for way of answering some questions: I got my bag the afternoon of the second day, everything was in there, so nothing was lost, but I forgot to put my new contact solution in a plastic bag because it was still in a box. It ended up leaking, so my jeans were very much so wet when I took them out. Also, it¨s a good thing we put the pressure canned stuff in a bag, I think they all leaked out.
There are about 150 people here at the CCM, and a little over half of them are hispanos. My district of 11 missionaries is composed of all norte americanos. My companion, hermana Medina, is from CA, graduated in nursing from BYU, I think she is 21, maybe 22 years old, she has red hair, she knows my friend Amanda Magneson from school because they did nursing together and graduated together. She is great and cares about me, I have nothing to complain about my companion, which is very nice. Almost all of the elderes in my districto are 18, I think one just turned 19. You can definately tell that they are 18. They don¨t learn quite as fast and have a hard time focusing for so long, but overall, they do okay. They are all very nice as well. To answer mom¨s question of weather I¨m making friends ultra fast like always, is yes! claro que si! By the second day I felt like I could talk to anyone, at least in english, and enjoy a meaningful conversation. Last night one of the girls in my district came up to me at night after all of our classes and lessons and asked if she could talk to me for a bit. She said that she missed talking to her mom and just needed someone she could vent to, this was not very unusual to me. I am glad though that people feel like they can trust me.
For a run down on a typical day: wake up at 6:30, get ready until 7:15 personal study for an hour, go eat breakfast for 45 minutes, where we are expected to solo hablar en español. then we language study for an hour where we are usually working on class pre-work or memorizing assignments like "our purpose" and now we are working on "the first vision" all in spanish. we have some sort of grammar lesson for about an hour with our teacher and sometimes we get to watch little movie clips of general authorities speaking, which are usually in english, so that is really nice. We study in class more spanish grammar until it is time for luch (ps, the food is AMAZING) however, it does have the ability to make people sick. I have only been sick 1 day, and it wasn"t bad enough to keep me from going to class. Although, I think 3 or 4 of the people in our district have missed class at one point or another because they were sick. I think everyone gets digestive problems, but it"s pretty okay. so after luch is usually more class where we....study spanish! (big suprise, I know) We"ll usually do some spanish activity that involves missionary work use. after dinner we plan lessons for our investegator (who may or may not be acting to be an investigator, but either way, we teach our best) only the second day we were allowed to teach in english, after that, every day since, we are expected to teach in spanish, which usually turns out to be Spanglish, my companion and I work really hard to teach most of our lesson in spanish, I would say yesterday it was about 90% en espanol. It"s hard to be teaching a lesson, feel the spirit and want to say something, and not know HOW to say it. We just need to be patient and keep working. After each companionship takes a turn of teaching for 20 minutes each, we plan for the next day, go back to where our rooms are, get ready for bed, sing and pray as a hall (all in spanish) and write in our journals and get to bed by 10:30. The days are long but they are moving by faster.
At the CCM, we are expected to learn super super fast, have everything memorized that we are asked to, and prepare ahead of time. it is so hard to do everything they want us to do as "homework" because we have no free time. However, we try our best and try hard to stay positive. By about the third day, I wasn"t feeling all-so-positive, I worked to get through it, but now things are looking more up. I am learning new words all of the time, and I do believe in the gifts of tongues and my calling as a missionary. for example, I tried memorizing "my purpose" in spanish before I came to the CCM. I worked on it for a few days, but I could NEVER get it down. I came here, they told us to memorize it by tomorrow, and I was able to.
I have to throw in a HUGE THANKS for my 9th grade spanish class and teacher, Mr.Cluff. People are so impressed with my spanish when they hear that I only had two years of it in 9 and 10th grade. I am about at the same level as people who came in with 3 to 5 years of spanish, including a year or two in college. I can hardly believe how much spanish I was able to learn and continue to use from 9th grade. That class has made a huge difference with my spanish experience here. I am not fluent, for sure, but it gives me a bit of the upper hand. I also have to say that my companion that came with no spanish, is doing SO well. She is able to do a lot in the lessons for our investigator, alejandra, and she is able to bear testimony really well, which is harder for me in spanish. it takes me about 3 or 5 seconds per word to make sure I conjugated everything correctly.
All of the people here are so nice and press you really hard to speak at least spanglish. any word I do know in spanish, I try hard to always use it. Even today, I was talking to this teacher who sells stuff in spanglish, and a girl who has been here longer said, "he knows English, so you can just talk to him in english" but then I said, "well, I need to learn to speak in spanish, so I"ll say what I can in spanish" It"s all getting better, slowly, but surely.
Sunday was great,and very well needed. We get to have lots of classes, and watch church movies too, most of which are in english! haha, a comment was made in our class when we were talking about learning to recognize the holy ghost, and they said something like, "it doesn"t matter what language the spirit speaks to you in, as long as you hear it" or something like that. My wispered comment to my companion was "well, the spirit speaks to me in english" haha. so hopefully soon the spirit will start speaking to me in spanish, because it has been hard for me to really feel the spirit when everything is in spanish and I understand up to 50% of what is being said. slowly, but surely.
for some spiritual experiences: while we were watching "mountain of the lord" ( which is a movie about the making of the SLC temple and all of the trials with that) in english on sunday, I started to get a little emotional when they laid the first corner stone.REALLY? I thought, I get emotional about a rock being placed in the dirt, but I did. It was a really good movie, I enjoyed it very much.
also, teaching alejandra last night went well. we were talkinig about the temple, and at one point, my companion was making a comment and I could really feel the spirit there, I looked over to here, and she was all teary-eyed. It was a great moment.
I don"t know all that you want to know, and I"m running out of time.
If you want me to get cool textile scripture covers for 15$ , or really cheap ties, let me know.
so they are coming in to kick us out now, time for the next people,
oh, today is my p day. we get to go to the temple today!
love ya! hermana hutchins.