Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guat's Up?

First of all shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Haymond, and Mom, and Sadie for the Dear Elders.  Thanks so much!  It was so fun to hear from you all.
Its crazy that this is my third Wednesday here!!  A lot happened this week.  It was by far the hardest week yet, but its okay!  I still love it.  For a few days last week it was really hard for me to focus and put my whole heart into everything we did and our lessons weren't as good because of it.  But that little phase quickly ended and everything is fine again!!!  I'm happy.  But I'm sick.  I've had a cold for the last few days.  I feel fine for the most part but my nose is runny, so that's annoying.  And this morning I woke up and my throat was hurting so much that I couldn't talk.  So that's also kinda annoying but its okay!  There's not really anything I can take to help and I don't have time for resting.  But its okay! I feel fine!
So last Wednesday we went to this 3d relief map of Guatemala.  It was cool!  This guy went around Guatemala and made it 100 years ago because there wasn't any fancy accurate technology.  And he made it 99 percent accurate!  Crazy huh!  President explained where some events in the Book of Mormon could have happened which was cool!  And we got to see where our missions would be on the map so that was interesting too.  It was so nice to get out and see the real world of Guatemala.  The CCM is definitely its own little world. 
After the map, we went to the mercado.  Most the way there we were on a one way street.  But then all of a sudden for 1 block it turned into a two way street and there were cars coming at us out of no where.  I have no idea who thought of that or how it works.  But it happened. There are guys (even by the CCM) with machine guns everywhere.  Which I'm fine with.  Its just different.  We got dropped off at this cathedral and the Presidents wife said okay, now go down a block and cross a street and it will be down these dark stairs on the right...uhhhh yeah that sounds safe.  It was soooo sketchy!  But also very awesome (and no one panic.  They wouldn't let us do it if it wasn't safe)  So we find these stairs that look like they just go down to a parking garage.  But nope.  You go in and there are tons and tons of colorful narrow isles with little booths of stuff to buy set up.  And people are yelling stuff in Spanish and it smells weird...IT WAS AWESOME.  It was the first time I was like, whoa I'm in a foreign country.  It was cool to experience.  You could barter for all your stuff and basically get it for half the price they asked for.  Sadly, I didn't get anything.  There were tons of cool Guatemala stuff and hacky sacs and soccer jerseys and hand made colorful stuff.  But I was like meh, I have 18 months to buy this stuff.  But it was cool!  There were big fruit stands with avocados three times the size of ones in America.  And there was a whole isle for meat.  There was just half a pig hanging up in the window, or a ton of fish just laying on the table.  I was like 'ecoli anyone?' Grandpa Haymond would have DIED on the spot.  There were tons of little tiny like 2 year old kids.  SO cute!   But a lot of kids were just walking around without parents. The city is huge and parts of it are so beautiful!  But you can tell its a third world country.  The nice parts of town were not what we would ever consider to be nice.  The CCM is hands down in one of the nicest, most modern parts of the city and even then its not like anything exceptional for America. But  it was all so amazing.  Definitely a 'tadah, we are not in the CCM anymore' kind of experience.  It made me so excited to go out and teach the people and help them.
We have a new group of missionaries.  For the first time ever in this CCM there are more Sisters than Elders!!! SO exciting!  Our new roommates are nortes, which is sad because the hispanas are so fun and good to practice Spanish with.  But its fine.  We like the nueveos (newbies).
So Chase and Marshall should be proud (maybe) to know that the Elders in our district have nick named me Hermana Zelda.  Apparently I look like her.  They nickname everyone and its been quite entertaining.
Some fun things we like to say in Spanish....
Lolo (it isn't actually a Spanish word.  But Loco means crazy.  And we decided that we're going to start 'lolo' here and it will mean the same thing as Cray Cray in America)
Enserio (it means seriously or really.  So when someone says something exciting we're just like ENSERIO!)
Que es esto (Means what is this?!  And we say it when someone says something joking to make fun of you.  And you just look at them and say WHAT IS THIS?!)
Toda dia cada dia (All day every day.  For example, we are preaching the gospel toda dia cada dia)
Suegra means mother in law.  But its funny because here people use 'mother in law' for the end of a loaf of bread that no one wants.
and finally...Choca la roca  (means pound it i guess.  Like before you high five someone or something like that you say choca la roca which means smash the rock.  A Honduran hermana taught us that one and apparently its not a thing here in Guatemala.  It will be in 18 months)
So my first pen is out of ink.  That's exciting!
There has been a guy here from salt lake who is the assistant in overseeing all the international MTCs so they were a little stricter on rules.  Which was really unlike them because its usually pretty laid back on things that can be not as worried about.
I have a goal to finish the Spanish Book of Mormon by the time I leave the CCM.  Its waaayyyy hard.  I have to read 30 pages a day which I haven't been able to do yet.  It takes me like an hour to read 10.  But its a good experience.  I think I'm so behind because I've been in 2nd Nephi.  Try reading Isaiah....IN SPANISH!
I love our English fasts where we give up English for 24 hours.  It really builds my confidence in my Spanish abilities.
So we teach members who pretend to be investigators.  And Its confusing because sometimes they pretend to be inactive, sometimes they really are inactive, and sometimes they act like investigators.  This week we were told that we'd be teaching an 'inactive' we prepared a lesson on faith in Jesus Christ.  Simple right?  Then right before our teacher said, wait no,  just teach them like you'd talk to a member to encourage missionary work and get a reference.  Okay, doable but different.  So our member walks in and it quickly becomes apparent that she has decided to be a nonmember investigator.  she DRILLED us.  She asked if we worship Joseph Smith, why we don't baptize babies, what happens at the temple, what are baptisms for the dead, why don't we worship saints, why do we have the Book of Mormon.  Like everything.  Ever.  Except where Kolob was.  It was insane!!! It was hard because we weren't prepared and it wasn't what we expected but it was good practice.  And we spoke Spanish the whole time!  Wow.  I'll never forget that though.
We had 'Sleep with your Placa on' night as a district.  Basically you just sleep with your name tag on.  Because sometimes, when you're a missionary, you sleep with your name tag on...just for fun.
We had an awesome devotional by Elder Anderson last night.  It was broadcast and I saw Ryan Rockwood in the Provo MTC choir!! It was cool.  But Elder Anderson talked about sacrifice and love.  He said that we love the things we sacrifice and we sacrifice for the things we love.  And of course, he brought it all back to Christ being the perfect example of this.  He sacrificed doing what He loved, serving others and being with those He loved and teaching people.  And he sacrificed it for what He loves, us.  I just really love that.  It was a good reminder to sacrifice everything I have right now.  Because I love this Gospel and I love Heavenly Father and I love Jesus Christ. So I need to remember to sacrifice the things I love for the next 18 months because I love this Gospel so much.  The Church is true.  If you don't know that, find out for yourself because it will change your life and make your happier than you can imagine.  Miss you all!!
Love you!
-Hermana Haymond

P.S. from Alexis' mom.  I could not figure out how to make the pictures larger on the blog post so you have to click on them to see them larger.  (this explanation was mostly for grandparents :)  )
The CCM Mission President and Wife and all the Hermanas.
Alexis is on the second row from the top 5th one from the left.

Hermana Haymond's District (the group of Sisters and Elders she studys with every day)