Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My CCM wish came true!!!! Horchata!!! (And, Christmas)


My #1 wish of all the CCM came true today. ¡¡¡¡¡There was horchata for lunch!!!!! I have been wishing for this the entire time I have been here, and it finally happened!!! A worker came over to our table and said something to us in Spanish that we didn't understand. So, Hermana Reed said, "¿Qué?" He looked at us both again with a puzzled expression and said, "Oh, sorry!" And then he told us that there was horchata over by the drinks if we wanted any. It was the best horchata in the entire universe, and guess what? Hermana Reed hates horchata! That's the lamest, but I still love her anyway. Hermana Reed is actually a quarter Mexican. It's so funny, because everyone always assumes that I'm the Mexican one. Countless workers and teachers have asked where I'm from, or if I have a Latino background.  And then when I tell them that I'm a little Mexican they always say, "I knew it!" And then I just have to laugh. 

The highlight of this week was definitely Christmas. On Christmas Eve we had a Festival de Coros where all the zones were assigned different Christmas songs to sing. Our zone was combined with a Latino zone. So, rehearsals were very interesting because we couldn't understand each other and they just made fun of us the whole time, haha . Hermana Reed was assigned to be our choir director, and she did a really good job trying to get through the language barrier. There was this little Brazilian Elder that wanted to just take over the whole time. It was pretty funny to watch. We sang, "¡Regocijad! Jesús Nació" and "Oh pueblocito de Belén," ("Joy to the World" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem"). The Latinos kept suggesting that we should sing in English and they should sing in Spanish...  I don't think very many of them realize that everyone here is learning Spanish.  Anyway, it went really well. At the very end they had a special choir, which Hermana Reed and I were in, sing "Santa Noche" ("O Holy Night") . It was so powerful.  I love singing!  
So then Christmas day happened. We did a service project for an old men's home somewhere in the city. They were telling us that the home is just so destitute, even to the point that some of the old men are sleeping on the floor. So we made fleece blankets and tied them and made them sack lunches. Unfortunately, we didn't know that everyone was just going over right after breakfast and we missed it all because all there was left to do was tie the fringe... I was pretty disappointed, but I did my part by buying cookies for the sack lunches. After that, we had a devotional by Elder Nelson and it was super good! And then we had two more devotionals.... They were all really good but it's hard to stay awake that long... The definite highlight of the day was calling home. It was super great to hear everyone's voices! 

So this is my last week in the CCM! It´s so insane how the time flies! I'm so excited and scared at the same time! I'm really going to miss our Elders. I'm going to miss the Hermanas, too.  But, we are going to the same mission, so it's not as bad. We have all just grown so close in the last couple weeks! I have really loved watching how in just 6 weeks we have all grown so much! So anyway, this is my last email from the CCM. I won't be able to email until the Monday after next, because we leave at four next Tuesday morning. 

I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, happy New Years! And I hope that everyone in Orem stays warm and you don't freeze to death! 

Hermana Fields

My CCM wish came true !!!    Horchata!!!  
A Christmas Toast

Christmas breakfast: peanut butter and nutella. (That green stuff in the corner is my real breakfast)

Our Christmas presents under our Christmas tree

The most beautiful Hermanas in all the CCM (Yeah, Mom captioned this one!)
Cool Sunset

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 4: La Semana de Navidad

¡Hola amigos!

     I feel like all my letters have been pretty just silly, so I'll try to make this one a little more serious/spiritual. The truth is: the spirit is so strong when you are a missionary, it's hard to describe. It's almost like everything becomes more clear, feelings, promptings, everything even my brain is more focused in class! It's also very true what everyone says about obedience. You really can't have the spirit with you if you aren't trying your very hardest to be obedient. 

     It's just crazy how blessed you are as a missionary. Some days I will just be sitting in a devotional that I hardly understand because it's in Spanish and I will get answers to prayers that I have been looking for for years. I also feel like it's so much easier to love everyone, too. It's weird but it's almost like my heart has grown, and I just love everyone here. We have the best Elders in our district. They are hilarious and the biggest dorks sometimes, but they have the biggest hearts and the strongest testimonies. Don't even get me started on the Hermanas... I just love them and I could write novels on how great they are and how I wouldn't be here anymore without them; especially Hermana Reed. She is the most patient, loving, strong, forgiving, all-around amazing person. I know for a fact that companionships are inspired. 

     Our teachers are super great, too. Hermana Arnaud is super cute and an amazing teacher! I really just hope I can teach like her by the time I get home! She just got off her mission 5 months ago, and she's getting married in March!! Our other teacher is Hermano Hernandez.  He's a super great teacher, too! He's hilarious.  In class he seems waaay older than us, but then he says silly things and suddenly it's very obvious that he's only 22. The other day we were all walking to our classroom and we saw Hermano Hernandez walking from the other end of the hall. So Hermana Earl and I started to walk fast so that we could beat him. He saw what we were doing, so he started full-on running.  So, of course, we had to, too. So, there we are, all in church clothes running down the hall! We won:) It was hilarious.  I wish you all could have seen it! 

     Oh, and I can't forget the workers here. There are the best people ever, especially the kitchen workers. They are the absolute sweetest! They all know me now, so I don't have to say, "¿Tienes sin gluten?" anymore. And, they even give me extra desserts and things that they definitely had to go out of their way to make.  I just love everyone. That's all:)

     So anyway, on to news from this week:
The beginning of this week was a little rough, especially teaching-wise.  Hermana Reed and I were struggling, and then Hermano Hernandez talked to us during coaching and told us that we just needed to go in and speak from our hearts. So we did, and it was one of the best lessons we have ever taught. We didn't get through very many doctrinal points, but the spirit was so strong that it didn't even matter. It's so cool. When you are in tune with the spirit, you can do anything. There are some days that Spanish is just not working in my head and then other days that I just talk and don't even have to think too hard about it, because it's all the spirit guiding me  in what to say.

     So, anyone remember how mourning doves used to follow me everywhere? Being in Mexico didn't change that. Every morning there is a dove outside my casa or classroom, or the comedor. It drives me crazy and Hermana Reed just thinks I'm crazy, which I most definitely am...

     This Sunday was super great. First, we had an amazing Christmas readers theater relief society lesson that was just incredible. And then, I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting... in Spanish... that wasn't so incredible. Okay, it wasn't that bad really.  But when you are speaking in public in a different language, you suddenly know the real meaning of nervous. After that, we had an amazing devotional by Shawn Cates, who is the Director of Instruction for the CCM. He is actually from Orem, so that's cool. It was a really, really good talk.  Something that stuck with me was a quote he gave from Elder Holland, "Give me your heart, I'll give you my strength, and together we will change the world." (speaking on behalf of God, of course). I have, like, four pages of notes from that talk that I wish I could share but I haven't the time... Later Sunday night, we watched the new Christmas video, "He is the Gift." If you haven't seen that video: Stop reading right now and look it up. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzjFEMmM0Xs] Next, we watched a nativity video with David Archuleta and the Piano Guys and a bunch of other people and if you haven't seen that video ( I don't remember what it's called, sorry) look it up right this second. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrLoWt2tfqg] Afterwards, we watched the Joseph Smith/Restoration movie and I cried the rest of the night. It was marvelous. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVw6PsSinI]

     Well, because everyone keeps asking about Christmas: to be honest I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing.  All I know is that we don't have class, and we are having a bunch of devotionals that are going to be amazing I'm sure:) And, we get to call home!!!! 

     Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Remember that you are really celebrating Christ's birth and please always remember what He did for you!
 ¡¡¡Feliz Navidad!!!

Love you all!
Hermana Fields 

Typical Meal at the CCM

Our Classroom Christmas Tree

Classic shot: Name Tag and Scriptures

Nativity Scene

Water Tower

Christmas Card from the First Presidency

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 3


Guess what everyone? I missed The Hobbit. But it's okay, because the work I'm preparing to do is far greater than even my favorite movie!!! It's actually way insane, being here at the CCM.  It's hard because, well obviously I can't speak Spanish, but because we are just teaching our teachers as our investigators. So it's hard to really feel like we are helping anyone or accomplishing anything. But every once in a while I get a little glimpse of what it's going to be like when we are teaching real people, and I get so excited! 

So I've sorta had this cough since before I even got here and it's been a while, so I finally went to the doctor this week. He thought having a cough for three weeks with no other symptoms was weird, too.  So he gave me antibiotics.  But it's still not going away... My companion hates it. She says that it's not that bad, but I know that she secretly hates it. Sorry, that was really random, but now you know.

I learned something this week:  Mexicans LOVE fireworks. One day last week was apparently a Catholic holiday and there were non-stop fireworks all night and then all day and then all night, again. They even caught the hill on fire AGAIN! The hill is magic though. It burns itself out every time! During all the explosions around us I just pretended like I was in World War II and that it was just another air raid.  I even wore that dress that I stole from Soni. The one that looks sorta like that time period. 
On Saturday a folk dancing group came and performed an amazing Christmas program for us. And guess what? At the end, they had fireworks go off -  INSIDE the auditorium! Mexicans love their fireworks. The program was actually really, really good and it made me so excited to go out and teach these people.

We are now the oldest district in our zone. We said goodbye to the older district last night... It was really sad... We all had gotten really close to all of them, especially the two hermanas! They are actually both going to the Provo mission, which is way cool.  I'm excited for them! But it was sad, nonetheless. Our zone has a tradition that every Monday night we all go and play signs together and it is the funnest. But last night was our last night with the other zone, so it was very bitter-sweet.

Today was the greatest, to make up for last night being so sad, though. We got to go to the temple! Well, sorta. We got to go to the visitor center because the temple is closed for renovation. Their visitor center is sooo much cooler than any we have here! If any of you are ever in the area, go to the Mexico City Temple and visitor center! 

I wish I had 15 hours to tell you all about all the crazy growth and learning that happens, but that would take 15 hours, and I only have one. So, just know that the church is the perfect restored gospel on the earth today. 

Love you all! Thank you all for all your support and prayers!!!

Hermana Fields
 PS How could I forget? We started a new tradition! So, every breakfast and dinner they have bread and jam and honey and peanut butter and Nutella out so we can make toast or sandwiches. They also always have a bunch of fruit. So as of this week, every Sunday we eat bananas with Nutella and peanut butter! It's the best thing I have ever tasted!

Christus - In the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center
Our Silly Elders

Visitor Center

CCM Sign
Mexico City Temple

Our District

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

And another week passes at the CCM...

So much has happened this week! As Elder Olsen once said, "Mission time is wibbly wobbly. Every day feels like 5 years, but every week feels like 1 second, it's weird!" So, I'll try to get everything in but it's hard to remember everything that happened.

Christmas has set in at the CCM. There are poinsettias planted EVERYWHERE and it makes me more happy than I can say. They have up a big nativity and they are putting Christmas lights on all the main palm trees. And, there are Christmas trees in every major building. It reminds me of Disneyland: all dressed up for Christmas, and it makes me so happy! Last P-day all of us in my room in the casa decided that we needed a Christmas tree, too.  So, we went to the tienda and found some green paper and made a tree! It's a gratitude tree. The ornaments are sticky notes with things we are thankful for, and then we put a picture of Jesus at the top:) We also made a super legit wreath for our door and every time I see it I just get so happy! It's weird here, though, because it's so warm that it really doesn't feel like December at all. But, I love it anyway!

My district is the absolute greatest.  I just love them all. The only problem is that we all just want to talk instead of study... We have an hour of study time after dinner every night and we just end up playing random trivia games and listening to all the Elders talk about their sad, yet hilarious. girl stories. We also try to figure out everyone's first names which is always weird to finally find out. You just can't look at them the same... Yeah, we talk way too much. We have made a goal to be more obedient, though!!!

Last night was interesting. There is a big hill right next to us that has a giant B on it, for the name of the school that used to be here (Benemerito de las Americas High School) and it caught on fire! We were all like, "Whoa, that's so crazy!" and my companion, who is from San Diego, was like "Nah, that's totally normal for me." It was funny. We are positive that someone has it in for that poor B on the hill because one morning we woke up and there was a burn mark right next to it, and then last night the other side burned! 

My Spanish is coming okay. It's really frustrating and sometimes really discouraging, but I'm trying my hardest! I'm just putting my trust in the Lord! On Sunday I was feeling really discouraged and down after an interview I had. Hermana Reed and I were sitting in a devotional by Elder Bednar from the Provo MTC, and I just couldn't concentrate the whole time, but the one thing I heard from the whole thing was, "You can do this! I know you can do this! The Lord knows that you can do this." Even though it doesn't always feel like it, the Lord is watching over us through all of our trials.

So, yeah, this week happened:) I love being here and I love the people here. The Church is true, everyone. If you don't know that, pray and you will get an answer. I hope you all have a fabulous week! Love you all!

Hermana Fields (AKA Hermana Campos) 
"Christmas trees"
"B" Hill
Our Blessing Tree

Nativity Scene from the little sisters (and Dad)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

La Hermana en Mexico!

Where to start? I just love it here! My flights went really well! It was hard saying goodbye to my mountains as we flew away, but I managed. After we got to the Mexico airport we drove through the city for about an hour to get to the CCM (Missionary Training Center). That was the most terrifying drive of my life! The roads are so windy, there is so much traffic, people drive like lunatics, the lanes are super narrow and we were on a huge bus. It really felt like we were on the Knight Bus from Harry Potter. We made it safe and sound at about 7ish. 

My companion's name is Hermana Reed and I love her. We work really well together and mostly just quote a lot of movies all the time. When I say a lot of movies I mean mostly Nacho Libre. We have great fun and on Mondays we match:) We live in a cute little casa with another companionship and I love those girls too. Their names are Hermana Mardis and Hermana Earl. We call ourselves a quadrapanion because we are ALWAYS together. And we are all going to the same mission! I know that it was pure inspiration that we were put together. 

It is just so beautiful and warm here. I just look around campus and want to cry because it is so gorgeous! The city is rough and is pretty ghetto, but it has its own beauty. Of course we are always hearing gunshots and fireworks and car horns and sirens 24 hours a day, but it sorta' grows on you. Everyone here is so nice! There really is such a special spirit here.

The food is great, and they are very accommodating to my allergy. They feed us so much! Every meal is a bit of a new adventure really, but it's fun. They have corn tortillas at every meal that are to die for, and we all have this mixture of lemon lime soda, naranja and jamaica that we mix at every dinner. AND THERE IS WATERMELON AT EVERY MEAL! That's my favorite part:)

My Spanish is pretty rough, still, but I'm working on it. We had to teach our first investigator the first day we were here. It was the most painful experience of my life! I felt so bad. I couldn't say a word! As soon as we got in there I no longer spoke any Spanish and Hermana Reed had to do the whole thing! I have been getting a lot better, though:)

I have so many things to say and zero time to say it! My zone and district are super chill. We're in district 12, but we live in casa 13 and whenever we hear a firework or gunshot we say that another tribute has fallen;) What else? The carbon monoxide alarm went off like three times our second day.  That was fun. And then our water heater broke. Hurray for cold showers, haha! We got it fixed, though:) 

I wish I could tell all of you all the crazy things that have happened, but I haven't the time! Let me know if there are any specific things you want to hear about for my next email. I love you all and hope you have a grand week!

Hermana Fields

The Bus to the CCM - AKA "The Knight Bus" 

Chocolates via MTCmexicocarepackage.com

Hermanas Reed and Fields on Matching Monday
The Quadrapanionship
Virginia Chesapeake Mission on the little map
The Concoction

Aren't these the cutest Hermanas you've ever seen? (Yeah, this caption was made by Mom.)

Unlucky Casa 13

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Adventure Begins

     On November 26, 2014 Susi began her transformation into Hermana Fields as she departed from SLC and began her training in the Mexico City MTC/CCM (Missionary Training Center). Saying goodbye is always hard, but this journey will be worth all the tears.