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 eachwe 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 ateveryday. 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,