Hey there everyone! So my first week in the CCM (MTC in Espanol) was pretty much incredible. I have learned so many things, and have so many more things to learn! I cant believe that a week has already gone by, but at the same time it feels like I have been here an eternity! But in a good way, I promise :) It was incredible how at home I have felt here, even from the first day when I did not know anyone or anything. The CCM is such an incredible place, filled with soo many amazing people! Everyone here is so nice and welcoming that you feel out of place if you ever feel like complaining about any of the work :)
And boy do we have work!!! From 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night, all we do is learn Spanish and learn how to teach in Spanish. I am pretty sure I have never worked so hard in my life... except for maybe finals week... but really, everyday is like finals week here in the CCM, and yet, I love it!! I`ve always been very aware of the value of hard work thanks to my upbringing (thanks Mom and Dad!), but truly it is the greatest blessing!! I have already learned SO much, its incredible! Spiritually, mentally, and physically everything we do here is to help us lean and grow to become better missionaries, better people, better children of God, and better Spanish speakers ;) And when we all work together to accomplish these things, miracles happen!
Speaking of working together, my companion is the most amazing person!! Her name is Hermana McDougal, and she is from Riverton, Utah. She is going to serve in Spokane, Washington after the CCM! *side note: basically 80% of the American missionaries here are from Utah, so I feel pretty cool and special when I get to say I am from Vegas. Everyone else gets pretty excited too :) * Basically, I could not have been blessed with a better companion! She is so loving and supportive all the time. I just love it! We get along really well too, and push each other to be the best missionaries that we can be. I just love her :) OH!! and on Sunday we were also assigned to be the Sister Training Leaders, so we are in charge of how all of the sisters in our branch are doing for the duration of our stay! A little intimidating, considering that we are still the youngest and least experienced in our branch, but I am super excited for the chance to serve them!
And my district is amazing as well!! There are 10 elders with me and Hermana McDougal, and they are all just incredible! We have so much fun together, and they really just teach me so much about what it means to put your trust in God. I am just so blessed with all of the people that surround me daily! They are already become like a family to me, and I know that it will be an amazing 5 weeks (ONLY FIVE MORE WEEKS).
One thing that I have really been aware of and impressed with this week is how much this gospel is a gospel of happiness, and also how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Everything He does, everything He gives us, is to make us happy. Yes, we do have trials in this life, but one thing I have learned in my life is that Heavenly Father is more of an "eternal perspective" kind of guy. He doesnt see as as we are now. He sees us as we can become. We are not just flecks of dust that cover the earth for a time, but We Are His Children, who He loves more than we could ever imagine. We are His diamonds in the rough. But, its going to take a little work and elbow grease to make us the shining, beautiful, strong jewels that we can be. Without our trials and hard times, we could never become as happy and amazing as we could be. When we put our trust in God and thank Him for our refiners fire. That is what I want to challenge all of you, my dear friends and family: do a little more of thanking our Heavenly Father for all of the things that He gives to be happy, but also to thank Him for our struggles. I can attest that you will notice so much more goodness around you every day, and you will have a greater capacity to love and grow, as well as to be happy now, even during the tough times.
I love you all more than you could know! You are always in my prayers.
¡ADIOS MIS AMIGOS!
Con Amor,Hermana Brooks