Thursday, October 1, 2015

Jesus and a haircut

Hey Everyone!

I can't believe how fast the time is going here! I am already a month in with 1 and a half weeks to go. I leave for Culiacán on October 12. Today I met a few Latinos going to the same mission as I am finally. I'm grateful for the time that I have had here to learn and grow but I'm excited to get out of the CCM and put my skills to the test. I've learned a lot about Culiacán while I've been here. Nothing new about how hot it is and how much it rains there. I found out that I will probably eat an iguana. The Mexicans say its really delicious haha.
Latino friends- they were leaving

Last Thursday we went to Migration. We left the CCM to go to a building in the western part Mexico City. The bus ride was kinda sickening. It was about a 2 hour bus ride. The sights and scenes on the way and on our way home was pretty interesting and cool though. I got a lot of pictures.
On the bus ride

There is grafitti everywhere
At the Migration building we had to wait in line for a while then once we were called up we got our fingers printed and our passports were checked. All the missionaries that are staying in Mexico for two years came to Migration. I'm not sure what they need from us other than our fingerprints. While waiting in line I talked to a professor from the University of Houston. He said he has a research center in Mexico and him and his wife have been coming here for 38 years. We talked about the church and my mission a little bit. I was distracted by that because when it was my turn to go up I didn't hear them so I waited longer. I ended up being the last one done haha but it was worth it to talk to that guy.
Migration building
Afterwards we bought Coca Colas, our first one in Mexico made of real sugar.
Coke made with real sugar (funny because Jameson doesn't like pop)
We saw many fountains, statues, and cool buildings on the bus rides.
Beautiful building we saw on the bus ride
They fed us on the bus since we were late to lunch.

While I have been here, I have met a lot of missionaries and made new friends!
Some of my favorite people
Elder Trent- one of the goofiest people I've ever met
Latinos in our building that we got to be good friends with
Friends from zone 6
A trio of Elders in our casa left, we got pretty close to them since we talked with them every night.
Friends leaving for Veracruz- they tried to trade all my ties
We even brought all of our mattresses in their room and had a sleep over the night before they left.
Sleep over before Elder Garrett, Stewart, and Durham leave

Also, all the missionaries in our zone had gotten really close and it was sad to see them leave.
Missionaries in my zone

We took a lot of pictures and gave out our emails to keep in touch though. We gave them letters from the Secret Missionary Society but they found out that they were from us. Zone 16 has a tradition of 'having Jesus' which is a cardboard cutout of the Savior. We now have two of the coveted 4 in the CCM. We will pass Jesus down when we leave.
Jesus is in la casa!
The zone leaders left so our branch president, Presidente Gomez asked us to take over the assignments of zone leader until they would call new zone leaders.
Zone leaders who just left
We aren't officially the zone leaders because they usually call newer missionaries to be the zone leaders so they can be the leaders for the majority of the time at the CCM. Tomorrow we meet the new district in our zone that comes in today. Elder Cordon and I are kinda in charge of organizing who does what on Sundays as well.

It was another stressful week. I was kinda sick last week because of something I ate. The food at the comedor isn't always the best, but its just something we have to live with.
Valentina(Salsa) and Sea Salt that the locals put on everything
The water we drink everyday
We go to the tienda a lot to get these fruit drinks called Jumex and cookies called Chokis when we dont eat much at the comedor.
You can buy a lot at the tienda
But I like when they serve American food because it reminds me of home. I can't wait to eat outside of the CCM and eat some authentic Mexican cuisine. I still want to try the churros here. My goals are going fine, memorizing phrases is still a little difficult. I'm continually learning each day. Spanish is getting easier for me I think. I can speak a little fast and clearly now. I have learned quite a bit of new words here. I love singing hymns in Spanish. The text is just more intimate and flowy. We sang a medley of Hark All Ye Nations and I Hope They Call Me on a Mission for choir yesterday before our devotional. It was a neat arrangement and it was fun to sing. It reminded me of something we would sing in choir in HS.

Our Devotionals this week were amazing. On Sunday, the Devotional they showed was by David A Bednar. He gave a great talk on how to be a Preach My Gospel Missionary. I learned so much. I gained a lot of confidence in myself after hearing his talk. The Devotional on Tuesday was great as well. An area authority came in a spoke to us. His name was Emer Villalobos. His talk was how to help investigators Act in Doctrine and how we need teach with the Spirit. I loved when he said that the Spirit will be testified UNTO our investigators but its up to them to accept the Spirit INTO them by acting in doctrine. On Monday, we had the opportunity to watch the live broadcast of Elder Richard G. Scott's funeral service. That was a sad but neat experience. Elder Scott's son, Elder Christofferson, and Elder Nelson spoke and gave wonderful tributes to him. I'm happy that he is once again reunited with his wife after 20 years.

Our lessons with our investigators have been really good lately. We hit a break through with one of our investigators, Daniel. He has opened up to us a lot more lately and more accepting of our help and message. He even cried. Our other investigator, Genaro, has been following our commitments really well. The only problem with him is the Word of Wisdom. Elder Cordon and I have worked really well together and our lessons are effective with the Spirit and the Gift of Tongues. We are getting better at Spanish and our lessons as the days go on. Starting this week we have to give 3 lessons a day now. It is just with one of the missionaries in our district acting like an investigator but it is still a great learning opportunity.

Today is Preparation Day and it is always much needed. I got my laundry done and the things I need at the tienda.

More pictures of the tienda
We take a lot of time emailing which is always the best part of Pday. I received letters and a package this week which I loved!

Post Office
Getting the Mail

We played futsol for a few hours with a bunch a missionaries today. The Latinos are always picked first since they are really good. I can make a few goals my self. I cut my hand on the fence today though so that wasn't fun.
Last Sunday was great! We had leadership meetings as usually. Presidente Gomez always gives us a great lesson and advice. We read about Lehi's dream and holding on diligently to the Iron Rod. I had to give a talk on Sunday. We have to prepare a 5 minute talk in Spanish on the topic given, the topic was Tithing. I was the first speaker and I don't think I did terrible. I'm glad I have that experience now. My district also performed the special musical number in which the 4 of us guys sang I Am A Child of God while our two Hermanas played the Violin. It was really cool. Our MTC Presidency class was great as well. The MTC Pres, Presidente Tenorio, talked about Celestial Marriage and faith. We watched the movie called The Testaments which is one of my favorite church movies. It's about the Ancient Americans and how Christ came to them after he was resurrected. I teared up a little. Our district and zone testimony meetings are awesome. We each get a chance to share our testimony and tell about our day or week. My testimony has grown so much here.
I sure miss this kid!
Mexico is so pretty. Especially here at the CCM. The workers don't let a leaf fall to the ground here. The grass is always cut as well. They take good care of this place.

Yesterday we had to clean the bathrooms in the comedor yesterday which wasn't fun. But they told us that Elder Cordon and I can cook dinner next time for our service. On the side of the big hill by the CCM, they added to the 'B' which now looks like a four haha.

Last night, we saw a bunch of really awesome and big fireworks. The booms and gun shots are constant here still. It sounds like world war 3 sometimes.

In our casa we made Cuddle Fortress which is blankets around the top bunks. The other rooms in our casa are pretty jealous.
Cuddle Fortress

I am so grateful to be serving a mission. My knowledge of this Gospel grows everyday. I love it so much. I know this is where I need to be right now. There are people waiting to be taught and I know that I need to prepare myself as best I can for those people. The power of Prayer is real. I'm grateful for that communication I have with my Heavenly Father who knows me by name. I am strengthened each day to serve as a missionary through him. I know this is the true church and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I miss everyone! Thank you for your prayers and support. Twenty three months to go.

Elder Bennett

(I asked to see where he went to class and where he studied)

Haircut.  He told me that he didn't tell her anything before he sat down.  He said he's glad it will grow out before he goes to Culiacan.

Before our haircuts

After the haircut. "I didn't tell her anything before I sat down"

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