So Sunday I gave a talk. I´m pretty sure I already have told you this, but President Dyer just randomly picks kids from the pulpit to give talks. I was picked last. I was assigned "Agency and Adam/Eve." The talk went fine. I had to read most of it out of my notebook, but I tried to make it as spiritual and heartfelt as possible. It is hard to get your personality across to the audience when you can barely speak their language. At least now I won´t have to worry about giving another talk though.
This is my last week in the CCM. I leave on the 12th, Tuesday. It is only a 25ish minute drive to the mission home from the CCM. I am very excited to leave the CCM. Do not get me wrong, I have loved the experience here, but it is just time to move on and do the real work. We are all ready to bounce and have been for a long time. Tuesday will be extremely exciting, nerve-racking, and intense. I cannot wait.
In regards to Spanish, I am greatly improving. I can talk about gospel topics with relative ease and get my point across. However, understanding other people is my biggest weakness. I have a very difficult time understanding what people are saying. It is extremely aggravating. Overall though I am 100x better than what I was day 1. It gets easier and easier every day. I have heard that on average it takes 4 to 6 months to become "missionary fluent." I am looking forward to that day. Plus, I realize how little I know of "real life" Spanish. We had a class about health and safety and I understood probably 10% of what they were talking about. Church Spanish is decent; real Spanish is really hard. I have also realized that right now in my Spanish "career" that I have to take what I want to say in English and modify it into what I can realistically say in Spanish. A lot of the feeling and emotion gets taken out of what I am trying to say, but there is nothing I can do about that now. I just have to get better and better every day.
So going into week 5 I received my second companion, Élder Santacruz. He is a relatively big guy from Paraguay. He speaks zero English and slurs all of his words. He and I get along well. We teach soundly together, never argue, and are just good together. He likes me, and I like him. By the way, Elder Santacruz is 21. Most of the Latino´s are older. Elder Santacruz is having a hard time adjusting to the altitude here. He is a really good companion. Likes to follow the rules and be a good missionary. He is not perfect, but who is?
Elder Wooden and I are in district Aaron with our Latino companions. There is a trio of Latino girls and two sets of Latino Elders. Good district with good teachers. For some reason unknown to me, my district loves me. They find everything that say to be the funniest thing in the world. I have just come to the conclusion that they just laugh because I am a "dumb American from Gringolandia. Whatever. They all love me and are always talking to me. I will be a Latino myself before I even know it.Quick note about Latino culture. Speed and noses. Everything is super, super, super slow. They all get ready slow, eat slow, and walk slow. It is really frustrating to get reprimanded for being late for class when you were ready 15 minutes in advance and you comp made you late. Also, Latino´s pick their noses without any second thoughts. Middle of class, while eating, while teaching. It is no big deal to them. It is interesting and let´s just say I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer much more often than during the first 2 weeks.