Mi familia!! I have been waiting for this moment all week! And can I just say I absolutely hate this stupid timer counting down up in the corner. It makes replying so stressful! So if I don't get back to some of you my love is to you in this letter. And yes, I could have sworn I packed my brush but alas I got here and could not find it. So I guess I did leave it home! Jessica comes tonight so I am going to hunt her down because I'm so excited to see her! First of all, there is a dear elder in Mexico so if that's easiest for letters then that would be great! I think letters by mail take about 3 weeks to get here, so I'd love letters, but I understand it takes some serious planning ahead so no worries if you just wait until I get to Texas. I love and miss all of you so much and your emails are so wonderful! It makes me miss you all lots but I am absolutely loving it here! Okay so I don't even know where I should begin, I have so much to tell you all and so little time! But I'll try to get it all out. I AM SO HAPPY AND I LOVE IT HERE! So I guess I'll give you a day by day play by play because then my thoughts will be somewhat organized. So mi companera es Hermana Smith and I absolutely love being companions with her! She's awesome and we have a lot of fun together. It's really awesome and such a blessing too because we are very similiar in our Spanish level so we can help each other out too. And she likes to run with me!! haha we wake up every morning and run for about half an hour and then we also have gym time during the day where we get to play soccer or volleyball and it's so much fun. The first night we got here our power was out in our room so we manuevered around with flashlights, but all it was was a tripped breaker so it was a pretty easy fix. The next day we got right to work with all our classes and what not. I love my district! We spend like 7 hours of every day with each other so we have to find stuff to keep ourselves entertained and we're all getting really close. It's going to be sad when we all have to leave, but it will be good too. My teacher is Hermana Christensen and she is absolutely adorable and amazing! I love her and she is so enthusiastic about this work! I have already learned so so much and she's a big reason for it. We have classes basically all day, personal study time, language study, individual study, so much studying! I keep saying if I was that diligent in school I'd be an utter genius! I really have come so far already and the language feels like it is coming along great so far! We learned to pray and bear our testimonies in Spanish, and are learning about a lot of grammar. We have already taught an investigator three lessons in spanish! I am able to understand pretty much everything he says to us, it's just coming up with a response that's difficult for us. It's hard too because we're kind of reading from a script that we've prepared and I want to move away from that so badly and just teach from my heart! But that will come with time. Teaching gives me the best feeling, even though it is just practice with the teachers here. It makes me think, if I'm already so happy about it now, imagine how amazing it will feel once it's totally real!! It gets me so so excited. The food here isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be though! My diet mainly consists of melon (honestly I eat it at every meal), rice, beans, tortillas, cereal, and nutella. haha but it's actually pretty good food! I am always able to find something I like whether it's making a taco with beans, rice, and mystery meat, or fruit loops. Or just a spoonful of nutella. I've probably done that a few too many times. So I am grateful that is better than I thought it would be! It rains basically every day here, sometimes multiple times, and when it rains it POURS. The streets are full of water and the gutters too. Whenever we're out running in the morning there are always people sweeping the water out of the gutters. And it really is so beautiful at the CCM. I love that I was able to come here, it's amazing! We live in a little casa that has about 4 rooms for four girls each and it's a lot of fun. I've got the top bunk to one of the bunk beds and they're not too shabby. I have yet to sleep all the way through the night though, I always wake up to the lovely sounds of Mexico City. Barking dogs, explosive noises (fireworks or guns, who knows...haha but don't worry) and SO MUCH HONKING!! The people here honk like crazy! But it's okay, I usually just fall right back asleep. Sunday was probably the best day here so far though. So chock full of spiritual goodness! My Branch President is Presidente Machado and he is a remarkable man. He lives here in Mexico, and he has more love oozing out of him than anyone else I know. He has such a strong and amazing testimony and such a great spirit about him. I'm grateful I get to learn from him. Relief Society was amazing too. Hermana Pratt (the CCM Presidente's wife) taught about how we need to become fluent in the language of Christ's love. She referred to a talk given by Pres. Ucthdorf given at the YW broadcast this year (I don't know the name though) but if you can look it up to read it you really should! It was incredible! You have to focus on serving God and others to acquire it. I loved that idea. We had district meeting (basically Sunday school) and they talked about families which made me miss you all but made me so so grateful for your love and support for me here. I know I am here for a reason and that the Lord has things in store for me up ahead. So thank you all for everything you do. You are all utterly amazing and I love you all! Then we had sacrament and it was fast and testimony meeting (we fast dinner the night before and then breakfast here). The people who got up were mostly the Elders who left yesterday for the mission field. One Elder said something that really touched me. Something like...when we return home to God, He doesn't want us to return home alone. He wants us to bring others with us. Family, friends, anyone, and everyone. That pretty much sums it up!! That is the reason I am here, and how amazing will that feel to return home, not just you, but you and all those you invite to come unto Christ. It's such a remarkable and humbling thought. Then we had a devotional, and then watched a Mormon movie. It was kind of cheesy as they all can be, but it had an awesome message about el Libro de Mormon. And wow is that book incredible! Wow I have just learned so much being here just one week and I can't wait for the things I have yet to experience. So many people have come up to my companion and I and are like Oh, how is your first week? With such concern, like it's a week of doom. We both just say, it's awesome and amazing and we're already learning so much! Really though, this week has been so so great! Words honestly cannot express how amazing this work is. I love it so much! It amazes me that we are all here at the CCM all united in one amazing purpose, and I am so grateful to be a part of it! How lucky I am!! Today we got the opportunity to go to the Mexico City Temple (so yes, Tuesdays are my P days) and it was beautiful! It's very similar to the Jordan River temple. So we had about an hour busride to the temple because the traffic here is so insane, but it was totally worth it! Oh and funny story, the buses that they drive here are all stick shift so as we were pulling out of the CCM our driver popped the clutch and the bus lurched forward with such force that my face just slammed right into the seat in front of me! haha I was laughing so hard, it was like a carpet burn on my face but it was so funny. Sorry that was kind of a pointless story...anyways the CCM is awesome, and the church is awesome, and missionary work is AMAZING!! I can already feel such an incredible joy from being apart of this great service. I love it here and am so happy. Although I do miss you all :) I'll try to get back to all of you as best as I can, but I am just crunched on time right now. I love you all so much!! And here is a part of my testimony in spanish..and I can't find the accents so sorry about that. But here goes. Yo se que el Evangelio es verdadero. Estoy agradecidos por la oportunidad a servir el Senor. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero y es las palabras de Dios. Yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta de Dios y Thomas S. Monson es un profeta por nuestros dia. Yo agradecidos por Jesucristo y su expiacion y amor para nostros. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!! Sorry there are probably mistakes, but it's just short and sweet. I love you so so much and hope you all have an amazing week! Til next Tuesday!
love love love love love