Monday, September 16, 2013

¿Por què no? ¡Estamos en Mèxico!

from: Rosemary Baratta
date: Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 5:01 PM
subject: ¿Por què no? ¡Estamos en Mèxico! (Blog post 1)

Hola Everyone!

I have a lot to say this week! The MTC (CCM, as they call it in Spanish) is great! Hopefully I will get to attach a few pictures because it is GORGEOUS here! We have a beautiful view of the montains, and the brightly colored houses that are covering them. The houses are SO close together here! I heard Mexico city has 34 million people in it? Crazy... Oh, and fun fact: it rains every day here! for only about an hour, but I am so grateful to have my umbrella. Also, it is 7000 feet above sea level here...?

"¿Por què no? ¡Estamos en Mèxico!" is something my companions (I have two, isn't that awesome?) say to each other a LOT. Well, actually, we have a ton of inside jokes like that, all of which pretty much revolve around our inability to speak Spanish :D. This one means, "Why not? We're in Mexico!" and it can be used in a variety of situations--por ejemplo, when you are apprehensive about something but decide to go for it, or when you don't really care what you do in a situation and figure one of the options would be good.

Hm well, my companions are great, in case you couldn't already tell--I love them lots. They are named Hermana G. and Hermana D. Hermana D. is phenomenal at Spanish. So so so helpful to have her there when we are teaching our mock investigators because sometimes Hermana G. and I just can't understand what they are saying!! She is also very sincere and sweet. I love her lots. Hermana G. is hilarious. She laughs at everything, and that makes it so easy for us all to get along. The other thing that is so great is that we are all really focused and want to leave the CCM the best missionaries we can be! So I don't have to worry about us holding each other back. We are equally yoked (haha that is a scripture reference, but I can't remember what it is!)

Let's see... Okay here is something that you will probably love to hear! so I made a goal recently, called "Todo el plato" (my horrible translation of "the whole plate") because it is my goal to eat everything I put on my plate every meal. The other day, they were serving this funky looking steak, and I decided to go for it and eat it. It actually tasted pretty good! It wasn't until later that I found out I had eaten cow tongue!!! But I ate the whole thing. Seriously, the rest of the evening, I was so proud of myself. Haha other than that, the food here is pretty good. They definitely season things different than in Los Estados Unidos, but it's usually delicious. Also, at the recommendation of a Belmont friend, I found and discovered the cinnamon rolls, which are ABSOLUTELY the best thing they serve here. I'm obsessed!

I am having a great first P (preparation) day. We got to go the temple, and see the beautiful city on the hour long drive to and from the temple. But now we have almost no time to do emails, laundry, personal study, work out, ...and I was going to go to choir practice, but it doesn't look like I'll have time. Ah well, there's always next week!

So far, we have been spending a lot of time studying (both the Gospel and the Spanish language) and then teaching a mock lesson once a day. It's funny because our "investigators" are actually teachers pretending to be non-Mormons. We love her dearly but she is "moving" to Arizona today so we will be teaching our last lesson tonight.

My teacher is named Brother M. He is very laid back and laughs along with us (which is good, because our district--which in the CCM is our class--is goofy and pretty easilty distracted!) Last night, after everyone finished teaching, the elders started singing the Hebrew celebration song that goes "lai lai lai" (honestly, I can't describe it any better) and dancing around the chair and he said to us, in Spanish, "I don't know if I should cry or laugh." Or today on the bus, people were singing Sweet Caroline, and he said "What hymn number is that?" as a gentle way of saying that they should be singing hymns if anything.

I have seen another friend from Belmont Hermana C.(and a few other people I don't know as well) quite a few times! It was such a blessing to see her that first day right when I got off the bus. :)

3 Nephi 11:29* is so true. I was feeling the Spirit very strongly my first few days, but then I started getting annoyed at the elders in my district because they weren't good at focusing (contention) so that drove away all my good\Christlike feelings.
Also this is so true: Now is the time to be the person you want to be. You don't have to wait to get started. Just do it now!

Here is something crazy and awesome. We were practicing teaching "Diana" (aka my bottle of water) before our actual lesson, and we had asked her some open ended questions, such as "Do you have any questions from church yesterday?" Instead of answering with "Si, si" I tried to predict what she might actually say and respond to that, since it makes sense to actually respond to what people are saying. The crazy thing was that what I talked about was what she actually answered with in the lesson! We were on fire, spiritually, that night.

(Unlike last night's lesson, which was humbling and made us all take inventory of how we prepare to teach--we decided on learning the Preach My Gospel lessons inside and out in Spanish so we could just say what the Spirit prompts us to say).

Spiritual thought of the week: I have been studying the life of Christ in the New Testament, and trying to get to know his character. I have always wanted to be more Christlike, but until I know what that means, I won't do a very good job. Anyway, the pattern I have seen OVER and OVER again is that Jesus is on his way somewhere, and someone asks for help or wants to hear a message. Rather than just moving on, he stops and helps them. That's what I want to be like. Not so consumed in my daily plan and to do list that I miss the people in actual need of help.

Hermana Baratta

*3 Nephi 11:29 is a scripture, which we are encouraged to memorize, from the Book of Mormon. "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another."

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