Still no pictures from Jeremiah. We are working on it!
So this is going to be a huge problem. Time is really strange here in the CCM. I cannot believe I've been here for not even two weeks. And yet I'm already saying to myself "Agh! I'm already a third of the way done!" I have so much language to learn BUT it's going well. I can mostly understand most natives as long as they slow it down. Apparently they talk faster in Ecuador. So. Oh yeah but the problem is because of this weird time fluctuation, to ME I seriously can't remember what happened this week, or last, or even a couple days ago. I'm finding it harder and harder to write in my journal because I just can't remember everything. I think it's because I'm used to it, now. I'm used to Mexico, so things that would seem weird to you guys back home don't seem weird to me at all! Anyhow, so today I'm going to talk about...
My first introduction to the Tienda was when our first teacher took us over to it as part of our little guided tour the second(?) day. He said, with outstretched arms, "Aqui, el Espíritu es MUY fuerte." Here, the Spirit is VERY strong. To those of you non-Mormons who don´t understand why I found that hilarious, ask your nearest Mormon.
Anyhow, I should stop carrying my wallet on me. Because every time I pass the Tienda I feel a mighty urge to stop in and buy...something. Tienda translated literally is tent, I believe (my father dwelt in a tienda - for those of your non-Mormons who don't get that, ask your nearest Mormon), but it´s really the campus bookstore. And not really bookstore, more like everything you need store. It´s not very big, really, but there´s a lot in there. Namely, lots of snacks and goodies. Lots. I've discovered my new favorite drink - Lift. It's a Coca-Cola product, and might have existed in the States and I just didn't know about it (I'm going to hunt it down when I return) but the flavor I love is basically carbonated apple juice. It's amazing.
There are also mentos (which I badly need all the time since we're not allowed to chew gum and I want to brush my teeth after every meal), ties, clothes, shoes, pencils and pens, everything you need. And everything is relatively cheap! Everything is in pesos, so when I first looked at the tag for, say, a bottle of soda, I was like "8 BUCKS??" but it's in pesos, so that's not even a dollar. Anyhow, es muy importante.
Investigators, Round II
Our investigators right now are just our teachers pretending to be investigators, but that doesn't make me any less nervous. I can understand them pretty darn well, but I just don't have the vocab to answer! Well, I'll work on that. Not surprisingly, my district thinks I'm a little crazy with how much I study (and they might be right, but I like it because I'm a nerd), but my goal by the end of this six weeks is to be able to converse with any Mexican off the street. I think it's reasonable. I'll admit I do think I know the most out of everyone in the district so far. The way I think of it, the more I can talk, the more people's lives I'll be able to change, and when viewed with that perspective, I think ANYONE could be motivated to keep working.
I've been using my dictionary so much it's already getting pretty worn. And we also make these cards every day (well, we're supposed to) of words and phrases to memorize that day. I'm hoping to have a giant stack of them by the time I'm done here.
But yeah, they keep us busy. We're pretty much always at a class, teaching someone, or moving in between the two. Or watching special devotionals (there's one tonight! can't wait). We only teach one investigator a day, but that's just for now...and in the field it might be way more than that!}
On that note, here's one thing I've learned. The Doctrine of Christ is remarkable simple and pure. That's what we have to learn here - that was, and is, still a challenged to me. What can I teach people? How can I achieve my missionary objective, to invite others to come unto Christ? Well, it's really a lot simpler than I thought! Really, it comes back to the 4th Article of Faith and the missionary objective itself. Faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, persevering to the end. That's really all there is to it, in the end! When everything is boiled down to those few points, everything is mas clara.
But that doesn't mean I've been able to teach it well, haha. It'll come, I'm sure. I just want to go back and study! Although it IS nice to relax a little on P-Day. And pizza night tonight! And a devotional! They keep us busy, and that's good. As excited I am to get out into the field, I should enjoy my time here. This is a special place! Nos vemos!