Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sister Avery Finishes Her First Week at the Mexico MTC

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, currently training at the Mexico Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In five weeks, Sister Avery will report to the Chile Vina del Mar Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hola familia y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)

Wow, it has been a crazy week! I am SOO excited right now to get to talk to you guys! I have been waiting for this day to write for what feels like months! The first day went by pretty fast for me. We arrived to the MTC at about 5 PM and I was able to meet my compañera (companion), Hermana Page (she is from Charlotte, North Carolina) and have dinner with her. We then had all night to get to know each other and get our stuff unpacked. Thank goodness for wooby and my signed pillowcase from you guys so that I could go to sleep that night hahahaha!

We live in a house that can fit about 12 girls, but since the Latinas left for their missions yesterday, there are only 6 of us in there now. It is a lot more quiet! Those Latinas sure liked to have fiestas (parties) all night! But they were so wonderful and really helpful with making me learn Spanish!

Speaking of Spanish, that is going pretty well so far. Hermana Page and I (my companion) had a really cool experience yesterday with our investigator, Fernando. He is not a real investigator, just practice, but it feels real! Anyway, we have taught him three times now, last Thursday, Friday and yesterday. Thursday and Friday we used notes to teach him since we still don't know the language well, and we wanted to be able to say everything that we had prepared for him in Spanish. But yesterday was different. We prayed before we went that we would remember the things that we wanted to teach him, and that we would know what to tell him in Spanish, without using notes. We were in there for almost 40 minutes and spoke ONLY Spanish! Talk about the gift of tongues! It was truly one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. It was so amazing! And it made me want to teach so much more too. It was a real boost of confidence, so now I feel like I can conquer anything :) The Lord truly blesses us in so many ways!

The food here is pretty gross LOL! One morning, they had peaches and spam (yes, mixed together!) for breakfast. YUCK! Thank the heavens that they have Cocoa Crispies or I would have dwindled away by now! HAHA! The rest of the food is decent, but definitely NOT Buffalo Wild Wings. Which I could really go for right now- it's wing night! UGH. Go for me, okay?? :)

It is SOOO cold here! It's not cold enough for my big coat, so I have to freeze in my cardigans haha! I am not sure why it is so chilly. Our teacher says it is because we are up high in the mountains. That works, I guess :)

Our day basically goes as follows: We wake up at 6:30 a.m., get ready for the day, and have companionship prayer at 7. Then we go to the building where we learn all of our Spanish and lessons (the John Taylor building), and we do personal study until about 7:45. Breakfast goes until 8:30. Until about 12:30 p.m., we are studying Spanish like crazy. We finish that around 1:00, and go to lunch. Then we come back, learn a lesson to teach from Preach My Gospel, and then until dinner at 6:30, we are learning Spanish and teaching investigators, if we have appointments that day. After dinner is more personal study and then gym time for an hour until 9 p.m.. Until 10:30 (which is lights out), we just get ready for bed and have companionship prayer again. It is an easy schedule, just a really long day.

At first, I was really considering going home. It was making me really sad, because I knew this was where I needed to be, and that I wanted to do this!! I was so discouraged, and really missing home. But time is flying now! Sunday changed my mind completely. We were in devotional watching a movie about Christ and His ministry on Earth. It was amazing to watch, and to think that He was the greatest missionary that there ever was! That night, I told my Heavenly Father that I was going to serve with all that I have and am, and that I would try to fill the Lord's shoes as best as I can. So far, it is going great! And the days don't feel like months anymore. So, word to the people preparing for missions... make it to the first Sunday, and you will be golden! I feel so much better now. Of course, I miss home like crazy, but I have a mission to fulfill first!! :)

I always show people my pictures of you guys, and they think you you guys are the cutest family ever! I am always more than willing to show them, because it is a chance for me to see you (kinda) too! Haha!

One last thing before I finish off this email. My MTC President, President Pratt, told us that if we will read through the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish, highlighting the words that we don't know, looking them up, then writing them in English above it so that we learn the meanings as we read, that we will be fluent in Spanish! I am making it a goal to do that before I go to Chile. I only have 5 weeks, but I am determined!!

Well, I love you all so much! I miss you like crazy. I hope that you have a great week. Please email me! It takes about 3 weeks for letters to get here in the mail, so anything sent after this week will most likely not get to me. So if you write letters, send them to Chile! But I can print your emails, so send them! I am collecting them in a book to read when I am missing home :)

I love you, I love you, I love you!!!! Talk to you next week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Hannah Avery

Sister Avery Arrives in Mexico City (August 13, 2013)

Stomach Bugs, Crawling Bugs, Earthquakes, Gun Shots, Oh MY!! (August 27, 2013)

Some Brotherly Advice

To enlarge photos, just click on them and they will open in a larger view.

Hermana Page and Hermana Avery
The new Mexico MTC is on the grounds of the previous
Benemerito de las Americas High School in Mexico City. 

For mom, my missionary name tag :)
The street beside our casa (house) .

My closet is tiny, but everything
fits just fine!
Views of the part of Mexico City where I live.
I'm on the top bunk and Hermana Page is on the bottom.

Hermana Page, Hermana Avery, and Hermana Nelson
at the Mexico City Temple

The beautiful Mexico City Temple!

My MTC District! They call me "mom" because
I'm the oldest...not sure how I feel about that haha!