*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!
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 compañera! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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