Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3rd Week I think???

Hello All!  Week 3 I think!?!?!  Days are getting so mixed up here, because the weekends don't feel like weekends, and Wednesday's are closer to our weekends... Ya....
So, as usual I will start off with what I have been doing in the form of a Journal entry.  Then I will comment on some stuff. 

11 de Septiembre

Back home today was Patriot Day.  Here is it just another day in Peru.  Eggs for breakfast. Yahoo.  Not much happened today, but a few notable things happened.  New roommates today, and they are pretty good, but I will tell you very nicely.  One in specific in this last batch will be very humbled once he actually starts doing stuff.  His voice right now is actually making me want to stop practicing Christlike Attributes.  But hey, on with the story.

Played Soccer today at the CCM [Spanish for MTC or Missionary Training Center] Soccer Field.  1st P-Day [Preparation Day] with everyone that is new so all the facilities are at MAX capacity.  Soccer was great, and one of the times I kicked the ball I released pressure on my foot, and put it mostly back to normal.  Yea!

*His voice is still going in case your wondering*. [Not sure what that last statement meant (maybe he was screaming while playing), but if you remember in an earlier blog/email, Andrew hurt his foot. Seems to be getting better. In fact, in a separate email to me, the pain is gone. Whew!]

So, to line up class a bit, all the Male Missionaries in our district decided we would do a flash mob - ish style parody (Like 30 seconds) of the song ¨´I whip my hair back and forth´except with our ties.  This would begin with the saying of the key phrase ´Me gusta helado´which translates to I like Ice Cream.  Of all the days for that today's topic at 7 pm was ´Gustar´and the example was ´Helado¨´ and the question was directed directly toward the keyword guy.  So, we all whipped our ties back and forth while singing the song, and we all just busted up laughing, when our Teacher (who is a native and didn't understand our reference) [That's okay, I don't know the reference either. lol] was partly scarred and confused on why were were all dancing and singing about whipping our ties back and forth.  Definitely brought some energy into the classroom.

We also started teaching lessons ourselves 2 times a day for about 15 minutes each.  This really helps our Spanish improve, but our English suffers.  While it has only been 2 weeks, I am totally understanding more Spanish, and am getting way better at being able to convey what I want to say.

Well, it is 10:19 PM here and I feel like going to bed 11 minutes early, so goodnight here from Peru!

12 de Septiembre

Teach People, not lessons.  This phrase has never meant so much to me tonight.  We taught one of our Fake investigators as usual, but over the days have noticed there was something we needed to know about here, but could not get to it.  Tonight after watching a PMG [Preach My Gospel] video, my companion and I both decided to sing to her the first line of ´Did You Think to Pray?´in Espanol.  While Elder Bell and I were singing, we noticed that our fake investigator was actually crying.  Come to find out, the rest of our lessons which was centered on prayer hit home with her personally, not the fake investigator part, but her.  It was all we could do to feel the spirit, and it is all we could do as  Missionaries to just want to help her and her situation.  Sometimes it is situations like these where we as missionaries need to realize that yes we want to baptize people into Christ restored Church, but as missionaries representing Christ we are here to help individuals and families come together and find peach through scriptures and teachings of God.  While we said the words and physically taught the lesson, the spirit of the Lord is who really taught our investigator.  Something that I know happened when our spirits had that emotional connected that cannot be obtained without help from the Lord.

I know that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and the events that led to this lesson were remarkable.

13 de Septiembre

Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days here at the CCM, especially when you are fasting.  Oh, and guess what? Of course, on the day we do an additional fast, they have a special treat.  Doughnuts.  My downfall!  [So true] I'm so glad I didn't see them because that would've been terrible.  Not to much to report today, just progressing along with our language studies and teaching lessons of Spanish to each other.  Seriously, the techniques used here are miles ahead of what we ever used in High School, and I guarantee I will return (In two years of course!) and show RIMSD [Rim of the World School District, the school district he graduated from] how it is done down here in Peru.  Granted, we spend more time on it down here, but if I was taught with these materials and techniques, I would be far better off today.

I guess our collaborative Spanish skills have improved to the point where we are talking overall to each other in Spanish, and even making most of our jokes in Spanish.

Oh, and yes, we all miss families, friends, music, American food, seeing the sun (So much smog here) [His parents lived during the 1980's in Southern California, we might know what it is like to have smog. 3rd stage smog alerts anyone?] Netflix, and even work, but we are so busy here that there is no time to miss anything. I guess it is good that way.

14 de Septiembre

3rd Sunday here at the Peru CCM.  Food is still pretty good, but we are still having emergency runs to the bano.  Welcome to Peru right!?  We had two additional speakers today, one of which was a broadcast of Elder Christofferson about the worth of souls including our own.  Very wonderful talk.  And they other was a local representative which was translated for us, but I was able to pick up on most of what he was saying.

For sacrament meeting today our district was in charge of Prelude Music which was worked our pretty well, its amazing how even if you don't totally know the words, you can still feel the spirit of the Lord through the music.  Oh, and a bunchy of the hymns not only sound better in Spanish, but I think that some of them are even easier to sing.

Found My Mirror.  I am beyond excited for that because the closet I have doesn't have one.  I am going to try and send a letter via pouch [Pouch is one way that missionaries and their families write letters to each other, one piece of paper, folded a certain way and mailed to and from Salt Lake City, Utah and then distributed to either family or missionary. It is more reliable than regular mail and a bit quicker. His mom tried the pouch earlier this week, so we will how this will work out.] this week if I get a chance, but we will see....

15 de Septiembre

Long day today, but looking back we have been here for over 20 days!  I am not the Senior Companion in our companionship because it is now the last 3 weeks of the CCM.  Taught fake investigators today, and we seem to be getting better at picking scriptures in Spanish and then teaching them in Spanish.  I did I mention there is a freaking Elder in our area that we all want to be (Not Christlike to) and shove a bunch of his stuff and hide it in the washer?  Yup, he might wake up in the morning with some missing items.

Tonight, we also taught the ¨The Gospel of Jesus Christ¨in Spanish to the Latino Missionaries.  It is a good thing my companion and I both knew nothing about the questions they asked.  New VOCAB FOR TOMORROW!

We had a cinnamon roll that was literally the highlight of my day.  Butter, Icing, and Microwave.  Lets put it this way, It was so good, it was worthy of entry in this Journal.

And with that, I shall write tomorrow.

16 de Septiembre

There are some days where people have the ability to truly test your patience.  Days like today help most of us to realize that even here at the CCM where we pay to be here, and dedicate the next 18 months to 2 years for helping people, that individuals still have the capacity to be total poops.  But surah, surah, and we just need to realize that the day we arrive we were set apart from the world, and put on a higher plain of thinking, acting, and accountability.

This evening for dinner, we had.... Surprise. Chicken and Rice!  But this time I remembered one of my packets of Chick-fil-A sauce!  And that little packet was the envy of all.  I shared one bite with someone just so they could all be jealous.  Christlike Attribute?  Maybe not, but it was well worth it!

Later this evening we had a live broadcast from SLC, Utah from Elder Richard G Scott..  Awesome talk.  Mostly on the need and whys of Communicating with God through Prayer.  I will share a quote or two that I really enjoyed from it.

¨You have been called, and he will fit the task to your capabilities¨
In order to attain a goal never made, one must do things never before done.¨

When we pray, we need to make sure we are asking in confidence and asking the right questions so that we the spirit of the Lord reveals to us, we can have asurity assurity to the answer we sought.

17 de Septiembre

Today is P-DAY!  That is why I am sending this email!  Went shopping, picked up a Local Soccer Jersey, some Toiletries [When he first typed this, it was spelled wrong and I thought he bought Tortilla's. Makes sense right? lol] and some Local Equivalent of Shout! For my collars on my shirts. Hope it works!  Went to the temple, and it was awesome, as usual.  Love being able to go to the Temple and learn even more on becoming closer to our God.  I also participated in the Temple in Spanish Today.  Super Awesome!

There are some sketchy places here in Peru, but once you know what you are doing you can avoid them or know what to do when you get in a place like that.  I think I spent a total of $12.12 in American equivalent, but I need to find a local spot I trust to exchange some more... Might just have to wait to Huancayo, we will see...

Hope all is going good back at home, Peru is just great here, sorry for all the mistakes in spelling and grammar [I fixed a lot of them. lol.]  Not only are these keyboards in Spanish format, but My English is digressing as my Spanish is progressing. [That is a good problem to have.]

We have discovered that while here in the CCM we have done more Spanish in the last 3 weeks than we would have done in a year for classes back at home.  Over 200 hours in the last 3 weeks for Spanish Only Practice. Its awesome.  And I only feel fried every once and a while!  Seriously, the programs and teaching staff here are amazing.

Enjoy all your dairy back in the states, [In our home we used to buy 5 gallons of milk a week. Only last week, we needed 2 gallons. Andrew drank a lot of milk, mostly with his Nestle Quik.] as well as your unlimited supply of Chick-fil-A Sauce..: I think I know what ingredients I will be buying next week!

Elder Holmes
Lima Peru, CCM