It´s so good to finally be able to write--feels like it´s been forever since I left last Tuesday for Lima! My first week at the CCM (or the Ce Ce Eme as we pronounce it in Spanish) has been jampacked. There are about 130 missionaries, 25% Latino, the rest Norte Americanos. There are only 5 companionships of sisters, and it´s just me and Hna. Wheelock in District 112. There are 13 missionaries in my District (one companionship is a trio). Each day we get up at 6am have breakfast and then head to class. Most all of our day is for class, personal study, and companionship study. We have 2 teachers--one in the morning and one in the evening. Class goes til 9, we plan til 930 and then it´s off to our rooms to write and go to bed!
Spanish is going well! I am so grateful for the class I took last semester, otherwise I would be drowning in the language. The spirit is strong at the CCM. I love how one of the Elders in my District likened it to a temple of learning. It really is! Starting on Monday we started teaching investigators (they are just the teachers). The first time did not go well at all. Hna Wheelock and I left slightly discouraged. I remembered that after all the years of planning and preparing lessons for FHE the one thing we forgot to do as a companionship was plan in detail!! So as the senior companion, we sat down, got to work, and planned in detail our next lesson on prayer for our investiagtor Matias. It went so well! We were able to answer his questions and flow almost seamlessly into the topic we planned. I loved getting a taste of what I´ll be doing for the next 18 months.
Lima is so cool. I´ve been out 2 times since the airport--both times for immigration. I love it. It´s winter time right now so it´s pretty hazy and drizzles almost every morning. When the sun comes out--which it finally has this past week, it is heaven. Driving is crazy. All of the buildings are smooshed together. The CCM is in the Molina district which is a really nice area. There are beautiful flowers everywhere. The people here are so kind. Yesterday while we waited several hours at interpol, we were talking to everyone. Although we can´t communicate that well-the people are so dear and slow down so that we can pick out a few words.
Some highlights for the week--
We had a devotional this week from Elder Juadell (I think that´s how you spell it) from the 70. It was powerful. Our purpose as missionaries is not to baptize but to fully convert others to the gospel. The temple is our goal. He said that the disadvantage and the advantage of missionary work here in Peru it´s easy to get baptisms. Our challenge will be to make sure people continue to come to church and progress in making and keeping additional covenants with the Lord. I´ve spent a lot of time studying Lesson 1 in Preach My Gospel (I love that book). One theme that I´ve picked out is that the Lord continues to reach out to his children in love through things like the scriptures, prophets, revelation etc. One that I love is that the Lord reaches out to his children through covenants. Cherish the covenants you make!! Our covenants empowers us to do hard things, to stretch beyond our capacities and be tools in the Lord´s hands.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers. Love hearing all the updates. Know that this Hermana is doing great-- my scripture for this week has been d&C 31 verse 3.
Love you more than words can express,