And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. ~D&C 84:88

Thursday, August 7, 2014

CCM de la República Dominicana

Mi Familia!!

CCM de la República Dominicana

I am doing great! My first day at the CCM (Centro de Capacitación Misional = MTC) started at 12:00 am because that's when we arrived here from the airport. My flights went very well, the most stressful part was on the flight from Miami to Santo Domingo because they made us fill out all these papers for customs and they were all in Spanish. yeah :).

Mi Compañera is Hermana Jennings. She is from Arizona and she graduated last year from Northern Arizona with a degree in Psychology. She is going to the Santiago DR mission. We get along AMAZING because we are very similar in a lot of ways. She is so nice and I love her. My very first REAL day we had orientation and food and a demonstration in teaching and such.

My first impressions were a bit funny because we went to bed at 2:30 and woke up at 6:30. But the orange juice isn't orange juice. It's too sweet! I also couldn't understand anyone. For lunch everyday we have a LOT of rice with some beans and some meat. Like, a LOT of rice. But I absolutely love the rice and beans now so I am pretty content. The food can be kinda weird sometimes but for the most part it is pretty good. 

Thank you so much for the secret letters you hid in my purse! They are perfect. I read Hannah's letter the very first day and it was so perfect for what I needed. Our baby girl is the smartest most spiritual person I know! Thank you so much Hannah and thank you everyone!

Have you sent a package? I haven't seen it yet. I am not sure if I need to go look for it or if they will tell me that they have it but I will go check!!!!! I may need earplugs.... yeah.

I am so sad that I missed your birthday Dad! Happy Half a Century!! I promise to work extra hard! Thanks for the quote and scriptures Mama, you always give the best lessons!

I am not marrying the guy I was talking to at the airport Alexis and Geoff. And Jonny. But he is in my District! So are you fixing the Gough yard yeah? I thought it looked fine but that sounds like so much fun! I haven't seen any spiders yet thank you very much. I will do my best to memorize the LdeM in 28 hours.

I DO however have to speak Spanish 16 hours a day in order to become functional while in the CCM. It is super hard but there are very sweet native speakers here who help us.

Jonny they feed us very well and they give us WAY too much food so I am trying to work out more during gym time. Sometimes I will instruct yoga for my district Hermanas, haha.

The climate isn't too bad! I am getting used to the thick air and my skin is loving it. My hair however is not the most beautiful thing on earth. I LOVE the structure but they tell us we need to make our own goals for the language and study on our own time but the schedule is already packed with other things so speaking for 16 hours straight has me a bit lost but I am trying my best.

My District is great! They are all just like me. Nerdy! We all understand our LofZelda jokes. which is great for me, I feel like I belong! But we are a pretty rowdy group when we get off on tangents and distractions. Other times we are very spiritual and we are all pretty close. I am glad you have a new pillow! Mine is great. I am glad I brought an extra blanket though. All of my teachers are from the DR and they told us that they don't speak English but they really do. They just want us to speak Spanish all the time. I loved your letter!

Mom: Tell Cory Evans that I met Elder Vellinga on the flights down here. He is now my District Leader, so it's a small world after all!

HANNAH!! I am having a GREAT time! Thank you so much for your letter, it was perfect:) I do have friends, they are in my district and I have others from other districts. There are only 62 people here in the CCM. So it is very small and nice. I hope you are enjoying dance camp!! Tell everyone I love them! Miss you so much lovies!

I learned something to tell you. It it turns out that the whole Phineas and Ferb thing IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY! There is a man who had a traumatic head injury and would dream/imagine that his brothers were doing crazy things (like building a rollercoaster) and so that is who Candace represents. Weird right? One of my instructors explained that to us in Spanish, so I think I got it right :D

OKAY EVERYONE: On Sunday we get pizza for dinner. All of the natives were putting salsa picante and ketchup ALL over their pizza. One of my friends from Mexico convinced me (in Spanish) to try it. I am the first "White Chick" to ever try this in the history of the CCM apparently. It was actually pretty good!! Promise me that you will all try it!

So last night, my District had a very spiritual experience. Yesterday was a pretty tough day for me and I wasn't feeling super motivated to complete my goals and so on. Our District Elders have been offering to give us blessings whenever we Hermanas need them so I finally decided to ask for a blessing and it was so perfect for what I needed. The other hermanas received blessings too.

It built my testimony of the power of the priesthood and I cannot wait to teach the people of Puerto Rico. It's been really difficult teaching. We have an "investigator" Victor, and we teach him almost every night so Hermana Jennings and I need to plan a lot for our lessons with him and sometimes the questions he asks and the things he needs help with leave us a bit lost and I totally repeat myself in Spanish a lot but we are doing better every time!!

I am able to play the piano a lot. I played for Sacrament meeting, for our District, and for lots of things. The best part is that a lot of the songs I play are songs that I have never learned before. So I will have about 5 minutes to learn one before playing for everyone but I know the Lord is blessing me with the ability to sight read pretty well. Which is amazing because I used to be not VERY good at sight reading and learning super fast while others are singing. So that is pretty amazing.

Templo de Santo Domingo

Today I get to spend the ENTIRE morning in the Temple!! I am so excited, I have been waiting for this the entire week!

Also, I can see the temple and the ocean from my window in my room:)!!!!

XOXO and Lovies!

Hermana Hardy

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