Kacy spent three weeks at the CCM (Centro de Capacitación Misional). He arrived without any problems, except for the fact that he missed his haircut on the first day, so he was the only missionary in the CCM who still had all his hair (his roommates told him that before he goes out into the mission field, the guy who cuts hair practically shaves people bald, so he thought about hiding with them in the bathroom and waiting to get a haircut in the city).
Here are some of the things Kacy had to say about his time in the CCM:
On Life in the CCM
It took me a while, but I finally adjusted to the the ridiculously (and I mean ridiculously) tight schedule they have here. The CCM is a really great place! I think my favorite place is the cafeteria (Comedor). I’ve eaten Peruvian food all my life, so that wasn’t much of an adjustment for me. I can sit down and gorge myself pretty comfortably. Plus we get ice cream with every meal!
The weather´s pretty nice; since it´s still winter, it´s a little cool, but it never gets hot, which is perfect. Elder Thayn (my CCM companion) says he wants to live in this kind of weather for the rest of his life! As far as classes go, I would describe it as a mix of mission prep and seminary, in that we learn doctrine and also role play a ton so we can put it into practice. I think the hardest part still is that everything I do has to be in Spanish. I was put into the advanced 3-week program, which means my companion and I have been roomed with natives and have to do literally everything in Spanish. It was super intimidating at first, especially since we had a big meeting in the auditorium the first day where all the natives were sharing their opinions and practicing teaching and I was having the hardest time just following what was going on. But total immersion isn´t so bad now.
On His Roommates/Companions
I´m pretty sure Elder Thayn (my CCM companion) and I are late to literally everything, and I think that fact, combined with the fact that we don´t speak Spanish as often as we´re supposed to, makes the teachers think we´re punks or something. WE TRYIN THO. And slowly but surely, we´re improving.
Elder Villegas has had to go to the medic´s office two or three times for his hand. A few days ago, he dislocated his thumb playing basketball. The next day, he tripped while playing soccer and made it worse. Then a couple days later, he was playing soccer again, tripped again, and bruised the same hand super bad. Man, that guy never gets a break. It´s interesting that we’ve both gotten the impression that we´re going to be companions at some point in the mission. He´s a really great guy. After the mission, he plans on going to Utah, improving his English (he didn’t speak a word of it before he met Elder Thayn and I), and studying at BYU.
My roommates are all homies. They teach me and Elder Thayn Spanish, and we teach them English. I´m finding it much easier to understand what the teachers are saying, and just slightly easier to share my thoughts. The language is definitely still my biggest struggle, but at least when I speak slowly and softly, it´s easier for the Spirit to be present, right? I think my favorite moment of the week was fast and testimony meeting with the native elders and sisters. Almost all of them come from broken homes and sad family stories, and in every story the missionaries meet them and help them turn their lives around, inspiring them to become the next generation of missionaries. This truly is a marvelous work and a wonder, brothers and sisters!
On the Different Mission Areas
Lima Central is the smallest mission in the area. In fact, it´s smaller than the temple marking on our area map. Still, there are so many people to serve! I think the funniest stories I’ve heard of our mission are of Callao, the hood of Lima. As a missionary, you always have to bring a few soles (Peruvian currency) to pay robbers in Callao, and generally if they come up to you and say they like your tie, that´s a sign that you should hand it over if you don’t wanna get shot or something. That reminds me, one of the nicest parts of Lima is also in my mission. They tell me that Miraflores, the pretty part of town, is mostly in Central! So we get the good and the bad.
On His Role as a Missionary
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I´m kind of a special case out here. I´m not struggling quite as much as the gringos are with the language and the culture and stuff, but at the same time I’m not a convert who´s had the struggles a lot of these natives have seen. But either way, I´m here to do what´s right, and that´s sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
And finally, I want you all to know that I know without a doubt the church is true. If I did´t know this with all the power of my soul, I would never fly thousands of miles away from home to talk to strangers every day in a third-world country.