Hola familia y amigos!
I only have 11 days left in the CCM. In the word's of Napolean Dynamite's Kip, "I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious."
This week, not going to lie, was pretty uneventful, so I will try my best to make this email entertaining. First of all, there is a loud cannon sound that goes off every couple of hours, particularly towards night time. It reminds me of the Hunger Games. A loud reverberating boom that goes off and wakes us all up and gets everyone revved up to switch into attack/survival mode. It's either Mexican Hunger Games or some old Mexican guy who chills by his goat in the mountains and periodically lights off fireworks and/or shoots things. Hopefully not his goat.
We didn't go to the temple this week, so our P-day is gloriously uneventful. I might even get to take a nap. I know, scandalous. Last week, however, when we did go to the temple, I forgot to mention my horrible track record with awkward bus rides. I always look out of the window and smile and say hola to someone, and then we get caught in uncomfortably long traffic jams and I'm stuck having to stare at them for the next five minutes. It has happened at least 4 times, and we're litereally 5 inches away from them (they're usually older men). Maybe next week I'll hand whomever is unlucky enough to get caught in an weird staring contest with me a Book of Mormon. Shoot, maybe I'll just toss it into their window from mine. I could probably reach out my arm and touch their steering wheel if I wanted. I'm still not entirely sure how we make it to and from the temple in tact.
I didn't eat anything weird this week (unless you count unidentifiable meat as weird), but we did finally see the beautiful jewel-green parrot trio that live in the palm trees in the center of the CCM. They always travel together from one tree to the next and have the CCM as their own little paradise. I was secretely hoping one of them would poop on Hermana Hawkins to give me something funny to write about, but, sadly, it did not happen.
I think I'm getting to the point where I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE SO BADLY AND BE IN NICARAGUA ALREADY, but it's fine, it's just hard to take role plays seriously all of the time instead of teaching real investigators. We are usually really good about treating them like they're real, but sometimes, we get a bit..inventive. I had to roleplay with an Elder from my district, Elder Ledakis, and ask him why he didn't come to church on Sunday, and he replied (in Spanish, of course), that he could not go because he likes to eat breakfast, and it apparently takes him several hours to do so. He agreed to attend the following Sunday on the condition he could sneak in some eggs and bacon, haha. We also had to teach a non-member hairdresser, played by Elder Roundy, and we had a good 30 second conversation on the celestial nature of Jesus' hair. This week, while teaching Ricardo, our atheist investigator, Hermana Hawkins forgot that we had committed our other investigator to baptism and not him, and asked him, "So, you ready to set a date for your baptism yet?" It ended up being good that we asked, but it was funny to see the surprised expression on his face. In that same lesson I also used the expression "badabingbadaboom," which they do not use in Spanish. That was fun to try to explain. Elder Roundy said to the same investigator, who had been sick earlier that week, "Espero que Ud. sienta mujer." He meant to say "mejor," which means better, but said "mujer," which means woman. So he said, "I hope you feel like a woman." We were learning reflexive verbs, and another Elder in our district, Elder Collet, asked the maintenance guy who was fixing their shower, "Puedo ducharse?", which he thought meant, "Can I shower myself yet?" but actually means, "Can I bathe you?" hahaha My Spanish is going well overall, no serious messups this week, but I definitely find myself making up words. The awesome thing is that they're usually real. Sometimes, though, it's a stretch. Hopefully God understands my intent because I only pray in Spanish and I've said some pretty strange things.
It didn't rain at all this week! Nothing but blue skies and sun. I'm already getting a weird missionary tan line. Bring it on.
Four nights ago at 12:30, the LOUDEST mosquitso in the entire world were in our bedroom. Hermana Hawkins and I didn't even have to discuss it. We hopped out of bed, she grabbed the flashlight, and I grabbed the yellow fly swatter. I can imagine we would have been a comical sight--shining the light various places, crawling on top of chairs, stalking our prey. I singlehandedly killed 11 mosquitos that night. Yes, 11. I felt awesome. I am becoming a full-fledged mosquito assassin: choice of weapon, fly swatter. Guess who didn't have any mosquitos plaguing their life the last three nights? This girl. They shrink in fear from my presence. I killed two at once and it was so great (clearly, I am lacking on things to do by way of entertainment).
A bunch of the members in our District got sick this week, myself included, but I'm better. Elder Blakely said, "I feel like there's a little Mexican man running around inside of me and punching things." Pretty accurate description, but we're doing just fine now.
And lastly, by way of spiritual things, I just have to say that the Book of Mormon is true. I love it so much. I don't think I've ever read it straight through before while annotating and just paying attention to my thoughts and feelings while reading, but it is such an inspired book. I don't care if I'm annoying about it, I will proclaim its truthfulness to anyone who will listen. I wish I could just hop the CCM fence and start throwing copies of the Book of Mormon at random pedestrians. We had a fireside this week by Brother Cates, one of the coordinators here, and he talked about theimportance of not looking back, as Lot's wife did in the Bible (the one that turned into a pillar of salt), and committing ourselves 100% to whatever it is we believe in. He said that we don't have to be perfect, but we do have to give the Lord our all. He shared the verse from the scriptures, "Whosoever shall lose their life for my sake shall preserve it." When we make the decision to serve God with our entire hearts, we will be taken to places we never even dreamed off. He told us, "when you commit to something, you commit to it and DO NOT LET GO." He quoted Star Wars, actually, "Stay on target." I have casually made goals before, but I think this is the first time in my life I'm actually making them and seeing them through. I encourage everyone who is reading this to do the same. Make a goal, and carry it out. It's going to be rough at first, but I promise that the end result will be worth it.
To end his devotional, Brother Cates shared the translated version of a French poem (which I am paraphrasing): "Come to the edge. They said, 'We will fall.' Come to edge. They came, he pushed them, and they flew." Going on a mission has definitely been a "come to the edge" experience, but I am so grateful I made the leap. I love missionary work. Seriously, it's my favorite. I miss everyone, but this is exactly where I am supposed to be. And if a month at the CCM has gone by this fast, I honestly can't imagine how fast the next 17 will go. I'm in this 100%, staying on target. You can count on it.
Les quiero! You're all in my prayers. Please especially pray for my friend Emily Cutillo who had to leave Nicaragua early from an illness and my brother Joe who broke his leg.
<3 Hermana Behan