Thursday, December 10, 2015

Elder Saunooke's 12/8/15

Last pday we got to finally get out of the CCM and we took care of our visa stuff. It was the best thing in the world because we got to drink Coke which they do not sell at the CCM. We also dont get to drink coke in our mission so it was a celebrated experience. We also had the largest tie trade that I have seen since arriving here. There were a good 40 elders there, and I have realized that I have a deep appreciation and love for skinnier ties because wider ties look terrible with short sleeve shirts.

The next day (Friday) marked one month being in the CCM. We met our new investigator who also doubles as another teacher and she served in our mission!!! She said she loved it and cried when she was forced to sleep in a bed again. She said I will be a giant there. I talked to her for a good half hour completely in spanish, and found out that in our mission everyone shares water from a well and sometimes you can literally see parasites swimming in the water. oh joy. I was chosen as the demonstration investigator for the coaching lesson and I had both of my teachers playing the role of missionaries. I always am chosen to play the role of the investigator, but I really like that because the reason I am always chosen is because my teacher thinks my spanish is pretty decent... at least that´s what I tell myself.

The only thing that got really exciting the next day was that I learned how to tie the Eldredge knot. It would have been a feeling of great accomplishment, except some teacher who isnt even our teacher walked in and saw us practicing, and blew up on us, and proceeded to tell us that if we tied that knot and violated dress standards we would not be blessed with the gift of tongues.... wow talk about a spiritual lady hahaha. I was still proud of myself though and I will definitely be adding that knot to my list of skills picked up on the mission.

Sunday was great, and it was our first fast sunday. In mexico they fast the dinner before and breakfast, and then break it for lunch. It was definitely easier than I thought it was going to be though. We had a devotional by Jeffrey R. Holland and of course it was straight fuego. He spoke about the role of the Holy Ghost in teaching, and shared the scripture about if ye have not the spirit ye shall not teach. Until his talk, I had never looked at that as a commandment, merely as a promise... The christmas devotional was great and I loved hearing Carol of the Bells. It has always been a favorite of mine. Elder Bednar´s talk about Christ´s birth literally saving thousands in the America´s who believed in him was so inspirational.

Yesterday was very cold and I definitely brought a blanket to our evening language study. We got our flight plans and we leave at 2:30 am on monday morning. I will deeply miss the friends I have made here, but I am so excited to finally serve my mission. 

Today we had the opportunity to attend the Mexico City temple and it is absolutely gorgeous. I loved having the chance to hear a session in spanish, and to see so many missionaries around me. I felt the help of the savior during the session because I didnt even struggle with even though I havent been through many times and it was in another language. This week I have been thinking a lot about Papa and how he loved the Mexican people and culture. I will always remember dinner at Mi Pueblo and how he loved mexican food. I firmly believe that he will be coming with me to Mérida.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Saunooke

Monday, December 7, 2015

Elder Saunooke's 12/3/15 - New PDay This week!

The days here are honestly really starting to fly and to blend together. I definitely have trouble remembering what we do during the day and I feel like my journal entries are getting progessively shorter and shorter because its more of the same thing every day. On Wednesday last week we had another TRC and we taught this guy who was a member and he had his 12 year old son with him who happened to be wearing a star wars shirt in anticipation of the new movie. Needless to say, many an elder expressed their wishes to see that movie haha. After TRC it straight poured and of course our classroom was the absolute farthest away. We met the new district who replaced 7B who just left our zone, and I convinced them I was from Australia and kept it up for three days. The poor kids even wrote home to their families that they met some kid from Sydney. Shout out to you Nana for being the reason I went there and for being the reason I can pull off the best australian accent known to man and back it up with details. I even went as far as making up a fake boarding school and street address. The look on their faces was priceless when I finally dropped the bomb on them that I am actually from Idaho. We sang to them Divina Luz which in english is Lead Kindly Light, and it was so good. I think it definitely helps that our hermanas sing like angels so they make us look good.

Thanksgiving was a pretty good day. To be honest one of the things I was grateful for was not having to clean up tons of dishes this year... I know I am a real winner huh?;) We got to watch a devotional by Elder Oaks and his wife which was good but not my favorite honestly... picture an hour long musical number by his grandchildren and maybe five minutes of speaking. At dinner the new district was curious how my "Australian accent" affected my spanish and it took every fiber of my being not to bust up when saying the missionary objective in spanish in an australian accent.

The next few days were very uneventful so I am going to skip to Sunday. We heard from the coolest guy ever who is the Director here at the MTC. He is super white and looks like he is maybe 25 but he is probably early thirties. He served his mission in Chile and is now a bishop here in mexico city. He focused his talk on not having our attachment to the past out weigh our confidence in God´s plan for us in the future. He talked about Lot´s wife and how she was reluctant to let go of the past. He then jokingly talked about wondering if she turned into a pillar of salt that cows like, or like more of a sandy sea salt kinda thing. He shared a Jeffrey R. Holland quote, "give me your heart, and I´ll give you my power, and we´ll change the world." He also talked about how the Pharisees and the Herodians were only united in their hatred of Christ. They devised a way to trick him, by asking if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, knowing that either way he answered would condemn him. Christ in his infinite wisdom answered by asking whose image was on the coin, and then said "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar´s". Not going to lie, I especially liked this lesson because RDJ uses that quote in the first Iron Man. He then said that this was especially a magnificently worded question because the word image was used to denote the image of man, and also reference to the ten commandments. He then asked us what we need to render unto God in order to be successful missionaries.
He finished by sharing a poem that goes kinda like this...
Come to the edge he said
No we´ll fall
Come to the edge he said
No we´ll fall
Come to the edge he said
We came to the edge, and he pushed us

My whole district with the exception of three of us have been deathly ill this week. My companion was sick and so we missed one of the devotionals the other night and stayed home. Being the freak I am, I proceeded to disinfect every surface in the casa. For anyone who has seen the movie the Aviator, I honestly dont think It would be much of a stretch for me to end up like howard hughes sometimes...

For my companions birthday we had a sick service project. We decorated a Christmas tree! Elder Griffin in 7C tried to teach my the eldredge knot, but without any success.... I think that is how you know you have made it as a missionary... when you can tie that knot. 

Love you all,
Elder Saunooke