Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1.5 Years of Spanish, and the First Day of Spring!

First Day of Spring, Conference is Coming up, we had an Area 70 [Those are General Authorities] speak, things here are starting to wind down...I leave the CCM on Tuesday, So no clue when the next time I can email will be, but just know it will the earliest possible so you can know where I am...

24 de Septiembre

Went to the Temple and completed 1 full session in Spanish.  Check!  The highlight of today was in the evening when we (my companion Elder Bell and I) received our final review of how our lessons went with one of our ¨fake investigators¨. This is the same one that I had mentioned earlier and said we had sung her a hymn during one of our lessons.  Anyways, we had both been anxiously awaiting this meeting and it went very well.  We discussed with her what our strengths and weakness were in her lessons and what could be improved upon.  

*All of the following my companion and I totally agreed with the teacher on when she said the following*  Our first few lessons were very sterile (much because of the Language barrier and limited words) but there was a lesson where we had completely stopped and catered to what we realized she needed.  The following lesson was the one where Elder Bell and I sang ´¨Did you think to Pray¨´ in Spanish, which had allowed us to brake the barrier between the fake investigator and her personally.  In her words she noted that from that night on, we had broken past teaching the fake investigator part of her, and had begun teaching her personally. That is why we were all crying and didn't quite know why.  She said that after that lesson we had the most powerful lessons and that out of all the companionship's she has trained, only 1 other has been able to breach the barrier between her and the fake investigator side of her.  That, is the power of the Holy Ghost that can tell us exactly what we need to do, and how to say it in Spanish. I can guarantee you, that I could not have effectively said what I had wanted to WITHOUT the spirit of the Lord.  

***Another side note, the Fake investigator that was our teacher was pretending to be was actually a real person she taught on her mission in Pura, Lima. Which had made it just that much more real for us.

26 de Septiembre

Today is our 1 month anniversary!  Ok, so I did some math.  We have done approximately 10.5 hours of some sort of Language Study everyday for the past 31 days.  That comes out to a total of 273 hours of Language Study.  If there was 1 hour of study everyday in a school year (180 days) including time for homework because we all know that no class is 100% effective.  That comes out to the equivalent of over 1.5 years of study in a matter of weeks! 

27 de Septiembre
Today was a day like many other days that started with a few eggs.  But lunch, we had with our meat.... A churro.  A blessed Churro with caramel inside and covered with Sugar.  Amen.
Not much to report today, but I would like to have everyone where possible to watch The First Great Commandment, by Elder Holland. You can find this on,, or Youtube.  It really puts into perspective if you would really leave everything to follow the Savior.

Things are progressing with our new investigators, and we are finding that it is becoming easier to strike up conversations and understand what the freak is going on.  Our hopes are dashed though once we hear a Latino speak 'normal speed' and we feel like we are at square one again.

For those who I told I would write you an email in Spanish, I will probably do that in about 2 weeks, once I am out in the field and situated.  I want to make sure I know enough Spanish before I start an email!

28 de Septiembre

First day of Spring in Peru!

Fast Sund.. today...  Also, had our District and Zone Leader meeting to discuss needs of the districts and it is very interesting to see even here at the CCM where everything is handed to you on a silver platter, and how there can still be contention that arises.  

Testimony meeting was great.  I conducted the music and even had some individuals ask me to go again later because they love how much fun I have while I am up on the stand directing the music.  On the topic of Music, we also had a 1 hour class on ¨¨how to conduct music¨ which I just basically helped teach my companion which was really fun since all of our hymns are in Spanish anyways.

So, it is the first day of spring here right?  We have also not eaten since 24 hours ago as well, and guess what they do here in Peru?  Food Fest!  Chocolate fountain, wonderful chicken, (Rice of course) and I even brought some Chick Fil A sauce!  Then, the president and his wife saw my companion Elder Bell and I gorging and suggested to us to take some of our extra casinos (cookie brand here) and use them in the chocolate fountain.  Duh!  It was pretty awesome, and it was worth it to see the kitchen staff get excited about us getting excited.  

If you ever find another chocolate fountain here in Peru, Let me Know....

29 de Septiembre

Things are wrapping up here at the CCM!  We took our group photo of all the Advancados in our Manti Branch and our District 107.  Should get that photo soon so I can send a copy of that home. 

Spanish class is beginning to wrap up as well.  We just stated the last 3 lessons which are all subjunctive.  We all hate these, not necessarily because it is hard, but because it just doesn't make sense in English.  If you translate it back, it just doesn't sound right.

I will admit, I think of Home and work while I am out here, but not a whole lot because there isn't much time for it!

Finishing up the night we had CRE-TRC Teaching again which is basically practice teaching lessons in the language you are serving.  So Elder Bell and I taught some Latinos tonight who are obviously great in Spanish, but we both were able to understand each other and for the most part be able to share... While writing this is becoming increasingly difficult for me to write totally in English, because my vocab is being replaced with Spanish words!

Elder Holmes
Lima, Peru CCM

PS: [Andrew sent the family some additional notes that I thought would be fun to add to his blog/email here, Enjoy!]  The CCM is no longer doing proselyting activities as a CCM entity.  We would originally do it every 2 weeks, but no more because they are starting to mimic that of the MTC in Provo.  

Instead, they are going to be constructing miniature fake houses in the Campus where we will teach real and fake investigators in these mini houses.  Pretty cool right?  But not for us, because we leave on Tuesday!

They will also do feedback via videos and more technology... Pretty amazing stuff going on...

So, as time passes here, I realize there are more things I need to take care of.  Like my hair.  Just bought a hair trimmer today for only 35 soles on Prep Day so I can cut my own hair.  This is about to get real.  Not sure how well it will come out, but it needs to be done.  Maybe a photo will go home of a before and after.....  Pray for me!

Also, we were talking to some old missionaries from Huancayo, they said each missionary gets around 4-6 baptisms every month!  whoa!

So, because this is the last week here, I bought a bunch of stuff and exchanged most of the last of my American Money I brought with me.... Bought a tie pin, envelopes for mail....Pringles, Chips, Peru Version of Nutella,

Time to go, Love you all, and hope my emails bring some fun information home!
I will email everyone sometime next week, hopefully when I reach Huancayo!

Elder Holmes
Lima Peru, CCM
Missionaries at the Lima, Peru Temple - Andrew
at the far right!

[I will end with the first photo we received of Andrew from another missionary mom, some of the missionaries at the Lima, Peru LDS Temple. A great picture and not only the first one, but the first one with his missionary tag.

I sent Andrew his first Pouch Mail through the church on September 14th.... they say it takes about 2 weeks for him to receive any mail that way. Haven't heard one way or another. I am hoping he receives it before he leaves the CCM.

We also sent our first care package to Andrew on Monday the 29th. We hear anything from 4-8 weeks. We packed him his English Small Hymnal that he requested, crunchy peanut butter, non-melting type candy, cashews, a few hot coco and apple cider packets. Another tube of super glue. And some pictures of home. And we must not forget, a few packets of Chick-Fil-A sauce and individual Nutella packets. Weighed in just under 4 pounds and cost about $25. Now we just pray that he receives it. Working on his Christmas care package next.

One other fun note. I got this message from another missionary mom whose son is also serving in Peru with Andrew. In her son's email home, he said this: >>My son, Elder Bush is also at the CCM and he mentioned your son in an email saying "mom, you thought I would be the most prepared missionary here, but you should see Elder Holmes! I think all of us have borrowed his crazy glue" haha. Thought that was cute and wanted to share that with his mom who I'm sure was the one who prepared him well.<<

We will end on that fun note. Here is hoping we hear from him next week, but if not, two weeks from now.]