Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thank You Jeremiah!

MTC courtyard near my classroom
The city and campus here in Mexico are pretty. The landscaping looks just like temple grounds, and it is common to see a variety of birds (green parrots, crows that look different from home, and sparrows).  The low-laying fog every morning is especially cool.

I am feeling more settled. By Wednesday evening, my spirits were lifted, thanks in part to the prophet Jeremiah.

Fun Story:
Like I said last week, the vocabulary memorizing has been a little slow for me, and discouraging. At one point, I took a bathroom break.  And when I walk into the restroom, I hear a guy from the far stall call out, "Hey, is somebody there?"
     "Yo no se," I respond, somewhat perplexed.
Apparently, this guy had his Preach My Gospel reading material with him, and says, "Hey man, I've got a scripture for you. Listen to this." And from his closed stall, he begins reading aloud a verse from Jeremiah.
My bowels, my bowels!
I am pained at my very heart;
My heart maketh a noise in me;
I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard,
O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Destruction upon destruction is cried;
for the whole land is spoiled:
Suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
How long shall I see the standard,
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
Jeremiah 4:19-21
Soooo funny! The hilarity of the verse and the absurdity of the whole scene had me laughing so hard, and when I shared it with my district, we laughed for another solid five minutes. Thanks to Jeremiah and a weird missionary in a bathroom stall, this was the stress-reliever I needed to clear my mind.

Secret Weapon: Prayer
Since then, studies have come along a bit better. Though I'm lagging a little in putting to memory 10 full phrases per day, I did memorize the First Vision in Spanish. Baby steps, right? My secret weapon is Prayer, because it wasn't until after I prayed that the First Vision actually stuck. Guess I'll be praying before all memorizing.
Elders in my MTC Zone
Life in the MTC
My companion and I are Zone Leaders.
Teaching:  We began our weekly TRC: a program where volunteers from the city come in and listen to us newbs teach in Spanish for 15 minutes one-on-one. Pretty nervous for that.

Food:  Tortillas, rice and beans are a staple at every meal. Instead of salt and pepper at the tables, there is hot sauce and chili powder.

Exercise: Due to the rigorous study schedule, fitness is a must. Seems I am the designated fitness leader for my District, so we do a variety of activities: running, soccer, volleyball in the sandpit, and weight lifting.

Instructors:  I have four teachers - all from Mexico. Hermano Martinez, Hermano Sanchez, and...I can't tell you how to pronounce or spell the other two. My bad.

President and Sister Tenorio
Presidente Tenorio
The MTC president, President Tenorio is cool.

He learned English in two weeks, proposed to his wife after first seeing her, stopped a thief in the temple, and has been kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint more than once.

Lady of Guadalupe Celebration
December 12th, all of Mexico celebrated Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe - a holiday commemorating the virgin Mary's appearance to an Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, in 1531.

with Keanu (we were in Zion Choir together)
In celebration, we've heard fireworks blasting and Mariachi music playing all night, every night. In their mix was a song way back from your mission, Dad, La Muchilla Azul.

The locals may be celebrating the holiday, but I am content with celebrating Spanish phrases and verses sticking in my memory bank. And it's getting better every day.

Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. And, thank you Jeremiah!

Love you All,
Elder Connor Nef

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