Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mexico Addy!

Hermana Sierra Schaefer
Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No. 828
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg G.A. Madero,
C.P. 07230 Mexico, D.F.; Mexico

Holy Frijoles and Horrible Fish!


*Mom's note... Not sure why the pix showed up in the middle of the email...?
#1 Sierra and her companion Hermana Clark
#2 The afore mentioned "fluffy clouds"
#3 The Ciudad de Mexico
#4 The miracle flight attendant!

HOLY FRIJOLIES!!!
Can you believe it´s been a week already?! The days are so long here at the CCM but at the same time it´s hard to believe I have been here for ONE WEEK! Time flies.
OKAY. So this e-mail will literally be all over the place but that´s kind of how my brain is working right now, sooo..
First. There were more miracles on my trip to Mexico!! So the third miracle is about a girl I met in the airport. She was from Mexico but she was coming back from a trip to China. We got to talking and all of a sudden somehow, some way, my mission call was in her hands and she was reading it! I don´t even remember what I said or did, but after she finished reading it she was stunned and all she could say was "That was beautiful." The church is true. (<--- main phrase of my district. Hahaha we always say that. Even to things like "guys, my companion and I are accidentally wearing the SAME tie today!!" Response? "The church is true guys.") Anyway, her name was Ana and she was my miracle because I knew exactly what to say and I was comfortable with everything. It made me feel better about where I was going.
And my last miracle was that I saw a missionary at LAX! So I went up to him and am talking to him and come to find out, he SERVED IN THE FRESNO CALIFORNIA MISSION! He was new though, going to like New Zealand or something, but his visa didn´t come through so he was reassigned to Fresno until his visa came. He served in third ward too! Holy Guacamole. LOCO.
The CCM! (pronounced say say em-ay) or the Mexico MTC is AMAZING! so beautiful. It rains and storms like every night. Lightening and everything . But it´s beautiful! So many people have sacrificed so much so we can train to be missionaries here. I feel really safe here and the workers and people who serve here are so dang nice. So humble! There are palm trees everywhere and the grass is green. I think we are on like 90 acres or something! It´s large enough but small enough. Like BYU-Idaho! Our casa is really close to everything so if we forget anything, we can just turn around and go back! We are living in pretty humble circumstances. The water is so gross. Haha it smells weird (don´t worry, it´s just the water from the shower and sink). They have purified water for us to drink (like 5 gallon jugs at our house) and I have a water bottle I just keep refilling.
So mi compaƱera! Her name is Sister Clark. GET THIS. We are Facebook friends! Haha! I posted my mission call on the sister missionary blog on Facebook and she saw it and added me as a friend! We are both going to New Jersey! Hahahaha So the first day we got our filtered water bottles in a little "welcome to the CCM" bag and there is a long process you have to go through before you drink the first time. You have to fill it up with water and squeeze it out through the small straw. THREE TIMES. By the middle of the first time, we were both saying "I miss America!" Hahaha Needless to say, we are excited to go back to the states :)
SIDE NOTE: Elder Mangum is sitting next to me...he is a football star at BYU.. well he was before he served.. haha! He knows Kyle obviously. If you look up "Magnum BYU football" I´m sure you will see him on google. Ask Sheri VanNoy!
Hermana Clark is from Arizona! So she´s not used to the cold. Or the rain. Poor thing.We laugh A LOT and we always stay up late doing pillow talk. Makes me miss college aka Maddie Nielsen.
So check it- Hermana Clark and I are the ONLY ones in our district who have no prior experience with the Spanish language. In face, hermana Clark took Sign Language in High school so she´s REALLY not on the Spanish wagon. Luckily I know conjugations and masculine/ feminine rules. But French ALWAY slips out. Every single say. I don´t regret taking French, I actually miss it. But it´s SO frustrating when I know what I want to say and I know HOW to say it... but in the wrong language. Even Mandarin slips out sometimes!! Haha uh oh.
My district is AWESOME!!! We all really get along and we have funny stories to tell. We really good at helping each other out, and I love that we are all new at this, and we´re in this together. Elder Andersen is our district leader and he was actually on the bus with me from the airport to the CCM! He is so fun and a great leader! The boys in our district and everywhere here at the CCM are pretty immature. But you can´t blame them though. I mean, they just graduated high school. One month ago! So crazy when you think about it. On the second day, I was throwing up again so I got a blessing from Elder Andersen. It was his first one and it was SO BEAUTIFUL. He said about 5 times that my Heavenly Father loved me and was so proud of me. That had nothing to do with me being sick, but in a way it helped me get better faster. He even talked about how proud and loving my home ward was. How the...?! And it was his first blessing. The church is true. I was not sick the next day and I haven´t gotten sick again. Fun fact!! There are definitely a lot more Elders than Sisters here! The ratio is like probably 7:1!
Okay so the fruit here is SO GOOD. And the juice too. Like purely squeezed juice straight from the fruit. YUM. Definitely don´t know what I´m eating exactly every meal, but it tastes super bien! Oh I saw DYLAN WRIGHT! (He lived in Irvine). I saw him when I first got here and we both had the hugest smiles on! it was so nice to see someone I know. I see him just about every meal and we usually just say hi. He is district leader of course. They grow up so fast :´)
Oh hey you probably picked up on this but uhh I´m pretty much fluent in Spanish now. Hahahah just kidding. But dang I am good. Just kidding. I just tell myself that so I can believe in myself. This whole language thing is hard and it doesn´t help that both H. Clark and I have no idea what the heck we are doing or even saying half the time. So on Wednesday and Thursday, it was like classes for 4 straight hours. All in Spanish. Jeeze it was hard. But it was necessary because we taught our first lesson on Friday. IN SPANISH. IT WAS 20 MINUTES LONG. AND YES, CAPS LOCK IS NECESSARY FOR THIS ENTIRE SENTENCE. Luckily Spanish is somewhat easy to understand, and I am immersed it the language. The workers here speak only Spanish so it forces you to get to know the language. Also, We have some Latinas living with us! Some from the Dominican Republic, most from northern Mexico. And they literally can´t speak English. So we really rely on el donde lenguas or the gift of tongues and el Espiritu, the spirit. THEY ARE VITAL AND PRESENT ALL THE TIME. So neat! But this language barrier thing is a problem... for instance, our investigator Randy... who is THE most handsome teacher in Mexico... seriously, the Hermanas are swooned just when he walks by. So try having to look into his eyes and not only lose all the Spanish you thought you knew, but your entire train of thought. Sheesh. ANYWAY, I´m a missionary, what am I talking about?! But really.. even the guys refer to him as being HAWT. Hahaha So we teach him the first few lessons. Actually, just me because H. Clark hardly talks and she´s not good at knowing anything that´s not on her paper. So with the guidance of the spirit, H Clark and I were able to teach 3 lessons, and on Monday Randy committed to BAPTISM! We were the first set of missionaries to get him to say yes in our district! It was so rewarding. BUT... I constantly spoke French. Out of nerves and what not, all that was coming to mind was french words. So I said that I was tres feliz instead of mucho feliz and he was like Francais?! Haha (He pretends he doesn´t know ONE WORD in English) And I super blushed and was like Ahhh no, MUCHO! Haha so when we were leaving, he said "Auvoir!" which is goodbye in french. Oh that Randy. Also, another set of elders were teaching him and for like 5-10 minutes they were talking about wiping away his pescados and how Jesus died for our pescados and how we all were pescados... So they were TRYING to say sin, and that word is pecado... FISH is peScado... so they basically told him Jesus died for all of our horrible fish. Again this language barrier thing is not in our favor. haha!
Along with the clouds, the Mexican birds are different. haha they sing super funny tones and they look just like little fat birds. It´s weird to think I am in a different country. With our district, we always joke about the hunger games! We are district 11 so we provide the food for everyone. I am kind of bummed I am not in district 12. First world problems.
 I found a dryer sheet in my clothes when I was packing. Heavenly Father loves me. It was such a wonderful taste of home and it was such a simple thing! The church is true ;)
Also, please tell everyone they can e-mail me!!! It is allowed. My email is sierra.schaefer@myldsmail.net
ALSO, Dear Elder works at the CCM! Anyone can go on to dearelder.com and just put Hermena Schaefer, my departure date is September 2nd the the address is... ah crap I don´t know, but it is definitely online! Dear elder is FREE And it prints off the letters the same day! So e-mail or write me, I would LOVE it!
OH and we had a service project yesterday. We were in charge of cleaning the tables and chairs in the cafeterias and we hermanas were rewarded with jarritos and CAAAKKKEEE! (said like Natalie. I sure do miss her.) I love being an hermana!
 



I saw Ty Hyer today!!!!!!! He totally came up to me and was like..hi!!!! Haha It was so nice to see someone from home!
UNFORTUNATELY I don't have my address! i left the little slip of paper in my house. But look online! I will get it next week if you cant find it online.
 
WOW my daily schedule is CRAY. I will take a picture of it and send it to you, because i cant even ´splain it (explain it). Basically we are away from our casas for 14 hours a day! SHEESH.
Also, the temple is closed for the next two weeks.. BOOOO!!! But we will get to go three times before we leave! SCORE!
I have been waiting to email you all week! Sorry this is so scattered. I am sending more pics too!
 
Also, look up the talk by Elder Holland given in January, 2013. AMAZING. We got to see it for devotional! And we got to watch a movie on Sunday! We watched the Legacy. We were in the back so we were basically swatting mosquitos the whole time. Also, TONS of mosquitos. They hardly bite though. In fact I haven't gotten bitten yet! BOOYAH.
 I wish I could stay on here forever! I cant wait to hear all about this next week! Hey, I´m in Mexico! Jajajaja
 
CON AMOUR
Hermama Schaefer
:)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello all! Mama Schaefer here.
A bit behind, but here is the email we received the night she arrived in Mexico!
Experiencing miracles already. :)




I made it to the Mexico MTC in one piece!!! Haha it is BEAUTIFUL here! The place is hugemongous. Like never ending! And the clouds.. fluffiest things that I ever did see!! But seriously. Beautiful clouds. Like heavenly. I kept saying to myself "it´s so fluffy!!!" Haha I took tons of pics already! Don't know if I was supposed to... But the chord is in my luggage! So hopefully I will send them to you next week!

Okay so the flight. HORRIBLE. Hahaha but only because I was sick! Sheesh I was so nauseous. Like so nauseous I couldn't get out of my chair to buy Dramamine. But I made it! And I didn't throw up on the plane. (For those of you who don´t know I was puking all the way to the airport then AT the airport. Nerves much?!)

I HAD SO MANY MIRACLES HAPPEN TODAY.

First miracle: Back in May, I flew from Long Beach to Boise for my cousin´s wedding, and the flight attendant handing me the drink had a CTR ring on (big surprise, it´s a flight going to Boise Idaho, you´re bound to meet at least one Mormon..) So I said to her "hey, nice ring!" and she said "thanks!" and I held up my hand and she gasped and was like Oh my goodness you´re LDS! So she finished serving drinks and after she was done,she crouched in the isle for the remainder of the flight and she talked and talked! And she was just baptized on Easter Sunday so it had only been a month! Anyway, she said goodbye and it was a great convo, nice girl. GUESS WHO WAS MY FLIGHT ATTENDANT FROM OAKLAND TO LAX?! She was!!!!!!!!! Here I am, horribly nauseated and I just said goodbye to my parents, and I took such comfort in seeing her again! What are the odds?! I said Hey have we met before and she said yeah you look familiar and I held up my hand yet again for her to see my ring and we both laughed and were like NO WAY! I have a picture with her :) This incident was SUCH a testament to me that Heavenly Father and Jesus are SO real. They love me so much. They love me enough to watch over me and care for me. President Schofield was RIGHT! Not that I doubted him.. :)
 

Second Miracle: I get to LAX. 40 minutes, I´m not feeling too hot but I´m good enough to move around. Thank goodness because I had to walk 3 TERMINALS DOWN. Yeah, not just gates, buildings. I got there and I checked in with my flight crew at the checked baggage-  just to get a new ticket. She took a look at my small carry on suit case and said, uhhhh can you measure that on our special measuring thingy. So I did and the measuring thing is TINY! I guess Mexican planes are super small so luggage space is extremely restricted. So the lady asked how many checked bags I had and I told her two and so she said since this is going to be the third bag it´s going to be ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. My mouth dropped. So I made up some story that I was going to look around in the luggage shop and trade it in for a smaller bag. NOT but I stuck with that and went through security. Then I had 6 HOURS to stew over the fact that I might spend ALL of my money that was supposed to last a long time on a standard checked bag. I DON'T THINK SO.So i laid on the floor and tried to nap. But I only slept for 20 minutes and woke up every 5. So i am LITERALLY running on two hours of sleep right now. Arriba! Or however you spell it. Long story short, I keep my bag and when I went to board the plane, they told me the same thing $150. The lady was so blunt- she was like so cash or credit card. I was sitting next to this nice guy and I asked him if he would be so kind as to check it under his name. He was flying to Mexico city on a two day business trip so I knew he didn't have any checked bags and HE DID! And they let him! After I said thank you for like the hundredth time, He said you are welcome, just pay it forward. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO SO MUCH BUT I WILL GO AND DO!

(also I got my name tag.... HOLLA!!! )

I have to go to sleep now!!
Love, Hermana Schaefer


p.s. My P-day is Wednesday

Monday, July 22, 2013

Almost There

ONE. MORE. DAY.

I don't know how to describe how I'm feeling. Because I don't know myself! The one thing I do know is that I'm ready. I am so ready for a mission. I want to serve. I want to be a missionary, although I haven't grown a foot or two since primary. No one said that was a rule though... I have one more day in the real world. In the United States. I am fully prepared and I know the Lord is literally taking me by the hand and guiding me. He always has. On my mission I will feel closer to him- closer than I ever have before in my small 20 years. I already know this, because I felt it the second I was set apart. Like receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost on your baptism day. You just feel differently. It's a good different. It's a great different. I'm not scared, because I am on the Lord's side. I am protected with the armor of God, and as long as I am obedient and trust in the Lord, I will be in his arms. I am forever in his debt. He has given me so much and a year and a half seems so incomparable. I want others to feel like I am feeling; to share this simplistic joy I have felt since I was 8. There is nothing quite like it. To know I am a daughter of God, that I have someone who loves me so much that he died for me. ME. The incomplete, natural-man, me. With him I am whole. With him I am complete. He wants me back, and I will do everything in my power to get there. With his help, I can do it. And my mission is just the beginning.

OKAY. Sorry that was aaalllll over the place. Half of me doesn't even know what I just typed. But now maybe you can since how I am feeling. My mind has been like this for the past two weeks. I better get my act together. Because if I can't think right in English, how in the heck am I going to learn espangol?!

I am almost there. I feel like belting this song for all the nations to hear. It's so spot on.





VIVA LA MEXICO!