Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Ate Cow Tongue!!

Hola mi familia!!!
      Who ever said it was hot in Mexico!! It's not! Ok, yesterday was pretty sunny and it got a little hot in the afternoon, but most of the time it's cool and at night, it can get pretty chilly! I wish I'd brought a sweater! It rains here almost every day.
My P-day is on Thursday. I love it here at the CCM (MTC). It's like a little bubble inside Mexico City. It's spread out and covered in trees and flowers.
My companion, Hermana Behan is from Illinois. Her last name is pronounces "Bee-ann" and get this: her first name is Cara- like "Carribean!! Isn't that cool!? She has a sister named Lez, but she doesn't go out much. Hahahaha just kidding. That's her favorite joke to tell haha. Hmna. Behan and I always hang out with our other Nicaragua sisters, Hmna. Howell and Hmna. Rogers, who we also connected up with via facebook before the mission. Sadly, they're not in our district, but we sit together at lunch and dinner.
       Guess what? I ate cow tongue the other day!! We didn't even find out till later. We thought it was roast beef. It tasted good! I wonder if I would have liked it as much if I had known what it was when I was eating it... haha. The food here is pretty good. I'm proud to say I have not had a bowl of cereal yet even though it's offered at every meal. They always have a lot of options. I tried this new fruit called an asian pear, which is like a cross between a pear and an apple and I love it! There have only been a couple things I've tried here that were pretty gross, but I just ate more fruit/salas/bread then. I will say that I hate flan. Yuck.
I got a free set of Spanish scriptures! That was pretty cool. We also got a ton of other resources that really help for learning Spanish. I love singing hymns in Spanish. It's really helping me with my pronounciation too.
  Our casas are really nice. There are four of us to a bathroom. Hmna. Behan and I share a room with Hmna. Finley from California and Hmna. Rosa from Mexico. Hmna. Rosa only speaks Spanish so it's helping us to practice a lot.
    I love our district! It's Hmna. Behan and I, a tripanionship of hermanas, and 3 companionships of Elders. We were kind of awkward at first, being careful to not seem like we were flirting, but we've grown closer throughout the week. Now it feels kinda like a family. We've started a tradition of singing hymns each night with our district. Our teacher is Hermano Mayo. He is AWESOME!! He is such a good teacher! I feel spiritually uplifted every day. He always seems so patient and sincere. He has what I would describe as "sad eyes" haha. He speaks in Spanish for 95% of the time, but Ive been surprised how much I'm able to understand! He pronounces things clearly and doesn{t talk super fast.
      The second and third days here was really overwhelming. I felt really inadequate, mostly about the language. It's hard to be patient with myself. I just want to be fluent right now! But I can feel myself progressing and growing and I'm learning to stop stressing so much. I'm doing my best and that's all that matters. Hmna. Behan and I get along super well. We're planning fun things we could do after our mission. She is better at Spanish than me and is also bold and willing to try new things so I'm learning a lot from her. I'm so glad we're companions.
    We learned how to pray in Spanish on our third day here and started praying in Spanish every day. Sometimes we don't know how to say something and switch over to English and then back to Spanish. We're getting pretty good at speaking Spanglish haha. Each week we have to prepare a 5 min. talk in mostly Spanish and then on Sunday they randomly call some people up to speak. I didn't have to speak last Sunday, but still had a talk prepared.
This really is HARD WORK. I'm pretty much tired all the time. But our teacher says, "If you're not tired, then you're not doing it right". Sometimes I feel like my brain is a sponge that can't possible soak up anymore information, but we still try! And it's definitely rewarding. I know my purpose and understand that these things are helping me improve.
    On our fourth day here, we had to give our first lesson in Spanish. We have to teach a lesson almost every night and it takes pretty much all day to prepare, but I've been surprised how well they've gone. We plan our lesson in English and then translate it to Spanish and then memorize as much as we can before it's time for our lesson. Then we stop stressing, focus on the spirit and see where the lesson takes us.
   This morning, we got to go to the Mexico City temple. I'll send some pictures if I have time. The whole thing was in Spanish and I didn't understand most of it, but it was alright. There were people there to help us.
   Most days, we get to go on the computers for an hour to use this cool language learning technology. There are headphones with microphones so you can practice your pronouncatiation.
   We are so blessed to be here. It's sad to think that people had to give up one of their top schools in Mexico in order for us to be here, but it makes me appreciate it all the more.
   We're not allowed to listen to any music here at the CCM, not even church music. It's a bummer. I miss it so much. We also are only allowed to take pictures on P-days. I can't believe I'm in Mexico! It doesn't feel real. This Friday is Mexican independance day so we get to go to some fiesta thing. That should be fun.
   Yesterday, our branch prez. called us into his office and called Hmna. Behan and I to be sister training leaders for our branch! Cool!
Oh, last thing, I got to play soccer on my P-day! Now I can say I've played futbol in Mexico!! I'm having a great time here.
 Well, I think that's all for now. I love you all so much!!
Count your blessings,
Hermana Hawkins

(Pictures to be posted)

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