Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Easter - Halfway through the MTC

Mexico City Temple

This week flew by. It's kind of scary how fast it went by actually. Only three more weeks until I'm in Tuxtla Gutierrez, and I'm partially nervous because I know I'm nowhere near prepared yet, but I try to remember how far I've come in these three weeks and I get excited again. Once again it's just been another week of a lot of learning though! 

  Probably the thing that I've learned the most about this week is prayer and its importance for all of us. I was actually struggling a little bit in our lessons this week, I felt like I wasn't doing something right when it comes to getting to know the investigator, and I just felt something wasn't completely right with our lessons, I don't really know what it was. But I was just getting really hard on myself. Hermana Cook and I have been trying really hard though to figure out what we need to improve on though and it's gotten better. I think for myself the biggest thing is that I expect a lot out of myself, I always have, especially with sports too, so I think I was expecting a lot more from what I should be able to do rather than looking at how much I've progressed. Anyway, it was a couple days that I felt like this, and things just weren't getting better for me. So finally I decided to just pray, and I'll tell you, prayer works. Because the next day I felt so much better even though nothing had changed. Then later that day we were all paired off and practicing a situation and I was the missionary. Our teacher had come over to us and was listening, then he got up and grabbed a Preach My Gospel and came back to show me something and it was just an answer I needed to help me to teach better. I know that Heavenly Father is listening to us, and when we sincerely pray, he will help us. But we have to pray. 

   Something that was cool in one of the devotionals was that if we continue to pray in the language we are learning for the rest of our lives, we will never forget it. How cool is that! So if you're trying to learn a new language, try to pray, because I do have to admit, after I learned how to pray in spanish it has become easier to learn.  

   Today we went to the temple and it was pretty neat. Sadly it's closed until September so we just visited the visitors center, but it was still pretty cool. I can't wait to go to the temple in Tuxtla, I'm way excited to be able to go again. I have definitely missed the fact that it was only a ten minute drive, but it'll only make the experience that much greater. 

   So in our casa there are some latinas in the room across from us, and they have helped us so much! We think we were meant to meet them just because how much they've helped us out. One day last week we were locked out of our casa because our keys weren't working. They're just electronic keys. And so we were all talking and got to know them a little bit. They always tell us we have to speak "en puro espanol!" and they even bribe us with candy, it's pretty funny. One night we were singing in our room and they heard us so almost every night now we all sing together and it's really great, the spirit is so strong. 

  Oh, and we learned a joke this week from one of the elders. Que uno pescado dice a el otro pescado? Nada! (What did one fish say to the other? Nothing/Swim!) We told it to the latinas in our casa and they just laughed that it's definitely a gringo joke haha.

  Well there really isn't a whole lot that has happened this week, but I love you all, and have a great week!

Hermana Leavitt

Mexico City Temple

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Another One Down, Happy St Patrick's Day!

Today we had to go to the consulate for our visas. This is almost all of our district. Not pictured: Elder Finch (going to South Carolina so he didn't have to go) and Elder Uelese (taking the picture)

Wow! Another week has flown by! I´m definitely learning a lot and still have much more to learn for sure, but it's great. I just want to share a few things that I've learned this week. 

On Sunday we had a devotional by the director of the CCM, Shawn Cates, and one of the things that really stuck out was a quote he shared, "Don't let your attachment to the past outweigh your confidence for the future." That really just says it all. He also told us, "Stay on target. You're a disease." It's something a friend of his used to tell him when he was a kid and he's always remembered it (and I think he said it's some reference to star trek or something... I don't know). But if we stay focused and work hard, we can spread this gospel like a disease.

Something I've really learned a lot this week is the importance of planning/preparing. I've found that when we are really prepared and take time to study and practice, our lessons go a lot better. For instance, with our investigator this week, Carlos (who is actually our teacher Hermano Hernandez, and acted as our first investigator last week before he became our teacher) we teach in the afternoon so we have a lot more time to prepare and I've been able to do well speaking and answering questions in these lessons. But with our other investigator, Ulises, (our other teacher Hermano Noguada) we teach in the morning so we don't have much time to prepare and when it comes to our lessons I get really lost. Luckily we don't teach them on the same days, but it's all just a learning experience. If you want help from the Lord, you need to do your part to prepare. 

One of the last things that's cool is the language. In Spanish there are two ways to say you. Tu (informal) and usted (formal). You're supposed to address people in the usted form because it's a sign of respect. The tu form is used when talking to family, friends, etc. But when you pray, you use the tu form also. Just the symbolism there is really cool that you talk with God as your friend.

So my district is pretty great. We're all different but work together really well. The Elders are jokesters and tease us a lot haha. A lot of times they'll get to the classroom before us and usually find some way to scare us, it's pretty funny. One of them hid in our cupboard and jumped out when one of the hermanas opened it, it was great! :) Luckily (for my sanity... haha) all of us like to play sports, so in gym time we play different games. Usually volleyball or speed (no basketball, it's a contact sport and so elders and hermanas can't play together :( ) or the other day we played ultimate frisbee, it's pretty fun. Plus on p day we play sand volleyball for like 2 or 3 hours, it's great!

I hope you're all doing well, and I love you all! It's great to hear from you!

Hermana Leavitt

Funny story, we're going to the same mission and have the same dress! #sistersunday 
Happy St. Patrick's Day from the hermanas! (and the photobombers)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week One in the CCM

 ​Hermana Cook and I outside our class building. 

Hola family and friends! I can´t believe that just over a week ago I was with all of you, they sure do keep us busy here and the time really flies. The first day was really surreal and long. We didn´t get to the CCM until around 5 in the evening and they had us do a couple things then we were able to eat dinner and go unpack our bags in our houses. It´s really beautiful here, the campus is huge, like 90 acres, but we spend a lot of time in our classrooms. But yeah, so the second day was so long. It was pretty much our orientation day and we just went from presentation to presentation, but after that day it´s been really great and every day just flies by.

  We spend a lot of time in the classroom. Just lots of companion, personal, and language study really. In one of our devotionals we listened to a talk from Jeffrey R. Holland just about missionary work. Some things that I really liked were that he said we better come home from our missions with at least one convert, ourselves. He then talked about Preach my Gospel and how beneficial it can be for us, that it is meant to convert us (missionaries) so that we can learn the gospel then teach it to others. Preach my Gospel has so much information, and I really encourage you to read it. I know it´s a lot harder to focus on, because I really didn´t read it before I came here for that reason, but now that my time is for learning and studying every tool I have, I´ve been able to see the difference. 

   On Friday we got our first investigator and we taught him until yesterday. We have about 3 hours in the afternoon for that, because in our district we have 10 people and we´re supposed to teach him 30 minutes for each companionship... It ends up more like 15, but it´s good. The language in coming slowly, but it´s really cool how much I´ve been able to learn already in just a week! I understand a lot, especially in our lessons with our investigator. At first I had no clue what was being said, but in our last lesson with him yesterday I was able to understand most of the conversation and I didn´t have to look at my notes to know what we were talking about. I´m really lucky because my companion is really good at Spanish and keeping the conversation going, when it comes to talking, I´m still pretty quiet but it´s coming. Just last night I was able to already tell the difference with how much I´ve learned though. A couple friends wrote me some notes in Spanish before I came here and I had no clue what they said, but last night I was able to read them just fine, it was just cool to already see the difference.  

   My district is pretty awesome. There are 6 elders and 4 hermanas. All of us hermanas are from la fabrica (the factory) aka Utah. My companion (hermana Cook) is the best. She knows so much and we work really well together. She´s going to Tuxtla Gutíerrez too! There´s also an elder going to the same mission too, so at least we´ll have each other for the journey there. We´re really hoping we´ll fly, because it´s like an 8 hour drive... Hermana Cook and I are really hoping that we´ll be companions at some point again when we´re in the field too. 

  It really is great here though! It´s beautiful, and I´m learning so much everyday. The workers are so nice to all of us too! I really love it here, and I´m so excited to get to Tuxtla. We were talking to one of the teachers yesterday, and she was telling us about Tuxtla a little bit and just Mexico in general. She said the history of Mexico lines up with the Book of Mormon so closely, and was telling us that when she was in Tuxtla once she just felt that the people there were lamanites. She also showed us that the first line on the title page of the Book of Mormon says that it was written for the lamanites, and I have the opportunity to show them that! I´m really grateful to be here, and I´m really grateful that I have the opportunity to learn and share the gospel all day everyday. 

I hope you all are doing well, and I really encourage you to study from Preach my Gospel everyday. It doesn´t matter how much, just remember, line upon line, precept upon precept. 

I love you all! 

Hermana Leavitt
Our district! Elder Morvec (second from the left, with the glasses) is also going to Tuxtla Gutiérrez with Hermana Cook and I. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Off to Mexico City MTC

  Staci is officially a Missionary now as of last night at 9:00 PM when President Ricks set her apart with a very powerful  blessing.
  Staci flew out of St. George at 6:30 AM this morning to start this new exciting adventure in her life.  She had family & friends come to see her off.  Thanks everyone Staci & we (her mom & dad) really appreciate all of your support!  She flew to Salt Lake & then directly to Mexico City.
  Good Luck Hermana Leavitt! You will be awesome!
 My Dad, Hermana Leavitt, My Mom
Bubba, Makayla, Daxton, Logan, Brindi, Aimee, Hermana Leavitt, Jami