Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sat., 11/12/2016

They wanted me to take a couple minutes and write yall an email because there has been a travel change. The mission president requested that we stay here an extra week; we are assuming he wants to change the transfer schedule and so we will be staying an extra week. We are going to be in latino districts! Elder Brower and I are in one district, 2 elders in another, and a trio in another district of latinos. That means EVERYTHING is in spanish. I am excited but slightly bummed we have to wait a week. Because of this, my next Pday is going to be on JUEVES(THURSDAY), so itd be nice to get emails by then. Thank you Dad for sending me an email this past week, I didnt get it on time but since I didnt get emails from anyone last week its nice to have something to read today, and I got special permission to read it today. Yall have a good week ,and Ill try to update yall when I get info! Have a great week!
Thurs., 11/10/2016

Hola, como estan?!
Its my last full week in Ciudad de Mexico! We fly out monday to Paraguay, with a stop in Panama City. Its a long travel time, but Im excited to finally get to Paraguay. The CCM has been a lot of fun, and I have made a ton of friends here.Â
The computers are back online, which is good because last week everyone was going crazy. It all worked out. Friday night they had burgers and fries in the comedor, and they were really good. The food here is awesome, but it is nice to have american food once in a while. Saturday we had a TRC, which is basically high school kids coming in and we have to teach them 15 minute lessons. We taught 2 high schoolers, and one of them, Luis, is prepping to come out on a mission. I got to drop by Elder Nicolas Clements classroom and talk to him for a few minutes. Sunday was fast sunday, where our church goes 24 hours without food and water(on missions it is only food because of the climates and the fact that Paraguay doesnt have air conditioning and such). For movie night, we watched a short film about a man named John Tanner, who in the 1830s donated everything he had to the church, amounting to 50,000 dollars(which was worth a whole lot back then). Then we watched a film that was probably made in the 80's about the atonement of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day I picked up a small package from Elder Clemnts with a card and some candy, thanks for that! Tuesday I was in the choir, and we sang Oracion de un Niño(A childs prayer). Yesterday Hermano Santiago was showing us pictures from some of his previous classes, and apparently a couple months ago he taught Hermana Abigail Whitt; Were the only missionaries he has taught from North Carolina. We aso got our flight information and other documents. Im excited to get to Parguay! Today is pday, and we had to star packing our bags last night. We did more packing today, and had to weigh our bags. We also played some soccer and frisbee. Today is Elder Glasgow's (Ill send a picture) birthday, so we had a small party, and everyone wrote him a card and we all got stuff like pringles and takis from the tienda for him. We are still playing soccer every day, and I have personally improved a lot. Thats pretty much all from this week; most of the day every day is class class class. I will send a good number of pictures this week. Not sure when my p day will be though, so Have a good week til then everyone!

Fri., 11/4/2016
Another busy week in Mexico City! I started off for a couple days of sleeping and lounging around because of my wisdom teeth, and so different elders from my district stayed with me for an hour or 2 or 3 at a time. Monday I went to the Dentista, and since it was Dia de los Muertos for the kids, it was a fun experience. I got my stitches taken out, then had to wait for the CCM doctor and a latino Hermana to get some dental work done. The dentista where I went(the bigger one) is right across from a complex which I think was some kind of training or medical facility for Club America (pro soccer team) because it had the logo of Club America. Its also close to an elementary school, because I saw a lot of little kids walking home with their parents. The 31st in Mexico is basically like Halloween in the states; but the kids all dress up when they go to school. I got to see lots of costumes, and I would say about half of them have black and white face paint like in the newest James Bond movie at the beginning. That evening Elder Eves, the secretary in the presidency of the CCM(before his mission he was a 3 or 4 star general in the US air force), who lives on the floor below us, had a lot of candy and we got to trick or treat. Who woulda known I would get to trick or treat in Ciudad de Mexico hahaha. Tuesday we were studying outside, and our class building is right near the entrance of the CCM, so we saw the buses rolling up every now and then from the airport. On one of the buses was... Elder Nicolas Clements! Now there are 4 people here from North Carolina. A little later while we had a break from class, I got to go by the building where the new elders were, and talked to Elder Clements for a couple minutes. Its nice knowing people here; I feel a bit like one of the elders from utah or Idaho or arizona because they all know a lot of people here. I think I have shared this before but the fireworks are a daily thing in Ciudad de Mexico. They basically shoot them straight up in the air and the firework explodes, just a really loud bang and 1 light, not an explosion of light. Well Tuesday was also the day of the dead, and there were more fireworks than usual. There was a lot a good amount of loud music, so it was kind of hard to go to sleep. I have been busy with classes all the days this week. Today we had Pday, and we played some ultimate frisbee then soccer. We tried to go to the dentist but she wasnt there. We played some volleyball then tried emailing. The internet on every computer here is blocked. I have the only computer in all approx. 300 computers in the ccm thats working at the moment and i will be lucky not to be shut down. No idea what the problem is. I cant upload pictures but there is only one more to send that is of me with my new haircut. Theres not really much to tell about since its classes 24/7 here, but in 2 weeks when I get to Paraguay Im sure the content will get more interesting. Have a great week!Displaying 100_0114.JPG

Fri., 11/4/2016

Just got this picture from an elder who couldnt play today cause he was injured so he took pictures on someones really nice camera. I am the corner kick taker when my team has one when we play soccer.

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Fri., 10/28/2016

[Regarding last weeks photos and lost email.] Did you not get my email! I sent an email that had a toooooooon of stuff in it. If yall didnt get it it is because the internet here is terrible. We are right in the middle of the city, in the pictures you can see houses in the backround on the hills. there are hill like mountains all around where we are. its really pretty in the ccm, its 90 acres and most of that is just grass or trees, but outside the walls its a verrrrry crowded area. Theres tons of noise all night long, as well as fireworks constantly going off.

This week's:

what a busy week! saturday started off the fun, with a good service activity. We cleaned the kitchen in the comedor(cafeteria). I got talking to one of the main cooks, named Estaban, and was able to converse with him that I worked at the Provo Missionary training center, but I told him the food is better here. He told my district that were really hard workeds, and now im friends with the cook! Our practice lesson was great that day too( we teach practice lessons about the gospel to our teachers).

Sunday was also good; one of the members of the mission presidency came and had church with us. One of the elders in my district, elder chudleigh, is the pianist for the mtc choir which performs at tuesday devotionals. He needed a page turner, so I volunteered. Before dinner he needed to practice the song, Praise to the Lord God the Almighty(which he hadnt seen the music for before and requires all 10 fingers at 1 time, and his music was for an organ not a piano.). After dinner we practiced more, and i sang while he played so he could get a feel for the piece. That evening during "movie night" we watched a video about Jospeh smith and the restoration that I think came out about 5 years ago. It was good. Tuesday at the devotional, the musical number went well. We also got front row seats as the pianist and temporary compañero/page turner.Â

We are still playing soccer every day in gym time, and Its a lot of fun.Â

Now the story you've all been waiting for: The wisdom teeth. So Ive been to the dentista here a few times because i had a problem with one of my teeth, but during x rays it was determined my wisdom teeth need to come out also, despite my dentist waving them off as good. So yesterday, thursday, I went to the dentista at 10. Since Elder Brower has missed a couple classes because of my troubles, I had Elder Chudleigh, the pianist come wth me instead. The dentistas here only numb the mouth for wisdom teeth, so i was awake for the whole process. The first(of 2, the top teeth arent a problem) tooth, the bottom right, was no big deal. She finished it in about 30 minutes, and no big deal. The second tooth wastrickier. Apparently it was impacted or something like that, and she worked on it for around 3 hours with no avail. Eventually the top of the tooth was broken off and out, but the roots would not come out.She sewed me up and I got transferred to another dentist. The first dentist office was just one dentist and 1 chair, but the second dentist office, which was about 20-30 mins away, was 6 chairs and a handful of doctors;theyre also members of our church. and even though it was kinda cramped it was very similar to the offices in the US; much better than the first. By that time, because of my first dentist taking a while, I was pretty tired and had lost a good amount of blood, They had to give me an iv. Then they numbed me up and got my second tooths roots out in like 15 mins. At the end of the time, It was 7 hours and I was ready to go to bed. They gave me 2 kinds of pain pills im supposed to use at the same time, but i dont have horrific pain so I decided to not use them so i dont have to deal with side effects like throwing up. I am however using antiboitics. last night and today Ive had around 20 or so people visit my dorm; today we had about 12 people in my room hahaha it was crowded but great to feel the love from the other missionaries. With my head covering Ive been compared to many things, most prominently a leper. Ive been turning heads all day, because Ive been rolling around the ccm with a ace wrap and ice packs. I had a piece of bread for breakfast becvause i was having trouble with my food. I went to the doctor for antibiotics, and had a sit down meeting for a few minutes. He called the mission president and got permission for me to talk to dad and tell him about the surgery, which was great to talk to him. It was P day all day so i have been sitting around all day. For lunch my new friend Estaban, the cook, noticed I had my bandage and all on, so he decided to whip up an smoothie for me. Dont worry Mom, I did what cousin Josh did and made friends with the cook. That gave immediate results let me tell you. Well thats the week!

Best food this week: pt1 thew smoothie from Estaban for lunch

pt 2 the corn chowder they had for lunch today. Maybe its cause I was so hungry, but it was really good.

Thanks for all your support and prayers!

PS here is me right now (the picture)
Fri., 10/21/2016

The spanish is coming; We have been working so hard! Every day we spend around 13 or 14 hours in the classroom going over endless words and grammar in spanish. Its hard but a lot of fun. We also learn a lot of spanish walking up to random latino elders and trying to talk in spanish. Its really funny because we dont know hardly any spanish and they dont know much english. I have made some friends with some of them though, so thats good. I got a picture with a district of them that are leaving monday. starting next week we arent allowed to talk in english, so it is going to be difficult but thats whats so important about it. I know about as much spanish now as probably 1 or 2 spanish classes in high school would have given me. Last week I think i forgot to email about my teachers. In the mornings we have hermano tapia. Hes really cool and knows a lot of english. He served his mission in mexico. He likes having us go outside to have part of class because the weather here is really nice. I dont have any pictures with him, but ill try to get one fopr next week. In the afternoon and evening we have hermano santiago. He is a really good teacher, and served his mission in honduras. He is 23 and is applying to go to byui, but has to take an english proficiency test. He is one of the nicest people I know; he has the energy and happiness of a little kid but he is really smart. He also teaches english to 5th graders. Most days are the basically the same, study then breakfast then more study then lunch and gym then study then dinner then study. Every morning and afternoon we teach a lesson about the gospel in spanish, whuch is hard due to our level of spanish and the fact that religious words are often long and hard to memorize and say. There are a lot of little moments that help relieve the stress, like every time fireworks go off. there is not a half hour that goes by without at least 1 firework being shot off. That includes the night. Sometimes they are really funny because its endless, but sometimes we are trying to sleep and its very noisy. apparently rthe fireworks are for catholic holidays and saints days and whatever, but thats every day hahaha. Sunday for church i didnt have to give a talk, but i m ight one of these upcoming weeks. Every sunday there is a movie night where we watch a church movie; this weeks was the video about parley p pratt and then about the guy from Italy that was a preacher then moved to the US and found a book of mormon in an alley then joined the church. Tuesday was a good day. For gym time we played soccer(We always play soccer). It was our district vs another district. They were all good at soccer.One of them played for BYU last year and a couple others had played in high school. We have one elder who played in high school. They were really cocky and had terrible attitudes; they wanted to keep score and such, and kept getting mad during the game. We put a stop to it and routed them, around 8 goals to one(we arent allowed to keep score). They didnt play as a team, and had bad attitudes, but wee played as a team and were nice to them. Soccer is a lot of fun, especially playing with latinos since thats all they play too(except its different because they are really good). Bonnie Oscarson, the young womens general president, came and visited and gave the devotional on tuesday. It was really good; she talked about missionary work and the process of how missionaries are called. It was pretty interesting. During/after the devotional an elder named elder ortega who was sitting a row back and a couple seats over offered me some candy during the devotional then after he wanted to talk for a minute. apparently i had talked to hi at lunch or something and he remembered me and Im his friend. I like all the mexican and other latino elders because they are all really nice and love making friends with the gringo elders like me. Wednesday morning in one of our practice lessons, elder brower accidentaly read deuteronomy 3:7 instead of 6:7 like he meant to. We didnt notice it til after but when we noticed it was really funny because it isnt close. later that day we had another good experience, i gave hermano santiago a blessing of comfort because he is stressed with teaching us and 5th graders and applying to byui all at the same time. His english exam is really soon so thats been weighing on him. Also that day we got to take a trip to the dentista; mexican dentistry isnt that bad, and we got to leave the ccm campus for a little while, which is always fun. Mexico city is a really busy place. I like how many of the big roads have medians that are so wide they make parkis and gardens and sidewalks and stuff on them. Its really cool. We are in the middle of a very busy crowded area of town. Today we got to go to the temple again, which is an hour of driving away. The roads here are scary with everyone cutting off everyone, but the drivers are all so much better than in the us that there are rarely accidents; probablly a lot less that in the us. In class we play a game called find the latino to help our spanish. Basically one person is the latino and can use absolutely NO english, only español. The teacher has to guess who is the latino, so the rest of us speak all spanish too. If the teacher guesses wrong, we get to watch a mormon message, which is basically a 2-5 minute video put out by the church. We watched a really good one thursday called abide by me about a newswoman whos intern is acting really lazy one day even though theres been a tragedy thats a good news story, and she gets mad at him, but... you need to go watch it to see what happenes. Its probably the best mormon message ive seen so far.

best food this week: carne asada. Its my favorite food and we had it yesterday at lunch!

wierdest food this week: well a lot of foods are wierd to me here but one of them was carrot enchiladas. Yes, they were enchiladas that were filled with only mashed carrots. not too bad, but really wierd.

I hope yall have a good week!

Fri., 10/14/2016 [Do to Hurricane Matthew, the long email never arrived.]

Elders chudleigh packard, me, brower, armstrong, black, schmidt, marchant, glasgow, and lovelace by the mexican flag, and elders brower, chudleigh, me, and packard by the main sign for the ccm, enjoy!Inline image 2
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Tues., 10/4/2016

I have arrived in Mexico! Not lots of time but i am safe, the flights were good. my atlanta to cuidad mexico flight had a sister missionary, 2 other elders from nc, elder smith from virginia, and 2 more elders. the weather isnt too hot so far and the campus is really pretty! Im pretty sure ill be hungry all day because the streets around the CCM are all filled with carnitas and taco vendor hahaha. my companeros name is elder brower but we havent met yet. Friday is my p day here in the ccm.