Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 4

¡Hola everyone! This week was so awesome! I can't believe how much Spanish we've learned in a month! We still have so much more to learn but we've come a long way. I love everything about being a missionary. The spirit here is amazing and I love this MTC. Everyone here is awesome. I love my district so much. We're one of the only districts that don't have any Hermanas and I'm amazed that we get anything done. Half of us are going to Viña del Mar and the other half is going to Milwaukee. Everyone has a different personality and somehow we all mesh so well together. It's awesome. And our teachers are the best. All of them are returned missionaries and they're such great teachers. One of them shared this really awesome poem/story about Christ. It was called The Day Christ Stayed Silent. It was so beautiful. Everyone should go look it up. Anyway, I can't express into words how excited I am to get to share this amazing message with real investigators. Only 13 more days and then it's for real. This gospel is true and you don't have to have a name tag to share it. I love all of you and I really appreciate all the prayers and support.

What he wrote to the family: Hola familia! I still miss and love all of you. This week was really great. Everyone in our district is so awesome. We get along so well and all of them have such strong testimonies. I'm sad that I have to say goodbye to half of them in two weeks. It's crazy though how many people here are going state side. Out of the 40 people in our zone, we're the only 4 going foreign. I'd say 60 to 70 percent of the American missionaries here are going stateside. I feel pretty lucky. Also the food here is really nutritious. Loads of vitamins and minerals. Literally. There was a rock in my frijoles lol. I forgot to take a picture but I taped it in my journal. The food actually is really good though. That's the only weird thing I've found in the food. Also, my district invented our own shuffle board game thing with the white board and the markers. We drew lines on each side of the white board with each section worth a different amount of points. Then we slide the white board marker across the bottom and try to get it to stop inside the sections to get points. We've set up some brackets and had a few tournaments lol. Also, one day at lunch when Elder Miller went to go get seconds, we put hot sauce in his nutella sandwich. He came back and took a huge bite and almost threw up lol. Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. There's only so much you can do in the MTC. I'm sure I'll have crazier stories once I get to Chile. 13 more days. Elder Christofferson comes tomorrow and I'm really excited. Me and my companion are ushers for it so there's a very high chance we get to meet him or at least shake his hand. Everything is awesome. It's so much harder than I thought but way more worth it too. I'm loving the packages except I think that's why I'm gaining weight lol but I'm not complaining. I've only gained 7 pounds. I can work that off when I get to Chile. Keep up the good work and always look for ways to help someone out. Life is a whole lot better when you forget about yourself. That's something I've definitely learned from being here. I love you all so much.

Pictures with some captions he wrote in the email:
The spirit is so strong here, it's literally blinding
Before haircut
After (just a little bit shorter than he's use to)
lol random water bottle picture
my new favorite kind of chips
Map of CCM. They're in house 48
Me lol (Still his same self)
His favorite teacher

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 3 (Halfway done at the CCM)

¡Hola everyone! This week was really awesome! And time is flying by. Today we are already halfway done with the CCM (MTC). It's crazy. I can't believe the improvement that my companion and I have had. He's such a hard worker and we are learning so quickly together. The two lessons we taught yesterday were so amazing. I could honestly say that I wasn't the one talking. Something that we focused on this week was listening. Before, I would tend to try to think of what I was going to say before it was my turn to talk. But we focused on listening and then just saying whatever we felt the spirit wanted us to say. It was so amazing. There were two things that happened. First we felt genuine love for our "investigator" because we listened to what she had to say. And second we learned that the spirit truly is the teacher. I felt the spirit so much and so much love for not even a real investigator. If that's anything like what it's like teaching a real investigator then I can't wait. Also we got to go the Mexico City temple open house today. It was so cool. They told us it's the largest temple outside of the US and 1 of 5 temples that has Moroni holding the golden plates. It was so pretty. Anyway, I love being a missionary and representing our Savior. It's hard to put into words how much I love this gospel. The happiness that it can bring to our lives is amazing. I love all of you and I hope you have a great week.

Part of what he wrote to the family: This is weird to say but we are so busy all the time that I like don't have time to be homesick. I still miss and love all of you so much but I'm here for a reason. To bring people this gospel so they can have the same knowledge that we have. I know I'm gonna see you guys again. But there are thousands of people in Chile who don't know that yet. Anyway, I know that this MTC is the best one in the world. It's so pretty where we are. It's so crazy cause it's literally in the middle of Mexico City. It's loco outside of the walls. (By the way mom, the walls are 8 feet of brick with 6 feet of barb wire fence and it's 24 hour surveillance and security. No one is getting in lol). But inside it's amazing. There's tons of palm trees and there are dozens of wild parrots that fly around. They're green and red and they're all over it's awesome. And every one of the workers is so nice. The lunch ladies, the maintenance, even the weed whacker guy stops and says hi. Well they say hola but you know what I mean. I love it here. It's funny cause outside the walls is loco. We hear "fireworks" every day lol. Also saturday nights are fiesta nights in the city. Our casa is right next to the wall and we hear it all. Last saturday, someone was playing the macarena so loud. It was funny lol. 

Him and his companion Elder Stagg
Playing the guitar in the middle of the street lol
If you look closely in this one you will notice that a man has painted himself silver lol
More loconess
The mcdonalds was one the nicest buildings we saw in Mexico City
loco loco
Him and Elder Allman
Him, Hermana Black, and Elder Allman

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week 2

Hola everyone! This week was awesome! It's totally true what they say about missions. Days are long, weeks are short. It seems like I was just emailing everyone yesterday. Anyway, me and my compañero are really starting to notice our spanish getting better. We taught another lesson yesterday and we actually felt really good about it. We have a long way to go but the gift of tongues is real. Also sundays are so awesome here. We watched a devotional from Elder Holland from a few years back and it was so awesome. He talked about being a missionary forever and truly being converted to the gospel. It was really great. Also we found out that Elder Christofferson is coming here in 2 weeks to do a devotional. I'm super pumped. A quote that I heard this week that I really liked. "Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles" Being a missionary you can't afford to just have blessings. Learning a language in 6 weeks is a miracle. Having complete strangers let a couple teenagers in their house and teach them is a miracle. Having someone completely change their lives to follow Christ is a miracle. The only way to have these miracles is by being exactly obedient. Me and my compañero really worked hard this week to be exactly obedient and we saw how much it helped us learn spanish and be able to teach with the spirit. This can apply to everyone though. If you want to see how God can perform miracles, be exactly obedient. Anyway, I love this gospel so much and I can't wait to share it with real investigators in less than a month. This gospel is the most important message that anyone can hear. Don't ever take for granted how lucky we are to be the few who know about it. I love you all and go share this wonderful message with someone who doesn't know about it.
To see pictures from my mission go to this link
password: Chile

An excerpt from the email to the family:
I have a funny story. So some words in spanish sound very similar but can mean very different things. Kinda like in English. So "amaroso" means loving and "almuerzo" means lunch. So sometimes Heavenly Father is lunch lol. Also "pecado" means sin and "pescado" means fish. So sometimes through Jesus Christ we can be freed from our fish lol.

Typical Day in the CCM

6:30 Wake up, shower, study
7:30 Breakfast
8-9 Personal Study
9-10 Prepare and teach investigator
10-11 Language Study
11-12 Coaching on How to Teach
12-12:30 Study time
12:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Gym Time
3-4 Language Study
4-5 Prepare and teach investigator
5-6 Gospel Doctrine Class
6:00 Dinner
7-9 Language Study
9-9:30 Planning
9:30-10:30 Personal Time

He says he has Nutella toast with every meal

Me and my comañero made friends with some Nativos and they're way funny. They don't speak English but somehow we understand them lol

We ordered Krispy Kreme donuts for him

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week 1

Hola everyone! The first week in the CCM (MTC) was so awesome! The first three days were super hard but everyone kept saying "Just make it to Sunday" And it was so true. Sunday was really awesome. There's no spanish classes so you get a little break from learning but we got to watch a talk that Elder Bednar gave in the Provo MTC a few years back. And it was exactly what I needed. Anyway, my companion is Elder Stagg. I'm so glad he's my companion. He's such a hard worker and we really get along well. We got to teach our first lesson in Spanish on friday. Let me tell you it was rough. But every time since we've gotten better and been able to invite the Spirit more. Also the gift of tongues is real but it's a process. God only gives it to us if we do our best and work for it. I can't believe how much we've learned in a week in the CCM. It was really discouraging at first because we talked to guys who have been here for 3 or 4 weeks and they were so good. But with prayer, fasting, and working hard, I can see how much God has helped me and my companion. The spirit in the CCM is amazing. Everyone is going through the same homesickness and struggle to learn spanish but we all are relying on the Lord to help us through it. It's so awesome! They just opened the brand new cafeteria last week and it's really nice. And the food is actually pretty good. Except I learned about the beans the hard way lol. This week was full of a lot of emotions but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. The people in Chile need this gospel and they need to know the peace that it brings. Something funny I learned this week was if this church wasn't true, missionaries would've screwed it up by now lol. Because at the end of the day we're just a bunch of teenagers. The only difference is we have the spirit of God and that's the only way we are able to teach and spread this wonderful gospel. I love you all and I hope everyone is doing great!

What he wrote to the family but I wanted to share: Hey guys! I just want you all to know that I love you and I miss you all so much! Thank you for all the emails. It makes me miss everyone even more but I love them. The spirit is so strong here and I love it.  I'm gonna be honest, the first three days sucked. They were the longest days of my life. I didn't know anyone and I missed you guys but once I made it to Sunday it got a lot better. It was fast Sunday so we all fasted together for help with the language and stuff. Then we watched a talk from Elder Bednar. It was awesome. It was about turning out instead of inward just like Christ would do. I was pretty selfish the first few days. I was struggling with the language, I was homesick. Ever since I started to think about and help others, everything got a lot better. They always say that the most important conversion is yourself but what I didn't realize is the only way that happens is when you lose yourself in the work and don't think about yourself. And that can apply to life in general too. Love you guys!

Him and his companion Elder Stagg

They spelt his name wrong on the first one haha
Of course he talked the guy into letting him ride it
Him and his best friend Bridger