[We were so overjoyed to get this August 8, 2013 -- only 489 days to go! -- Mama Mary does the blog for Emma, she is busy learning the gospel and the Spanish language!!]
I only have 40 minutes and 48 seconds to say all there is to say and there is so much, so here we go!! Your e-mails made me cry. When I read Dad's email I got really teary eyed and one of the guys in my district called me out one it. Ha ha. Just so you know, they are completely happy tears!! I am not even feeling homesick at all because I can feel your love and support from all those miles away :).
I love it here so much. The Mexico City MTC is on a 90 acre property. It is so big and so beautiful. Right outside the walls is the city and it is very loud and crowded. Sirens are going non stop, but inside the MTC you only notice it when you pay extra special attention. I do not get to leave the gates of this place until next Thursday when I get to go to the TEMPLE here! How neat!!
The weather is perfect, especially for me. It rains every night -- big raindrops. I LOVE IT!! One of the first things I learned about this place is that the food is an adventure! I actually enjoy it! Want to hear something crazy? Burritos are not really a Mexican food. Americans came up with that! But they do serve tortillas everyday for tacos and I basically turn every meal into a taco! I love it! Some of the other sisters are not so impressed by the food, but I think it is fun to try it! It is definitely different than anything I have ever tried before. The MTC president is named President Pratt and is related to Parley P. Pratt. Mom, which of my grandmothers married him? Anyway, his wife Sister Pratt gave me an avocado she picked off her tree! But it is a weird avocado.
I love the Spanish language. I love hearing our teachers speak it non-stop. Now as for speaking it...
I do not know what I thought it was going to be like, but I had no idea it was going to be like this! We started classes on Wednesday and then FRIDAY, (as in two days later), they had each companionship teach an investigator for 45 MINUTES!! Okay everyone, reread that sentence and just think about how crazy that is! Three days of Spanish and then they throw you into teaching! Since then we have taught the same investigator everyday except Sunday and today. Even though that concept should be impossible, it is simply amazing how well it is going! I mean, by no means am I fluent, but my companion and I used every minute of each of the lessons! My sentences are pretty strange and made up mostly of verbs, but we do seem to get the point across as best as we can. I have been working on staying positive, 'cause doing this is definitely not easy. But one of our branch presidents told me that Joseph Smith once said to a missionary that he must choose not to be discouraged. Even though it may not seem like so sometimes, it is always our choice to be discouraged or not. I can honestly say I have not felt discouraged yet! I know some days it will be hard to fight that feeling, but I am going to not let it happen. I am decided!! I know that your attitude effects your ability to feel the spirit and to learn 110%. I am kinda living moment by moment and decision by decision. Each choice I make concerning my attitude and outlook definitely changes how I function. It is really powerful to experience. Also, I love learning how to teach here! We learn all kinds of things in our many hours of study! I can't wait to grow in my teaching skills.
We went to a devotional by the President on Tuesday. All about temples and I loved hearing every bit of it. At the end President Pratt announced that some classroom changes were going into effect that night due to two of the foreign MTC'S being completely filled. Starting next week we are getting about 80 or 100 extra missionaries due to the other MTC'S filling up. Isn't that amazingly powerful news? My heart is full to be part of this truly immense army. [Webster's dictionary: immense -- 1. marked by greatness 2. supremely good : excellent]
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE everyone here. I finally found a fellow Spokaneian! Her name is Hermana Taylor and she is so great! She is from Utah, is in the nursing program at BYU and is an absolute joy to have as a companion. We also have two other girls in our district and room. THEY ARE THE FUNNIEST AND MOST BEST PERSONALITY GIRLS EVER. Sometimes this can be interesting maturity wise, but it is all fun. In my setting apart I was told to have fun, well the three girls in my district make sure that I am doing just that. Ha ha, it is so great. I will most definitely have to tell you more about our crazy, delightful adventures next time. My district is the best group of missionaries in the world. I am sure of it. The 12 of us are always making things awesome. We are all completely different, but that makes for such fun times. I will send a picture. Be sure to notice the B on the mountain and all the houses underneath the B stacked on each other. It is so neat.
If you want to eat a breakfast like I eat every morning... Make yourself some pancakes. Big thick and fluffy ones. But when you go to put syrup on it, stop. Your options are chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup like the kind you put on ice cream!
LETTER NEWS...The address I gave everyone for the MTC is wrong. Letters already sent should get to me, but it will take a bit longer. [Emma's correct address is posted above!]