Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day @ the CCM

Mora Family/ Friends, 

I'm happy to hear Christmas went well at home. I wish I had some tamales out here. They fed us sandwiches and wraps with pastries and other non-Mexican dishes. I still enjoyed it though. I wish I could have been there to see everyone's reaction to Dallin's fiance. Tell Dallin congratulations for me! I'm also glad to hear that talent night went well. I actually read Luke 2 and some other chapters in the Book of Mormon with my District yesterday morning. Christmas here was really cool, but it still didn't feel like Christmas.  I woke up at 6:30 and went to breakfast. Then after we had time to read scriptures as a district. That was really cool to read about the Savior's birth on Christmas. Then we went to the gym and started a service project for children here in Mexico. We put together baby kits for kids that didn't have the means or parents to give them the proper supplies they needed. We put a blanket, diapers, baby booties, soap, a little jacket, and wrapped them up in little bags. The MTC President said that with the amount of supplies that were bought that it should have taken us 6 hours, but we did it in just under 1 hour! It felt so good to give service on Christmas instead of only receiving gifts. Then after our service we had another simple meal and went to the auditorium to hear an area seventy speak to us. He had a very good message but I can't seem  to remember what it was. Well anyways after that we had a devotional that was transmitted live from Provo from Elder Bednar and his wife. It was a really really good devotional and his wife is an amazing person. We got to see two of Sister Bednar's granddaughters and one of her sons. Then Elder Bednar did something really neat. The Church had set up a phone number to text questions to an iPad that he had on the pulpit and also an email address to send to questions also. At the Provo MTC they passed out phones to the missionaries and at other international MTCs we had our questions emailed straight to his iPad. He started receiving questions and answered some really helpful questions. He answered a question that I had been thinking about recently. I was wondering why I feel so inadequate to be a missionary. He explained that if you feel inadequate that its a a good thing and it means that you understand how important your calling is. He also said that the feeling of inadequacy can also be crippling if you let it become so prevalent that it is dysfunctional. I still feel inadequate but he assured all the missionaries that there is not one day that goes by that he himself doesn't feel adequate enough to be an apostle of the Lord. But then he said something very profound. We do not have all the skills and answers to be adequate, we are not perfect or all understanding, but the Lord is and through him we can do all things. I know what he said was true. After that meeting we had a Festival de Coros and all of the districts sang Christmas hymns, Our district was probably the worst, but it was still fun. We then had dinner then more devotionals and singing. We literally sang every Spanish Christmas hymn at least two or three times yesterday, but it was good Spanish practice and I like singing hymns. We watched the Church bible videos on Mary and Joseph and  the birth of Christ. And that was pretty much everything we did yesterday. My Spanish is coming along alright. I can pray in Spanish and get my message across then I teach an investigator but i still need a lot of work. My teachers always turn to me to explain stuff to the class when nobody understands a question because they know I can understand them very well. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I feel like I should be learning a lot faster and understanding more, but I just have to tell myself that its only been three weeks and not to be to hard on myself. I know it will come eventually. I want everyone to know I miss them and to send me some letters! I also didn't get that package yet or the pictures attached to this email. Send me some family pictures so I can show my district my awesome family. Love you all! 

Con amor, 
Elder Mora

Thursday, December 19, 2013

1 week Pics










Response to my email :)

To all:

I just want to thank all those who are supporting Elder LJ Mora! It's been such a great comfort to know how mush he is loved. I am grateful for all my non-member family who are so open minded and have supported me & my family. I will try to continue to update and post pictures as he sends them to me. Again we thank you & love you all!

:) Dyna

12/18/13
I´m glad you got my last email. I was hoping Ammon would send it to you. Well thanks for the updates on everyone. Time is going by so fast down here and I´m glad to hear from you Mom. Guess what? I got my first hair cut, and I like it a little. I´m so happy to hear about Dad and all he´s been doing. Tell him I´ll be praying for him especially hard. Let Sebastian know I miss him bugging me and that thanks to him I´ve been able to get along with every Elder in my district. Tell Gaby to keep up the good work in school and ask her to pray about doing track. I know it will really be a good thing for her. Let the Farr´s know I love them too, and to hurry up and finish the casita.ha I´m happy to hear about the changes at work, I think things will start to flow a lot better, and tell Woody thanks for taking my job. And about that package, I might not get it while I´m here because it takes about 3 weeks for packages and if I´m not here when it arrives they don't sent it to my mission. I´ll be praying it gets here on time.ha
Ok now I´ll start answering your questions. I think my most favorite experience so far has either been going to the Mexico City Temple or watching a performance of traditional south american folk dances about Jesus´s birth. The temple here is HUGE and it is so beautiful. I´ll attach some pictures with this email. It was really cool to go through the temple in Spanish and I was surprised how much I could understand. I´ll get two more chances to go to the temple and I´m really looking forward to it. My companion is from West Virginia, but he grew up in Chino, California. He´s serving in Riverside, California which is right next to where he grew up! He´s a really funny guy and we have really become good friends. I ran into Elder Heymeyer yesterday at dinner and I completely forgot he was coming here. He just got here yesterday and seems to be adjusting well. My first few nights I could hardly sleep, but now I pass out every night. I think the President of the CCM, Presidente Pratt, knows some Mora´s and also my branch president, Presidente Ramos. A lot of the teachers here are from Puebla and were surprised to hear I had family down there. They ask me if i know any names of Mora´s down there, but I´m horrible with remembering names. But besides that everything is going well and I think the only thing I forgot was one of my long sleeve shirts, but I´ll just buy one when I get into the field. Thanks for the email and tell everyone I love them!

P.S. Merry Christmas! I´ll be emailing back on Christmas!!

Elder Mora

Monday, December 16, 2013

LETTER#1 - ARRIVAL @ MEXICO CITY!!
12/12/13

Hey everybody, I'm at the MTC safe and sound. I liked the plane flight as you would expect. The CCM is so nice and the city is huge and the driving is crazy! It´s not as overwhelming as I thought, but it's still very exciting. Sorry it took me a week to reply, but for some reason the first email I sent didn´t go through. Well a lot has happened this week. The first few days were very long, but it was good devoting all day to learning the doctrine and studying Spanish. My Spanish is coming along well, I have a good accent and I´m trying to remember all the Spanish I´ve heard. My companion at the CCM is Elder Taylor and he is a really cool guy and we get a long really well. We started teaching a practice investigator last week, and yesterday the most amazing thing happened during our lesson. We committed him to be baptized! We both knew it was just practice, but it still felt so awesome to teach someone (in Spanish) for almost a week and help them to come unto Christ. This happened yesterday, and I´m still super happy about it.haha Let me back track. The second or third day I arrived at the CCM, I was put into a district along with all the other new missionaries. My district is so much fun! I was also made District Leader, then the old Zone Leaders left, then I was made the new Zone Leader along with Elder Taylor and I´m so happy I get to serve the districts in my zone in this capacity.  The Elders and Hermanas in my district all get along really well and we all work really hard to learn Spanish. I get to welcome some new elders and sister missionaries into my zone today and I can´t wait to meet them. 
         My first Sunday here was so amazing! We had sacrament meeting in Spanish and in our meeting was a district that was just about to leave the CCM, and most of them gave talks in Spanish and it was so cool to see how much Spanish they knew. I´m excited to see how much Spanish I´ll know by the time I´m done here. On Sunday we also watched the Christmas Devotional and the Spirit was so strong in that meeting. Just being in a meeting with all the missionaries at the CCM is so cool to me. This week I feel like my understanding of the Gospel and Spanish is growing faster than I could ever imagine. I just love the total immersion into the Gospel and spending all our time trying to become the best missionaries we can be. I´m so happy to be here and can´t wait to update everyone on all the awesome stuff that will happen to me until next Thursday. Hasta Luego!