Monday, June 30, 2014
I finally made it to nicaragua. My day yesterday was crazy but I am having good time so far. Both of my flights went well. I flew from mexico to san salvador and then took a bus to a plane that went to nicaragua. Nicaragua is just like costa rica except it is 100 times poorer. The wall of humidity and heat that hits you did not disappoint. It is freaking hot here. I have not stopped sweating since i arrived. Once i landed i waited in the airport for about thirty minutes until i was picked up by two young elders. I was taken to the mission office and i did some simple paper work for a few hours. Everyone in the mission knew the story about the elder that locked his passport in the mtc store. I met president collado and his wife. They are great. I also met with my new companion, Elder Sotay (sothi). He is crazy and awesome and i know i will have a good time with him over the next month. He has only been out three weeks so we are both pretty new. He is from guatemala and has great attitude and personality. After taking care of everything in the office, Elder sotay and I got in a taxi for about an hour. We then got on a very crowded and hectic bus for 3 hours. I sweat more on that three hour bus ride than i have my whole life. We arrived in our area called estali. It is up in the mountians a bit but the city is fairly large. I am basically living in a jungle. My companion tells me that the apartment we are staying in is the nicest place in the entire mission. Its a pretty nice place actually. Everything is great. The shower is more like a hose plugged into the wall that spits out cold water but everything else is good so far. We have a nice little mamacita that cleans and washes clothes for us. When we arrived at our apartment, we immediately left and went to appointments. We taught this little family last night and it was awesome. Real life spanish is completely different than mtc spanish. People talk so freaking fast. My companion did most of the heavy lifting but i talked to the little kids and bore my testimony at the end which was awesome. They will hopefully be baptized sometime next week. After that we went over to the bishops house and his wife made us dinner. The food was awesome. They served me a mystery drink which i just gulped down cuz it was ice cold. My first day was exhausting and the language is a little stressful. I know god and hard work will allow me to get better. One thing i have learned in the short time that i been here is how impovershed and humble the nicaraguans are. They have nothing but are all so happy. We are so spoiled back home. I literally makes me sick seeing how little these people have and thinking about how ungrateful we are for things back in the states. dirt floors, tin roof, and little kids who run around with no shoes on. Mom and dad thank you for all of your love and support over the years. I love you and all the kids.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
This week, my district and i took over as full time ushers for all of the big meetings in the CCM. We really don´t have any responsibility but are given some niceeee yellow badges. Anyways, tuesday was our first official day on the job and it started out pretty normal. It began to rain about thirty minutes before we closed the doors to start the live missionary devotional broadcast from provo. Aside from the the 20 minutes of constant thunder that shook the building, everything was good. About 1 minute in Elder Cooks talk, an elder walks over to president pratt and we can tell something is wrong. As ushers, it is our job to do the things that ushers are required to do... which we thought was nothing. We soon realized that the lower part of the auditorium had began to flood. We evacuated the first four rows and really though nothing of it. About 2 minutes later the water really started flowin. Do you guys remember that part in free willy (if you havent seen free willy stop reading this because we arent friends) where the bad guys go and loosen the bolts on willys the tank and the water starts spraying all over the place? Thats exactly what began to happen in the theater. It had rained so hard that that it completely filled up the ramp down to the auditorium and water sprayed through the gaps between the doors just like in free willy. For the remainder of the devotional, me, one or two of my companions and several mexicans pushed the shin high water with brooms from the flooded side of the auditorium out the door on the other side where the water table wasnt as high. We did this for about an hour in front of about 500 other missionaries. Eventually, the water tables equalized and the theater began to fill up. We were told our services were no longer needed. I was happy to serve and knew this was only preparation for the waist deep water i would be swimming through in nicaragua. Us elders and the mexicans just sat there and while i was making a water snow angel (not really, but i should have) i had an urge that we should pray. I gathered the 5 other missionaries that were down there with me and i asked god to stop the rain as we stood in the rising water in front of 500 hundred spectators. it stopped raining 5 minutes later. president pratt thanked us for our efforts and we went home wet and sore. Though my butt, back, and arms beg to differ, It was an amazing experience.
I just got back from the temple today. Mexico city temple is huge and beautiful. We had a chance to go through the visitor center and i picked up some sick zipper ties. My biggest regret is not bringing more zipper ties. We were told not to leave the temple grounds... buuuuuttt i had not had a coke in like four weeks and was going throat punch my companion if i didnt get one soon. The temple is located in a very busy part of mexico city so there was a bazillion people walking around it. I asked several people to go across the street and buy me a coke and many of them said no because they were in a hurry or meeting someone. Finally some old man on a bike told me he would hook me up. I told him to buy three cokes and gave him 50 pesos which is way more than enough. He came back 2 minutes later with the cokes and my money. I kept 2 cokes for my companion and i and let the man take the third coke and the left over change. he was so grateful. The coke was so lushess but the look of gratitude in that old mans eyes was better.
Im glad to hear that metties funeral went well and that you all could make it. Tell the tingey boys that their strength is an example to me.
This week i became really good friends with a little 7 year old mexican boy named antonio whos parents work the dry cleaning in the MTC. He has a really beat up soccer that we play with together when i have gym. Bryce and kate, this kid could school you. He is one the nicest and most humble kids i have ever met. Bryce and kate, tell mom you love her every day and be grateful for all the crap that you have. Antonio has his soccer ball and his parents and thats it. Yet, he is happiest kid i have ever met. One of my teachers is gonna help me buy a new ball for him.
President Kaits, who is over all of the missionaries in the mtc, gave a devotional on sunday that really had a impact on me. He talked about his missionary experience and how much church meetings suck. his message was very relatable. He talked a lot about leaving everything behind and how important it is to let ourselves become fully committed. He told us to leave our nets behind and be fishers of men. I have had a hard time forgetting about all the great things i have back at home but it gets easier and easier everyday. Its hard not to miss home/family, and surfirng, and team sleezy but i know that all of the hard work will be worth it.
Love all of you guys am so grateful for all of your love and support. Only one more week and im off to nicaragua. take it sleezy. see ya next week.
Monday, June 9, 2014
WEEK #3 - I am an Idiot
As my time here in the CCM goes on, i realize more and more how much of an idiot i am. On monday i woke up and my face was all dried up. So, like any normal person would do, i put lotion on. At the end of the day my face was red and irritated and i figured/convinced myself that i must have gotten sunburned while i was playing basketball in a gym that had a very well functioning roof on it. The next morning i woke up to the same irritation and dryness so i put more lotion on. The following morning, same story. However, i realized that morning that my lotion smelled like unicorn farts and rainbows. I simply chalked it up to my great taste in exotic lotions and that i had at some point come out of the closet before my mission and decided to pack some lotion from the gay aisle at bath and body works. **Refer to the title of this email**. Night came lotion. Morning came lotion. It wasnt until the third night that i realized that i had switched my lotion bottle with my shampoo bottle. My face was irritated, red and really just completely burned. Ive had a real gnarly rash for about 4 days. Can you bring me my chapstick mom? My face hurts real bad. And the nurse does not have like four sticks in the drawer.
I have been good the last week. My stomach has finally become acquainted to a healthy beans and fruit loops diet. I received your package mom. Thank you!! The mexican cookies were great and i shared them with all of my companions and teachers.
This week my companions and i were discussing the 199 section of the doctrine and covenants. verse 4 states, "And it came to pass that a curse will be sent among the children men that after every lunch, the destroying angel of naptime shall come upon them and cause them to be tormented for till at least 3. And wo be unto those that shall give in to the destroying angel of the nap, lest it shall feel so good but their whole day will be ruined and they will fall into a pit of darkness. But if they shall not give into the nap they will actually learn something after lunch. Amen." D&C 199 verse 4.
This week i realized why dad has an ulcer whenever mom or bryce makes a mess or whenever the garage is not spotless. This week i walked in from the shower and found my companion clipping his toenails on my bed. Nice.
I also have found that most missionaries come into the MTC thinking they already know enough spanish to get by. They are like Grandma every time superbowl sunday roles around. Every year on the day of the superbowl, grandma thinks she can speak japanese after watching all the commercials.. "Mitsubishi, Toyota, Kawasaki, Sony, Honda, Ping Pong." No elder, taco, burrito, and chimity changa will not help you here. I even i had to realize that cheese crisps arent actually a real thing.
btw grandma, yo necisito mas "puedo hacer cosas durras" book marks
Thanks for your update on basketball dad. It ruined my day. I have decided that im not coming home until kobe gets another ring so you better start praying for los angeles and not me. Also thanks for the story about the navy seal. (Commencement speech at Univ of Texas this year) The only bell i have ever touched was the liberty bell in phili and im pretty sure thats a felony. I promise that i wont be ring any bells or tap out any time soon. Its great to here that the gospel and mexicans have made brad retarded cuz i can feel it comin on a little bit too.
Also suzie thank you for you video hahaha. I will try not to get a "tubor" like max here in mexico. Tessa nice work on getting baptized your dress was "So Fluffy!!"- little girl from despicable me quote
This week was actually a busy one. Our senor branch and zone leaders left on wednesday which sucked cuz i had become close to many of them but i was happy to see them get going on their missions. I was called as zone leader and will meet the new branches in our zone on thursday. Our district was called as ushers for all the major meetings in the CCM. And ive ran 2 and a half miles and managed to play basketball every day.
This past week was fast and testimony sunday. Grandma you would not believe how long slow sundays are here. They make you fast for 24 hours and there arent grandma tacos waiting for you when you get home from church haha. On a more serious note though, it was an awesome experience and President pratt sat it on our meeting. We added up to about 18 people and everyone got a chance to go up and speak. i bore my testimony in 100 percent spanish which was pretty sick.
Grandma and Grandpa i am slowly starting to learn the importance of HOP especially the obedience part. I have almost completely read the entire book of mormon in the couple of weeks that ive been here and my new favorite scripture comes from alma chapter 57 verses 20 and 21. "20 And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.
21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them. "
I love all of you and hope you are doing well. I thank god every day for your constant love and support.
Take it Sleezy and I'm out!