So life in the CCM is definitely not what I expected. I sleep on a little cot that I unfold every night and fold back up every morning. Some of my clothes are on hangers above my cot and I pretty much live out of my suitcase. But it's fine! I room with Hermana Christensen (little red head whose just a spiritual fireball and has the same love for Miranda Sings that I do), Webster (from Texas and she's so hilarious), Matsu (my travel companion. She's just great and we have a good time), and McKeown ( a Brit who lived 2 floors above me at BYU and she's so funny and everyone loves her accent. She said I have a very good British accent and wants me to talk in it all the time). Mi compañera es Hermana Soelberg from Cali. She's super laid back and chill and if you know me you know that can stress me out when people are so calm when it's stressful. So that was a bit of an adjustment but it's good for me to chill out and "find joy in the journey".
Presidente y Hermana Packer are SO WONDERFUL!! Presidente Packer is so full of the spirit all the time and it's so awesome to just hear him talk because he is so close to the spirit and knows what everyone needs. It's great. He kinda reminds me of Uncle Scott in how he's so interested in everything you have to say all the time. He's just great and makes you feel like a million bucks all the time.
Holy cannoli Spanish is HARD. I never thought I would have as hard of a time as I'm having. My companion and I made a goal to only speak Spanish from breakfast to lunch. It's a work in progress and we talk a lot less, but we're getting better. I'm trying to be patient with myself and I'm actually learning a lot and starting to understand my teacher more (because they're mostly all from Spain so they speak more Spanish than English during class.) We are studying all the time. So that's rough and my brain is ready to go to mush right around activida fisicica (physical activity). But then I get a good second wind and play through the last 4-5 hours.
So I guess I better give a run down of a typical day at the CCM:
6:30: Wake Up
7:30: Daily Planning
8:00: Personal Study
9:00: Companionship Study (if we're lucky)
Then it's grammar, learning lessons and other stuff until lunch.
12:00: Almuerzo (lunch)
1:00: Companion Study (AKA mad panic to translate your lesson into Spanish because you didn't have time the night before)
1:30: Teach our investigator (Her name is Sara and she's actually one of our teachers and half the time I think she's laughing at us poor Hermanas who are struggling to put together sentences and just want to hit our head against a brick wall. But it's fine. Good practice.)
4:00 BEST TIME OF THE DAY!!! Physical Activity!! (We decided to do stuff as a district so most of the time we go play futbol. I actually don't do too bad, which is great. The sisters in my district say I'm good and I just laugh at them because that's a joke. But yesterday we got to play volleyball with this cute Italian couple who teach here and it was SO FUN! All those summers at Clear Creek have definitely paid off:)).
5:00: Shower and get ready for dinner
6:30: Back to classes (We are literally confined to our classroom almost all day. It's kinda rough. One of the elders in my district said, "If the mission has taught me anything so far, it's that I don't want to go to jail. Because this feels like it and I can't imagine what actual jail would be like." That was funny, but true.)
9:30: Finally get to go back to our rooms
10:30: Everyone has passed out on their bed because days are long here in Spain.
So yeah, that's the daily run down. We had to go get our residency cards and stuff the last few days which was fun to try to understand people. This cute little black baby girl came and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
Every Saturday we go to the park here in Madrid and we go contacting. It's so fun and crazy because we don't know what people are saying but we're trying to share the gospel and it's sometimes a mess but I like it. Every Thursday, we go to the temple. So, last week we got to go and it was sooooo great. It's so beautiful. And we get to go again today which makes me way excited. Also we're going sightseeing today and getting churros and chocolate, so that's fun.
Quick story. On Sunday, one of my buddies from BYU came up to me and asked if I'd play something for the devotional in like an hour. So, I of course said yes. I told him I'd play "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" because that's the only one I have ready. Then Presidente Packer gets up to teach and guess what is devotional is on? The Atonement! So that was cool.
Also, I love my district and a lot of my group here. I feel like I know them from somewhere, but we've never met.. Also two of the Russian elders here I know from home!! Elder Jake Wilkins from Westlake and Elder McKay Kelly from working security at the MOA at BYU!! So that's great too.
Love you all!!!