Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1st week in the MTC

Wednesdays are my Preparation Days down here. The CCM is amazing! It is one giant spiritual hub. The campus is beautiful down here. They've put up a few Christmas trees in some of the common areas and they are putting poinsettias all over the place. They have a nativity scene in front of the Comedor (cafeteria). The campus is huge and very well kept.

Not everything is in Spanish but they try to have some Spanglish in everything. We are only allowed to pray in Spanish and Sacrament Meeting is in Spanish. Last Sunday was Fast and Testimony Meeting and I did my best to bear my testimony in Spanish.  

All of us are trying our best to learn and understand Spanish but language study is about 2 hours a day (one on your own and one with instructor). My companion is from Salem, Utah. He knows little to no Spanish which makes it difficult to speak Spanish with him, but he is super fun and awesome and we are great friends. He is going to the same mission as I am and we finish on the same date (I know this will kill you thinking about this but I finish my mission on the 10th of November 2015, subject to change).

The CCM has a capacity of 1000 but we are dwindling close to 200 missionaries. Sister Pratt (President Pratt's wife) says we'll be around 200 at Christmas.  It’s just the cycle and time of season for missionaries.  
President & Sister Pratt-Mexico MTC

I have yet to get a headache but I try my best to translate.  The 1st day of the CCM we got to the CCM at around 6pm (4pm your time). Made sure we got all our shots, watched a welcome video and literally had 3 minutes to email. Then we ate at the Comedor and went to our dorm.  But our door lock was stuck at the time so we went to reception three times trying different keys to jam and jiggle in, until we found ones that worked. (We since have had that fixed.) Then it was bedtime.

The next day we took a survey, were given a tour, our materials, and a money card (100 pesos roughly less than $10) we get 100 pesos a week except for the last week.

Glossary of Terms (by Stacie Dahl (Mom)):
Preparation Day - Preparation day (or P Day as it is often referred to) is a missionary’s once a week chance to do big shopping trips, play sports, do laundry and write letters home to family and friends.
CCM – Centro de Capacitación Misional México which means Mexico Missionary Training Center (MTC)
Comedor – Spanish for dining room…in this case, the cafeteria
Sacrament Meeting - Our primary family worship service is called sacrament meeting. This meeting is held in our chapels on Sunday and lasts approximately 70 minutes. A typical meeting would consist of: singing Hymns, Prayers offered by local Church members, Partaking of the sacrament (communion) bread and water and 2-3 assigned speakers frequently from the local congregation.
Fast and Testimony Meeting - On the first Sunday of the month we have a Fast and Testimony meeting during Sacrament Meeting. There are no assigned speakers on this day. Members of the Church fast and give the cost of the two meals they fasted to the church to help those in need. Then in our Sacrament Meeting members of the congregation are given the opportunity to bear testimony of Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and different principles in the gospel.
Companion - missionary companionship consists of two (or occasionally, three) missionaries to protect each other spiritually and physically. Why do mssionaries travel in pairs - The Lord has commanded missionaries, in D&C 42:6, “Ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two.”  2 Corinthians 13:1 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
Salem, UT is near Spanish Fork, UT which is south of Provo, UT
President & Sister Pratt – Mission President of the Mexico Missionary Training Center (Centro de Capacitación Misional México)
100 pesos today exchanges for $7.63.  

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