Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Super Glue, Mexican Bleach, and Memorization Volleyball

So my parents always start off their emails by updating me about happenings back home, and I just had to start off this blog by saying: HECK YA BYU!!!! Go Cougars! Even though in our zone there are 4 Hermanas and 3 Elders who will all be attending BYU-Idaho after their missions, and none of them have any respect for BYU-Provo, I just updated them on the BYU football team being ranked. They just make fun of me LOL. I wish I could watch the games!!! Just wait for BYU basketball to start, Haws is gonna be killing it!!! My condolences to all those Ute fans out there, but I was a little happy their football team finally lost. My friend, Cody, has been giving me crap about BYU having an easy schedule and the Utes being 3-0 last week, but alas, not this week LOL. 

All the Elders in the district looking out our classroom windows.
For the first time in my life, I am actually excited to listen to General Conference coming up this weekend. All of the devotionals we've been watching here at the CCM are awesome, so our district is suuuuper excited, even though we're gonna be sitting in the auditorium for 10 hours!!! FUN! Its also suuuper hot in there because of all the missionaries, and any time we go to devotionals or special occasions, we have to wear our suit coats, no taking them off....hard to stay awake -- ha ha.

Me and Hermana Lake.
I strongly believe in keeping all the
mission rules, but nothing against
having an electrifying handshake.

Oh my gosh, so my district has been relentlessly tormenting me about a new friend I made here like they are worried about me or something. But I just need to say for the record that me and Hermana Lake are just super cool friends. She went to BYU-Provo before leaving on her mission, and she's headed back there afterwards, so I'll be able to talk to her more then. However, the coolest part is she's going to the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission!!!! That's so cool because that's where my dad went on his mission!! She leaves the CCM today, actually, so my district can't make fun of me any more! But we exchanged emails and she emailed me yesterday. We're gonna keep in touch through our missions:), and hopefully in Provo down the road, but don't worry, I'm honestly staying 100% focused, especially with the help of my entire district who loves to make fun of me. They'll say stuff like "Elder Olsen, weve got a scritpure for you" and it would be Alma 39:3 or other ones like that ...LOL.

Elder Gaspar De Alba is the second from the left with the glasses.
He and his companion love to hang out with us and they are super cool!

OK, so now for the stuff I've been up to this week. First, the bad news: So I've only been wearing one pair of shoes since I've been here at the CCM, and the fronts of both shoes are already coming apart. Elder Gaspar De Alba, a guy in our Casa, different district and Zone but one of my fave Elders, let me borrow his super glue...so I've already had to super glue my one pair of shoes. I haven't tried them on since then, but I am now going to rotate every day, so hopefully both pairs will last me a little while, but I think the super glue pair might not make it until Christmas, so I might need a new pair from home for one of my presents.

Another clothing story from this morning actually!!! So I put a pen in my top pocket, like every day, and after maybe four minutes this morning, it leaked like crazy allllll over my shirt, almost got on my tie! I couldn't believe it! There was this huuuuge pen leak blob on my white shirt. I though it was long gone, until Elder Bingham, in our casa but the Zone Leader in a different Zone (in the same room as Elder Bradbeer and Elder Jensen in the Casa), gave me some Mexican bleach and I poured it on it this morning and let it soak for about ten minutes, and it was loooong gone...perfectly good as new! Mexicans have some crazy strong bleach!! So that was a close one....I should've gotten a picture of it, but I was panicking LOL.

Me in my green Fast Sunday tie and tie pin.
Ok, now for the good news. Before the mission, me and my Dad and my brother all got the same green tie to wear on Fast Sundays, kind of as a way to be thinking about and supporting each other. Well, this last week was our second Fast Sunday we've had in the CCM, and I've been wearing my green tie!!! I must say that it looks super good with my suit, that gray and green swagger!

Ok, now for the Spanish. As it turns out, our class is actually an Intermediate Spanish class. Anyone that had ANY background, like high school or something like that, goes to Intermediate! We didn't think it was suuuper hard, so its whatever -- ha ha. However, this week, our teacher said that my pronunciation is amazing! Even when I speak in English, I do the Spanish roll on my Rs and etc. He said I have the best pronunciation he's heard from a 4th week Elder so far in the CCM! Also, I bore my testimony in our Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and it was about 10 minutes long, unwritten, all in Spanish, and when I sat back down I was embarrased because I 100% honestly thought I had accidentally switched to English halfway through. So I asked Elder Ruiz, and he said it was all in Spanish...I was amazed!! My first experience with language where I can't believe I had just done that!

So I also wanted to mention something about our Devotionals we've had these past few weeks. Most weeks, the Devotional takes place at the Provo MTC and is broadcast to everywhere else. But last week, we had a special Devotional here at the Mexico City MTC and it was broadcasted to the other MTCs. The two guys that spoke were the Missionary Department Director and the Executive Director (sorry I couldn't remember their names). They told us all sorts of cool stuff, like the exact process missionary papers go through, and how the Quorum of the 12 decide our mission calls and such. That was super cool! Also, the Devotional we just had this past Sunday was from Elder Bednar and it was SO AMAZING. It was a recording of a Christmas morning devotional from a few years back and it was almost 2 hours long. Everyone was going into it expecting it to be super boring because usually they are only 45 minutes or so, but it was soooo good.

This is Elder Jordan Gustavus and his companion, Elder Wolf,
teaching us how to tie cool knots on the day before he left the CCM.
So because of the time of year, the CCM is dwindling in numbers a little bit. There are still groups of new missionaries coming in every Wednesday, but they are getting smaller now, with bigger groups leaving each Monday. There is probably only half the missionaries here as there were when I arrived -- it's crazy! The last three days, it has been raining INCREDIBLY hard for 2 hours right after dinner, like the power goes out, torrential downpour with the streets flooding!!!

Another short story from yesterday. So after our gym time yesterday, Elder Bronson and Elder Hoffman both beat me and Ruiz out of our Casa, so in order to beat them back to the classroom, we went out the backdoor and ran behind the casas! Well, caught up in the adrenaline, I didnt look where I was stepping, plus it is like hidden beneath a layer of super green grass, is a big ole mud hole! I stepped in with one foot, and mud SPRAYED up my back side. It got midway up my back, and all over my pants and shoes and up my socks. I didn't go back and change. I still went to the classroom, and it was awesome, kind of. People took pictures of me, no one in my district though so I don't have a copy that I can send to you, and I sat in class for about an hour like that. I had laundry today, though, so all is well! Good times. 

To finish it up this week, I would like to share my thoughts so far about being away from home: I don't think I can fall asleep without the serenade of gunshots and car horns every night; I don't think I can shower without critters swimming around my feet; I don't think I would want to hang out in my room without the mosquitos driving us crazy; or, especially this, eat any of my 3 meals a day without loading them full of hot sauce (Valentina btw, the best stuff). One of my favorite parts of the day is writing in my journal at night, its all of our favorite thing to do here, and I can't really do a good adventurous journal at home! 

Our district likes volleyball so much that I made up this game called "Memorization Volleyball."
Every time we hit the paper ball, we have to say the First Vision or a baptismal invitation or
something in Spanish. It's sooo awesome. We play it for our last half hour of language study most nights
and it works great for memorizing!

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