Friday, July 26, 2013

July 25, 2013

Hola familia y amigos,
I can not belive that it has already been over two weeks. Seriously the days are pretty long but looking back, they go so quickly.
It doesnt feel like a lot has happened, but we do alot. We wake up at 6:30 and eat breakfast at 7 (consisting of pancakes or corndogs, or tomalies), personal study and comp study, then 3 hours of classes and teaching, lunch, TALL, extra study time and language study, gym, planning, dinner, then we teach our investigators and have class until 9:30 and finally go back to the casa for bed by 10:30... I love having so much to do! However, there are a few hours in the day, after lunch that are very difficult for me to focus... and I feel like P day couldnt come fast enough.
A bitter sweet moment this week when our roommates Hermana Martinez y Hermana Sosa left the CCM. I was so sad to see them go but so excited for them to get to the field. They are both from central Mexico and one is in the north part by the boader and the other is in the very south part... they are the nicest girls I know and I cant wait to see all the good they bring into the world. It is crazy that their will be 3 sets of latinos in and out by the time we get to leave the CCM but I am glad I have 6 weeks here, becasue I need all the time that I can get.
The language is coming... slowly, but its coming. I get very frustrated sometimes becuase it is so difficult to express my feelings. Often I think that it would have been much easier to be called on an english speaking mission, but I know that I have been called by a prophet of God to preach His gospel, and everyone deserves to receive the oportunity in their own language. I have to remind myself that I am not here to learn spanish, I am here to learn the gospel and invite others to the gospel... in spanish. And I know that when I am willing to put in the effort God will bless me.
On that note... durring one of our lessons this week with Karim, we were teaching him about the restoration and the first vision and I accidentally called Joseph Smith a women. But I learned my lesson and hopefully I wont ever make that mistake again.
The CCM is an amazing place becuase everyone here knows their purpose and we all feel part of something important. We get to watch an provo MTC devotional every tuesday and this week Elder Holland spoke. I LOVE Elder Holland for more than one reason; he knows exactly what I need to hear and exactly how to say it. This talk was a little different because he spoke about the high expecations that the church and the first presidency has for every missionary. He was very serious about the high reputation and tradition missionaries have worked for years to attain and that It is not our place to devote anything but our best to maintain this reputation. He said "Dont you DARE come home without a changed soul... Dont you ever say `im glad thats over` You are not ever, ever, ever again to go back to what you were before!! ever. You have to be growing, striving, pushing and developing, and going to the edge everyday of you mission, It should change every thought, decision, and desire that you have. We have a right to expect one convert... you. Dont miss your chance to spend every waking hour to devote to building the kindgom of God."
So everytime I become frustrated, or too tired to complete another assignment I just think of Elder Hollands voice, "Dont you dare..." I am trying to be grateful for the opportunity I have to be here.
2 Nephi 25:23 has really helped me this week... I know that it is by the grace of God, after all we can do, if we try our very hardest, God will make up the rest.
Thanks for your prayers, I love you all!!!
Love Hermana Johnson

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 18, 2013

Hey fam,
Its really good to hear from all of you, your emails are great, although I didnt really have time to read them through... I want as long as I can to write all of you back. WOW there is so much to tell you!!!
I have been at the CCM for over a week now and everything is so amazing!! I absolutly love it!! The food is great, the weather is perfect and the spirit is so strong. It has been a really neat experience to be some of the first North Americans here. The school just closed in June and the first missionaries arrived about 2 weeks after, but they are still trying to figure alot of stuff out. The campus is huge and there is a lot of housing but there are only about 400 missionaries here right now. Every week it will grow and by the time I leave there will be absolutly no space in the lunch room. Its really cool because we get to eat lunch with the Latino hermanas so they help us alot with our spanish... however, sometimes its difficult for them to understand us.
My companion, hermana isrealson is amazing!! Probably the most spiritual person i know and everytime she teaches, i learn somehting new. Also, neither of us knew alot of spanish, so we help eachother out alot. Our casa has about 14 girls, 8 north americans and 6 latinos. We are lucky enought to have 2 latino roommates, both from mexico. Hermana Martinez y Hermana Sosa. Neither of them speak any english so our conversations are really funny, but they are great!! I love them so much!! We read in the Libro de Mormon with them every night and they help us with our pronunciation. (sorry about my spelling, there is no spell check on this computer and the keyboard is a little backwards from the ones in America.)
Anyway, my district is awesome. There are 8 Elders, all going to El Salvador and my and my companion. We all get along really well and its so much fun. They all tease me alot because I am 21 and "have so much experiance and knowledge"... they are all 18, but we have a blast. They are all so strong and their testimonies are so powerful, I know they will be great missionaries.
So starting the first day, we have 3 hours of language class. Spanish is great, and everytime i hear someone speaking, I get so excited. I cant wait for the day when I can talk about anything that I want to. As for now, my spanish is coming along slowly. Pues, estabien. We have already taught 4 lessons in Espanol including the first vision. Its amazing the spirit that you feel when your teaching. Our investigators name is Christofer (hes really a teacher here) but he is an 18 year old boy that lives in a Catholic orphinage and has had a really hard life. When we first met him, he was really sad and lonely, no friends and no familiy. But he has been really awesome to teach. Althought we dont speak one english word in the lesson, he is pretty understanding and loves to ask questions. Last saturday, we taught him a lesson about the atonement and it was so powerful!! As i was bearing my testimony, I felt the spirit so strong. I had never really questioned that the Atonement was true, but there was something about teaching that the Savior suffered for us so we dont ever have to be alone... it was so powerful!!
Also, during our third lesson, I had a prompting to ask him to pray with us to know if the church was true. And as he prayed, you could feel the spirit enter the room... it was so strong. I think we were all strengthened a little that day. Yesterday, in our lesson, we asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. After a very long pause he said yes, that he know it was true and he knew that is what God wanted him to do! It was so amazing!!! (He didnt say yes to anyother companionship in the group... so we much have done something right.)
I have so much to tell you, and not enough time. Our P day while at the CCM is thursday. Today we had the oportunity to go the the Mexico City temple. It was an AMAMZING experience. We did the entire session in Spanish and going through the veil was really cool!! Thank goodness temple workers are so nice and patient, because i needed alot of help. The celestial room is so beautiful and it is amazing the kind of inspiration you receive when your in the house of the lord. Unfortunatly the only time we get to leave the CCM is when we are on the bus to the temple and back. The CCM doesnt feel like Mexico, its a completely different world outside the fence. We are extremely lucky that the church takes such good care of us!!!
I have grown so much!! I am learning alot about the gospel but also about myself and how to better serve Gods children. Its amazing what you can learn when you humble yourself and let the spirit teach you... So far it has been a very humbling experiance but I love every minute! Our district has the best teachers, Hermano Hill y Hermano Zolpa. They are so helpful and they try really had to keep us involved and happy.
Well, I love you all more than you know!!! I am so blessed to have such amazing family and friends like you!! I feel your prayers and I send mine your way every night!!! Thanks for all you have done for me! Im out of time but ill see if i can log on again and send some pictures.

Love Hermana Johnson!