Can I just say that I love the MTC? It really is the greatest and the spirit is incredibly strong every minute. Ahh I just want to tell you guys every single little thing, but I´ll try and narrow it down. My district is hilarious and we are constantly cracking jokes every second, they are great and I love them. All of the Elders are 18 years old so they are a little immature to say the least, but so fun (there is a picture of us all infront of the CCM sign). My companion´s name is Hermana Christensen and she is the greatest (Other picture with her). We are both 19 and she went to BYU Idaho for a year before and is from Portland, Oregon. She is actually a convert to the church and her family is a little complicated and she has 8 brothers (including half brothers) so compared to that I guess 4 brothers isn´t bad at all :) She has taught me sooo much and we are perfect missionary companions for each other. The food here at the MTC is well...bareable, not the Mexican food I was hoping for at all. I haven´t even had a taco de carne asada yet... so disappointing, but it´s food and I have to get used to eating things that I don´t like. The joke is that everyone looses weight in the Mexico MTC instead of gaining weight in the Provo MTC haha. That really is the only somewhat bad thing here though oh and the fact that our casa is infested with cockroaches, everything else is wonderful! Gym time is so awesome. I usually play volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, or basketball, well I guess basically anything competitive. Sometimes I get a little too into the games or spike the ball too hard and my companion has to remind me that it´s just for fun and to play nicely haha, she´s great. So since I brought some of my BYU basketball gear everyone usually asks if I play for the Y or my companion tells them I do, so I´ve got quite a few nicknames along the lines of Hermana Basketball or BYU Basketball Sister. The ones who call me Hermana Basketball are the ones who I had a fun time schooling at knockout haha. A group of about 15 elders were playing knockout and so I joined them on their last game...and showed them who was boss haha. Welcome to Division 1 basketball Elders.
Apart from that, the classes are awesome and let me just tell you I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that I can already speak Spanish. It makes everything here so much easier and now I can just concentrate on the gospel and only a little bit on continuing to learn the language. Hermana Christensen already speaks Spanish as well since she took it all throughout high school (I have no idea how she learned it so well there) but I still know quite a bit more than her, but she is very good. She was also told that she would only be here for 2 weeks, but when we got here we were put in the program for 6 weeks. We asked to be changed, but the 2 week program with all of the Latino native speakers wasn´t going to start until next week, so now we will be here for a total of 3 weeks. That means I will leave here on the 2nd of September, which makes me sad to leave everyone, but excited to get to Chile and start preaching the gospel! Hermana Christensen and I actaully had a good faith building expereince trying to get changed into the other program and everything. At first we talked with some leaders and they told us we would have to change casas and companions, which we didn´t want and so we actually considered staying the whole 6 weeks since we like our district and wanted to stay companions. We decided to pray lots about it and had much faith that everything would work out for the best and guess what, it did! We get to stay companions, be in the same casa, have almost the same schedule that we had before with gym time with our district and we even get to go to the Temple tomorrow with our district since our new group will just be doing introduction things that we have already done. We got the best of both worlds and were just soo happy! We immediately gave another prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father.
Here at the MTC we get to teach "investiagtors" who are really just teachers, but our´s is named Esmeralda and she is awesome. She is very accepting of the gospel and loves to have us teach her. She even accepted to be baptized after our second lesson! Hna Christensen and I were the only missionaries who got her to do that after the second one, so the Elders always say that we put them all to shame, but I´m pretty sure it´s only because we are the only two who can actually talk to her and make sense haha. After we had our last lesson with her since we will be changing programs, she talked to us as her real self and she said she was so impressed with me and my companion and how we were able to connect with her. She even cried twice during one of our lessons and it´s so funny since the Elders are always like, "What the heck, they are converting people who are already baptized!" It´s great.
While teaching Esmeralda I actaully had a really good humbling and learning experience. Since my comp is a convert, she isn´t super knowledgeable about the doctrine that we have to teach so I manly would take over teaching that. Actually this whole week I had been putting so much importance into learning what we have to teach and trying to prepare myself to be able to answer any questions that they might have and that became a overwhelming. I felt like I didn´t know near as much as I needed to and that I still had a far way to go. However in one of our lessons, Hna Christensen was sharing a personal experience with Esmeralda and it really got to her and that was one of the main things she remembered about our lesson. I don´t know how to describe it, but it brought such a powerful spirit to the room and that was when we really connected with her. After the lesson I realized I had been so caught up in trying to teach her everything that I forgot about connecting with her and sharing personal things with her so she would open up to us. I forgot that we really are teaching people and not just lessons. After the lesson I had such a peaceful feeling that it´s okay if I don´t know everything and Hna Christensen was able to help me with that. At the beginning of the week I felt like I was the one who was really helping her since she missed home a lot and her boyfriend, but that day I realized she is the one helping me. It was humbling and I am so gratetful for her and everyone who I have had in my life, especially you Mom and Dad. I feel soooo prepared being here after interacting a lot with missionaries. And Mama you will be happy to know that I have already used my sewing kit. Crazy I know. I doubted I would ever need it, but an Elder in our district had a button fall off his jacket so I was able to sew it back on for him and he was very grateful, so thanks Mama.
Okay almost done, but yesterday we had a devotional here with Elder Johnson of the Seventy. I was like whoa he came to our house and ate dinner in Monterrey, but I doubted he would remember me. However, to my surprise, both him and Hermana Johnson remembered me very well and they said Mom and Dad had been with them the night before and so that was a very cool experience. They both gave great talks and I still can´t get over how strong I feel the spirit here. I love it! I just have so many stories and growing experiences I want to share with you guys, but sadly there just isn´t time.
One last thing, it´s super long, but Elder Chidester in our district loves to write stories as if they are scripture passages so here is one that he wrote about my companion and I (my comp typed it up and sent it to me):
The First Book of Romnensen Chapter 3
And it came to pass in the second day of the first week in the land of CCM, that the cockroaches did gather together and they did come to battle against the city of Casa 13. And it came to pass that the Hermanas were excedingly fearful. Never the less, the were girded about with the shoes of faith. And they did slay many of the roaches and did drive them back, yea even unto outside. And the Hermanas did surround the roaches and did offer to spare their lives if they would enter into a covenant that they should never again come up against the Hermanas. And the leader of the roaches whos name was Cockroachihor, did say unto them: We shall not enter into a covenant that we know we cannot keep. Yea we shall again come into your casa and eat your food. And the Hermanas did squish him. And thus were the end of the days of Cockroachihor. And the roaches did flee. And it came to pass that the Lord did fumigate them from the face of the earth. And we do see at this time that the Lord is with those who serve him and have shoes.
The First Book of Romnensen Chapter 6
1 And it came to pass in the fourth day of the first week in the reign of District Leader Skelton that the second lesson did come to pass.
2 And the Elderes did meet together to consult one with another what they should say unto Esmeralda. Yea they did discuss a great many things in the tongue of Newb-Spanish.
3 And they did go forth in pairs to preach unto her. And it came to pass that they did say a great many things unto her, yea even: ummmm...and even: Tenemos...un,uh....mensaje....
por tú *I mean* Usted.
4 And Esmeralda did become exceedingly confused and embarassed to associate with the Elders that she did hide her face from them in the lunch line. And they did leave her presence.
5 And it came to pass that the Hermanas did come unto her and did teach to her. And they were so powerful that they did cause her to weep, yea even unto two times. And they did convert her, yea and her children.
6 Yea they did cause the entire MTC to be baptised even though they were already baptised.
7 And it came to pass that the Elderes were exceedingly sorrowful, for they knew in their hearts that they were newbs in the eyes of the Lord.
8 And we do see at this time that the Hermanas doth reveal the truth that the Elderes are Newbs, yea even newbs of the highest caliber.
Thank you Mom and Dad for the package!! It was wonderful and I LOVE getting mail or emails...hint hint, wink wink :) Anyways, I love you all and I am doing great! I have even gotten to see like 5 good friends from back at BYU so that is always fun. I haven´t felt home sick once yet, but don´t worry I do miss everyone, just not near as much as I love being on a mission. I love you all so much and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is incredible and changes lives. It has changed mine immensly and continues to do so everyday.
Love, Hermana Romney
P.S. Sorry everyone that this is so long, I am sure that it won´t be this long once I get out into the field, so just bare with me for a little bit :)