Thursday, August 29, 2013

...and there begins this weeks adventures!

Listos? bueno :)
Well! this week was fun! thusday night President Alvorado (such a cool guy) brought me and Elder Mangum out into the hall and asked us to be ZLs! [zone leaders] and there begins this weeks adventures!

I didnt think it would be much since were in the CCM, and its not that much, but its more than i thought! We had the next 2 days to set up all the meetings. We are in charge of lessons for leadership and priesthood meetings, as well as all of sacrament meeting. so all the prayers and hims and seven speakers. not a big deal. we assigned the leadership lesson out and took priesthood for ourselves (since we only had a day to prepare). assigned the other stuff. but every night we work with all of the district leaders and try and help them with any problems with companionships or anything else. as well as help them learn how to keep the district motivated and dilligent. FLIRTING IS A HUGE PROBLEM HERE! i dont know if its just because of the age change or what but there are many people who are struggling! thats a huge focus of our meetings with the DLs. staying appropriate with the hermanas! we have people trying to single off and companionships singling off with other companion ships... we arent even ssupposed to go out of our way to talk to the hermanas! or have a conversation with them about anything other than missionary work! its ridiculous how hard it is for some people to understand this. There are girls literally stalking my comp. we were playing soccer (by we i mean the district, i promise im being good with my knee) and these girls are just sitting outside of the court... we played 20 minutes over and they waited, then as soon as we left they followed and started talking to Elder Mangum. it was raining pretty hard one night after dinner and we were kinda sitting there hoping that it would die down a bit (no i dont have an umbrella, im going to the dryest place on this planet! i dont wanna buy one and then only use it for the next 10 days!) so we didnt have to get soaked and these girls come and one of them says "come on lets run!" and her comp says "no lets just stay here and wiat" then starts chatting it up with Elder Mangum. luckily hes a good guy cuz hes said " well ready elder!" and we ran off through the rain. THEN THEY FOLLOWED US! thats alright, were working on it. getting better. its all a learning process. 

That all isnt a huge deal, just more adventures :) the hard part is the heart ache! i really do love all these people. i want to help them as much as i possibly can! last night we had an hermana in tears just struggling so hard. her DL [district leader] gave her a blessing and that was good. Its just sad. i want to help her. i lost sleep over it! but its ok because today is pday so we took a short nap :) anyway. not complaining at all. its just a lot.

Anyways! our lesson in pristhood went really well! we can speak spanish enough to give a half hour lesson! im feelin happy with it. i know as soon as i get into the field im gonna be dying again but at least i will be able to contribute a little in the lessons! its the speed that kills me most! when people talk fast i just die hahaha. but thats alright! im gonna learn! were speaking spanish almost all the time. only like words we dont know. but as much as we possibly can we do. its good!

man, this letter has like 0 structure! ummmmmmmmmmm life is interesting :) i love it here but im soooo super duper excited to leave and get out into the field. the time just flies here. im interested to see what it will be like in the field! oh! we had another live broadcast devotional on tuesday! Elder Anderson :) that was good :) life is just good! im just happy right now! yay! LOVE YOU ALL! THANK YOU ALL! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Another step forward

This week was just another step forward. the language is coming along still. im learning new stuff everyday, learning how to work harder. teaching more lessons. and just growing so much. This sunday i was able to give a five minute talk on faith all in spanish. full five minutes. full spanish. and a good talk to! yep, it was pretty sweet. its awesome to keep understanding more and more about the language. to become fluent i need more practice, but i understand more now because of all the concepts ive learned. I also LOVE to study the BoM. I have one hour of personal study everyday and i always use all of it just to read and mark and love the Book of Mormon. sunday night we had a devotional recording by David A Bednar. i learned sooo much from that one! David A Bednar, an apostle, vigorously studies conference talks. its so cool. you never have an excuse to quit. then he showed us how. just a great talk. it was a lot about the importance of the living prophets and how we need to remember to read their words. then on monday we listened to the talk on Grace by Brad Wilcox. Its amazing that i can just pick out so many new things even though ive read it twice before. things i needed personally. then that night we just had like a little district chat session and Elder Strang shared this quote from "Believing Christ", "Mercy can only be mercy if we dont deserve it, if we deserve it its justice." i thought that was very profound. we need to fully accept the mercy of Christ as mercy. knowing that our mistakes arent taking away from it. thats why its called his mercy. Then tuesday night devotional by the area 70. He told us that he sicerely hoped that these were not the best two years of our lives. he hoped that we would go on to have so much more joy. he just hopes they are the best 2 so far. He also talked a lot about the importance of knowing that GOD IS OUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. as missionaries its easy to just skim over that in the first lesson then keep moving to the fist vision. he made sure we knew that people needed to know that. God loves us all, and Jesus Christ is always there for us. then wednesday was just another day! more learning! more teaching! more studying! more spirit! always joy! good stuff! today we went to the temple again, i understood so much more, spanish and spiritually. good day. good life

I am so sorry for any complaining that i have done. Its amazing here. my life is amazing. the work is amazing. its all just amazing. MY LIFE IS SO GOOD! i am incredibly blessed


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hello All!

HOLA! comó estan? quieren una carta en español? hmmmm. sí, pero estará pequeno. Me encanta vida aqui. La obra es perfecto. Yo hablo español casi todo tiempo! es Muuuuy difícil pero, esta bien. buen practica. mi camara es fantastico! muchas gracias! me gusta mucho. Yo tengo más fotos para ustedes hoy! yo quiero saber más a cerca de la escuela! bien? esta un bueno día :) me encanta correo. yo tengo que dar un discoursio en la reunion sacramental en domingo... esta bien. yo puedo. según esta carta, mi español es mejorando. les amo :) nos vemos... en dos años ha

Well this week has been another crazy week at the CCM! i dont feel like theres a lot to say because not that much has changed other than my knowledge!

ummmm Elder Mangum and I have decided to speak in as little english as possible! thats going really well, i have learned a lot since we started. our new teacher is pushing us really hard! its good stuff! Sunday was good, its always good to have that sort of break day. one of the districs left this week. it made me sooooooo excited to get out there! i know i need this time but im excited! on tuesday we had a LIVE broadcast form Provo utah! that ROCKED! they anounced that one of the apostles would be speaking ( this was during dinner) and we were all soooooooooo excited to find out who it was! so we got to the auditorium at 715, 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start and found out that it was actually not until 8. so we waited for 45 minutes for it to start... then finally it came and it was Richard G. Scott, ashamedly... i was dissapointed, but i prayed that i would be able to have a good experience and learn the lessons that were going to be there. then he basically just knocked my socks off. it was amazing. he gave a talk on prayer, which ws good because as missionaries we pray like all the time. so much praying. and he was explaining the importance and the significance and it was just REALLY profound. i was learning so much and taking notes like crazy. then at the end he talked about those of us learning a language and he gave us an Apostolic Blessing, big deal. He promised us that we would all have the gift of tongues and the guidance of the holy ghost through our faith, diligence, use of the language, obedience, prayer, and effort at making our companionships better. so that was really cool. then yesterday was just another day of study and learning. This morning we went to breakfast then headed over to the Temple... all in spanish, but it was sweet. I felt the spirit soooo strongly. it was just an amazing experience. the temple down here is huge! it has 3 stories! wow! it was really cool. it was crazy driving through the city again. i have a few more pictures of it that i will upload. it is nuts here. i cant explain it and pictures will never do it justice. its just so strange. 3rd world mixed with westerized culture. nuts. oh! and i get to give a talk on sunday... hard. but its only five minutes. not too bad. im lovin life! as always! feeling blessed! miss you all! les amo!
 This is what we live on here in the CCM as Elder Munson likes to say.... such is Mexico

 The district - Back row: Elder Gold, Elder Dudley, Elder Rallison, Elder Thompson, Elder Herring, Elder Strang, Elder Mangum, Elder Munson  Front: Hermana Gatherum, Hermana Lundin, Hermana Francis

Mexico City Temple  

Pics from the drive through Mexico the temple

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The CCM (MTC in Spanish) is NUTS!

Hello once again FAMILY! I love you all! the CCM (MTC in Spanish) is NUTS!

Its pretty here :) also.. didnt realize this picture was so huge haha. i will have to change my settings.

When we flew into mexico city we literally could not see the end of it. it just goes on and on forever. all these crazy colorful houses stacked on top of eachother with no plan or pattern. it was intense. plus everything was in spanish on the plane and on the ground! which was a surprise for me for some reason! immediately throuwn into the language. madness. but it was good :) luckily the plane didnt crash, i dont think i would have know how to find the exits or use those newfangled spanish oxygen masks, let alone unbuckle my seat belt! ;) it was good. the dallas airport was huge! like crazy huge! we had to ride one of the trams like i heard about! madness. sorry. i know its super jumbled but im just really excited and happy to be writing! there so much to say. anyways, we got in and got our bags, one elder didnt... but we got that figured out and he got it on thursday so it wasnt a problem at all. got our bags and went and met with 2 more plus the seven that had been on our plane, loaded up one of the big vans like the salt lake express has and headed out through mexico city. THE ROADS HERE ARE HORRIBLE! people dont use lanes, dont use blinkers, dont follow road signs, and the cops dont enforce it! i thought we were gonna die so many times! it was awful! but, we lived. then we got to write a letter and i went to my house (farthest house in the ENTIRE place) and met my knew companion. Yes BYU fans, my new companion is Elder Tanner Mangum, Former Eagle Idaho quarter back, Elite 11 quarterback, and future starter for BYU football. kinda awesome :) i was afraid he would be a jerk, like many quarterbacks i have heard of have been.......... but hes not. hes so fantastic. Amazing leader, hard worker, great at spanish, has the spirit, up beat, social. all around a great example. hes a great guy, i respect him a LOT. we get along really well! we moved out of our room with the 2 crazy elders and into an empty room in the house. [we were in a room with crazy elders. the first night they just played the "youre prettier" game, then the second night they fought like crazy. so we found an excuse to move to an empty room in the same house] it rocks. We have had fake investigators here and ours was named Carlos. the first lesson (friday, 2 days after we arrived) Elder Mangum took almost all of it because he knew the spanish. so i sat very lost except when i randomly understood and bore testimony. that was crazy cool. liked that a lot. anyways. he took most of lesson 1. but in the fifth lesson i took half of everything that was said, i bore testimony, prayed and game a short lesson blurb thing on  the word of wisdom (la palabra de sabiduría). every lesson i got a little better, and in 5 days i worked up to the point that i was able to understand 95% if what carlos was saying and even know how to give a lesson, with much studying. (the lesson vocab is hard because you dont use it as much). i think thats incredible. el don de lenguas es real. (the gift of tongues is real). plus when we teach it feals totally real. when he finally agreed to pray, (he wouldnt for a long time) it felt SO GOOD! it felt like we were changing this guys life! it was so great! when we taught lesson number 5 we gave him the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, he has a girlfried and they dont currently keep the word of wisdom, we were not prepared for that! but some how we made it through and once he realized that it was only to stop until AFTER marriage but then it could resume... he was good. so we set a date to be baptized and he agreed. yes, it did rock. sadly... we only get five lessons at a time with each investigator so we are done teaching Carlos. we will get a new one... or 2... soon. YAY!

soooo every one talks about how good the food is at the MTC and here at the CCM that is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE! its so bad. we have had half cooked pizza, every morning we have had either pancakes or waffles but they are SUUUUPER dry, and the only syrup is chocolate or strawberry syrup for icecream. which doesnt even tast like it does at home, its CRAZY sugary. luckily yesterday i found out that we have this lime yogurt that has the consistency of milk... not quite but probably like .75 milk.25 yogurt. super runny. so i dump that on my pancakes with sugar chocolate syrup and call it good. its survivable then. most of the time we barely even have any protein. and we almost always run out of drinks. plus were getting up to 800 from almost 600 in 2 weeks. i dont know how we are going to do this. one thing we do have a lot of is bread. i have so much bread. we all have so much bread. we eat losts of cereal and lots of bread. like 3 or 4 mini loaves a meal. we are probably going to die, but were still hungry so we fill up with bread! mucho pan. lunch is usually the best meal of the day. we just barely had the best meal i have had here during lunch. we had fried spicy chicken breasts and some potatoes! plus at lunch we always have beans and tortillas! so that good!

oops.... didnt mean to do that. sent it before i was done. its just crazy here, i love it though. im so excited to get out into the field and teach people for real! im so excited! life is great! i think about home mostly around meal times... but its not bad, its not like painful. just thinking about it. wondering how everyone is doing and how its all going. at night i basically just write in my journal pray with comp pray by myself and sleep. then wake up at 630 wondering how the heck 8 hours could have passed so quickly. my first day here was the longest day of my entire life. it was about as long as my entire last week home. literally. but it keeps getting better and better. always improving. i am super happy. i think i will upload a few random pics now too. also... we have a hermana in our district (that we do everything with... i very much llove my district) but hermana francis is... crazy flirty. we all just try to avoid her. luckily Elder Mangum is the man of choice so i dont even have to worry about it too much. its way easier for me than for him. if she ever says something too much i just start talking about Lexa and she goes away haha. oh Elder Mangum is the DL also. which he should be. and i love our branch president! His name is hermano Alvorado, hes got this awesome smile and he always shakes your hand then gives you a heart hug, or a hug that puts your hearts together. he just makes you feel awesome, and his spanish is super broken but its ok :) we all understand spanish pretty well even if we cant speak it very weel. our teachers never ever speak english, un less you say qúe signifíca then a spanish word, they give you a definition or english word back. its called SYL or speak your language, they plan for us to be totally immersed as much as possible so we learn faster. i think it works very well. mas fotografos.  nos vemos en una semana!

 part of the district

 super uncomfortable sleeping position. gotta love p day

El Maestro   hermano peterson. like him alot

 Lego hand statue monument

Mi Compañero

Elder Mangum and Elder Gold

 thats only part of the district

they have these random mirrors floating around

nacho cart [ala Nacho Libre]

one TINY part of Mexico city