Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25th 2013

Hola Familia!
Como Esta??
This week has been way rad and it's been a blast learning more about the gospel, the language and myself. Every week we celebrate Espaniernes (Espanol + Viernes) which is where every Friday we try to not speak a single word of English all day. It's hard but I can tell that it helps so much! The language is actually coming along really fast and it's not nearly as much of a barrier in lessons as it used to be. Of course, our teacher speaks very slow but still, it's getting better! I asked my teacher to speak full speed and I understood maybe 10% of the words he spoke! hahaha It's cool having a teacher who went to Monterrey because he has been teaching me and my companion stuff about the culture. He shares little stories about the different types of people and taught us how to whistle at people politely. For example instead of saying "what's up" to caminojeros (which are basically cholos haha) you do a certain kind of whistle at them as you walk by.
We have a new "investigator" this name y se llama Santiago. Things are going way good with him. Me and my companion are learning how to be more short, sweet and to the point which helps a lot! In the second lesson with him we challenged him to read, pray, come to church with his family, be baptized, and teach his family the lesson we just taught him, and he accepted all of them! Another cool thing is getting to break down all of the lessons in English first and then learning the necessary phrases in Spanish. The devotionals here are also sooo awesome! We've got to hear prom Richard Hinckley, not sure if I already told you that but it was way cool. this week we heard from an emeritus general authority and he talked all about missionary work! He had some really cool insights to share. On Sunday we had a devotional about the pioneers but it was pretty boring to me hahah but I did get to watch the Character of Christ after which is a devotional Bednar gave to the MTC a few years back. If you haven't seen it I encourage you ALL to watch it. It'so powerful! A district in our zone left this Monday so on Sunday their district sang in our sacramnet meeting and it was so cool.
There are also some funnier parts of the MTC. I came into my room this week to find the creepiest baby doll ever tucked into my bed. Apparently my companion found it outside and thought it would be funny to terrify worked haha but now it's kind of our zone mascot. There's also a tie trade black market hahaa. Every few days teh whole bottom floor is covered in people with their tie racks. They are so funny in trying to convince each other that their tie is "totally a 2-for-1 caliber tie" haha. I also ran into my cousin Landon Ball! He's a Spanish teacher here and we accidentally went into the wrong computer lab but he was just sitting there so we got to talk for a bit!! I'll send a picture of him later. It's way fun being able to see people I know, especially Elder Blume and Purcell!!! I also got to see a ton of other kids from my school. Elder Frost, Elder Line and Elder West got here yesterday and I got to see all of them! The food is getting really old and sometimes it's a bit risky. Everyone knows there are some foods you definitely don't eat unless you wanna be suffering for a couple days.
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Chase Connell

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18th, 2013

Wow! It's so weird sending my first email home from the CCM. I've got a little timer in the corner that's clicking down so this might be a bit short haha. But seriously the CCM is the best! It's actually way fun, even though the first few days were ridiculously long. When we first got here our teacher spoke only spanish and it was wicked hard to understand him. My Spanish has definitely gotten a lot better already though because we try to talk in Spanish as much as we can. My companion is a kid from Oregon named Elder VonStrahl and I'm definitely learning how to love all the people I'm working with even though we are all very different. He is also going to Monterrey East with me!
Our schedule is pretty much the same every day which consists of wake up at 630, in bed at 1030. with ~10 hours spent in the classroom each day!! The days are long but if we stay focused they go by pretty quick. I think one of the the coolest things we have done is teach a fake invetigator, his name is Victor. We taught our first lesson on Friday, 100% in Spanish, which was after only 1 full day of class. It was frustrating because I knew exactly what I wanted to teach him but I couldn't think of how to say it in Spanish. But our next lesson went way good, we just went in praying for the gift of tongues, and it was definitely with us! I said some things and had to look up in a dictionary after the lesson what they meant because I had no idea, it was way cool and a huge testimony builder for me. The lesson after that he asked us about what made us want to change and become better people. I told him I didnt want to share but that if he prayed about it that God would help him. That wasn't a good enough answer for him so the spirit prompted me that it was ok to be open with him. So, in Spanish, I gave him a 1 minute story of my past year and the changes that have come by the power of the spirit. The spirit was so strong and I could see the spirit working on him by the look in his eyes. It makes me so pumped to be able to actually go down and teach the people of Mexico!
Today is P-Day obviously and it's a nice break from the grind of all the studying. Since the Provo temple is closed we have a 3 hour time period where we have nothing scheduled so it should be a pretty mellow day. Sorry if my email isn't as stellar and fabulous as the Robbins' boys, they've set a prettyy high standard!!! But I love this work and have had multiple witnesses that this is EXACTLY where the Lord wants me and where I need to be. The spirit at the CCM is so unique and "poderoso". Oh and we had a devotional broadcast at BYU this Tuesday and I sang in the choir! It was broadcast so maybe you guys can find it on and maybe look for me! They also broadcast it to all the MTCs around the world so maybe TJ saw it in Guatemala! Richard Hinckley and his wife spoke and it was way cool. It was also cool seeing the mob of thousands of missionaries crossing the street to get into the Marriot center haha. Well my time is running out, but I love you all so much! And want you all to know that this church is true and that Christ lives and loves all of us, even if life can be hard sometimes. Hope to hear from you guys soon!
 Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Connell