Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Second Week in the Field‏ - October 27, 2015

This week has been pretty great! Yesterday, Monday we had a Zone Conference where Elder Neilson, the President of the Missionary Work spoke. It was a really long day at that conference but we got so much out of it! On Sunday night we went to Los Reyes and we stayed at our zone leaders house with the district leaders. So there were six missionaries in the house. All I brought there was my toothbrush, towel, soap,
My Bed
and some new socks where everyone else brought a whole suit case. I was fine with just the stuff I brought but we slept on the concrete! I woke up in the morning and my hip is bruised! It was the worst night! 

The Conference with Elder Neilson was awesome! He talked to us at the church for 7 hours! We had a couple breaks but I almost fell asleep so many times! He talked to us about missionary work, then we heard from Hermana Stutznegger, Presidente Stutznegger, and then Hermana Neilson. They all gave amazing talks. We were supposed to read two articles by Elder Bednar and then we talked about them with Elder Neilson. It was a really cool experience.
My Room
The language here is really hard to understand still. I have been able to understand quite a bit more but it is still pretty tough. We were in a lesson on Thursday with an investigator for the second time. He was talking to me and I was trying to figure out what he said. He said something about a girlfriend and I thought he meant that I  didn´t have one so I said yes. But then my companion was like no no no. Apparently he asked me if I was going to marry a girl in lomas (where we live) before going back to the United States. I felt so dumb but he was really old and couldn´t pay attention at all. His wife kept falling asleep so he would slap her arm and be like ´´WAKE UP, THE BOYS ARE GOING TO STEAL YOUR BOOKS!´´ this happened like six times, we couldn't stop laughing, then we were talking about baptism and he hit her and she held up the pamphlet we gave her and she was like ´´Agh whats going on!" haha 
I am still trying to figure out the money here. 17 pesos in mexico is equivalent to 1 dollar right now. I guess it changes all the time. I can buy a coke here from anywhere between 5 pesos to 11 pesos. The coke here is so much better than in the united states. Everything here is so cheap! 
Me and my companion are just about to get our hair cuts right now. We are at an internet cafe which is also a hair salon and then they give us food afterwards. The food here has been really good! It is hard to eat some of the things I don't like such as tomatoes and avocados and stuff like that. But I just drench it in lime juice and It tastes better haha. My favorite food so far has been Tostadas de tinga. It is a tostada (A big round tortilla chip) with cream and then this meat which is sooo good! I had like three bowls! (One bowl is like 5 tostadas).
My View
This week we got two dates for baptisms! On the 28th of November. The investigators have to come to church five times before getting baptized and they cancelled coming to church this Sunday. Hopefully they will come next week. It is a mother and her daughter. Today I am going to be asking two other investigators if they will be baptized! I am pretty excited! 
The weather has been perfect here. Everyone walks around with big coats and stuff and me and my companion are out in short sleeves contacting people. It has rained a couple times but it only drizzles. Nothing bad at all. 
So all in all everything has been awesome so far! My companion is the best! He has the coolest accent and all the other missionaries are like, ´´you have to get his accent before you get a new companion!´´ He is the best! Can´t wait till I can speak more fluently! Hope everyone is having a good week! 
Love Elder Ivie

Mom , Dad and Family
We have a lady in the ward wash our clothes and then we go pick them up the next day or so. We take
taxis and taxi vans everyday! They are about 8 pesos every time we get on. Monday I had to go to the offices to go to the immigration offices to get my ´´green card´´. So now i am a resident of Mexico. We had to take the metro to get there and that was a crazy experience. Once the doors open on the train everyone rushes in to get a seat. Everyone starts fighting if they don't get a seat and one of the times we were so crammed into there we couldn't move and i just watched as some guy tried to pick pocket my companion! I would never try to steal something from Elder Alverio.... He is huge! He is shorter than me but his arms are bigger than my head! Probably the weirdest thing I have eaten so far is grilled or cooked platano. I didn't like it very much because it is so different! But yeah everything has been going great! They just opened up a new gym in our area and it costs 500 pesos a month. (35$) we aren't going to do it because it is like a 20 minute walk to even get there. If you look on google maps our apartment is in Lomas de cristo. then if you look more south there is Coatlinchán. We are like at the edge of lomas and in between coatlinchán.

Love Elder Ivie

Monday, October 19, 2015

First Week in the Field - October 19, 2015

New Missionaries
 My first week here in Mexico has been crazy! I arrived on Monday at about 4:00 and was greeted by my Mission President. He is awesome! We talked a bunch about the mission and about other things. He brought me and one other Elder from my flight back to the offices, where we met the other 16 Elders and 1 Hermana. We all got to know each other and they had to translate a bunch of stuff because half of us were English and the other half Spanish. We had tacos al pastor for dinner but they said they weren´t very good but I thought they were. We stayed the night there and then in the morning we went to the stake center and met all of the missionaries.
Companion Elder Alverio
I got introduced to my new trainer... aka ´´my dad´´ Elder Alverio. He is from Puerto Rico and has been out on his mission for 3 months! I guess they liked him so much and he was doing such a good job that they had him be a trainer and I got the privilege to be his companion. He is awesome! My area is in Los Reyes, the Texcoco area. There are four larger areas in my mission and the one I am in right now is the smaller of the four. I love it so far. I am in half country and half city. It is amazing here though. I can be walking down the street and it looks like I am in Paris or something and then I can turn a corner and I am in the biggest dump ever. It is amazing. Some of the peoples houses here are so much nicer than they look from the outside. They all have walls around them so you can never see what it looks like till you go on the other side of the wall. 

My first day with my companion was pretty tough. The language is what is killing me. I have no clue whatsoever what people are saying or asking me. They look right at me and say something and I either say, um I don´t know or si. haha I am just really glad my companion is able to speak both english and spanish very fluently. He saves me so many times. I have tried to contact people on the streets all the time but once I start talking I draw a blank and dont know what to say at all, so then my companion comes in and says something.
My apartment, we live on the top floor.

The food here has been really good so far. The first meal I had was a soup with a chicken breast in it with lettuce and big pieces of corn in the bottom. I was not able to finish it at all. I got yelled at for not finishing to. Later on I found out that all the meals they give you here start out with soup, then they give you the actual food. They feed you so much! I am going to weigh 250 by the time I get home! 

My first Sunday here we were late for sacrament meeting but once we walked in I sat down and my companion was like stand up, I guess they were introducing me. They had me go up to the front and say something and I was caught so off guard. I just walked up and said, ´´Hello brothers and sisters, my name is Elder Ivie, I am from the United States, Utah. I am very thankful to be here with you all and to serve the lord´´ then I sat down again. I guess they wanted a lot more from me but that as good as my spanish is so far haha. We did do three baptism confirmations that sunday. They do the confirmations on sunday after the speakers in sacrament meeting. Kind of different I guess.
From Sister Stutznegger "This young man decided to pick these two Elders as his companions."

Overall I am liking it. I just wish I knew what the people were saying so I could reply to them in spanish. I know over time I will speak better spanish. Hope everyone has been having a good week!

Love Elder Ivie
The top of my apartment

1st Day in Mexico - October 12, 2015

We woke up this morning at 4:20 and went and got on a bus. They dropped us off at the train station with our luggage and we rode that all the way up to Salt Lake City. Our flight took off at 10:05 and we landed at about 4:00. Once I got off the plane we waited in lines to show them our passports and we got our bags and as soon as I walked out the sliding doors my mission president was there to give me a big hug! He is already the coolest guy ever! We talked a bunch about the mission and how the MTC was. We went and
got in his car with his wife, the two assistants, and one other missionary that was on the flight with me from Salt Lake. We then drove to the mission office which is outside of my mission and I am going to be staying here for the night. I had a interview with him and he asked me what I wanted him to pray about for my family. So I told him to pray so that you guys could have peace and comfort while I am gone. It was an amazing prayer. We then just talked about a bunch of random stuff and it was awesome! He saw my bracelet with Nicks name on it so I told him about that and he said he got the email from dad. He told me that he is going to make it so that I will be able to meet with those people and continue the work he started. He said to remind him to send me to one of those areas so that I can do that! He is the nicest guy ever! Miss you guys and hope you are having a great week!
Love Elder Ivie

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 6 - October 10, 2015

Provo Temple
Well it is my final week here in the MTC, or my last Saturday and Sunday. We leave at 5:05 in the morning on Monday! I am so excited to get out and be in the real world! We had a pretty great last week! During personal study on Wednesday, we watched a talk by Jeffery R Holland  called, "Like a broken Vessel." At the end of the talk he tells a story of this girl that gets in a plane crash with her husband. He is thrown out of the plane and she is stuck inside and is being burned alive. There is an Elder in our zone and that lady is his aunt! He left last week and so he gave us a note that was written to her. Apparently she comes to the MTC every Wednesday and talks to the missionaries. Me and Elder Ainge got to go and talk to her and gave her the note from her nephew. It was a really cool experience. 

We also had TRC Skype on Thursday. We got to give a 30 minute lesson to a member that was somewhere near our missions. The member we taught was actually from Mexico City. It was awesome! She talked so fast it was ridiculous! We had to tell her a couple times that we didn't understand what she was saying. I can't wait till I will be able to talk that fast, if I ever get that fluent with the language. 
After general conference on Sunday we had a devotional in the evening. Usually they have a speaker but this Sunday they had BYU vocal point come! It was way cool! Each one of the members bore their testimony and they sang a bunch of songs for us. The very last song they sang was "Nearer My God to Thee" It was really good! It was probably one of my favorite devotionals that we have had.

How I marked my scriptures

I have been reading the Book of Mormon everyday since I came to the MTC. I started from the very beginning and I  finished it today. It is a great feeling to have been able to read the entire Book of Mormon. I am excited to go through it again and have a question in mind and highlight anything that relates to that question. I am going to make a collection of book of mormons with different questions. I got that idea from a talk by Elder Bednar I believe. 
Last night I gave Elder Harley a haircut in the bathroom! It was the first time I had ever cut someones hair and it looked pretty good. I asked this Tongan how they usually cut the hair on peoples necks and he just took over and finished the entire thing. I thought I did pretty good.
Me getting a haircut from Elder Ainge
We went to the temple this morning and did a endowment session then had breakfast afterwards. It was sooo good! They have the best breakfast's there. I got an omelet, hash browns, bacon, and a cinnamon roll. Didn't even have to have lunch because it was sooo good!
My District
We started packing up all our stuff today. It is a weird feeling packing everything back into your suitcases. It almost seems like you are going to a whole new mission which we pretty much are. I am so excited to leave! 
I hope everyone else has been having a great week!
Love Elder Ivie

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week 5 - October 3, 2015

Pinata I got for a Fiesta from my Mom

This week has been pretty great here in the MTC! Not much new has happened. The temple was closed last Saturday and then yesterday it was closed again for general conference. It kinda feels different not having gone to the temple this week. We did get to sleep in though the past couple of nights which has been amazing! On Friday we received our flight plans! I will be leaving on Monday the 12th. I have to go to the travel office at the MTC at 5:00 in the morning which is a lot better than a lot of the people here... they usually leave around 3:00 in the morning. The one downside is that Elder Harley is actually leaving on Sunday not Monday. I am the travel leader for my group which is only me haha, We go from Salt Lake straight to Mexico City. I am really excited to get out of here.

The language has kind of hit a wall the past week. It doesn't seem like I have been learning very much lately. In lessons I will try to say something but the words just don't come to my mouth. It is kind of frustrating but usually I can get the message across somehow. If not the people just look really confused at me and it is awkward.

Conference with everyone in the GYM
We had conference yesterday and everyone went to the gym to watch it. We sat in the bleachers where the seats really are not that comfortable. We had 3 sessions to so it was kind of hard to pay attention and not fall asleep. It is really neat to be here while conference is going on though. You can definitely feel the spirit being in a gym completely full of missionaries.

The Tile Step I Broke
On Thursday we had service really early in the morning. We got asked to vacuum the stairs. I grabbed the vacuum and set it up against this box at the bottom of the stairs cause I had to grab something else. Then when I grabbed the vacuum again I heard something start to fall but I kept walking up the stairs and didn't pay attention. Then there was a huge thud! I turned around and a huge pole,(The poles that they use during devotionals where they display the talks on the glass for the speakers to read) had fallen and landed right next to my foot! It shattered the tile right where my foot was! It was pretty scary and kind of weird that they would put that standing straight up in the hall. But now I can say I have left my mark on the MTC! haha.

Hope everyone else has been having a great week! I have got 8 more days here in the MTC then I am going straight to Mexico!
Love Elder Ivie
Spike Ball