Friday, September 30, 2016

10 days and then its forreal

guys its so crazy I have basically one more week in this sheltered part of mexico and then I'm in the real world!! I'm doing great, I have a goose egg on my shin because I fell off my bunk bed but other than that I'm super mega big bien (inside joke with my district.) So basically it rained all the time this week. I heard the biggest clap of thunder in my life and i peed my pants and fell over and almost started crying. The thunderstorms here are almost comparable to Texas storms so that's comforting. I'm obsessed with the peach and apple rings they have here they're like peachie-o's but a million times 7 infinites better, and also the orange fanta here bc its so good and mexican soda is def legit. This week they shaved the trees which was really weird.  They literally took a chainsaw and shaved the sides of the trees. It was really loud during our lessons but i guess they look prettier now??  We watched a video from Elder Holland this week and he said something super profound: "the road to salvation ALWAYS passes trough Gethsemane, and into the shadows and borderlands of Calvary. If we say we're disciples of Christ we must walk where He walked, talk as He talked, pray as He prayed, and feel what He felt." This was super comforting to me because it gets super duper hard out here missing all you guys back home and secular clothing and american food but its so rewarding here!! It was such a motivation for me to hear that because there are definitely gonna be hard times here but if I want to be a representative of Christ then I have to experience what He did. There are so many more things that I want to share with you guys but I have no time and I need to send pictures!!! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is my Savior! I know that He loves all of us and that He suffered and died for our sins. I know that through that sacrifice, I can become clean of my sins, and I have the opportunity to return with Him and live with my family forever, and I am eternally grateful for that. 

Not too many pictures this week I'll try to send more next week!! It's hard because we can only take pictures on p-day. All of you read the Book of Mormon!!!! If you do you will know its true and you can be baptized too :) read 3 nephi 11, and then moroni 10:3-5 and follow the instructions therein!!! Aren't I such a good missionary???? adios amigos, les amo!!!
rainy braeden i love my jacket

post hair cut selfie with elder romero

this is my morning teacher hermano vargas i love him

beautiful landscape with my happy friends, we look this happy all the time especially in language study!!! (es chiste)

so look at this christus isnt it so good

one more week

This one is just for you you can share out of it if you want but it'll be pretty detailed. So we had trc last Saturday which I think it's like teaching resource center or something but we call it "the real crap" because we go and teach real people instead of just our teachers. Normally people just have members come and they teach members here but we had A REAL INVESTIGATOR our very first lesson and we were super scared but we did really good we definitely should have baptized her. Also we've started teaching each other, so like I'm an investigator for a companionship in my district and every companionship teaches two, so I'm pretending to be Braxton and that's really fun. I was sick like Monday and Tuesday with a terrible headache and I felt pretty bad but it was only like a day or two and I was all good. I have a joke for you that our district made up. What kind of shoes do converts wear?? CONVERSE JAJAJAJAJA It's pretty funny. On Tuesday we had a devotional and so if we don't watch live from Provo then usually an area 70 comes so Tuesday it was all in Spanish. I mean they had a translator but i understood 97.2% of what he said which was great and it was pretty much the best ever. I felt like it applied so much to me. He talked about how we're not serving anyone but the Lord, how we need to focus 100% on what we're doing. Which I feel like I've been having problems with, and he shared a story about how his baby was going to die very soon after he was born but that night he went and prayed and super early the next morning he got a phone call that asked him to come right away to the hospital so he thought his child died. So he was sitting in the hospital with his head in his hands waiting for someone to come tell him and a lady came up to him, put her hand on his shoulder, and asked "who are you praying to?" (in Spanish duh but whatevs) and his child made a random miraculous recovery and it was amazing. Another thing is the fact that "que mas me falta?" or what lack I yet about just becoming the best we can. The final thing is that he said "nunca dude quien le llamo" or never forget who called you and that's so big for me and it just really hit me when he said it. *mateo 19:20-22* I've been reading Jesus the Christ a lot and I've learned so much. I feel so learned and intelligent and even like I've grown closer to Him through reading it. Okay so one more time I want some pictures!! I've also been craving lindor truffles if that's somehow a possibility. It's so crazy. I fasted just on my own on Wednesday and we happened to have all the best meals so Wednesday night was chicken and some apparently amazing rice, and then Thursday morning was pancakes so I was pretty upset about that but ya know blessings. And then also this kid offered us all krispy kreme when we got home which was super tough but again blessings on blessings on blessings. We had two people in our zone go home the past two days, which is pretty tough... Elder Ricketts who I loved and he is such a great guy I'm so proud of him for his decision and also Elder Detro who was an oddball but I was really upset to see him go.  It was so funny so we have a class with the mtc presidency on Sundays and last Sunday it was a poco aburrido so 3 out of 12 guys in my row during that class were awake it was so funny but oh well it happens. I got my haircut last Friday. I'll send a picture with the group. I've grown to love wearing sweaters. I wear them every morning and then change at lunch but I feel pretty classy and its like cold in the morning so it's useful but I wish I brought my navy one!! There are two guys here from really close by, Elder Lowry is from Prosper and Elder Schoen is in Frisco but he went to Centennial. It's so weird I just randomly started talking to them and they happened to live ten minutes from us. I think that's it!! JUST KIDDING HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! This is like my first major event I'm missing which is really sad but I'm chill, but yeah we get to watch all five sessions of conference so I'm excited!! Also this is a side note if there's anyway you can send me three things: missionary little book of answers, future as bright as your faith, and my navy sweater that would be super legit but if not it's not a problem at all!! Just would be cool to have them but really don't spend a lot of money on a package or stress about can stress about packages at Christmas time ;) That's all I've got for now. I have about 25 minutes left to try and figure out this group email but it def wont be as long but feel free to share more about what I put here if you want!!! I'm doing awesome and I miss you guys!!! Love you all!!!
Josh: read Jesus the Christ about the origin of his name, Jesus comes from the greek yeshua, which in what we speak today is Joshua so there ya go. Also find the scripture about the city that has 7 mountains, it's in Revelations. The only city in the world with 7 mountains is Rome. Rome is where the catholic church is. You can figure out the rest, but I thought you'd enjoy that!
Kate: I hope volleyball is going good!! I guess you can just have my columbia jacket.  I miss you!!! Send me a letter or something this week.
I love you guys!!!!!!! See you in a few months (Christmas)

Friday, September 23, 2016

mexico is still dank

not a whole lot happened this week, weeks three and four are pretty tedious and the same. we teach a real person tomorrow which is kinda scary but the lord is on my side!!! this morning we went to the mexican consulate here and i signed my life away gave ten finger prints and i am a resident of mexico which is super cool. i bought a real mexican coke and it was definitely better than american coke yall should believe the hype and also we got FOUR CHURROS FOR 12 PESOS guys thats like 15 cents per churro its amazing. hmm what else all of our vecinos left which was super sad but ill be sending  pictures of everyone here in a little bit!! what else i learned a new tie knot which looks super great its nice and symmetrical so that was exciting. i also got pretty bored during class this week so i decided to draw a christus and i think i FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE omg okay next week. but anyway im learning so much!!!! we have class for probably around 9 hours a day and its all in spanish and about the gospel so it is definitely tiring but so rewarding. hermana orr shared a quote that said "dont let your mission happen to you. happen to your mission." and i thought that was super good. this week elder romero and i were called to be zone leaders which is actually really busy and kinda nerveracking or however you spell that but life is still good. so ive forgotten to talk about this for the past three weeks but they are actually parrots here!!! theyre these green birds that fly around everywhere and are super duper loud but its so exciting every time i see one i freak out. this week they like shaved the palm trees which was super weird but they had these chainsaws and they literally were just shaving down the sides of the trees. i didnt understand it but it was kinda funny to see them climb up the top of the trees with chainsaws hanging from their waists it was pretty funny. to ende on a more spiritual note this week we were reading in Mosiah 14. I strongly encourage everyone to read it, it's also the same as Isaiah 53 but we read it in the Book of Mormon so it was really great. It talks about how the Savior suffered for us and it's interesting because we all know that Christ physically suffered an enormous amount in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross as well but in this chapter it talks about how He was humiliated and treated like dirt and that no one cared for Him and it made me think about how much more His suffering means to me because of that. The fact that He not only bled and died for me but was emotionally torn apart during His life time so that I could be able to become clean again and live with my family forever is something that I can never pay back. I know that my Savior lives, that He bled and died for me. I know that through His infinite Atonement I can repent of my sins, and become more like my Father in Heaven. The more I think about how I put on my name tag every morning and wear Christ's name over my heart every moment of the day, I become more and more grateful for this opportunity to serve. I know there's no other place that the Lord would have me be, and that He's extremely pleased with my efforts. I love you all! I hope that you're doing well because I'm doing amazing! 

where i spend most of my time

my classroom where i spend most of my time


mexico is actually a super pretty place, i love when it rains here

new and improved room, most of my district hates texas because of my lone star state pride

​i got mexican coke which had the name of abraham and those are alegrías, which are like a traditional mexican snack candy thing they taste weird but are addicting

​legendary picture of me with i think 12 desks stacked in a spiral

all the cool vecinos that wanted to take a picture!!!

elder estrada on the left, who was hilarious and spoke no english, and elder arrieta in the middle who spoke english and was super cool

elder aguirre wanted us all to dab so this picture is pretty lit

Friday, September 16, 2016

dope pics from mexico

 this is a dope pic of my libro de mormón cover and my nametag that i still dont think is real

this is my room. there's now a texas flag hanging over my bead which is the top bunk behind elder romero

selfie with my wonderful district

​elder romero y yo
my super mega big beautiful district
(super mega big is an inside joke for us bc our teacher was describing something and said super mega big rapido)


hello everyone i hope youre enjoying this normally boring united states day because here in mexico its pretty much the most lit day of my entire life. the people here have so much pride and so much culture that the united states has definitely taken a back seat for now. last night we had a program about mexican independence and they did a lot of dances and we all did the grito mexicano and sang the mexican national anthem and my love the country and the gente grew so much as i participated! all of our neighbors in our casa are natives and weve gotten pretty close so anytime we see each other we all scream VECINOS and then do the whole hispanic thing where we just point at each other and go AGHHHHHHHH and that definitely doesnt do it justice but its pretty much the most amazing thing ever. hmm what else has happened oh yeah so the fiestas all start on thursday night because mexicanos are party people and so around 7 last night the fireworks started non stop and the music started playing and the fireworks stopped at around 1 or 2 but THE MUSIC DIDNT STOP UNTIL 7AM THIS MORNING it was so amazing we heard lots of spanish music but also WE HEARD BON JOVI AND YMCA  it was so funny but i love it here so much. lets see what else happened this week i got to go to the temple again today which was amazing as always and i met two guys that are in my mission right now, and also two that are going to where my dad served! what else this week well elder romero and i still play ping pong for about an hour every day during our gym time and i thinkwe could make the olympic table tennis team for mexico by now. this week i had the amazing opportunity of exercising my priesthood to give hermanas orr and colby a blessing, hermana orr came to me and asked if we could give her a blessing and so elder romero and i gave them both a blessing. i was the voice for hermana colby and him for hermana orr, but its so amazing how the words just came to my mind and i didnt really even realize what i was saying but i could feel the spirit guiding me as i spoke. they were both so grateful and the experience was just so amazing and spiritual and it was such a testament to my faith that God's power is here on the earth and i have the authority to use it. also this week we have two investigators named alex and luis and elder romero and i have a baptismal date for alex after the second lesson and luis wants to be baptized just from his first lesson but we dont have a date yet, the spirit is so powerful when we teach. today at the temple we  ran into two missionaries that are serving in mexico city west right now and they came with their investigators they baptized because they were getting married!! they said that they baptize all the time in that mission and the food is great and its a beautiful area so im pretty stoked to get out into the campo!!! in the past three weeks weve heard from three apostles, d todd christofferson, m russel ballard, quentin l cook, and it has been so amazing because theyre speaking just for us!!! i really dont like praying or singing hymns in english though its just weird. our district sings somos los soldados ALL the time its our favorite, its we are all enlisted in english. to end on a spiritual note, this week i was in personal study and I decided to read about the first vision, which I memorized in Spanish a while ago. Dice "vi una columna de luz, más brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza. Y esta luz gradualmente descendió hasta descansar sobre mi...Al resposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire arriba de mi a dos personajes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admiten descripción. Uno de ellos me habló, llamándome por mi nombre y dijo, señalando al otro: "Esté es mi Hijo amado. ¡Escúchalo!" And I know for a fact that Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and received divine revelation from them to restore La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días. Si lee en la Historia de José Smith, y entonces lee las escrituras que Moroni compartió con él, no hay nada manera que no puede creer que esta Iglesia es verdadero. Yo sé que José Smith vio Jesucristo y Dios. Yo sé que esta Iglesia es verdadero. Yo sé que Jesucristo y Dios nos ama más que podemos saber, y estoy muy animado por la oportunidad para servir a las personas de la Misión Ciudad de México Oeste, y digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

 pretty patriotic pic of the flag at the temple for mexican independence

this is blurry bc i zoomed in because i didnt want to get too close but these are everywhere its scary, its about as big as my hand spread all the way out. btw that thing is like 10' yards from me right now it makes me anxious

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PICTURE IT SAYS THE CHILDREN OF THIS SCHOOL ARE THANKFUL FOR NOT GRAFFITING AND SOMEONE GRAFFITIED DE NADA BENEATH IT ITS SO FUNNY (we saw this on the way to the temple its like staple to laugh at on the way there and back) theres graffiti everywhere in the city

this is mexico city

​my roomies, romero, butterfield, me, and schwieger

i would send more but im out of time, so peace from mexico until next time!!!! hasta luego amigos


so this week has been pretty legit chocked full of crazy stuff so first off its mexican independence day and we had a program where they did all these mexican dances and we did the grito mexicano which was legit and also we sang the mexican national anthem so basically ive learned that the united states is super boring and has no culture and mexico is amazing. last night around 7 the fireworks started going off very few seconds and by nine it was every second and the music srtaed at 7 and DIDNT STOP UNTIL 7AM THIS MORNING they played bon jovi and the village people it was super great. hm also i gave my first blessing as a missionary this week to hermana colby because hermana orr asked elder romero and i to do it, so i blessed hermana colby and stood in while elder romero did hermana orr and it was an amazingly spiritual experience probably the most so far. its amazing how the words just came to my mind as i gave the blessing, it really helped my testimony. hmm what else lets see the food is still good and mexican pluymbing still sucks if i mentioned that last time its pretty easy to clog up so the plunger and our toilet are good friends by now. at the temple today we met some guys in our mission bc their investigators are getting married in the temple! and ill tell more in the big email. uh what else for you lets see i had some pretty great revelations this week while reading the book of mormon ill explain more in the big email but my testimony has grown so much since ive been here and i feel so blessed being a missionary is pretty much the coolest thing ever. thats all i can think of for now but there will be more in the big group email if i think of anything!! i love you guys so much and i miss you!

Friday, September 9, 2016

first week in the ccm was dope

guys the ccm is legit it's so crazy to think that I'm living in mexico right now. im super sorry that i cant use good grammar because i only have one hour and im already halfway through the hour!! okay first off the pictures, the first few are of the plane ride and elder butterfield who's from wyoming ended up on my flight, and hermana colby was on my flight too and theyre both in my district. the next picture is my casa, where i live, and the next is just a view from the street i live on, and then a selfie in some random mirror thing my companion elder romero and i found on campus. im gonna send a lot more in another email because i can only send so many this way its dumb. okay so lets see basically the second day we got our first investigator and had to teach them a lesson, so his name was santiago and we had six lessons with him and he said he believed in the church and was going to get baptized!! he even said he would stop drinking coffee. hmm so we talk in spanish in every single class so basically im fluent already, and we have two new investigators starting tomorrow. the night we got here an area authority (member of the 70) spoke at the devotional, and then we had a broadcast with david a bednar from provo, we hear another apostle on sunday, and then another on tuesday!! its so crazy. okay so also we have to prepare a five minute takl (in spanish obviously) on a different topic every sunday and they just call people out of the audience to speak. i think im playing a special musical number in sacrament meeting next sunday because i brought my sheet music. hmmm what else the food is great!!! its weird because tex mex is not mexican guys like its legitimately different and tastes really good. the weirdest thing i ate is called "fritos bautizados" well thats the nickname and theyre like soggy nachos topped with feta cheese. honestly it wouldnt be that weird but it WAS A BREAKFAST FOOD it was so weird but it tasted good. uhhh this morning we went to the temple and it was the best experience it was so spiritual and different and the temple here is beautiful and SO  HUGE, but it was lots of fun. im our district leader and were the only intermediate level district in our zone, and theres eight of us. elder romero is my companion, he's from taylorsville utah and played baseball. then theres elder schweiger and butterfield in my room, then elders nielsen and steele, and then hermanas orr and colby, and were like a huge family. hermano vargas and acosta are our morning and afternoon teachers, respectively and hermano vargas is like our best friend he's so funny and a great teacher and knows how to keep us sane sitting in the classroom for 10 hours a day. we have an hour of gym time every day and we lifted weights at first but then we discovered ping pong so elder romero and i are basically ready to play for the us olympic table tennis team. IMPORTANT: if you want to see my pictures be looking for another email. all in all the ccm is great now that i've adjusted and we all have so much fun and learn so much and i feel like im progressing a ton as a human being, missionary, son of god, and representative of jesus christ. i know that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He loves everyone on the earth so immensely. I know that He sacrificed His life for us so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father someday. I know that this is where I'm supposed to be, and I'm so excited to be able to share what I know is true with everyone I meet. It makes me so happy and I want to make everyone else just as happy as I am. I've memorized like a million things this week but this is what I want to share from El Libro de Mormón. 
3 Nefi 5:13 "He aquí, soy discípulo de Jesucristo, el hijo de Dios. He sido llamado por Él para declarar Su palabra entre los de Su pueblo, a fin de que alcancen la vida eterna." Yo se que soy un discípulo de Jesucristo, estoy muy animado para la oportunidad para compartir el mensaje de Jesucristo con todas las personas de la misión México Ciudad de México Oeste, y digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

1 - mexico city temple is huge and gorgeous
2 - also mexico city temple
3 - elder romero and i looking righteous
4 - elder esserine and i also looking righteous
5 - my name tag is legit and is also looking righteous (it's still weird to put it on like i'm actually a missionary now???)
6 - just me looking fly as always
more to come in another email

elder jones is in the house

the ccm is so crazy guys i cant believe that it's already been 11 days! im ignoring all grammar rules because i have like no time and i need you guys to hear what has happened. so basically first off im our district leader i got assigned (not called) on the third day or something and my district has 8 people. were the only district in our zone thats intermediate so thats pretty cool too. the very first night i was like super homesick but now i feel like ive adjusted pretty well and things are going good for me. p day took FOREVER to get here but the schedule isnt too bad, just super routine and long days and a lot of class. we speak in spanish pretty much all the time and half the time i speak english i have a spanish accent. ive already memorized 3 nefi 5:13, moroni 10:4-5, invitacion bautismal, nuestro objetivo, marcos9:23, y juan 3:5. and probably some other stuff but anyway weve already had SIX lessons with our first investigator named santiago (he's actually hermano acosta our afternoon teacher) and we have two more starting tomorrow. there hasn't been a single meal that i havent eaten which is crazy but they have a pretty good balance between mexican and american food, just enough breaks to get us by. the weirdest thing we ate are called fritos bautizados and basically theyre like soggy doritos with feta cheese on top, but the weirdest part is that THAT WAS A BREAKFAST FOOD but dude i ate it and it didn't taste terrible so i considered it a success. yes i got your package but i haven't gotten any letters yet, ill try and send one soon just to see how long it takes. but thank you guys so much my whole district was so stoked about the eggs, i got the package on monday btw. uhh what else we have gym time like every day for an hour before or after lunch and we lifted weights the first few days but now romero and i just play ping pong and we're actually like some of the best players. its so crazy how fast were learning the language, hermano vargas is our morning teacher and he's literally like the best person on the planet he's so hilarious and good teacher and it's just great. today we went to the temple which was the most spiritual temple experience ive ever had. it was so pretty and im gonna send pictures here in a minute, i think i'll just send them in the group email though for time's sake. but we used the head phones and everything but had to go through the veil in spanish which was interesting. uhh im not sure what else to write about right now i forgot my journal in la casa so im going from memory. ill see if i can share more in the group email! but i love you guys so much and i miss you lots and i hope youre having fun in texas because mexico is legit!!!!!!!!!!