Thursday, March 20, 2014

Looking forward and a visit to the temple!

It really hasn't been too much of an eventful week here in Mexico.  At this point, my life is very routine.

Mostly, we've just been teaching a lot of lessons. I feel like my Spanish is really coming along. I've definitely come a long way in being able to adapt lessons to meet individual needs. I'm a little worried about getting to Oregon, though, and not being able to understand the words people are saying. My vocabulary is mostly centered on Church things so I'll definitely have a lot to learn in "worldly vocab" when I get there. 

We had a really great devotional this week from the Director of Operations. He's really young and he has three little boys who we always see running around and playing because they live here at the CCM. He talked about Lot's wife which really is such an applicable story for missionaries. He talked about how her problem was that she looked back LONGINGLY, that she wanted to be back in Sodom and Gomorrah. As missionaries, we need to be constantly looking forward. 

He also shared an insight on another story that really struck me. He was talking about the time when the people came to Jesus asking him if they should pay taxes. He explained a little historical background (which I can't recall specifically) and basically this was a really loaded issue between the Jews and the Romans. So they ask Jesus about taxes and he asks for a coin and says "Whose image is this?" The Brother explained how "IMAGE" was such a significant choice of words because for these Jews, who practically memorize the Bible, "image" would have reminded them of two things: the Ten Commandments (no graven images) and the Creation of man when it says we were created in His image. Jesus then says "...Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). I had never made those two connections before and I thought that was fascinating. The devotional speaker then went on to talk about "rendering to God that which is His" in terms of really dedicating our whole selves to serving God. 

We had the opportunity to go to the temple this morning and it was really, really cool. I found out why it's closed for construction. Apparently, Mexico City was built on top of a drained lake and so that ground has sunk like five feet since the temple was built. Because of this, they have to do a lot of work with the foundation. So, the temple is closed for the next 18 months, but we still were able to go to the Visitor's Center. We were given a tour by two of the Hermanas there and it was a really special experience.
 Mexico City Temple


We had a couple more  funny mix-ups this week with words. During a lesson with Juan early this week, Hermana Standiford was trying to explain that one of the reasons we came to this earth was so that we could have a body of flesh and bones but instead of using the phrase "carne y huesos" she said "carne y huevos" which means flesh and EGGS. Later in the week, our teacher was telling us how dangerous Mexico City was and how he carries a knife with him walking back at night but throughout the whole explanation he kept saying "sniff" instead of "knife". We were laughing pretty hard about that one and made some funny jokes about "the weapon of the common cold".  (I guess you had to be there.)   I had my first mix-up this week, too! I was trying to explain that we cannot understand the mind of God and I said all the right words but my pronunciation was off in a way that made it sound like "we cannot understand the concubine of God". I'm just glad we're making these mistakes now instead of when we get out there.

I also had some sad goodbyes this week. One in particular with a friend I made named Hermana Grow. She was so so sweet. The good news is that she goes to BYU too so we'll be meeting up when we get back! 
 Hermana Dixon, Hermana Grow and Hermana Meise

I can't believe I have only two more weeks here!  I'm so excited and so ready! OH, also, don't send any more "Dear Elder" letters to Mexico after this Sunday. I'm not even sure the ones sent this week will get here before I leave but I hope so. I love you all!

Hermana Meise
 Pesos! (50 Pesos is the equivalent of about US$3.76)
 I bought this homemade scripture case

This is what happens when you take a break
 during additional study time...

CCM Selfie

Note from mom:  During our online "chat", Hayley said she has made a lot of good friends at the CCM, it's so hot there she had to buy sunscreen because she kept getting sunburned (I know, I know...not feeling THAT sorry for her!) and she is ready to go to Oregon! 

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