Anarchy Chess/Grande Span, Pequeñito Glish
HOLA FAMILIA Y AMIGOS!!! Everything is PERFECTO en el CCM. The food is great, the people greater, the lessons greatest!
I didn’t share this with anyone, but my flight was actually delayed for one day to come here. I was supposed to leave on Tuesday, but I ended up having to leave on Wednesday. At first, I was really upset about this fact, but I ended up being able to spend time with each of my family members individually, including a game of no-rules chess (henceforth dubbed “anarchy chess”) with mi Hermana. The next day, I had a day FULL of flights and arrived back in Lima at the CCM at around 4:00 am. The only thoughts I had on the bus ride to the CCM were those of having returned home.
Mi compañera, Hermana Calderon, is from Canada! She´s headed to Arequipa, and she actually had a situation very similar to mine. She speaks Spanish very well due to two Peruvian parents from Cusco and Lima and she ALSO told the CCM 'no' when they asked her to come to the advanced program on March 8th. SAME. It´s been incredible getting to know her; she is incredibly doctrinally strong and it is a great asset to our teaching, because it´s a weaker point for me.
The first full day here, they told Hermana Calderon, yo, y un elder en nuestro distrito (Elder Hawks) that the three of us are only going to be here for three weeks in the CCM! We are switching from the English district to the Latinos district tomorrow (Thurs. 25). We also had such a fun chance (sarcasm) to go to migraciones and get our status changed from tourist to religious reasons, and the fingerprint ink did NOT want to come off. However, a bus ride out of the CCM is always welcome- an outside world exists!!
The next day, the 19th, we woke up at 6:30 am only to have otras hermanas tell us that we were supposed to be leaving for Interpol and our visas right then! We threw on our skirts and left to Interpol, where we had to describe any scars we had, get our fingerprints taken multiple times, get a picture taken, AND get our teeth checked. Despues, we went back to the CCM in the crazy traffic of Lima and I finally got to email you (familia) to tell you all that I am actually here and alive. Following this, Hna Calderon and I got to teach our investigador, Matias, for the first and second time! The first contact, we just got to know him and set a return time, but the second, he let us into his (miniature and fake) casa and let us teach him a bit about the Restauracion! It was a great experience, especially because Hna Calderon y yo podemos enseñar completamente en Español!!! After that, we got to use the computer program TALL (it´s like Gospel Español Duolingo, aka AMAZING) to practice our vocab and lessons. Every day, we have exercise time and we always play futbol aqui! There´s actually a pretty nice turf field within the CCM walls, and leads to a lot of turf burn on my legs, but it´s incredibly fun despite the insane heat and humidity aqui en Lima. The rest of the clases were spent being a fake investigator and helping the other elderes y Hermanas en mi distrito con their teaching and their Spanish! (Grande SPAN, pequeñito glish. SPANglish.)
The next day, we studied a lot as well and taught Matias again! We taught the Restoration more in depth and it went really well. We invited him to be baptized! He said yes, when he knows more. At the end, we invited him to say the prayer. The spirit was SO STRONG when I asked him how he felt. He shared that he hadn´t prayed since he was un niño, and he felt an incredible peace and happiness. Es porque Dios nos ama mucho!!! Even though he is our teacher (Hno Velazquez), teaching Matias has been a great blessing for me. Hna Calderon and I have been working hard on using the correct conjugations, and we speak fluent Spanglish at least. We played soccer again, practiced TALL, and then practiced weekly planning. Our metas (goals): practice conjugation, pray more, and to help the hnas in our room (Geertsen and Hoffman) with their Spanish. 1 Nefi 3: 5-7,15. Fantastic.
The next day began with me hitting my head on the board above my bed, so that was obviously muy divertido. Sundays are really cool here! We had reunion sacramental, where each missionary has to prepare a 5 minute talk on a subject and 4 are chosen to speak. The topic was el Espiritu Santo! It was really good. Sunday School was on obedience- cuando casi sea obediente, casi recibira la bendicion! I played piano in Sociedad de Socorro, and a few of the Latina hermanas asked me to accompany them on Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, which they sang in English, so I just did my thing and made up a pretty fun accompaniment to it. It was very powerful to hear them sing in English. After lunch of LOMO SALTADO, I had an interview with my branch pres.! He was a poli sci major at BYU and went to law school with one of the poli sci professors I know, Prof. Magelby! It was really cool to talk to him, even though I switch branches on Thurs. We had a restoration lesson taught by Presidente More afterward, and we talked about the history behind the Reformation, my favorite part! Then we watched a video of the life of Jose Smith. It was amazing. After, Hna Calderon and I talked about why we are here serving missions. I know I need her as mi compañera (which isn´t changing when we switch distritos, hallelujah!). She´s very perceptive and intuitive and just a great compañera. We talk about everything from Disney movies to opera to Criminal Minds, and it´s a great friendship and help for me. I love el CCM, but I´m excited to get to Huancayo!
The 22nd. Today I decided to actually write down who is in mi distrito. E. Dunford, E. Babbit, E. Southern, E. Phillips (lider del distrito), E Hawks, Hna Geertsen, y Hna Hoffman. Our teachers, Hnos. Gavancho and Velazquez, are AMAZING. First class, we practiced el Plan de Salvacion in ingles, and I FAILED. Teaching is easier in Español! I ended up teaching in Spanglish. Then, I was asked to help E. Hawks, who doesn´t have a teaching compañero, to teach Matias, and it really didn´t go well. I was pretty much cut out of the planning process, but we tried our best to teach him regardless. This was muy dificil para mi, but there will be lecciones en que no podria sentir el espiritu en el campo. Es bien! The second class of the day was amazing. We focused on the doctrine of Christ in its simplicity: FOLLOW HIM. We also practiced extending a baptismal invitation! I practiced with our teacher, Hno Gavancho, and he said to me that he could tell that I always teach from my heart. This comforted me greatly; even though I may not know all the doctrine, I know how to share what I feel.
THE 23rd! Sorry, I´m running out of time. I just have so much to share!!! Hna Calderon and I came up with an incredible plan to teach Matias about Jose Smith y el Libro de Mormon, and the lesson went really well. The Spirit was very strong durante la leccion. At one point, he said, it´s very hard to believe the story of Jose Smith and all of this- you all have known forever. I felt prompted to share my story of finding belief, and even though I did NOT want to, I did. I am SO grateful that I did. It led to a deeper discussion for him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know the truthfulness for himself, and we also set a baptismal date!!!!! Fake, but a fantastic achievement. It was our last time teaching Matias, and it was by far the best! I don´t know all the things I said, but I know that I said what I needed to say because we centered the lesson on el espiritu. It was incredible.
Today is my first PDAY! Ah. Jeans are so comfy. We get to go to the temple later, and I´m so incredibly excited.
We switch clases mañana!! I´m nervous but excited.
I love this gospel, I love Peru, and I love el CCM.
Con todo mi amor, Hna Schmid