Hola Familia! Bien Week 4 at the CCM!
September 19, 2013
Hola Familia!! Como Estan!! Thanks for all of the letters, I love them!! Miss you all! Feliz Compleaños Abe, hope it was great, estoy tristo I couldnt be there for it!
Well this week has been a good one. The CCM is starting to feel like home now and we're all getting used to the schedule. I like it here a lot more now that I know all the people around, and on Tuesday when the new people came, we felt like veterans :) Our relief society lesson on Sunday was about how going on a mission is like 'being cast into the lone and dreary world', and then by the end of your stay, its the Garden of Eden, and then when you go to your mission its like the 'lone and dreary world´' again! And I can see how that will happen with us, I cant believe I only have 2 more Pdays here! Well anyways this week has been great. In our lessons we have gotten a lot better at listening to the Spirit, which is a LOT easier as Spanish is learned. Esta Bien. This weekend was Mexican Independence Day!! The CCM took it upon themselves to make it an experience for us missionaries, and succeeded. All of the 800 missionaries were crammed into the gym. From the moment we walked in, the natives were stoked and were yelling and leading everyone in the Wave and anthems and songs. It started with a presentation on how Mexico was formed, then a group of mexican dancers came and did an awesome show, then a chica sang some mexican songs and some small fireworks came out of the stage! The best part is that there was a HUGE group of Natives behind us. If anything, one thing I learned is that the Mexicanos LOVE their country and KNOW how to party!! Those native boys behind us were hollering and yelling and singing from the moment everyone got in there. It was hilarious, and very eye-opening of the culture. We got some awesome pics with the Presidente and dancers and our teachers Hermana Williams y Hermano Wolfe, but I dont have them so Ill have to send them next week!!
I actually had an awesome experience last Saturday. We have two teachers, and they teach two districts--ours and another. Hermano Wolfe has been our teacher from the beginning and he is really good at Espanol. Anyway on Saturday, our teachers, Hermano Wolfe y Hermana Williams, had our classes combine for the afternoon class. The clase started with a talk about the Atonement, and then they paired us up with members from the opposite district, we were supposed to get to know them and then give a short lesson on whatever the spirit prompts. Thankfully, in English! Ha anyways, so I was with Elder Kotter, he was nice and all, and he taught me a good lesson and answered some questions I had about the atonement and all. So then I began to teach him, and for some reason, he started really opening up to me when I asked him questions. I asked about his faith and testimony in Christ, and he didnt have a relationship with Christ--it felt like just a hope that Hes there. Then he asked What is Faith? I knew that if I told him the classic answer it wouldnt satisfy him, so I went another direction. I decided to share an experience I'd had recently--recently a substitute teacher had challenged us to: 1. pray to know if there's a God 2. pray to know if he has a body of flesh and bones 3. pray to know if He is pleased with what youre doing. I'd done that, and I'd felt an amazing Spirit, and I felt SO close to my Father in Heaven that night. ANYWAYS I told Elder Kotter that story, and challenged him to do the same thing. He accepted, and then Hermano Wolfe, whod been observing asked him to share his testimony with us. It took a long time for him to start but when he did, he just started sobbing, big tears. I felt a little uncomftorable, but once he finished he told me that that was the first time hes ever realized he really DID have faith in God and in Christ, and he had faith to go teach others about it now. And he said that no one else couldve gotten him to open up like I had. It gave me a glimpse into what the mission will be like, peoples lives change as they come closer to Christ. I loved that moment!
The last cool part of that story is the next day in class, Hermano Wolfe said, (In spanish, so it took me a while to translate hehe) "Yesterday, when we had discussions, hermana collier was asked a question: What is Faith? And she didnt have the answer. But she did give a challenge to pray and ask if God is there, has a body, and if He's pleased with you, right?" I answered yes, and then he said that he was reading in Joseph Smith's Lectures on Faith, lecture 3. He showed it to me and I read it aloud: "There are three things necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First the idea that he actually exists. Secondly, a correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes. Thirdly an actual knowledget that the course of life which He is pursuing is according to His will."
So anyway, the Spirit is REAL! Because I had no idea I was actually answering that Elders questions!!
Well got to go but Love you ALL!!
With the Presidente and wife . . .