Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mexico City Temple Visit

This week was really fun.  It went really fast and it seems strange that it is already Tuesday again!

First of all, my funny story of the week:
Sundays here at the CCM are as busy as any other day.  If you aren't studying, you are going to church, eating, or attending meetings.  This last Sunday we had a Devotional with Elder Ballard (On video), the devotional was fantastic.  Elder Ballard didn't really talk about any doctrine, but instead gave a great inspirational talk to missionaries.  Because this week the first American's left the CCM, it was especially appropriate.  The funny part starts at the end of the Devotional.  Seeing as there are now more than 800 missionaries at the CCM (Or MORE), it takes a little bit to get out of the devotional.  While Elder Jones and I were leaving, we passed Sister Pratt (The president´s wife), and deeming it appropriate, we shook her hand, thanking her for her work.

Apparently while we were doing this, I wasn't paying very good attention to my tag.  It apparently came loose, and at the next jostle by a passing missionary it came loose.  Imagine my surprise when later in study time I noticed my suit tag was missing!  I searched my stuff, and correctly assumed it had come off at devotional.
Luckily, later that night we watched a church video (we watch one every Sunday), and I used the opportunity to look for my tag. I couldn't find it before, but I assured myself it had to be there, and that it would turn up.  Just before the movie, PRESIDENT Pratt got up and announced that several items had been found.  One of them was a missionary tag...this is about what he said (NO JOKE):

Apparently a missionary left their tag in the auditorium after the devotional, it belongs to an Elder Henrie, but not with a ´´y´´, he spells it H, E, N, R, I, E.

Well, I was sitting in the audience and thinking, (well, there can be really only one of those here), so I raised my hand, expecting him to pass it along to me or ask me to come up.  It turned out that he had already turned in the tag and the other items to reception where he wanted us to pick them up, but I had already raised my hand, and not really sure what to do, kept my hand up.

It was COMPLETELY obvious to everyone around me, and the entire audience which klutzy missionary had lost his tag.  Elder Jones was really embarrassed, he went more red than me and said something along the lines of:

Get your hand down Elder!
I put my hand down and I did get my tag back later, so it ended up alright.

Leaving the Wall! This was exciting because it was driving us kind of crazy.
In other news:
As I said at the beginning, things were pretty good this week.  Once you have kind of a solid schedule the days blend together and things go much faster.  We are teaching two investigators now, Juan and Antonio, who are both actually our American teachers.  Even if they are just practice investigators, they are probably the biggest source of stress in my life, all the missionaries agree that it is really annoying to understand what they are saying, to know what you want to say in English, but have no idea how to say it in Spanish.  The best advice I can give in this area is some that I got yesterday from a missionary that was leaving:

"If you come to a point that you don{t know what to say, let it be silent for a moment.  The Holy Ghost speaks best when its silent, and he will help you and tell you what to say."

This of course doesn't mean that you shouldn't prepare.  I know that the Holy Ghost has helped me more when Elder Jones and I have a lesson planned, and he helps bring the words to our remembrance and helps us answer questions.

Other than those things life at the CCM has begun to settle into a comfortable boring.  The days are pretty much the same, and I continue to learn and comprehend more Spanish every day.

Mexico City Temple, very pretty from any angle
 Fountains out front
 Our District at the Temple, they are Elders Shiffler, Wilcox, Jones, Henrie, Shipman, Hazelgrin, Prach, 
Wright, Potter, Sister Poulter, Sister Merrill, and Elder Loveland 
 Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord

We got to go to the temple for the first time today, as it has been closed for cleaning the last two weeks.
It is interesting to do a session in Spanish.  You don't understand much, but as long as you follow those around, you do OK.  The workers are just as nice here as they are anywhere and they will help you.
The temple is very beautiful, inside and out.  One of the most interesting parts is noticing the difference between the outside and the inside.

Mexico City is huge! As you drive to the temple there is so much going on, so many noises.  It really opens up your eyes as to the blessings of living where you used to live.  Everything is busy and crazy, a two lane road may have 5 cars across on it.

But as soon as you enter the temple, that all melts away.  I don't think I've ever appreciated the peace of the temple more than today.  To go from outside, with the insanity, and to enter a place where you can't here or see anything outside is amazing.  Sitting inside the Temple doing a session, remembering where I just was, really helped me realize what Jesus offers.

Come ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)

Going into the temple, and leaving all my stress, my worries, my fears, and just conversing with the Lord was amazing.  This is what Jesus offers, more than just rest from sins and trials, but even just a break from Real Life.  A reminder of the peace that comes from knowing you are where you belong.

Otherwise, I´m excited to go another week in the MTC!  For those of you who are coming in the next weeks, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.

Goodbye for now,
Elder Henrie

Question and Answer with Mom:

1. Is there a choir at the MTC? Have you joined?
We have had musical numbers from different branches, but there is no MTC choir.  Our branch does not have a choir.  Though we may have to start one!  We sound pretty good as a district.

2. Any other musical opportunities?
We sing many times a day, that's what I mostly do.  I enjoy singing in Spanish and it helps your mind learn.

3. Can you explain how the mail system works there?  I know the Dear Elders just come once a week but to you get regular mail letters everyday?
We get regular mail letters every day.  You just check the post office for them, but because of all the people, they ask that your District Leader check every day and just bring them to his district.  You can also send letters here.

THE ADDRESS IN THE MISSION PACKET IS WRONG!  Letters and packages still make it, but it causes confusion, the real address is:
Carr. Tenuyuca-Chalmita No. 828
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg, G. A. Madero
C.P. 07230, Mexico, D. F.; Mexico 

4. Are there really no packages allowed like it said in your book?
You can send packages, but even the Mission President suggests that you use a couriered service like UPS or FedEx.  You might end up spending a little more, but they arrive faster and you have a guarantee that the package will arrive.  So far no one I have heard of has had a package disappear through USPS, but there was some worry with Elder Jones´Package.  (IT did make it).

It seems like they should properly arrive through the Post Office, but there is a worry.

It takes almost 3 weeks to get here, so PLEASE no perishables. (Should be obvious, but it has to be said). If it is time sensitive information, just email it.  Its faster and more secure.