Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First Letter and Pictures from Mexico!

This has been the longest, hardest, most frustrating, humbling week of my life. But I have LOVED it! I don’t know where to start, it honestly feels like I left a year ago and it has only been six days. I thought that I knew a lot about the gospel and had a strong testimony in it until I got here. I have learned so much and my testimony has grown tenfold. I don’t really know what to say, this is weird emailing back for the first time. My hands are shaking. I guess I’ll start from the beginning.
The plane flights here were insane haha. So many missionaries, so incredible to see. I met a couple people from Utah, Texas, Florida and all over and made some friends. When I got to Mexico City everything went smoothly but it was way weird because everything was in Spanish. The bus ride to the MTC was kind of nerve wracking. I had to lift everybody’s luggage on to the bus. Worst thing I have volunteered for haha they were all so heavy and they just kept on coming and coming. My body was dead by the time I finished.  If you have seen Mexico City it doesn’t  really look like the friendliest city, but arriving at the MTC was amazing. It kind of felt like I was going into a prison because it is all fenced and walled off with barbed wire on the top haha. But once you entered it, it was amazing. Everything was the complete opposite of the outside. Everything was green or clean. The MTC or CCM as we call it here is really a light in the darkness.
 My companions name is Elder Haynes. He is an amazing person with a strong testimony! He knows the language very well and that is very helpful because I am struggling with the language. He is very short, so dad, when you said how I walk too slow, it’s okay because literally one of my steps is two of his. Really he stepped into a puddle and almost drowned. I felt bad.
Some fun facts about the MRC. It rains every single day, not very depressing right? You hear five to ten gun shots a day followed by police and ambulance sirens. Especially in the night. There’s a sickness going around so were asked to not shake hands. We found a GIANT moth and caught it. We named it Muert. not my choice. We are losing 50 missionaries in the next two weeks and gaining 360. The first week was filled with meetings and orientations for new missionaries. But here is the schedule for the usual day for me. Wake up at 6AM, my companions insist on being the first people up on campus and that makes us the first people in class and walking around.  Then I do my exercises. I’M NOT GONNA GET FAT.  Then I take a shower, go to class, study for an hour, go to breakfast, which is Fruit Loops and a plate of fruit usually, then gym time where we play soccer or basketball or volley ball or ping pong, then class for three hours learning about the gospel and Spanish. Then lunch, usually some type of weird meat, then personal study time for an hour, then language study for an hour, then we go to our investigator. The first time we had that it was so scary, and it was on Friday! You can only teach in Spanish and we had only been here for two days. The gift of tongues was truly an instrument while I’ve been here. We have been teaching a man named Jesus Canseco. Even though he is hired and already a member, I have grown to love and care for him and his fake family lol. Teaching by the spirit and with preach my gospel is amazing and it will truly bless lives! After that 30 minutes it’s additional study time for 2 hours. Then dinner, then TALL which is technologically assisted language learning, it’s very helpful. After that another hour of additional study time then we plan for 30 minutes for the next day then the whole zone comes and we sing a final song and prayer for the day. The entire day I am praying for help haha. You don’t understand how much I pray. It is such a blessing for comfort and learning the language. It has been hard. The hardest experience I have ever been through. I miss all of you so much. But I know this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. The first couple days were very discouraging and hard to keep my head up but I am trying my hardest. I think back to what Elder Hirsch said when he said BE YOUR BEST EVERYDAY. That’s all I can do and it’s all I will do. You have to trust in the Lord to take care of the rest.
This Sunday was incredible. I was feeling pretty down until we had a devotional that was a talk by Elder Holland. He is such an inspirational speaker. He talked about the story of Peter. It hit me so hard. The part that hit me so hard was where Jesus asks him if he loves him, he says yes.  This happens three times, and, by the way, on the third time there was the loudest crack of thunder outside the building we were in. It was incredible. Uhh then Jesus says then leave your boat, paddles, and fish and feed my sheep. It hit me so hard. I realized that that was what I needed to do. Forget everything else and feed his sheep. I love all of you so much for the support and prayers you have given me. Please continue. I need all the help I can get. I miss all of you so much, hope everything is well at home. Please email or write me if you can. You guys are the greatest. I will continue to be the best missionary I can be for you and our Lord.
                                                   Selfie with Elders
                                             Elder Brown from Woods Cross
                                             Sister Smoot from Centerville
                                               Where to go in case of an earthquake!
                                                       Connor's District
                                            Connor with his companion Elder Haynes
                                            Connors House "#34" can you believe it!!!

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