Week Two Update - Mexico is Still Awesome!

At the Mexico City Temple
October 1, 2014

Hi all!!
Hows it going?¡? mexico is still awesome. I cant believe i  have already been gone for two whole weeks, it feels like two days. Anyways how is VA? whats everyone up to??? I sure as heck miss you guys. But i love it here in mexico. The weather here is beautiful. Everyday it is like 70-75 and sunny. it has rained like twice in the afternoon, but nothing too bad, though the other night we were in class and we lost power....it was kinda fun actually...and then after like 10 minutes it came back on, and then flickered for like 5 minutes straight...literally like someone was flipping it on and off and on and off for five minutes straight. it made for a funny five minutes. Sometimes we get thunderstorms but no rain. but the weather is seriously beautiful. 

So my house is on the edge of the CCM here, and our back door faces the razor wire fence. And our neighbors on the other side of the fence are CRAZY. they are so loud haha. i think they have like 100 dogs cuz sometimes they all start barking and it is like so crazy that we all just die laughing. and the other night someone over the fence had a whistle and wouldnt stop blowing it in random beats for like a half an hour...right when we are trying to go to bed. The other thing about mexico here is that people just like to light fireworks off at all hours of the day, everyday. so at least once an hour there is like a huge explosion, and at first i thought they were gunshots but then after asking around i was assured that they are just fireworks...and sometimes you can see them. But i mean they set them off at ALL hours of the day....literally the other day at like 6:15 they were lighting them off. And then whenever a firework goes off all of our neighbors dogs start barking....so i think you can see the cycle. And Fridays, saturdays, and sundays are like 10x worse as far as parties. our noisy neighbors over the fence will have like loud marachi bands playing during the weekends, and we always joke that after our missions we are going to come back and attend their big parties. 

But so starting on our second day in the mtc we taught "lucy" who was our first investigator, and we taught her for like a week and were getting into a rhythm, when we went in to teach her one day and she told us her baby had just died....so in other words we had to throw our lesson plans out the window and try and console her and reassure her that everything would be ok. it was way unexpected, and i had to dig deep for words in spanish that i needed to use. But of course, it was not for real and the next day it turns out that she is actually our night-time teacher. But she is a great teacher. so she is no longer our invesitgator, but we have two new ones...both of which are our teachers, one in the morning and one at night. they just pretend to be different people, and we plan lessons according to who they are and stuff. it can be hard trying to feel the spirit out as to what to teach them when you know that they are fake. but its way helpful to have them be our teachers, because when they arent acting as investigators, they can tell us what we did well and what we need to work on. so its very helpful.

Mom - you'll be happy to know that i sang in the choir for one of the devotionals this week...we had two members of the 70 come and speak, and that was really cool. both gave great talks. and honestly, i love singing. singing hymns has become like one of my favorite things to do, i think a large part is because we dont get to listen to any other music here. But one of the most spiritual experiences this past week was when we were just singing hymns as a district in our classroom, and we were all just belting the songs at the top of our lungs, but it actually sounded good. it turns out that i have a very strong voice....but its not always the most on-pitch so i need to work on that haha.

This past sunday we fasted as an entire mtc group. it was hard because it was kinda the first time that i had gone exactly 24 hours without food. But let me tell you that the fast and testimony meeting on sunday was incredible. i have never felt the spirit so strong, and there werent many dry eyes in the room. we got a new district in our branch this week, and most of them had never taken ANY spanish at all before this...so they were really struggling. but a few of them went up and shared their testimony and even though their grammar was terrible, the spirit was just so incredibly strong. 

so my spanish is actually coming along pretty well, and i have surprised myself on my occasions because i know so much. i was able to bare my testimony about my experience with Owen all in spanish, and that was cool. my class is intermediate, and honestly we are already better than a lot of the kids going out after 6 weeks who started in beginner. We no longer have to script our lessons, we can just teach topics and follow the spirit and not have to rely on translating it all, it just comes out when we try and teach. Its cool to see that change happen.

The food has been alright...yesterday we had the BEST steak though for lunch, and then every Tuesday night they order a bunch of Costco pizza for everyone, so its a little taste of home once a week. 

So this week my companions and i were made zone leaders....so we are in charge of three districts, and i am still district leader of my district. its pretty cool. i love having the responsibility and being able to serve more people. I am the only person in the history of the mtc to be both a DL and ZL, so thats pretty cool too haha. 

Earlier today we were able to go to the temple visitors center, and it was SO cool. the temple is beautiful, i wish we could go in it. they are doing major renevations of the foundations, so it looks great from the outside but you cant go in it.

Its wierd here cuz the days go by slow sometimes, but then the weeks FLY by. the saying is that a week feels like a day and a day feels like a week. But gym time is fun way to break it up each day and run around, and everyone looks forward to p-days. 

Well all is well here, and i hope all is well back home. keep me updated on how everyone is doing.

I know that this church is true, and i am more than happy to be able to serve for two whole years. one thing that i have learned is that i used to think that like if you want an answer to something, or you want help with something that you pray about it, and then you will receive an answer, and once you recieve an answer then you can act on it. but that isnt always the lord works, just like it says in ether 12:6, you receive no witness until AFTER the trial of your faith. so you must ask for help, and then get busy in the work, and THEN you will know what to do or then you will know what to teach. This is something that i have learned when we prepare lessons for our investigators. we used to pray to find out what to teach, and then wait for an answer. now we pray, but just get busy planning another lesson or something, and THEN we get an answer. sometimes we dont even get an answer until we are like halfway through our lesson, when i receive an impression that i should teach them about a certain topic, or bare my testimony about something specific. Ive never noticed that before, but it is really cool.

Anyways, you guys are the best. I love and miss you guys so freakin much. James would be happy to know that i sometimes play basketball with a missionary who has a byu football scholarship and will play defensive end for the cougars when we get back. So thats cool.

Anyways, I'll email you guys in a week!


Elder Todd

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