Saturday, January 11, 2014

12/18/13 First Week and Christmas Day

Ok, I only have an hour so hopefully I get to answer all your questions! Ill type fast.
First of all, thank you for so many emails! I feel so loved!
Ok let me start at the beginning.
First night here we land in Mexico, drivers are scary here! And make it to the CCM (Say Say Emmay) or MTC. In Phoenix I met up with 25 missionaries leaving from the Provo MTC to serve in Mexico and 15 hermanas and elders going to the CCM. So all 15 of us made it to the CCM in the afternoon and had plenty of time to unpack and everything. None of my roommates made it til later. I got to the CCM at like 3pm
Hermana (Kristy) Beckett (Im gonna use first names so I can facebook find them when I get home!) got here aroudn 5pm. Then my Companion Hermana (Christie) Hunt got here at like 11pm! Then Hermana Becketts companion Hermana (Laci Anne) Covington got here at 3 am the next morning!!
So let me tell you about each of them. All four of us share a room, but in our Casa there are 4 rooms with 4 girls each. Hermana Hunt is my companion. She is 19 from St. George Utah. She went to a year at Dixie College before coming here. She is going to California Santa Rosa! So we will be in the same mission! Hermana Covington is also from St. George Utah. Hermana Beckett is from Houston Texas. Both of them are going to Arcadia California! So thats cool. Hermana Covington and Hermana Hunt live in Utah and Hermana Beckett is going to UVU so we are all gonna meet up after our missions!  And they all want to come to Alaska! of course. theyre so funny. They introduce me to people just to hear their reactions haha
Then day two we went to class. Our teachers name is Hermano Montes. He is the best! He is so funny and spiritual! And super thoughtful! He is married and his wife is pregnant, he is a recently returned missionary!
Then the rest of our class (or our district) is 6 elders. so there are 10 of us all together. We spend a lot of time together. In our district is Elder (District Leader) (I think Shawn) Despain from Heber Utah. He is allergic to wheat so he pretty much cant eat anything here. and his companion is Elder (Mori) Dunlap. He is from a farm town in Idaho, he is so funny. He sings and dances when he thinks no one is looking. He graduated high school at 16 so he already did a year at BYU. . Elder Despain is like 5.5 and elder Dunlap is 5.4 so they are both super short but they work so hard and are super spiritual and fun to be around. And they are both going to Santa Rosa California.
Elder (Taylor) Reay is super quiet, but super super sweet and humble. Hermana Covington was feeling homesick so he offered to give her a blessing. Then he fasted through lunch. It was so sweet. He is also going to Santa Rosa California!
His companion is Elder (William) Bryant. He is from Wyoming. He is the best among us at Spanish. He is going to Chicago.
Then Elder Joens and Elder Goff. They are both really nice, we just dont see them a lot. Elder Joens is going to St Geoge utah and Elder Goff is going to Honduras.
All the Elders in our district are 18. Elder Despain turned 19 two days ago. Weird huh?
So anyway. Our class is fun. We have a really fun district, we laugh A LOT. And im not the only one with a loud laugh either. My nick name is Alaska if they cant remember cuz Alaska is so cool. Also almost everyone in my District got their Call in June or July... weird huh?
On a normal day we wake up at 6:30 and eat breakfast at 7. Personal study from 7:30-8:30. Then we have class with our teacher until noon. After noon we usually study for an hour Without our teacher. Then we have gym time from 2-3. Then we study until 5:30 for dinner. Then we either study or teach our investigator or have a devotional or something after dinner. We teach our investigator like 3 days a week. We only have 2 lessons left with him though then we switch to a new investigator. His ¨name¨ is Ad├ín, but he is really another instructor at the CCM. He is super nice, he looks and talks just like Lico haha
Ah! I have so much to tell you!
So Saturday night we had a fun christmas devotional where some locals came and danced. Turns out they were all high school kids that went to the CCM when it was a highschool this spring. Isnt that sweet? They loved it!
About the CCM itself there are 90 acres. Its huge. Its like walking around BYU. Its a lot bigger than I thought.  And about the rules, there are a lot. But there isnt any punishment for disobeying the rules. So you are only as obedient as you want to be or as much as your concience (or your companion) can handle. So the two that skip a lot both dont care too much. There are a lot of rules. They keep the Hermanas and Elders really segregated, like even  more than at Provo, but I think if they did it any less there would be a lot of relationships forming. Like the girls and boys are not allowed to sit at the same table in the mess hall. And we are not allowed to touch boys beyond a handshake or talk to them about non mission related things. And the elders are not allowed to walk us to our Casa. Which is fine. Its just super strict. People break the rules all the time though! There are still a lot of flirtations! (Not in our district, but in others) 
It is really hard. If my class was ranked in order from 1-10 of who is the best at spanish I am probably number 3 or 4. A lot of the kids in my class have never taken spanish before so I had a good head start. Elder Bryant took 4 years but Hermana Beckett and I took 2 and we are next best.
Things to tell Lance:
1) Learn as much spanish as you can. The first day we learned how to pray and how to bear our testimony in spanish and we have just been learning more and more since then. I feel like I double how much spanish I know each day. But it is super hard sometimes. Tell Lance to learn to Sacrament Prayers in spanish, the elders had a hard time with that on sunday. 
2) Bring Hand soap. Yeah I know. We have been using my body wash as hand soap.
3) BRING HANGERS! my closet didnt have any. Another hermana in our casa let me have hers but she only had 5. So yeah. Bring your own.

It has been so rough. I had no idea it was gonna be this hard. On Sunday all of the Hermanas in my room and I were crying our eyes out. We felt like we werent good enough or ready enough and just wanted to go home. Then on Monday night all the elders were crying to us Hermanas about how it is too hard and wanted to go home. And since then we have been a super united district. It is really nice that we have each other to rely on. Everyone has a crazy past. They all have a story.Missionaries are people too.
Today going through the Mexico City Temple was AMAZING! It was three stories tall! We had to ride an escalator! hahaha I brought my temple clothes and everyone said ¨you werent supposed to´ And I was like oh well I did´¨ and then they were all jealous when they were in grannie dresses in the temple hehehe Being in the Celestial room with them was so great. It was like being with my sisters! I got big hugs from all of them! And it was kinda tricky cuz we did some of it spanish haha
We are actually getting really good at it though!

Hopefully I answered all your questions.
Sorry I wasnt super detailed. Ill tell you more next week. I just had so much I wanted to say and not enough time to say it! 
Also... YOU GOT A NEW HORSE??? hahahahahha great. I mean I am excited about him. its just funny timing. Did Kim find him? Sorry I couldnt help with Reindeer shows. Everyone in my district thinks its super cool. Im glad I have my photobook. I keep it on me all the time so I can show people pictures of Reindeer, cuz they never believe me. So Ill make sure to email Wendy thank you!
Mexico is scary too. They dont let us go to stores or anything. Today on the bus coming back from the Temple we did flag a guy down and we bought bananas from him on the bus hahah funny!
Sorry we can only take pictures on Pday. And my camera is dead... of course. So we are gonna try to send pictures this week. If you dont get any. You will for sure next week!
Hey I love you! Have a great week! Sorry to miss out on everything. It is crazy busy here. My best advice for anybody is even if you think you are ready... youre not. Hopefully the field is easier! 
Gotta go!
Love you!
Hermana Hardy
 This is a photo of Lauren's district of 10 at the CCM (MTC) in Mexico City, Mexico. Christmas Day, they are holding their gift exchange items. 5 of the 10 in the district are going to the Santa Rosa, CA mission!
These are the ladies of the district. Hermana Hunt is sitting across from Lauren, they are companions and both going to Santa Rosa, CA.  This is in the Mexico City, MTC dining room. Their Christmas Dinner.
Christmas Day in the MTC.
So on December 23rd, 2013 I was in Mexico city. The weather = 76 degrees outside and our whole district of 10 played volleyball on the sand! Holy cow! I never thought I would see the day... haha
And half the elders played in their suits. Oh man. That was the funnest day so far.
Today we did this huge service project we were making kits of soap and baby blankets and diapers to give to people in Mexico. When they bought all the stuff they thought it would take 6 hours, but they scheduled us for 3 hoping we would get it done.
... It took us 1 hour. We made so many baby kits! And it was so fun and we sang Christmas hymns the whole time! It was so great! 
And thank you so much for the present. The junk food is greatly appreciated. And the journal! I have actually been trying to keep a really thorough journal so you can read them and I can read them when I come home!
I just wanted to tell you that I know the Church is true. Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God. I have a huge testimony of God´s love for each and every one of his children. He loves us so much he sent his Son to die for us! And to be our example! Being here at the CCM on Christmas has been such a blessing. I have really learned a lot about my relationship with my heavenly father. I love him, and he blesses me every day. Surrounding me with wonderful people and teachers and testimonies..
Even if I came home today I would do everything different. 
I love you
I know the church is true
I´ll try to send you pictures tomorrow 
and i guess we can call our families when we fly back to the states so I will try to do that too.
Muchas gracias.
Feliz Navidad
Hermana Hardy


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