Thursday, July 25, 2013

HOLAAAAAAAA Buenos Tardes from Mexico City!

HOLAAAAAAAA Buenas Tardes from Mexico City!

Wow! It's crazy how I've already been gone longer than a week! I just wanted to start off with telling everyone thank you so much for all the wonderful prayers! I could feel them here. I could feel my self physically and mentally become stronger! The first week was pretty harsh! I never thought I'd get homesick but hey it happens to the best of us! All the encouragement really helped! It was really hard just not being able to have instant communication!

This week has already changed my life so much! Ten times more than Especially For Youth or anything I've ever been to! The Spirit is absolutely amazing here!

We are on ninety acres where a old boarding school used to be. Students were in session here until summer! So we got here in the third week, so everyone here right now is the first batch! No one has left yet. Our Mission President is an amazing and inspired man. He used to be on the Quorum of the Seventy and is Parley P. Pratt's great-grandson! He has been all over the world many times serving with many Apostles and the Prophet! We have watched a couple devotionals from the Provo, UT Missionary Training Center (MTC) and he has stories to tell about how he personally knows each of them! 

We have had devotionals from Elder Holland and Elder Nelson, but filmed at Provo, but they always start by saying how they are talking to the other MTCs too! I feel so special to be able to be here at this time because of all the changes! By time I leave this place will be packed and the second largest MTC in the world. This is the biggest in the world land-wise...(; 

When I got here there were no laundry machines, barely any food and no one really knew what was going on, but since I've been here all that has changed! The first meal we had here was pizza that they ordered out for, then we started eating hot dogs, and corn dogs, and then some taco things. Now we have full meals and good drinks and fruits and tons of stuff to eat! Everything tastes way different! Almost everything is spicy which is pretty good! The milk is warm.  Every meal has beans and rice!

Today we went to the Mexico City Temple. Wow, that place is amazing and the biggest Temple I have ever seen! The Spirit was way intense there and made me want to tell everyone about the Church!

This city is crazy. It's about a forty-five minute ride to the Temple and there are hardly any traffic rules here. Mopeds ride down the middle of the street, car washes are just in the middle of the opposing traffic, and there are twenty-five million people here. It's very colorful, too! Everything is either spray painted or falling apart. Then when you get to the Temple or the MTC (called the CCM) it's just beautiful! The MTC is like ninety acres of palm trees, very green grass, very nice buildings with painted roads.  Everything is really nice! They have workers pick up stuff every day - all day! Theres never any leaves on the grass or any trash anywhere! I'm like in this little paradise! It rains almost every day! So its usually not hotter than 80 degrees, which is nice in these missionary clothes!

My companion is a super ginger named Elder Baldwin who also has a girlfriend at home, so we talk about our girlfriends and relate together well! He's a pretty cool guy which I'm thankful for.  I couldn't handle someone not cool for my first week! We both stuggled pretty bad the first week, but now we just always keep each other positive! He's from Idaho Falls! I'm a rare missionary not coming from the West! Everyone is from Utah, Arizona, California, or Idaho.  And then there's me. Which is cool cause everyone always asks me questions about the Church and stuff!

Whenever it rains the missionaries freak out and take pictures -- I think it's so funny!

My District is amazing. We are District B in Branch 13. We spend about five to six hours a day in our classroom studying Spanish and reading scriptures! I'm almost done with 2 Nephi! We always start with a prayer and hymn and end with both. We have sung almost every hymn in the Spanish hymnal. There are only 209 hymns and we have sung all the good ones. I mean they're all good, but you know what I mean. It's amazing though because the music truly brings the Spirit. We have like three or four different times of the day that we go in and study so the prayers and hymns are quite frequent!

I pray every morning, and with my companion in the morning. Then I study the scriptures and pray. Then I go to breakfast and pray for the food. Then we go study and start and end with a prayer. Then we do that for lunch then more study. Then do it for dinner, and more study. Then we have our room night prayer, companion night prayer, and personal prayer. With all the random prayers mixed in, I probably pray like twenty to twenty-five times a day!

And it's making the world of a difference! I can already tell that I am becoming more converted to the Gospel! Thats what the MTC is really about. It's like jail in some aspects because you go to jail and you want to make yourself a better person so you think a lot and work out a lot and that's all you can do because you're trapped! I'm literally trapped inside these fifteen-foot walls with nothing to do besides pray, read the scriptures, study Spanish, and occasionally mess around with all the Elders. We play soccer every day which is so fun because it's my favotire sport! All the soccer goals here have a basketball goal on top of them -- it's kind of funny!

As far as Spanish goes, I can understand a lot! I can usually get what people are saying!  Eveyone single person here is either a Return Missionary (RM) from a Spanish-speaking Mission, or a latino from here in Mexico City. There is hardly any English spoken! You are just expected to learn and start speaking it! I can't exactly say whatever I'd like to, but I can tell what everyone is saying. (: I can see the Gift of Tongues already progressing!

On my third day here, we had to teach a fake investigator -- the teachers make it seem so real! Every day since then I've had to teach a lesson in Spanish! It was very broken but we taught him all the lessons and committed him to Baptism.  He told me that he said yes because he felt the Spirit, so I felt successful!

Everynight we leave the window open.  We hear tons of wild dogs, sirens, and occasionally a gun shot. I'm not even kidding.  But don't worry, we have fifteen-foot concrete walls with ten-foot tall fences and a foot of barbed wire on top of that and then countless Angels protecting us!

I try to work as hard as I can every day! ¡Yo soy muy emocionado ser missinero ahora!

Let me know what you're up to because I want to know! And I'd like to have e-mails when I get on next Thursday! (: If you have questions, I have time to have our own conversation  (:Love all of you so much! I challenge everyone to read 3 Nephi, Chapter 11 this week! It is absolutely powerful!


Elder McGee

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I made it to the MTC!

Hola mi familia!! (:
Well, I made it!
Today has already been exhausting! I left everyone all sad and the first plane ride was pretty rough. I just sat there and prayed because i had nothing else to do.. So i guess when you dont have your phone as a teenager, you still have to communicate instantly with someone, so why not God?! I landed in Dallas shortly after! I met up with like 20 other Elders all going to the mexico MTC! I was reading some letters while waiting on my lay over, and someone came up behind me saying Hey Elder McGee! I was quite suprised because who would know my name? I wasnt even wearing my name badge! I turned around and it was an Elder named, Elder Horsely! We had heard about each other through mutual friends and added each other on facebook. It´s amazing how the Lord allows you to be comfortable in the scariest of places like a huge airport! I didn´t get to sit by any of them on the plane. I sat next to a lady who did not know any English, so after trying to convey my message to her and at least make a small conversation, I gave up and she said Esta Bien, tu es muy Gringo! Which means white boy pretty much! We made it to Mexico City, and man is this place huge. We flew over the city for a good 30 minutes.. When you are going 500MPH that is alot of distance. It´s like taking new york city and flattening it out! There are random mountains and just lots and lots and lots of people squished together! We got through customs and made it outside and met up with some other dudes who were wearing Church name badges but could barely speak English, so we all kinda worked as a team with 15 guys who barely know spanish, and 2 guys who barely know english. We figured it out and made it onto a sweet Mercedes MTC bus.
 We rode over to the temple and transfered to asnother bus and then traveled about 45 minutes to the new MTC. The city has so many bumps, and everyoine drives crazy. We would just be driving like 2 inches away from a semi truck. Theres not really any order here! Everyone just kinda drives. It´s not too hot either. Right now it´s like 60! So wearing a suit feels great! They handed us out some box lunches which had a Cocunut pineapple juice in it. Man, that was good! It was a definite welcome to the spanish culture. Finally we made it to the MTC, and this place is sweet! It´s like a bubble in the middle of mexico city where nothing is spray painted and all the buildings are well kept. I feel like im in heaven looking out into the nasty world (: I can already feel the spirit so strong here and we have only un packed and then i came to write all of you (: I´m safe and everything is awesome. I can tell that this is gonna be a great 6 weeks. We have three companisonships in our little apartment. It has 3 rooms, a bathroom, and a little study hall room for all of us to do our studying completed with a chalk board! So i have a key to room 304, and then i have a key to room 1, and then i have a key to closet 1. So no one will touch my stuff(:
 So that is about all I did today! Tonight i am going to eat dinner, and then probably sleep. I´ve been up for like 14 hours already. We have schedules and it says we can go to the temple every thursday, so im real excited for that (: Other than that ill have classes all day, and then I can workout, and they will have like soccer games and a bunch of activities. This is like a remodeld college campus! It has a bunch of different buildings and they are all named after Prophets (: Im with the 3rd week of missionaries, so there isnt really anyone here yet! Im ssure by the end of my 6 weeks, It´ll be packed! The keyboard here is a spanish keyboard, so all the keys and puntuation marks are all weird, so ive just been making a bunch of typos! Besides it´s a PC... Well thats about it! I love and miss all of you so much! Keep the love in Springfield high (: everyone out here is just so pumped to serve the Lord! I love you guys!
Elder McGee (officially with my name badge)

Day 1(:

I am currently in the dfw airport and managed to find a computer station. (: The work is already progressing and i have only been out a couple hours!! I already ran into one elder who was on his way back from his mission! I also bumped into a group of like 15 elders all waiting for their plane! They are all serving in south Chile. I'm so proud and honored to serve at this time in Church history. Things are already begginning to change. I mean this airport is huge, and I ran into like 16 misisonarioes already??? Crazy! I love all of you back at home! Saying goodbye wasnt easy, but like my dad and stake president both said, it would be harder to see me not go! Keep Springfield awesome (:
(this keyboard is like a piece of metal, sorry for my spelling)

Elder McGee

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

5 Days Left!

Hey hey hey!

I made some shirts for all my family to wear while I am gone! They should be done this weekend. Here are the proofs:

Today was yet another wonderful day full of happiness, tears, and goodbyes! I started the morning off with my little brother waking me up which is unusual, because usually I wake him up! Logan just cracks me up though. He clapped twice (which turns on our lamp) and just stared at me until I woke up. After I woke up and made eye contact, he just simply and happily said good morning. It's just all the little things I am going to miss the most!

I finally got up, and realized I had plans to visit with last years student council cabinet! I rushed up to schlotzsky's for a sandwich (I even got a free cookie for knowing the worlds largest desert). After a nice reunion everyone left and our advisory teacher, Mrs. Brusherd or now Mrs. Corbett, gave me a long hug and said goodbye. It was another goodbye that kinda of hit me because of how close we got this year!

After spending long hours on backing up my computer, downloading missionary appropriate music, and getting my dad all set up with his mac, ipad, and iphone through iCloud, I started thinking about how much I will miss all my technology! It's been so great to be able to just google something when I need to know something, or edit some fun pictures of what I did that day!

Kylie, my beautiful girlfriend came over later in the day. We worked on printing her senior pictures today! I must say they turned out pretty great! Here is my favorite:

Here we are being crazy (:

We both went out to eat with my beautiful mother. We had some great deep talks and I could tell the spirit was very strong. My mom is such a wonderful woman! We ate at houlihans! I had a wonderful burger (:

Well to end this beautiful day, I only have 5 left so I am making them the best possible. I can't believe how just preparing for the mission is already changing my life for the better! I just feel so happy and want to tell everyone about Christ's love!

Elder McGee signing off!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What a Great Day!

Today was absolutely amazing! I woke up and made bacon pancakes, avocado eggs, and sausage for the whole family! I gotta make sure they like me when I'm gone, you know? (;
Dallas, Danny, Sterling, Michael, Logan, Benny and I stayed up almost all night playing Nintendo 64 and drinking Mountain Dew! It was so great getting to spend another great night with all the dudes.
Anyways, I became a real man today! I went through the temple and took covenants with my Heavenly Father that will allow me to always put him first in my thoughts and become close to Him. Through Christ all things are possible! It was a very emotional day for my Dad because he doesn't want me to grow up. We have been through a lot together so it's definitely going to be hard saying goodbye to him. I also got to spend quite a bit of time talking to my grandma and her sister (Aunt Lynette). It was great! The temple was just so amazing. The building it's self is absolutely beautiful. I felt so special to be a part of the world we live in and part of God's creation. The last room  you enter in the temple is called the Celestial room. It is a very clean, bright room with white furniture, white carpet, white walls, and a huge chandelier! You aren't supposed to talk loud, so it's a very quite spiritual room. As I entered the room, my Dad was the first to greet me and gave me a huge hug. Then Amy followed him. Then my uncle Rob gave me a huge man hug. My aunt Lori followed him. Then my grandma gave me a long hug and cried with tears of happiness! Then Aunt Lynette followed her with the same big tears (: Some of Robs friends also joined us. Anyways the celestial room is a beautiful room you can just sit, ponder, and pray! After a little while everyone left, and I was the only one in the room. (You can stay as long as you want) I just sat there ard prayed for The Lord to be on my side for the mission. I had such a good feeling like I was making the right decision in my life for serving a mission! I just can't wait to meet all the people in Chile. I definitely had an overwhelming and reassuring feeling. Obviously it was the spirit pumping me up. I leave in less the a week now!
I started writing letters to my family on the way up to Saint Louis and the way back home. It made me pretty sad! But happy at the same time (: My temple session started at 6 and it took a couple hours, so by time we said goodbye to the Saint Louis McGee's (Rob and Lori and the kids) we finally made our way back home around 1AM!
I forgot one detail. Before the temple, we went over to a mall and went to a brook stone to buy a 110v to a 220v converter for electricity in Chile!
I love my life and where I am right now. I encourage anyone reading this to go out tomorrow and do something awesome for someone! Make someone's bed, make them a meal or just simply smile. Just do some random act of kindness.
Well goodnight(:
                                   -Elder McGee

Before the temple!

The House of The Lord with my Dad!

Mason, Miranda, Lynette, Mckayla, Grandma McGee, Rob, Lori, Me, Dad, Amy

Monday, July 8, 2013

8 Days!

Wow! 8 days until I hop on a plane and start living in Mexico City for training! I will be there for 6 weeks learning the language. I have a lot to do this next week including packing! I also had my last dentist appointment today for a nice teeth cleaning. My teeth are all shiny now (:
This past sunday, Dallas had the whole family crying as he got up in church and talked about how we have been attached at the hip since we were born, and how we will miss each other! We will not see each other for 3 YEARS with how things worked out!
My dad and I have had in depth talks almost every night for the past couple weeks. It has given me the confidence to not look back, and to serve with honor!
I am most excited to learn spanish and another culture! I can't wait to meet all the Chileans (:
Tomorrow I will be attending the STL temple to better prepare for the mission.
Until next time, 
Elder McGee