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

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