Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week 5 in CCM Mexico (February 11, 2014)

I have one more week here at the CCM and I feel both excited and scared. I feel like I am more confident in my ability to teach and my ability to understand (a little) but I also feel like six weeks in the CCM is not nearly enough time to prep. But I know everything will work out and I know that I will be okay once I get to Honduras.

This week was long but short at the same time. The days were long and felt never-ending but the week as a whole felt like a day. I guess that is how the past few weeks have been here. I am so much more confident in talking to investigators and explaining everything in Spanish, even though my grammar is HORRIBLE. But my teacher, Hermano Garcia says that it is okay because I get my point across and he can understand what I’m trying to say and he can definitely feel the spirit. I am so glad ha-ha. Sometimes I am amazed at my ability to speak during meetings with investigators. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying or how I’m saying it. Words just come out and after the lesson I wonder when, where, and how I learned and remembered some of the words and grammar I used in the lesson. The gift of tongues truly is a blessing; and one that I am extremely grateful for.

I forgot to say last week in my email that I sang in the devotional that evening. My district got chosen to sing. I forgot what song we sang but it was really short and really beautiful. Apparently I am an alto singer. Whatever that is, but it was really fun to sing in front of all the missionaries here. The president of the MTC, Hermano Kates, is an amazing speaker. He is an animated speaker and we were all awake for once ha-ha. He told us a story about himself as a kid learning martial arts and his instructor would always say “YOURE A DISEASE" and he thought it was funny and then one day he realized it was because he never quit and he was always clinging on and enduring through all the hardships. I thought that was cool and it was amusing; trust me. This week was his son Emerson's birthday. Everyone in the cafeteria sang him “Happy Birthday” and we ALL got birthday cake for dinner! He’s a little kid and he is so adorable he is always riding his bike around the CCM.

Fun things are always happening but I always forget them by the time I email. So that isn’t fun. I will start taking notes throughout the week ha-ha.

On Sunday the CCM was dedicated as a Missionary Training Center. The whole week they had a ton of people out gardening and painting and making everything look beautiful. The campus looks amazing. During the week they took videos of all the missionaries walking around, to show during the dedication my companions and I were walking and Hermana Young walked right into the camera because she wasn’t paying attention. It was hilarious.

Elder Oaks was here to dedicate the CCM and it was a really amazing time. On Sunday on our way to dinner, early because we had to be seated for the dedication two hours early, my companions and I were running late and we saw all the presidents here at the CCM and Elder oaks taking pictures by the main sign. There were a lot of men in black type security people everywhere and it was kind of neat. We watched them take pictures and then went to dinner. Everyone was eating dinner at the same time and it was PACKED they had all of the cafeteria open and they usually only have one of the three sides open. It was crazy. And then we went to the main auditorium to get seated but we had to wait because they were letting the choir people in first. All the elders in our district are in the choir so they got to sit in the front rows. Hermana Bleak and I know how to work crowds so we found our way to the front of the line and then we got decent seats, 8th row!

The actual meeting was wonderful. We sang hymns before it started and it was so peaceful. Then we continued to sing until elder oaks arrived and took his seat. They showed the CCM video at the beginning and the last clip they used....the clip of Hermana Young and us walking into the camera!
You can probably find the video if you Google search CCM dedication. It has some cool historical info about the campus too! The meeting was wonderful.

All the speakers had beautiful remarks and I even understood almost all of it, in Spanish of course. Elder Oaks’s talk was in English but he had a translator right next to him translating in real time because half the missionaries here are Spanish speaking and they were broadcasting live to the Spanish speaking missions. The spirit was so strong and everyone was so attentive. I am so glad I was here for the dedication of this CCM. It truly is going to have a great future. After the dedication we all stood until Elder Oaks left the building and we listened to the piano playing hymns. After he was gone everyone still stood and we just hummed along because the music was so beautiful and we didn’t want to leave the strong feelings of the spirit that was at the dedication.

On Monday morning we were interviewed by a nice professor from BYU who is writing a book about the history of the school and its conversion to the CCM and on the dedication. I don’t think my clip will be used but that is okay, my companions had wonderful words to say. Ha-ha. This week was eventful and fun and I have learned so much and I am so grateful to be here at the CCM. I miss you all so much and I think of you all the time!

Love, Sam

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