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Friday, August 22, 2014

EL FIN

I do not know how it happened but it did. My time at the Missionary Training Center is over. I will be flying to Chile Monday evening. Feels super strange. I have been here at the CCM for 6 weeks that it feels like I am never leaving. It is sad to think I will be leaving my district. But it brings me strength to know I have new brothers who will be serving their Father in Heaven back in the states with me. And also super cool to have the majority of them fly to Chile with me! We are all making the best of our last week together! Trying not to get too sad until we have to. I love them and feel so blessed to be apart of their lives for even just 6 weeks. 

My District plays Volley Ball every day!

Connections: 

So I found out last week that my sister, Eden, who is serving in Tijuana, Mexico, was trained in Provo, Utah by my companions older sister. Super cool to think about. And super lucky considering all of the missionaries they have in Provo. My comp and I have supported each other so much over the last 6 weeks. We know that we were blessed as comps for a reason. 

Fiesta:

My kind family sent me a box of goodies the other day! It was a ton of fun for the Elders and I. We had a smaller class than usual because half of our Elders are pros in Spanish already. So they attend the Latinos class in the evening while we stay and studied more Language in our classroom. The Elders had to pass a test where they observed two Latino teachers having a conversation and had to explain what was being said. Does not sound too hard. But I know some of our Elders were disappointed they did not get the chance to even "try to fail it" ha ha their words not mine. So we all shared some root-beer and chips and dip! We played a fun shoots and ladders game trying to learn Spanish Subjunctive. Subjunctive......way hard. There is not anything like it in the English language so it has been really difficult to grasp. I had to make a paper dice for the game and when it came down to the last roll my team needed the other team to roll a 4 so they would hit a slide and have to go back to one spot behind us.We tried to load the dice. We put more tape on the opposite side of the 4 so it would be heavy enough to fall the way we wanted. Wrong and funny, but harmless. Those of you who knew me when I was 3 and 4 years old, know this should not surprise you with my history in playing Candy Land. It did not work. Altogether we try our best to make learning Spanish, even subjunctive, fun and easy to retain. 

Random:

The misquotes here move in slow motion. It is the funniest thing. You can catch them so easily even by just pinching them like you would chop sticks. They never bite you but it is just so funny to see people grab them in the air and shake them and throw them on the table- o


r at least that is what Lino does every time we teach him.

With much love and prays,
Hermana Lance 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Dogs

It is crazy to think by the end of next week our district 10B will be the oldest district in our Zone. Not only is our district super close but our Zone is too. We have a little devotional together every night to end and the Elders all want to wear pink on Wednesday. Pretty funny! Hermana Vawdrey and I became Sister Leaders a few weeks ago. And we have lost 10 Sister missionaries. Not lost in a bad way, they just left the CCM to go to their missions in Kentucky and California. So we were so excited to get 4 new ones this past week! 

Update on Elder Montoya:

The guy has teeth! The process is a lot shorter than they estimated and he will be able to return to the CCM in 2 months. He still gets to serve in Chile Concepcion and is doing great missionary work at his home in Utah with the missionaries there. Here are the pictures he drew of every one in our class with their personalities. I'm suppose to have the "Mom Look". 









Spanish Words:

I had a rough mix up with a lot of words this week. We were playing Pictionary with 3 teams and had to guess the sentence with the correct grammar in Spanish. And since I tend to get overly excited for little things like this that do not really matter, in my rush of trying to get my sentence out I started saying Jesu Smith. Not Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) or Jose Smith (Joseph Smith) but Jesu Smith. I went right on with my sentence so excited and proud to get a point for our team. My sweet district´s laughter helped my realized my mistakes though. 

And mula.....mula does not mean money in Spanish. I am sure most of you knew that but I somehow did not.  I had to play the role of an investigator during class while others practiced teaching Tithing to me. I said mula a few times before my comp stopped me to say "really". She did not think I was serious but I never fail to give the district a good laugh. Dinero....money is dinero. 

Solo Espanol:

Our district has lots of goals. One of which was to only speak Spanish allllllll day long on Tuesday. We wore stickers on our tags to help others be aware of our situation and lack of ability to respond to them in English. I thought there would be less talking but it was the complete opposite. Everyone talked more than usual. It was so fun trying to understand everyone and was really impressive that we were all able to do it. It was way interesting playing volleyball in only Spanish. Saying good job (bien trabajar, which only means good work) in Spanish or phrases like never again (nuca otra vez!!) and yelling AYUDA ME (help me). My Spanish is a few steps behind our bright Elders with 9 years of Spanish experience. They would all get so excited when I would try to say something in Spanish. It would get silent and they would all turn and grin at me just waiting for something silly to come out. It is all fun though. Messing up helps me retain saying things right better. 
Our district also has a goal of memorizing DyC (Doctrine and Covenants) 4 in English and Spanish. The Elders tease me for leading the class in helping them memorize. It is my own fault though. I can not help using my primary voice when I teach. That thanks goes to my mom :) We memorized 1 through 3 yesterday. Just 4 to 7 ta go! 


I do not think I have ever been happier. I am learning so much about myself, this Gospel, our Father in Heaven, and His Son Jesus Christ. This Gospel is  gospel of service. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly for everyone no matter what life style they are living or come from. I have already filled half a journal with memorizes of trials, love, and the spirit. And it has only been a month.

Always,

Hermana Lance 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

HALF WAY DONE

It is extremely exciting and frightening that I am half way done with the training at the CCM. I am more than excited to be with the people of Chile. However, time is going by so quickly and I know it will only continue to be this way. I love the CCM. And have been so grateful for my teachers and classes. I know there is nowhere else that I could be able to speak the Spanish Language in 3 to 4 weeks (with only the prior knowledge of numbers, colors, and introduction words) other than here where the Spirit is doing the teaching. Of course I still have tons to learn and for that I am grateful for these last few weeks of training. 

The Elders:

I know I am biased when I say this but our Elders are the funniest! During gym time this past week my companion and I looked out side the doors to the street. We saw Elder Mace laying on the cement and then standing back up to only lay back down almost in the same spot again. We walked out to see what was going on. The Elders had all been marking where his head touched to have him lay is feet in that same spot. They were using poor Elder Mace as a measuring stick to measure 40 yards so they could time each other and race. Elder Mace is 6 feet and 2 inches so he was the fasted ruler they had. Hermana Vawdrey and I soon became the finish line. We are never bored in our District 10 B. They are all 18 year old boys and always have the best of time. However, they continue to amaze me with the profound testimonies and spiritual insights. 
 
Our district in mainly headed to Concepcion, Chile with me. My companion is and 3 sets of Elders. The other two sets are going to Washington, Wisconsin, Texas, and Tennessee. 












And Then There Were 11:

Elder Montoya
Sadly we went from 12 Missionaries to 11 this week in our District. Last week our Elder Montoya took a hard fall. There was a crazy rain storm last Wednesday night at dinner. When we walked back to our building after dinner to our classroom the entrance to the building looked almost flooded with all the water that was tracked in from umbrellas, shoes, and open doors. Missionaries were gliding in on the water when Elder Montoya decided to try and slid on the sopping wet tile floor and do a 180 degree turn like he would on a skin board at the beach. He landed the turn but not for long. His feet slipped out from under him and his face it the tile first. He took a moment to get up, at the time we all thought he just was trying to keep his composure. When he lifted up there was teeth and blood underneath him. So sorry if this is more gruesome then one would like. He is still his happy joyful self. He had to leave on Wednesday to go home for 6 months to take care of his health. He broke his nose in 3 places and knocked out one of his front teeth and split half of his other front tooth. He will have to re submitted his papers so we do not know where he will be serving. However, we do know that there is a plan for him. Whatever it was that needed him at home for these quick short months we know he will make a difference anywhere. He is an impressive guy though. He was not even bummed about his teeth he hurt more having to leave our district family. He said it felt more like he was leaving home rather than returning to it. The night he left there was not one dry eye in our classroom. He will always be apart of District 10 B. And in the words of Elder Montoya, "10 B is vida". 

Mexico City Temple:







We got to go to the Mexico City Temple on our Preparation Day this week. The temple is closed because it is being cleaned but we were still able to take a trip to their beautiful Visitor Center. We had a tour by the sister missionaries there and they even did it for us in English. This probably is not the kindest, but it was nice to see someone else struggle trying to speak a different language. Of course it was not perfect English, but it was enough. Spanish or English the spirit can testify. The Gospel has become so simple to me in the Spanish language. With my limited vocabulary teaching and testifying is so pure and simple. A Hispanic girl around my age approached me at the visitor center. She was with missionaries from the Mexico area. She was not a member but said she really wanted to speak to me. We talked about the big differences from America and Mexico. She was just full of compliments and was such a kind heart to talk with. She wanted my opinion on the scripture case she was purchasing. Of course we had to leave so I bore my testimony and thanked her for reaching out to me. The spirit was muy fuerta (very strong). I can hardly remember the Spanish I spoke but I will also remember her sweet smile. 

The Blog:

Because of the lack of online time we have I do not proof read my post like I should. My apologies for the grammar errors I know I have. The mission is hard and stressful but it is right I want to be and more importantly where my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I love my district, I love my companion, I am loving (it is a process) the language, I love this work, and I love the Lord. 

Much love and gratitude, 

Hermana Lance 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Still Trucking

I was asked to speak in church on Sunday. So yes it was all in Spanish. I can not remember the last time I was so nervous for public speaking. I will admit I read the majority of it in Spanish, but hey I still wrote it all. I was able to express my testimony without notes. The language is coming. In our lesson this past week I only was lost for a words a handful of times. 

Food:

Beans and rice and beans and rice and beans and rice! With every single meal. Some of our poor Elders have had their stomachs turning and lots of bathroom breaks. The food is not even real authentic Mexican food because our gringo bellies would not be able to handle it. They do have a nutella and peanut butter and toast bar that saves everyone.

The Classroom: 

My District!
I counted it up the other day and we send 11 hours every day just in the classroom. From studying, to teaching, to practicing, or computer language lessons. Our classroom walls are filled with so much laughter, stress, and love. This work is so inspired. Even our District 10B (which we call 10 beB) is beyond perfect for each other. I could not imagine even one personality gone. We make those 11 hours fun though. We play games like Spanish Fruit Basket, or relay races with certain Spanish phrases being past along as correctly as we can. It can get pretty funny with ties flapping Elders in the face and Herman's running around in skirts. A lot of our games have no winner or loser but my Elders all know that I will find a way to adjust a few rules to clam a winner. It is the same for volleyball. They advice us not to keep score to reduce the competitiveness but our Elders will ask, If we were keeping score....Hermana Lance what would it be. I tend to always have the answer. 



No H2O:

Do not worry. The CCM goes through 150 jugs of purified water per week. Our casa (house) however, was without running water for a whole week. Some other casa down the same street had messed up pluming so we had to migrate every night morning and in between to another casa for a shower, toilet, and sink. But the plus is that we have a key to another empty casa. It is kinda like our own little private safe haven. 

My Sista Found Me:

CCM
Many of you know Eden, my sister is serving a mission here in Mexico. And Tuesday night she sent a little messenger my way. I was walking out of a devotional when a sister missionary called out Hermana Lance. I thought she was just reading my name tag but she then said she had something for me. I was way surprised but even more excited! She explained that Eden was just serving in her church in Mexico before she left for the CCM. She gave her a picture of me for a reference to find out of the thousand of missionaries here with a letter and picture of the two of us. I was hugging her before she was even able to get the letter out of the bag. Too cool!  

Estoy agradicido por  las oraciones y amor de ustedes. 

Always,

Hermana Lance