¡¡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: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.
I hope and pray for all of you everyday!
Love Elder Alder
Elder Alder...Alder the Elder