Sunday, September 6, 2015

July 30, 2015 - Week 1 in the MTC

Day 1: So I got to the airport around 8 that morning and went through all the airport security and everything. Me and Parker were sitting in the terminal and this guy from Mexico that worked in Utah was flying home to see his family for the week. They live in Mexico City. He asked me if I had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple and I couldn't find one that wasn't blurry so I got to show him the pictures of the Payson and St. George temples. He wasnt LDS but I still bore my testimony to him about eternal families. Then Parker all of a sudden showed up again and he had a Strength of Youth that had the temple on it. His eyes lit up and he took the pamphlet and said he was going to go show the picture to all his neighbors. It was awesome. We got on the flight and it was about 4 hours. The flight had 70 missionaries on it! We got to the airport and got on busses and took an hour bus drive to the MTC. Mexico City is amazing! The traffic was crazy and there were people walking down the middle of the road selling chips, candy, and other things. But the city is colorful and the way people live here is really really cool. I loved the people from the moment that I saw them all. We got to the MTC and went through all the orientations and went to our houses. Then we met our district and there are 7 of us all going to Oaxaca so it is great to get to know all of them now. We then went to the cafeteria and ate dinner. The food here is good...the refried beans and rice that they give us every meal (literally breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will get you. But they try to get American foods in there but if they do they either have corn, rice, or spicy stuff in them. But the food is good and I can get used to it. Then after we ate we had more meetings about rules and stuff then we went to bed. Day 2. We got up and got ready. The night was a little rough because there are sirens going all night and dogs barking. But we were all so tired we managed to get to sleep. This day was the hardest because we couldn't really work and all we had to do was sit through meetings and more orientations all day. But we had our first language classes and we learned how to pray and bear testimony in Spanish. All the teachers here are bilingual but their english is pretty broken, it feels like you are drowning in Spanish but we are picking it up quickly. We got our study schedules and we study language and doctrine for about 6 hours a day. Here I have learned to rely heavily on the Holy Ghost to help me feel what I am supposed to be feeling. Although the language is different on the outside, the language of the holy ghost is always one that you can understand. We went to bed again and the longest day was over. Day 3. Just when I thought there wasn't anything else that could keep me up, the Mexican people decided they wanted to celebrate pioneer day or they did fireworks starting at 11 and going till 6 the next morning. We got to our classes and they told us that we would be teaching our investigator that complete spanish. I have a companion, Elder Thomas from Albuquerque New Mexico that is nearly fluent so it was a huge blessing. We prepared all day and relied on the dictionary that we were given. We taught about the love of God and the plan of happiness and we could feel the spirit. I didnt know what I was saying but I could tell that it touched him and the spirit was strong. It was such a great experience. Day 4. Just like all the other days, classroom and study work but we got one additional thing added to our schedule...GYM TIME. The MTC used to be a High School down here so they have a weight room, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and a full basketball gym with bleachers and everything. Our district is a tall district too, we have 3 of us, Elder Thompson from Cedar City and Elder Belliston from Idaho Falls that are all 6,3. We got challenged to a game by two elders who were both 6,6. One is going to UC Irvine to play basketball on a scholarship and the other is on the BYU Practice team hoping to be able to walk on when he gets home. They dunked on us...we tried to dunk on them, and thankfully in the MTC everything always ends in a tie. This was for sure the highlight of the week. Sunday. This was the best Sunday I have ever had. Sacrament meetings are conducted in Spanish. There is no spirit that is stronger than being able to sing Hymns with 500 elders and sisters in Spanish. We went to priesthood and we had a great lesson about being faithful to God and showing obedience to him. We had a devotional that night and Elder Mills, the director of all the international MTC's spoke to us, showing us all the pictures of all 18 MTC's around the world. The Mexico MTC is definitely the luckiest. Here there are palm trees everywhere, green parrots flying around, it hasn't been above 80 degrees and there is a rain storm at 5pm everynight to clear the air out. It is a paradise inside of chaos outside. After the devotional we got to watch Meet the Mormons and then we went to bed. Monday-Thursday. Pretty much the same stuff. Our district is all really close together and all best friends now. Yesterday there was one of the biggest bees in our classroom flying around. One of the Elders decided he would try to smash it with one of his books. The bee flew to the window and the Elder took a swing and broke the was really funny but he felt bad about it. The bee was literally the size of a moth and was completely black. I could see the stinger from across the room where I was sitting and I was scared haha. Overall the food is good, it is beautiful down here, we have fireworks shows every night that beat the stadium of fire any day. Our branch president said it was catholics worshipping and celebrating Mary and Jesus. But I feel safe down here, there are 15 foot walls surrounding us with security everywhere. It is a great experience and I can't wait to head out to Oaxaca! One last thing! On Tuesday we had a devotional by Elder Miron of the 70. In his talk he talked about Oaxaca specifically and said the people down there need the gospel. That got our district really excited about it and afterwards we got to go talk to him about it. We also sang Hope of Israel in the Choir...again in Spanish, but the spirit is always strong no matter what the language is. I would love to hear from everyone! There is a site that if you want to send letters down here you can go to it. It is and it will be delivered the next day. Unfortunately normal letters take 3 weeks at the least to get here so this way is the way to go if you want to go that route. Emails are also great too! The church is true and Ill talk to you all soon! Elder Peterson

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