Thursday, February 5, 2015

Week 3: Hanging with the Locals, Watching Cyclists Being Hit by Cars, and the Inherent Stresses of Using the Salad Bar...

Elder Nelson Checks in with Mom:
Saturday [spent street contacting and practicing Spanish in the community] actually went relatively well. My companion and I talked to these 2 old ladies for like half an hour, and gave one of them a Book of Mormon. She was so happy when we gave it to her. The [Sunday church] meetings are just in the CCM [training center]. The CCM is kind of like a prison- once you are in training here you don't go out much, except for us North Americans when we go proselyting. I guess this is one of the only places you get to proselytize while still in the Missionary Training Center, so that's cool. I haven't ruined any clothes yet [while doing laundry for the first time] so I think it's going alright. Ah, sorry to hear the girls are getting sick. Thanks for the prayers. Everything is going pretty dandy. I feel like I'm not learning Spanish fast enough, however I don't really know how much faster I could possibly learn it. Just trying to stay positive, and hope it clicks in eventually. I love you and will try to write more next week but this week I want to try and send pictures out. The Verstoppens emailed me which was cool. Anyways, I love you and hopefully this picture thing works out for me.

And with Dad:
Yeah, I won't email much today because I really want to figure out the picture deal. Yeah I've met him [the President of the CCM]. It's a super small MTC. There's only like 70 people here, and when everyone left last week, there were only 12 of us here for 2 days. We will see 3 different groups [of new missionaries] in our stay at the CCM, however there will only be one other American group and we will see them this upcoming Thursday. [The native Spanish speakers stay only two weeks in the CCM before reporting into the field, as opposed to native speakers of other languages who spend 6 weeks in intensive training...] 
Not too much craziness in the community, but driving here is crazy. Not sure if there are traffic laws or right of ways. Within a minute of being dropped off, we saw a girl on a bike get hit by a car. I'm pretty sure she walked it off, but that was pretty crazy. We gave away two Books of Mormon and one pass along card here. We also stayed in the bishops house for like 2 hours and he just keep giving us food. By far the most amount of food I've ever eaten in a single day in my life. I weighed myself the other day, and I'm some 142 odd pounds but that's with church clothes on. The best thing I've had here was a mushroom pasta, like the tube pasta. It was so good. Spaghetti and meat sauce was good as well. There was another pasta dish that had like chicken and ham in it which was really good. None of the food is spicy. However there's this one meal where they give you nothing but meat. Just like 3 different types of meat. They have a salad bar, but for me that's just too much work to make my own salad. Aw that will be cool. [for Josh to attend a youth conference called Especially for Youth (EFY) in Santa Barbara this summer] Stay at home EFY was cool, because you got to see all those people again, but one of the overnight ones would be sweet. Clothes are fine and shoes are fine. I've just been wearing my Kush ones all the time and haven't had any problems [with blisters]. I kinda wish I had more ties to switch with guys, because all the ties I have right now I like, and don't really want to give away. My companion brought like 30 ties but he got a lot of them from a thrift store so it isn't like he cares about the majority of them because they only cost like a buck. How many notes were there? [Notes of encouragement hidden in his luggage- there were 12 from Tiff, and 12 from me] I've found some but pretty sure I haven't found them all. When it was just us Americans here we drug all the beds in one room and had a sleep over. I'm sure other funny stuff has happened, but I'd have to look in my journal to see what it was. Pretty crazy that today I would have gone through the temple more times in Spanish than in English. I love you and all the family, and will try to remember some cool stories for next week.

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