Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Week at the Centro de Capacitacion Misional Mexico

WHERE to start??

Basically this is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  Sounds weird, right? Let me explain...

It’s awesome here, but it’s also very, very hard.  I study Spanish nearly 10 hours a day.  They pretty much just threw us into the deep end, and have us teach lessons in Spanish, when 1) we don’t know Spanish, and  2) we don’t know how to teach!

But it’s actually pretty cool.  My teacher is awesome, although he doesn’t speak any English. Believe it or not, I’m like the second best Spanish speaker in my class, other than Elder Burdge, who is a stud.  My district is awesome; we have 6 elders and 4 sisters. They are all SUPER good at singing, and so they sing all the time.  They made me sing with them, so now I’m basically part of a choir, even though I told everyone that I can’t sing.   Apparently, I’ve improved because they have me singing melody now, and even though I have to match the other melody singer’s notes, they all tell me I’m really good at singing!  How weird is that? I never thought I could sing, but I guess I’m good!

The first day was hard; we just had orientations all day long.  I was doing my ABSOLUTE BEST not to fall asleep (so tired from lack of sleep), but I totally did on multiple occasions.  I’m not going to lie: I miss home, I miss Amber, I miss my friends, I miss you and dad, I miss Brennan, Brook and Dallin.  I miss you all a TON.  I always dream about home, and when I wake up and I’m still here.  BUT, once the day gets started, and I start going to class or studying or reading my scriptures or preparing lessons, it gets better.  One minute I feel sad, but then I go teach a lesson in freakin' SPANISH, and the spirit is so strong!  All these words I forgot that I even knew come to my remembrance, and just crazy stuff happens!  Then, I’m so happy and stoked to be here.  Or, I’ll go to a devotional and listen to a talk by Elder Holland, and get super hyped to be a missionary.  Or, a general authority, like Elder Johnson, will come to speak and it’s just amazing!

I’ve had very little time to read my scriptures lately because of the amount of Spanish studying I have been doing.  But, scripture study is actually probably my favorite activity to do now, other than my gym time ;-). I’ve really been enjoying Doctrine & Covenants, particularly D&C 88.  It’s speaks about missionary work, and it helps a lot to know that I am doing the right thing.

My companion’s name is Elder Odle.  We teach lessons very well, and work super well together.  We’re good friends, too.  I actually made a much bigger impression on him than I thought.   While I was in the shower this morning, he made my bed for me and left a letter on my bed.  It basically said that my perseverance, hard work, dedication and kindness to him has helped him a ton because he’s been struggling a lot.  I thought that was funny because sometimes I felt like I’ve been the one struggling.  It was so nice to hear that.

My district is great!  There is this guy from Tennessee, a big buff football player that is 21.  He is “borderline” THE FUNNIEST PERSON I HAVE EVER MET.  He goofs around all the time and puts me in tears every day, from laughing.  I’m getting ripped abs from it!  He is a HUGE inspiration to me because, although he goofs around, he is a spiritual giant.  He has a girlfriend back home, who he’s been dating for four years.  Plus, he is two years into college, and has had offers to run businesses back home.  Yet, he dropped everything, EVERYTHING, to serve the Lord.  It’s incredible.  He’s my hero.  He is so positive and inspires me every day to stay another day, and then another, and another… because it really is tough.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love teaching and learning more about the gospel.  And, I have learned SO MUCH Spanish since I’ve been here.  I can probably hold a conversation with someone if they speak slowly now.  I can pick up most of what someone is saying if they talk normal speed.  I just can’t talk super well yet.  I can understand maybe 70 percent of what I read in my Spanish scriptures too; it’s dope.  But it is so hard to sit there and study Spanish for what, 10 hours a day? And, EVERYONE speaks Spanish here. It’s unreal.

I got your package as well.  I don’t know how you guys did that, but it was AWESOME (we used Letters are fine to send here. I’d really like to get them, please share the address.  Packages are nearly impossible to get through customs.

Address for letters:
Elder Mason Snow
Texas San Antonio Mission
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Ave 510 #90
Colonia San Juan de Aragon
07950 Mexico City, Distrito Federal

The food here is OK.  It isn’t authentic Mexican food; its just a comedor (cafeteria) that we come to three times a day to eat.  We eat whatever they’re serving.  It’s good though!  I enjoy most of the meals, but it isn’t the al pastor tacos I was hoping for!!

However, this city is AWESOME!  I have to figure out how to send pictures to you.  We went to the temple today, and I got to see some of the city.  It’s so loud!  They shoot off fireworks all day long, every day, in honor of priests and stuff.  There are multiple priests for every day of the year!  We thought they were gunshots at first, but luckily they are NOT.  The MTC campus is gorgeous though, it really is.  It’s a little slice (90 acres) of paradise in the middle of ghetto, and I mean GHETTO, Mexico city.  So cool though, so cool!

Well, I only have 30 seconds left, so here goes.  I miss you all, I love you, and I’ll write you in a week.  You can’t believe how much I miss ya!  I gotta go, bye!

Elder Mason Snow

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