Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Letter #4 - October 13th, 2009

Dear family,

You are all in big trouble... I know I told you not to email me, but it takes letters about two weeks to get here and I didn´t have a single email to read!  Boo.  So, I´m revoking the email rule... please email me as much as you can because it will be the best way to communicate here.

Entonces, Guatamala is a lovely place!  At least what I´ve seen of it, which isn´t much.  We drove from the airport to the CCM in the dark and there is only a gas station between the CCM and the temple so this has been our little world for the last week.  But, it´s humid and there are pretty green plants and flowers around and it hasn´t been really that hot.  Also, it rains everyday... and rains is definitely an understatement.

But I need to back up and tell you about the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport experience.  After I got off the phone with Mom, I started writing my testimony in Spanish in the Libro de Mormon I brought with me to give away (I did the same in English but didn´t get the chance to give it away).  When I was done, I walked to our gate to find the rest of the missionaries and I saw Hna. Kochevar, one of the sisters going to Honduras who knows a bit more Spanish than most of us, talking to a man in Spanish.  I joined her and we had a great conversation with this man, Adolfo who is a doctor in Guatamala.  He said he was Christian and I think he had a daughter doing missionary work as well.  We told him that we were missionaries and he was helping us with our Spanish.  We stated talking more about missions and I pulled out my Libro de Mormon and asked him if he would like to have it.  He looked touched and had me write, in addition to my testimony which was already there, the date and the place that I gave it to him.  We also gave him  a restoration pamphlet before we had to board the plane.  It felt amazing to actually communicate in Spanish and to give away a Libro de Mormon! Unfortunately, I was in the back of the plane with no one sitting on my row so I didn´t have anyone to talk to from Dallas to Guatamala, but I used the time to get some much needed sleep.

El CCM here is small but nice.  It´s in an L shape and half of it is for the missionaries and the other half is for memebers to stay in when they come to the temple.  The church has also bought quite a few houses around in the area for memebers to stay in.  The food is really good. Usually it´s black beans and scrambled eggs for breakfast with this yummy cream of wheat stuff.  It´s a lot more runny than the cream of wheat mom makes, but it is delicious.  The lunch and dinner menus are really similiar.  We have had a lot of rice, different kinds of meat, veggies, salad, fruit, and soup.  We actually had hot dogs last night with sourkraut, onions, tomatos, and guacomole.  Yum.

The schedule here a a lot looser than the schedule in Provo.  Maybe it´s because there are not as many of us so eating doesn´t take as long but it seems we always have extra time after meals, and the routine is pretty much the same every day.  Personal study from 6:15 - 7:15,
breakfast at 8:00, class starts at 9:00, lunch at 12:15 and then a huge block of time from 1:00 to 3:50 for anything- companion study, language study, teaching practice at casa de CRE, preparing to teach... and then gym from 3:50 to 4:50, dinner at 5:30 and then class at 6:15 until planning starts at 9:00.  It´s been a lot harder for me here to figure out how to use my time most effectively.  Especially because if Hna. Fuka and I try to study in our classroom during study time from 1-4, we can never get anything done because the Elders are always in there talking or goofying around.  It´s frustrating.  But I´m learning to really plan every minute so that we really use our time.

I miss a lot of things about the Provo MTC.  I just started to feel like I had things figured out there when I was sent here, but I´m sure I´ll get into a good groove down here soon.  There are a few things that I really love here that we don´t get in Provo.  Mainly, all the Latinos!  We have two latina roomates and about half of the missionaries here are latino.  It is so fun to get to know them and talk with them and practice a lot of spanish.  Also our teachers are all from Guatamala and they teach totally in Spanish.  Sometimes things go really slow because we want everyone in the class to understand and we´re all at different levels but my ability to understand has improved SO much in just a week.

Our two cute roommates are called Hna. Flores and Hna. España.  They are so funny, especially Hna. Flores and we do our best to communicate and get to know each other.  Hna. Flores is about 4 ft 6 and a little bit rotund and she is the brightest, most animated little lady!  She said she would teach us to dance later today if we have time.  Haha. I can´t wait.

Last night we a fireside and Elder Farrabela (he prayed at conference) and his wife came to speak.  It was funny to be in the group that needed headphones for translation, although I didn´t use any last night.  We had a limited number and not all the North Americans could have them so I opted to give it a go en Epañol.  I actually understood probaby 70% of what was said and it was awesome.  It helped that he was talking about the gospel though.  :)  We got to go walk around the temple and do contacts with memebers who were there a few days ago.  It was fun to talk to real people and try to figure out what they were saying.  Haha. We talked to this one old man who just went on and on and I only picked up a few words here and there of what he was saying.  So crazy.  But, I have now taught the first lesson all in Spanish twice!  I really know more than I think I do and although I´m sure I make tons of mistakes, I really felt the spirit while teaching.  It was awesome.

Really quick, because my time is up... Again, I´ve been called as the music coordinator. Can´t anyone else to this job?  I taught a music conducting class (in English) yesterday and I got a quartet together to sing that version of Lord I would follow thee that I brought at the devotional. It sounded really good.  Well I love you all and there is a ton more I wanted to say but that will have to wait for next week... boo.  Also, I wanted mom to forward this to some friends in the Provo MTC but I forgot to grab their email addresses and not there is no time. Sad story.  Oh well.  Mucho, mucho amor.

Hna. Crosland

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