August 20, 2015
Elder Solari's first letter and pictures from the Mexico City CCM
The CCM is an amazing place. Were right in the heart of Mexico City on a campus that used to be a church ran school here. When they lowered the mission age it was changed into the CCM. Every Missionary who is going Spanish speaking in the states or south of the border comes and learns spanish here. They usually have 300-500 elders here, but have capacity for over 1200. Everyone that works in the campus here is a member in Mexico and we have so many opportunities to talk to members about the gospel in Spanish!
I absolutely love it here. The first couple days we had orientation and met the CCM presidency. They all used to be previous Area 70s and they make meetings and lessons so much fun. We are at around 7400 elevation or so in a valley surrounded by some mountains. It is so pretty, and all day and night long we can hear hear the cars and buses honking, and the noises of the parties they are having outside the wall. The weather is great...the mornings and nights are pretty cool and during the day it probably does not get much above 80 degrees. The food is pretty good. Breakfast they have yogurt smoothies, milk, cereals, and some kind of egg dish or pancakes or french toast. They have a lot of juices and fruits with every meal as well. Lunch is always some kind of meat with beans and rice and they always have tortillas. So lunch is always some kind of tacos and a popsicle. And dinner is great too. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes more tacos, it just depends from day to day. But the food sure is good....especially the beans!
So funny thing about my companions...I actually have two. One of the elders I am rooming with had a companion that did not show up. Elder Barba, my assigned companion, is from Mesa AZ. He is a really funny kid, and loves sports so we get along very well. My other companion is from San Clemente, CA. His name is Elder Sheppard. Its pretty cool because he lived right next door to the Oborn's when they lived there. He also knew the Lenzinger's. He is your stereotypical Southern California guy. Surfing and catching big waves is his thing and he has that laid back attitude about everything which is great. The Living quarters are great, we actually lives in houses here. There are 50 casas, each of them have 5 rooms, and 4 missionaries to a room. Each room has a bathroom and each casa has a huge living room and a small empty kitchen.
I absolutely love my district. Usually each district here gets atleast 2 hermanas but we lucked out and just have 9 elders. We have 4 Elders going to Chile, 1 going to Peru, 1 going to Texas and then Elder Bolen, Elder Barba and myself are all going to Ecuador Guayaquil South. We have so much fun as a district because whenever we have class or study time it is always together. We get an hour for GYM time everyday which is very nice. We usually play volleyball or basketball as a district. Our teacher is a Hermana who served her Mission in Mexico a couple years ago. Her English isnt the greatest but it is definitely enough to teach us. She has the spirit so strongly and we learn so much everyday from her My Spanish is progressing so quickly. I read the book of mormon out loud in Spanish everyday and say all of my prayers in Spanish now. We also try to talk in Spanish as much as possible with eachother so our language is growing so much everyday.
We have devotionals on Tuesdays and Sundays. Both times we watched previous Devotionals David A Bednar has given to missionaries. He really stressed and challenged us to study the character of Christ. And that when we go through trails and believe that we are deserving or prideful that we need to "Turn Outward like Christ did." It was a Christmas Provo MTC devotional from several years ago...but I think it applies to all of us. He talks for about 70 minutes but it is the most powerful talk I have heard. I think you should try to watch it. I promise it is not just for missionaries...you will be able to feel the spirit so strongly.
We have been teaching an 'investigator.' The third day we were here we had our first lesson with Daniel. It is crazy that the CCM has you teaching in Spanish after only being here for 3 days! You really have to rely on the spirit but he is progressing so well. After our 4th lesson last night we committed him to be baptised!!! He said yes but he just has to talk to his wife about it and will let us know later tonight. We are so excited for him!!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers! I love you all!