My dearest family and friends:
Let me just say first how great it is to be a missionary!!!!!! I cannot even describe the joy I feel every morning when I put on my tag. I love my Savior. I love this Gospel. I love being a missionary. This has been yet another amazing week!! I thought there would be less to talk about - the "same old same old" syndrome, but NOOOOO!!! I have loads to talk about!!! :) I'm going to bullet point it so that it makes more sense. It may be all over the place. Sorry.
Gunfire? - I have been BAMBOOZLED!! It is not gunfire.
it is fireworks. So we are not being protected from gunfire outside, we are being protected from crazy fireworks laws! Ha ha. Our nighttime teacher informed that they were fireworks, so not as cool :(
Most spiritual experience - This was the HIGHLIGHT of my week by far. Hermana Kivett (my companion) was feeling really sick one day. She has asthma, so having a bad cold was terrifying for her. After much coaxing from me, she agreed to ask the elders in our district for a Priesthood blessing. They immediately agreed, pulled out a chair, and pulled out the white bible to know how to say it correctly. It was the first blessing any of them had given. It was the most beautiful experience. Elder Jones said everything she needed to hear. I was crying. It was just so amazing to see these men exercise the Priesthood. Women can still be blessed through the power of the Priesthood. I feel it everyday when I am with the Elders. It's incredible. The Priesthood is real. I loved being a part of that wonderful experience. Our elders tell us that we can ask for a blessing anytime, for anything. They are seriously the best elders of any mission, anywhere. Period.
Alejandro - There is this amazing guy who works in the lunchroom. Every day, or I guess every meal, he quizzes Hermana Kivett and I on kitchen Spanish words. I have fork, knife, and spoon down!!! It's absolutely incredible how kind these people are. I love Alejandro. He is so kind. I wish I could express my deep love for these people.
First investigator - Remember when I talked about teaching Jose? Okay, this is the best story ever. Hermana Kivett and I walked into his "house" to teach him, and when we opened the door, he wasn't there. But we had just seen him go in!!! We were like...."Hermano Romero??" then all of a sudden, he jumps from around the back of the door and scares us to death!!! It was sooooooo funny!!! We were laughing soooo hard. We really became good friends with him. It was sad to be done teaching him. Bu then … after your first week, you get a nighttime instructor as well. One guess as to who that instructor was. JOSE!!!! So here at the CCM, your first "investigator" becomes your nighttime instructor!! It was so awesome!! It's weird to know him as an investigator, but then have him come and teach us!! He is my favorite. He has taught us so much Spanish!! And he is hilarious. He's pretty close to our age, so we all have a good time laughing and making jokes. I truly love being taught by him.
Singing/playing the piano - So it turns out that I am the only one in our branch who plays the piano. The only one. We got 8 new missionaries this last week in our branch of 13, and still none of them play. So I am the designated piano player for sacrament meeting, and special musical numbers. There is no time to practice, so I have to sight-read everything. It's a blast!! I love being able to play the piano. Our district and the other district in our generation wants to sing the Armies of Helaman/Sister's in Zion duet for our last devotional. Since I'm the only one who plays, I had to sight read the piece for all of us to practice. It was in that moment that I was extremely grateful for piano lessons. Sometimes I feel super lame because I'm the only one who doesn't play sports, and everyone pities me for it. But when I play the piano, it reminds me that everyone is different. Everyone has something that they're good at. I can't play sports, but I can help out the branch with music. Everyone is special in his or her own way :) The Hermanas are in charge of putting together musical numbers. They heard me singing in the shower (THE ONLY TIME I CAN ACTUALLY SING) and they asked me to sing for sacrament meeting next week. Wish me luck finding an accompanist.
President Tenorio - Okay, he is the best CCM president in the whole world. And his wife is so stinking adorable. I love them to pieces. Our house is two houses down from theirs, so we see them all the time!!! President Tenorio gave a talk for one devotional, and he showed us his conference talk from general conference in 2007. The only thing I will say is...."shower! shower!" now you have to go look up the talk, and then we can laugh together :)
Branch - I officially love Sundays. We have 21 people in our branch now. It's still weird, but I love the branch presidency!! President Gomez is so sweet. His counselor President Carillo is so sweet as well. I just love the people here. I am being taken care of by many great people, and I love them all!!
CCM - It's extremely empty. Extremely. It can house 1400 missionaries, and there are about 300 here. A lot of the classrooms aren't being used, and a TON of the houses are empty. 70% of the CCM is Americans, and the other is Latinos. Of the 70%, I would say about 80% are going state side. So I fit RIGHT IN!! It's amazing. I love all the Latinos here. They are all so friendly. You can go up to any missionary and practice with them, and they are more than willing to help!! Elder Barra is my favorite!! He's fresh out of high school, and he's so stinking adorable. Words cannot describe my love for him. He's taught us so much!! He's seriously like my little brother.
Schedule - Now that we have done 2 weeks, our schedule has changed. We teach 2 people a day; one in the morning, and one at night. It gives us more to study!! Yay!! I really do love the schedule. It doesn't get old ever. You just have to look at the positives, and you have to look at your progress. I can't get frustrated. I have to look at what I've DONE and not what I need to do. Everyday can be a good day. It really can. Do I have hard times? Of course!! Is everyday amazing? YES!!!! I just focus on the most incredible times, and it really is impossible to have a bad day. Truly. The Lord is always there, no matter what.
Service - Every Tuesday after gym we have service. Last week I cleaned chairs for the new lunchroom. This week Hermana Kivett and I washed the water dispensers in the classrooms. The water is good here. The CCM has its own well, so the water is good. You don't need a water filter, and they didn't give us one. They take care of us :)
Living situation - The hermanas live in houses along the campus. There are 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in each house. Each bedroom can house 2 companionships, but since there are so few missionaries, Hermana Kivett and I have a room and a bathroom to ourselves!!! BOOM!!! I love the hermanas in my house. We are all so close because we were on the plane together. I just have so much love!!! love love love!!!!
Bugs - There are only mosquitos. Sometimes there are a lot, but sometimes there are none at all. It's not a problem. BUT … There was a GIANT cockroach in our house. It was huge!!!! An hermana killed it, and flushed it down the toilet. Take that!!!! Then they fumigated our house...so we have NO bugs!!
Jorge - Alright. There is this adorable tree by our house. It's super tall and skinny, and then it has a bush of leaves at the top. It's adorable!!! Us hermanas named him Jorge, and we say hi to him every day :)
Juice - The beverages here are weird. One side of the machine is weird non-carbonated juice that has hardly any flavor, and the other side is carbonated, so it's like weird soda. I have found my favorite, and I'm sticking with it. It's naranja (orange) and it's awesome.
Food - I decided I didn't do a good job explaining the food. They always have two options. One is ALWAYS some spicy Mexican meat with weird sauce, and you can make tacos with it. The other is kind of American. When I said surprises, I meant like pieces of weird vegetables, and weird things like that. They would have scrambled eggs, but they'd put weird potatoes in them. Or hamburgers with green peppers mixed in with the meat. Or they have a fajita type thing, and there would be one ingredient that made no sense - stuff like that. A lot of people like it. I haven't really liked Mexican food ever, so it's hard for me. I can't tolerate spicy very well. So when we have chicken nuggets, they are SPICY!!!! I still appreciate the people. I basically go eat just so I can have the mangos. Oooo the mangos!!! And I go to talk with the food workers. :)
Volleyball - Okay. I'm not good. I make 95% of my serves, but I make 20% of all other hits. My district, and the other district still love me though. They call me "bringin the hurt!" because of my last name. Obviously I'm not bringing the hurt. But it's sweet of them to try and make me feel better about my sports abilities. At least I try right?? :)
District – Our district is soooo tight!! We talk about everything!!! It's incredible! We are also very spazzy....it's ridiculous. Our teachers love us because we always have energy (most missionaries don't) but we always love everything we do. I truly was blessed when I got put in this district.
The CCM really is home for me. It is. I love everyone and everything. I'm yet to have a bad day. It's going to be hard to leave here. But I can't wait to get out in the field!! I've realized how much I need the spirit, and the Lord. I couldn't do anything without Him. I've become so close with my Savior. I know Him better than I ever have. It's truly amazing to have such an amazing friend, and comforter. Being a missionary is truly a blessing. It's hard...but it's all worth it. I want to soak up every drop of this experience. It's truly indescribable how amazing it is to be a missionary.
Prestos todos prestos!!
P.S. It's weird to be out of the loop. Leaders were talking to us about President Packer passing away like we had known. But how are we supposed to know?? It's hard to get late news. But we did get to watch his funeral! It was amazing!
P.P.S. We got to go to the temple today!!!! It's under construction, so you can't go up to it. But we got to go to the visitor's center. It was beautiful!!! While we were driving, I saw these Mexicans running through the roads and washing people's windshields while stopped at stoplights. They make money in every way they can think of. I've never seen such hard workers in my life.
|Me and my companion at the CCM|
|My district at the Temple|
|My district with the other district that came to see the Temple|