Finally! I can at least kind of get my point across in Spanish how I want! It has been frustrating and obviously I am still far, far from perfect but I am finally competent. This week was by far better. Wednesday marked the day I have been away from home a month. Crazy right? Time has flown and I am ready to break out of ¨Spirit Prison¨ (what we Elders like to call our dear CCM). I finished the Book of Mormon Wednesday night and It made me feel so much better. I didn´t get some spectacular answer or even a real quiet answer either. However, I just feel great.
Friday was actually really funny. Remember my ¨Little Mexican Mommy¨ Fernando? Well we were coming back to our apartments after lunch, excited for gym and ready to get out of our shirts and ties, when we noticed all these little papers on every door. We read the one on ours and it told us our rooms had been fumigated and we couldn´t go in for another hour. Fernando was walking by right then and we asked him if we really had to wait an hour as we would miss gym and it had already been four hours since they had laid the chemicals. He looked at Elder Germann and I and after considering us for a moment smiled and said, ¨How fast are you?¨
About a minute later, Elder Germann, Fernando, and I had ties and towels tied around our faces and were in ready position. I unlocked the door, threw it open, and like a well-practiced SWAT team, we invaded our apartment. Fernando opened every door and window and Elder Germann and I scrambled to gather anything that qualified as gym-wear. Thirty seconds later we were all laying on the concrete outside our apartment panting and sweaty when Fernando laughed so hard and yelled in broken English, ¨I love you white american peoples! You are so crazy!¨
Saturday morning was such a spiritual experience. Hermana Nava knows how to speak in ways that bring such a spirit you can´t help but get goose bumps. We just watched a video about how we prepare our whole lives for this and then shared reasons we felt we were here in Spanish and she just bore the most amazing testimony I have ever heard. She is something special. Sunday Devotionals were also a highlight of the week. We watched an MTC missionary address by Elder Richard G. Scott and he sounded like a loving grandfather. Every other video has been kind of in your face about worthiness and being better than you are but his was just loving and accepting which was such a huge comfort.
We also watched a movie about the remarkable story of John Tanner and his example of absolute unselfishness. If you haven´t seen it I highly recommend it. It is well done, the music is FANTASTIC, and it is my new favorite church movie. The last movie we watched was the older movie of Jesus Christ and his Atonement and Sacrifice. I really, really like it because it is something I have been studying this week deeply and it shows him right after death in heaven ministering to the Angels and embracing God. Never thought of that before.
Today we got to go to the Mexico City Temple and it was so beautiful and clean (haven´t seen much of that lately). We watched clips about families and the Book of Mormon in the visitors center then were given three hours to roam. They have a little store right next to the visitors center and I snuck over and got some cool stuff.
On my way back to the temple I saw a little homeless man sitting in an alley. Wanting to practice Spanish and not wanting to just sit around for two hours on the lawn at the temple, I stopped and asked him if I could join him (With Elder Marshall). He was more than happy to talk to us because he told us not very many people are kind enough to talk. It was hard to say what I wanted to and hard to understand him but he taught me that the most unlikely of people can be the most wise and loving people you will encounter. You just have to love them enough to stop and talk.
I was eating a taco thing I had brought from this morning´s breakfast and offered him the last half. He graciously accepted with a hug and told me he had not eaten for a day. This whole time he had been scratching his stomach through his big, thick, dirty coat. He said a prayer to thank God for the food then I watched, dumbfounded, as he reached into his coat, pulled out a little pit bull puppy, and gave half the taco to the little dog that had just woken up. He hadn´t been scratching himself, but comforting his little friend. His only friend.
I asked him why he did that and he told me something I will never ever forget. Without taking his eyes off the little napping puppy, he said smiling, ¨This little one has lots of life ahead of him. I am almost through with mine.¨ He then looked at me and said, ¨All life, no matter how small, is of great worth. We must take care of and protect this life, even tthough it may seem small and of no value. That is what Jesus did.¨
I never asked his religion, I never even asked his name. Yet, that little old man taught me more in a different language than I have ever yet learned myself. Remember that. Each life is so special. Take care of people. Love others. Because ¨ALL life, no matter how small, is of great worth.¨
I love everyone so much. I say it every time but only because it is true. I am always thinking of you.
Elder Aidan Daley Rich
The night our Latinos left (can´t pronounce let alone spell their names).
We communicate with lots of gestures and sign language.
|Leaving the gates of the CCM or "the Spirit Prison" as the missionaries lovingly call it for the first time since arriving. They took a "huge bus" to the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center.|
|So excited to be leaving!|
The concrete houses that spread endlessly for miles.
(En route to the Mexico City Temple)
Tarp Shops - there are tons of little hole in the wall taco shops and fruit stands with tarps for roofs.
|Elder Rich and Elder Germann in the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center|
|Elder Christensen and Elder Rich in the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center|
|My awesome district|
|Mexico City Temple|