Area: Mexico City MTC
Companion: Hermana Julia Dunne
Christmas in the CCM
Thanks for the pictures! Looking at them made me almost feel like I was there. I'm glad that everything went so well! It really makes me happy to hear about home, mostly because sometimes I feel like I can't even remember what home was like. Wow ... that was a dramatic statement. I've only been out here for a week. Like I said before, time is weird here. I'd like to think that I am losing myself and my former life working like a mad woman ... but I don't know.
Christmas yesterday was so wonderful. Like I mentioned before, I was feeling a little homesick for Christmas Eve, but the actual Christmas day was awesome. We opened our presents on Christmas Eve (and I loved mine! Thank you so much! It looks like I'll be wearing those earrings until the day I die haha). It was a nice little thing. In the morning, the Hermanas (Hermana Gamble, Jones, Dunne, and I) sang Christmas hymns while we went to breakfast. (Little did we know, singing hymns would be a BIG part of our day). After breakfast we did a super sweet service project making care packages for Mexican babies. Adorable. After that, e-mail and lunch.
We didn't really have any speakers come to the CCM. I mean, an area authority was here, but the big show was broadcasted from Provo. It was David A. Bednar and it was AMAZING. Basically, he gave the missionaries in Provo phones and they were able to ask him any questions that they wanted. I loved hearing about his candid thoughts. One of my favorite parts occurred when someone asked, "Why do I feel inadequate?" and he responded, "If you are not feeling inadequate, something is wrong." I have felt a little inadequate since I've been here. Nothing major or unhealthy, but I just feel an overwhelming need to be studying Spanish all of the time or memorizing things all of the time. I feel like I cannot express what I want to say sometimes, even though I can understand everything that people say. However, during the devotional yesterday, I felt that I simply need to rely on the Savior. He will totally help me to overcome any weaknesses that I have.
After that, we had a testimony meeting with our zone. It was super open and really spiritual. I love everyone in our zone! I am always happy when I am around them. For the rest of the day, we sang the hymns in Spanish. It was one of the longest things of my life. Sitting with the Hermanas made it worth it, but by the end, I could not get "Noche de Luz" out of my head ... and it was almost annoying (GASP ... the intense lover of Christmas was officially Christmas-ed out).
So, that was my Christmas. Not incredibly flashy, but I loved it. There was no place that I would rather be (besides home a little, of course). I think that there were a few things that helped me to love it even more than I would have in the US. First of all, I loved that I was able to meet so many incredible people. I threw caution to the wind and just talked to everyone. I greeted all of the workers at the CCM in Spanish. I met a ton of new Hermanas and Élderes. It was a great present to myself because it helped to make others feel good about their lives. Also, I loved how focused on Christ everything was. What better time is there to celebrate Christmas than when I am devoting all of my time to him? It hardly even feels like a sacrifice right now. I love our Savior SO MUCH. I kept imagining yesterday going to Bethlehem and seeing the Savior ... I wondered what my reaction would be. As I thought about it more and more, I knew that I would fall down on my knees and weep with gratitude. Maybe that's just because I am weepy these days ... ah, well. Just know that Christ lives and that this is why we celebrate the day of His birth. Soooo incredible.
Today has been wonderful. We woke up super early and got ready to go to the Mexico City Temple. AHHHHHH! This was so exciting! Our little district got to get out and see a little bit of the city. I listened to the entire endowment in Spanish which was AWESOME. Especially because I understood it. I felt the spirit so strongly while I was there. Something that I didn't expect was the feeling of love that I had for the Mexicans. They are all super little, but they love each other with such a fierceness and it shows. There were so many people at the temple (more than in Rexburg even!) and it was just a normal. I was impressed with their devotion.
While I was waiting for Hermana Dunne to finish, I thought about the people of Chile. I realized that the temple is my goal for every single person that I come into contact with on my mission. Of course, I would like to have a ton of people become members through me, but I want to help everyone I meet come to the temple to receive the eternal ordinances there. It was of vital importance to me while I was thinking about it. As we exited the building, I felt like crying ... The temple has become such a thing of strength for me and this was probably the last time I'll be able to go before I come home. I am so grateful for the temple and the blessings it has brought me in my life. I am also grateful that I was able to really stock up on temple experiences while I was in Rexburg.
I am so happy and exhausted at the same time. Every day is pretty much the same, but I still love it. I am actually doing this and I can't believe it. If I am being repetitive in this email, I am super sorry ... I think I say pretty much the same thing every time I open my mouth here. :)
CLOTHES THING. Haha, it's kind of funny and tragic. So, we had a meeting the first day that we were here (which was basically all meetings) in which the the President's wife gave us a lecture about modesty. Anyway, with the clothes thing, I packed a lot of pencil skirts that are too tight and it makes me sooo sad. If they weren't too tight, they were a little bit too short. The really weird thing about this is that I would have felt completely comfortable wearing these things at home ... but here, it is a little different. It might be wearing the name tag. It has shrunken my wardrobe considerably. I don't really think that it's too big of a problem ... Siiiiiiiiiigh. It's been fun to spice things up by wearing outfit combos that I usually wouldn't. How the pioneers wore only a few outfits ... no sé).
My tummy is still hurting just a bit, but I think I'm on the upswing. Tell Spencer that I appreciated his advice. I think I might have gained a little weight already PORQUE LA LUCHE ES REAL. (The Hermanas and I say this TODO EL TIEMPO). Mostly, I have just been pigging out on the immense amounts of candy that I have unwittingly been hoarding haha.
After we get done emailing, Hermana Dunne and I are going to write letters home. So, those are coming. I love you so much! I love Daddy and Mommy and Savannah and Spencer and Katie and Hyrum and JoJo and Minsy (also, let Joseph know that I was thinking about him on his birthday). This love has been growing bigger and bigger each day that I have been gone. Not being home with you guys makes my heart ache sometimes, but I really, really know that this is worth it. It is going to make my entire future better! I can just feel it! I am not sure how sending pictures is going to work, but I am taking 'em. Lots of pictures all the time. I'll try and get some to you.
Love you!! I pray for you every night and I hope that everything is wonderful. I am glad that Grandma is feeling better! Let everyone know that I love them a lot and am thinking about them in healthy doses.
Here's to a kick-bottom week! (I am trying to cut out my slang haha).
Another PS. I love Mexicans sooo much. I want to marry a Latino and have Latino babies. Okay, maybe that's not in the cards for me ... but seriously, they are the cutest. Latinos love to talk to Americans because they like to try out their English. Little do they know that the reason I try to talk to them is to try out my Spanish. Está bien.
Okay, that was a lot of pictures. Lo siento. We are only allowed to take pics on P-day, which is why all of these are from today. The Mexico City Temple is BEAAAAAAUTIFUL on the outside and on the inside. Also, the drive there reminded me of China like nobody's business. The last picture is of our casa and the view that we have. Loving it here more and more every day! Okay, I'm out of time. MWWWWWWAH.
I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. Haha, Hermana Dunne has to attach some pictures so we'll be here for a while, but I just want to let you know that I love you. So much. It makes me happy to hear that you're rooting for me! With cheerleaders like that, I cannot fail! :)