Monday, June 30, 2014

First week in Mexico

Hey Everyone!! 

So far Mexico has been good!  I had my first baptism last week!  in all honesty, I did nothing but teach part of the law of tithing, and fast offerings, but it was cool none the less!  He asked me to confirm him a member, which was great!  But I still can hardly speak Spanish.  I did it and it was great!  It was very tough, but the spirit was very strong. As for my companion, his name is Elder Rodriguez and he is from Pueblo, Mexico.  I like having a native companion so I always have to speak Spanish.  So far the language is coming good. Usually I'm not completely lost, but I don't talk that much, because everyone is talking about stuff I don't understand , or can't say.  But during gospel related discussions, I can usually pick up on what everyone is talking about, and sometimes I contribute.  Everyone says that my Spanish is good, which is good, but I can't wait till I can understand everyone.  Sometimes, when people look at me for questions and stuff, I just say si, and hope that it answers their question, and nod.  I think people think that I understand more than I do, but it is good.  The area I'm in is nice, and there are lots of members.  They feed us lunch every day.  Tortillas are with just about everything!  I've had tortillas and spaghetti twice this week.  The other day I had tortas ahogadas, which is just a drowned sandwich.  It was pretty good, you just take the sandwich and pour broth, or some type of chili on  top, and then pick it up with your bare hands and eat it!   As for other weird foods, 

I've had this meat, I'm not sure what it is, but it is just a fried slab of meat, and my companion said that it was some part of a cow, the second time I had it, I was pretty sure it was chicken. 
I don't have many pictures of what the area looks like, but all the houses have flat roofs, and that is where everyone keeps there dogs.  There are lemon and lime trees EVERYWHERE, along with stray dogs.  All the streets are either cobble, or paved, and sometimes a little bit of both.  With in my first week here, I have been in 2 or 3 big storms. They don't last very long, but they are very powerful.  Today (p day)  we went into the actual city, with tourists and stuff.  We ate at this burger place called cuarto kilo, which was way good!  All of the burgers had patty's that are a quarter kilo, I'm not sure how much that is in pounds but it was good.  Next we went to this ice cream place, were the ice cream is made by people just shaking it in buckets surrounded by ice.  It was pretty good!  Also, the zone leaders live just 5 minutes away from us, so we always eat lunch with them.  Its funny because just about everyone says "sauce" instead of crap, or snap.  There are a lot of weird phrases in the field, its like there is a second mission language that I need to learn also.  So far  everything is going good! good luck everyone!  See you in 2 years!

-Elder Carey

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1st day in Guadalajara

Hi everyone! 
I made it into Guadalajara last night around 11, It was cool to see the city at night.  My P days are on Mondays, but they are letting me write today because it is my first day.  It was good to get to sleep last night, but I only got like 4 hours, I had to wake up at normal time, and I got to the apartment sometime around 1. Today we had our introduction to the mission, and we had our first meal at a members house.  It was good! We had pasta, rice, and some type of cow meat.  I´m actually not sure about the cow meat, I asked my companion and he said that it was cow, he just wasn´t sure what part.  Oh ya, my new companion is a native speaker, he is from Wahaka which is a town in Mexico.  He talks very fast, and I have a hard time understanding him sometimes, or when he uses words that I don´t know.  So far spanish is alright, I can get the gist of what people are trying to say, but it is good.  He is a great guy, his name is Elder Rodriguez, and we will get along just fine.  Mexico is very different, there are a lot of stray dogs, but it is quite pretty, I will send pictures of the apartment and everything in my next email.  I got sent to an area called Tlaquepaque, and this is just outside the main city, and is only about an hour away from the mission home,  When we were walking over to our meal with a member, it started to rain, and it turned into a small typhoon!  When we got to the members house, we were soaking, but I am dry now, these clothes dry pretty fast, thank goodness. We also have an investigator with a baptismal date for this Saturday!  I had nothing do do with it, but  I am excited to see it.  They try to get at least 1 baptism per week, so I am excited!  So far everything here is good!  I will write more next week!
Love you all!
-Elder Carey

Friday, June 20, 2014

Final Week!

How is everything going back home?  A lot of things have happened this week.  Sorry for not sending an email yesterday, it was our in field orientation all day, so our P day got moved to today.  Also, Happy Late Fathers Day Dad! I did go to Las Vegas to get my visa, and it was an all day trip.  It was pretty cool overall, in the SLC airport, we saw Mitt Romney, and shook his hand, and while we were waiting for our plane, some random person gave us a box of doughnuts!  Then we saw that lady from the church travel offices, who took that picture for us and sent it out, which was cool.  Then we flew to Vegas.  When we were there, an elder Greer came and picked us up, I found out he is the Greer's in our stakes uncle!  Then we got our visas, and went back to the airport at about 3.  In the airport another member bought us all frozen yogurt, and then some other members took our pictures again and sent it to you.  It was a pretty cool day.

Guess what I found out?!?!  We are allowed to call home when we are waiting in the airport, so, this Monday, expect a call early in the morning.  I leave the MTC at 2 in the morning here, but probably won't be able to call until 6 Virginia time, and then again after we land in Texas for our layover.  I am excited to talk to you guys.  That reminds me, I haven't got my travel plans yet, but I am told that because I have my visa, there shouldn't be a problem with my travel plans.  All of the Hermanas in my zone are also going to Guadalajara, and one of them is the travel leader, and she says that my name is on the plans, so I should be alright.  It's okay that you can't send me any more packages now, because we have tons of food and other assorted things, so I will probably end up sending some stuff home.  I did get the package grandma and grandpa Dickerson sent me, it was very nice!  I also got another letter from Grandma Carey.  Thanks for all of the letters and support everyone!

I did see the painting that Jasmin did for me, and it is very good!!!!!  Tell her I said thank you!!  I also got my hair cut the other day, its shorter now, but not super short, I like it.  I also ran into a lot of people I know over the past two weeks,  I saw Sydney Greene, from a different ward in our stake, and Zach came to the MTC two days ago, and then I saw Mckay, my room, room mate yesterday during the In Field Training.  But then last P day, I saw Lynnette Jex! it was crazy!  Then yesterday, I was talking to a sister, and she asked where I was from because she thought she knew me, and it turns out that we were in the same third grade class!  It was weird, but since coming here, I have ran into a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while.

Its weird almost being done with the MTC, I am a little nervous, but I should be alright, I just can't believe how fast the time is going!  I've already been out for a month and a half!  Spanish is coming along good, but I know that once I get to Mexico, it will be totally different, but I am excited.  I met some people from Mexico, and they all say that I will love it.  I am still nervous though, my first Sunday will be a fast and testimony meeting, so I will probably get asked to share my testimony in Spanish.  It will be interesting, and I will try not to make a fool out of myself ha ha. Spanish is coming good so far, I am at the top of my class, and everyone thinks I'm crazy because I study the least, but it is good, but when I went to the consulate, people spoke Spanish, and I had almost no idea what they were saying.  The good news is I definitely know enough to get the important things, like "I'm hungry" or "I need to use the bathroom"  So I'm not super worried about that.  Here is the Spanish sentence for the day " Yo quiero tacos" which means I want tacos.  So it is a pretty important phrase ha ha.  I can't wait to talk to you guys, its only  couple of days away!  Good luck!!
-Love Elder Carey

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week 4

How is everything going back home?!  So far everything is going pretty good right here!  It is crazy because I am down to the last week and a half.  Its crazy how fast time flies.  I think at the beginning of my time here in the MTC was the slowest, but now the time just flies.  People here say " the days are months and the months are days"  and that really starts to apply here during my last couple of weeks.  Thanks for all the letters!  This week I actually got a lot of packages.  I have a picture of the single cinnamon roll Dean, Melissa, and comp. sent,  It is huge!  as a district we have received snacks out the wazooo!  I also got a box of Krispy Kreme donuts from Janice, Phil, and Matt.  We have been having food "parties" (as much as a party as it can be in the MTC) for the past couple of nights.  Pretty much the elders from the Zone come to our room and we just eat stuff and talk and laugh, its pretty fun!  My companion got some african food from home, its called Mandazi and it is pretty much a scone, that is really dense but tastes good.  Its really funny because the four elders in my room are funny, something funny will happen, and then Elder Habonimana will start laughing at it, then, Elder Slade and I start laughing at his laugh which is super loud, then he laughs at our laughs, and it just goes downhill from their.  We laughed for a half an hour straight a week or two ago.  I was so sore.
So we have had a progressing investigator the past couple of days, and that is coming along pretty good, we have taught a lot of stuff, and we got him to try to be baptized on the 21st of June, but we still need to work with him a lot.  He is a nice guy and we see him all the time around the campus.  So here, they have people that just walk around the campus and pretend to be investigators, but they want us to go up and talk to them about stuff and try to teach lessons, so we met one guy, and now we have a lesson with him on Saturday! It should be good, his name is Brian.
As for my visa, I haven't got it yet, but I'd be alright with just going stateside for a bit, I could end up in Tempe, which would be funny, or go to Alabama with Elder Habonimana, or just some other random place for a little bit, and I wouldn't have to worry about montezumas revenge for a bit longer.  Oh, and this past Sunday, we got a new branch president, which is sad because president Evens was super funny, we haven't really met the new president besides at the meeting where he was set apart.  Because we got a new presidency the president of the MTC came to our meeting, and then I was called on to talk.  So every week everyone has to prepare a talk, and then they pick you at random to give the talk.  It is in spanish, which is good, because the president of the MTC doesn't speak Spanish, so I didn't have to worry so much about it. 
Alright, I've got to finish up. Write lots!
           Love - Elder Carey

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Week 3

Hey Everyone!!!

How are things going back home!!!  So far everything is going good, this past week has gone by way fast!!  As far as my visa goes, I haven't got anything about it yet, but they notify you in the mail.  I am the only one in my district who hasn't got my visa notification yet, but I'm not super worried yet, some people didn't get their visa notification until the week before they left.  When the notification comes, the missionary needs to go to the Mexican consulate, which is in Salt Lake, or they go to Boise or Las Vegas.  I'm hoping that I don't get sent to one outside of Utah.  I did get the package you sent me, it came in last night, and it was great to get it, the back pack helps a lot.  I also got the cookies from Grandma, but now I have tons of sweets that I need to eat ha ha.  Sounds like everything is going good back home! That's exciting that Raymond is taking lessons again!  I did get the message about the clinic, and when I went to make the appointment, they said to just take some allergy medication, and now that I have the eye drops I should be fine.  I think it is from this one tree, that has weird bumps on the leaves, whenever we are outside, near that tree, my eyes usually start to itch.

Missionaries do get some spending money, 6 dollars a week for elders, 8 for sisters.  This money works in the Creamery by our apartment, and in the bookstore, we can also use it to buy detergent from this detergent vending machine thing.  As for me using it, some of it goes to good things :)  I bought a really cool high lighter, that is like a crayon almost, and works great for scriptures.  I also bought some creamies, because 2 years with out them, so that's pretty important.  I also bought a 6 pack of apple beer.  So I'd say its been put to pretty good use ha ha.  I should be fine, before I leave for Mexico, I will get some useful stuff.

So far everything going good with the food, and sleep.  The food is really good usually, occasionally I will try to avoid something, but its good.  On Sundays, we get Ice cream from the BYU creamery for dinner in little half quart containers, or whatever the little small ice cream sizes are, which is good.  As for Spanish, it is coming along pretty good!  we took an assessment to tell us where we are at, and I am right smack dab in the middle between fluent and incoherent ha ha, I think i did pretty good, I did better than everyone in my district, but none of us are super great to begin with ha ha.  Once I get to Mexico, I'm sure it will be very different, and I will not understand a thing for the first month or two.

On Monday nights we do this TRC thing, where you teach a member a lesson in Spanish for about twenty minutes, but this upcoming Monday, we were told we might be teaching a lesson over skype to someone in Mexico, so I am a little nervous, but it should be alright.  This week we also got a "progressing investigator" to teach a lesson every day for 2 weeks.  It was really funny because my companion and I got Alan, who I mentioned earlier.  He is a member, but we are pretending he is an investigator.  The lessons are going good, they are supposed to be 45 minutes a piece, and we are doing pretty good with that.  We asked him if he would like to be baptized, and he said he would try to be ready for the date we set, which was the 21st of June.  It is pretty cool to do lessons like this and see what I will be doing for the next two years!!

Okay, so today, I don't have that many pictures of me, but I did take a couple pictures of this cool river that is outside of our classes.  It is like a fountain that turns into a river and goes downhill for a ways, than runs into another fountain.  It is very pretty, and we call it the Waters of Mormon.

-Love Elder Carey