Greetings from the Mexico City Centro de Capacitación Misional! Or, in other words, the Mexico City MTC!! Wow! I honestly cannot believe it has almost been an entire week already! It´s felt like an eternity, yet, it´s gone by so fast. As they say here ¨Days are weeks and weeks are days and by the time you leave at the end of six weeks, it´ll have felt like an eternity.¨ I have most definitely seen that here!
I guess I´ll start with Wednesday. Me and about five other Elders from Arizona got to Atlanta at aroundand didn´t think there´d be a ton of missionaris on our plane. It just so turns out that there were about 80 missionaries going from Atlanta to Mexico City. We took up all but a few of the seats on the flight! It was so crazy! I kind of hummed ¨The Army of Helaman¨ as we all got onto the plane. We got to Mexico at around 4 and proceeded to pile onto several buses. This city is crazy! The driving is so insane and not an inch of space is wasted. We got to the MTC and I pretty much hung out with my Arizona buddies until they gave us our assignments for our first companions! My companion is Elder Allen. He´s from Utah and is super cool! And is going to Wichita, Kansas as well!! He´s pretty easy to talk to and has a good spirit about him. His strengths are definitely different from mine, which is awesome! Because we can just play off of each others´ strengths! We live in a dorm with four other missionaries, two of which are going to Wichita too! They´re super awesome! Elder Stromness and Elder McCarney. We call ourselves the Kansas Quad. Haha. Weird, but it´s so cool that we´re all going to Kansas. I thought it was just going to be me! The other two missionaries are Elder Lopez and Elder Elao. They didn´t know a lick of English. It was definitely a barrier at first, but Elder Stromness and I know (or at least kinda know) Spanish and we were able to figure out a system. They´re super awesome! Elder Lopez is like a pro soccer player. I haven´t seen him play, but I´m sure he´s awesome! Elder Elao did Martial Arts and has a ton of stories! We traded ties with them the other night! Such a cool experience! The thing to do here is trade ties. All the time. Oh. And the food here is definitely interesting. It has it´s good days and it´s bad days. I mostly just eat fruit. But when they make actual Mexican food, it´s the best!
The first few days felt like everything was rushed. I felt like I had absolutely no time to study or really breathe at all. I guess it´s because we had a TON of orientation stuff through. It just takes some getting used to, I guess. I love it here. It´s so beautiful. You´d never believe it´s right in the middle of Mexico City. It´s another whole world. Almost brighter, it feels like. The campus is beautiful and there are a ton of parrots! , we taught our first investigator...In Spanish!!! His name is Esdras! As you can imagine, I was freaking out! I kinda wrote down what I wanted to say (by the way, Elder Allen know absolutely no Spanish). As we were in there, and I was kind of reading out of my notebook, I stopped, closed my notebook, and just talked to him. I do not really remember what I was saying or how well my Spanish was, but I just talked to him. The Spirit was definitely there and the Gift of Tongues is most definitely real and powerful! As the days progressed, and we taught Esdras more and more, I gradually used less and less notes. Yesterday, I decided to just go off of faith and what I knew, so I just took in my Spanish scriptures and a Spanish pamphlet of the Restoration. It was so amazing! The Spirit was so strong! I actually ended up reciting to him the First Vision in Spanish, which I´d forgotten I´d had memorized! Family and friends, the Spirit was there and I know the Gift of Tongues is real!
We had interviews with our branch presidenciesand mine was with President Lindeman, who is the second counselor. I expressed to him my concerns about setting goals with learning the language (because I´d been having a hard time setting goals) and he told me the only thing I think that I would´ve been able to understand. He told me that learning the language isn´t like learning how to do Calculus, where you learn equations and practice problems out of a book. No. Learning a language is more like learning how to draw. You can´t just learn to draw well from a book. It takes countless hours of practice. To learn a language, you have to speak the language. He told me about this pair of elderly couple missionaries who were in his mission in Spain that didn´t know Spanish. Well, the old man wanted to bear his testimony in sacrament meeting and wanted to say "I feel a fire in my bones". But instead of saying "huecos" for bones, he said "huevos". It just shows that you can´t be afraid to be embarrassed or scared to mess up when you´re just starting out. The language is definitely hard, but I know that as the weeks progress that I´ll figure out a system and it´ll come. I just need to keep working hard and praying. Elder McCarney always says, "Work like everything depends on you and pray like everything depends on the Lord."
That´s about all the time I have for this week. I love hearing from all of you! It has made my week!
Yo sé que este es el Evangelio Restaurado de Jesucristo y que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero. Nuestro Padre Celestial nos ama. Todas las personas.
I love you guys and I love this work. It´s definitely been the hardest six days of my life, but it has all been uplifting, enlightening, and all worth it. Have an amazing week!