munoz, just busted up laughing. It was a totally innocent mistake, and we had NO IDEA!!!! hahaha it was so great. I'm grateful for laughter because without it, we'd be goihng crazy down here.
A little bit about the food here at the CCM...its CARB OVERLOAD. Honestly, I think theyre purposefully trying to fatten us up. haha. But the bread here is INCREDIBLE, so I will willingly get fat for the pan. Dad, I LOVE MANJAR. hahaha which probably isnt a good thing, but man oh man, I could eat it all day! Something weird is that they eat there cereal with yogurt instead of milk, so every morning we have cereal and yogurt!! Im actually really strating to love it!! They have this store here called Liders and it is owned by Walmart, so they sell some american great value brand items. They have Ritter Sports here!!!!! That's so good, but so bad!!!!!
One important thing that I learned this week is from 3 Nephi chapter 26 verse 9. It says "And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them." Ive realized that most things that are WORTH IT never come easy. Imagine if I just walked into the CCM, not even having to TRY to learn Spanish or teach by the Spirit. What if it just came to me? Of course that would be so much easier, but what would I learn?? Yeah I wouldnt get so frustrated that I ended up crying, yeah I wouldnt be so hard on myself that I end up pushing myself TOO hard, but I wouldnt be personally progressing. Our faith and our loyalty HAS to be tested. Our loving Heavenly Father wants to know that we have tried our hardest to please Him and be on His side and He will make up with rest.
I want you all to know that I love this church and this work so much. I'm so beyond grateful for this experience and I owe it all to Him. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He wants us to come to Him! I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the strength that its been to me. I challenge you all to read it! It will change your lives.
Have an AMAZING week! Remember to pray!!
Lots of love,