Friday, September 26, 2014

September 24, 2014

Dear family,

I am leaving on the 8th of october. 2 weeks from today. Your letters are fine in length. I have 1 hour and i usually spend 50 minutes typing to nancy :D and then like 5 minutes getting the pictures ready lolol sorry. Rofl <-- now that you know what that means.

Anyways, things are fine here at the CCM. I sent you guys another letter like last week or something. All of the days are the same pretty much. Tuesdays and sundays we have devotionals and they're usually very spiritual. My testimony has been growing so much it's amazing. I really love having the spirit with me all the time as a missionary. Plus i've already been here for a whole month!!! Actually it felt like 2 years already but whatever. At least the time is passing. :D 

My spanish is getting very good. I feel like it is at least. I do at least 100 words per week and I'm learning a bunch of other junk that's just details. I feel like it should be more frustrating than it is, but really everything is fine. It's coming along very well.

There was a DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY the other day during the sunset. So the sky was like orange it was amazing. Everyone got out of class to just go look at it. I didn't bring an umbrella lololol, It rains every few days and when it does it rains a TON. Like what the heck the ground is flooding I should have brought a boat.

I run every day. Elder W, the blonde companion likes to go all out on his workouts and it motivates me to do a bunch of sit ups and run a few miles so my body will be nice and toned when I get back (just for you, Nancy ;D)

Also, yesterday I was doing service in the kitchen and they had AN ARMADILLO BODY! NO LIMBS, NO HEAD NO TAIL, and I was like WAAAATTTT are you feeding us here no wonder I got sick. Anyways Elder warnick is pestering me about the time.

I wrote more in the letter that you should get in a few weeks. TY for taking the letter to nancy. 

See you guys in a little bit, only 2 more weeks here! woo!

Love, Elder Mitchell

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

Woes of a sick missionary

So just so you know, I do read your emails. Im usually in a big rush to upload pictures and reply to you and nancy and people so sorry I don't reply directly to what you've sent.

As the title reads, I have been very sick. Likely deathly ill. Like ohmygoshimgoingtodie sick.

It started on Thursday. I got a runny nose. It was a really bad runny nose where I'm blowing my nose like every 5 minutes, it sucked. It continued on like that through fridaySaturday I woke up, I could breath just fine and I went through my classes and everything and I felt AMAZING all day long. We played soccer and it was really fun. We do that every day. Anyways, Sunday comes around and I woke up feeling kinda bleh. It wasn't really bad. I wore a sweater and i brought my coat because it rains here a lot. Like monsoon. You'll see in the pictures. The power goes out and stuff and its weird. Actually the power just goes out randomly a lot, it's dumb. Anyways, I started getting cold around noon on sunday. I ate like a small bowl of soup for lunch because I wasn't really hungry and I was very sore all over. Over the next like 2 hours I started totally freezing through my suitcoat and my coat. I was dying I was so cold and all of my muscles and my skin and every just hurt crazy bad. I was in a lot of pain and I was just freezing. So I talked to my district leader and he talked to the zone leaders and they said I should go back to the house to take a nap. So we go back the house and I was feeling really bad, I was in a lot of pain. I took some ibuprofin and laid down. I slept for like 2 hours or something in my suitcoat and other coat because I was freezing and I woke up burning alive obviously. So I take it all off and take my temperature. It was 102 degrees. I got dressed and we went to dinner. I didn't eat anything because I felt like I was going to die. I didn't want to go to the infermary because the doctor doesn't work on sundays and we would have to call him. He lives here at the ccm but I still didn't want to do that.

After dinner I decided that I didn't really want to die so I went to the reception office and called the doctor and told him that I needed him to help me not die. So I went over to his office thing and I thought I was going to die the whole time. He took my temperature and it was still 102. So he gave me some pepto bismol and told me to buy moreon monday and I went back home. We left Elder Krantz somewhere else so it was just me and Elder Warnick who went back to the house because there are other things going on during sunday afternoons. We got back to the room and I took 2 of the pepto bismol as instructed because I was feeling nauseous, and of course I immediately just threw all of it up. Then I spent the next 14 hours just laying around in my garments waiting for death or throwing up a bunch of stomache acid because I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast other than that soup. I didn't really sleep well, I kept waking up to go to the bathroom, which  wasn't that fun. The whole district came over to our house on Sunday night to do a devotional thing because they knew I wouldn't be able to go at the classroom. I had Elder Warnick give me a blessing at the end. As soon as the blessing was over, I stood up, ran to the bedroom, and threw up, then I ran into the bathroom, threw up some more, and then finished cleaning out everything in my bowels in other ways. Within like an hour the fever had gone down to 99, so that was good.

On monday I was sick but I didn't have a fever. My stomach hurt a lot. Like horrific stomach pains every few minutes, but we got through the day. I pretty much just slept on this desk thing in the back of the class because I don't speak spanish very well when I'm dying.

Anyways, today is p day and we played soccer, I made at least one goal, maybe two. We got our haircut, I'll send you a picture of the result. Other than the sickness everything is pretty monotonous. We just study all day, that's it. Then we teach investigators and whatever. The teachers keep telling me really long stories about sick people and they keep patting my stomach as if it will make me feel better and they were eating pizza and it made me want to throw up in some tin foil and eat it.

Lots of love,
Elder mitchell

Also, I like to draw things on the board when the teachers aren't around. Also our night teacher Hermana Silva likes adventure time so I drew her some stuff. Then I put that it's from somewhere else because yolo. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014

The CCM is in a very ghetto area, but we have no exposure other than the noise because of the huge walls. We are totally secluded from the entire city, it is beyond safe.
I slept ok the last 2 nights. Usually it's because my earplugs fall out and then i wake up to gunshots or sirens or one of the companions snoring. Last night he was making WAY weird noises at like 5 am. Like all out ET noises no joke. I was afraid of aliens.

Here's my basic schedule:

6:30 wake up. Lie in bed for 10 minutes while companions take showers and i contemplate the decisions ive made in my life

7:00 Breakfast, usually they have enchiladas or something freakin' retarded for breakfast so i just eat yogurt or nutella or something

7:30 personal study time, or as i call it, write nancy a really long letter time. I try to read scriptures for at least 30 minutes during this time.

8:30 Teacher arrives, begins teaching

12:00 We get out of class after 3:30 hours. My teacher's name is hermano hernandez. My spanish is probably better than his english. He speaks in spanish the whole time, very few exeptions. He is the best teacher ive ever had anywhere. He teaches us how to teach and how to be missionaries so well i can't even explain. He is so amazing, that's pretty much it. We enjoy the whole class and leave feeling excited for life. We go to lunch after. Sometimes we teach an investigator for like 20 minutes during it. This last time the investigator was very mean and when we asked him if he was interested in baptism he said h no.

For lunch I usually just take some meat and tortillas and then they have like a salad bar thing with beans and rice. Then i pour a freakin' crapload of this hotsauce on called valentina sauce. I think nancy use to eat it all the time. Anyways i literally used the beans, rice, meat and salsa to make tacos for lunch and dinner every day last week. EVERY SINGLE DAY I ATE TACOS. I was overeating by waaaaay too much so i started really trying to eat less. I weighed myself and it said 77 kg, which is like 170 pounds. I decided that either i was constipated or i needed to eat less and exercise more (actually it's totally both. At least i have a ton of anti diarreal medication lolol) Then I got the package, which thanks for it. Ill prolly share it with my district because im already getting fat.

12:45 We do more personal study time or something. I usually study spanish or preach my gospel or the scriptures or something. I read all of first nephi in like the last 3 days like srsly wtf. The first few chapters i read in spanish and then i gave up because it gets tiring of trying to focus.

1:45 we leave and go change. We havelike 50 minutes to play sports or exercise. Usually me and elder warnick just go running. I will run like a mile or 5 laps or something and then go sit in the shade. I put on a ton of sunscreen today because i got a little bit toasty yesterday.

3:30 we go back to shower at like 3 and then we go to the TALL lab to work on spanish. TALL stands for technologically assisted language learning. It's basically a program made by byu to learn languages. We have assignments usually and they are so dumb. We do like conjugating ar verbs for present tense. Some days there are serisously like 5 guys sleeping becuase it is so boring. I use it a lot, usually i can get through the whole hour being way focused and i want to stay another 30 minutes so i can try to learn more. I usually do subjunctive vs indicative noun clauses or something that i don't actually know. 

5:00 We go back to class. We have a different teacher. She use to be an investigator then she all of a sudden walked in and was like JK IM YOUR NIGHT TEACHER ROFL and i was like oh good. I had taught her the law of chastity the night before and i got to tell her all about what sexual relations not to have before marriage and it could have been better. Then she was our teacher the next day so that happened.

9:30 Go back to the house. Lights out by 10:30.

That's the general way things work. Sundays are different because we have sacrament meeting or whatever. Fast sunday was very very good, very spiritual. I was the fourth one to get up and i talked for a few minutes. all in spanish of course. My district were the first 11 out of 13 to get up. were obviously better than everyone else.

Really though my district is 11 guys and we know more spanish than any other non native speaker in the mtc, even the ones who have been here for almost 6 weeks.

Tuesdays we have a devotional at night. Last nights was a recording from elder holland from last year. It was VERY good, very spiritual, lots of good things. I really enjoyed it. Afterwards we went back to our classroom as a district and everyone talked about what happened and what we've been feeling. Everyone spoke in english but me, i spoke for a good 5 minutes all in spanish no problem. I just talked about what's been going on and what i've been doing to get closer to Christ and to keep the spirit with me all the time. It was really good, i felt good after.

I LOVE TEACHING. Teaching is seriously the best thing. Whenever we teach investigators it goes so well, i can understand everything they say in native mexican and i can answer their questions and tell them what they need to know. All in spanish. I leave teaching appointments feeling so hyped and just on such a spiritual high it's the best thing ever. Seriously it's basically drugs. I don't think i can ever teach enough. I will probably need stamps when im in peru but i dont know. I really have no idea, i just ask everyone and they ask me why i would ever need to send a letter when i have email. Sorry family, but ive sent like 20 pages worth of letters to nancy in the last week lololol, when i asked the lady for 10 international stamps she was like wat. p.s., sorry i dont know where quotation marks are.

Anyways im out of time and i need to send pictures. Just know that I'm getting through it and there are definitely some times that are great and there are some times when i consider just jumping off something really high. I won't tho bc nancy is v cute <3

also, public shout out to my mom for blessing me with being bipolar out of my freakin' mind. My whole life is a roller coaster of emotional conflict.

Love you guys,

Elder Mitchell 

The guys in my district cut up a bunch of flash cards and wrote card numbers and stuff on them. So they made a deck of cards and spent some time this morning playing cards. I studied spanish and wrote to nancy instead. <3

We call those huge pillars the lego hands. They have no purpose. They use to be an iron factory but now theyre just MASSIVE lego hands

 (No novia translation: "no girlfriend")

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014

Okay so like a ton of stuff has happened since I left. I´m going to go over what happened each day.
Wednesday, day 1: there were a ton of missionaries waiting at my gate. there were like at least 20. There were even more at the Dallas airport. I was pretty afraid because I was worried about getting through customs and they kept making us fill out paperwork for customs or whatever and for a lot of them I didn't know what to put. The forms were all in Spanish with English subtext so it was kinda weird. We arrived at the Dallas airport and I went around with another missionary and we went and got food and exchanged some money for pesos. They charged ten dollars to exchange it so me and the other elder did an exchange at the same time so we only spend five dollars each. Then we went over to McDonalds because I needed to eat breakfast and there was a lady in line who asked if we were missionaries. We talked to her for a while and she bought us our food and we talked to her while we ate. I don´t remember much about her but I think she was from the east coast or something idk. she said she was on the voice one time so that was neat I guess.

We got on the plane and flew to Mexico City, most of the people on the plane didn't know English so I was kinda freaked out. There was an elder who was supposed to sit behind me but there was a mexilady in his seat so he told her that it was his seat and she started rambling on and on to him in Spanish until her husband showed her where she was supposed to sit. It was very funny because nobody knew what she was saying. We got to the airport and went through everything just fine. It was a very ghetto place, lots of police with machine guns and stuff. There were people there from the ccm who met us and had us line up for a long time so they could take roll and stuff idk. Then we carried all our luggage out of the airport and we piled into a bus. They took us to the ccm. The drive was very crazy, I feel like there are no traffic laws and the traffic is so bad all the time. plus there are people who are just walking around in the street like selling stuff while there are cars weaving around them. I wasn't too worried. I felt pretty calm during the whole trip except right before customs.

We got to the ccm and they did some videos and stuff and went over some packet things they gave us and told us what was in them. It was WAY too fast and I didn't know what they were talking about I was just trying to figure out where I was. Then some elders had us go get our luggage and they took us to our house. We call our houses casas, so just remember that. I met my companion on the way or something. I noticed that there were two names on the packet for my companions but I could only find one so we just assumed he didn't show up or something. We left our luggage in our casa and went to dinner. The food here is alright. The breakfast are not good and they don´t have any drinks that I recognize. They only have one soda machine and its actually just carbonated juice so its very crowded so I usually just drink water. Just for an example, today I ate some french toast instead of the nachos or whatever they were serving for breakfast. Then I had some fruit loops or something and like a roll I don't remember. It's all very random, I don't recognize hardly anything as far as food goes. I usually just mix some beans and a A FREAKLOAD OF HOTSAUCE every time. Then I make tacos if they have tortillas. I don't even know how to explain anything else because its just weird. We went back and asked people that were walking to their casas if they were our companion and we actually found him. so I'm in a trio. My companions are named Elder W-- and Elder K--.
First Day

We sleep in a room with 2 bunks so Elder K-- sleeps on his own bunk bed. We share a bathroom and there are 3 closets for stuff. We pretty much just hung up our clothes and went to bed after that.I'm still trying to figure some stuff out. It's mildly frustrating but I just talk to to ton of other elders who have been here for longer. I was still kinda in shock that this is actually happening so it wasn't too bad. Elder W-- is from Denver and he got here later than us because he flew to Atlanta first before he flew to Mexico. he is going to Bolivia. Elder K-- is from Salt Lake. He plays football. they're both very nice and we have a lot of fun. Elder W-- is more serious and tells me often that ''We should be perfectly obedient, Elder.'' I have to tell Elder K-- to not try to climb into the sewers or whatever. He likes to try to get into trouble. He looks like Sam from lord of the rings, you will be able to tell in the pictures. I don't know if were allowed to use dropbox and all of the workers and teachers here don't know English so I don't even want to try to ask because they don't know. also elder K-- is also going to Lima South. like 7 people out of the 11 in our district are going to Lima South. Some are going to Honduras and Texas and Chile I think. Also a lot of Arizona.

Were one of the only districts with no sisters. the guys are very fun and nice. 3 of them were all star soccer players which is very very good. We do soccer and Frisbee and basketball and volleyball when we have gym for 50 minutes most days. we didn't have gym until after Saturday at least. on Friday we taught our first investigator. 2 DAYS IN AND THEY MAKE US TEACH AN INVESTIGATOR IN SPANISH. It actually went really well. I felt calm the whole time and i felt like the words were almost just coming to my head. A few days later our teacher said he got the report from the investigator and she specifically said that when Elder Mitchell spoke it was powerful and made her feel special. It made me feel nice.

Saturday was a little more normal. we still taught our investigator. we have to teach for 30 minutes. her name is Ana. we have to teach her in all Spanish. we start by knocking on the door and then she opens it and pretends that she doesn't know about the church, it's very nerve wracking. This message didn't go as well as the first one. I felt nervous and I didn't know what to say. I feel like we were being less reverent before this meeting than on Friday. I really feel like on Friday I had the spirit and then Saturday i didn't have it nearly as much. I think I talked more but I was having a hard time with coming up with the words necessary to teach her.

Sunday was alright. We all have to prepare talks and they randomly picked 8 people out of the 40 to speak. I dont have to worry about it this week because its fast sunday. we do all of our singing, prayers, testimonies, talks, EVERYTHING in Spanish. I feel like I'm progressing and learning a lot of words but pretty much all of them are gospel words so I feel like im going to be less prepared when I get to Lima. It's very very busy all the time. the ccm is on 90 acres with a 20 foot barbed wire wall going around the whole thing. I use the earplugs because of the gunshots and sirens all night. People say that its a mexican tradition to shoot cannons into the sky to clear the clouds but I don't know.
I sleep bad every night. I wake up 5 plus times at least just throughout the night. I'm not sick but another elder in the district is. Most of the illness here is stomach problems but I feel fine. Sorry I can't write more but I'm running out of time.  Also we went to the temple today but its under renovation so we didn't go inside.

love you guys, Elder Mitchell

Day One-- Arriving at the Mexico City MTC

So they instructed me to only write for 5 minutes and that Ill have time. i also dont know where the apostrophe button is so sorry for the grammar. ive been traveling for the last 15 hours and im pretty exhausted. they gave us our name tags so im wearing them right now. theres one on the suit and another one on the shirt. The most important thing is that I made it I guess. Mexico city is way hectic like driving is the figurative embodiment of Satan. A lady bought me and another elder breakfast and i got $500 in pesos from an exchange place. I dont know why but i have them lol. I also couldnt find the forward slash  ._.

I LOVE YOU, ill send another e-mail when they let me. my p days are on wednesdays so idk if theyll let me write again until next week.