(L to R: Elders Smith, Bolen, Sheppard, Wilson, Peterson, Heap, Waite, Myself and Barba)
Last class with our teacher Hermana Velasquez
This Monday the 22nd at 10:30pm a van is taking Elders Barba, Bolen and I to the Mexico City Airport to catch our first flight at 2:15am to the Bogota, Columbia Airport! We should get in around 6:40am and then we have a 2 hour layover and should be getting in to Guayaquil at about 10:30am. We are all so excited to finally get to Ecuador! It also looks like I have window seats for both flights so that is another big bonus. I will definitely call you guys at whichever airport I have more time in, either Mexico City or Columbia. So be on standby because I will probably be calling from a weird number! I am also going to have to pay to check one of my bags because only 1 is free but they reimburse me when i get to the mission home.
This last week here at the CCM has been great!
It started off really on Saturday with the Cultural Celebration. I dont think I´ve seen a cultural celebration ever before and it was sooo interesting. It was an hour and a half play about the Book of Mormon! It started out with Nephi going and retrieving the plates, and progressed through building the boat, lots of war scenes and ended when Christ appeared to the Nephites! After that it went through the Restoration, and the story of how the Book of Mormon was first translated into Spanish which was a really cool story. And it showed how traditional Spanish dancing has progressed throughout the ages, the ones with the big flowy dresses. It was a really cool experience and really helped to show how far the restoration has come and how much more of the world it still has to reach.
The Temple dedication was great. Elder Holland and President Eyring both spoke before the dedication. We were watching a CCM only broadcast but it was a live feed and the auditorium was treated like an extension of the temple! All week there had been rumors of Elder Holland stopping by for a surprise devotional Sunday...but our CCM President told us he wanted too but that they did not have enough time to stop by. They did both give some powerful talks...and the dedicatory prayer was amazing. They both kind of talked about how the temple had to be rededicated..but then they turned it into how we really need to rededicate our lives to serve the Lord. And i Think that really hit home with me because I was rededicated and my life was set apart to serve the Lord for these next 2 years. We watch so many talks and excerpts from talks in our classes....and not surprisingly the majority of them are from Elder Holland. He always gives such great talks.
As far as teaching investigators it is going well. We have 3 that we are teaching almost daily. Some are progressing nicely but one is a little more difficult. We usually follow the lesson order in Preach My Gospel but we always mix it up and really try to teach what the Spirit tells us that the investigator needs to hear. So there are set Lessons we are supposed to teach...but we have leeway in teaching them our way. One thing that is cool about Preach my Gospel and that us missionaries are supposed to do now...is that we are supposed to extend a baptism invitation the first lesson we teach them. The first time I was told that I was almost shocked but now seeing how it has played out...it really helps you to know what the investigator needs to be taught in order to be ready for that next step.
So the 15th was Mexican Independence Day. And when they party here in Mexico they go big. All week long all we have heard at night is non stop fireworks, live music and gun shots firing into the air. We have also celebrated this a little bit at the CCM because the food has been better than normal and they have had a lot of good Mexican candies
Sorry these last few emails have been short! I know once I get out to Ecuador there will be so much more to tell about and so many more pictures to share! So tomorrow is another big day. Its called our ¨In-field Orientation´ day. We wear our suits all day and go to a bunch of work shops, and goal setting meetings. It should really be when they start teaching us and telling us about how it is going to be in the field. Because up to this point it has just been doctrine and Spanish that we have been taught. So tomorrow should be an exciting day. I also got to try out my rain coat and it works great!
Thanks mom I love you! Pass my love on to Dad the boys and Buster!
Dont worry I did get a haircut right after this picture...and I was sick.