Sunday, September 29, 2013

It was kind of a wake-up call

We wrapped up our last language lesson yesterday, and realized how much of what we learned in the last month just didn't stick. We teach a lot in Spanish, but I still have a hard time communicating in any other context. I leave here Sunday night, then I'll be back in the States. I'm glad to hear you guys figured out how to get me a bike, and that I hadn't taken the information with me! (that would've just been way too typical)

Elder Parkes already has great Spanish thanks to his very wise pre-mission studies. It is super cool to see him here.

The film at the temple is the of the more retro sort. But who cares. An interesting tidbit to me was when nuestro maestro asked us what the new film was like. I realized that he (and saints all over the world) had been going to the temple for years, while I went for a solid month before getting an updated version. It was kind of a wakeup call.

A very flooded night.
And a very smoggy day.
I attended the temple for the last time today, and as new insight I think I'm beginning to understand how important it is for people to receive the gospel, scriptures, and ordinances in their our tongue. I am very grateful that the people here don't have to struggle through an all- english church, because I kind of know how it would feel.
I realized today that one of the sweetest parts of Texas will be the air. I am sorry that so many people have to spend their lives in this perpetually present smog. The rain is ridiculously cool though.

Ultimo Dia a El Casa Del Señor
I see the pleasant grove weather all the time from my windows 7 widgit. It seems pleasant. It's actually pretty similar to here right now, but with a fraction of the rainfall. Unfortunately, Houston is continuously in the 90's. I'm glad that God knew where I was really needed, because I wouldn't have picked anywhere stateside and  blisteringly hot.

Straight up fake twinkies.
I'm excited for general conference, and hope all of you are preparing for it. I don't want to be the missionary to tells people we have true and living prophets, but then can't remember a thing they have said. If there were any time in my life that I really needed the word of the Lord for our day, it would be now. It feels awesome that those other Elders (Uchtdorf, Bednar, Holland...) have the exact same purpose and work as we do right here.


Elder Decker

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Everybody needs the Gospel

Me and The Roomates 
My favorite part of México is definitely the people. (and just so you are aware I am using the accents not because I think I'm all Spanishy and cool, but because they are all spanishy and fun: we have cool keyboards here µñ©äåé®þüúíóö«´¶øðßáæ©ñµç¿j) The people are so genuine and kind, even though I have a hard time understanding them I really do like talking to them. Monday was The anniversary of the Mexican declaration of Independence from Spain. Saturday we had a fiesta with dancers, singers, and indoor fireworks (all in what used to be the high school gym (I find ()'s useful). By the way it is hilarious to watch over 500 Gringos try to sing the Mexican National Anthem. Sunday night was the grito. We watched a broadcast of it at 11pm. Basically El Presidente de México marches out on a balcony with the national flag, rings a bell, shouts the names of Mexican revolution national heroes (with the whole country shouting ¡Viva! in reply) waves the flag, and then we sing the anthem again. It's short, sweet, and the Mexicans are very passionate about it. After the Grito, we were instructed to go straight home. Apparently en Ciudad de México people like to shoot their guns in the air, and there was a danger of getting hit by a falling bullet.
Classic CCM Lunch- they are getting pretty good

Our buddies over at district 10A are leaving pretty soon, and bestowed upon us the inheritance of our zone, the one and only relic of our CCM forebears. The official, 175 gram, Centro de Capacitación Misional México Zona Diez Frisbee. We have the solemn duty to protect, cherish, play with, sign, then pass on this gift of gifts, treasure of treasures, this frisky Discy, this birthright- rite of passage pinnacle of Gym time. We finally have obtained a frisbee. It'll end up on the roof by the end of the week.

Oh by the way, my Latino roomate is a matador. As in killer of bulls. He's just a short, tiny, little fella but he shoves full on swords down Toro spines.

Right now we are working on committing our faux-vestigators to baptism. A couple of them have word of wisdom issues and other concerns. It's very difficult, but very rewarding to try to teach the way The Savior did. We are trying to listen to our investigators needs, concerns, worries and then use the Gospel to help them. Everybody needs the Gospel. Nobody needs standardized, scripted, memorized, and regurgitated churchy mush. It's hard to do, but after study, prayer, and listening to the spirit, a prepared missionary (or member) can bring anybody the counsel, care, or comfort they need- and most importantly the spirit of the Lord.

hasta luego

Elder Decker

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Basically a missionary fetus

September 12, 2014

That storm [in Utah] sounds awesome. We have been getting ridiculous amounts of rain here as well. A week ago a very strong and very brief storm hit. It was sprinkling, at around 5 pm, like it does every day. From one direction we heard an enormous amount of rain falling. Out the window we could see its approach, a dark curtain of solid water. As it pounded over us we had to almost shout to hear each other, but in just 5 minutes or so it was gone, and the CCM was soaked. 

It's just classic that after 18 years of waiting, the tornado hit just as soon as I left the country.

It kind of reminds me of when I was 5 years old, Joel Drake told Justin and I that a hot air balloon had landed in our backyard, and given him a ride, while we were on vacation.

Pretty exciting stuff for The good ol' B Y of U

I went to the Mexico City Temple for the second time today. I've discovered that the best way to deal with the bus sickness and heat is to just sleep through it. I understood quite a bit more this time around, both spiritually and linguistically. I do feel blessed by the gift of tongues. I recall some words almost effortlessly after hearing them once, and can carry on a missionary discussion well over our allotted 25 minutes. One thing I am struggling with is understanding. The Spanish of mi comapñero or the rest of my district is easy to understand, but mis maestros, Latino roommates, CCM trabajores, or miembros at El Templo are impossible. I am always grateful that I am not in Provo surrounded by white people and white Spanish.

I appreciate what you said about the atonement. It really is for everyone, can conquer anything, and can give us everything. I am trying to tap into that power, the grace of Jesus Christ, that can heal, inspire, and enable us to do all that has been asked of us.

You are right, even though all us missionaries are out here to do the same thing, we often don't agree on how to get that done. As for your statement that the mission is like real life, Elder Holland told us this (well really told the Provo MTC back in February of 2012) "This is real life. This is the closest thing to real life you are ever going to get!""- which means right now I'm basically a missionary fetus.

I recall thinking before I left "I should try to learn some Spanish before I go to MEXICO.

"nah, it'll be easy there"

The lies we tell ourselves.

I really do regret not trying to do something. (besides spending half an hour on youtube struggling to learn the alphabet). Luckily I know that Spanish is possible. Honestly, millions and millions of people speak it every day across the entire planet. It actually works; I'm pretty sure I can do it too.
hasta luego

Elder Decker

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A little Mormón bubble

I am extremely impressed by the Méxicanos here. They are so kind, so genuine, and so close to the spirit. Their humility inspires me.

Even though I am not in true México (just a little Mormón bubble inside of it), I feel like I am developing a new perspective on life, the gospel, and even on my nationality and patriotism.

My Spanish really progressed this week. To me it is kind of a game, a challenge, a secret code that mis amigos and I speak, and a new society that I can tap into, it also gives me the privilege of talking to the natives. It is also my sacred responsibility to preach to those to whom I have been called in their own language.

 For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall ahear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own blanguage, through those who are cordained unto this dpower, by the administration of the eComforter, shed forth upon them for the frevelation of Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday mi compañero y yo were teaching a lesson, and for the first time since being here I could really say what I wanted to. It felt awesome and excited, but Élder Dye later complained that I had frequently interrupted him, and hadn't given him a chance to speak! I am the same missionary who dos semanas before, in our first lesson, had been able to say only:"Yo se que la Iglesia es verdadera" (with the occasional "si" and a virtually continuous nodding of the head), while my much more experienced companion said the rest.

I have come a long-ish way.

I really need to work on being a team though.

Yesterday was the first time I really just didn't want to eat the food. Tacos everyday was good for awhile, but I think it is starting to affect me.

It rains a ton here. Pretty much every noche at around 5 or 6 it starts pouring, with some pretty hefty lightning as well. Last Saturday, they didn't feed us dinner (which was an unexpected surprise to me) because of fast Sunday. Instead of having dinner, I determined that I would build a paper ship, and sail it across the CCM on the great rushing rivers that soon develop in a storm. Alas, my Curious George days are much too long ago. No amount of folding, tucking, ripping, or pleading with several sheets of paper could render me a sturdy vessel of any kind. I am not nearly as skilled as Nephi, in preaching or ship building. But I did make a cool beetle.

hasta luego

Elder Decker