Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I survived an earthquake!!

So I have dubbed this CCM the Adventure CCM.  There is always some kind of new element of adventure every single day.  So the other day we were sitting in class (Which is now in the outdoor workout room because there are so many missionaries)  and the ground starts moving back and forth!  Yes...AN EARTHQUAKE! And we were all so excited!  It was the craziest feeling.  Kinda like being on an earth sized water bed.  It was cool but afterwards our teacher was like 'Yeah that was just a small one, those kind happen all the time.'  But later we found out that it was bigger than we thought!  Apparently all the missionaries who get to have real classrooms inside the CCM had to evacuate!  And President told them it was a 4 on the richter scale (still not HUGE) but it could be felt through the whole country.  Since we have class out the back of the building we just went on with life like normal thinking this was just a typical thing that you just live with here.  But no!  In the mean time, the other missionaries were evacuating...WHAT! We all had to be ready to evacuate in the middle of the night in case there was an after shock.  It was so fun though!  I would say I wish another one would happen just for fun, but I'm sure that's not a good thing to wish for. So now I keep thinking there's another earthquake happening.  It's like those phantom cell phone vibrations.  Since I don't have a phone, I now have phantom earthquake vibrations. Sometimes the adventure is that the power goes out or the water goes out or there's a ton of rain or the schedule gets changed at the last minute, but this was by far the biggest adventure yet.
So Wal-Mart.  Weird experience.  We went to Wal-Mart and to a mall and it was bizarre because the stores were like we were in America.  But I knew we weren't!  It was hard to wrap my brain around.  But at Wal-mart I got a jacket (I got a large and it's still short on me.  The people here are teeny.), extra tooth brushes, mouthwash, little journals, pens, and slippers (wonderful idea.  Maybe the best purchase I've made in my life.).  So that was fun!  Then we went to the food court at the mall.  I got Pizza Hut and frozen yogurt.  They had Wendy's, McDonald's, all the normal fast food places you'd see in America.  And it was funny because they had like knock off American stores.  They had a store  called XIV Fashion and the logo and the store looked just like Forever 21.  But it wasn't!  It was pretty funny.  The people were so nice and patient with my Spanish.  It's fun to try to talk to them and we get so excited when they finally decipher our charades/Spanish.
The other day we were talking about Christmas traditions and I told everyone how we crawl down the hall to our presents.  I explained it like a normal tradition because it feels normal to me, but they all freaked out!  They thought it was sooo cool.  I explained how when you're all crawling into the room you experience Christmas magic at a magical perfect rate.  Now all the girls in my district are going to start that in their families.  We're trend setters.
Today we're going to the temple for the last time.  Which is sad because I doubt I'll be able to go again until after I get home!  Its been funny walking to the temple the last few time because it has been POURING RAIN!  We literally had raincoats, rain boots, and umbrellas and we're still soaked when we get there.  All the temple workers help us take off our giant boots and they go around asking if they can put our wet clothes in the dryers.  Its so cute!  Yet another reason why this is the adventure CCM.  You can't walk a block to the temple without drowning.
Before I forget, I don't know when I'll be able to write next because I leave the CCM on Tuesday (WOOOOO!).  But I don't know when my p-day will be in the field. I also don't think I'll get Dear Elders as much as I have here in the CCM.  But I don't know for sure.   It's so crazy that I leave next week.  I'm so excited.  I still love the CCM with all my heart.  But I am just soooo excited to talk to real people.  My Spanish is decent.  I can go a whole day without speaking English and get my point across okay.  But I'm sure it will be way harder in the real world.  I'm just so excited to get thrown into it!  Its going to be crazy and hard and way too much to handle, but I am so stoked.  8 of the 12 of us in our district are going to immigrations tomorrow to do some visa stuff.  Exciting!
I think dad asked about this.  But yes, Sept 15th is Independence Day here.  They don't light off fireworks or anything.  Mostly just put out a ton of flags.
So in the mornings we have class in a capilla (chapel) down the street by the temple.  And on Saturday there was a North American family (who we found out was the Bishop and his family) getting ready to clean the church.  So 3 districts helped out. It was so fun!  A church has never been cleaned so fast before.  There were missionaries everywhere!  It was so fun!
We started this game as a district where everyone has 12 straws.  And if you hear someone speaking English you say 'pajilla' (straw) and they have to give you a straw.  Who ever has the most by Monday gets a prize from our teacher, Hna Palacios.  Its been fun and I am so proud of how much Spanish we can speak.  We can go a whole day pretty easy now.  But I love Hermana Palacios.  She teaches us in the morning.  She's adorable.  She always has funny games for us to play.  The other day we played musical chairs to We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet, which was funny.  When you got out you had to answer a question in Spanish.  The Elders would almost sit on a Hermana to try to get a chair but then they'd back away all afraid to touch us.  It was hilarious. And yesterday we played Noah's Ark where you make animal noises and find your partner.  It wasn't as epic as at our house but it was so funny!
 Last night we had a devotional and Elder Duncan (a member of the area presidency) came and spoke.  It was really good.  Hna. Griffin accompanied a musical number and I turned the pages for her.  My musical talents are really growing here.  But Elder Duncan focused on working with less active members.  He shared a lot of stories and it was really powerful.  He said that every nonmember in this world is actually a less active who hasn't been baptized yet.  Everyone knew the gospel and accepted Christ before this life, we just have to help them feel that again.  So that was cool.  We had our last district testimony meeting after.  It was amazing.  I love my district sooo much.  There's like a club or something right next to our class in the gym so all during testimony meeting there was this obnoxious music!  But their testimonies were so amazing that that Spirit was still soooo strong.  It didn't matter where we were or what was going on outside.  You could tell that they were testimonies of representatives of Jesus Christ.  It's such an incredible feeling.  I know how  this gospel has helped me in my life, and I just hope so badly that somehow with all my inadequacies and awful Spanish that I will be able to portray this strong Spirit and help the people here experience the joy that I experience every day.  I know I'm supposed to be here.  I'm so happy! I love it.
Thanks for all your support and letters and prayers.  Love you all!