Holy cow, I have SO much to say that I hope I can write it all! You know when they say that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days? Well, that is the truest statement EVER! On my first full day here on Thursday, felt like a whole entire week! I got all unpacked okay and great.
It is just absolutely BEAUTIFUL here. Everyday is warm and sunny...but it is WAY humid. Basically, my hair is a frizzy poof all day because of the humidity. But, that's okay, I just put it up, and pretend its not an afro on my head.
The CCM (MTC in Spanish) is basically a mission training center, and the temple patron housing, and the housing for people who come and visit the temple from really far away, since its really the only temple for the carribbean. I love looking out my window every morning and seeing the temple, though. It is such a beautiful place, and we got to go inside this morning! My favorite thing to do is to walk the temple after lunch or dinner just in our free time because it is SO peaceful!
The people are also WONDERFUL! My companion's name is Hermana Partridge. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, but her family lives in Salt Lake City now, and her dad works for the church. He's like over media or something, and apparently he has done special projects for the First Presidency of the Church. My district is made up of 4 Hermana's and 2 Elders. Hermana Holt is in my district, and she is a sister that I met on facebook so that is awesome! It is crazy how many Sisters are joining the mission field! I LOVE it! When I got in on Thursday, 40 missioanries arrived. There are 40 latinos here from various places like Mexico and Argentina. WE LOVE THEM, and THEY LOVE US! They are just great. They help us with our spanish, and we teach them English, haha. But, most of the time we can't really understand eachother, so life here is one very large game of sharades. There are a few latino missionaries who speak really good English, so they translate for us a lot too. So, out of those 40 missionaries that arrived on Thursday, 12 of us were americans. One batch of us all met up in Miami, where we almost missed our plane, haha, because were talking so much and didn't hear the annoucement that our gate was changed. Oh, well, we got here fine, though. The other americans had a connecting flight in Texas that got messed up, so they didn't get here until midnight, and we got here at around 10:30.
They take REALLY good care of us, here, though. Everyone is SOOOO sweet. We get fed SO much food. It is basically all rice, beans, meat and fruit, with a pizza night, and a hotdog/hamburger night thrown in there. Everything is so good though, I'm loving the Dominican Food :) Also, the people here are awesome! My companion and I decided to do our companion study and personal study outside on Saturday and while people were going to the temple and resting inside the building, we got to practice our Spanish and talk to them, and compliment them. We made a few friends with the SWEETEST kids. We think that they mostly just laughed at us because we really couldn't understand them, and we probably sounded crazy trying to talk to them in our broken spanish, but one of the litte girls gave us flowers, and we drew pictures for them.
The thing about this MTC is that everyone is from the Dominican Republic so most of the people with the exception of like 3 teachers don't speak english. Like I said, life here is one large game of sharades. Sometimes I just CRAVE to hear english because they can't speak to us in English. While a few of our teachers can speak english, they rarely talk to us in english...Like, EVER. Only on special occasions when we really don't get something, but otherwise, its all spanish. One of our teachers, makes us speak in spanish back to him, and if we speak in english to ask him a question he says, "QUEEEE??" In a really high pitched voice that no man should be able to get out of their mouth. I am not allowed to say spanish is hard because little kids can speak spanish, so we can totally learn spanish. While it is a slow process, I am improving immensily every day. On the third day we had our first lesson all it total Spanish! It was really rocky, but we did it! In just 6 days here we have learned: how to introduce ourselves and say that we are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is crazy to think of that first day and how much I have learned so far. I can now introduce myself and talk about things I like, bear my testimony, pray, and teach a 45 minute lesson with my companion ALL in Spanish! And, I am starting to form sentences all on my own. The Lord is TRULY helping me out a TON. I would not be able to do this without Him! Oh, and also, EVERYTHING really is in spanish because there are so many latinos. So, we have to wear those little headphone things and the teachers translate for us when we are in big group devotionals and stuff. I really crave english.
My time is running short, but I love you all. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your letters! DearElder is different here because it is sent through POUCH, but I get them every week on like Wedneday, so keep them up! They are such a help when life is a struggle here. Make sure to watch general conference! I can't wait to see what the prophet, apostles and all the leaders of the church have to say!
I love you all!