Thursday, April 16, 2015

First Week in the Mexico MTC - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, training in the Mexico Missionary Training Center (CCM) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, learning Spanish. She will serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.

Hermanas Madsen and Siler - Mexico MTC

Sorry if I use lots of these < random carrot symbols. It's in place of the shift key on English keyboards and I am just too lazy to go back through and fix all of them. :)  Just know, if there is a < it means capital letter.

The plane ride here was not too bad. There were 11 of us in our "generation" (got here the same day), and there are only 6 hermanas in our district. The elders who flew in with us are part of another district that has 2 hermanas and 3 elders. So we are super small compared to what it will be like in the summer when all the missionaries who are Sabrina, Braden, and Michael's age come in.

Mi compañera es Hermana Siler. She is seriously so awesome! We quickly realized that we were the most perfectly paired companionship in the district. We both want to work our hardest for the next five weeks and we study a lot. Although sometimes I get distracted, which is so unlike me ;) She is 21 and has only been a member of the church for 18 months. We get along so well! I am especially grateful because she knows how to take my sarcasm and has no problem throwing right back at me, which I love. Although there is one catch, she is kinda "granola," as Heidi would put it, because she is from Oregon. I am also learning how to be more punctual and organized because her OCD-ness is one of her stronger traits. :) I love it...most of the time :) I love her so much!

We taught our first investigator, Isaac (eee-sack), in Spanish the second day we were here. That was probably one of the most crazy experiences I have ever had. It stunk. The lesson was terrible and we sounded like hillbillies attempting to speak Español while suffering from tourettes. But after the first lesson we kind of had a base, and the following lessons were much better.

Our lessons were very planned out, thanks to Hermana Siler, and the Spirit is so much stronger than the words that needed to be said. That is super good because, although our Spanish is getting better, we still kind of sound like idiots. Good thing investigators only want to hear the Spirit.

We were told Isaac was a real investigator, so naturally we were super nervous for his salvation, because it was in our hands. We prayed for him in almost every prayer for the the last week, and we committed him to baptism which was not as scary as I thought it would be. But yesterday we found out that he is actually a member of the church and will be teaching our class for this upcoming week. I should have known! I used to be so good at finding garment lines on people.

Saturday night Hermana Chapin (roommate in our district) started to have stomach pains, and she ended up spending all Sunday at the hospital with appendicitis. So instead of having Hermana Pouliot stay with her all week while she recovers, they had each of us take 12 hour "shifts" at the hospital. That way no one person would miss all the work. I got Monday night to Tuesday morning, and that was super lucky because I didn't miss any classes. I got to know her pretty well, and all about her family and her missionary (every hermana in my district has a missionary out), so that meant more travel to and from the CCM (say-say-em-ay) in the dirty city. The more I look around the city, and hear guns going off (they told us they are fireworks, but nobody does that during the day...and they always seem to be followed by policia sirens), and hear music all night because the city is way loud (but super unique and pretty at the same time), I am glad that my mission is in the States. I guess I'm just a home body :)

There is an elder in our zone that had us convinced he was from Germany for the whole week until last night when they told our district, then we all felt way dumb. He spoke Spanish the whole time and even kind of looks German, so how were we supposed to know?

I have been reading my scriptures in Spanish and translating the words like you said, Hannah, and that really helps out a lot. I have already learned so much. Thanks for that advice! What casa were you in?

Lindsey, I will look for them! Pinky promise. The first week was hard only because I was worried about you guys so dang much! I'm hoping you all were okay. I have thought about coming home, but not enough to actually make a plan, just because I know that this is part of my calling in life and I know this is where I am going to find the most happiness for the next 18 months. But hey, it's only the first week. You, Kolby and Hannah helped me learn so much before I came out, so I think that is why my experience will be less unexpected.

Kolby, thanks for the scripture. I don't have it with me, but I will write it down and look it up when I get the chance. Gracias, mi hermano :)

I'd like to keep up on everyone, Padre, and whatever else you would like to tell me is fantastico :)

Tere, tell Micheal that all the rumors about the food are nothing. I eat everything and haven't had any problems. But then again, he is pretty picky so maybe it will be different. I ate a tamale for breakfast yesterday and it was so stinking good. Lime flyin´out the wahzoo!!

Deann, thanks so much for the bike and support! I did get the package and it made my day. Hermana Siler keeps drooling over the chips and salsa because we haven't had any time to eat it. Perhaps today. It'll be gone so quickly.

Mom, I hope you guys have a great time in Europe. Take lots of pictures and send them to me! I want pictures. I don't know if it's possible, but Hermana Siler has a water bottle similar to mine and wants a straw because she lost hers, but mine is too big and her water bottle is a cantigo. I know it's a long shot, and if you can't get it, no worries. I kinda like the dolphin sound it makes every time she takes a sip.

So the meeting was good then??? I definitely miss you and I need to learn independence. Thanks so much for everything!!

I love you all so much and I wouldn't be opposed to a few hand written or "Dear Elder" (missionary package Mex) letters. But who am I to complain? I didn't hand write a single one of you :) Take care, and hopefully next week I will be better at typing, but I doubt it.

Con amor,

Hermana Madsen

Hurrah for Israel (it took me a second to spell that correctly)!!

Leaving for the Mexico MTC  (April 8, 2015)

Mexico MTC Week 2  (April 23, 2015)

Branch 13 - District A