I hope that you are all ready and excited for Christmas tomorrow, I know that I am! This week has been incredibly busy for me here at the CCM, but I love it here and I am learning so much! This time of year is the best time to be here! We have had a ton of devotionals already and I love hearing about the Gift of The Savior in our lives! Last night we participated in a devotional broadcast from the Provo MTC to like 5 or 6 other MTC's around the world, I think they said that close to 20,000 missionaries around the world were listening to the live stream. It was translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian, luckily we got to listen to it in English though! It was given by the Presiding Bishop Gary E. Stevenson and his wife Lisa Jean Stevenson. It was a great devotional all about the birth of the savior and His Gift to the earth. Her talk was about how we can give that beautiful gift to all we teach as missionaries for the Lord! I loved her spirit as she spoke. His talk was wonderful, he related the parallels between Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. It was Joseph Smith's 209th birthday yesterday and he shared the importance of having a testimony of the restoration of the Gospel as missionaries. It was a wonderful talk on how we can become better missionaries through receiving the gift of the Spirit while we teach and I learned so much!
The CCM this week has been much better! I finally feel like I have the schedule down and all of my stuff better organized. I know that the Lord has been blessing me a lot to better learn Spanish through my study of both the gospel and the language itself. Our practice investigator that we were teaching, "Marcos", is actually our new evening teacher Hermano Galicia. He is a great teacher just like our morning teacher Hermano Ramierez. I am so glad that they are full of knowledge and of the spirit. Hermano Galicia tries really hard to only speak Spanish in our evening classes so that we hear it more and become more familiar with it, and even though I do not always understand everything he says I am always surprised by how much I have been able to understand. The hardest part to me about the language is being able to express my thoughts with a limited vocabulary and limited understanding of all of the language rules. I always hear people say how hard English is, but I am a firm believer that Spanish is a more difficult language. I am grateful though for how quickly I have been able to pick up Spanish and how incredibly much I have learned in the two weeks that I have been here!
Being a Zone Leader is quite fun, and I am glad that I was called to serve as one. It is somewhat difficult on Sundays because we are supposed to only speak Spanish in our meetings and we are supposed to lead the leadership meeting and priesthood meetings and I do not feel like I know it good enough to lead those meetings, but I know it will come over time. I know that this calling is going to push me to work harder to learn the language and to be a more obedient missionary. It is kind of weird being the Zone Leader over a bunch of other missionaries that have been here longer than I have.
It rained all night here last night and has been drizzling here most of the day today, it is the first time that it has rained since I got here and I absolutely love it! It is so pretty today with the fresh rain that we have received. The food has been good and I have never gone hungry, on Tuesday nights we get Costco pizza and it is yummy, some days it is mostly American food other days there is mostly Mexican food, but more often than not there is a little bit of both! The last couple of days I have been a bit sick, my head was congested and I had a bit of a sore throat, but today I feel a little better (no sore throat), and I think it will be gone in a day or two more.
I love so much the Spirit that resides here, and I know that even though it has only been two weeks here that I have grown so much already, and I truly cannot wait to grow more throughout my entire mission! All of the devotionals have been wonderful, we have so many wonderful leaders who love us and wish the very best for every single one of us. We have been so blessed and I am so grateful that I was born into the church and have had great leaders to teach and guide me my entire life! I hope that we will all work to be more grateful to God for his endless divine blessings that every single one of us have been given. I know that he knows and loves every single one of his children individually and perfectly, I hope none of you ever forget your worth in the sight of God! He wants so desperately for all of us to return to his fold and become as he would want us to be!
I hope all is well with all of you! I love you and miss you all so much, but I am very grateful to have the wonderful blessing and opportunity to be here in Mexico serving the Lord and bringing the happiness that I have experienced in my own life to those who are searching for more happiness in their own lives! I pray for all of you everyday that you will be healthy and well and that God will watch over you while I am away! I am so thankful for the gift of prayer!
I love all of you dearly and wish you a very Merry Christmas Day tomorrow. It is truly my favorite time of year and I am glad to be here giving to others the gift that I have received! I am very excited because tomorrow we will be finishing an MTC-wide service project we started a week ago. We are making 287 fleece blankets for a rest home for elderly men, many of whom do not even have a bed to sleep on. We will finish cutting and tying the edges of the blankets tomorrow, we will also be making them sack lunches, with cookies purchased and donated by all of the missionaries here at the CCM.
The greatest gift of Christmas is to give to others who have less than we do! I love Christmas service
and encourage all of you to do anything, even if it is small, to help someone who needs a little more love or encouragement, a little help, or just to know that someone is thinking of them during this special time of year! Jesus gave us the perfect example of love and service and I pray that we will all work to become more like him!
Merry Christmas to all of you! I love you so very much!
Elder Mitchell J Condie