It’s been another great week here at the CCM. It went by a lot faster than the last one. I realized last week how fast my email time goes, so I wrote a list of stuff I wanted to write. Hopefully it won’t be as jumbled this time.
A lot went on this past week. So how the CCM works is you are placed into Districts based on what language you are speaking and if that is your native language or not. People who serve missions in their native language stay for 2 weeks. People learning a new language stay for six weeks. This past Tuesday one district of North Americans left and two districts of Latinos left. All of them are either going to the Santo Doming East or West missions. The Latinos came from all over south and Central America along with the Caribbean. I miss them! They were so patient with us when we would try are Spanish out on them. And they were fun.
Wednesday a district of Haitians came. They will be here for 2 weeks and then return back to Haiti. They speak French/Creole. There are 3 Haitian sisters and they moved into our room. So now there are 7 of us. One of them speaks a little English but mostly we use sign language to communicate :) But I love them already. They are so sweet!
There are 2 North American Districts left. In my District we are all from America. We have 4 sisters and 3 Elders. I love my companion. Hermana Graham is a hoot!! The other sisters are great and the Elders too. Elder McHenry joined the church barely a year ago. I’m amazed by his testimony and gospel understanding. The other District is all from America except one sister is from San Lucia. She helps us talk to the Haitians because she can speak Creole and English but her Creole is a little different than theirs.
So, I am going to be straight up honest. I love the CCM but I get so stir crazy being in class all day!!!! We stay on the 4th floor most of the day for class but then we go down to the 1st floor for meals. We have an hour of gym time outside but we have to stay on the CCM grounds. I can’t wait to get out into the mission field in 4 weeks where I can walk around Santo Domingo all day spreading the gospel!!! But I guess I have to learn the language first right? :)
This Tuesday we got to walk to the store!! I got my first real look at Santo Domingo!! I love it!!! The people there were all so nice but everyone was staring at us, haha. I guess 15 American missionaries walking down the streets of Santo Domingo is quite the sight. The store we went to was basically a Dominican Walmart, but I couldn’t really tell what I was buying because it was all in Spanish.
Tomorrow we get to go to the University a couple blocks away and practice contacting. Basically we'll just introduce ourselves to people, give them a short message and then give them information to contact the missionaries if they want to hear more. I’m so excited but I’m nervous too!! SPANISH IS HARD!!! But I’m getting better each day.
The teachers here are awesome. They are all returned missionaries who live in Santo Domingo. Hermana Gutierrez teaches in the morning, then I have Hermano Martinez in the afternoon, and Hermano Fernandez in the evening. The CCM is exhausting, but I am learning so much from my teachers. You can tell that they really care about us and the work we are doing.
I teach 1-4 lessons in Spanish every day. I always go in nervous but I’m getting better. I feel like I can actually teach by the Spirit now. Half of what I say might not totally make sense but our investigators (my teachers pretending to be investigators) are so patient. I love being a missionary. I love bearing testimony of my Savior so many times a day. I love teaching from the scriptures. I love that I’m going to be able to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Santo Domingo. Yea, I really just love it :) Last week they videotaped one of our lessons so that we could evaluate ourselves. It was really helpful to see where I could improve.
The temple is right across the street. We get to go there every week. I went this morning. I love the temple.
Fun fact about the DR. The power goes out all the time. The CCM has a generator but most of the city doesn’t. That’ll be interesting.
I have been converted to beans and rice. I look forward to them every day.
Please send me letters to the updated address on my blog! Or use dearelder.com!!!!!!! If you really love me you will write me ;)
My testimony in Spanish:
Yo sé que Jesucristo es mi Salvador y el Salvador del mundo y que él vive. Yo sé que el Dios es mi Padre Celestial y el evangelio de Jesucristo es en la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Yo sé que la Biblia y el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. Yo sé que el expiacion es real. Yo sé que el evangelio de Jesucristo es el camino a Dios. En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.
I love you guys! Did I mention you should write me? :)
Hermana Carrie Hansen