Saturday, December 6, 2014

My First Week at the CCM! - Email #1

Hello!  I was typing a long email when the power cut out for a minute or so and I lost all that I had been typing.  :(  Hopefully I can remember all that I wanted to say.  I have my journal here to remind me of things I wanted to say as well.  Also, the enter key doesn't  work, so this email will look like a huge block of text.  Anywho!  My first full day at the CCM (Mission Training Center - in Spanish "Centro de Capacitacion Misional") was Thanksgiving day!  We got introduced to our district and out teacher (Hermano Hurtado)  and began learning right away. Hermano Hurtado is pretty cool and he began teaching us some basic Spanish phrases for our first class.  Elder Linsenmann and I have two other Elders in our apartment normally built for six people, but we only have four right now.  They are Elder Sanchez and Elder Consiello (I think).  They are both from Mexico and know about as much English as we know Spanish, so it´s fun trying to communicate with them.  We also got to watch a Thanksgiving Devotional broadcast from the Provo MTC (Mission Training Center). It was Elder and Sister Bednar. It was a really good broadcast and it was fun to see Brother Eggett (My choir instructor at the Orem Institute and MTC choir director).  For lunch we had turkey and gravy (even though it didn't really taste like turkey). We also had pumpkin pie provided by Costco.  There is a Costco nearby and so we get to eat things like chicken bakes and tonight we are having Costco pizza.  The food here is pretty good, but sometimes they serve things that I wouldn't normally eat for breakfast,such as tamales or turkey sandwiches.  Some strange things about living in Mexico City is that people are always setting of fireworks throughout the day and the police cars always have their lights on even if they are not pulling someone over or chasing anyone.  The pace of life and the schedule here is really different and takes awhile to adjust to. There is no time for goofing off.  On our second day, Elder Linsenmann and I had to teach an investigator (Hermana Yannis - one of the teachers) completely in Spanish.  We brought in our notes and books and did a lot of reading directly from them, but at times I felt that I was able to form somewhat coherent sentences (mostly in the present tense).  I don´t think that we were able to communicate a huge amount of Information, but we were able to talk for most of the time.  The work here at the CCM is really hard and tiring, but I am really enjoying it and want to keep improving.  The spirit I feel here is so strong and everyone is so friendly.  It´s stressful, but I am not going crazy.  ha ha.  The missionaries that have been here longer seem to be more laid back and calm about everything, so I hope that happens soon.  On Saturday, we taught Hermana Yannis again.  She told us that her father has cancer and that it was really concerning her.  We were able to teach her about prayer and that she can pray to God and that He wants to help her through the trials in her life.  We got our message across even if we were reading from our material for most of the time.  Sunday is one of the more relaxing days at the CCM. We don´t have any classes and we get to go to Sacrament meeting. The meeting is completely in Spanish and everyone has to prepare a talk, but only six people at random are called to give their talks.  I had something  prepared, but I didn't have to speak.  We also got to watch a prerecorded devotional from Elder Holland, and it was so good!  He talked about the importance of missionary work.  On Monday we went back to our normal schedule, except we also got to do a service project.  Our district went to one the Casas (they are little houses where the sisters live) and cleaned and wiped down the walls inside the bedrooms.  At this point in time, I am starting to feel comfortable here at the CCM.  The work is really hard and there are so many things to do, but I am enjoying it.  We taught Hermana Yannis again for the third time and were able to complete the first lesson.  We asked her to read the book of Mormon and to come to church with us on Sunday and she said yes!  (Even if she is just a guinea pig for us to practice our lessons on at the CCM)  I also memorized my first scripture in Spanish (Moroni 10:5 - y por el poder del Espíritu Santo podréis conocer la verdad de todas las cosas)!  On Monday night, our branch had FHE (Family Home Evening) and we just hung out and played some  games.  It´s nice to have some down time amid all the work.  Tuesday (today) is P-day!  We went and walked around the running track and had some Spanish flashcards to practice with.  I also got a hair cut and we did our laundry.  And now I have some time to send some emails. Tonight we have another devotional.  Yay!  I am so grateful that I get to be here and learn so much.  I am grateful for the spirit that I feel here.  I hope that everyone back home is doing great!  I will try to send some pictures in another email

      - Elder Burnham

 and now for some Photos:

My Name Tag

My Companion Elder Linsenmann

Our Room

The view from our room

The CCM (Mission Training Center - in Spanish "Centro de Capacitacion Misional")

Before is was a CCM, it was a school
- Elder Burnham

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