Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Week ~ Check!

My daughter, Julia left on her mission August 13th.  She has been gone a week and we finally got her first email!
Although we miss her running around here, we are so excited for her and this journey she is on. Here is how her first week went.

Well, I've survived thus far. Let me tell you though, this has been the LONGEST week of my life! I don't even know where to start!
The flight to Mexico was actually pretty packed with missionaries, but no one else was actually from Arizona. They were all people who were transfering from other places. Luckily I didn't even have to wait long before I saw Elder Behning since we were on the same flight together. Probably one of the strangest things was having to shake his hand and call him "Elder" instead of giving him the desired giant hug. On the plane, one of the hermanas (sisters) switched seats to let a grandmother sit next to her family, so she ended up sitting next to me. Her name is Hermana McIntyre, and I found out when we reached the "CCM" (MTC) that she es mi compañera (companion)!
Mexico City itself it incrdibly crowded. All of these houses are stacked on top of each other and going up the hillside. I love that they are all painted these brilliant colors. However, I do NOT love the traffic. They have very very different traffic laws here, and I've never been so scared while in a bus before! The craziest part of all though is that everyone is zooming in and out of each other and cutting each other off but I haven't seen a single crash and almost no one honks.
The first night at the CCM we were assigned our comañeros and our casas then had the rest of the evening to ourselves. I didn't realize what a mercy that was, because we've been going NON STOP ever since. The first day signified the beginning of a flood of español. We had our very first language class, and the instructors never speak english unless they know that the class is completely lost. Even then it almost never happens. We then had a big welcome meeting with Presedente Pratt, our MTC president, and then a welcome from Hermana Pratt explaning the rules for the hermanas. On that note, she is going to let me borrow her sewing machine because several of my skirts are much too long. Afterward, we had a teaching workshop where we found out that were to start teaching a mock investigator on FRIDAY COMPLETELY IN ESPAÑOL. I about had a heart attack!!!
Our typical schedule now goes as follows:
6:30 Wake up and prepare
7:00 Study time
7:30 Breakfast
8-9:00 Personal study time
9-12:00 Language study
12-12:30 additional study time
12:30 LUNCH!
1:35-2:30 Gym time
2:30-3 Transition time (meaning hit the showers)
3-6:00 Our district takes turns teaching Lenina, our "investigator"
6:00 DINNER!
6:45 T.A.L.L. (a computer program to help us learn grammer and more español)
7:45 More language study
9-9:30 Plan the next day with compañera
10:15 Quiet time
I've never been so tired and overwhelmed. I'll be completely honest, I've had a lot of ups and downs this week. Friday morning started out fine, but I was crying from frustration by the end of the day. It's incredibly difficult and discouraging when 95% of what people are saying is flying completely over your head. On that note, however, there have been some incredible moments as well; As Hermana McIntyre and I were teaching Lenina on Friday, nothing seemed to be getting accross to her. That's when she told us that she didn't believe in Joseph Smith. Completely at a loss, all I could do was just start bearing a very simple testimony in VERY broken spanish of "José Smith", that I knew he was a true prophet of God.  My exact words were, "Yo sé que José Smith es verdadero, y yo sé que José Smith es un profeta de Dios, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén."  With just those two sentences the spirit filled the room. It was an amazing feeling, and I knew that I was on the right track in that moment.
My hour of computer time is almost up. I love you all, and I'll write you next Tuesday!
With Love,
Hermana Jeppesen

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