Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 26th Week 4 "I am THANKFUL to be on a mission!"

To start things off I want to thank all of those who sent me a letter this last week! Your words of encouragement have made me feel so much better and I love to hear that I’m not the only one struggling with my mission language! Thank you all again. I am so very blessed to have the people in my life that I do!

This is me on the roof of the Thomas S. Monson Building (the biggest building here) and this is the amazing view I get to see everyday! We were doing service so that's why I have a t-shirt on :)
This week has been crazy! One of the craziest things that happened is I had to give a talk in sacrament this last Sunday... ALL in Spanish. So the way they do it here is they have everyone in our zone (like 42 people) prepare a talk about a Christ-like attribute and then before sacrament starts they announce the “lucky” few who get to speak that Sunday and no joke everyone holds their breath. Then when they don’t call your name it’s the greatest feeling… but ya they called my name this week and lucky me I felt really confident in my little 3 min talk. I read it mostly but was able to share a simple testimony at the end. I was so nervous but once I got up there I had no problems with pronunciation and my nerves were calm.  (: THEN I sang ¨Loor al Profeta¨ which is “Praise to the Man” in Spanish with three other girls for a musical number. There is one girl in our zone who is a piano performing arts major at BYU so she had some fancy piano music to go with it, it was so pretty!
This was the last night with all of our sweet Latino sisters

I have personally had a lot of success with our investigators this last week! My comp did too but she is so good at the language already! I am at the point now where I can share basic doctrine and very roughly share a testimony or my feelings on a problem they are having. I feel that where I lack in the language I try my best to make it up in doctrine and scriptures to share. My teacher Hermano Tapia is one of our easier investigators and after a lesson the other day he told me that I was very good at applying the doctrine to his current problems.... and that the language will come haha. My other teacher Hermano De Santiago was telling me the other day how far I have really come in my Spanish since the beginning. It always means so much to me to hear things like that because from my perspective it is still pretty bad.
Crazy Hermanas!
I’m not sure if I said this but we got a new district in our zone this week and they are all going to Chile. I can’t remember what part but our zone is now one of the biggest! So for gym the last few days we have been playing capture the flag. There is a big field in front of my casa that has a playground and it makes for the perfect obstacle course. We have some pretty intense games and we usually play 2 youngest districts against the 2 oldest. That has made things so much more fun. It feels so good to be outside and run around!
All the Hermanas' name tags

My poor comp is still way sick so we have been taking it easy or resting during gym so she can try to get better. We have seen the doctor 4 times this week for so many different things. My eye has been bugging me more this week and pink eye has been going around my district so once my comp had it I knew I was bound to get it! Which did happen the very next day and before the pink eye the redness and the swollen came back so I had both those things on top of each other. We went to the doctor and he gave me and my comp eye drops that helped her and not me. There is an American doctor and a Mexican doctor.  The Mexican one doesn’t speak any English so sadly my companion and I would always wait around for the American doctor. Since there are more Americans here, he is ALWAYS so busy! But today he was out and my comp really needed more medicine. She has asthma and developed a really bad cough so we went to the Mexican doctor and although we had to use very simple Spanish he was able to help her with her problem a little better than the other doctor. He actually gave her a shot to help with her breathing. So then back to my eye drama, I was going to see the eye doctor but the nurse took me back to the Mexican doctor (I really wish I knew his name so I didn’t have to call him that but anyway) he looked at my eyes and I showed him what the other doc had given me and told me not to use those 2 other drops I had because they are for infection and I have red and swollen eyes. He got a different eye drop and no joke within 1 min my eye redness and irritation went away. They feel so much better now! I really do think I needed to learn this lesson this way. That although there may be a language barrier that does not mean you cannot be helped! I really do believe this doctor was the answer to mine and my companion’s prayers!
I loved seeing Sister Woods at the CCM!
She left for Florida on Tuesday

We had a really good devotional for Thanksgiving today by Dallin H. Oaks that was broadcasted from Provo. Then here at the CCM they put table clothes on all the tables and they had turkey, potatoes, corn and apple pie for us at lunch! It was the cutest little Thanksgiving feast! I want you all to know how incredibly thankful I am for all of you. I am thankful for this gospel, prayers, family, my wonderful comp, my amazingly fun zone, the beautiful (but hard) language of Spanish. I’m thankful god answers our prayers in his way and not ours. I’m thankful for the gifts of tongues and God’s never ending love. I hope you all ate yourself sick with food and remembered all the things in your life to be thankful for!

Next week is my last week here and that is crazy! I have met a few other Latino girls going to Guadalajara and that makes me so much more excited! I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week! 

-- con amor
Hermana Acor 
This is Sister Packard and I at the Health Center at the CCM.  I met Sister Packard and her husband in SLC
 at the Mexican Consulate the week before I fly out.
 They are serving the mental health needs of all the missionaries at theCCM. 
My District

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19th Week 3 "I could just feel how my spirit longs for the people of Mexico!"

Alright I’m gonna try my best to remember all the things that happened this week and answer all the questions!

The weeks FLY by here I cannot believe it’s already Pday! It’s true what they say time flies when you’re having fun! I again got all of your letters mom and I love them they are not detracting at all! I was having a really rough Monday and Tuesday. Like really rough, I was on the edge of tears for both of those days and it was worse Monday but I got a letter from you in the afternoon and it made me feel better then it got worse at night and it never works out that I get two letters in one day. Like, that doesn’t happen, but I actually had another one from you and I was so happy! Then Monday night Elder Lima took my district two at a time in a golf cart around the CCM because he leaves soon and we are his fav. district (but that is like super top secret ha). But it was so fun we asked him to go back and forth and he did that the whole time. In his Hispanic accent he kept saying “zigzag zigzag Hermana” and I could not stop laughing! Then he said this is 6 Flags Mexico hahahahah that really got us because he knows zero English, but he knew how to say that!  Our teacher was with us so we weren’t alone with him but I just couldn’t help but think how Heavenly Father must really not want me to be sad because he put so many happy and uplifting moments in my life Monday night. I know he really loves me (:

Hermanas of the Casa!
The language is really starting to get to me. I have the biggest fear of getting into the field and not knowing anything and having a companion that speaks no English. So that thought has kinda been making me freak out. I lost it during gym on Tuesday and my sister trainer leader made me feel better. She didn’t have a lot to say but I felt so much better. Then she wrote me a cute note and gave me a Bueno candy bar and like I’ve said they are literally the greatest things here in Mexico. Then on Tuesday an Hermana wrote me a note and she didn’t put her name on it but in the note she told me she wants me to know that I’m doing better than I think I am. She then told me how before she left for her mission her dad had told her how a language can be taught, how the gospel can be taught but the way you love people and truly care for them is something that can’t be taught. She then went on to say how she believes I have these qualities and some other complements that I really needed to hear. I wish I knew who it was from so I could thank her. It really made me feel so much better! 

Our investigators are going “goodish,” we had one lesson that did not go as planned our teacher threw us a curve ball and told us his wife ripped up his BOM and didn’t want him to join the church so our whole outline on baptism no longer had to do with anything. So my poor companion spoke the whole time and I was having the hardest time understanding what was going on so after that I was upset cause I hate nothing more than just sitting there doing nothing. That was Monday night but my teacher showed us another video on the gifts of tongues and one elder said you have to make 30,000 mistakes before you know a language. And I had a thought to stop teaching the investigators with things I have written down with words I don’t even know and to teach them with the little Spanish that I do have and listen better to what the spirit helps me to say.  The next lesson I did that with for our other investigator, it went amazing! I made so many mistakes and it was totally ok! I really had to humble myself to figure that out that is the way I needed to do a lesson but I’m grateful Heavenly Father was able to bring that to light for me. Again, he must really love me!

So back to the letters mom, the one you sent in the pouch just got here ha so it took like a month but it is really nice to have a letter from you in your hand writing! There is just something about hand-written letters!  Thank you family for the package! I love it and the trail mix and Gatorades are perfect!  I’m still working on eating healthy La Tienda here has so many good treats ugh! I’m also so happy you got my blog up and going that makes me so excited that will be something I will love to look at when I get home! 

I hope Cooper's play tryouts went well! I miss his cute little face! It’s crazy to hear you guys have snow! There was like two days here that it was sooooo cold! I was wearing tights, my big jacket and all! The natives were all covered up and kept telling us how cold it was I guess it doesn’t get cold very often! With the elevation difference I haven’t had any headaches. I’ve been feeling really good! There is actually a cold going around right now and my comp got it this morning and has been feeling yucky all day! So ya I’m probably next and I really hope not, so some extra prayers for this girl to not get sick would be awesome! 

On our way to immigration

Ok I need to wrap up. I’m writing later today because we went to immigration so that’s 2 weeks in a row we got to go out of the CCM!! It all went great and I have my residency card! On the hour drive to get there I love to look out the windows and just look at everything, it is so fascinating to me! It looks a lot like Peru and China mixed!  But as I was looking I could just feel how my spirit longs for the people of Mexico! I know that’s cheesy but that’s how I feel! I love them all already and that’s pretty motivating to learn this dang language! I can’t think of anything else that happened this week! I love you all and I love my mission so much! I’m so happy to hear about all of your lives and how you’re staying busy. You guys make me all so proud! I love you and can’t wait to hear from you next week! (:  oh and I’ll send some pics! 

Love, Hermana Acor
Awesome architecture of Mexico City

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 12th, Week 2 in the CCM: Pray for specific desires, P-day trip to the temple

OK I am gonna try really hard to answer all your questions! But first, yes, mom I got the pics and the 2 letter email things! I loooooveeee those! My district leader now zone leader checks the mail everyday after gym and when he yells “Hermana Acor” you have mail. I get all excited and it really is the best feeling! It takes about 2 to 3 days to get to me from when you send it! I had so many people ask me how you sent me pictures. They were all pretty jealous (; but of course I gave them the website. Some missionaries didn’t bring any pics of their family! Ugh, I would die I love looking at all your faces all the time.

The weather here is amazing and perfect and I make my red-headed companion sit outside with me all the time. Ha-ha but she loves it too. We call it our zip-zapping time. Ya we get along great.

I am learning Spanish slowly but it’s coming. Tons of people are willing to help. My biggest thing is I need to speak wayyyy more, I almost never do. But I can read the Book of Mormon now and people can understand what I’m saying!! I don’t know what I’m saying but I can officially read in Spanish. The best and funniest thing that happened this week would for sure be when we got a BUNCH of new Latinos in our casa. For some reason we are the only Americans all the time, we love our new missionaries and we practice our Spanish and they practice their English. So their first night here we talked with them for a while.  My comp can’t roll her rrrrs to save her life. It’s really funny. But I asked them to help her and after like 10 min of them giving her words and me saying them,one girl just looked blown away and she told me when I speak I sound just like a Mexican!!!! All of them were like ya you do! But then one said you have a great accent but you can’t speak and told my comp you can speak but have a terrible accent, haha! I’ll take what I can get though!

Ok I’m gonna answer some questions I got in my letters for you mom! OH you go mom! I love hearing about how your losing weight and how working out is going! I know you can do it! We had a lesson from our CCM Prez and he talked about saying specific prayers and how important they are! He told stories of crazy specific prayers.  Like one girl was having a hard time making a decision on who to marry so she said a specific prayer that one of her 2 boyfriends would call her at 1:30 in the morning and tell her he was reading in patriarchal blessing and would say you need to marry me. AND IT HAPPENED all us missionaries were like what?! But ya I’m gonna start doing things like that for the mission. So anyway, my point being say a specific prayer about how much weight you want to lose in a week or how far you want to run on a certain day and I know God will help you accomplish your goals! You go hot mama!

OH and sorry this is all over the place but letters from the Delivery Service can be however long they will print all the pages! So send letters, I love them.

A blog for my emails sounds awesome! Whatever you could work out would be way cool! 

So the story with my eye is they’ve been red and puffy since I got here.  There would be times where I would need to take out my contacts and wear my glasses cause my eye hurt so bad. So on Sunday I finally asked my comp if we could go to the doctors.  I waited till after sacrament and we went and she was so sweet. Before that she made me lay down and put a warm wash cloth on my eye and said “I’ll call the doctor for you.” OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE HER! But ya the doctor gave me magic intense eye drops and now they are all better! WAHOOO.

Hmmm I have some other random thoughts.... My fav teacher ever is switching to teaching a different class and we were all soooo sad! She was our pretend investigator before we knew they were fake so we all love her so much! Funny story. The other day in class I was having the hardest time saying a word and when I finally got it she gave out the loudest and most amazing “ARRIBA” ever and I’ve never been more happy in my whole life. Ok that is a stretch but it was pretty sweet! Then after class she taught me how to do it. So basically I’m Mexican now.

Oh and I see Scierra Woods like everyday! We are in the same building for our classes! She was the one who showed me around the first day and when we saw each other we just hugged forever but ya I forgot to mention that! 
Yes! She got the Krispy Kreme donuts and chocolate milk
 Thank you

We went to the temple today and I loved it! We finally got to go outside these fenced walls and it made me so excited to get to Guadalajara! One girl in our casa is actually from Guadalajara! We hear the food is crazy spicy and that’s coming from Mexicans. So we will see how that goes. But anyway, I loved the temple just two districts went so like 16 people. We had headsets for English. The temple is Aztec-y and fits into Mexico perfectly! I’ve got some sweet pics I’ll send! I love my district and zone. We actually had a district leave on Monday so we got a new one.  It’s weird how they seem so much younger than me when really we are all the same age ha. On a fun note, Elder Sanders, the elder I flew with, wants me to write a battle rap for him. It’s kinda my districts thing... But I told him I’d only do it on p day so I’m gonna work on that with my companion today. We’ve got some good ideas haha  I can’t think of anything else new but I love you all and keep me in your prayers! You are always in mine! 
Hermana Acor 

November 5th, Week 1 in the CCM: Love my companion, district and zone!

Ok I hope this email will make sense cause I have soooo much to say! Also excuse my spelling, the Spanish and English are getting to me! 
So to say a little more about me arriving here! I told you it was just me and Elder Sanders on the plane. He is actually in my district! He is so funny and we have an awesome joking relationship! But anyway once we got to LA there were 18 other missionaries there and we all flew to Mexico City together! Once we got here we ate, they showed us around and then we unpacked our bags. My companion is Hermana Lyman and she is the sweetest, kindest and most patient person ever! She’s 22 and just graduated from Utah State in Communications! She took 2 years of Spanish in college so, ya,  she’s pretty good and she helps me a TON with my Spanish! My district is also amazing! We are all so different but all get along so well! My district leader’s name is Elder Winn and we are pretty close! He’s good at Spanish too. My companion and I are the only sisters, there is only 8 of us. My zone is also amazing and all so outgoing and fun! We all actually played beach volleyball today for like 3 hours haha! But one of the districts leave on Monday so it will be interesting to see who the new zone leader is. 

We taught our first investigator on Friday! Ya really!!! I was like uh “ya” I don't even know Spanish but I read some and my comp translated for me! We have actually already taught her 5 times! There are rumors going around that after they are an investigator they become our teacher so we will see. But our lessons went so well and the Spirit was so strong. This last lesson I was able to say more and she was able to understand me when I read and I understand wayyyyyy good. There will be times someone will talk to me in Spanish and I totally know exactly what they are saying its nuts! I just need to work on speaking I am getting it slowly but it’s coming! 

Mom will be happy to know I hadn’t even cried until yesterday.... ha I was going so good and I haven’t been homesick or overwhelmed or anything and then yesterday we were switching companions and making sentences with each other.  I was with Elder Winn and he was nicely helping me and I just lost it! I was a mess, poor guy haha.  But really he was way nice and had tons of good advice and once I stopped he helped me learn what I was doing wrong.  My teacher showed videos on the gifts of tongues and Elder Lima told me he’d pray for my Spanish. Which is so sweet because he doesn’t even speak English at all as mom knows when he wrote her. It is kind of a long story how I know him. But quickly I sat by a lady who knew him on the plane to LA and she said to look for him.  He is a service missionary so he can have his phone and what not.  She told him to find me and we saw each other the other day so he checks up on me almost every day and tries to talk to me in Spanish. But after my embarrassing episode he wrote me a note that I’m sure he used google translate to write and it was so sweet and just said how I’ll get my Spanish and I have a sweet spirit and such, it was so sweet of him so no worries I’m well taken care of and of course my companion hugged me and made me feel better. I feel bad sometimes because she’s way advanced and I’m so not but she always says she doesn’t mind helping me and she has taught me sooooo much! I’m so grateful she my companion. I know God knew i needed her! I’m sorry this email is so all over the place but like I said, I have so much to say and my thoughts are all over the place. 

I’m rooming with Hermana Matthews and Hermana Archuleta (David Archuleta’s sister) hahahahahahahahah We are all best friends now! They are both so sweet! We have the 4 girls sharing a bathroom and all of us have getting ready down in 30 minutes!!! Fast Sunday here was so spiritual! We had such good lessons and the fasting really allowed me to fully feel the spirit! The spirit in the CCM is so crazy strong and is in every second of everyday. I’m slowly understanding the language but for sure keep those prayers coming. I feel them working! They have been keeping me calm and clear minded. Just some extra prayers on me being able to remember what is taught to me. I ask so many questions and people will tell me how to say things and I do it perfectly and then I can’t remember!! So frustrating but I know with prayers and time it will come. 

So here in Mexico, as I’m sure some of you know, they have “Day of the Dead” instead of Halloween and oh my goodness they go all out! We keep our windows open at night. There’s s a little town that lives on the hill right next to the CCM and they are soooooo loud all night!! We hear music, cannons, "fireworks" (that’s what they tell us) and singing! It was bad the other nights. But most nights it’s just some music and "fireworks" ha, makes me really feel like I’m in Mexico. The CCM is way nice and we aren’t allowed out except for going to the temple which we will do next week wahoooooooooo!!! 

Let's see on Monday nights our zone does family home evening and it was our zone leaders last one so they gave heart felt lessons.  Oh man, I wish I could describe it! Everything is just so amazing and fun and I love it! The food is good I’m actually surprised at how much I like it! We have total Mexican food for breakfast sometimes like tamales. The other day they had toast with beans on it. Ha, ya, I didn’t eat that but they always have cereal for an option so someday I just eat that when I’m not feeling like experimenting. We have an hour of gym time every day and my comp who I forgot to mention is from Tooele Utah kicks my butt in gym. She loves to work out, which is awesome, she gives me work outs and we go hard! I’m totally going to leave in better shape than I came! We have a little store here and each week we get 120 peso to spend on anything food, snacks notebooks, drinks, hangers… anything! My district has been experimenting with the Mexican candy and it’s pretty interesting but not bad! They have the best chocolate! That’s all i have to say for now, I think. 

love you all and if you can write letters and they get here in time I would love that! I look at all my pictures often and it makes me miss you guys but I know your watched over and I’m doing what I need to! I love you guys like crazy and I’m going to try to send pics! If not this week, next for sure! I hope I answered your questions. And mom, I pray about 7:15 am and then again at about 10:30pm everyday. Yes, I would love it if we prayed at the same time! I can’t wait to hear from you all!!! 

Love you lots!  
Hermana Payton Acor

October 28th 6:30 p.m. Arrived in Mexico City Safe! A quick mail home...

"I have a few minutes to write and tell you I made to the CCM! Me and another elder were the only missionaries on our tiny flight so we talked a lot and I sat by a really nice lady who talked to me the whole time. Im grateful this elder was with me because once we got to LA we had to take a shuttle to a different part of the airport and I would have never figured that out! Then at the LA airport we met up with 18 other sisters and elders! Everyone is so nice! And yes David Archuleta's sister is in my group.  I got a pic with her just for you guys! I also have no idea how to work this keyboard! On the flight from LA to Mexico City was a little over 3 hours and I sat by the elder I had been with and this young girl who talked to me the whole time.  Both people I sat by were members. But the driving in Mexico City is crazy but I got my name tag and I am waiting for my companion to get to the CCM! Out of all the girls there is only two of us serving in Mexico but I get along with everyone! I love you guys and miss you already but I love it here! I am excited for this new experience!"

Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Hermana Acor 
December 7th 2015 ] [Branch13 - Districtb]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

October 28, 2015 5 a.m. SLC airport departure for the Mexico MTC

Payton arrived at the SLC airport at 4:30 a.m. on October 28th to get ready for her 7 a.m. flight to the Mexico City MTC.  No other missionaries in sight! 

This blog is being set up by Payton's mom, Shannon Acor, to share with her friends and family her missionary experiences while serving an LDS Mission in Guadalajara, Mexico. 
October 2015-May 2017

Mexico Guadalajara Mission
Apartado Postal 51-74
Colonia Las Aguilas
45081 Zapopan, Jalisco