Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Day

This is Elder Goode and Elder Mertz at the Salt Lake City Airport.  Don't they look amazing together?  Elder Mertz was one of the Elders who traveled to Chile with him yesterday.
Braxton sent a short email today at 11:30, our time. I believe he is two hours ahead of us. It was so good to hear from him and know he is well and happy.  I also appreciated his gratitude.  He has thanked us so many times in the past few weeks for all we do for him.  He is such a great young man.  We are really going to miss him, but so happy for this opportunity that he will have. 
Things are going really well. I only have 5 minutes to write today just so that you know that I´m okay. The flight to Chile was really long and I had a hard time sleeping so I am really tired today. Thanks for everything. They had us shift things to the small bag and my shoulder bag to have for the CCM. The larger bags are going to get sent to the mission home. We aren´t in the standard CCM though we are in another house that can house 27 missionaries. There are 14 of us going to the West mission. We are going to be the majority at this location. We are going to walk over to the CCM for classes but today we are just at the house. Chile is really nice I´m going to have a good time with everything. Sorry that the letter is so short due to the time constraint. I won´t be able to reply to your messages if you sent them back until P day which I still don´t know when it will be. I love you and thanks for all that you do for me. It will be good love you.
Braxton called last night from the Atlanta, Georgia Airport at about 8:00, just before he boarded the airplane.  He said he had a good flight from Salt Lake City to Atlanta, but it was long and he knew the next flight was going to be even longer.  He said when he got through security in Salt Lake there were ten or eleven other missionaries going to the Chile MTC, plus another missionary who was going back out and traveling with them.  From his email this morning, it looks like they picked up a couple more missionaries as there are now 14 in their group.  I am sure he will get to know them all really well in the next six weeks as they study together at the CCM, as the Chile MTC is called.  We looked up CCM before Braxton left.  It stands for Centro Capacitacional Misional and means center of training for missionaries or to make fit, to make qualified, or to make capable. That is just what missionaries need to become while at the MTC. 
Other Spanish abbreviations that are good to know.  LDS translates to SUD and CTR translates to HLJ.

There are now 14 Missionary Training Centers.  This link will show you information about each of them.
This is a photo of the Chile CCM.  It is located on the temple grounds of the Santiago Chile temple, so he will get to see that beautiful building each day as he prepares.  I am sure that will bring a peaceful spirit into his heart as he gets to walk on these beautiful temple grounds and feel of the spirit that is present in these sacred places.   
I found this awesome link for a 3 D view of the Santiago Chile temple and grounds.
The building at the back of the temple on the other side of the fountain, is the CCM.  In the 3D tour the windows and doors are removed, but I am fairly certain it is the same building as in the photo above.  The history page on the link below says that the CCM is on the third floor of this building and the lower floors are used for temple patron housing.  The missionaries are housed in other buildings nearby.

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