Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good-bye Garden of Eden...

Buenas Tardes!
This week has been a pretty routine one for el CCM, but it was still a good one. I cannot believe that I leave next week. I have been quite close to tears a few times, mostly because I feel like I have to leave my family all over again. At least I know you guys will most likely still be in the same house, and when I come home, you will all be there to welcome me, but I don't know when I will see the members of my district again, and I seriously doubt that we will all meet up in el CCM again at the same time. So it has been a bit depressing. I think Hermana Pratt (the MTC President's wife) described it best. In one Relief Society lesson, she taught about patterns in the gospel (D&C 52:14), specifically the pattern of the Garden of Eden. Here is a paraphrase of what she said, taken from an MTC devotional.
When we leave for the MTC, we feel we are leaving the Garden of Eden known as our home, our families, our friends, where the fridge was always full, and now we are being thrust into the lone and dreary world known as el CCM. We miss the garden, but we need to be thrust out in order to progress and learn more.
After time, though, you knew your way around, you know people, and it became your Garden of Eden. Then you were thrust into the lone and dreary world, known as your mission. New trainer, you don't know anyone, and no one seems to speak the Spanish you learned in el CCM. Eventually, though, you know your way around, you know the ward members, you've had a few baptisms, and you are once again in the Garden of Eden
Then, the Mission president gets an ispiration to move you to a new area, and you are again thrust into the lone and dreary world. And so continues your mission until you are finished, and you must leave the Garden of Eden to return to the lone and dreary world.
So, basically, I don't want to leave the Garden. It is beautiful and comfortable, but I know I have greater potential waiting for me in my mission.
Okay, now with that introduction, onto my experiences this week!
One of my teachers, Hermano Hardy, is an incredible person. I think he may be the most Christlike person I have known. We each had a chance to have a short interview with him, and we just talked about our families, what we worry about, why we came on the mission, and so on. I imagine our interview was very similar to one I might have with Jesus one day. It was lovely.
In more funny news, I have been playing soccer almost everyday here, and I adore it! However, it can be very painful. The other day, I ran towards Elder Wangsgaard to force him to make a move (I like to play defense) and he rammed into me. In fact, his shoulder collided with my face and I fell to the ground. Not the best feeling in the world, but it is a pretty awesome story. :)
Nothing terribly exciting in our lessons...Oh! I think Hna Hymas and I committed Hector to baptism, but I'm not entirely sure... We will have to follow up on that in our lesson tomorrow! Also, Hno. Hardy is always telling us that we have to stop doubting ourselves. We have power and authority as representatives of Jesus Christ. Well, in our lesson with Hector, as we were speaking, I felt prompted to say "Nosotros somos representantes de Jesucristo. Esta es nuestro llamiento." The power that came with those words was incredible! I KNOW this work is true, and it is incredible!
Okay, more funny experiences. On Sundays, we have a class taught by President Pratt with all the english speakers in el CCM. During his lessons, he will always stop at least once and tell us to elbow the missionaries next to us who are asleep (The chairs in the auditorium are incredibly comfy). Well, this week, he had us do something a little different. He had us all stand up and do "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" in Spanish. It was terrific, expect for the part where I didn't know body parts in Spanish, haha!
Tuesday, quite a few funny things happened. First, Hno. Hardy had to sub for another district, but he was also teaching us. So we moved all our things into the other districts classroom for the morning. It was an adventure, for sure! This district hasn't had their first P-day yet, and I was helpful for us both, I think. We felt like we have actually made progress in the Spanish language from where we began, and this district received hope that their Spanish will be better by the end of six weeks.
Later, we had service. I don't know if we were supposed to change what project we did every week, but we always went straight to the laundry to fold. It is so fun to do! Well, in the middle of us folding, it started POURING. Storms here are crazy. They come out of no where and sometimes last for quite some time. Well, the laundry people offered us a ride back to our casas. So at least 15 missionaries climbed into the back of a white van with no windows and no chairs to drive to the casas. That was fun. :) The rain continued, and eventually, the street outside of nuestra casa flooded! It was past our ankles in some places!
In our night classes one night, we all went around and shared our favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon. What are your favorites? For me, I used 2 Nephi 4:28 and 33, and Alma 26:12.
TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) was down for part of this week, so we would use that time to read General Conference talks and watch Mormon Messages instead. One of my favorite things I read is entitled "The Justice and Mercy of God" by Jeffrey R. Holland. Go read it! It is an incredible message.
Well, I think that just about wraps it up for this week!  I love you guys so much!  You all rock my socks :)
Hermana Lauren Grondel
P.S., I get to email one more time while I'm here, which will be on either Sunday or Monday, most likely.  I also think I get to email when I arrive in Honduras.  I am not sure whether or not I will be able to call from the airport, but I should know next time I email.

P.P.S., I seriously love you all so much.  SO much.  :)

a LOT of people drive these cars, this model, but in many different colors. :)
Hanging up my laundry to dry outside on wires.  Between this and being stuffed in a utility van, I feel like I'm truly getting the Mexican experience.
It flooded outside of our casa!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hogwarts, Hector, y the Holy Ghost

Don't worry everyone!  There is a hurricane from the Pacific Ocean and a Tropical Storm from the Gulf of México coming into México, but we are all alright!
BEFORE I FORGET AGAIN, here is my list for how El CCM es como Hogwarts:
We have platform 9 3/4, as I showed you last week
Buses = Train
People cannot come in or leave unless they're a teacher
Branches = houses
Classroom = Common Room
Temple / PDay = Trip to Hogsmeade
President Pratt = Dumbledore
Hermana Pratt = Professor McGonagall}
El Comedor = Great Hall
Missionary uniform = Robes
Missionary Mall = Diagon Alley
Latinos = Durmstrang y Beauxbatons
Satan = Voldemort
Each Week we progress from first years to second years to third years etc.
Real Mall = Knockturn Alley
District Leader and Sister Training Leader = prefects
emails = owls
Grove of trees by the soccer field = Forbidden Forest.
As you can see, I am basically at Hogwarts right now. :)
 I finally got my license today!  Ask mom for the story, hehe. 
Sunday was Mexico's Independence Day and on Saturday night, we had a FIESTA!  We all went into the gym and sang the national Anthem of México.  Next we watched this INCREDIBLE video presentation about the history and culture of México.  In one of the clips, a girl was hitting a piñata, so I am going to assume that piñatas truly are very Mexican.  Next, we got to watch some people perform several traditional dances of México.  The girls wore these awesome dresses that had yards and yards of fabric in the skirt so they could pull the sides above their heads and the skirt would still touch the ground.  The men were in cowboy outfits or Matador costumes.  In between dance numbers, there was a singer, and at the end of one of her songs, fireworks went off.  I felt like I was back at home watching a UNLV Rebs game!! It was fantastic.  :)  To conclude, the dancers all sang the EFY medley ( The old one) and all the missionaries stood up and sang along in both spanish and english.  We clapped and cheered for so long because it was incredible.  Truly incredible.  You never really think that other people love their country as much as you love yours, but these people LOVE their country with all their heart.  And now, I love this country too.  I am so grateful I could be here as they celebrated their freedom and progress.  On Sunday night, we got to stay up an hour past our bedtime to watch the Grito (possibly spelt wrong).  It is a ceremony done every year at 11 pm on September 15th.  The president of Mexico rings a bell on the balcony of La Palacia National y yells out "¡Viva [insert name of a revolutionist here]!" and everyone yells back "¡Viva!" It was really, really cool.
Saturday, Elder Lythgoe and I were trying to teach one of the other Elders how to sing, and it suddenly, it turned into a musical!  We were using song to explain how to sing and dancing and the whole bit!  It was hilarious.  Sunday, Elders Wangsgaard and Lythgoe y Hermana Hymas and I sang in church!  We sang "Grand eres Tú" (How Great Thou art) A Capella.  It turned out beautifully.
Hermana Hymas got a package this week, and they sent AMERICAN CHEETOS!! They have cheetos here, but they are all weird flavors and at least a little spicy.  We were over the moon about these cheetos to the point where it was a bit ridiculous.  You'd think we hadn't eaten a good thing since we got here! 
Once again, I have been learning a lot about the Holy Ghost.  I have been struggling because I don't think I feel it as often as everyone else seems to.  He is also teaching me how to hear him in different ways.  A couple of things I learned this week really helped me.  The first was a devotional given by Elder Bednar ( I didn't watch it, but we talked about his story) He said, "Sometimes we talk and act like feeling the Spirit is some extraordinary event, but we should be feeling it always".  The Spirit is with us if we are doing good.  A quote from my good friend Hermana Owen (serving right now in Paraguay) also Helped me.  In a talk from the August Liahona, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said "We pray continuously for guidance, but we shouldn't expect continuous revelation." Hna Goimarac commented "We have the constant companionship, not revelationship of the Holy Ghost".  Just because we aren't getting promptings every five seconds ( breathe.  Now Look up.  okay, speak right now) doesn't mean the Spirit isn't there in the room.  Sometimes, the Lord is trusting us to make good decisions. "Behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things, for he that is compelled in all things the same is a slothful and unwise servant" - somewhere in D&C.  The Spirit is with us if we are doing good.  Another idea I learned is that sometimes the Spirit guides us to do things that seem trivial to us, but they mean the world to someone else.  If you get a chance, find the story about Elder Bednar when he was a missionary and gave 20 Marcs to Elder Packer (newly called to be an apostle) for food on the train.  Elder Packer had been visiting Elder Bednar's mission and Elder Bednar had been in charge of driving him around.  Elder Bednar doesn't remember giving him the money, but it meant the world to Elder Packer.  Because he had those 20 marcs, his wife was able to get into East Germany.  His wife had a 3 year passport that they had renewed to be a 5 year passport.  But East Germany did not accept the renewals.  Visitors had to have a new 5 year passport for it to be valid. Elder Packer slipped the money into the passport and handed it back to the officer that was attempting to force his wife off the train.  He came back and said all was in order.  When they were picked up by a member on the other side, he was shocked they made it out of there alive.  It was then that Elder Packer realized their lives could have been in danger if not for those 20 marcs.  It wasn't until Elder Bednar was a Stake President that he discovered Elder Packer's side of the story.  Heavenly Father knows everything!  And He will work for our benefit if we are obedient and follow the example of His Son.
Speaking of following the Holy Ghost and trivial things meaning the world to someone, yesterday was a rough morning.  We had a substitute teacher (Hno. Hardy was hiking a volcano), and we felt like we knew no spanish.  We also felt as though our lessons were not what the teacher wanted from us.  At lunch, we were discussing our feelings when President Pratt walked over.  I don't know if he heard our conversation or was just passing by, but he just walked up to us and said "Bien hecho, hermanas"  (Well Done, sisters).  I started crying.  It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it reminded me that I don't have to be perfect just yet.  As long as I am trying and trying hard, I can grow and become better.  I doubt President Pratt knows how much that simple comment meant to all of us, but I think it is going to be one of my golden memories of el CCM.
Hector, Hector, Hector.  He is quite the puzzle.  This last lesson with him, we were teaching about the Holy Ghost and prayer.  He told us about going to church with his wife (who is a member), he had prayed once or twice, and had been reading El Libro de Mormón. We asked him how he felt when he did those things.  He replied, "Yo no siento differente.  Yo no sé, yo no siento."  I was devestated.  How is he supposed to become converted if he doesn't feel anything?  We sat in silence for probably at least two minutes as I wondered what to say.  Finally, I shared a scripture from DyC about the spirit ( yo no recordo cual escritura) but I bore testimony that he would receive an answer.  I said I don't know why he hasn't gotten one, and I don't know when he will, but I know if he continues, he will.  I think he felt something then.  We were over time, so we HAD to close.  Every lesson we have asked him to say the closing prayer for us and he always refuses.  This lesson, Hna Hymas asked him to say the opening one.  He still said no.  But after sharing my testimony, we asked him to pray for us.  AND HE SAID YES!!!  He prayed for us!  AHHHHHH!!  That was confirmation to me that we are making progress, even if it is tedious and slow.  We are moving forward. Yay!  I really love Hector, and I am so grateful for his progress. :)
I think that is everything I have for this week.  I love you all SO MUCH!  Thank you for all the love, prayers, and thoughts sent my way.  I truly feel blessed and loved.  Ciao!
Hermana Lauren Grondel

Here is my district with our Branch President at Méxican night on Saturday

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

¡HOLA! ¿Como está?

¿Como está?  Por le gente quién quieró saber mi progresa en español, está es un ejemplo.  Not the best at spelling, so sorry!  Can I first say, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the package of Cinnabon!  It came the very next day, and it was a serious blessing.  It lifted my spirits incredibly high!  It feels like I emailed you all yesterday, but when trying to remember what has happened, it feels like a lifetime!  The days are long but the weeks are short.  So, here is a run down of some of my adventures!
They sell pictures of Christ and temples at La Tienda, y Hermana Hymas and I each bought one!  I bought the picture of Christ visiting the Americas, y Hermana Hymas purchased a painting of Christ washing the disciples´ feet.  Hers is hanging in our classroom.  Last week our district was having a bit of contention.  It got to the point where we couldn´t feel the Spirit as well as we could before.  After some discussion (and I think a game of soccer among the elders), we were able to resolve our issues and find love for one another again.  Hna Hymas bought the picture of Christ as a reminder to us that when we are low or are upset with someone, the best thing we can do is to love them and to serve them, just as Christ constantly served those around Him.  Mine is hanging in nuestra casa, y nosotros amos the picture mucho because we are here! In México!  It is quite possible that we are near the sight where Christ came.  In the México City Temple, they have a HUGE mural of that picture that extends farther to the left and right than I have ever seen.
Funny story: Hna Hymas has this awesome, heavy-duty umbrella that is supposed to be indestructible.  It broke.  But one of the Elders used a safety pin to fix it.  Anyway, that´s not the story.  The story is, one night we were leaving the computer lab and it was raining.  Hna. Hymas turned to me and said everytime she opens her umbrella (she pushes a button and it opens automatically) she wants to yell "Expelliarmas"  or "EXPECTO PATRONUUUUMMM!"  Just as she finished saying patronum, this HUGE bolt of lightning lit up the sky, and it looked like she had just cast a patronus.  It was hilarious!
Food story:  Doug, you listening? We had an interesting lunch yesterday.  We ate it all (it was quite tasty and salty.  Nothing is salty here, so it was a nice change) and were walking around when the elders came up and asked us what we thought of lunch.  Eventually, they told us we had eaten cow tongue.  COW TONGUE!  They asked the chefs, and I'm pretty sure it was cow tongue.  yay.
Oh! In case you did not know, I am on Facebook!  Now, I know you know I have an account, but the picture I sent last week of the girls in my district and our roommates ended up on facebook with a quote by Elder Eyring!  I think it was on LDS share or something, and now we are on pinterest as well!  All we need now is to make it to Instagram, and we are golden! Check us out :)
Another thing we added to our room was a quote wall!  We wrote down some of our favorite inspiring quotes or scriptures and taped them to a wall in our classroom. I love it a whoooole lot. 
As part of our coaching one night, our evening teacher, Hna. Saucedo, had us walk around el CCM and bear our testimonies to random people walking about.  Hna. Hymas and I got to go up to the guards at the gate.  I think at first they thought we were trying to escape because they all came out of the guard room and blocked the sidewalk, haha!
Driving in México city is terrifying.  I'm not sure there are actual rules... :)  President Pratt made the comment that he loves driving around México City.  It creates such an adrenaline rush and you can get out all your road rage!  Well, if there are any positive testaments, that is certainly one of them! :)
Monday, we started playing sand volleyball for gym time, and it is my new favorite gym activity!  Well, I was trying to go for the ball and was only looking at the ball, not the ground in front of me.  All of the sudden, I ran into the mass, directly in my stomach, that sent me flying backwards onto the sand.  I was laying there and Hna. Hymas and Hna. Lui ran over.  I had run into Hna. Lui's head.  She had also been going for the ball!  Well, I now know a little of what American football must feel like.  And I never want to play.  I'll stick with futball.
Sunday night, we watched "Legacy", which is a movie about the pioneers.  A really funny movie, in fact!  At one point, they are building the Nauvoo temple, and one of the men (Brother David, maybe?) comes up to this girl he likes but is promised to another (Brother Jacob) and the girl's father mentions David has been working every 1 in 5 days instead of every 1 in 10 as Joseph requested.  But when he finds out Jacob is waiting for the temple to be completed before marrying Eliza (the girl), he goes "maybe I'll go back to working 1 in 10!"  I think being surrounded by other missionaries is what made it so funny.  anyways...
This weekend is Mexico's Independence Day! (From Spain)  We are having a celebration on Saturday night, and they have been putting up flags and decorations all week.  Last night during our Tuesday devotional, we got to sing the Mexican National Anthem! Well, try to sing the national anthem.  I'm glad everyone was very understanding because I'm pretty sure we butchered that poor song.  But I hope to learn it correctly one day!  At lunch, they have different Mexican candies that we can try. So far, so... interesting.  It is kind of a hit and miss.
At La Tienda, we also found these BEAUTIFUL LDS art books for only 19 pesos!  They have over 100 pictures in them, with paintings and pictures for every occasion! OT, NT, BoM, y Church History.  Ding Dong!
Now for some more spiritual things.  Hector is a tough investigator.  After our second lesson with him on Thursday morning, Hna. Hymas and I burst into tears.  He was just so closed off and seemed uninterested! Both of us felt the spirit muy fuerte, pero he said he couldn't feel anything.  After a discussion with our teacher, we learned a couple of things about teaching:
1. If you are inviting the Spirit and can feel it, that is enough.  The investigator still has there agency and can chose to open their heart or not
2. It is important to focus on what the Spirit is directing you to teach
3. Sometimes, you have to take a minute and forget yourself.  Actually, always forget yourself in your lessons.  They aren't for you.  They are to help your investigator.  Ask the right questions and truly listen to them so you can know what it is they really need.
4. Love those you teach.  Well, love everyone, but be sure to tell those you teach that you care for them. They don't always know what love is, and if you are loving them, they will be able to better feel God's love for them.
Needless to say, after a disaster of a lesson, we were extremely nervioso to teach Hector again.  But in our next lesson, we focused more on him.  We asked more about his family and his desires.  We waited more.  Oh, number 5. Silence is okay.  Sometimes the Spirit needs to teach them something without you interrupting.  We allowed him to teach us about himself.  I think we were able to help him feel God's love for him.  He has since been more receptive and has agreed to pray!  He is going to read the Book of Mormon as well.  Yay!
Nancy is very receptive to our message, but isn't doing as well with keeping her commitments.  Hopefully, she will be able to follow through.  That is another hard thing.  Each person has to progress on their own.  You can help all you want and feel you should, but in the end, it is HIS or HER conversion that truly matters.
Monday night, we practiced teaching each other.  I was being taught by Elder Hansen.  It has been really hard for me to be able to recognize the Spirit as of late.  I want to feel it in the ways I know, but I have been learning more subtle ways of recognizing his presence.  In Elder Hansen's lesson, he helped me to realize the importance of el Espíritu, especially when reading El Libro de Mormón.  He mentioned that we often don't give enough credit to those times when the Spirit is there with us.  He read a scripture (sorry, I don´t have it) about how the Spirit is there when we are doing good.  The Spirit doesn´t always bring tears to my eyes or give me chills, though that happens as well.  More often than not, it is a peaceful or happy heart.  Sometimes it's the glow I feel when I learn something new, as though my mind is being enlightened.  For me, el Espíritu is a quiet voice, not a voice of thunder.  I learned much more that I will have to share with you another day.  Don't worry, I wrote it down in my journal, so I'll remember it.
For our Tuesday night devotional, we had a member of the seventy, and it was really fun because it was translated from spanish to english.  Have I ever mentioned that "Called to Serve" is even better in Spanish because it has 4 verses instead of 2?  Well, it is :)
I LOVE YOU with all my heart.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the constant love and support!  It feels like everyday I learn about someone else who is praying for me or wants to write me a letter.  I cannot express my gratitude for that support.  It helps remind me why I am so happy to be here.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Hna Lauren Grondel :)
P.S., go read Romans 8:38-39.  It is a gem I found in Personal Study this week :)
We all wore Red white and blue for 9/11 today

In front of the temple sign.  We got to go again to day!  the spanish was much easier

Just an example of the decorations being set up

Just an example of the decorations being set up

Platform 9 and 3/4!  I'm so sorry I haven't emailed the list.  Maybe next week, I have 10 seconds left!  Bye!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Piñatas and Peanut Butter

 Hellloooooo Family!
Sorry about the confusion on P-days, it is actually on WednesdayTuesday is our service day and that´s what I was looking at.  Luckily for me, I can now speak Spanish a little better and can tell P-day apart from Service days :)
El CCM is just so incredible.  I still can´t believe I´m in Mexico!  Here are some of our adventures:
The elders in our district explained football one night to Hermana Hymas and I, since four of them played high school football.  It was a pretty interesting day!
I am so grateful for how the Holy Ghost directs our lives.  One day last week I was having a pretty tough day.  I felt so down and was wondering a little bit about why in the world I was here and if I should stay.  Okay, maybe it was a down right hard day.  After personal study, we started learning some more Spanish.  Before we really got into the lesson, though, Hermano Hardy stopped and said he felt like we needed to discuss.  We had an amazing discussion that I REALLY needed to hear right then.  It lifted my spirits and reminded me of why I am here and how excited I am to serve.  A lot of us have talked about how we´ve felt almost attacked and are grateful we have one another to support us.  I could never ask for a better or more supporting district and companion.  I hope we stay friends for ever. 
On a lighter note, one night we were preparing to teach Melissa and she brought some of her friend´s from Mexico to our classroom! So suddenly, we were attempting to communicate in Spanish with these people.  We were starting to feel better about our Spanish, but after that, we realized we have a LOT to learn.  Hermana Hymas was trying to ask if they have piñatas in Mexico, or if it is just an American thing associated with Mexican culture.  Well, Karen (the girl) did not understand what a piñata was.  So, Hermana Hymas proceeded to stand up and act out a piñata.  It didn´t work.  Thankfully, we were saved from further humiliation because we had to go teach.  That was quite the adventure!
This week was Hermana Lui´s birthday! ( She is one of our roommates) So we made her a poster that we signed and taped to the door.  We also bought her cookies!  In addition, Hermana Hymas has this lovely little alarm  clock that can play different tunes! One of them is Happy Birthday, and we thought it would be absolutely hysterical if we put it on that tone and hid it under Hermana Lui´s bed.  So, while she and Hermana Lattin were praying, I sneakily hid it under her bed.  It was hilarious! Until we all woke up to an extremely high pitched version of Happy Birthday that couldn´t be turned off because we couldn´t see and didn´t know where it was. 
One of my favorite people here is the Post Office Lady.  I don´t know her name, but she is so funny! She reminds me a lot of Jeannette Smith, and we go visit her almost every day.  I got my first letter today!!! It is from Jessica (thank you!! ) and it totally made my day.  :)
In el CCM, lunch is the biggest meal, so for fast Sunday, fasting starts after lunch on Saturday and we then eat lunch on SundaySunday lunch is the best meal of the week, closely followed by Tuesday night pizza.  :)  We go to Relief Society with all the English sister missionaries and the CCM president´s wife teaches.  Then, we have District Meeting (equivalent to Sunday School) and Sacrament meeting with our Zone.  We are Branch 16, and our district is 16 E.  We meet with all the 16 missionaries.  On Sundays, we also have a MTC presidency class, a devotional, and a movie!  This week we watched The Book of Mormon:How Rare A Possession.  It was interesting. 
Okay, so, the Power of the Priesthood is incredible.  It is amazing to work so closely with these young men, most of whom have just received the Melchezidek priesthood.  Three of us have gotten blessings (That I´ve watched, though more have happened) and they are so powerful.  I am so grateful for it and for the Love our Heavenly Father has for each one of us.
Sorry this is a sporadic letter, I am going off of a list of things I wanted to ensure I told all of you about :)
This week, they got PEANUT BUTTER! It was the most delicious thing.  They usually have bananas too, and nutella now.  It is delicious.  Just yesterday, they started getting maple syrup.  Yum!  One night, they even had the Orowheat Buttermilk bread, peanut butter, and bananas.  I made myself a sandwich, and it was the most delicious thing ever.
Oh, if you get a chance, look up the "One in 8 million" series on the NY Times website.  We use them as ideas for investigators, and it is a really cool look into people´s lives who live in New York City.
Hermana Hymas is one of the funniest people I know.  One day, she tried a flaming hot cheeto (all of the cheetos are hot here.  They don´t have normal ones, haha! The least spicy ones taste like jalepeños still) and choked a little bit because she ate it wrong.  Well, Hermana Lui had offered it to her and started freaking out.  Hermana Hymas took the bag and started looking at the ingredients list.  "Oh no!" "What?!" "These have chili powder! I'm allergic to chili powder!"  Hna Lui and Hna Lattin were so worried until she cracked a smile and started laughing.  Oh, we have too much fun!  One night, we were talking about dance parties (wondering if the loud music would start again) and I pulled out my flash light.  One of the settings is like a strobe light, so we had our own mini dance party! Minus the music. It was great.  :)
It rains so much here! I am incredibly grateful for my rain coat!  Thanks Aunt Marra, Uncle Bob and Family! I love you guys :)  The thunder here is incredible too.  I have never heard thunder like it.  The lightning isn´t as impressive as back home though.  Maybe because we are usually in the classroom when it thuderstorms so I can´t actually see it... :)
Our CCM President, President Pratt, reminds us of the guy from The Incredibles, the one that tries to help relocate Bob Parr after we throws his boss through the wall.  Oh!  And I met President Romney´s niece!  She left for her mission on Monday ( I think, it may have been Tuesday.  I just remember eating ice cream when I saw her leave for the bus :) )
Melissa has been progressing really well, and she committed to being baptized! However, now we have two new investigators, Hector and Nancy.  Hector we taught for the first time on Monday, and he is tough.  His wife is a member and he has one son.  He doesn´t know God and doesn´t really see a point in religion.  He feels really closed off when we talk to him, and we are trying our best to show how much we love him.  We teach Nancy for the first time tonight.  She has two children, but her husband abandoned her and she is now suffering from depression.  We really want to emphasize that she is a beloved daughter of God.
Tuesday night devotional was good!  It was from a member of the seventy, and he was here in Mexico talking to us, so that was nice!
Last night we also got some newbies!  I have seen my friend Jessica Howell, from BYU, and Caitlin Freeman, from GV stake!  It was great to see them both.
I can´t tell you how much I love my district.  When we have a free moment, we will all tell stories together, and people have the best stories.  One of our favorite words is Hijole!  To be used in place of any interjection.  I am not actually sure what it means or if that´s how you spell it... :)
I adore and love all of you so much!  Thank you for your support and your love. 
Hermana Lauren Grondel
P.S. I gave you guys the wrong physical address.  That one is for the old CCM, over by the temple. My address is:
Hermana Lauren Grondel
Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission
Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No.828,
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg. G.A. Madero,
C.P. 07230, México, D.F.; México.

Oh, addition to my letter!  On Tuesdays, for service, we have been folding sheets at the laundry room.  I love it SO MUCH!  It is great and the men who work there are so sweet.  One of my other favorite people is an Hermano that we see every morning on the way to our class room who cleans the buildings.  He is a sweetie!
Me and my friend Annie Hoj
Hermana Hymas, me, and our roommates, Hermana Lui and Hermana Lattin in front of our casa.  It is one story, and you can´t really tell, but it is purple and white ;)

The sisters in my district plus our roomates, Hnas Lui and Lattin

Hermana Hymas and I with the sign

Us in front of the CCM sign

Oh look! The sign again!