Thursday, October 16, 2014

First Email!!!

Surprise!!! One day early!!! I just happened to see Elder Welch's email come in so I was able to email back and forth with him for a few minutes (not gonna lie, I cried the whole time). Sis. Dyer had told me that the missionaries might get to email a day early so they can spread out the computer time as they have so many missionaries right now. OK with me!

*Just a couple of things from our other back and forth emails:
-His companion, Elder McCain, is from Missouri
-I asked how he was liking the CCM in an earlier letter: "It's actually really good!  theres only like 100 people here and i know most everyone.  i'm friends with all 21 kids i flew up with and pretty good with the 4 and 6 weekers!  we get chocolate here called jet bars and they have cool stickers in them so we trade them like pokemon cards"
-He requested some handwritten letters from everyone. I put the mailing details in another post. It only costs about $1.00 to mail a letter from the US so everyone get busy :)

Hey!  The CCM is actually really really great!  (disclaimer: ignore bad grammar and spelling, the keyboards here are weird and the spanish is ruining my grammer in english) The water is cold in the showers but only in the morning, so me and my companion Elder McCain shower after gym or at night haha.  Elder McCain is awesome, i definitely lucked out.  I havent been mad at him once and it's day 8!  He´s also a Volleyball champ.  Theyre pretty serious about their volley ball here.  I spend my gym time playing ping pong, trying to become forest gump.  It took 3 days to get my tag but getting it was the best feeling ever.  Kinda made it feel... official.  We had to go do immigration on the first day which was a lot of sitting around people watching at the office in down town bogota.  The people are really friendly here but insane drivers!  No signaling or stopping and motorcycles squeeze between cars.  It´s been a cool experience so far.  My room, habitacion 8 is one of the biggest rooms in the ccm and there´s 2 empty beds!  The companionships in there are me and Elder McCain, Elder Allen from Arizona and Elder Fuentes from Argentina (funniest kid ever) Elder Christensen from Wyoming and Elder Carver from Utah.  Every day is pretty much the same.  Grammar, lessons, study, lessons, grammar, gym, grammar, devotionals etc.  My 2 teachers are Hermano Freddy Barrogan and hermano Miguel Polo!  I love both of them so much, theyre the nicest guys out there.  They always throw their arms around ya in the halls and give us tons of Chocolate haha.  I didn´t meet Presidente Dyer for a few days because he was sick!  A sickness has been going around and i´ve been lucky to dodge it thusfar.  The chocolate they give us here called jet bars are a colombia only candy and they come with cool nature stickers inside.  it´s a thing here to trade them and to put your favorite on the back of your tag.  I have been wanting the Himilayas sticker for a week and GOT IT YESTERDAY.  It´s so cool, it went straight to my tag haha.  The Spanish was overwhelming at first but slowly got better.  By day 3 they had us attempting to teach an "investigator" named Renzo, a 17 year old kid who goes with his parents to church because he´s into the bishops daughter, (really a 30 year old teacher here haha) in full Spanish and each day we go back and continue the discussions.  Its getting better and better, and now I can bare my testimony, pray, and kind of teach in Spanish!  One of my favorite things about being in the CCM is all the praying.  It´s cool to pray over every meal, every morning and night, before every lesson and devotional and other times in between.  I really feel closer to god. sadly i haven´t felt the spirit too much only because i can´t understand all the spanish, but every lesson I´ve gotten in English, usually from Presidente Dyer, I can´t stop crying!  I dont know why God decided to make crying a thing now haha.  maybe my investigators with be moved by the physical reaction of me feeling the spirit who knows.  Days go up and down here but it´s all good.  I´m yet to feel too sad yet though!  I actually felt my first real feeling of homesick yesterday.  just a little missing friends and family.  also, not playing my guitar is KILLING ME.  Today i sat around and sang song lyrics so i wouldn´t forget them!  My district sings and whistles constantly so that´s wayyy fun.  We had the opportunity to here from a member of the 70 and he was the nicest man!  His whole talk was in spanish, but we have translators that talk into headphones and he included us to keep us focused.  After I played the hymn (Im basically CCM official pianist) he gave me a huge hug and said "good job Elder".  Every week we get to go to the temple and we get to do service around the CCM!  I got to rake leaves, because Bogota is the only colombian city with fall.  It's surprisingly cold here!  It stays around 60 degrees here constantly and rains a lot but never too hard.  The temple was an interesting experience!  It´s tiny and saying ordinances in spanish was hard!  But the spirit was there none the less and I got to see a different movie than I did my first time!  Sunday was by far the best day so far.  The spirit was so strong all day and at the end of the day, all the english speaking missionaries had a discussion with the president that turned into a huge discussion on deep deep doctorine.  we all went to bed with aching heads haha.  The time is flying by and I love it here but I´m not gonna lie, I relish the days we get to get out of here.  It´begins to feel like a sort of prison being in a gated area all day everyday.  On my 4th week we get to go out and proselite and on the 6th weekend before i leave, we have a tour day where we just go out and tour colombia going to cool places and museums!  I´m so excited to get to that point.  The food here is way good.  not gonna lie, im getting sick of ripe plantains and rice but the meat is delicious.  I´m still getting used to lunch being the biggest meal of the day.  Anywho, I love you all!  I´ll end with my testimony en espanol.  
Tengo un testimonio acerca esta evangelio.  Yo se Jesucristo es el salvador del mundo, y el muerto para nos pesados.  Yo se dios nos ama y espiritu santo guidemos por esta vida.  Yo se el mision es donde necesita ser.  Le amo esta iglesia, y testifico este cosas en el nombre de jesucristo, amen.

(Rough translation: "I have a testimony about this gospel. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and died for us. I know God loves us and guides us through the Holy Spirit through life . He is the mission where you need to be . I love this church, and I testify these things in the name of Jesus Christ , amen")


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