Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A mission is a marathon, not a race

Group email: 
This week went by super fast, even faster than last week.  I think it is because we have something to do every minute of the day.  At night, it is kind of hard to focus on studying though, and my district gets super chatty.

This week Hermana Rivera and I got called as sister training leaders!!! We basically make sure that all the Hermanas are doing okay.  We got called because the Hermanas that were sister training leaders left for Florida yesterday.  It was sad saying bye to that district, but it was also good because I am excited for them to go out to the field.  Also, every Sunday after the movie we have a slideshow that says what districts are leaving.  This week, 7 whole districts, or 64 missionaries, are going out to the field.  Just imagine how many are leaving from the Provo MTC.  It´s awesome.  

On Sunday, I had to play piano for all of the North American missionaries.  It was scary because I prepared to play I know that my redeemer lives, and then when I got there they asked me to play something I didnt know how to play because they didnt have the lyrics to project on the screen.  However, they were able to switch it back to I know that my redeemer lives, so I was happy about that :).  I made a few mistakes, but overall it was good.  

This week, we had something called TRC where we teach real people that talk super fast and dont know English, but they are members.  It was scary, and it made me realize that in the CCM I am overconfident about my abilities in Spanish speaking.  the first investigator we had was an older lady, and I had a really hard time understanding her, but it was better with the soon to be Elder that we taught.  He said a really fast prayer at the end, and I understood it!! It was probably because Hermana Rivera and I prayed before that one, so that it would go better.  

I guess there was a 5.5 earthquake that hit somewhere near us.  On Saturday, we had an earthquake drill, and then yesterday it was the real thing.  I didnt feel it at all though! I guess the CCM is lower than the rest of Mexico city, so maybe that´s why.  Did you know that the altitude is nine thousand something feet elevation here???  It is super hard for me to run, but I was able to go for a 20 minute run one day this week.  I usually run for 15 and then either play basketball, do yoga, jump rope, or play volleyball.  Also, there has been lots of smog, which isnt fun, but it hasnt been hot so I cant complain.  Also, one day while we had language class, we were outside, and I saw a bunch of parakeets flying over head.  There are such pretty birds here!! Also, I was worried that Mexico City was going to be super loud and it would be hard for me to sleep, but I havent even had any problems yet. I sleep soundly every night.  One night, my companion even heard me laughing in the middle of the night.  I guess I was having a good dream :)

I am now in week 4, and now we have many more goals to accomplish.  My morning teacher is also very strict, but she is helping us prepare so thats good.  Also, we have been teaching her like we would an investigator and she has been a really hard investigator to teach, but she told us later that the reason she is so hard on us is because she knows that we can do it.  I have so many things to improve on in my teaching, and I love knowing what i need to improve on too, because i want to be the best missionary out there. 

Last week, my most spiritual experience is when we saw a broadcast of Elder Andersen.  The most powerful thing he said was probably that a mission was a marathon not a race.  This also relates to life in enduring to the end.  I also memorized D & C 4 all in Spanish this week.  

Love you!
Thanks for all the letters :)
Hermana Findlay

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Sister Taquitos"

To family and friends,

For a service project this week, we were supposed to help out the newbies that were arriving to the CCM but turns out that there aren´t any newbies that day.  I don't know if we´re going to have more this week or not just because it is the holiday season.  

I feel like we´re in a big bubble here in the CCM.  I just heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris and the church´s new policy about gay parents.  It´s weird.  Sometimes I hear Spanish music and I say "Oh, I know that song!" Ha ha its funny that it´s the same music that I listened to just yesterday it feels like.  The first week didn't go very fast, but now I know that we have a little break on both Pdays and Sundays.  Sundays we get to watch a movie!! It´s awesome :)  I had no idea how much I liked movies until I got here.  This week we watched How Rare a Possession.  It wasn't as good as last week´s movie (the testament) but it was good.  

I am surprised that I haven´t been bit by any mosquitos since I have been here.  I hear about some other people that are getting bit all the time.  Maybe it´s because I am trying to live the Mexican life as much as i can.  There is usually both a Mexican entree and an American entree and I always choose the Mexican one.  With tamales and all! I love it.  However, one day for dinner this week, the only option was hamburgers and french fries, and that´s just too American for me to eat.  I didn't have any of that entree, but instead, I made myself tacos with their bar full of beans, rice, salsa, and corn tortillas.  I love it.  

So I found out that Hermana Archuleta AKA David Archuleta´s sister is in the adjacent classroom!! I don´t think they look very similar, but I talked to her twice this week! She even gave me a compliment on my dress and we played basketball together too along with other Latinos.  Hermana Archuleta is so nice! Also, I loved how the Latinos all gave me a hug after I played basketball with them because they had to go.  The Latinos are all so nice :)

Also, I gave a talk this week in Sacrament meeting all in Spanish.  I didn't know that I was going to speak until right before the meeting started.  I got up there and my Spanish just flowed though.  My branch president said to use 5 min, but I gave an entire 10 minute talk (it was okay to go over).  I talked about the gift of the Holy Spirit and how important it is to have when we teach. God knows our investigators so much more than we do!  At the end of Sacrament meeting, my branch president told me that if he didn't look up at me, he would´ve thought that I was a Latina talking!! That was so good to hear :)

Me and my companion went on an adventure with a worker here at the ccm.  He´s our good friend and even calls us "Sisters Taquitos" in his really funny accent.  Anyway, we were planning for the next day, and Elder Lima comes into our classroom and says he has a little secret for us. Then we get in this golf cart and go for like a 2 minute ride across a little part of campus.  It was so funny because Hna Rivera and I had no idea where he was taking us.  We were glad that we just went for a ride and then went back to our classroom though. 

This week, I was reading in Ether 12, and I came across Ether 12:19 and I thought it was really cool that because the brother of Jared had so much faith, God wasn't able to hide his finger from him. Then later, it says that the veil was taken off of him or something.  After reading this, I thought about how I should be like that and have that much faith.  It sometimes is hard in lessons to know that the Holy Spirit will tell me everything I need to say, but I am getting better.  I just have to take one step at a time. 

Love You All,
Hermana Findlay

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

First Week in the Mexico MTC

Nov. 10, 2015

To Family and Friends,

I´m sure most of you heard about my long day at the airport but after I finally got out of the airport in Mexico City, I saw a neon sign for me...I felt pretty special. There were only latinos there and the first thing he said to me was habla espanol and i said si :).  The guy needed to see that my passport had a valid temporary visa first and he noticed that it only had 30 days.  He said that it was fine, but hopefully it will be.   Anyway there was only one other missionary that rode to the CCM with me and her name is hermana R.  I thought she didn’t know English at first because her dad is from Peru, but her mom is from idaho.  She actually went to BYU and I discovered that she was going to the Texas McAllen mission.  We were making jokes in the car with the hermanos who picked us up and now everytime they see Hermana R. and I they call us Taquitos because Hermana R. said something about taquitos.  

By the way, Hermana R. and I are companions now, and we were overjoyed.  She is the best companion ever!! And she took 4 years of Spanish in high school and even one year in BYU.  I bet we passed each other all the time at BYU without even noticing, but we always talk in Spanish together and we both love to be active, and she is really funny.  She helps me with my pronunciation, and I help her with her grammar and vocabulary.  

At first, we both thought we were in the wrong district because we were learning basic things in Spanish, and we know Spanish pretty well in comparison to the rest of our class, but then we asked our teacher Hermana Alonso and she said that most of the class is intermediate so I guess I’m in the right class.  I’m just not learning a lot in spanish class.  But I have my ways to learn Spanish.  For example, we talk to each other mostly in Spanish,  we teach lessons in Spanish, and most of the time we eat with the latinos.  I love the Latinos! Also, every time i write in my journal now, I write in spanish and i don’t even catch myself until after I wrote it.  

Our first lesson con Hermana R. y Hermano H. was okay...our Spanish was really good, but we didn’t really teach the lesson that well.  The second was the opposite, but LET ME TELL YOU about the third!! When we were preparing to teach we wanted to finish up with the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Jesus Christ, but I felt that we should explain the atonement in the plan of salvation more and we should not yet teach about the doctrine of Jesus Christ, so we went with that plan.  Also a teacher told us that we should address their needs more, so we mentioned in the lesson that unless they wanted to change and have a better relationship with each other, the gospel wasn’t going to help them with that. I taught the atonement and I was again impressed with my spanish.  The gift of tongues is so cool!!! But it doesn’t just  come out of nowhere.  I have to take action.  For example I have a goal of learning 25 new words every day and learning a new scripture every day and I have done those things every day so far!! But anyways back to the lesson. .After Hermana R. talked about the different degrees of glory, she asked if they would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone that had the authority of God. They basically said that they feel that this gospel is true and they would.  I could not stop smiling after they said that.  

The CCM has such good food!!! I don’t eat very much for breakfast and dinner usually.  But for lunch, it is so good.  It’s like celebration time.  I usually have cereal and fruit for breakfast and salad and fruit for dinner, but for lunch it’s always different.  They lay out everything.  There is always soup too!!

Also, today, I played volleyball, tennis, soccer, kickball, and did yoga on my pday.  It was so great to not sit for a change :)

A good scripture that I found this week was 2 Nephi 2:13.  It talks about our whole purpose here on earth.  I was able to share it with my district.  I have felt the Spirit so strong and being on a mission is way harder and way better than I ever imagined it.  I am so thankful for the knowledge I have and the testimony I have about Jesus Christ and his Atonement, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith.  You really need to know all these things before teaching someone else.

I have become so close with my district and my companion. It’s crazy how much all of us have changed already. I love Mexico City too...It´s always the perfect temperature, and I have the opportunity to speak spanish all the time with everyone!!  I’m happy here. :))

Love You,
Hermana Findlay