Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 4 at the CCM!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Email from Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We have had three amazing teachers here at the CCM!  Their names are Hermana Nava, Hermana Velazquez, and Hermano Martinez!  But Hermana Velazquez isn't our teacher anymore. :(  she was just training Hermana Nava becuase she actually just started working here three weeks ago!  The same time we got here!  But now Hermana Nava is good and trained so Hermana Velazquez is teaching a different class!! It's really sad because we absolutely loved her!  We would always mess with her because she has been dating another teacher at the CCM for 10 months now and they want to get married but he hasn't proposed yet!! Her Birthday was last week so we all thought he would propose that day but he didn't!! We were all very upset and one of the Elders even "tripped" in front of him and fell down on one knee to try to show him how it's done! It was pretty hilarious!
One thing that is really funny that happens all the time (usually when we are at gym playing volleyball or something) is that we will see a couple of missionaries walk by and think (or even say out loud sometimes) "Hey! It's the missionaries!"  Then we remember that we are all missionaries... haha but it is just that reflex of seeing missionaries walking down the street that we forget where we are and what we're doing!  It's really weird but funny! :)

Our lessons with our investigators have been way too long lately! We are only supposed to take 15 minutes for our lessons and we have been taking about 40 minutes sometimes!! :/  The Elders have been timing us every time we go in to give a lesson now because they noticed the pattern!  We have been better about it now though and cutting our lessons down to about 20 minutes!  It is amazing how fast the time flies when you are teaching by the Spirit!

So the Latino Elders here are often-times pretty crazy! We were walking to our classroom on Sunday after breakfast for study time and a group of Latino Elders came up to us and were asking us to take a picture so we said yes and were going to take the camera and they said "¡No! ¡Con Ustedes!"  We were confused and asked "¿Porque?!"  They just responded with the fact that they were leaving tomorrow and looked at us as if it was obvious.  So, of course, we agreed to take a picture with them and one of the Elders said, in Spanish so not exactly this, Not me! I have a girlfriend!  It was so confusing and weird! But they are hilarious!

There were also a couple of Latina Hermanas who we would always sit next to and talk to in the comador and they would help us with our Spanish (correct us on things that we said wrong and teach us new things).  I was pretty sure we were a little annoying because we weren't all that good at communicating with them and they would have to help us a lot but they left yesterday and they asked to take a picture with us before they left!! It was so cute and sweet!! It made me feel so good that I could actually make friends here in Mexico with Hermanas who didn't speak any English at all! It was great! :) Then they came back about 3 minutes later because they forgot to get our email addresses!! It was so cute!! :) They were such sweet girls!!  OH! And their going to the Mexico Torreon (I don't know how to spell it) Mission which I'm pretty sure is where Dad went? :) They were great!  

One thing that is really cool about the weather here is that there is thunder and lightning just about every night but not always rain accompanying it!! Don't get me wrong, it rains every single night but not always at the same time as thunder and lightning.  Sometimes the thunder and lightning is so loud and strong that it shakes our casas at night! We literally feel our beds shake!  It is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced!! :) I love you guys so much!! I miss all of my friends and family and hope everything is going well for you! I love hearning from all of you!!  As Preston said in my email today, See you soon! :)

--Hermana Harvey

Kim: I also had been a little worried about her getting homesick, so I asked her how she was doing, and she responded with... " I am doing great!! :) I have only really had one hard day here because of the difficulty of the language and that was a passing moment!  I have been focusing outward like I have always been told to do and I am happier than I have ever been and closer to the Lord than I have ever been in my entire life!! So yes, I am doing alright :)"
They have mini bananas! So cute!

My companion picked me a flower out of the grass while we were walking to the Snow Building (where our classroom is) last week :) had to take a picture!

This is a cool tree thing in front of the Thomas S. Monson building! How do they do it?!

Mosiah 10:5.  I memorized this scripture in spanish and have used it a LOT in our lessons!

I have learned the way that the locals eat their mangos! It's a lot more messy!

 There are these weird things that we all call lego hands but we don't know what they are! Anyone want to find out for us?

close up of the "Lego Hands"

There are these weird mirror things connected all over and we think it's connected to the fire hydrants.  Anyone know why?

This is me at the computer ready to email you guys!! :D
There are these green circles everywhere and this is where we go if there is an earthquake.  We have not had one yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Email from August 12, 2014

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Everything is still going great here in the CCM.  There were several moments throughout this week that I have seen God bless my life and I am just so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be here on this earth at this special time serving a mission for the Lord.  My testimony of this church grows more and more each day that I am here.  As I teach the doctrines of this gospel I just come to know even more for myself that these things are true! As I teach "investigators" here in the CCM, even though the lessons are all in Spanish and it is difficult to communicate, I can still feel the Spirit with us helping us to direct the lesson to the individual needs of the investigator.  I have come to know that the message that we are going out to teach is one of love and it is beautiful and will bring the people of Chile so much happiness in their lives if they are willing to accept it!  I didn't think my testimony could grow much stronger than it already was but it is growing to the point that I feel like it can't fit inside of me anymore and it just needs to come out and that's why I need to share it with others.

I absolutely love my companion! She is amazing! Her name is Hermana Snyder and she is so much fun!  Sometimes she gets bursts of energy and just has to dance around to try to get her energy out no matter where we are! Haha! We work really well together!  :)  We were having a little difficulty with planning our lessons for our investigators and getting a little frustrated with ourselves and with our Spanish then we had a lesson in class from our teacher Hermano Martinez (Carlos, our first investigator) and he helped us to understand how to plan for our lessons and how to prepare them more efficiently and that really helped us in our lesson planning and it strengthened our companionship!  Every night we say our prayers together in Spanish then we give each other a hug goodnight because that's what she always did at home (the hugging after the prayer, not the Spanish (: ) so we're continuing her tradition.  I enjoy it :)  Our other roommates are Hermana Peterson and Hermana Hash and they are hilarious!! I absolutely love them! They are always so much fun to be around and always singing!  We were making up a song together about going on a mission to the tune of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman."  It was pretty great!  Our zone is singing in the devotional tonight in front of all of the missionaries in the CCM and the song is beautiful but we only practiced it once, didn't even go over parts, and my companion and I are two of 4 altos in the choir and I don't even sing alto! But I'm sure that will go great because the song is beautiful.  One of the Elders in our zone arranged it and it is pretty amazing.  We're just gonna have to practice quite a bit before we go up there today :)  So yes, Dad, I am singing lots here in the CCM so hopefully I will be able to gain that talent out here on the mission :)

One thing that is hilarious about the comador (the cafeteria) is that there seem to be lots of things that like to explode all over us!  Here are a few examples that I can think of right now... The Ranch: there are huge containers of ranch that always seem to be almost out and when you try to get the ranch you better stand back because they are always ready to explode everywhere.... The Milk:  The milk comes out of these huge dispensers that keep it could and it comes out really fast so when I went to fill my cereal bowl with milk it kinda splashed out of my bowl onto the hermana who was standing next to me... haha! I felt so bad but it was so funny!!... The Butter:  I was playing with a packet of butter when we were about to leave to go to class one day and I guess I squeezed it a little too hard and it exploded all over me!! Thank goodness I had my tide-to-go on me or else I don't think it would have come out of my white shirt... it also helped with the potatoes that I found on my elbow after we got in to class.... soo pretty much I am just a complete mess but it makes for some pretty great laughs :) my companion and I cannot help but dye laughing at these things because there's really nothing else you can do :) 

Mom! We saw the same huge moon on Sunday!! It was absolutely beautiful!  We all just thought it was a weird Mexico thing but it was gorgeous because it was right on top of the hill (which the hills here are absolutely beautiful... I wish I could capture how gorgeous it is with my camera but I can't...).  So yes, we saw the same moon as you that night :)  

We had hamburgers and curly fries the other day for lunch!! Oh my goodness it was the most amazing thing we have ever tasted!!  (Okay maybe not but I didn't realize how much I missed french fries!) Even though the food really is great here it was wonderful because the hamburgers and curly fries made it feel like home :)  I actually ended up getting sick this week.  There is some virus going around that gives flu symptoms.  It's worse for some than others.  It wasn't too bad for me.  I was mostly just really tired and my stomach hurt really bad so it was hard to get around to all of our classes without falling asleep but then I asked the Elders in my district to give me a blessing and it was only the second blessing they had ever given and it was absolutely beautiful!  They blessed me not only that I would get well quickly but they told me that my Heavenly Father is aware of me and proud of me and that my sickness was not a punishment from God but that it was a result of my righteous decision in the pre-mortal world to come to this earth and receive a body.  He said that although we will receive many trials in this life, God is always there for me and looking out for me.  He also said that they love me in the zone and that they are thankful for all of the things that I bring to them.  It was amazing because before the blessing I was feeling pretty awful and I could tell that I had a pretty high temperature then after the blessing we went over to the infirmary and he took my temperature and told me that it was normal and that I didn't have the virus!  Then after about an hour or so I had so much energy and I felt so great that I didn't even know what to do with myself!!  I want you all to know that I know that the power of the priesthood and priesthood blessings are real and I am so thankful for having them in my life.  They have blessed me time after time and each time my testimony of them grow.  Speaking of that, mom, my foot is completely fine!  I also believe that that is due to the power of the priesthood! :)  

I love you all so much!!!

Photos from August 12, 2014

 These first three pictures are out the window of the bus on the way to the CCM from the airport.

 My companion and our two roommates in front of our casa!! Love them!! :)

 This is our district! I love all of them so much!!

 Our casa (house) .  :) This is the view that we have every day as we walk bake and forth between our classroom and our casa.  I wish I could capture how beautiful it really is!  But this will give you an idea ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letter from Tuesday, August 5th

So first of all... the food.  There is ice! And the drinks come out of the machine cold anyway so I never even get ice.  They have Jamaica here and it's even better than it is at home! More sweet.  Their juices here are amazing.  They taste like real fruit juice.  I have tried quite a few new things.  One of which is fresh guava... which I do not like at all!! It tasted like I was taking a huge bite of perfume!   But I have enjoyed the food a lot!! There hasn't really been anything (other than some of the weird fruit and mystery meats) that I have tried that I didn't like.  You just have to be a little careful about what you get.  I have rice and beans with every lunch and dinner because I think they may possibly be the best rice and beans I have ever tasted.  So there's no need to worry about how well I'm eating.  We get plenty of great food and I haven't had any problems at all with my stomach!

We do have warm showers!  Which was great when we figured out how to make it warm by about our 4th shower!! Our first 3 showers were FREEZING cold because we didn't know how to make it warm!  The knobs aren't marked so we just kinda had to figure it out.  So apparently, for any future missionaries who come to the CCM and stay in the casas... only turn on the bottom knob and turn on the top one a little bit after it gets hot so it doesn't scald you! This was definitely a life-saver to these four sisters!! :)   This is one thing that is a little weird here in the CCM.  You kinda just have to figure things out for yourself.  We receive very little instruction on what to do and we have a schedule to follow with lots of classes, personal study time, companionship study time, and language study time with our district, but it is really up to us whether we make our days productive.  I think this is really great preparation for when we go out into the field! 

There is actually a LOT of English speaking here! All of our Tuesday and Sunday devotionals are in English and all of the classes that we have had so far are either a combination of English and Spanish or completely English.  In our class with our district our teacher tries to speak to us only in Spanish and I pretty much understand everything that she is saying and often-times explain to my companion what she is saying and sometimes even the entire class.  We have a lot of classes throughout the day.  Not really any time at all just to sit around and be lazy.  We get a half hour to get ready for bed at night and a half hour to get ready in the morning and that is our only personal time.  A lot of our study time is dedicated to planning our lessons that we will be teaching to Carlos (our "investigator").  We had to teach our first lesson on Friday and it did not go very well at all... We do not speak the language so it was very difficult to get our message across that we wanted to teach.  We did a lot of reading straight form Preach my Gospel and the pamphlets that we got on the first day.  Saturday's lesson was not much better but yesterday was great!!! I'm starting to actually be able to explain myself in Spanish and yesterday we understood almost everything that he was trying to tell us!!  I am now able to pray and bear my testimony completely in Spanish and actually feel the spirit and communicate the things that I want to when I do!  It is amazing how fast we are learning here!  I know that there is no way that I could learn as fast as I am without God's help.  The gift of tongues is real!!!  We also had interviews from our Branch President on Sunday and he had me pray in Spanish and after, he asked me if I understood everything in Spanish now.  I laughed and told him no and he said that my prayer sounded like I was a fluent Spanish speaker!! It was such an amazing confidence boost! 

The Sundays here are great!  This Sunday we started our fast after Lunch on Saturday and ended at lunch on Sunday. We had lots of great classes and devotionals where the spirit was super strong and we had a very intense talk about chastity followed by interviews from our Branch Presidents.  Testimony meeting was great! One of the districts all bore their testimony in English because it was their last week and they wanted to be able to communicate their feelings better then they performed a musical number.  That district is leaving today.  Which means that they had to call new zone leaders and they called two Elders from our zone!! Which means they started being the leaders of the entire zone after being at the CCM for only 3 days! Crazy! Then I had the opportunity to bare my testimony in Spanish and it was great! The spirit was so strong in that meeting!!

One funny thing that happened was in our first lesson with Carlos. :) So in Spanish, pecado means sin and pescado means fish.... so I told Carlos that Jesus Christ died for all of the fish of his children.... haha I realized immediately what I said and corrected myself but it was not soon enough because he was dying laughing at me! It was pretty hilarious.  Even in the moment.  Then later in the lesson we had him read 3 Nephi 13:9-10 which talks about how parents give good gifts to thier children and verse 10 says "Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?"  Carlos started laughing again because the word pescado in that verse reminded him of my mistake! 

Another funny thing about the CCM is that a lot of the people here do not speak very fluent English so we were having a presentation about all of the rules for the gym and the man who was giving the presentation (he was probably about 20-21) said that he was "the bad in the movie." We were confused at first because it is also hard to understand what they are saying sometimes because of their accents and we realized that he was trying to say that he has to be the bad guy and lay down the law.  So he kept saying "I am the bad" or "I'm the bad in the movie."  It was hilarious!! He also kept saying "this is your problems" it was hilarious because it sounded really insulting and I don't think he realized it at all!! XD  

I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and fasting! Have a great week!

--Hermana Harvey