Sister Hamilton has been called to serve for a period of 18 months in the California Arcadia Mission. She will be serving in Spanish.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Three weeks down and three to go!

Hola familia y amigos!

It´s crazy to think I am already over half way down with the CCM. I also got to leave the CCM for the first time today which was really fun and a much needed change of pace.

This morning my district was part of the group that got to go visit the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center. The temple is closed for renovation right now (super bummed about that) so we couldnt go inside. it wont be open till next july. But the visitors center was really cool and the sister missionaries there that led our tour were really nice and cool to talk to. It was weird going through one of those kinds of tours as a fellow missionary. One of my favorite parts of the visitors center was the childrens room. They have this great big picture book that looked like the gold plates and it had different stories from the book of mormon in it. There was also a touch screen coloring book activity that i got a kick out of. There was also an exhibit about the history of the church in mexico that was interesting (well at least the parts I could translate for myself were).

I hope later on in life I can come back here and actually experience Mexico City. It was fascinating driving through it and seeing all of the homes and businesses squashed up alongside each other. I´d love to try the street vendor food and see what it´s actually like outside of the walls of the CCM. 

All week we´ve been working on learning the Mexican Nathional Anthem in preparation for  Mexican Independence Day coming up this week. Apparently there is going to be some kind of celebration on campus and they´re going to bring in really good authentic mexican food. I´m not really sure what to expect, but i´m excited for it. I feel bad, some of the people in our Zone are leaving for the field that morning so they´re going to miss the whole thing. I´m glad I get to be here for the holiday (even though the city is going to be so loud that night and there is no way we´re going to be able to get any sleep).

This past sunday was pretty cool because it was a fast sunday. I was able to get up and share my testimony completely in Spanish without any notes. It was one of those moments where I was just struck by how much i´ve learned in such a short time. I´m learning things in spanish that it took me three years to learn in french. I´m not saying I speak it well at all, but it blows my mind how quickly you can pick it up if you´re surrounded by it all the time.

Random funny story. This week we had a sub for a day because one Hermano Galicia was traveling. The subs name was Hermano Palma, but Hermano Melara says some of the other teachers call him Palmita because he´s so short and tiny. While we was teaching there was a big gust of wind through the window that knocked down a poster board from on top of the white board and nearly hit his head. Then less than a second later another poster board, this one with the Objectivo on it, fell on him as he was trying to pick up the other board. when he picked up the objectivo it was broken in half. When we told Hermano Melara what happened he didn´t believe us at first because some of our elders can be really roudy so he thought we did. 

My district has actually been becoming a lot more diligent during study time. This week we listened to a devotional from Elder Holland. It was one of the most motivating talks I have ever heard. It was just sort of about how awesome thing calling is and how this will be one of the greatest experiences of our lives and how it will fuel us in all of our experiences to come. Afterward we had the most amazing district discussion we´ve ever had. The spirit was so strong and everyone was filled with this determination to be a better missionary and to be a better person. It´s amazing to be united with so many people in self improvement. 

I thought I have pretty strong faith and a good testimony before I got here, but I have grown so much since coming here. Maybe it´s because I am constantly in need of so much help from the Lord to speak the language and to know how to meet the needs of others. Maybe its because I am blessed with the opportunity to study the gospel constantly. Maybe its because i´ve been introduced to so many wonderful examples and given so many resources to help me. What ever it is I am so thankful for it and I hope I can keep changing for the better. 

Earlier this week I put a happy scripture up on the board when everyone else was out of the classroom (except my companion of course). Hermano Melara ended up looking it up, liking it, and using it in his lesson. A few days later I found another one and put that one up too. I think I´ll do that when ever I find a happy verse. ("over nine hundred happy tests!" Polyanna reference anyone?) So the two from this week were 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and 2 Nephi 5:27.

I don´t have too much time, but I want to share one last experience. One day this week I was having a really hard time. I just felt really worthless and kinda ugly and not really capable of anything. I said a prayer and just said "i don´t know what i need, but I know i need something. please help me." later that day I was able to have the best study time I have had yet and then next morning I was able to have the best Relief Society meeting I have had yet. My study and the lesson (and actually another lesson later in the day too) were on the same topic. Chrsitlike Attributes. Theres a whole chapter about it in Preach My Gospel. The whole experience just testified to me that all I have to worry about is knowing my Savior and trying to be like him. At the core that it all missionary work it. That´s all trying to live a righteous life is. It also let me know that God was listening to me. 

Love you all!

Hermana Hamilton

Also if you have some time look up and watch "Only a Stone Cutter". It was one of the videos we watched this past sunday and it´s really powerful.

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