Friday, September 25, 2015

The Adventures of Elder King in Mexico

Dearest friends and family, 

Mexico City continues to get more interesting every day. I forgot to mention that last week there was Mexican Independence Day and all of the locals here went loco. They were singing a dancing all through the night, launching fireworks and shooting off guns into the night sky. At 3 in the morning I was awoken by a very intoxicated local singing karaoke to some song that I didn't recognize. It would have been much more enjoyable and hilarious if he didn't continue to sing until 5 in the morning while I was trying to sleep. I already knew that sleep is sacred time, but I have discovered a new appreciation for sleep that I didn't think was even possible. One of the Elders who sleeps in the same room as me, Elder Wunderlich, snores and talks in his sleep. Last night he sat up in his bed and screamed, "ES MUY IMPORTANTE! But I think that you´d like it." and went immediately back to sleep. I cracked up and was laughing to myself. 

I miss TV and movies and music. Sometimes during our breaks my district and I will start breaking into song and singing and dancing, it´s really fun. We had a full rendition of "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oates going on the other day. I proposed the idea that we create a CCM mixtape. I like debating movie and TV trivia during our meal time. Does anybody remember what the angels are called who sang with Illuvitar to create the world in Tolkien's The Silmarillion? I can´t remember and it's driving me crazy. 

Yo hablo mucho español todo la tiempo. Los otros Elderes y Hermanas en my districto no entienden mucho, enotonces yo ayuda ellos con la idioma. Yo hablo mas rapido de antes me tiempo aqui en la CCM. A mi me encanta la idioma. 

I'm sure there are tons of mistakes in that last paragraph. I talk with tons of locals here and joke around with them, I love the sense of humor in Mexico. They like to laugh at death. I was talking with one of my amigos about his mission and he said he's going to a part of Mexico notorious for chopping peoples heads off. He just kept laughing and laughing about it, which I found even more funny. I hope he doesn´t get his head chopped off. 

I got to meet with a woman last night named Maria. She was such a sweet lady, her husband is extremely stubborn and her brother lost his vision from diabetes. She was talking with me about how she wanted her family to feel loved and I shared my experiences with love and family. I couldn't help but smile the whole time as I talked about how I know that families bring as a sense of happiness unlike anything else. At times it can be frustrating when I meet and teach people because I know what I want to say in ingles but can't fully express myself in español. I've learned to just start taking more and more leaps of faith in the language, which has taught me a lot. 

I joined the choir here at the CCM and so I perform every Tuesday with the other Elderes y Hermanas here. I like it a lot and it help me a ton with the language. All the studying and learning I do with the language makes me incredibly grateful for my spanish classes I had in school. I guess I learned more than I thought I did. 

The only picture I have for this week is with another Elder King here at the CCM. He left the CCM yesterday so we took a picture together. He is much shorter than me and very funny and nice. I miss you all so much. My challenge for you all is to do something nice for somebody else. The greatest love can be found through service to others. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 1

¡Familia y amigos!

It is crazy to be writing to you all from Mexico City. It's beautiful here, and the weather here is amazing. It's the monsoon season so it rains nearly every day, which I personally enjoy because it keeps the temperature cool at night while we sleep. 

When I first landed in Mexico City and got off of the plane I was stranded on the tarmac waiting for a shuttle to take me to immigration and customs. I was all by myself and just spent some time talking to the locals as best as I could. Once I got to immigration I waited forever and a day in line to get my visa. Because I was stranded on the tarmac I was late getting to the MTC and was one of the last missionaries getting in. I loved sitting in the van driving through Mexico City because everyone here drives like a maniac and it's hilarious. There are people just out in the middle of the street walking around trying to sell weird stuff while cars are literally driving over trees and other cars to get where they are going. There is so much traffic in the night that there is always honking to be heard (along with fireworks and gunshots). I really like it here in Mexico, despite my slab of marble for a bed and sauna of a room. There is no ventilation or fans or anything so my room just keeps our window open at night to try and keep it as cool as possible. 

My companion is pretty cool, he's from St. George and his name is Elder Nelson. I live with three other Elders. Elder Wunderlich, Elder Favila, and Elder Nelson. We're all serving in the Yakima mission which is pretty cool, so we'll hopefully see each other out in the mission field. 

The classes are crazy, we learn so much spanish it's insane in the membrane. My teacher is named Hermana Escobar and she is extremely short but incredibly kind. She teaches us so much, we speak so much spanish everyday. I looked back on my goals that I set for myself in regards to learning the language a week ago and have already accomplished nearly all of them in the first week. My favorite thing to do is talk with the locals because they love talking to gringos like myself, especially when I can keep up with them. 

I was called to serve as District Leader over my district the first day that I spent here in the CCM (we call it the CCM by the way, not the MTC). I was pretty surprised not only to be called to serve as District Leader but to be called so quickly. I really love and enjoy working with my district, we have 8 Elders and 2 Hermanas. 2 Elders and 1 Hermana are serving in Kennewick Washington, 2 Elders and a Hermana are serving in Salt Lake City, and the remaining 4 of us are serving in Yakima. My heart has grown so much in regards to both loving the people here in Mexico but also the members of my district. I love having the opportunity to share my limited wisdom I have, since I'm a little older than them and have been to college. I like referring to myself as the Grandpa of the district, since most of them are 18 or 19 and I'm 20. 

The food here is....unique. It's really a hit or a miss depending on the day. The one benefit of the week is that each Tuesdaywe get pizza from Costco, and I don't think I've tasted pizza so delicious in my life. The food really isn't that bad, but some dishes have made Elders vomit instantly, which is pretty funny to watch, not so much fun to smell afterwards. It's really weird eating breakfast here because they serve salad and tamales as opposed to your typical american breakfast. I drink a ton of water to stay hydrated and so the other Elders like to tease me and call me a fish out of water. 

The schedule is pretty repetitive, but I'm growing to like waking up at 6:30 everyday. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. We have gym time everyday and I normally play volleyball or basketball. I like playing the natives in soccer and having them play me in basketball after. They absolutely destroy me in soccer but playing them in basketball is hilarious because they are all so short. 

I'll hopefully get better at writing these emails each week, my P-Day is on Thursday so expect a basic update from me every Thursday while I'm still here down in Mexico. I don't have a camera so I'm relying on getting photos from other Elders and Hermanas, but I'll definitely get one once I'm up in Yakima. I figure I might close this update with a spiritual thought that I taught my district. I like relating my life and experience to movies and books and television and stories, so I tell my district to pray like Enos, work like Nephi, and love like Christ. In striving to liken ourselves to those three pretty spiritual dudes (and yes, I just referred to Enos, Nephi and Christ as some pretty spiritual dudes) we will receive incredible blessings. There's a quote by my home boy Abraham Lincoln that I love, "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." It's really as simple as that! I love each and every one of you, and miss you all incredibly. But it's the love I have for all of you that pushes me to work harder so that I can share what makes me most happy with others. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mom here--
I figured out what missionary is: 

If you want to send William a hard copy letter while he's in the MTC, you can do so directly through this website for free.  No waiting for USPS to deliver to Mexico City.  He can print the letters and read/re-read them any time, where email is only available once a week for a short period of time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Made it to the MTC

Dear Mom and Dad, 

I have arrived safely to the MTC here in Mexico City. I had to wait in customs for nearly an eternity. I have a nametag and everything now, which is really weird but cool. I liked driving through Mexico City and seeing all the people and the aggressive drivers. My P-Day is on Thursday so you should hear from me next Thursday. Also I am typing on a spanish keyboard right now which is weird. Below is a message I had to copy and paste and send to you with my mailing address and stuff. Also the Elder who is walking me through this said to inform you guys about or something, not quite sure what it is. Hopefully my future emails won't be as scattered as this one. Love you guys a lot!

Elder King
[October 19] [4 - A]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is [October 19]. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King