A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
Welcome to the CCM in Guatemala, where all the furniture is new, the sisters and elders are awesome, and the food is....... different.
Why am I here, you may ask, and not in Mexico. Perhaps I should tell you. The fact of it is, my travel plans were changed by the church, on behalf of a special request from President and Sister Cox of the CCM. I really didn't understand why the sudden change until I actually got here and Sister Cox took me aside and told me how grateful she was that I was here. Apparently, when they had received the list of missionaries coming that day, there was only one sister, Hermana Valdivia, who was scheduled to stay at the CCM. Knowing how tough it would be to be here without a companion, Hermana Cox immediately called and asked for other sisters to come. She told me my flight was the cheapest and therefore the easiest to change (note: I'm not bitter about my cheap flight plan, especially now. The amazing accommodations definitely make up for any lack of expense during travel;). So now I am here....
My companion (the only sister who arrived with me) is Hermana Valdivia. She's from Magna, Utah, she sings like a giant and plays the trumpet, piano, and cello like a beast, that is if giants can sing and beasts can play. Her dad is Peruvian (thus the Hispanic last name) but she speaks no Spanish and is really excited to learn so she can speak to her grandma for the first time in her life. Her mission call is here, in Guatemala City, South.
*BTW only one missionary in the CCM as of this moment is going to Nicaragua. Me :)
The other sisters and elders here are really neat too, but I just love love love the sisters who have been here for five weeks. Even though they'll be leaving soon, they just took us under their wings, so to speak. I really enjoy this one sister, Hermana Bacon. She's about five feet tall and has a circumference equivalent to one of my legs. She is so quiet but has the best sense of humor. The other day during sports, I asked her what her favorite work-out to do was. She said she loved all of them and then said "but I will tell you this: I despise anything that makes me break a sweat". She said it so seriously that I thought she was going to rage around the room, throwing bikes and weights and treadmills. But she was just joking, in her little person way. Wow, it sounds really lame through an email, but give me a pity laugh because it was that funny.
Our teachers are both very different, but our district definitely needs them and their differences (side note: Elder Joseph Wikan, from Hurricane, is in my district! What a blessing). Our teacher for the morning is Hermano Menendez, seriously the greatest teacher ever. He's really understanding and he jokes around with us. He has the greatest love story ever...... I smiled for three days because it was that awesome. To add some suspense, I won't tell it here, but I'll definitely mention it eventually. Our other teacher, Hermano Escobar is more strict, doesn't know as much English, and really gets on us in teaching our investigators. But it is really funny when he tries to be sarcastic in English. None of us can tell.
We started teaching investigators the first day we were here- in Spanish. It was really difficult because I wanted to tell Sabrine (our investigator) all these things that I didn't know how to say. Now I know why the prophet asks us to teach by the spirit, because I honestly hated reading random words in Spanish from preach my gospel. Everyday gets better and better though. Yesterday we challenged her to be baptized; she said she'd pray about it and give us an answer tomorrow :/
President Cox and Hermana Cox are super neat! They're from California, where they own a large farming business. You can tell that they really apply the principles they've learned from their work to how they live the gospel. President Cox is all about WORK WORK WORK; He never loses energy when he speaks, but is only motivating. He's really tall and every time I see him or hear him speak, I think "What a great basketball coach you would make, President Cox". He really loves missionary work and he's helped me understand that being a missionary is about baptizing people. When I used to hear people say that, I thought that was kind of selfish of the church, to only want more members, to only convert people enough to be a number in our books. But that's not what it is at all. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring others to Christ, through faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end/owment. Baptism is just the first step in really bringing someone to Christ. Baptism is the first step to seeing someone in the Temple. In just one short week, this mission has taught me that I have been given a work to do by Christ. It's not longer about me anymore; It's about Him and them. Everyone should go on a mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hardest, but best thing you will do in your life!!!!!!!!!!!! (observe the multiple exclamation marks: either my daily dose of beans has been drugged, or I'm telling the honest-to-goodness truth).
Have a fantastic week everyone!!!
P.S. so sorry that was so very very long. feel free to skim over boring parts.
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.