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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Week #1: Guatemala CCM and Baldness

Where's Waldo  er Elder Wilcox?
Missionary Training Center Group (Guatemala CCM)

OK So its tuesday here about 1 o'clock and we are barely able to write you now for the first time. I will start this email from the beginning.  FYI this is a spanish keyboard and so all of the punctuation keys are messed up.

After I left you at the gate, Elder Davis and I got though security just fine we moved through the relatively busy line and past all the scanners and bag checks there were no issues there and for this we were grateful. After the security check we made our way to Gate 29 and when we came near all we could see was a sea of white shirts. There were somewhere in the range of 40 to 50 plus missionaries there and out of all of them probably only 12 or so including myself that were assigned to the retalhuleu mission.  After taking in the scene of so many missionaries we waited for a good 40 minutes to board the plane. I received my seat at the gate and I was relatively happy about my aisle seat and I was sitting in a row of all missionaries, turns out that the one on my right would be my companion at the CCM.  Later in this flight I realized that my seat was not exactly ideal. It was located near the bathroom and so whenever someone needed to use it they had to brush there way past me which woke me up nearly every time. The flight was not all bad though.

Outside of the plane was a great storm of thunder that let of a brilliant display of lightning that entertained me for the duration of the flight. We started to land sometime around 6 in the morning and the view from the windows was amazing. The sun was just rising and its rays were bouncing from the clouds in all sorts of beautiful colors. When we looked down further we could see the great volcanoes that surround
Guatemala City and the great brilliant green forest with only touches of civilization in patches all over. Once we arrived to the CCM we were given our room numbers and bunk number. I was assigned bunk 6 of room 204, a bottom bunk that kinda reminds me of the bunk I was only so recently rid of at home.  Following the tour of the rooms we were lead into the cafeteria and at a breakfast that was all to different from the cinnamon toast crunch that I am used to. It was some kind of hard taco shell with bean paste on top that allowed the overeasy eggs to stick with some relative ease. It was so much different that I was used to. After breakfast we were allowed back to our rooms to rest for a while and recover some of the strength that we would need for the long days that laid ahead. We then woke after what seemed like only a small fraction of the time they allotted us to sleep and made our way back to the cafeteria where we ate yet again. I would have to say that I am absolutely loving the food here but don't exactly love the mix of a high protein diet and a lot of guys in one area. You can read between the lines of that one but it is probably one of the most disturbing issues of the CCM. After the meal we were lead into the first meeting of many that we would have with the varies teachers and leaders of the CCM. It was a short meeting that more or less went over the rules of the CCM, which entail not being able to leave the CCM except to go to the Temple which is actually closed for the first 2 weeks that we are here and not being able to use our cameras, Ipods or really anything that isn't made in the stone age. All of us are kinda bummed about the no cameras rule it doesn't really allow us to capture the whole experience of the CCM. After the meeting we hit the ground running and haven't stopped since. Here is a typically day for me here. Wake at 6 get ready. study the Scriptures for and hour and then study the language for another, we then move to the classroom and study the language more and more....and more. All of this is totally necessary though because we teach an investigator every day.

My companion and I even had our investigator commit to baptism as of yesterday. I don't quite understand how he understands even a single thing that I or anyone of us gringos say its..well not the best spanish you have heard in your life but the lord works in mysterious was and its is amazing what he can do if you are simply willing to open you mouth in his name and for his work. I mentioned my companion earlier. His Name is Elder Virgin, from Nevada and he is great, in fact I would have to say that my entire district is great. We are probably one of the most musical districts in the CCM we sing just about every chance we get and are thinking about even starting some kind of music group. We would of course need some help with this because we can't look up or translate music due to our limited time that we can use the computers.

Oh did I mention that we all look kinda bald now? On one of the first days here we are taken into the gym and we are given a haircut...I don't think I have ever had my hair this short. I guess that Dad has finally gotten his wish and I have received that buzz cut he has always suggested.

Things at the CCM are so different there is a certain beauty in everything that we do here. In every meeting that we go to there is a special spirit present and it is so great to feel. I would say that I am not a very emotional person but the spirit touches us so strong here that I can feel tears in almost every devotional that we have. It is such a great blessing to feel this way so often and I understand more then ever why I am here doing what I am doing. One of the really spiritual moments of this last sunday was when President Cox talked about the  sister whose blog my father had been reading. He talked about how she was before she left for her area and about how she was when she was more or less dragged back to the CCM before she was to be transferred to Houston due to illness. He described her as a worker, he had said that she was so distraught to have to be back here instead of out there in Reu where she had all of these people that she cared so much for. Her last blog post about her work in Houston nearly brought the entire group listening to tears. It could not have been by some freak accident that he shared a post of someone I myself had been following quite closely.

I only have a few minutes left here to write and so I want to say that this is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life the food is different the language seems more vast then it did when I was learning it in high school but the spirit is so strong here and everything that I do I know I can because I am here serving as a representative of jesuscristo y la Iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimas dias. Yo Se nuestro padre celestial es nos padre y su hijo hace todo nececito por nosotros vivemos con El y nuestros familias por eternidad. I love you all and think of you so much!

 Dont forget to write.

Ill talk to you all sometime next week

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