Wednesday, August 27, 2014
This is my last P-Day before I head down south. We are leaving the CCM Monday at 2:30 in the morning!! It is going to be such a long day, but I am so stoked.
I am so pumped to finally head to Nicaragua. It seemed like I would never be leaving, but I am going to miss the CCM for sure. I have learned so much and I am now so much more prepared than I was when I left. The people here are amazing and I have met so many new people that are so awesome and who I would call my friends.
The language is still a struggle. I can get the basic idea of what people are saying, but it is so hard to communicate my thoughts and words that I want to speak. There are so many times when I am sitting through a lesson and I want to say this, but I have to say something that is so much more basic. I find I often repeat myself. I wish I was so much farther ahead. I guess that means that I have to work that much harder. But, I have faith that if I keep trying my best and giving it my all, that the Lord will prepare a way for me to learn what I need to learn.
I am really excited to meet my mission president and the people of Nicaragua. I dont feel like I am ready to leave, but I am so excited to. I want to meet the people of Nicaragua and learn to love them. That is probably the thing I am most excited for right now is to learn to love them and teach real people and make their lives better through the gospel. I truly have a testimony that the gospel does make your life better.
This past week I watched a Mormon Message titled, “The Hope of God´s Light.” It is one of my favorites and would highly recommend watching it.
Here’s a link to the video:
This whole mission thing still feels like a dream. I have been waiting my whole life for this oppurtunity and it is finally here. It is a wierd feeling.
It’s not perfect spanish but…
Yo se que la Iglesia es verdadero. Yo se que familias son eternos. Yo se que Jesucristo es nuesto Salvador. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Yo se que Dios es amoroso. Soy muy animado por la oppurtunidad a servir El Senor. En el nombre de Jesucristo Amen.
Love you all and hope you have a great week!!!
PS – In case you don’t speak Spanish, here is basically what Elder Wagstaff said:
I know that the Church is true. I know that families are eternal. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that God is loving. I am very encouraged by the opportunity to serve the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
August 22, 2014
This week was business as usual.
Started off the with another great Sunday. This week I had the opportunity to bless the Sacrament in Spanish. It was a little weird not knowing if you are saying the right words, but it was a way cool experience. We also had a Devotional on Sunday and for it we watched a talk by Elder Holland. He said something along the lines of, “You have to be the best missionary this world has had.” It was an amazing and really inspiring talk. It makes me want to work that much harder. I love Sundays in the CCM.
This week I gave a couple of ¨no script¨ lessons on having Faith in Jesus Christ and The Plan of Salvation. I am sure that to someone who speaks fluent Spanish that I probably sound like a 4 year old, but it felt really good to get my point across without using a script.
Not a whole lot of stuff happened this week besides getting up and going to study.
The days to entering the mission field are getting near. I love the CCM so much and am learning a ton, but at the same time I want to teach and learn to love the people of Nicaragua.
Sorry I don´t have a lot of stuff to write about this week, but I want you all to know how much I truly love you all.
Mom – How’s it going?
Guess what, I have managed to protect your clothes and things for nearly a month! With the exception of Abbi wearing your yogotogo shirt to bed, nothing has been touched!
A – That is awesome. I thought for sure everything would be in their closets by now.
Mom – So what’s new? How is your day going? It is so great to almost talk to you… It sounds like things are going really well.
A – Day has gone great, just the usual p day, get up, do laundry and write email so far.
Dad – Every day she waits for breakfast.
A – It looks like oakley has figured out how the chairs work. and it looks like she has gotten a lot bigger.
Mom – PLEASE snap a pic and send me your mug…I need to see you!
A –ya send me the instructions and if i have a minute i can upload the pics later
my p day is next wednesday
Dad – Your haircut looks good. Just don’t weigh in, you may have lost 5 pounds of hair.
A – haha for sure. I found a scale and after eating tons and tons of food i have only gained about a pound
Mom – You look SO happy and cute/handsome! Is your hair getting lighter? You are my favorite boy!
Is there anything you need or want?
A – I think my hair might be a little lighter.
I cant think of anything i need right now but thanks so much for the donuts and rootbeer we had another party in out room last night.
Dad – Mom freaking out (as she responds while you’re online)
A – that’s funny to see mom typing
Mom – We are glad we found a place that will deliver you treats. Not so sure we will be so lucky in Nicaragua, so we are loading up while we can. Do you want something different for your treat next week? or are you liking the donuts?
Also, why is your p-day changing to Wednesday? Any more word on when you leave for Nicaragua?
A – You dont have to send me a treat this week.
I still havnt heard much on nica but i think i find out this week
Mom – I was just wondering if your visa and everything was all good to go. Do you get homesick much? Or are things pretty good?
It is like Christmas being able to communicate with you. I wish Abbi and Liz could be here too!
A – occasionally i get a little home sick but i found the best cure is to just work harder. but overall things are awesome
Mom – I am glad you are able to figure out how to deal with missing home. I am going to do the same and work a little harder too…
So what is the MTC food really like? What are you eating mostly?
A – Don’t need anything right now. I am just about out of time.
But the mtc food is great. Occasionally there is a sketchy item but overall its just cafeteria food.
I will try to talk to you again on wednesday.
Love your son,
August 15, 2014
I have absolutely no complaints for this week.
This week started off so crazy!! Everyone was getting sick. The CCM was basically a hospital. It was nuts. Sunday started off normal everyone getting up, going to breakfast, just an average day. Then, by the time lunch came around, everyone was dropping like flies. One of our roommates had a fever of 102. It was insane. Luckily, I just got away with a cold, but everything is fine now.
This week Elder S and I did a half day of ´solo espanol.´ It was way hard, but I learn so much when I am forced to speak the language. Also this week, two teachers did a mock lesson and I could understand about 90% of what they were saying. It was so amazingly awesome. I still can´t speak very well, but this was for sure a ground breaking moment.
I think me and Elder S are finally getting (more or less) the hang of teaching a lesson in Spanish. The overall flow of the lesson is getting so much better. We are learning to actually teach part of the lesson without using 100% of the script. We have a lot of work, but it will come.
Thanks again so much for the doughnuts you sent to me again. It means so much. I shared them with my district and they were super grateful.
Me and Elder S had a really funny experience yesterday. When we went to gym, we noticed that our roommates left their door wide open with their keys sitting on their beds. So we thought we could either do 1 of 2 things. We could either get their keys and take it to them or we could take their keys, lock their doors and not tell them. We obviously chose option number 2. When they got back, they were freaking out because they realized that their keys were in their room and the door was locked. So they had to go all the way to the reception desk to get the master key. They then unlocked their door and grabbed their wallets which they thought their keys we in. They didn´t realized till later that night that we had taken their keys. They were freaking out. It was hilarious.
Today I got a hair cut. I didn’t think I had that much hair on my head, but I guess she thought I did. I think this is the shortest I have ever had my hair in my whole life. I guess that´s what happens when you have one person that speaks spanish and one person who speaks english.
I love missions so much!!!
I still don´t know a lot about my departure to Nica, but I will let you know when I find out. Elder S is also going to Nicaragua. I think my favorite thing about the MTC is how much I am learning. I love it. I don´t think I will get to go to the temple for 2 years :(. The food is good. There are certainly some things that you need to stay away from, but for the most part it is really good. My stomach is doing good too. I am eating a lot, but I still haven´t put on any weight yet. The laundry is good, thanks for teaching me or it might be a struggle. A typical day is from 7:15 to 9:30…we are studying with some breaking in between like meals and gym, but for the most part it is studying all day. I love you and miss you so much.
August 8, 2014
Another great week in the CCM!!! Everything is still going great and I am loving it so much. The language is coming slowly, but I am learning a ton. Early this week we were talking to some natives and I couldn´t understand a word that they were saying. It is scary to think that pretty soon I will be fully immersed in the language.
I can say my testimony and pray pretty well in Spanish. This is a ground breaking moment for me!!!
Here in the CCM we give discussions to fake investigators. During one of the experiences we were teaching about the Atonement. The word for sin is ‘pecado.’ So I tried to say we all sin, but instead I said we all ‘pescado,’ which is fish. It took me a minute to figure out what I said, but we all busted up laughing.
This week I had the opportunity to give a blessing to one of the hermanas in my district. I was a little nervous to give my first blessing, but it was such a cool experience to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. The Spirit was so strong. I LOVE IT!!!
Elder S and I continue to laugh at all the mistakes that we make. I think that it´s so important to take a stressful situation and turn it into something great.
I love the Sundays here in the CCM. It seems that sometimes it is hard to focus on why you are here just because of all the stuff that is going on, but on Sundays you can take a step back and remember why you are here.
This week the natives in our apartment left. We would always joke around with each other. They are such amazing guys and I am going to miss them so much. They are going to be such great missionaries.
I found a few of my friends down here in the CCM this week. Elder Tanner Horrocks, Elder Garrett James, and Elder Adam Hansen. It’s good to see some people from home.
Mom, thank you so much for the donuts that you sent me this week. We had a little “party” in our apartment this week. Those donuts tasted so amazing.
Today we went to the visitor center at the temple. I was really mad that the temple was closed, but it was still awesome to get outside the walls of the CCM and see what it is really like out there in the “real” world.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!
August 1, 2014
This week has been so incredible. I love the MTC so much and I am so glad to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love the guys in my district so much and I feel that they are already like brothers.
My companion’s name is Elder S. and he is from South Ogden. I am so lucky to have him as a companion, I wouldn`t want any other companion that is here in Mexico now. We are so similar in so many ways, it’s crazy. After the second day, we were already finishing each others sentences. He is a great kid. He is also hilarious. Yesterday, he put a fake spider on my bed and he had me convinced for a couple minutes that it was a real spider. I even got it in a bag and everything before I realized that it was a fake spider. So, if anyone has any ideas for pranks to get him back please let me know.
When it rains here it rains so much. Earlier this week it started raining and it was one of the hardest rain storms I have seen in a long time. When we got back to our apartment we realized that we left the window open and all of my books were soaking wet. It was kind of a funny experience.
One thing that I really miss is music. Earlier this week I heard someone playing Imagine Dragons on the piano and it made my day.
I feel like the language here is coming really slowly. But I’m going to just keep trying and work harder. I have learned so much in the first week and I really hope that by the end of this MTC experience that I will be able to kind of communicate with someone in spanish.
I have had so many experiences where the spirit has been so amazingly strong that I have been on the verge of tears. I read part of a talk by Elder Holland this week that has really inspired me to work harder. He said, ´´Run all the way, every day, every step until this is over.´´ There was another part that really inspired me, ´´Just don´t look back. Just put your face to the sun and put your shoulder into this work, and give it everything you’ve got and savor every day!”
I love you all so much and hope that everything is going as well there, as well as it is here.
July 23, 2014
Hey everyone! I have arrived. My adventure has officially begun. The weather is perfect here right now. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for getting me a suitcase that stands out and isn’t just black. I am so excited right now!!! My P-day is on Fridays in the MTC. Hope all is well there.