CCM Week 1 – I have no idea what’s going on…and I think I like it

Hola! ¿Cómo le va? Yo soy fantástico! (Hello! How are you doing? I am fantastic!)

There’s been so much happen this week and it’s all starting to melt together into a blob. But I’m completely fine with it! Normally I won’t email on Saturdays, it will be Wednesdays here in the MTC (CCM). The schedule is a little messed up this week. There’s lots to say so let’s start with the adventures.

Tuesday was a bit of a ride, literally and figuratively. Mom and Dad dropped me off at the airport (aeropuerto) and we said our goodbyes (adiós). I may or may not have shed a few tears. Through security and ten minutes later, I discover I am way early for my flight. I cleared security at 7:00am for a 9:45am flight. So I sat around for a little bit, wrote in my journal, and waited for any sign that I was not going to be the only missionary (misionero) on this flight. Finally, others start showing up around 8:00am and this group grew to about 20 of us. So then we stood around and talked about where we were going after the CCM. Most are going to Houston, but some are coming to Houston East. We’re all so stoked for it.

We all arrived in Mexico City (Cuidad de México) and made it through customs just fine. A bus (autobús) came to pick us up and drove us through traffic to the CCM. That was nerve-wracking to say the least. The other cars were like six inches away and there were potholes everywhere. 1/5, would not recommend Cuidad de México traffic. There were also people wandering in between the vehicles selling random things, from food to tech accessories. I was very puzzled. We arrived at the CCM around 4pm and we were immediately thrown into orientation courses and language practice. It was wild! I also couldn’t find my companion (mi compañero) for about three hours so I was in a trio for a while until we finally met up. Mi compañero is Elder Ramirez, and no, he did not speak much Spanish before the CCM. He’s pretty epic and I’ve learned to love him! It’s muy fantástico! We also have our own house (casa) for the time being. Usually they fit 20 elders in a casa but ours is just me and my companion (mi y mi compañero) and another companionship (compañerismo). It’s pretty great so far but we’ll see who moves in next week. We all get along so well! I’m surprised at just how well complete strangers like ourselves can get along!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much the same. We were in and out of class constantly, learning new phrases and words, some grammar and pronunciation, along with some food and classes in different buildings. It’s a bit different here in the CCM. The teachers (el maestro/la maestra) come to your classroom and you just await their arrival. But they all say the same thing: they’re here to serve us so we can serve others. It’s astounding. Also, we’ve memorized the First Vision in Spanish (en Español) so that’s a neat milestone.

We had our first district (distrito) meeting Wednesday night! That was exciting! The president (presidente) interviewed all of us and chose a new distrito leader (it’s not me, phew lol). We went over all the rules in the misionero handbook which was boring in itself but the other sisters (hermanas) and Elders (Elderes) made it a lot of fun. I love my district!

Friday, more language study, practice, tasks. It’s crazy how fast everything moves here. There’s been LOTS and LOTS of memorization. My brain hurts. But I like it. I’m learning so much, and it’s hard to believe that I am already to this point in the language. The Lord really does work miracles here, especially the gift of tongues.

Earlier, we officially passed the halfway point in our basic principles that we’re learning. We have 10 days to learn it all, more than 500 words I think and like 30 phrases. It’s tough but the Lord really does work miracles here! There’s been lots of sirens that we can hear within the city and they are constantly going. Ugh. But you tune them out after a while. Also, that’s not a concern of mine right now.

I miss you all! I’m sure I will miss you even more as time goes on but I can say with a surety that this is the Lord’s work, he directs it, and he knows all of us individually. He knows our thoughts, feelings, emotions, struggles and He is ready to help, just as long as we take that first step and reach out to him. I testify that the gift of tongues is real and works. Even though it may not seem like it is working right then, it is. Even though I speak a little (un poco), I can understand a lot of what is being said by other misioneros.

Testificó qué Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Nosotros somos Sus hijos y a través de Su Expiación, mantenemos limpios. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amén. (I testify that God is our Heavenly Father. We are His children and we can return to live with God by keeping ourselves clean. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)

I love you all! Keep laughing and smiling! It makes all the difference. Talk to you next week!

Fun(ny) things:

  • Thacker is apparently very difficult (muy difícil) to say in Spanish. All of my profesors have had issues with saying my name and resort to the English pronunciation of it or something close to taco.
  • Our district leader is 6’7″ without his shoes. It’s muy difícil to lose him.
  • I have a hard enough time with English as it is. Last night, my house mates and I were getting ready for bed and were talking about some other compañerismos when I misspoke, in English. I said “Oder Elsenbach” instead of “Elder Osenbach”. Classic me lol.

Elder Thacker