Alright. Its been a really long week! Well two cause I couldnt really write much last time. But Ill talk quickly and concisely cause i dont have much time. Excuse the grammar, typos, etc, cause yeah. [I corrected most of them..]
So this past week has been a little eventful!
I’ll start off with Monday. Monday was national independence day in Mexico, so after our morning and afternoon classes, we had dinner and then something called “Mexican Night”. We went into the auditorium, and a whole bunch of performers came in and performed some traditional dances, sang some songs, etc. There are some pictures and videos in the folder “September 18” (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/em5imil54ojqtx7/AACvT6cjXKoDJI8kkz-IPbyBa?dl=0)
One of the things we’ve been practicing the past few weeks was the mexican national anthem, which in its entirety, is about an hour and a half, so we only sang two verses and two choruses. We had a flag ceremony, and our MTC President, President Pratt, came up, took the flag, chanted some things in honour of special people who helped gain independence, and we all sang the Mexican National Anthem together. It was so awesome, especially celebrating another country’s national holiday.
Prior to the whole fiesta, a bunch of people were waiting outside the auditorium, so my friend and I decided to hop up to the steps near it and shout “SELFIE TIME!” Everyone turned around, and we snapped a few selfies. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlya1iaynqrxvc5/IMG_0271.JPG?dl=0
That was actually on my friend’s camera, which I took from him without knowing. I went around taking selfies with random Elderes, Hermanas, coches, and whatnot. Totaled about 120 pictures, but he deleted most of them 😦 But yeah, https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6hz3kvjldqz27sa/AAC_YFnKybZM4YFuPHW_eQdqa?dl=0 is the link to all the selfies I took with that stolen camera.
Then after the show at about 9:15, we went home, changed out of our nice clothes, and climbed to our roof! It was awesome just to see some fireworks here and there, just chill and have a nice overhead view of everything. Eventually, we got in trouble for it, but whats done is done.
After Monday, we went to some more normal stuff, unfortunately. More learning, more classes. Tuesday, we finally got our itineraries to get out of here to Chile. So we’ll be flying from here to Santiago, have a 2.5 hour layover, then flying to Concepcion South, wherever the closest airport is. I think its a total of 10 hours of flying, which isn’t bad. But no movies again.. 😥
Wednesday, nothing happened, really… and Today is Thursday, and I took a glorious nap today. YES. FINALLY. NAPS. AHHH
So one of my friends, who is my roommate (not my companion), Elder Andersen who is always biting his ties in our photos, is most likely going to the University of Utah, so he’s planning on going to the U’s campus in Songdo, Korea, over a semester, and I hope he goes during summer so I can have him in Korea. Then, we’re gonna do an Asia trip, and go all over Asia with his current companion, Elder Yamada, and their SOs and my lonely self. Just goes to show some of the awesome people I’ve met so far.
The MTC is so boring, but I’m still learning a lot. Most of my friends who have left the MTC to the field have said that it’s super busy, so I’m trying to make use of the free time that we have left! Once I get out there, I promise I’ll have many, many more interesting things to say, but until then, you’re stuck with my boring MTC experience.
I’d also like to finish by bearing my testimony in Spanish, just because this is my last pday here. Yo sé que todas las cosas que estoy haciendo son las cosas que Dios quiere para mi. Todas los difíciles, los desafios, y también, el gozo y la feliz que yo siento cada día, las dudas qué tengo cada día son de Dios. Para que yo pueda aprender y progresar en mi vida, para que cambie mi personalidad, mi corazón, y mi alma y mente. El trabajo en el misión no es fácil. Pero cuando veo que hay 800 personas en el CCM in México, y 75.000 misioneros en el mundo, Hermanas y Elderes, yo reconozco que el trabajo es verdadero. El camino que estoy caminando es el camino que Dios me quiere tomar. Y cuando tengo los dificiles, los dificiles que hé tenido, los que tendré, yo puedo y podré pedir a Dios y Jesucristo para su ayuda. Por qué yo sé que Ellos me aman, y quieren el mejor para mi vida y mi camino. Quieren que yo logre toda que pueda lograr en el campo misional, y Ellos me dieron ustedes, mi familia, mis amigos, los otros misioneros, personas en cada parte del mundo para apoyarme. Y por eso, estoy muy agradecido. Nunca podría servir el misión o estar aqui sin ustedes, sin su amor, y sin su apoya. Gracias.
Yo sé que la iglesia es la verdad. Qué José Smith fue un profeta verdadero, y por eso, el Libro de Mormon qué él tradujó es verdadero también. Y a través de el Libro, puedo aprender mas de los deseos de Jesucristo y Dios. El profeta hoy, Thomas S. Monson es un profeta quién puede recibir revelacion directamente de Dios, y él es una guía.
Yo lo comparto en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Until next time,
I know all the things I’m doing are the things God wants for me. All the difficult, the challenges, and also the joy and happy I feel every day, I have doubts every day what are God’s. So that I can learn and progress in my life, to change my personality, my heart and my soul and mind. Work on the mission is not easy. But when I see that there are 800 people in the CCM in Mexico, and 75,000 missionaries worldwide, Sisters and Elders, I recognize that the work is true. The path I am walking is the way God wants me to take. And when I have the difficult, the hardest I’ve ever had, which I have, I can and I can ask God and Jesus Christ for help. Why I know that they love me and want the best for my life and my way. I want to achieve all that you can achieve in the mission field, and they you, my family, my friends, the other missionaries, people in every part of the world to support me gave me. And for that, I am grateful. I could never serve the mission or be here without you, without your love, without your support. Thank you.
I know the church is true. What Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and therefore the Book of Mormon which he translated is true too. And through the book, I can learn more about the desires of Jesus Christ and God. The prophet today, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet who can receive revelation directly from God, and he is a guide.
I share in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Friends and family, whoever may be reading this!
Hello again, another week has quickly gone by, and once again, not too much has happened.
A missionary in our zone, Elder Kelly, sang at our Tuesday devotional. Background about him. He’s 24 years old, he went to Juilliard for a semester for Opera Singing, and before his mission, he was performing at Opera Houses and Cruise Ships. His performance was sooooo good, wow it was amazing.
The weather this week was pretty unfortunate. It’s been raining a little, but only during our gym times, so we couldn’t play too much futsal too much this week On top of that, I lost my scriptures, and frantically searched everywhere for them, but found them. Thank Goodness. AND I lost my debit card -_- but luckily I had a backup, and solved it with the bank. WOO
The most exciting thing this week was getting some awesome MTC gear. I’ll have photos up soon, but they’re three tshirts and a case for my scriptures.
As for a spiritual experience, it was such a simple one, yet so powerful. We were preparing to practice teaching each other, and half of us were outside being told what kind of investigator to play by the teacher. While they were out doing that, we were praying individually, as we always do. In this prayer, I decided to focus more on my thanks, and as I thanked Heavenly Father for the plenty of blessings he’s poured onto me, I felt so much of the Spirit. I shed a tear as I knew and felt God’s love for me, his constant care. “For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; they walls are continually before me” 1 Nephi 21:15. I read that scripture many times this week, and each time I read it, I knew it was more and more true.
I’ve gotten a lot closer to my district, especially Elder Andersen and Elder Yamada (The half japanese guy and his companion). They both have girls back at home, and they’re probably all gonna get married when they get back. It’s kind of crazy, they’re a year younger (straight out of high school), and they’re actually talking about marriage…
Also, every week, natives leave the MTC to go the camp, and whenever they’re out in front of the cafeteria taking pictures and see us, they’ll stop me and my half-japanese friend and ask for pictures. Never knew them, never talked to them, but they were so delighted to see Asians in Mexico. It’s weird, workers, receptionists, every native, missionary and nonmissionary, has been curious about me. Some have asked me for my mission address. It’s a weird feeling… Going to be weird as one of the only Asian missionaries in Chile.
Anyway, I really don’t have much to talk about at the MTC. Once I get out in the field, I promise that my posts will be much more interesting! If you do want to know anything, shoot me an email!
Until next week;
This week has been a rather boring one. Of course we had our investigators, of course we met more people, but nothing amazingly new has happened, so I don’t think this will be a long email.
I’ve heard a few more stories about my mission in Chile. Actually just one. Apparently almost every missionary in my mission gains 20 pounds in the first sixth months because they’re fed a LOT of food, its really rude to reject the offering of food, and the bread is supposedly the best bread ever. Cooked in lard, stuffed with lard, so ew, but delicious. There goes my hopes of being fit.
Language here has been easy. We have a lot of time allotted to learn the language, including time in the computer labs, but I’ve already learned everything the 6 week course has to offer, so I’m just reviewing… Kind of boring. I’ve been helping the other missionaries in my district and zone as well with language. It’s awesome cause I was reading my patriarchal blessing (If you don’t know what it is, its a blessing given by higher authority that essentially is divine personal revelation. Someone blesses you and says words of guidance of your life), and a large part of it talked about my proficiency of language on my future mission, which would then help not only investigators but also missionaries in hastening the work. This was given to me 4 years ago, so its awesome reading it now and seeing how true it has become.
We’ve hit the halfway mark in the MTC, and time is flying. It seems like only a few days ago I was writing you guys. It’s bittersweet; I’ve become so close with my district and other districts in my zone that it’ll be a bittersweet moment when we all leave. I hope to see them all sometime soon after the two years; some will be going to BYU which will be great, but some people are thinking about USC, the U, ones going to Stanford, and one is playing baseball at SLCC. He’s insane, 6’7 half Venezuelan who pitches 92mph. WHAT.
Our district has started playing futsal during our gym times and PDAY, which is amazingly fun (missed it a lot) and tiring cause our gym time is at the hottest time of the day (which isn’t too hot. Just a lot of sun to give me that farmers tan mhmm). Another missionary we play with played football (soccer) at BYU, so he’s super good, but definitely not first string.
As of my take on everything mission-wise is interesting. My faith of the whole Church has grown SO much, My testimony of Christ and the things I’m learning has increased tenfold, and my diligence and work ethic is shooting out the roof. Some missionaries and I wake up at 5:30am every other day to go lift, and I spend all day studying (except every now and then, cause lets be real, I’ll never be able to not fool around). I never thought I’d be able to do a 16-17 hour day and be so happy when I go to bed. I’ve really been given power by the Lord to do His work. As of how I feel about my religious stance when I get back in two years, it’s definitely changing. I went into BYU and the mission with a very vague, “lets cross the bridge when we get to it” attitude, but now, I’m looking somewhat forward to staying steadfast and continuing work in the Church. But it’s only been 3 weeks, so we’ll see where that leads in the next few months and years.
I’ve given my sister (Sandra) links to the dropbox where all my photos are, and I think she’s posted it on here last week, but here it is again. There will be two links; the first is a shared district folder with my and my district, and they will be uploading as well, and the second will just be my uploads.
Also, I have a request for you guys! I’m in need of more songs on my iPod. If you guys can message my facebook with a song (link or file, doesn’t matter), I would greatly appreciate it. I’m going to try to see if my sister or someone could download those songs, get me and iPod shuffle and load it with your songs and send it over. Anything acoustic, piano, instrumental, mellow, chill. Nothing too loud, no bad words/messages, etc etc. ❤ ❤ ❤ Some songs I’m hoping to get: Allen Stone (Any new album), Sam Smith (I only have a few but I want them all!), Yiruma, anything acoustic like Jack Johnson or people like John Legend. And a load of just really nice piano, instrumental music.
Anyways, I hope you all are doing well. Sorry my posts haven’t been too interesting, but when you’re stuck in a the training center with the same schedule every day, you can’t really have many interesting stories. Except that right now as I’m typing, its raining an INSANE amount and a lot of hermanas (sister missionaries) are going around without umbrellas, shoes, and rainjackets.
Take care, all! 3 more emails until I’m in the field! Then you guys can start sending me packages (ahem ahem).
P.S. – If you guys have any questions about the Church or literally anything that you’re curious about (my experience, etc), shoot me a personal email. I can’t post everything here and expect it to answer everyone’s question, and I really enjoy hearing from people.
❤ ❤ ❤ peace out ya’ll
Please FB Josh any good music you want to send his way, and I will check it for him. Thanks!
Another week has gone by. This time, the week flew by, it seemed like only yesterday I wrote a post. That being said, there hasn’t been too much going on at the MTC. Just a LOT of learning. We have 4 teachers. Hermano Garza, Hermano Fernandez, Hermano Terrazas, and some other dude I can’t remember. Garza and Fernandez are our main teachers, but Terrazas subs in on Saturdays cause Garza attends university. Earlier last week, we had two hermana teachers, Hermana Vasquez and Hermana Vargas helping Hermano Garza out, so we had 6 different teachers thus far, when we’re only supposed to have like two… But holy COW hermano Terrazas walks like a bullet. We have to jog just to keep up. Missionary pace indeed.
I’ve been having companion troubles since very early. He’s a cool guy, funny and many similar interests, but he is not focused. I’m busting my butt here trying to work hard, actually do what I”m supposed to. Keep to the schedule, focus on the work. After all, we’re here on the Lord’s time, not ours. But this kid is NEVER focused, never is on time, and has very little motivation to do things. He fools around a bit too much for the workload of the MTC here. I’m sure i”ll have worse, but it’s not easy when your first companion is not doing anything properly. He’s the kind of dude who never has his own pencil, folds papers and important documents and keeps it in his pocket, and always keeps his mouth open. LOL it bugs me so much. I pray every day to have the strength to stay calm, and so far so good.
Someone in my district and in my house (but not my companion), Elder Delamare (half American Half Venezuelan, he’s also 6″7) and I decided to work out in the mornings before everything cause no one in our district wants to work out during out allotted gym time. So we started on Monday, woke up at 5:30 and worked out from 5:50-6:20. We had to be back by 6:30 cause that’s our wake up time and we need the time from 6:30 to 7:15 to get up and prepare for the day.
I think it was last Saturday or Friday that it rained like no other, almost monsoon-esque. In the main plaza, the ground bricks weren’t laid evenly, so there were a few huge puddles of water. I was running by with my umbrella, jumped the first one, didn’t see the second one, and stomped right into it. My whole right shoe and probably a few inches of my slacks got soaked. Gotta get used to that.
The workload is still high, and we’re starting to do an English Fast, everyday after lunch and before dinner, and all day Sunday. I’ve been doing alright, and my Spanish has REALLY gotten better. Some people don’t even try (companion ahem). It’s funny, some of the guys always complain how they suck at Spanish, but never take any of the study time, language time, or free time to learn anything. They expect to receive the gift of tongues and the Holy Ghost to help them, but they forget that without preparation, they won’t be blessed with such things.
As of spiritual, missionary experience, I have 2 for you guys this week. On Wednesday (27th), we had our first real investigators in a class called TRC, Teaching Resource Centre. One of our investigators is a close friend and classmate of our teacher who attends university, and that teacher, Hermano Terrazas, has already introduced the Church and the Gospel to her, Jasmine. She agreed to come to the MTC (CCM) and be an investigator. She’s never had previous missionary or church experience, so we were fairly crucial in her search for the truth. It made it all more nerve wracking that during our lesson, Hermano Terrazas came in and listened to our lesson. Nevertheless, the lesson was one of our best ever. She was SO attentive, and she loved Christ so much already. It was easy to let the Holy Spirit speak through us and address her needs. I have no doubt that soon, through not only other missionaries but Hermano Terrazas as well, she will be baptised.
The second experience happened because my roommate was sick. Elder Yamada hadn’t and hasn’t been feeling too well this past week, so his companion, Elder Anderson, me, and my companion, Elder Kirk (we all sleep in the same room and are in the same district) decided to give him a blessing. For those of you who don’t know, we believe that we hold the true Priesthood, or the power and authority to act in God’s name. THis allows us to do such sacred work on missions, baptise people, and give blessings to other people, those who are sick, and those who just need help. To do this, we use a drop of consecrated oil and lay our hands on Elder Yamada’s head, and Elder Anderson gave the blessing and prayer. We are new to this authority, so blessing someone who is sick was somewhat unprecendented to us. Nevertheless, as soon as Elder Anderson started the prayer, we felt the Holy Spirit fill the room. He spoke clearly and simply through Elder Anderson, expressing feelings of love and care. When we closed, we were all on the verge of tears. Elder Anderson opened his eyes, really confused as to what had happened, saying “I had no idea what I was doing.” His eloquence, love, and care testify of the truth of the Holy Spirit.
Anyway, that’s enough religious mumble jumble to you guys! I’ve learned a lot so far, and my faith has grown a ton since i”ve been here. I’m excited everyday to do the Lord’s work and see how I”ll change, and am motivated to not only do the best I can do, but also become the best I can be.
Anyway, that’s it for today! I am thankful for all your emails, showing of love and care, thoughts and prayers. I hope you all are doing well, and I am keeping each of you in my prayers as well.
Until next week,
Note from sister:
For those of you who may not understand our beliefs in Christ, as was mentioned in Elder Lee’s blog, I suggest starting out by reading these two talks:
1. “The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent” by Elder Jeffrey Holland (this one is a little more intense, and Elder Holland has a tendency to be very… intense, so if you’re not LDS, take it with a grain of salt, and if/when you understand more, his talk might make more sense).
2. “The Way of the Disciple” by President Uchtdorf (Uchtdorf is always very soft, I think. You can relate to what he talks about a lot.)
Start here and look around and find out what you think you believe in!
I encourage you to email Josh if you are interested in knowing how he’s doing!
Here are some update pictures: Most of them.. I don’t know what’s going on or what’s happening… so enjoy!