Man, i really hope I get this whole email thing down because it takes a while to add you all to this message. Haha! Well there goes another week! Today marks two weeks since I barely made it past immagration into this country!
It´s going by super fast for me! ¿anyone else? haha!
Well where to start! I think it was the third day here in the CCM that we talk our first "investigador" in all Spanish! Talk about scarey.. Each of the teachers here pretend to be real people from their mission and we teach them in spanish about everydayish. Mine and Elder Baker´s is and was Renzo. Let´s just say it was a sticky situation at the end of the lessons because he was getting ready for baptizism and then went to a bar with the bishop´s daughter... Yikes. Miracle #1: my companion for these six weeks is Elder Baker, and he did spanish immersion for 10 years so he knows a load more spanish than I do! But the miracle is that he helps me all the time and he is almost like a latino companion who knows english! I learn so much from him and I think we are a great compainionship! or comparñismo in spanish I believe!
I want to touch on the food real quick! (Mainly for my father and how can I not!) I really love the food here! In South America, desyauno is small, almuerzo is HUGE, and cena is just for fun. Haha. Some of the Nortes hate it because we always get rice, meat and hot dogs. From runny eggs, to wishing we had grandma scyamore bread, I think it´s great! Favorite food here in the CCM? Has to be a fruit they have for dinner called Granadilla. How to explain it? One elder compared it to the first scene of nemo with all those eggs! And he isn´t wrong, if you look at it, it looks like spider eggs incased in fluid. I call them the Fiber-One fruits because... ahh nevermind. But after you get past the texture they taste fabuloso!
I shared last week that Spanish is really hard even those it´s one of the easier languages and it is! It makes more sense than english does! Miracle #2: The Latinos just left today which was pretty sad but the miracle was, one of them, Elder Echarry from Venezula, has been studying english for 10 years but has never talked to anyone with what he has learned. One Day we were talking with him and I think the Lord knew exactly what I needed that day. he said to me somwhere along the lines of: "Elder Alder, you are doing so well. Your pronuncation is great. And someday you will lose English. Just forget it and I know you will be a great spanish speaker" The Lord knows me and He knows you and exactly what you and I need!
Miracle #3: The spirit or Espiritú. The best part about this place is that you can feel the spirit when you want to. We did something this week called CRE: we teach an investigador and they film us and see how we can improve. The character we were teaching was a girl who had lost her father a year ago. So Elder Baker shared testimony about a friend who had died recently and how he got over it. And even though this wasn´t the actual investigador we were teaching. I looked into her eyes and felt the spirit flood over me as I bore testimony to here that she could be with her father again. I cried, even though this wasn´t a real lesson just one to help us. The Spirit is the driving energy force and I love it. I crave it.
Everyone here is great! I love my MTC president and I love this place. There is no greater work than the Lord´s no matter where you are! This church is true and I hope everyone knows how important the temple is! The one here is guarded by a gate! Press Foreward and Oh! I remember the scripture I wanted to share! I don´t have my scriptures but it is somewhere in 2 Nehi, Spiriutally Minded Is Eternal Life. S.M.I.L.E :)
¡¡Bien Venidos a Colombia!! Man, a week already is gone already!! Time always go so fast especially being here in the CCM (what they call the MTC in South America)! I apologize in advance for any misspellings in my emails for two reasons, I´m trying to learning Spanish as best as I can AND this computadora is also a Spanish computer!
You know my family thinks Disneyland is the "Happiest Place on Earth" (Haha no they don´t) but really this is the Happiest Place on Earth! So much has happening in one week I really have no idea what to email all you wonderful folks about! Let´s start from the beginning! The flight to altanta was nice but late. We had a big old group of missionaries spread through out the airplane! I´m sure someone recieved a book of mormon! I sat in the WAAY back with all the kids flying by themselves and I guess I was a kid flying by myself! Now Miracle #1: We (myself and two other elders going to the Colombian CCM) got in the Altanta airport 25 minutes before the flight to Bogota left. The miracle was that the second we got to the gate, the airplane was about to lift off and they said they almost left us. Miracle #2: Almost none of the elders and hermanas going to the CCM spoke spanish expect for one Elder Casal! He was a life saver! When you go into a foriegn country, you have to go through something called Immagration. None of the "checkers" in the "foriegn" line spoke English..... But Elder Casal somehow got me into this country!
I really don´t feel like I´m in another country. Probably because we are in a building with other Nortes (that´s what they call us here) and probably because the building is surround by a gate... Haha, yep it does look like a prison a little bit. But we get an hour for excersising so it´s okay, haha (that just makes the place look like a prison will all these nicely dressed people who can´t go "on the outside" haha.
So what is the CCM like in one email? Amazing. Absolutely amazing. The second we got here the other elders said, "make it just three days and you´ll be fine". It was kind of true. The first couple days were hard. Why? Because I had no idea how I would ever learn Spanish. Like a couple of elders here, I looked in on myself rather than seeing the bigger picture. Miracle #3: On Wednesday of last week during lunch, the president of the CCM´swifecame up to myself and my companion and said, "I hear that you two´s Spanish is really well especially in this kind of time" I kind of didn´t believe her at first but later I realized that it was a blessing from Heavenly Father. He knows us personally and exactly what we need.
Is it hard here? Yes. Is is easy to learn a language? No. But am I really happy to be here because I want to serve the Lord? Absolutely. There is no greater work than the Lord´s work. He knows how much you are going to study and how much you need to improve and He knows when you need a laugh. Where else in the world would you be able to teach a Latino "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickeled Peppers"? It is so funny and I´m sure we sound funny to them. The immersion here with the Latinos is so fun! They are so nice and love everbody at least some of them do, haha.
Wow I need more time! Haha, the CCM is really the best. I can be in the room with our district of 6 elders and laughing until it hurts as we tell stories back home. I can feel the spirit so strongly. More than I have ever been able to feel it before. And if for but a moment, I can serve my Lord.
Esta es Su Iglesia. This is His Church. No doubt about it. I know that my Savior lives and loves His brothers and sisters in South America. In time I hope to love them at least a little bit like Him.
Hola para CCM! (The MTC here in Bogota) They are letting us send just one email right now to you guys so you guys know that I made it here safe and sound! I tried to send you guys some pictures from the airport but it didn´t work, you´ll get them as soon as I can!
My preperation days here in the CCM will be August 20 and 25, September 3,8, y the 17th. Mom I know it´ll drive you crazy me trying to put in my emails as much spanish as I can but I need the practice especially in the MTC. I either hit the ground running here or in Ecuador. I´ll include more details in my email but let´s just say that myself and 2 other elders almost didn´t make our atlanta to bogota flight! But the Lord was watching us and got us to Bogota!
The MTC is great and I am in good hands! Thank you for your love and support. I could keep writing but the workers want the email coroto, or short!
SLC to ATL...
Practicing his Spanish...Proof he made his flight to Bogota!
Devan is on his way. He left this morning at 11am MST for a brief stop in Atlanta and then on to Bogota, Colombia. Here are a few photo's from this morning (others are available on the "photo's" page). We are so excited for his mission and so grateful for his decision to serve.