This city is beautiful. In my classroom, I can look out the window and see the Andes Mountains, and it’s just so amazing how pretty they are at night covered in this pinkish glow. Anyways for those of you who don’t know, I got here to the CCM a day late because my flight got canceled from Las Vegas to Atlanta. So on Wednesday I flew out and arrived on Thursday. Getting there was very crazy, and I was in total cultural shock as I went out the door of the airport. It was very crazy and about a 100 people were standing there waiting for someone, but luckily I saw some guy holding a sign with the name of the church. So I walked towards him. We couldn’t talk because he spoke no English, but he took my bags and drove me to what I though would be the CCM. Instead we pulled up to some big random house in the city, and I saw about 40 missionaries getting into these big vans. So I got out, dropped off my bags, put my nametag on, and got into the busses with them. That was my first day everyone knew me as the elder that missed his fight.
That first day was really hard flying all night then having to go to classes and such. That’s one thing I’ve learned really fast is that this is not easy. In fact it's already the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Spanish is so difficult, but I know that the Lord is blessing me. I really appreciate the prayers from all of my family and loved ones, and please keep praying for me to be able to speak this language. On those really hard days, which for me were the first and third days I was here, something always happens which lifts me up and motivates me. For example, on Saturday when I was really down about understanding and learning the language, my companion and I during the break started walking around the temple. While we were walking around, a little girl waved to us and then ran up to us. Then, she just started saying something really fast in Spanish. I had no idea what she said, but it just made me so happy for her to treat us like friends. Anyways she did some weird handshake high five thing with us then said chao.
It’s experiences like those that have kept me motivated this first week or 5 days. On a different note, the house where we are living is really big, and I share a room with 4 other elders with 2 other elders in another room joining ours. We eat breakfast there, which is made by Ceclia who is really nice, then take a 10 minute drive to the CCM where we study from 10 to about 10. There’s a saying here that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It doesn’t feel fast at all to me, but we’ll see how I feel in 5 weeks. My companion is Elder Brush from Utah, and he’s really chill and we get along great. We have an Elder in our room who went to West Point for a year, and he's super motivated and clean and organized as you might expect. The other elder in our room is our District leader, and he told me today that he heard about me in the airport when he called his mom. I guess my mom and his mom talked online about my flight being cancelled, and I was not surprised in the slightest cuz let’s be honest, Mom, you stalk those missionary websites. Haha. I don’t have a lot of time and want to write some people to BYE.
THE OLDER AND BETTER
|Elder Brush and I|
|Missionaries staying at the house--we call it Alcantara. I think that's the name name of the street it's on.|