Week #3 – Mexico City CCM – January 29th, 2015

Mexico City TacosCCM Squad

Holy cow!!! The time here is flying by!! It seems like I just got here, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve been here for a month. I feel like my emails are pretty repetitive because we kind of do the same sort of things most days here in the CCM but I will just talk about my week and my feelings\experiences.

So Friday was a super great day, I learned a ton. We did an activity where all the Elders split up and were put together with a different companion and had to teach a single Elder on something he was struggling with. So when you were the ‘investigator’ you had to choose a profile and a difficulty. The missionaries had to figure out the problem, and then teach a lesson to help them. Super cool, and all in Spanish of course! The guy I taught chose a buddy in high school who believed in the church and knew it was true but had difficulty giving up his college\high school lifestyle of partying. We taught him a little bit about the Word of Wisdom but mostly talked about the happiness that comes from being a member of the church. It was a great realization moment for me just expressing how much joy I have in the gospel! It’s so great to be apart of this church. Sometimes I have taken the happiness and blessings for granted because I have been a member my whole life. That night we memorized the baptism invitation and first vision in Spanish as well as studied about Jesus Christ. SATURDAY was super cool because it was our first TRC as a district. They brought in a bunch of young women from a local stake in Mexico City and we taught them a lesson that would help them. There was also two catholic couples who came to help out because they think the church does good things! Ha, our luck we got the catholic guy!! It was a real life opportunity to share the gospel. HE SPOKE SO FAST!!!! I understood him really well though. I was able to talk with the guy for about 10 minutes about his life and stuff. Then we taught him about el plan de salvacion. Super cool!! We were only allotted 15 minutes to talk to him but we took up 25 minutes, hahaha which normally people finish EARLIER. super cool! Then we taught another girl who was a member and super cool. We just told her the happiness we have felt being in the field and ways to grow her testimony. The next girl was Mormon but she told us she had an issue knowing if she wanted to serve a mission or not, so me and my companion just explained our experiences of  deciding to come on a mission. We read a few super cool missionary scriptures, and then bore our testimonies.

I love Sundays, so amazing!! I learned how to bless and anoint in Spanish. That night we listened to a talk by Elder Bednar on how to be “preach my gospel” missionaries. It was soooo good.  I suggest everyone reads it. Five things that he pointed out.

1)Understand us as missionaries serve and represent Jesus Christ

2)Be worthy

3)Treasure the words of eternal life

4)The Holy Ghost is the ultimate teacher

5)Understand your teaching people not lessons

Super cool talk and I loved it. Monday and Tuesday were a breeze, nothing to crazy, more teaching, constantly feeling the spirit, and more Spanish. My Spanish skills drift in and out depending how obedient I am. I can tell a difference when I’m strictly obedient, and when I slip up on a few things. We also learned about the importance of staying friends with investigators, but not buddies.

Tuesday night we had a member of the Seventy come and speak at the CCM. Really great! The main message was WORK, WORK, WORK. Wednesday I taught my first lesson without notes!!!! everyday we either teach our investigator Roy(Hermano Gomez) or Adañ (Hermano Soto). Both have different experiences but we are teaching both of them. I can do it completely in Spanish now and understand and answer most of the questions they ask.

TODAY we got to go into downtown Mexico City to get our visas figured out. Not what I expected. If somebody told me I was in a city like Los Angelos or something I would of believed it. Super modern buildings and stuff, but on the street it was all street vendors and taco stands. I got some killer tacos!!! I ate a torta I think its called. It was a tamale in some bread……so good… and it was like 14 pesos so super, super cheap!! The tacos were killer. I asked the man who was selling them “que es major” (like what is better for the sauces) HA!! bad decision!! He pointed to the red sauce, and i put like not even a lot on and he started laughing. I asked him if it was hot, and he said it wasn’t for him but probably for a gringo. He was right… it literally felt like my tounge got burnt from some hot chocolate or something. hahaha so funny.

This was the best part though.. so the place where we were getting our Visas was like the DMV, where you get your numbers and stuff, but like Mexico City style….so quadruple the amount of people. You thought our DMV was packed, HA! and of course… all in Spanish. The lady who was getting my fingerprints was getting frustrated with me because I kept asking her “how she was doing” and “how her day was” and “what she liked.” LOL, I was just practicing my contacting skills!!!!! Pretty funny. OK THE BEST PART.. so it took us like 5 hours to get 30 missionaries through the visa thing. So while we were waiting a guy came up and started talking to us. Perfect opportunity!!! We started talking to him and told him the first lesson because that’s like all we know. He ended up wanting to be taught more!!! So we gave him the number of the CCM so he could get in contact with some missionaries. First contact in the books!!! Super, super, cool experience. Amazing how Heavenly Father works.

Such a great week!!! Can’t wait for the next one to come!! I miss everyone back home!!! Love you guys!! Hope everything is well!!!

Elder Woods

View From CCMTreats

Mexico City CCM – January 22nd, 2015

Carter Temple Carter Comps

This week went by super slow, but also super fast… It’s like they say, “long days, short months!” I’m scheduled to leave February 16th so I only have 3 weeks! Things have been pretty much the same though. Every day we have study from 7-8 am. Then we head to breakfast, have class from 8:45-11:30. After that we have gym time for an hour and a half. I was pretty bummed this week because all my native friends left for their missions since they only have to be here for two weeks. They helped me with my Spanish so much. I have been playing basketball almost everyday which is pretty fun! After exercising we have lunch, an hour of additional study time, and then we work on a computer program called TALL which is Spanish training. After that we have another class with a different teacher, Hermano Gomez, who was the investigator we taught the last week. The big CCM surprise is that your first investigator turns out to be your teacher. He is a great teacher, more strict than my morning teacher, Hermano Soto, but he helps a lot and it is good for me. He is really good at teaching Spanish. One of his good quotes for missionary work is “The WHAT informs, and the WHY transforms.” I think that is pretty cool. We then have dinner, and then two hours of personal study. Ha, a lot of studying!! I read about 30-45 pages of the Book of Mormon or New Testament every day. My goal is to get through the BOM 1.5 times before I leave for Tijuana.

Its pretty crazy, Tanner Myler from Eagle is actually in my zone! Pretty crazy. We had a service project on Saturday where we just helped clean. I went to my first “tie-trade,” man it was nuts. I got mobbed by everyone because my ties were so cool (props to my family for picking them out.) I traded one old tie for three really cool ones. Sunday was pretty cool, a lot of meetings and devotionals. I really felt the spirit Sunday night when we had our own Zone meeting, completely run by ourselves. At the end all 30 of us all kneeled down and prayed. I just thought it was so amazing how there could be this many kids under 20 years old, kneeling down in Mexico City, giving 2 years of their life to the Lord. So, so cool. I had to write another talk completely in Spanish. Luckily I didn’t get called on to speak!! Monday started off pretty well, I made a personal goal to go to class 15 minutes early to try to set up everyone’s desks for the day. That lasted Monday and Tuesday and then I couldn’t do it anymore, haha I was too tired. We also have two new investigators (our morning teacher, and our afternoon teacher) that we teach once a day. On Saturdays we teach a member volunteer that is from Mexico City. It really forces you to improve your Spanish. Our District is super, super tight. We are super close and call ourselves the CCM SQUAD. There is this building called the Gordan B. Hinckley building with like 20 bathroom stalls in it so after every dinner we all go to the bathroom because of the harsh Mexican food we eat every day. I actually got really sick Tuesday night/Wednesday. The stomach flu was going around the CCM. I think it was a bad batch of breakfast quesodillas they gave us. I was throwing up and couldn’t be more than 20 feet from a bathroom for about two days. I missed my morning classes and just rested in bed, and when I woke up I saw my whole District in my room with some Sprites, saltine crackers, and a vile of consecrated oil to give me a blessing! After the blessing I still felt sick, but I was able to finish the rest of the day in my class. I am better now.

This morning we had the awesome opportunity to travel 30 minutes East to the Mexico City Temple!! It was sooooo beautiful. It is the biggest temple in Mexico, and something that’s pretty cool is the Angel Moroni is holding the golden plates. It is 1 of 5 who have that. Anyway, it was closed so we just went to the visitors center and walked around the grounds, but it was super cool and the spirit was strong. It was also cool getting out of the CCM, I was getting a little claustrophobic. Driving through Mexico City is always a thrill too. Haha the roads are crazy!

I am so grateful to be out here on my mission!!! I miss my family and friends more than anything but I know this is where I am supposed to be. My testimony grows so much everyday. The CCM is a really special place. I love all my teachers and I am loving my experience!! I can’t wait for the next few weeks! 

Love, 

Elder Woods

Carter CHRISTUS 2CCM Grounds

 

Mexico City CCM – January 15th, 2015

cropped-mtc-1.jpgSo the first week has been great! So much has happened though. It feels like I have been out for a month! So the first day was super long. Driving through Mexico City was pretty crazy. It was definitely a culture shock. Know one follows the driving laws, so I felt like we were going to get in a crash at every turn. We got to the CCM and they checked us in, we got our badges and went thru orientations. I met my companion that night. His name is Elder Kenard. He is from Bountiful and he plays soccer! His family was actually down in Phoenix for the ODP tournament. Shoutout to Tyson for KILLING it down there, loved hearing about it. The CCM is super, super cool. It is really nice and big. The weather is great, 70-80 degrees everyday. The Latinos all think its cold though which isn’t a good sign!

Day two was super, super long…probably the longest day of my life. It was just meetings about rules and how to be a great missionary.The rumors are true… you DO go to bed every night to dogs, gunshots and sirens. We wake up at 6:30 and there will be sirens. Our teacher is Hermano Soto, and he speaks very little English, so our first class was in full spanish. Haha it was pretty crazy, but also amazing how well I could understand him. I could pretty much understand everything he was saying (gift of interpretation of tounges maybe.) That night one of my roommates, Elder A. was pretty sick so he asked us to give him a blessing that night. He asked me to anoint him so it was a pretty cool experience. Day Three was another orientation day, so pretty long. I got one hour of gym time though so me and my companion went and tried our luck at the cage soccer arena. We did pretty well, but the best part was I rainbowed the goalie and scored, and three of the lations came of and gave me a “aye aye aye muy bien gringo!”….pretty much made my day. We started teaching an investigator the second day we got there and he didn’t speak any english so we had to give a lesson completely in Spanish on the second day. It was tough. We did pretty bad and it was very humbling. The next day was similar, nothing to crazy, just a lot of studying and learning spanish. Sunday was very interesting. It was definitely a busy day but more devotionals and sacrament. Sacrament meeting was completely in Spanish and the way they work the talks is everyone has to prepare a lesson in Spanish, and the Branch President will just read off names right then and you have to speak; pretty cool! Luckily I didn’t have to speak because my talk was pretty bad. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were all the same, just more classes, soccer and Spanish. Our District is super tight and we do everything together! The food here at the comidor is absolutely horrible. It’s like Mexican food but they try to make it more American for all the white people so its kind of a mixture and is pretty bad.

I have totally felt the spirit so many times this week. I have learned so much Spanish. I know how to bear my testimony and all of my prayers are in spanish. I love this gospel and cant wait to be out in the field. Its going to be a long few weeks here but it is super cool. Sometimes I just stop and I think it’s so crazy how many people are down here in Mexico City to learn how to be better teachers in the Lords hands. It is such a testimony builder for how many young people will give up two years or eighteen months of their life to serve the Lord. I love this gospel and am getting closer to the spirit everyday. We learn that in order to be a good teacher, you must have the spirit with you. We are working on converting ourselves, so that we can bring others to the same happiness we have.

Love and miss everyone so much at home!!!! Hope everything is going well!!! 

Con amor, 

Elder Woods

MTC 2 MTC 3