Saturday, January 18, 2014

Week 2 - Mexico City MTC - January 16, 2014

Hola mi Querida Familia!

Vos amo mucho!!! Como estaís?? La CCM esta muy bonito ahora. No estan nubliado, la tierra esta claro y calor. Yo espero no recibiré mas sol. Mi pela esta crecerendo mas y mas!! 

I realize that my español probably isn´t perfect, but that's OK, I¨m working on it! And the keyboards here are a little different. So that's a little awkward and weird. I might make a lot of mistakes. I also realize that I didn´t tell you guys a lot about the Mexico MTC a whole lot last time, so I'm sorry about that. We live in a casa, and I share my casa with probably 16 girls. We have a large living room, nice showers in our rooms (4 girls to a room), our own laundry rooms, and kitchens, they have water tanks every where (like the ones Grammie has) to get water from, the water here tastes nasty. There is so much space.. which is better than the Provo MTC I hear. There's probably only about 300 American missionaries here.. not that much...but also a  lot of Latinos! Its really fun to try to talk to them.. they teach us cool words.. like literally the word cool: Es Chido! Like the Chip.  Also I tried to tell one of the Latinos that I liked his scarf, (which is bufanda) but I freaked out and said me gusta su falda... which is definitely skirt.. he laughed a lot, so it was funny. Also the food is definitely Mexican plus a lot of stuff from the Mexican Costco. We get chicken cordon bleus, costco pizza, and a lot of yummy ice cream treats. Also, they have lactose free milk and corn pops every day. And for breakfast and dinner they have a toast-peanutbutter-honey-jam-NUTELLA bar that is definitely my little solace of Americanism. Also I bought little olive oils from the tienda that are definitely meant for consecrating, but I put it on my salad and that makes it really good. All they have for salads are ranch. and thousand island... not really my favorites. Also Rachel would love all the spicy salsas and hot sauces here. I really think Rachel should consider going on a mission just considering that. Its a little too spicy for me.. but I can muster a little bit of the salsa on my fresh corn tortillas, beans and rice. Also so things they serve are really gross.. like I´ve seen a lot of mystery meats and mystery soups.. but usually they have good other things. Also in South of the Border of America, it seems like the culture is to have a big lunch and a small dinner.. I kind of like this.. its a little switch in the eating schedule. I bought a really snazzy leather scripture sleeve, because my scriptures are kind of coming out of the binding... so that's not good. But I think the sleeve will help. Also Jeff Schmidt arrived last week and a boy I knew from BYU! ITs so cool to see so many people coming here, and we're all doing the same thing. I love it. Also, I´ve begun to master the overhand volleyball serve in sand volleyball. And I almost have my headstand down. Hermana Hill and Hermana Pierce have been helping me. 

We are a great district, and I love my zone too. We just got another district in our zone last night, so now we have 3 districts, and we are so excited! Our zones have sacrament meeting together, all the Hermanas have relief society together, and everyone has Sunday school together. All the classes are amazing. All the people I´ve talked to have said that an apostle has not come to visit us yet, so we just watch recorded devotionals and occasionally a live devotional from the MTC on Sundays and Tuesdays: I can´t complain though because all the devotionals are amazing! We watched one with Elder Holland on Sunday that made me totally change my way of thinking. I need to cherish every moment of my mission because it is an opportunity that it greater than life. Sometimes I think I fall into motions where I´m not enjoying every second. But I´ve been trying to be excited and eager to study during each day, even when I feel distraught because of mistakes I make while teaching.

We just received two new investigators this week, and we teach them on a block schedule. We teach Louis one day and Jesus the next. Our first lessons with each of them went great. Especially with Louis. Louis (our teacher playing the part of Louis) is a teenager, and he likes to party. He told us that he didn't need God and he didn't believe in him. I began to ask him questions about himself and what kind of things made him sad and happy. We really connected with Louis, and I started to see things through his eyes. He finally admitted to us that he really didn't feel like his life was pointing in any specific direction. My companion Hermana Nethercott, who can barely speak any Spanish, directly said that her our message could help him find direction. It was really cool. I talked about prayer, and the holy ghost. I explained how it worked and how if we asked sincerely with faith, We would receive that warm feeling inside of us, which is a manifestation of the truth. the gift of tongues is real. I was able to say everything that I needed to say. When I started to bare my testimony I could feel the spirit so strongly. And even more miraculously, Louis could feel it too.. he went from not even wanting to let us in to agreeing to say the closing prayer. He asked for help to find direction in his life, and he asked to know if God was real. I felt such a strong power in the room, when he said this, that I knew. I knew that God was real. And I´ve always known this.. but in that moment, I could really feel it. tears automatically came to my eyes and I realized that no matter how hard I work, I can´t do anything without the power of the spirit. And no investigator can learn without the help of God. I also believe that we were able to soften Louis´ heart because we cared about him, and likened his needs to the doctrine. This is crucial. You can teach lessons, and preach principles... but the spirit will not touch an investigators heart unless their heart is open. And their heart can be opened through charity on the missionaries part. This was a great lesson I learned this week and it will help me throughout the mission.

Something else I would like to mention is a little bit of what really hit me during a live stream devotional from Provo with Elder Bednar on Tuesday. He mentioned at the end of his talk about testimony, and how it is not a travelmony, or a storymony... its a testimony: which is a statement of simple truths we know through the manifestation of the spirit. I was reminded of when I was little, I would go up to bare my testimony every fast Sunday, and say the simple things.. and as I got older I began to second guess myself. I began to tell myself that I didn´t have the wise words that many of the adults had when they bore their testimony. And I didn´t have any great stories, either. But a testimony should be simple. When we hear apostles and prophets bear testimony in conference, they are short, simple, and the most powerful testimonies. I encourage you all to stand up and bear your testimonies: it doesn´t have to be long as filled with stories of wisdom. State what you KNOW is true. Recognizing that the Holy Ghost speaks truths to us is a great thing to do ALL the time, so we never forget where to search and ask when we need dire help.

May God be with you!

Hermana Powley