Hello friends and family!
So Mexico is....different. I got off the plane and noticed that even inside the airport smelled like sewer. There were at least 30 other missionaries traveling with me, so I never felt alone. When we landed in Mexico, we spent about an hour trying to find our escort haha. There were about 50 of us wandering around the Mexico City Airport with heavy luggage not knowing who to call or what to do, it was quite the sight, I'm sure!
The food here is SOOO good! They give us pizza every Tuesday and Sunday, but otherwise it is pretty authentic Mexican food.
I do have a camera, however, I found out early on that I left the charger for it back at home :( My companion Hermana Bringhurst has a camera though and she promised to send me pictures for you guys! Can you believe the coincidence Sarah? Oh and she's from St. George! I was shocked when I found out the name of my companion, I definitely felt like it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father letting me know that He is mindful of me, even with the little things.
Yes, the water here is safe and I'm not going to get a parasite! The CCM, or MTC but they have a spanish name for it, has it's own water well that has been tested several times....it's always a little brown in color and tastes like grass. They have plenty of filtered water though that they import from somewhere else, so that's normally what I drink. We get hot showers too, which is something that I really wasn't expecting...it's so nice!
The weather here has been awesome! I normally have to wear a light sweater in the morning but it gets too warm for that later in the day. Have you guys had any snow in Utah yet? It really doesn't feel like Christmas at all here, it's way too warm to really get in the mood!
This first week was amazing, but very difficult. The teachers here don't know English very well so all of my Gospel discussions are taught in Spanish. It kinda forces you to learn, otherwise you sit there without a clue about what's going on. I was very surprised with how much I could learn in one day! In just a week, I feel pretty confident that I could listen to a conversation in Spanish and understand what they are saying. I can't speak it still though. Actually speaking is the hard part. I have faith that I'll be able to do it eventually, I just have to be patient with myself.
I'd heard horror stories about the MTC before I came here, I'd heard that they make you teach a real investigator on only the second day...they were right! My investigator's name is Ivan. His dad is a pastor for a non-denominational Christian church and his mom is a stalwart Catholic. He says they have a lot of religious conflictions in his family and it confuses him. He sells religious books for a living, and says that hé's been searching and searching for the truth...he doesn't believe any other church baptizes correctly. He doesn't speak any English, so teaching him was a challenge. I've given him three lessons since, and I think they went pretty well.
The first time I taught him though, he was asking me about my family. I must have gotten a big head before I went in, so I confidently stated that I had six "hombres". He started cracking up, and I didn't understand why until afterwards when I found out that "hombres" meant men, not sisters. Hahah I never corrected it with him, hopefully he realized it was a mistake in my speech. Anyway, he thinks I'm hilarious because the next time that I taught him, I asked him to pray on his ears! Obviously I need to make a devoted study to body parts this week!
My favorite thing to do here is sing. We sing a lot of hymns, always in Spanish. Whenever one missionary starts singing, many others automatically join in. My district starts of every study period with a song and a group prayer. We are putting together a really pretty song for the Christmas Devotional tonight, I'm so excited for it :) I have a pretty wild and rowdy district, which makes it really hard to concentrate on my studying sometimes, but the Elders in my district can sure make me laugh!
I've made a lot of friends here, but I really miss all of you back home! Please write me, I love getting your email and letters, it really makes my day. I hope to hear from you soon! I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!
Sister Stacie Morgan Townley