Elder Gruber left the CCM today and arrived in the Guatemala South Mission. The mission secretary sent these pictures today.
Last week after writing home we were able to go to the little mall next to the CCM to buy some candy or soda or anything else that we needed. It was by far the best day yet and not just because we were able to leave the CCM. I found Kinder Chocolate!!! It made my day. I bought kinder chocolate, a kinder egg, and a cococola. Kinder chocolate is good where ever you are in the world and it made me think of Canada.
This morning we went to the temple and it was all in Spanish again, but this time I was able to understand just about everything. My Spanish has definitely improved from week one, it made me feel really good and that I am much more ready to leave the CCM. I also forgot to mention last week that President Cox, CCM president, and his wife officiated the temple session. I thought that was really cool and did not know that they could do that.
I also finished "As a Man Thinketh" and really enjoyed it. It was the book Bishop Tanner gave me so I thought that it was ok to read here on my mission since he gave it to me. I would recommend reading it, it is not too long.
The thing I miss the most now is good food, as the food here is boring and not very good.I can not wait to get out into the field so I can eat something different.
That is it for this week, not much has happened other than classes and practice. The days are starting to drag the closer it gets to Tuesday and it has gotten really boring here. I am ready for the field and can not wait to get out and share the gospel. My Spanish may not be perfect but I know this gospel is true and that the Lord will help me share it. Also, next P-Day is in 11 days and I will have a lot to say, or at least I assume so, so I might not be able to respond to all of the emails I get but I will do my best. I might get 5 minutes on Tuesday to write home, before I leave, but I do not know for sure.
This week I also started wearing my boots to hopefully break them in a little so when I get out into the field and have to wear them I wont get too many blisters. The boots are great and fit really well.
Yo se que este iglesia es verdadera y que Tomas S. Monson es un profeta de Dios. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadera y que lo es la palabra de Dios. Yo se que Dios nos ama mucho y sabe cada persona individualmente. Yo se que Jose Smith fue una profeta de Dios y restaura el mismo iglesia que Jesucristo comoncó cuando fue en la tierra. Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro salvador y por mediante de la expiación todas las personas pueden recibir perdón de ellos pecados. Yo digo este cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
I do not have a lot to say this week as not much has changed. It has just been the regular classes and practice.
One thing that I did this week however was give haircuts. An elder in my district has an accessory for his electric razor to cut hair and asked if anyone knew how to cut hair. I said that I did jokingly and he let me cut his hair (yes even after I told him I was joking). It was so good (or at least not bad) that I have given two more haircuts since, so a total of three haircuts and I must say they have turned out quite nice.
Today is guatemalas independce day. Last night we saw a guy running down the street holding a torch with a line of cars behind him honking. There has been a lot of cars honking in the streets today and you can see from every Latino here that it is a big day.
Sunday we also watched "Ephraims Rescue" which is a fantastic movie and I recommend watching it.
Like I said there is not much to write about this week. I am still healthy, but unfortunatly no longer have solid poops ;)
Well my sentence in the CCM is getting shorter and the excitment just continues to build. I can not wait to get out and be "free". This past week I had a push-up contest with my teacher, I can not remember how or why it started but what I know is that I won with 45 push-ups and now he owes me candy so that is good! I also was able to buy hangers so my clothes can now all be hung up! We have also seen a couple cop chases go down the street during the day and some at night and it always makes things a little more exciting. I forgot to mention in the letter last week that there are some Elders here that will cut your hair so everynow and then you'll just see someone getting a haircut in the hall or bathroom. I might get one as my hair is really poofy since it wasn't cut nicely last time and just kind of shaved off. My roomates also set their alarm for 6:15 (15 minutes early) and it drives me crazy because I hate getting up any earlier than I have too, but oh well. During sports another elder in my district and I met a hermana (sister) who is a yoga instructor so we ended up doing yoga with her in the gym on the mats, it was quite relaxing.
This last Friday has been the worst day of my life in a while and by far the worst day at the CCM. I was completly sick! More sick than I have been in my entire life, or at least from what I can remember. I was in bed all day just trying not to die. I had woke up with a fever and the sweats/shivers that go along with it, sore throat, my body ached, my stomach hurt and I threw up once, and I could not really eat anything so I was hungry too. I did not go to any classes or anything. I was so sick. I asked my companion to give me a blessing that night as all day I was sick and not getting better. The next morning when I woke up I was almost all better with the exception of a little sore throat, what a blessing! I do not know what caused it or why I am the only one who got it, but at least my poop is still solid while others have had the runs for days now.
Also this week as we lined up by height to take more photos of our branch I realized that I am the shortest white guy in the whole CCM and there are only a couple (5-10) Latinos that I am taller than. It was a sad realization. Talking to the latinos I found that they absolutely love american music. All of them LOVE Taylor Swift and they also like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, Frank Cinatra, Rihanna, etc. As we stood in line they would sing different songs and asked if I knew them too. Music is one thing I really miss right now and wish I could listen to some, even if it was church hymns (but in english). I will just have to wait for tomorrow night when the club next door is open and I will be able to listen to the music from my room as I go to bed.
I do not know if my spanish has gotten better, I assume it has and I just dont see it, but I have gotten a lot better at singing in spanish as I can actually follow the tune now.
The weather here always starts really nice but by 2 it normally starts to pour buckets of rain and there is lightning and thunder in the sky. Lightning struck just a couple blocks from the CCM this week and the thunder was so loud the windows shook, car alarms went off, and it sounded like a bomb went off, I abosolutly love it!
I went to the temple today and it was all in spanish, the veil too. The veil ended up just being repeating sounds back.
Not much else has happened, just the usual classes and practice. Hope everything is going well. As always, email me specific questions if you have any. I normally take the first 30 minutes to read and respond to emails and the last 30 minutes to write an overview of the week. My next P-day will be on Tuesday unless they change it on me last minute.
So theres not a lot to write about this week, just another week in the CCM. No it is not thursday but that is one thing i have come to learn about the CCM. They might give you a schedule but nothing on the schedule will be as planned. So for now my P-Day is tuesday, wednesday, or thursday. I think next week it should be thursday though.
Today we went through the temple again and luckily it was all in english, another great experience. I love that i am able to go to the temple each week, it is a true blessing. Today all the people that have been here for 6 weeks and the Latinos all left and a new bunch of kids will come in tomorrow. I forgot to mention in my last letter that Tie Trading is really big here in the CCM and people will walk around the halls with ties around their neck trying to trade with others and will even go into rooms to check out others closets. sometimes people will even just trade during the day and do a tie swap. I have gotten into it a little, as it gives me something to do and have aquired two new ties. Its also is really popular here to have "skinny" ties so some elders will take a tie as payment and will skinny one of your ties for you. one of my roomates and i decided to try skinning one of our own ties for fun and it turned out, really. we had to cut it open, trim it, iron out the previous folds, reiron it with new folds, and stitch it back together. it took a lot of time but was fun to do and it looks surprising good.
The weather here is starting to change more and there have been more days with a down pour of rain and it is always fun to play basketball or sports in the rain because it is still warm out. the rain was so bad last night it knocked the power out during dinner but they were able to get all the lights back on within 5 minutes so it was not so bad.
My spanish is the same as last week but my lessons are getting better and i am able to teach more effectiviely. i already feel ready to leave the CCM because i know i will learn the language better and faster on the streets. they dont really teach you spanish and the spanish they do teach is basic grammer you learn in Spanish 1 or 2. You are pretty much on your own when it comes to studying the language.
The day is just all classes, practicing your lessons with your "progressive investigator", planning lessons with your campanion, personal study of the language, and some person study. I am trying to read the BOM before i leave the CCM and so far i am on track. I recently read Alma 5 and i think it is one of my favorite chapters. Today (every two weeks) they deep clean the building and our rooms and the cleaning people are not the most honest so we have to lock everything up in our cabinets including our suitcases. It also turns out i did not have bed bugs and what ever it was is gone now.
I also had a completely stupid moment yesterday at sports, nothing new but it was funny so i thought i would share it. Before we can begin basketball, volleyball, or the machines in the little gym, we have to run two laps around the basketball court and volleyball court. As i was running around on my first lap I bent down to pick up the ball and as i stood up my face slammed right into the rope holding the volleyball net up. it completly knocked me off my feet and fell backwards onto my back as my glasses some how flew 10 yards behind me. I have a red line (sort of blood) inprinted just under my nose from where i hit the line. I was literally "closed lined." It was hilarious, even i was laughing at my self.
The food here alternates between like mexican food and american food but none of it is very good. I am still healthy though which is good while my campanion and some others have "the runs."
Thats about all i have got for this week.