¡Buenas tardes, hermanos y hermanas!

So I have been in Mexico City for officially 9 days now.
I don’t even know where to start for this email. I feel like I’ve been here for probably 6 months or so.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
First let me just say, receiving emails from you guys is literally like the best thing ever. It’s Christmas morning for us here and everyone is so full of adrenaline from hearing from home. Also probably from getting to take a nap in the afternoon. But mostly the family thing.
So this CCM has been open for practically a month. The buildings themselves are like 50+ years old and all but for the last few decades or so it’s been a really nice high school where the students live in houses and dorms on campus. The highschool was called Benemerito and it was probably one of, if not the best high schools in Mexico. The church has owned this property for many decades and the school was largely run by church members. It graduated its last class of seniors in June of 2013 and by the end of june it was dedicated as a CCM. It’s named after Benito Juarez, who was (as I’m told) a sort of Abraham Lincoln for Mexico in recent times.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Basically he was just a really awesome president.  The campus is 90 acres total, which is more than twice the size of the Provo MTC.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Psalms!!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It is GORGEOUS with palm trees and really really awesome landscaping, with these crazy trees and bushes cut into all of these shapes.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There is a huge wall that surrounds the whole place with barbed wire on top so nobody can sneak in. There are also 24 hour guards that patrol the only entrances and stuff. We feel so safe and it really helps us focus on our studies.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
All of the many, many workers who run this place are native Mexican and for the most part nobody speaks English, so you learn words that help you get around fairly quickly.
We study here about 10 hours a day, no joke.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Bein’ Silly
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Marginally less silly but only for a second
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Estudiar Española
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We’re expected to speak in Spanglish at all times, using as much Spanish as we know, even if it’s virtually nothing. Parts of my journal entries are even in Spanish. Once we get better, we will have to ask teachers permission to use English. Teachers are really respected here, by the way, along with women. But yeah, on the first night, we received our six week schedule that has every 15 minutes planned out for the entire stay here. It’s crazy. But we’re completely independent. We are just expected to be where we are supposed to be and to show up to class when we should. Obedience is stressed and we’re given a lot of responsibility here so that we can function when we get dropped out in the mission when we’re completely alone. They know that we want to be here, and especially that we want to learn the language. It’s a very humbling experience. 5 days a week we get an hour of gym time which is AWESOME. I cannot tell you how awesome it is. We just go run on the elliptical and get out ALL of our stress.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The weather here is very different. It’s not very humid at ALL, but it turns out, it’s the rainy season in the Mexico City area and it thunderstorms literally every day, predictably at about 5 in the afternoon. Without fail. And when it rains, it POURS. After the rain, the workers take little brooms and sweep gallons and gallons of water down the gutters into the drains. There’s water everywhere. It rained so much one day that it looked like something out of the movies with palm trees swaying, and there was so many huge drops of water in the air at once that visibility went down to like 100 feet, max. It looked like fog. So yeah, Hermana Capps and I have often walked into meetings or dinner completely drenched. All of the natives totally laugh at us, it’s a hoot. None of us Peru kids brought umbrellas. By the way, there are now officially FOUR of us going to Peru, and we’re all in the same mission!! The thunder can be literally constant for minutes at a time, and sometimes it sounds like people are throwing bowling balls around on the roofs, it’s so loud. Also, it’s like the Tracey Aviary here, there are so many strange birds with strange calls! And there are about 5 million mosquitos but I’ve yet to be bitten!
Ok, I’ve really got to tell you guys about the food. Oh. My. Gosh. There are some pretty kooky things around here.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What is this even?

What is this even?

Kouing Aman

Kouing Aman

never finished this because it's literally too sweet (and I thought I had the sweetest tooth ever!)

never finished this because it was literally too sweet (and I thought I had the sweetest tooth ever!)

What are some of the weird things I’ve eaten…..  soup with chopped hotdogs in it, this weird cantaloupe thing with an oniony taste (sounds like ‘chai-yatta’ en Española) that’s super good with ranch on it, real chunks of coconut that are harder than a rock to eat but are pretty good, juice/gravy/smoothie/?? made out of real cacao beans…….. Many, many things. Oh dear, one of the weirdest things people do here is put PEACHES with MEAT. Like one day for breakfast I had some chunks of ham mixed with chopped peaches. NO. BUENO. Trust me. Also, they don’t have real syrup for their pancakes and stuff, they just use Hershey’s syrup. All of the bread has LOADS and LOADS of sugar on it
Millenium Falcon bread

Millennium Falcon bread

—one day I saw an elder scraping the sugar off of his bread into his cereal. It was pretty genius. On Sunday we had the BEST TAMALES EVER along with horchata, for a special treat.
Hermana Walstrom praying for her taco - not really!

Hermana Walstrom praying for her taco – not really!

I’m in a trio companionship right now with Hermana Capps and Hermana Brudnicki. We’re all in the same mission! Hermana B just arrived day before yesterday from the Provo MTC — she got lost in the shuffle between MTCs and it was such an ordeal for her to get here.
Hermana Capps and Hermana Hollberg

Hermana Capps and Hermana Hollberg

On the bus to the Temple

On the bus to the Temple

Tell Caroline that some Hermanas in my casa are writing a spoof song to Carrie Underwood’s ”I don’t even know his last name” (I think that’s what it’s called?) but anyway the spoof version is ”I don’t even know his first name” and it’s about having a crush on an Elder. Super hilarious. I wish I could remember the lyrics to send to you.
So we got to leave the CCM for the second time today, when we drove 40 minutes through the heart of the city to reach el Casa del Señor (the temple). Let me tell you, Mexico city is   s k e t c h y . . . .  No joke. Hermana Capps and Hermana Brudnicki and I literally woke up to gunshots this morning, at about 5:45 am! But going to the temple was amazing.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
At the Temple!

At the Temple!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Please don’t worry about me — I’m really thriving here. I’ve made a lot of friends and I seriously have the BEST DISTRICT and maestro EVER. After every class my cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. Honestly, we are all SO BONDED. It’s awesome.
Ladies of Districto 15

Ladies of Districto 15

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There are so many hilarious stories that happened but I just don’t have time to write them all. But because we’re all in districts, someone made up this funny joke where across the campus, a person will do the iconic whistle from The Hunger Games and then people will almost always whistle it back. By the way, one of the Elders in my district is going to the Richmond, Virginia mission (Spanish speaking), same place as Caroline! Most of all of them are Texas bound though, interestingly enough! Everyone is so spiritual and it’s nicer to be in this environment than anyone could ever guess. The whole CCM has an air of peace to it. I respect a lot of people.
On Sunday I had literally the best sacrament meeting I’ve ever been to in my entire life. It’s crazy, they just tell everyone to prepare a talk and when the meeting comes around, the District presidency is just like ”Ok, next we’ll hear from Elder Wright” and you just have to stand up and go for it. I ended up having to speak about the Atonement and it went really well.
Time is so short to write but I hope all is well with you guys!
HEART! Hermana Hollberg
PS–one more story. Some Hermanas I know are rooming with some native Mexican Hermanas, and one of the American sisters was trying to tell the Mexican girls that she was going to wash her clothes in the sink en Española, but she accidentally said that she was going to wash them in the toilet. The Mexican Hermanas’ almost had a HEART ATTACK.
By the way, Mexican candy is OUT OF THIS WORLD.
and incredibly cheap!
best cheapest candy ever!

best cheapest candy ever!

Advertisements

LEAVE SOME LOVE <3

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s