Hola! It feels like this week flew by! Friday I was in a trio again while Hermana Nelson went back to Immigration. It was all good though because while Hermana Keeler and Hermana Christensen taught their lesson I got to pose as the church member. We sometimes ask other missionaries to pose as members for lessons so they can testify of things or share experiences. I was Esmeralda, member of 2 years who had previous struggles with quitting smoking for the Palabra de Sabiduria (Word of Wisdom). It was actually pretty fun! That afternoon when Hermana Nelson came back we taught Cristian. He was texting and stuff in the beginning and I nicely but firmly told him we needed his complete attention because the things we were going to teach him were necessary for his salvation. He put his phone away pretty quickly. Hermana Pavia, our maestra (teacher), who poses as Cristian for lessons, does stuff like that a lot to just see what we do and how we react. Our member for that lesson was Elder Wood and when he introduced himself as “Inigo Montoya” I almost started laughing so hard. (Princess Bride reference) That night for dinner I had Frosted Flakes with Horchata instead of milk and it was amazing. 10/10 I would recommend it.
On Saturday we got a lesson on how not to unintentially say bad things, for example. When your teacher says “Hola, Elder Como estas?” Don’t say “Estoy Bueno!” TRUST ME. Say “Soy Bueno,” instead. Haha! We also played a fun game that involved a lot of running and fervent scripture searching to learn the difference between saber and conocer, which both technically mean “to know.”
On Sunday we went to church. The only one of our district (8 people) who had ever given a talk in church was Hermana Nelson so she didn’t prepare a talk because she figured the odds of someone else speaking were in her favor. Unlucky for her, she was called to speak again. It was pretty funny. Our friends in another district sang because your district always sings on your last Sunday in the CCM (MTC in English but stands for Centro de Capacitacion Misional Mexico), but they didn’t do a very good job and all started laughing during it so then my district all started laughing too so it was just a mess because it was in the middle of sacrament meeting. We watched “The Testaments,” that night for movie night. My favorite part was when the main character guy was saying it was impossible for him to have faith in something he couldn’t see (God). So the lady put her hands over his eyes and asked him if she could see her, and how he knew she was there if he couldn’t see her. I thought that was silly because he could feel her and hear her, so of course he didn’t need to see to know. Then I realized how perfect that actually is – I may not be able to see Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ but I can feel their love, feel the spirit, and hear their words through a modern prophet and the scriptures. So I’m actually in the same situation of not seeing, but hearing and feeling and letting that be enough for my faith. On Monday we took our going away pictures! Our district all poses behind the big CCM sign and the MTC President’s wife takes a picture of us. We’ll get to see them on Sunday and then everyone will sing, “God, Be With You Til We Meet Again,” It’s really sad, because we are leaving so soon. I leave the CCM this Monday (May 2nd) at 3 in the morning. The CCM used to be a Mormon high school and was closed 3 years ago and opened as the 2nd largest MTC, next to Provo. It can house 1,000 missionaries and the old CCM near the Mexico City Temple could only hold 125 missionaries.
Monday was a rough day. They told us we had to teach about temples to someone who doesn’t like their family and doesn’t want to be with their family for eternity. Plus, we had an extra teacher that day and 4 teacher boss people who were there to observe. So 15 people in a room the size of a small/medium bedroom plus all our desks, so it was pretty cramped. Then they told us we had to teach the temple lesson (that we had never done before) to the scary teacher boss people and we had no time to prepare. It was supposed to be a good learning experience but instead an Hermana and an Elder both started crying and there was a lot of frustration in the room. Oh I almost forgot, right before this they had just taught us present subjunctive form and told us to start using it. So not a great morning, things can be very hard, but we will carry on and it will make us stronger in the end. In the afternoon when we taught Cristian, he told us he kept his commitment to go to church but he slept through it all because he was hung over. Hermana Nelson and I turned and looked at each other and then telepathically agreed to change our lesson on the spot. So we taught about the Word of Wisdom with no notes. In espanol, and for 30 minutes. It was crazy! I know it’s going to be like that in the field all the time but it was our first time getting that big of a curveball in a lesson to where we actually had to completely abandon our prepared lesson and focus on the needs of the investigator. It went really well though! That night we gave some letters to an Hermana that was heading back to the states to go to her mission. The mail is faster and more reliable, so she’ll just drop the letters in the mail in the US. It was like 10:20 pm so we got a little chastised by a leader person. Oh well! Worth it!
On Tuesday (aka P-day Adam – because Adam comes before Eve) we learned how to street contact and played tennis during our gym time. Wednesday aka Pday Eve, we had TRC again. Insert for definition of TRC - The Teaching Resource Center (TRC) gives missionaries some experience teaching in their mission language, even if it is their native tongue. All missionaries visit the TRC each week. Volunteers who speak the language role play as "investigators" (people who are investigating the church) in these teaching situations. TRC was super fun because we got to teach a girl who is our age and then an older lady. The older ladies are the best because they talk a lot and really fast so it’s good practice. We got our schedule to leave and everything is feeling so real. We get our green cards this Sunday, the day before we leave. Yesterday on P-day (Thursday) we started packing our tiny room and it is a war zone. We played volleyball on the sand courts with our district which was kind of terrifying because I always think I am going to get hit in the face plus our Elders are all really tall and good at volleyball.
I’ll try to send a video next week of us singing the song we are going to sing in church. It works perfectly because 8 people = 2 people per part. We’re singing “Nearer, my God to Thee,” acapella. It actually sounds really nice but we are all glued to our hymnals because none of us know the words in Spanish. Haha!
I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to grow and learn so much and meet so many amazing people. It’s bitter sweet to leave, but my next email will be about Tuxtla. Yay!