Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bien is one seriously good word.

August 29, 2013
 
I hope you weren't disapointed at not getting a letter on Tuesday; Thursday is P- day my entire stay at the MTC (CCM en Español). My companion's name is Elder Dye, he is from Santa Clara California, his Spanish is much better than mine because of High School Classes and he is also the District leader.
The MTC is great. As you know, it was a high school for 60 years until 2 months ago. So it has a big legacy. I live in the dormitorio, which, after having driven through Mexico City to get here, I realize is pretty nice. Most of the rest of the Misioneros live in Casas (houses) with their own kitchens and such. I eat tacos every day in the Camodor (cafeteria) with rice beans, and dozens of Mexican donut\dinner roll hybrids. I've eaten more than a few suspicious things, but with no backlash yet.

Zach outside his MTC apartment in the blue circle they go to for earthquakes.
Unlike Provo, there are dozens of native Spanish speakers at every turn, it isn't hard to find an opportunity to practice speaking. I still have to push myself though. There is only 3 hours a day of instruction from mi maestro, the rest of the day it's up to me to study and work. I'm continually surprised by how many cognates Spanish\English share. I don't know why that is, but it sure makes my job a lot easier!

So you know how in America we ad "ito" to everything to make it sound Spanish? Well I found out yesterday that the Mexicanos add "shun" (tion) to make their words sound English! Taco-shun, Libro-shun, lecccion-shun, etc.

I had to teach my first investigador (yes, investigador) on Friday, only three days into a new language. It was tough. We teach him every day. He has since learned to pray, has read from El Libro de Mormón, gained a testimonio of José Smith, and commited to baptism. No actual human person would ever do those things after hearing my and mi companíero's atrocious Espanól, but it was still really good practice. Our investigador is about to become our teacher, and tell us how much we got wrong.

Domingo is defintitely the best day of the week. We had ridiculously good food: ham, ice cream, steak, french fries, all wrapped in beautiful corn tortillas. Lunch is the biggest, schmansiest meal around here, and the only one they won't let you eat cocoa rice crispies at. Also on Sunday was leadership meeting (my comp is the District leader), priesthood, sacrament, two devotionals, and THE TESTAMENTS. It was good.

 All the Latinos here are way cool. My ability to communicate with them is severely limited, but we still have a good time playing basketball, soccer, and stuff. I mostly just say bien. Bien is one seriously good word. It will get you far.
 
I was able to go to the Mexico City Temple to today,  The words were all different, but the feelings were the same. It was pretty cool, and exciting to see first hand that God's blessings are available to everyone regardless of language, nation or any other thing. 
 
Be Happy.
 
Elder Decker
 
Here I really get a kick out of our 45 minutes of football a day with the Latinos. I discovered that umbrellas are just about the coolest thing out there. The weather is absolutely perfect, it is almost always shady, and around 70 degrees all day long. When it rains, it really pours though. Everything goes in tacos. Everything. It's crazy that just a few weeks ago I was a kid. In Utah. Now suddenly I'm in Mexico being taught Spanish by a Mexican with Mexican palm trees outside. Loco. I saw some parrots yesterday, it was pretty sweet. Our family is so blessed to have what we do. In Mexico city I have seen tarps for roofs and people having to sweep the rain out of their homes. The streets are lined with barb wire. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spanish is pretty importante.

 Elder Decker was set apart as a missionary on Monday, August 20th, at 5 p.m. We left at 5:45 a.m. the next morning to be to the airport on time. We are obedient! I didn't know if I could say goodbye, but I did it. We received this letter from Zach Tuesday night. He's ready. 

August 20, 2013

Check out that spectacular watch.
It turns out that knowing Spanish in Mexico is pretty importante. Who would've thought?

I haven't really done anything yet, I sat through a long, long plane ride to Georgia, got absolutely no layover or whatever I just got right on the next plane. I haven't eaten anything all day except cookies, peanuts and pretzels. So it's pretty much hungry town down here. It was pretty legit flying over the Gulf of Mexico, clouds are big. This keyboard is kind of Mexicañ and fuñky. Some people here know even less Spanish than I do. ha.

Well don't feel like I have much to write about, I was safe beyond belief. The biggest threat right now is definitely the mosquitoes. It's kind of funny that there is often English in small print under the large Spanish print- just the opposite of America. Mexico City looks exactly like the movies, houses built way up the mountains, tarps covering windows and roofs, and motorcyclists darting in and out of traffic.

I got my tags just a few minutes ago = now I'm legit
 
The green magnet on the back of my tag is literally labeled GREEN MAGNET. Classy.

I hope you guys all rock school, and please realize that it's over at 2:15, you can handle it.

My new watch is pretty spectacular. I can tell the time- anytime
 
Have fun guys and remember to read your scriptures, because before you know it, you too will be relearning those scriptures in another language.

hasta la vista

Elder Decker