I leave in three days!!! Gosh I am so stoked to get out of this prison and into the real world. Don't get me wrong I have loved it here but I am so ready to get out. I feel pretty good with my spanish I just need to learn more words. I totally feel like I have plateaued here so it will be nice to move on. I know once I get out there I will be very humbled but it is ok I know it is part of the process. I just can't wait to help real people because when we do it in TRC on wednesdays it is just the most satisfying feeling to help real people. With that it is also the hardest feeling when you mess up or you don't know what to do for someone. We had an experience like that once and it was rough. But idk I just love this work so much I cannot wait. Not going to lie tho I am freaking out about the weather. Even walking around here in 70 degree weather you get really hot and during gym time I get soaking wet. I cannot imagine 30 degrees hotter riding a bike all day! Gosh that just sounds so terrible. Hopefully I will be ok pray for me por favor. I will get to emailSaturday again so email me back before then so I can hear from you. But I will tell you about my week.
Last P-Day we were in clase and my comp was looking at his hands cuz he had some weird red circles on them. I was like dude no way do they kinda hurt and he said that they did. I was like bro you got staph! He hadn't heard of it and didn't think it was a big deal but I made him go to the doctor and he confirmed my diagnoses ha. I want to give a quick shout out to Kaylen. Thanks for having staph so many times bro cuz I knew all about it and saved my comps life ha. So thanks bro, hope you don't get in again. Anyway now I am kinda worried about getting it. I have tons of blisters on my feet from playing soccer everyday and stuff it would be really easy for me to get it. Hopefully I will be ok tho. I just need to make it another couple of days. Last friday there was an insane rainstorm here. I have never seen rain come down that hard and the raindrops were massive. You would be soaked in two seconds. It even hailed at one point it was crazy. And there was tons of lightning and thunder it was really cool and fun. It rains here almost everyday at some point and the weather is perfect it is awesome. Last weekend we really got to know our hispanic roommates. Every night they would chill in our room and we would just talk till bedtime, sometimes a little later ha. But they left Sunday morning. It was really sad they are so cool. Hopefully I will keep in contact with them.
Sunday was incredible of course! Leadership meeting and priesthood meeting went really well. We had some awesome lessons on serving in the priesthood. For sacrament Presidente Pratt and his wife came to our ward. Everyone was super nervous and I dogged a major bullet by not having to talk or anything. I felt bad for all the people who had to but they all did a really good job. In the presidency class Pratt taught us about the priesthood and how it is to save and serve others not for ourselves. The devotional was from the CCM director and this dude is an absolute stud. He is 32 and has 3 kids and a good looking wife. He is the director of the CCM, a bishop, and almost has his PhD from BYU. Plus he is the coolest and funniest guy ever. Anyways he gave a great talk. He basically talked about how we need to move on from our lives back home and be completely dedicated to the work and not be like Lott's wife. I think he was talking about me and my comp in his talk. We worked with him in welcoming the new people on Wednesday and while we were unloading the buses with him we kept singing songs from home. We do that like non stop everyday ha. We have a song of the day and stuff it is fun. Makes me miss cruising with the sub bumpin. But he mentioned that in his talk and we knew it was for us. And we have bro talks every night as a district and sometimes we talk about things back home and our girls from home and stuff. Idk I don't think all that is bad but we just could focus on the mission more. We won't have as much time on our hands when we are in the field ha. Then at night we watched a movie about John Tanner. It was really cool and I had heard about him a couple times before. What an absolute stud to do what he did for the church and to have the faith to be healed. It was a really good movie! After the movie we always sing ''God be with You Till We Meet Again'' in spanish for all the people leaving. That song is gorgeous and it is so sad thinking that we are going to be leaving everyone next week. It is going to be really hard to say by to my friends we have gotten really close but hopefully we will keep in contact. That night we said good bye to all of our friends leaving and it was tough. Goodbyes suck and you have to do it so many times on your mission. I guess it is just part of the whole experience. But it was an awesome Sunday.
Monday was pretty decent as well. In the morning we taught our ''investigator'' and we had our best lesson yet. He tried to throw us a curve ball but we went with it perfectly and idk it just went awesome. We helped him a ton and our spanish was just flowing. It definitely gave me confidence in my spanish but I know the second i get into the real world I will realize how bad it is again. Nothing else really happened. I heart a heart to heart with my buddy elder Hoeft. It was awesome I love having those talks. Stuff like that an bro talk keep me sane in this place ha. My districto is the best.
Tuesday was good as well. It was a pretty normal day. At lunch we got yelled at by Presidente Pratt. We were walking to dump our trays and he literally sprinted over to us and started yelling at us. He told us to always take our comps trays for them and never both of us dump our own. It was insane how worked up he got over that and he made a huge scene. I thought he was kidding at first but nope he was legitally mad. It was definitely an experience. Then at soccer there were some new kids there and they were being really immature. One kid tried to fight this kid over nothing it was so pathetic. It was a good reminder that it is still the real world and not every missionary is good. I just hope I don't get a comp like that but I am sure I will now that I say that ha. We had a devotional that night tho and that was really good. It was an area 70 and he talked about preach my gospel and how we don't teach memorized lessons we teach by the spirit and all that. It was pretty good I enjoyed it. Out group talk about it after was amazing tho. I love having spiritual talks! They are so uplifting and motivating they are just the best.
Wednesday was pretty good as well. We had our final lesson with Alexis our fake investigator in the morning. It went great and it was a perfect way to finish out with him. For lunch we had chicken cordon bleu so I over ate of course. Then we found the director guy and talked him in to letting us skip clase again to welcome the new missionaries. So that was nice to get out of some clase time especially cuz our teacher en la noche had a baby so we got a new guy who is not very good but ya.
Today we went to the temple and it was awesome! It is one of the coolest temples I have ever seen. It was very unique and gorgeous. The drive over there was extremely sketchy but it was cool to see Mexico. People looked at us like we were really weid cuz we were so excited and took pictures of everything. The visitors center at the temple was really nice and ya. Idk its hard to write about cuz not much happened but it was insanely fun and got me really excited to go out into the field. And leaving the prision was super liberating ha. But that was my week. I will be on saturday sometime so ya. Love you all
^ On the highway
^Hope this isn't sacrilegious but it is us trying to be like Christ.
^ Haha our teacher is the best. He was acting like a fish.
^ Last time seeing this guy for two years. He was the best teacher ever I love him so much!
I get out of here in a week and a half!!! Gosh I am absolutely stocked to leave and get out in the field. As I talk about it I get butterflies but it is just going to be awesome. I know it is going to be a million times harder than it is here in the CCM but it is going to be a million times more rewarding. I am really nervous cuz I don't feel that great about my spanish. In here it is ok to mess up and stuff but out there if you can't speak the language you are messing with peoples salvation. Idk I wish I would have worked harder while I was here and spoke more out of clase. We never ever speak spanish outside of clase and that was a huge mistake. I know I am going to have to pay for it out in the field. I am sure it will all work out but ya it is pretty sketchy to be leaving so soon. Everyone says it goes by so fast but when I think back a week ago that seems so long ago so for me I guess it hasn't gone by too fast. It will pick up while I am out there tho.
This past week has been really good. Nothing really amazing happened till sunday. We play soccer everyday in an outdoor bball court. It used to just be a few of us but my comp and I recruited and now we have a massive group addicted. It is an absolute blast! On sunday we heard from President Tenorio cuz Pratt was gone. I slept through a lot of it unfortunately but I was awake for the end and it was awesome! He talked about specific prayers. At first I thought it was like just not saying general prayers and being more specific but no it was crazy! He shared with us a ton of stories of people who wrote him after he gave them this lecture and they were unreal! For example a girl had 2 prospects to marry and she didnt know who to choose so she prayed that whoever called her at 1:15 am and said some certain thing that that was the one she would marry. Well that happened and he said those exact words that she specified in her prayer. That is a very brief summary there was a lot more to it but it is just crazy how miraculous these prayers can be. I cannot wait to use one! They require a ton of faith so hopefully I will be prepared. After that we heard another talk from Bednar. He talked about the 5 things preach my gospel missionaries need to do. They are understand you represent Christ, be worthy, treasure the words of eternal life, know the HG is the real teacher, and know teaching is more than just talking. It was really good and I definitely have a ton to work on! Idk sundays are the best so ya.
Monday was pretty decent. They shut down our annual tie trade on saturdays so now my comp and I just go around and ask people if they want to trade. It is really fun! I started with a really crappy tie and ended up with a way cool one. I only have a couple I am willing to trade so I have been picky since but it is crazy how many people are doing it now. It is really fun! Monday was also very humbling. We had a districto in our zone leaving and I was asking them how they felt about spanish. I only have a week and a half before I go now and I have so much I need to work on before I get to the field! So it was good to get me refocused because I had gotten very lazy for awhile. We also watched a 10 minute video of part of talks from Presidents Eyring and Holland. It was awesome and they talked about how hard the missions will be. He said salvation is not easy and bringing people too it is extremely hard to do (especially in spanish!). And how we will get persecuted and get a taste of what it was like for Christ. I am so excited for that! I know it sounds weird but I really want to go up against some hard things were I can make a stand for my God and my savior. I can't wait for those moments and hopefully I will be able to ha. And I am sure it will help my love and appreciation for Christ grow even more.
Tuesday was pretty good. In clase we did a fundamental: the role of the HG in conversion. I learned a few really good things then we taught and focused on following the spirit. The girl I pared up with used a real experience and anyway it was crazy. I thought I was doing pretty good and the teach came over and stopped me. He said think and ask an inspired question right now. I stopped for a bit and asked a question. It was ok but then it led to another question and it completely changed everything! I knew exactly what direction to go and how to help her. It was crazy and we both felt the spirit so strong. It really was awesome that you can practice something like that. I cannot wait for it to happen in real life! We had a devotional that night but it was kinda rough. No one really got too much out of it. It was still ok though. Overall it was a good day. Wednesday was fine nothing major happened. We got to welcome the new missionaries and take them to their casas which was fun. It took me back to when I left and got here. I was so excited and didn't really know what to expect. Now my boys and I are running this place and know everyone ha. It is crazy how much changes in 4 weeks, especially with me. But I love you all and I hope you have a great week. Keep those emails coming I love them!
So this week has been pretty dope. Time is starting to pick up. I feel like i have been out a couple months but now each day is starting to not drag on so much. We have gotten into a pretty set schedule so I think that has a lot to do with it. So our 4th was so great! You definitely have more American pride when you are in another country. At breakfast I was surprised how many people wore red white and blue. It was just so fun and you could tell we all felt so united. In clase we sang the Star Spangled Banner to the flag we drew on the white board. It was pretty legit. The best part though was lunch. We walked in and they put out red white and blue table clothes on all the tables. They served pulled pork sandwiches with corn on the cob, waffle fries, and pie. It was so cool of them and it made everyone so happy to finally have some american food. I cannot tell you how much i miss it! At the end we all got up and sang the Star Spangled Banner together and it was just awesome. I got crazy chills from it. Literally down my whole body. It was so fun and definitely the highlight of the day.
So this sunday was awesome of course! We fasted from lunch to lunch so it really wasnt all that bad. Preisthood meeting was good. We talked about acting under preisthood keys and how if we are trying to complete a tast under the correct priesthood athority we are promised the spirit and we will get the task done. Testimony meeting was ok. No one speaks spanish really well so everyone just said the same simple things but it was still good. Our zone leaders left the day after so they called two new ones. Elder Vargas and I were called as the new zone leaders and he leaned over and said God has a sense of humor. Ha it is going to be a way hard time filling in for our old ones. They were awesome guys! I was worried because I already have so much stuff I need and want to do and there is just no time. Now we have a ton more to do. But we are going to pray a lot and do our best. Lift where you stand right? We had a lesson from president Pratt that was really good. It was about the power vs gift of the holy ghost. Everyone has the power of the holy ghost which is what we want our investigators to feel. However, we can only get the gift of the spirit after baptism. Even though we ''recieve the holy ghost'' that doesnt mean we just have him with us. We need to desire, seek, work, listen, be worthy, etc if we want the spirit to be with us. He also talked about how everything we do in the church is to inviet the spirit. It is essential in our lives so i invite all of you to pray for and work for the spirit. I can attest to how much you need him.
Our devotional that night was from Elder Holland! He went so hard of course and it was amazing. It was all towards missionaries tho so I wont share too much. He talked about how when he went they just memorized lessons and gave them to everyone even tho everyone has different situations. They just skipped right to trying to convert the investigator. He said that they didnt have much success and that lots of missionaries were falling away when they went home because they were not beng converted. Now with preach my gospel the focus on converting the missionary first and relying on us to figure out how to help the investigator. The biggest thing is being led by the spirit but numbers have skyrocketed and with like 90,000 of us we are growing like crazy. He also talked about how if we go through with this we can never go back. It was like when christ asked peter if he would leave behind his nets and everything. We can never go back and I am so excited to take that on myself.
That night we watched the newer Joseph Smith video. Gosh that man was such a stud. I cannot believe he went through all that and continued with the work and never waivered. I am so thankful for his example and the work he did. We are so lucky to live in a time with Christ's gospel and prophets. It also hit me how amazing Emma Smith was. I never really thought to much about her before I guess but she was an incredible woman. To stand with him through all of that and not only that but help and support him. That takes an incredible woman to do all of that. But ya I loved the movie and it was very moving.
Tuesday was really good. Well all tuesdays are really good. I had a very powerful spiritual experience in the morning which was just incredible. That night we heard from Elder Neil L Andersen. He spoke on the spirit and I am not going to lie i was kinda disappointed. I thought it would be amazing and it just wasnt. I definitely learned some stuff and will apply it in my mission. But some stuff went wrong and it was very disorganized and he didnt get to say anything he wanted to and it was just hard. But it was still pretty good so ya. Yesterday i had an awesome experience! So our investigators are really teachers and they become our teachers after we are done to help us improve. It is really cool actually. But every wednesday we get real people. They can be investigators or members but it is so cool to get real people ha. Yesterday we got an actual investigator which was really scary. Peoples salvation depends on me ha. Anyway the hermanas taught him before us and they taught him to pray and a little bit about the church. They said he was really curious so me and Elder Vargas got ready to baptise this fool. Anyway we talked about what he had heard about the church and the Bom and stuff and his religious background. Then I asked why he decided to come here and he was curious about the BoM. I was like its game time. So we read some parts of the introduction and talked for awhile. Anyway it went incredible well and he got all excited to dive into it. He really wanted to read it and find out for himself if it was true. We ran downstairs and got him a copy. I sealed it with a testimony and ya. It was so exciting seeing how genuinely interested he was and i honesty think he will come into the gospel. And I placed my 1st BoM. It was just an awesome night and i am dying to get out into the the field to do that everyday. Anyway I love everyone so much and I am so thankful for all the support and emails. I am calling you out cody and tiff. I really want to hear from you guys and cody I need my sports update! Talk to you all next week.
^ My cleaning buddy! He hooks us up ^
^ My teacher. He is way tight! When we get home we are all going to meet up and road trip. ^
^ Me when I get home ha ^
^ Mail Lady. She is dope. ^
^ Our score guy! He hooks us up with all the world cup news. ^
So all is good here at the CCM. It was so good to hear from everyone but I felt terrible that i wasnt able to respond. I only get an hour to email everyone so ya. But I got a system down where I can type my group email before I get on my email so I will be better from here on out. It is funny how pumped everyone gets to email and recieve letters. When we get to the lab everone just starts going crazy and gets all excited. It is what we look forward to every week ha. And only 2 people in our districto have gotten letters but we have mail time everyday even tho we keep getting shut down ha. My district is the best and we always are having a good time. We probably need to slow down and study more but ya.
We are so pumped for the fourth! I got the 4th pick in the tie draft this sunday and pick me out a patriotic tie ha. We have been singing the 3 america songs in the back of the english hymn book this week and we drew a flag on our classroom board to say the pledge of alegiance to lol. I am so excited for tomorrow. We are not sure what we are going to do to celebrate but we always go big so ya. We definitely got some Merican pride going on down here. Our teacher just laughs at us all the time. He is way dope tho we always mess with him. I am going to miss chillin by the war zone with the family this year. You guys better send me some pictures of your 4th!
Everyday here at the CCM is pretty much the same except for P-Days (aka christmas), Sundays which are the best, and we have a devotional every tuesday night. I had to sing at the devotional this week. We sounded really good actually. We heard from the area 70 and his wife. It was pretty good. Yesterday we had our first TRC. It is a thing where we just talk to a person that our teacher has come talk to us. It is just me and my comp and it is for 40 minutes. It can be a member or a non member they just bring in whoever to talk to us. We got lucky our first time and got an 18 year old member and a 16 year old member. They were awesome and we just talked to them about random stuff the whole time. We had an absolute blast! The guy beatboxed for us too so we were just jammin ha.
It is crazy how every second of every day here is scheduled to a tee and it is so hard to get everything done that we need to. We only get like an hour a day to plan for the 2 investigators we are teaching. I havent really been able to just read my scriptures for fun since i got here. Idk i just wish there were more hours in the day. My spanish is coming along pretty good. I can talk to people and usually understand them decently. Depends how fast they talk ha. And I can speak pretty well but it is very broken spanish and I cant really conjugate future and past yet. Idk I feel bad for the people we have discussions with. I am sure they have a hard time undertanding what we are saying but it works out. I have only been here 14 days so thats not too bad. It feels like I have been here a couple months jeeze! Time goes by insanely slow!
I really want to share my sunday with you guys cuz it was just incredible. first of all i gave my first talk and it was ok. My spanish still sucks but Mexico scored a goal while i was talking and the whole city freaked out haha it was hilarious. I heard about how they lost. That is rough! I bet people down here destoryed the city. I didnt notice a difference though cuz there are always cop sirens going off. You just get used to it lol. We also got to hear from president Pratt for a bit then we watched a devotional from Elder Bednar that he gave christmas day in the provo mtc a year or two ago. It was literally the best talk i have ever heard and i really hope you all watch it. It gives you the key to life and is absolutely life changing. I will talk about it a little but really please try to find it and watch it!
First president pratts talk. It was on the grace of christ and how we are nothing without it. We can only do so much on our own and we need to be strengthened through the atonement and grace of christ in order to make up for the rest. i will definitely plead with god for this stregthening power everyday on my mission. But it applies to everyone like our investigators. We ask them to give up things with the W of W, L of C, tithing, etc... They can use this grace to be strengthened to do these things. I hope all you guys start praying for this cuz we all need help in our lives.
Now to the greatest talk ever givin!!! Elder Bednar is just the greatest man ever. His talk was about emulating the character of Christ. He talked about how christ always turned out when other people would turn in. He gave a few example stories but it really is awesome and that is the key to life. To really dig and find those things christ did in his life and make them who we are as well. and to always turn out or serve others instead of being selfish. We need to forget about ourselves. He also talked about how we need to be truely converted. Conversion is being constant to what we know. He said that having a testimony is only the beginning to conversion. Someone can have the strongest testimony of the gospel but not be converted and fall away. He said always turning out instead of in is a sign you are converted. I never knew this and it so awesome to know. It was exciting because I see that happening to me and i love knowing i am on the right path. He also shared some amazing insights on the story of the brother of jared. Idk i dont have much time but please watch it. It is an hour long but it will be the most benefitial hour of your life! Sunday afternoons or FHE would be perfect.