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!

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