Tuesday, August 16, 2016


CCM group photo
view from my classroom window

Hello everyone! I haven't taken many pictures this week, because it would pretty much just be the same stuff. We didn't go to the temple this week, but Elder Clayton, the president of the First Quorum of the 70 came and gave a devotional. It was pretty great, though it was pretty long. We had a choir to sing in Spanish, "Hark All Ye Nations." My entire district was in it, it was pretty great. It turns out that we all love singing, and one of our teachers got President Duvall to agree to let us sing on our last Sunday here.

As for district leader responsibilities, we basically have to set an example for our district, make sure they're following the rules, and on Fridays during personal study we have a meeting. He has to do stuff like starting off classes with hymns and a prayer. There have been Norte sisters at the CCM in the past, just not right now. As for the temple, it's supposed to open back up in September, so we should be able to go at least once. I had to use my card to buy a Spanish Book of Mormon. I wrote the amount in pesos in my book, but I'm not sure what it transfers to in English.
That's awesome about Charity and the Webbs visiting our ward.
President DuVall said that letters sent to the CCM take a really long time to get here, and packages might never show up. We will just have to see. I don't know what it will be like in the field. As for emails, it seems that at least this week and next it will be at 1:30 my time, after that it might change, I'm not sure. We will see how it goes.
Teaching is getting better. We have new investigators now, and one of them is great. The other always just responds to our questions by saying I don't know. It can be frustrating. As for the difficulties, it's mostly because I can't say everything I'd like to say. The teachers are pretty good about using Spanish that we can understand.
I'm not going to lie, I'm getting a little tired of the CCM, even though it is very helpful. Most of us just want to get out in the field.
It's president Duvall's rule that on Sundays, when we go to the temple, and when there is a General Authority visiting, we all wear suits. Since the Barranquilla Elders don't have suits, we try to wear sweaters at those times.
It's pretty chilly in the mornings, but it always warms up. We usually get something warm for breakfast, which is nice. Also, the ice cream here is amazing! We don't get it often, but when we do it's always really good. We don't have a buffet style place here, just a line, and we only have one option every meal. But there are only about 90 missionaries here, so that makes sense.
My Spanish is getting better, I'm able to understand much better. Sundays we have a combined Sacrament Meeting with all 90 of us in the Joseph Smith room. It looks like a chapel, but there are pictures hanging up in here, so we can't call it a chapel. After Sacrament we have some time before priesthood, then we usually have about 3 devotionals. The Nortes are separate from the Latinos, so we get 6 and they only get 3. They want us to understand, so they're separate. And then the last thing we do is watch a church produced movie/video for about an hour. Sundays are our most relaxing day, but we do a lot of sitting.
Oh yeah, as for time, it's still 6 weeks here at the CCM.

As for Dad's question, at the MTC I don't have to pay for anything unless I run out of soap or deodorant or something. We have washers and dryers, and we get to do laundry twice a week. We have a schedule that we have to stick to. The soap is free, and so are haircuts. Funny story, last Wednesday (the first day here) we were sitting in our classroom waiting for our class to start, and this lady walks in and points at me and one or two of the other elders and said to follow her. It turns out our hair was too long, so we were forced to get a haircut.
I also made the terrible mistake of showing my raptor impression to my district. Now my animal is a raptor, and they all want pictures of me doing it. 
My main struggle this week has been going through highs and lows. Sunday was amazing, I felt great, and then yesterday I struggled, especially in the evening. My district was supposed to be doing language study, but instead we practiced the song we wanted to sing for the last Sunday. I could almost feel the Spirit leave a little, and now I know that I have to be really obedient. That's the main lesson that I've learned this week.
I just remembered, there's a Norte missionary from Boise who's on his way home right now. It's medical, and I feel really bad for him. His name is Elder King, and he was going to Cali. He has some disease that has made him almost completely blind in his left eye, and apparently just a day or two ago they found the same thing in his right, so they want to do a surgery so he won't go completely blind. I feel really bad for him, he is a really nice guy. Hopefully he will be able to recover and get out fairly quickly. It's a 4 month recovery time.
Anyway, good luck with school for Mom and Kate, I know you will both do great. You are all in my prayers every night. Thank you for the prayers said for me, they help a lot. I love you all and miss you!

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