Tuesday, October 22, 2013

¡Feliz Dia de la Muerte! (Happy Day of Death!)

Actually the day of dead won't be until next week but we are definitely getting a bit of the action aqui (herein). Every night and 5 in the morning, several "bombas" go off. Actually they are fireworks and this time they are huge! It's like the stadium of fire all around the CCM!

Familia y Amigos (Family and Friends),

Thank you for all you support and for your emails! Things are getting pretty darn crazy at the CCM! It's finally our last week here. I say finally but what I really mean is, I can't believe how fast it's come! Last night we said goodbye to our sister trainers and we also took on the role of being the oldest hermanas here.

Our sister trainers left this week. We were so sad!
Good luck in Oregon and California girlies!
Last week was a really good week though I learned so much. I've decided that my strength is understanding Spanish not speaking it. We've been working a lot more with our new investigators.  My newest investigator is named Estefan and he has just agreed to baptism but he's very afraid of what his protestant/buddhist family will think. Lessons are going really well. This week Hermano Flores taught a lesson in all English even though he doesn't know hardly any and it really calmed our nerves because even though he knew very little the spirit was about him and the message was conveyed really well.
Elder Smith's Birthday Surprise!
Awe, what a cute DL!
We are officially trend setters at the MTC, mi companera and I, porque (because) we dressed alike one day and then after that every [companionship] started dressing alike. Also we are crafty genius's porque (because) it was our DL's birthday this week and we decorated his desk and made him a cake (with what we had) and several other cool things which I will send a picture of. Tambien (also) our whole district got Mexico jerseys this week. Woot! Woot! 

Jerseys! So happy about these.
Another cool thing that happened was today while we were checking the mail and such one of the administrators came up to us and asked us if we would do a photo shoot for the MTC, so I guess that kind of makes us models. Haha, the guy said we had a future in it. The pictures will be displayed at every devotional from now on, cool right!? So glad my companion looks good so she can distract people from me ;)

Our youngest district. They're so sweet!
Days are going by super fast. I love reading the scriptures in what time I do have. I feel like Nephi when he writes,"my soul delighteth in the scriptures..." 2 Nephi 4 I want to say verse 16? I think of all the things I've learned, done, and tried to feel the spirit the scriptures bring it the fastest. Our teacher challenged us to read it solomente en Español (only in Spanish) without a dictionary or anything. At first I thought it would be hard but I actually understand pretty much everything I read. Now if I could only speak it. I really don't have much more to say other than it's been great here and I will miss it, I will miss my companion and I will miss my hermanas. May the Lord be with you always.
Con Amor (with love),

Hermana Mathis
The Angels in Gods Army from our zone.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mothzillas and Failed Attempts to be Impress Nuestro Maestros

¿Comó le va familia y amigos? [How is family and friends?]

Woohoo for the beginning of week 5! Alrighty, so where to begin? This past week has been a speeding bullet! I can´t believe it´s over!

Well I guess I will begin with saying yesterday we took on the challenge to speak solomente Español the whole day, and we plan to continue it the whole week pero es muy dificil! [but it is very difficult] (so hard). It truly is a humbling experience to try to speak it all the time. Haha, we heard a talk from Elder Christofferson yesterday explaining his first impression of Spanish when he was trying to learn it. He said, "Babies knew more Spanish than I did! DOGS knew more Spanish than I did!" Haha, that made me laugh so hard because I feel exactly the same, hearing it is one thing but speaking it? That is a whole ´nother challenge.

Me and Hermana Brough in Class

It seemeth me good to explain the title of this email before I dip too far into my very funny and extremely spiritual week. The bugs here are huge! They have these mosquito looking flies that they call mosquito hawks because they eat mosquitos but boy are they big! They are like the size of our heads! Also they have these moths that are big and brown and look like bats flying around. I don´t mind them I just thought they were birds at first.

As for trying to impress our teachers... yeah, that didn't blow over too well. Primero mi compañero [first my partner] told our teacher to "susurro sus ojos" which directly translates to "whisper your eyes". Haha but I guess that´s not any stranger than me saying "sientense sus ojos" which means "sit your eyes." Haha, so after much trial we finally figured out the right word but this was only the beginning of our failed attempts to teach our teachers.

Me and Hermano Osorio
So let me just start by saying that our teacher taught us how to give chapel tours this week. So from our lesson we drew the conclusion that we should give our investigators in el CCM tours of the chapel. Little did we know on the day that we decided to execute this idea that they were having orientation classes in the capilla. Entonces [then] here we are con nuestro [with our] investigator trying to give him a tour and all the while he´s like, "no no no!" We just thought he was confused as to where the chapel was, little did we know he didn't want us to go there. So we say ¡esta bien! [right!] and we walk him to the door of the chapel and we open it up and lo and behold they are having orientation. It was really embarrassing! All the other teachers were looking at us like we were some freak show! At this point the spirit had taken flight. And our teacher/investigator, not wanting to break character, asks who one of the teachers is. We tell him it´s a teacher and he tells the teacher flat out to his face, "Oh what a small teacher!". I about died on the inside! We quickly tried to recover our mistake by taking him back but by then the damage had been done. In the end though the other teachers were really impressed, so I guess it was okay.

Yup, there's a gold statue of a guy in a speedo just outside of the CCM!

BTW, I thought I´d throw this in here. I´m senior companion and a Hufflepuff according to the elders in our distrito. Sometimes they get so off topic! It´s madness trying to keep them on topic! We actually had to have a meeting with all the sisters to talk about how we could help the elders in our branch focus. However the whole ordeal turned into a girls camp testimony meeting. If you haven´t been to one that means that there were more tears shed than words said.
Our "Besties" left this week, we're so excited for them!
Good luck Hermana Whipple y Hermana Freeman!
I've learned a lot pertaining to the gospel this week, all simple truths about missionary work. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in such simple ways. We listened to a talk given by Elder Holland this week. He talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon in teaching investigators and also how important it is to not come back the same missionary you came in as. His talk was like a slap in the face. But seriously, I hope that I come home a better person, and I hope that when I come home you will all be better people. I know several of you are on missions or considering missions, pero [but] I think this call is given to all people. Be better people than you were yesterday. I would like to invite you all to share the gospel where you're at. This work extends far beyond missionaries. This work is not soley intended for non-members or even for less active members. Reach out to ALL people, build each other up. We are the hope for the world, faithful members. I've changed my motto. My motto is now, " I can, I will and I wont give up!" My desire is that you would think likewise, because you can preach the gospel, you will be successful, and we wont give up until this work is through.

I love you all, I look forward to seeing you again in 17 months!
Con Amor de Mexico(with love from Mexico),

Hermana Mathis

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

¡Beunos Tardes Familia y Amigos!
Me and Hermano Flores y Mi Premero Dia

Ok, so I´m trying this new thing where I write my big letter first so that I can say all that I want to. First of all, how great was conference yeah? I loved it! I've never taken more notes in my life. My favorite for all of you to know is Deiter F. Uchtdorf´s talk, Come unto Christ.  I think that's what it´s called... I haven´t looked at it yet in written form. General Conference was a great break from Spanish.  We watched the whole thing, including Music and the Spoken Word in English. But General Conference certainly wasn't the only spiritual experience I've had this week. Yesterday we taught our investigator Mario, who has bone cancer and whose wife is cheating on him and the Spirit was super strong. I felt it guiding me to say all that I needed to in Spanish and although it was probably bad grammar it was perfect!  I love teaching I wish I did it more, I can't wait for the mission field! Also I sang in the choir for the devotional this week! We sang a variation of I am a Child of God in Spanish. It was beautiful. The elders in nuestro distrito are such good tenors!
Moving Casas - Sad Day!

Decorations in our bedroom
This week we had to move casas! :´(  We think the Lord is just trying to humble us because our new casa doesn't have an iron and our room and closets are smaller. And just when we thought we had the washing machines to ourselves too! We also have two new wonderful American roommates, they are hilarious! Their names are Hermana Michael and Magnuson. I love them but I will admit they are REALLY messy. 
Our two favorite sisters Herman Wipple and Freeman

Another monumental thing that happened this week was I memorized the first vision and the 3rd, 4th and 5th articles of faith all in Spanish! I can’t carry on a conversation but I can say what I believe! We told our NATIVE profesora where we were going and the people we would be talking  to and her exact words were, "Oh hermanas! They are fast! So fast! I can’t even understand them." So that was a little discouraging yet we are pressing forward. We’ve been trying to talk to some Latinos every day lately, it´s been going really well. Too bad we’re not asking investigators where they are going on their missions.  Oh! and another cool thing we did this week was teach the Plan of Salvation in Spanish under 5 min! It was so hard!

Mexican police lining the streets with bullet-proof shields.  Yikes! Scary, I know!
I just wanted to include this in here somewhere but I didn't know where to put it but I miss the primary kids! I miss playing for them, they are so cute! I think of them often.

To Tampa we go!
Food this week has been really interesting. First of all never mix dry oatmeal, honey and peanut butter... it just isn´t good. Second of all, always eat tamales for breakfast! YUM! And third chicken waffle sandwiches are surprisingly delicious! Among other things some Hermana’s tricked me into eating eggs! BLEH! Also they like to put cayenne pepper on everything! Fruit, salads, meat, veggies, and everything in between. Cayenne pineapple is pretty good but too much makes your stomach hurt.
Waffles and Chicken!
Anyways thanks to those of you who sent me letters I loved them and thanks to Mom for sending me pictures! If any of you have pictures of baby Ty I want to see them! Por Favor! Have a good week and "doubt your doubts before your belief!" (That´s my favorite quote from conference)

Hermana Mathis
(P.S. I´m sorry my spelling is so bad, when all you study is Spanish your English kind of goes south) 


At the Mexico City Temple

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

¡Hola once again!
This letter is going to be an extension of my first letter because I didn´t get to write all that I wanted to last week about all that has transpired here. First of all I want to clear up any misconceptions about me being an all-knowing Spanish speaking missionary. The language is HARD! Very hard, but with the Lord´s help I have been able to learn how to carry on a very simple conversation and praise the Lord my God.

Haha the other day I told our investigator Ignacio to read the wrong scripture so instead of having him read 3 Nefi 11:21 about baptism I had him read 3 Nefi 12:21 which basically says... "thou shalt not kill!" Of course we couldn´t really understand it but his face was so funny! Mi hermana quickly looked it up and then she was like Hermana no! But it was too late cause I already asked him how he felt about the scripture. Haha. Ignacio committed to baptism and now we are working with Mario a 40 year old man with bone cancer. Haha he said mujer instead of hombre so apparently his wife is cheating on him with another woman, but we know he meant man. Haha Because in reality our investigators are our teachers.

This week I hardly learned any Spanish, pero the hermanas latina told us that our prayers were sounding much better and that we sound more Mexican now. This week has been spiritually uplifting and my soul glories in my Eternal Padre. I memorized my missionary purpose in Spanish and am now working on the first vision, I´ve almost got it down.

So I hear it´s snowing up there is that correct? Don´t worry about me I´m enjoying the sunshine and rain here in Mexico! This week we also lost our latino roomates. It was the saddest thing that has happened so far! I miss them already.  Their names are Hermana Contreras y Hermana Diaz and they taught us so much. The thing about latinas though is that they like to do laundry. A LOT of laundry! We barely had time enough last P-day to get ours done. Now our casa is pretty much empty. Sad Day!

As far as the activities and food in the CCM, I am starting to get used to eating a cantaloupe a day. Haha jk, but we do eat a lot of fruit. But my absolute favorite is rice and beans!!! Let me repeat that there is nothing better than a plate of rice with refried beans! I eat it every day! They always serve us some weird form of meat and then rice and beans and bread. I love rice and beans. I also found that I love guavas! Oh and tamales for breakfast!

I told you before we excersize 5 days a week, normally mi y hermana Brough run but this past week we´ve been playing a lot of volleyball con nuestras Elderes. I´m actually getting pretty good. We also played futbol and that was fun as well.

Sundays are my favorite day other than p-day when I get to hear from you guys and then have an awesome devotional, porque on sundays we get to really focus on the spirit instead of the language. Lately we´ve been talking a lot about faith. I love the topic of faith, and I truly believe that with faith and action all things are possible. We also had an AMAZING devotional where we talked about looking forward. The speaker was inspired, it was just what I needed to hear to give me more enthusiasm towards my mission. I haven´t really been struggling but it was just a good motivator. He said, learn from the past but do not linger because things 100% of the time are ALWAYS, always, siempre, going to get better.

We also got to do a fun service activity this week with our branch who I adore. We love our branch because we get to talk with Hermanas, we love frienshipping new hermanas everyday the women here are beyond extrordinary! They are strong, cute, brilliant, and humble.

Anyways I got to go but know this,
¡Yo se que Dios le ama!
Hermana Mathis