Sunday, July 28, 2013

"...But in Spanish, that's a Whole other Story"

Mexico City CCM 

Hola Familia!!!

I forgot to tell you in my last letter, but I´m so proud of you all for reading the scriptures every night! If there´s one thing I could do and go back before my mission, I would´ve read the scriptures more. And make sure that I really memorized the scripture mastery's! I hope that you all can keep reading them! Also, it would help to have a second source to go along with reading the scriptures, like True to the Faith, or Predicad mi Evangelio.

This week we heard a DVD talk by Elder Holland, it was amazing. He said some really strong things though, such as that the members are counting on you ´¨and don´t you dare let them down¨´ But he also said a lot of spiritual things as well. We also listened to Elder Nelson talk. He said that our best friends in the ward should be 1. The bishop, 2. Ward mission leader 3. Family History Consultant. I though of Nate and Kristie then. He talked a lot about how family history work is very important to missionaries and helping those that they come in contact with, helping them learn how to find out about their family. He also talked about how we need to lose ourselves in the Lord. One of my favorite things he said is that Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience bring miracles.

I thought that before I came on the mission I knew the gospel pretty well, but honestly there is so much to learn. You have to know a doctrine very deeply to be able to explain it simply. Lately we´ve been teaching two investigators. We only have twenty minutes to teach them lessons, which is really hard because you have to be very specific in what you want to teach them and to reach their needs. Any suggestions? I think I could do it in English, but in Spanish that´s a whole other story. We have been talking a lot about the importance of planning, and my teachers have been helping me and Hermana Johnson greatly. I think it´ll just take practice.

So each day we have breakfast at 7:15, then we have personal study for an hour, then classes till noon, then we go to a computer study called TALL. We study grammar, and then we study some more. At 3:55 we have gym! Yesterday we got to play soccer, it is so much fun! Then afterwards we do our planning, have dinner. And then we usually teach our investigator and study some more, and some more and more. I love it! It´s so nice, but hard to concentrate sometimes!

Hermanas Israelsen and Johnson
Here are some answers to your questions:

 The food is good, there is a big variety. They sometimes have American food, but today they had tomalies for breakfast. They usually have several options though, but the tomales are pretty good.

 About the CCM, . There are lots of noises during the night, explosions and stuff, but it doesn´t really bother any of us. Nothing has been too surprising, for the most part it almost feels like I could be anywhere in an MTC, except for when you look up on the mountain and you see all the houses stacked up on top of each other, or you look at the trees. I´ll try and send some pictures today.
 My favorite thing...I don´t know. I love it all. There is a ton of studying to do, but I really like my district. I really like just being able to spend my time with the gospel.
 Yes, we have laughed about many things. Usually with my district. There was once when one of the elders was praying in Spanish and accidentally messed up our teacher's name pretty bad. I could´t help it, and just started busting up in the prayer.....which probably was´t the best thing to do...but anyway...There have been other fun things as well...just like running through the rain to classes, or with our latino roomates..they are so fun. (They actually left for the mission field this past Monday) but I feel like your emotions on the mission are heightened. You get the funniest and the saddest, and it can happen in just a couple of hours.

 My district is the best. One thing I love about the CCM is that it doesn´t matter what type of person you were in high school, everyone is so nice to each other. I know that companionships are inspired. It´s interesting the types of people that get put together, because it seems that each person can help the other. My companion Hermana Johnson is amazing! She is 21, and is really nice. We are pretty similar, and she helps me to be a better person. One of the Elders in my district in Elder Hicken. He said he has grandparents who live in Providence, they live by the Elementary school. Do we have Hicken´s in our ward?

Last night we did what is called the TRC, it´s where volunteers come in, and we just go talk to them and try and help them solve their problems. It is so hard, because when your teaching an 'investigatore' you know a little bit about them. But this is just like being pushed right in there and try and help them. It's fun though! This is one of the times I wish I knew my scripture mastery better. It's also interesting because it's all in Spanish, but it´s good practice. Through small and simple things, can great things come to pass.

I finally have Joseph´s word in Spanish memorized for the first vision. It is neat, because you can feel the power of the spirit even though it´s in a different language.

Oh, by the way, sorry about the bad spelling....I´m trying to type fast, because I don´t have a super long time. And there is no spell check....

I hope that Nathan and Kristie and Addie are doing well. How was your trip to Oregon? What was the best part?

Trevor and Jade, I hope everything goes well with baby William. I´m very excited to see pictures!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie and Mike I loved the picture of Sammy. It made me laugh. How is work going? Katie, how is your online class going? Was Nauvoo all that you remembered it being?

Todd, how is marching band going? Do you like it¡? How is your sheep?

Kimmy, how is your sheep? Is he gaining weight? What else have you been up to?

Mom, I´m so grateful for all your help with packing and everything else! I love you! We talked about charity the other day. I think you are one of the best examples of charity that I know. What have you been up to? Did you guys watch any parades for Pionner day?

Dad, I´m glad that you are ok, with the dump truck. That sounds scary! How has home been? What´s the best part of your day? Dad, I also think you are a good example of charity.

I hope all is well with the family!!!! I love being out here on the mission, it´s one of the best decisions I´ve ever made. If anyone is trying to decide whether or not to go, they totally should.

Love Hermana Israelsen

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Leaving on an Airplane and All My Missionary Friends!

This is a picture of Emily and four of her close friends all leaving on missions this summer, Jenny, Emily, Alisha, Carly. 

July 9, 2013

Dear Family,

Things are going so great! The airport was an adventure, and our flight to L.A. was delayed quite a bit. So, when we got to L.A. there were about 15 of us missionaries running around, trying to get to terminal 2. We made it just in time, but it was an adventure! It was probably a real sight to see us scrambling around. On the flight to Mexico everything was in Espanol, so that was interesting. But most everyone spoke Ingles as well, so we were ok. In Salt Lake we met a boy named Antonio and he was headed to Mexico as well, so he kind of stuck with us missionaries, running around in L.A.X and things like that. He's not LDS, but it was fun to talk to him, and hopefully he learned a little bit about Mormon missionaries so if he sees them maybe he´ll go talk to them. I also talked to two ladies who are half American Indian and are Catholic.  We talked to them a bit about what we were doing. They had heard of the church before, and were very nice. it was fun to talk to them.
Sorry that my typing is really bad, the computers here are different. There are 10 hermanas in my apartment complex, and we all arrived today (but not all on the same flight) <mi compenaro es Hermana Johnson, she is so sweet and I´m excited to meet her.
I´m so glad that you had a good time at Rumbi, it is yummy! Kimberly, buenos nachos as well. :)
Mexico City is so colorful and beautiful, and there are so so so many people. It¨s crazy!  I love you all! Mom thank you so much for helping me pack, I don't think that I said thank you enough. you are the best! We just arrived about an hour ago, around 10 o clock, but I just received my name tag. Everyone has a hard time saying my last name, even the English missionaries. But that¨s ok.
Im glad that you had a good time quilting at the Gunnels house.  Just for a quick visual of the mtc, there is a big gate around it, and it¨s like a mini BYU campus. It's beautiful but I'm excited to see it in the day time. When we first arrived here, some Elders came out and sang Called to serve in Spanish. It was neat!
How are things going at home, did Jade have the baby? 
Love you all,
Hermana Israelsen

Friday, July 19, 2013

CCM, Mexico City, Temple, "Hey, there's the missionaries" but then I remember I'm one too!

Hola Familia,
I am so excited to write to you. There are so many things during the week that I have been wanting to tell you but i'm pretty sure I wont get to everything I want to.The CCM is so neat! It's very different from Mexico city though. The rest of Mexico is very busy, colorful, and with lots of poeple. The CCM has big gates all around it, has beautiful campus and is like a mini college. There are new missionaries coming every week. The other day Hermana Johnson and I were walking out of the comedor and ran into a man who was trimming the bushes. He motioned over to us, and proudly showed us the bush he was trimming into a heart shape. We tried to reply in our broken Spanish. There are always workers trimming things up and keeping it really nice. The CCM used to be a school, so there is a gym, and all sorts of fun things around. But honestly there is no time to do any of that. There is so so so so much studying to do.My district is awesome, it's me an Hermana Johnson and 8 others Elders who are all going to El Salvador. We've already gotten to know them a lot and it's only been a month. I feel like I"ve learned so much in just a week. In fact, by the third day me and Hermana Johnson taught our investigator Cristofer the first lesson. We have now taught him four lessons so far, all in Spanish! It's just me and Hermana Johnson, and our Cristofer doesn't speak any English at all. ""He's actually a teacher here, but it really feels like a real investigator and they've asked us to act like he is. The amazing thing is that even though we can't quite get the right words to say I can still fill the spirit. Last night we committed him to baptism and he said yes! We pray in Spanish, bear our tesitmony in Spanish, and pretty much everything in Spansih. In fact my other two roomates are Latino Missionaras and they don't speak any English at all! We've really goteen to know them thought, they are so fun and nice. The gave us some Mexican candy to try the other day, and it tastes almost like Nutella!!Today we went to the temple in Mexico. And I have to say, Mexico city is so so different than the CCM. IN the CCM it's like we''re in a a little bubble. Outside the cuidad is so different. I feel like people are almost living on top of each other and the driving is crazy! It's interesting to see, but I really like it. So at the temple we went through, all in spanish, no english at all. It was so neat though, because I could still feel the spirit. Me and Hermana Johnson rean to the Distribution Store at the temple and bought our roomates an English Book of Mormon. We like to read together at night. THey read in ENglish and we read in Spanish. I love the people here, they are all so nice and everyone says "Buenas Dias!" On the way back from the temple we saw the missionaries from Mexico city walking on the street, we honked the bus at them and waved. They looked happy to see us. I thought of Trevor walking those steets, it's very crazy but neat to see!It rains almost every day at five o clock. Me and Hermanan Johnson made the mistake of not brining an umbrella one day and we got drenched. That day it literally poured, like bathtubs of water. I don't think I've ever seen so much water in my life. I'm pretty sure they don't need sprkinkles here at all!The sheep sounds like so much fun! You should send me a picture of them. I saw the picture of the FHE! It looks like fun. I hope all is going well. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me get ready for the mission. It is amazing, I love it! There is a ton of studying and it's easy to get tired, but I know it's worth it. When else am I going to be able to just studyi the gospel, and in Spanish too! My teachers are amazing, it's Hermano Hill and Hermano Zamilpa. They pretty much only speak it Spanish to us. It's good practice! But at most only have class for about 3 hours a day, the rest is scheduled out teaching and studying on our own.Probably the best thing about the CCM is the spirit you can feel here. It's amazing! Sometimes though, I see all the missionaries walking around and in my head I think {Hey, there's the missionaries" but then I remember I'm one too.I love the gospel and love teaching. I especially love teaching in Spanish, you can feel the spirit very strongly even though I can't always say exactly what I want to. You have to find toher ways to say things and keep it very simple. 'Me and Hermana Johnson have made some mistakes in Spansih, like accidently calling Joseph Smith a girl, and I said the sacrament was called the Sacramento. BUt it's all in good, I don't feel too nervous to talk in Spanish because everyone is learning together.I hope the Kimmy and Todd are donig well! They are amazing,and  I"m glad to have such good little siblings. Same to the older siblings as well! I hope all goes well for Trevor and Jade with the baby! I"m excited to see pictures.I know that there a lot of things that I"m forgetting to say, there is just so much that has happened it's hard to remember everything. There are a lot of spritural experiences and I love being here. It's the best!Yo se que la Iglesia es verdad. Yo se que JesuCristo es el Salvador. Estoy agredecido por mi familia y por el don de lenguas. Gracias Familia!I love you all!!!!!Hermana Israelsen