Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Advanced In CCM

Things are great here in Peru!  The CCM Training Center is great, but I will admit that after 4 weeks of being here, it is definitely feeling like a long time here....

So, the group I am in is now in the Advanced Bracket, meaning that we only have 2 weeks left here in the CCM Training Center, and then we will leave on a bus for about 7 Hours to Huancayo, Peru! We will be here at the CCM For General Conference which I am super exited about. The experiences down here are many and varied, but looking back I am grateful for them all. I can tell you that even though these showers are angry at us and change temperature from HOT SCALDING to FREEZING, I will miss them....

18 de Septiembre

I'm actually getting sick of Rice (Tons at lunch and dinner) and bread with every meal.  4 pieces per meal.  SO MUCH FOOD, how Have I not gained weight??  Pretty Good day, really enjoyed our teaching lessons today because as a companionship we are getting better at identifying what our investigators need personally.  Today we had a whole lesson planned, but ended up not even using it and addressing what her current issues (In Spanish of course) which make sit increasingly difficult.

I am really enjoying all the experiences here at the CCM in Lima Peru.  From 13 hours a day of Language-Ecclesiastical study, to proselyting in totally different parts of Lima, to the food, to the smog, water, weather, companionship's, lessons, language, P-days, temple, shopping, living in the same room with 5 other guys is all quite a learning experience.  I am thankful for all that I have somehow had time for in the last 3-ish weeks and hope I can be this productive if not more when I am out in the field.

19 de Septiembre

Need to start waking up earlier.  6:30 doesn't do it anymore!  We need to wake up at like 6 in order to actually make it on time for breakfast.  Oh yea, we had eggs for breakfast again. 
This image is taken from a
convenience store in Peru. They
don't refrigerate them and they are
in abundance.

So today we taught another district (for practice) that arrive at the same time we did in Peru.  I will be blunt.  We know more Spanish, or at least used more Spanish then they do!  I am proud to say that I can at least have a decent conversation with someone and discuss what our topic is.  After today, our district definitely received a confidence boost fro our Spanish skills! [This is one thing I can't wait to hear him speak Spanish, especially at the end of his mission.]

For dinner we had bistec [beefsteak] with arroz [rice], y papas [potatoes], and pan [bread].  Basically every dinner is the same.  bistec, pollo, and pork.  But tonight we had a piece of dry chocolate cake.  Slapped a ton of butter on it, and it was good! [I guess since buttercream icing is mostly butter, that would be good!]

20 de Septiembre

Proselyte Day!  So for 5 hours all of us a the CCM go to different areas of Peru (Within 1 hour of driving distance via large busses) and actually proselytize with another CCM Missionary and a member from the Ward Boundaries.  Today I was paired with Elder Saranco who is a Peruvian who is super awesome and is also learning English: We had a great time swapping stories in Spanish and me trying to tell him what he would like to learn about English.  All in all it went pretty well, and we taught 2 less active members homes and reinforced the need for them to go to church and that the members miss them and that the members will help them  if they ever need anything.  During the second family, I shared my testimony regarding the importance of going to church, and at the end I apologized for to knowing enough words to explain what  desired  but the man said it was ok because the spirit had told him what I was trying to say.  Heck Yes! *Side note:  Peruvians talk super fast and quietly and that part is super annoying¨.

It is amazing that even though there isn't an extra abundance of money down here, the members here insist to pay for your bus fare, even if you are totally capable of doing so.  The love down here for others is just incredible. 

21 de Septiembre

Well, they assigned the new Zone Leaders, and our Companionship was assigned.  There was only two to choose form, but hey... Zone Leader!  Startson Tuesday when the new batch comes in.  It is kind of sad in a way, people were pretty sure we were next so we suddenly started receiving all these complaints and issues with individuals or companionships.  We haven't even been called yet!  Looks like we will be bringing down Thor's Hammer pretty quickly! lol

Today's devotionals were awesome. 1st was from Elder Andersen, while the 2nd was from Elder Bednar, and his wife.  I got the most for me from Elder Bednar, and I have included in my journal notes from both.  What I loved in Bro-Sis Bednar's talk is their ability to listen and answer any questions we may have.  They recently did in a recent conference with Missionaries around the world an activity where they all were given a cell phone (in MTC'S) or an email address where they could anonymously email a question to Elder Bednar and his wife, and they would begin answering them live on the pulpit, as well as the following devotional.  It was great. One of the things I like he said was an act of faith for those speaking languages not of their own. "Your mouth is not filled and then you open it."

22 de Septiembre

Laid the hammer today.  As new Zone Leaders we introduced ourselves to one of the new districts and taught them the importance of the last 30 minutes of the day and how it is used directly for planning and I totally took on e of the Elders as an Example and showed the entire class what his planner looked like.  Surprise!  It was only 50% done.  I went on to discuss how the Lord will not bless you with the same amount of blessings he would if you had planned our your day. There is strnght in having your schedule because as you ask for help, you know that you have done ll that you can do.

Food is still the same.  Just in case you were wondering.  There is no escaping the rice.  I am convinced that the milk we have in the morning is just a rice concotion. [They do make rice milk. haha - it is funny how he can have Nestle Quik chocolate milk every single day without hesitation at home but can't handle the rice. And this to shall pass... oh as a side note to most mom's of missionaries, I am sure your food bills have gone down!]  

23 de Septiembre

Today we had a live devotional from SLC MTC and the speaker was M Russel Ballard.  Awesome talk about the reason we are missionaries and how we can progress by setting goals.  Kinda funny, because I spoke to another missionary that night about the importance of doing planners and picked on another 2 Elders again!  They didn't even have them!  Really starting to enjoy this whole Zone Leader thing, even if it is just at the CCM.

One thing I enjoyed from Elder Ballard's talk was ´Life is a processs of setting goals....Let your family know about your goals and how you have been blessed by following them....¨´ Gospel is all about families...of God'. [I'm amazed and  impressed on the amount of training that comes from the general authorities. I am also a bit jealous. It is my assumption that these broadcasts are all 'closed circuit' as I haven't been able to find any of the video or text online. As it should be but still, I am sure there is some great instruction from Salt Lake in these devotionals.]

These cookies come in different flavors
Pizza this night for dinner.  Never before have I been so happy that I was in the mid front of the line.  I promise if you ever leave the US you will miss peanut butter, eggs that don't run, Cereal, cold milk, and dumb little American Candies.  But, I have found these brand of cookies that are huge down here called Casinos... They are delicious as we are going to get... Reminds me of Mothers Cookies back in the states.

As a PS from mom, Andrew requested crunchy peanut butter. Already in his first care package.