Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Soy una vieja


 I hope everyone is doing well!  We're emailing on Monday again because we have another field trip tomorrow!  We're going  somewhere every  exotic and foreign....WALMART!  So excited.  We were thinking of things we need to get at Walmart and it was like putting together a Christmas list.  You can tell we've been out of the country for over a month because we were way too excited to be wanting things like pens, and peanut butter, and jackets.  It will be an adventure!!! Probably just like the mercado (;

 Mom, Dad, Aunt Jen, Grandma and Grandpa Haymond...Thanks again for the Dear Elders!  Its always so fun to get them!  Sorry if it seems like I'm a little off answering questions that you write me.  I get Dear Elders a few hours AFTER I write my email, so it basically takes a week plus for me to get around to responding to anything.  But I'll answer a few questions from the Dear Elders I got last week.  So yes, my companion is going to Guatemala City Central mission also.  Our whole district (12 people, 8 hermanas, 4 Elderes) are going to my mission.  And I think about half our zone (so like....20 people probably) are going there too!  SO Guatemala City Central better be getting ready because they're about to get the best wave of missionaries ever!  We haven't had anyone come speak to us live for a devotional, which is really sad.  Every other weekish we get to watch a broadcast of an Apostle speaking at the MTC in Provo, which is way cool!  But not the same.  Its okay though.  We're small so I understand.  (They should come anyway though.)  The weather here is awesome.  It's rainy season until November so it randomly starts DOWNPOURING randomly throughout the day.  I thought rainy season would mean crazy continuous rain throughout the day, but it's only for a few hours at most.  But when its not rainy its super sunny!  Its just right.  Not too hot.  And I think we're at high enough elevation that I can't really tell that it's humid.  It's definitely not Colorado dry, but it's not humid enough to bother me which says a lot. But it is humid enough that your towel doesn't dry over night and wrinkles come out of clothes a little easier and my nails grow faster.  I don't get the monthly newsletter from my mission president.  It sounds interesting!!! Our Spanish fasts are awesome.  We have 3 this week, so only Spanish like every other day.  I love them!  Its so nice to prove to myself that yes, I can survive a day using only (poor) Spanish. That's cool that Brother Rockwood was here!  The world is so so small when you're a missionary.  Everyone knows everyone in one way or another.  The food is still amazing!  We keep saying that Carlos (The head cook guy) needs to open a restaurant in our mission, then one in America in 18 months.  It's so great.   We are so spoiled.  We're going to die without Carlos after we leave.  For the showering situation, Hna Griffin and I are spoiled.  Over half of the rooms have to share a community bathroom and walk down the hall to shower.  But our room has our own shower.  So its way nice!  And yes, I LOVE my mission.  Its amazing.  I LOVE the CCM still!  It is a lot of the same stuff everyday, but I'm not sick of it yet.  Its harder for some people I think, but I'm still loving it.  But every time I look out at all the cars  or walk past real live non-missionary people outside the CCM, I get SOOOO excited to go talk to people about the Gospel.  The people here are amazing.  I love them so much just from seeing them for the few moments that I have.  So I guess in that sense, I'm anxious to leave the CCM.  But I'm happy here for now.  Sorry if that sounded totally disorganized.  I just wanted to go through and answer everyone's Dear Elder questions.

 So, this week went by way fast.  Yesterday I was like holy cow, we're writing home again already.  It doesn't feel like much has happened!  I keep a running list of things to write about during the week so I don't forget (and it works as an outline for my email.  The emailing time goes by way fast, so its impossible without an outline.  Emailing is hands down one of the most stressful times of the week because there's so much to say and read and so little time.  Anyway....) but this week there's hardly anything on my list. 

 I forgot to say last time that stuff is sooooo cheap here!  It doesn't sound cheap because 8 quetzales = 1 dollar.  So something that's 200 quetz is actually only 25 dollars.  It throws my brain off big time.  But for example, I bought a mini Spanish preach my gospel from the distribution center for like...less than a dollar.  Maybe a dollar.  SO cheap.  And scarves at the mercado were like 5 dollars (and they probably even marked their prices up because we're gringos).  Its crazy how cheap everything is. 

 On P-days there are vendors that come up to the gate of the CCM and set up shop.  Its a really funny sight because you have all these missionaries reaching through the fence exchanging money and getting all kinds of goods.  They're members and they have all kinds of cool stuff.  Last week I ordered a scripture case. They make leather ones and will draw different churchy pictures on them.  I ordered one for my English scriptures with a picture of Jesus holding a lamb on the front and on the back a picture of this stone artifact they found here with the tree of life vision. I'm so excited to get them soon!!  They have a lot of other cool stuff too but they live in our mission and said they come to the mission office during transfers so we can buy stuff.

 I'm still sick.  Better than I was, but still a tad sick.  This week was the worst of my cold.  My lungs were so clogged with mucusy nastiness and they were hurting. I just did not feel good at all.  A girl in our district is a nurse so I had her listen to my lungs (mostly just for fun.  I figured there was nothing crazy wrong with me anyway).  The girls in my district are so fun, so of course this turned into a huge stethoscope fiesta.  We literally listened to each others lungs and bowel sounds for an hour.  We can make anything a fiesta.  That's how awesome the people in my district are.

 Spanish is going good.  Like I said, it helps a ton when I'm forced to speak it.  Its still FAR from perfect but I can say what I want in one form or another for the most part.  You learn a lot being around it all the time.  Its not like school where there's a vocab list.  You listen and figure words out by the way other people use them.  Then you just start using them yourself.  Its super interesting and feels way more natural than learning for 1 hour a day in school.  It makes me excited to study dual language immersion stuff.  This is definitely the way to do it.  It helps that I'm learning as a missionary too, of course.  I can tell that Heavenly Father is helping me.  And I just have to remind myself that if He needed me to be fluent right now, He would make it happen.  Awful Spanglish plus the Spirit is better than perfect Spanish any day.

 Also, I heard that my cougars lost their first game!  Not okay.  Luckily the MTC Presidents wife is a huge fan, so she told us about it.  But keep me updated too!

 Tomorrow all the nortes who have been here longer than us leave.  Which means we're going to be the viejos (aka the oldies).  Which is so weird because they seemed so much more experienced than us.  And now we're them!  it went by so fast.  I cant believe that I'll be out in el campo (the field. aka my mission. aka free from the CCM actually doing real missionary things) in about 2 weeks!! Its awesome.

 We've started teaching 'new investigators'.  We've been teaching our 2  teachers.  But now all the missionaries in our zone (so all the soon to be viejos) pick a profile of a nonmember friend or family member and act like them.  We teach one on one.  So one missionary acts like an investigator then we switch.  Its been really interesting because I think, okay if this missionary were teaching my friend I would want her to put everything shes got into this.  So it helps me put my best into my lessons.   Teach everyone like you would your own loved ones.  Which will be easier out in the field, but its a hard mindset to have when you're teaching other missionaries or teachers.

 Well...I'm sure I'll think of a novel worth of stuff to write the second I run out of email time.  But this is all for now!   I love this work and I'm so happy to be here!

 Love Hermana Haymond!

 **Lo siento for the awful punctuation and spelling on all these emails.  I'm an awful speller to begin with.  And my English as a whole is suffering big time right now.  I was rereading my journal the other night and one entry said 'I'm excited to write home tomorrow.  I really need to oahn to my family.'  I have no idea what oahn means in Spanish or English.  So basically my ability to speak or spell in any language is just not happening.  So sorry!  That's my disclaimer.

***Alexis' mom here writing now- I always go through and spell check her emails because I can tell her learning Spanish and typing on a Spanish key board are throwing her English off!  Although when she wrote about listening to everyone's "lungs and bowels" she wrote "bowls" so I am guessing she meant bowels but that seems funny so I am not sure what she meant there.