Monday, March 31, 2014

Enjoying Mexican Life

Hello everybody!

Well another week and month have come and gone, and I'm still here enjoying the Mexican life. Today was a bit crazy trying to get everything done, so that's why I was a little bit later than usual. Sounds like you guys had a great week! Max's birthday looked super fun! Loved the cake! haha looked super fun. Well, love ya Max buddy hope you had a super great birthday! Wish I could have been there. Sunday looked super fun. Miss playing games in the wintery weather like crazy! Glad you found my house on google maps haha I live in the worst part of the area. . of course. Look on the streets Claudio Castro, and the one next to it Brawlio something, don't remember. There are some really nice houses on those.

Everything is going really good though! I am still adjusting to the area and Elder Lopez. But I feel a lot better about everything now.  We are still meeting lots of new people from the ward, and I really am starting to like my area a lot. There are a lot of great members in the ward. We have some pretty good investigators as well but we need more. We have 4 main inv. Paty who is our neighbor who really likes the message of the gospel a lot and knows its true shes pretty cool but we can only go certain times when her husband isn't home because he doesn't like us much. We have Isreal who's family are members. He wants to be baptized and has been to church his 5 times, but still feels he needs to prepare mas. Jessica who is pretty golden. Her boyfriend is stake secretary so she is getting introduced through him. She will be baptized her in the next few weeks. And Beatriz who knows these things are true and wants to be baptized as well but has never come to church so its a bit difficult.

We had a very interesting lesson with a member this week. He use to be ward secretary but now is inactive and Buddhist. At first I was like ya he's crazy but he has me more convinced that anyone else on why he believes what he believes. It was pretty intense. haha He was saying a bunch of crazy stuff about how Adam and Eve were actually black, Jesus as well, how reincarnation is real and many more crazy things. He left the church when he noticed the bishop was stealing a lot of the money from the ward and he was like that ain't right then got into Buddhism. It's whatever.

We took our investigator Isreal to the visitors center this week which was awesome. It was super good for him, and it reaffirmed that this is what he wants for his family. I love the video of the family they show in there so much. Don't think its possible that anyone could watch it without crying. . seriously. Elder Lopez is like a 3 yr old all hyped up on mtn dew when were in there. Elder Lopez, its cool but not that cool, just calm down. ha

Saturday we had a priesthood BBQ. It was really good lots of people went. We had to leave 2 times for appointments that we had but we had a good time grilling steak (Mexican version), chicken, and sausage. I made the guacamole, an hermana taught me how. My hand has been so sore all week from grinding it all by hand in those stone bowls with a rock thing. My fingers burned all day from the chilies. But it was dang good.

We have had water problems all week in our house, we only have it like 1 hr each day for who knows why so that is a bit frustrating. Oh and btw our rent is $2500 pesos. But I like the house a lot more now than I did at first. A guy came and sprayed it all for bugs with was nice. He said we had one of the cleanest houses of all the missionaries :)

It has rained every day this week I think, always in the afternoons. Love the rain, but not in the mission. And my umbrella broke. Piece of junk. haha but its all good.

Sunday was really good. Our church is 2 floors and I fell up the stairs hard core. It was bad. haha. Got the suit a little dirty and scraped up my ankles a bit but you know, that's me. I met a super awesome family who just got back from Utah. They aren't members but there family members are. They are going to move to UT because they love it so much there. We ate with an hermana who cooks really good. She made us pombasos on my request. They are always watching cake boss and things like that just make me want to be a chef and nothing else. haha Didn't think I would miss the kitchen so much.

Today was really good, this morning I made a little trip back to Carrera and we ate breakfast with the Elda's. They made us pancakes and we visited for a while. Then we went to the offices and got my package! I still haven't opened it yet, but I will tonight. Then we came back, went to Walmart, and are now writing. It was a bit crazy but it all worked out pretty good.

Well that's about it for the week. Love you all and hope you all have a great first week of April!

Elder Elgan

Monday, March 24, 2014

Big Changes

The Elda's and The Elder

The new Casa

New comp, Elder Lopez

Hello again everybody,

Well this was definitely a week of big changes. Finally left my first area of Carrera. Thought I was ready for it, but I was very sad to leave. It was really hard to say goodbye to all the members, Elder Bocanegra and the area. After I wrote last week it was all just super sad goodbyes. Then Tuesday came and it was without doubt the hardest day of my mission so far. We ate breakfast with the Elda's and it was super good, but they were crying the whole time, so i was pretty much crying the
whole time. It was rough. Saying goodbye to them was like saying goodbye to all of you guys again, they have just become my family. But I finished up packing after then we headed to our changes meeting. Long story short my new area is industrial. Lots of people think its the nicest zone in the mission, but its not. haha. I am still really close to carrera. I share boundaries with Elder Rodriguez's old area and there is only one other area between me and Carrera. My companion is Elder Lopez. He is from Mexico, about 2 hours from here. He is all right, a little too happy to control himself sometimes. He is the kind of person who is overly happy and positive.  We share a ward with 2 other elders, and all 4 of us are new to the area. It is so rough. President brought us to our area since there was nobody  who knew how to get here. Our house at first I hated it. It is a lot bigger than Carrera, and a little nicer, but the bathroom is 2 times worse. Worse than any gas station bathroom in the entire US, I'm sure of it. But ya. . I got pretty overwhelmed with all the changes Tuesday night and wasn't loving life. The area has some really nice parts, and others not so much. There is one street with some super cool houses, but where we live is like Carrera.

The week continually got better but definitely the hardest week so far. We don't know anybody and the elders before didn't work so there is nothing to go off of. We are basically starting a new area. We worked a lot with the lists of all the members of the ward a lot but it is a long  tiring, ineffective process. I don't like sharing a ward at all with other elders. We all eat together everyday so we stay way too long and get  off on tangents a lot and it is distracting. The other companionship, one is from Logan! And the other from Peru. 

We have found some pretty good investigators. One that is part of a part member family, another who told us that this religion has just always drawn her attention, and another who is our next door neighbor who is pretty cool, but sees us more as friends than missionaries. We have some good  members we have met as well. One lives across the street from us and told us that her house is our house, told us where the key is and said come over whenever you want, doesn't matter if we are here or not. Its good to have nice members like that. For our first weekly planning we only had like 4 names to work with. I am so used to having a million, knowing carrera so well.

For the first few days all I was thinking is that I need to be back in Carrera. I miss it so much. I was so comfortable with everything. I guess that means its time to go. I am now very out of my comfort zone, which is good but hard. I was really thinking that  I wasn't gonna make it through the cycle but I feel better everyday as I meet new people, get adjusted, and make myself comfortable. Something I have learned this week is that if I have a good morning, it will be a good day. If i really focus in my studies and start the day off right it is a much better day. Some of the nights i have talked with Elder Bocanegra, and he is doing well in carrera. It calms me down a lot to talk to him. He was a great companion, I am going to miss him a lot. The Eldas called me as well. haha They said that Zoe especially has had a hard time since I left. Hermana Elda said that she sees me as a father figure, because they don't see their dad. So it was hard for her when I left.

One day we headed to the offices and almost cleaned out the storage room of stuff cuz our house didn't have anything. Really. I don't know how the Elders before us lived. We had the taxi pretty jammed packed coming back. Got a little lost because I didn't know the way back super well, but 70 pesos later we made it. haha

Saturday we had a lot more success. We taught lots of lessons to members, less actives, and investigators. As well as some pretty drugged people, Elder Lopez doesn't like being near them but I like talking to them, as long as its not too crazy.  They make the best converts! Like Ivan for example. We ate some pretty good tacos de barbacoa (big horn sheep, cant think if there is a better word in English) bc lots of the times the members here just give us the money to go and eat. A member who has a place on the street gave us some amazing fish quesadilla things. Super dang good. Don't know what kind of fish, avocado, salsa, lime, some special sauce, all in a little tortilla and fried. yum. Also this day 2 people stopped us on the street and asked us what it is we teach. So there was some notable success that day.

The first Sunday was good as well. We live very close to the church, which is the stake center.  They have  the classes first, and sacrament meeting last. It has been a very long time since I have had that. In priesthood I had to sit next to a guy who smelled just ripe and I swear he kept getting closer to me every minute, so didn't enjoy that too much. We had an attendance of 77. Better than Carrera. The ward is really good, and there are lots of members willing and ready to work with us which is awesome. Our stake had a training with Pres. Anaya this night as well which was really good. The same as the one we had in Centenario but now it was this stakes turn, so I got it twice.

Todays p day was much needed. We accomplished some good things today. Early we went to Walmart, and met up with Elder Bocanegra and his new comp Elder Taylor. We ate breakfast at krispy creme then bought many things in Walmart. There hasn't been anything  of food in the house all week, so I bought lots to make up for it. We bought lots of stuff to start a deep cleaning session this afternoon as well. It was good to see Elder Bocanegra again and talk. He is recovering pretty good, and will get all his bandages and nails taken out in a month. But it was super funny because guess who else we found in Walmart? The Eldas! haha I heard Zoe yell papa!!! I was like it cant be. . but it was. Crazy coincidence. Long week without seeing them. Haha next Monday I am gonna return to Carrera to visit them and eat breakfast with them. So I am already looking forward to that. Then we came back and cleaned our house for hours. I pretty proud  of how it turned out. Now it is livable. haha. E Bocanegra and E Jensen were going to Tepito today. It is like the worlds largest black market. I have been wanting to go my whole time here, and they invited me but didn't have time. We will go in the next few weeks. You can find anything in the whole world to buy there. Missionaries have even seen jaguars and mini submarines there. But it is dangerous. meh.

But that was basically my week and day. Lots of changes. It is gonna take some time to get adjusted, but i will get there.

Well i hope you guys all have a great week. Happy birthday max!! Donkey Kong birthday should be fun. I want lots of pics. I will look for the package. Grilling steaks just sounds wonderful right about now. And a break from the super hot would be pretty nice as well. haha

Well I love you all,  talk to you next week!

Elder Elgan

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adios Carrera!!

The view out our hospital window, we even had a view of the temple 

Elder Bocanegra after surgery

This was our lovely bill at the end of our nice little stay 

and what our zone leader does when he comes to visit 

When we left the hospital

Elder Jensen & Elder Elgan 
(Mexico CityTemple in the background)

Hello everybody,
Well it seems like a while since I have written you guys, and a lot has certainly happened. Where to even start... So the week 2 weeks ago was a really good week. But better than the past weeks (until Monday haha). We did some divisions with my district leader and his companion. Its a nice break when I get to leave and just be junior companion for the day while my comp stays and works in our area. I was a little nervous leaving Bocanegra to run the area for the day, but it turned out all right. I was a little mad when we came back the next day to see that they had broken the bedroom window playing soccer in the house and hadn't even planned what we were going to do that day but its all good. Bocanegra was still sick the whole week with his stomach, but I was better. As always the Elda's were super good to us while we were sick making us the food the doctor told us to eat, and other things (like pancakes mmm). We had a multi zone conference which was good. We traveled in the subway to another zone and had a good conference with President Anaya about how to have power and authority. It rained a lot in that week for some reason, always in the afternoons. Its a wonderful break though from the killing sun. That Sunday was good as well. I played my Kolob arrangement in sacrament meeting and everyone loved it (of course) bc it doesn't exist in Spanish. It was also Teresa's birthday so we partied with them. We ate enchiladas verdes, and cake. We stayed a bit to long, as we were leaving they were pulling out pictionary to play and it made me miss home, playing games and all. I got really in to speaking OP spanish. haha its fun but a lot harder. Bocanegra thinks I'm crazy. These last few weeks have been hovering just over 30 lessons each week. One day I will get 40. haha

So then Monday came. We woke up early to go play futbol in Centenario with the zone. We were playing, and Elder Bocanegra always falls, but this time it was worse. Another Elder tripped him and he went flying through the air right on his left wrist. We don't have the luxury of grass here in the big city, straight cement. At first we didn't think it was that serious. Then a big lump started to form so me and our zone leader took Elder Bocanegra to the hospital. We went to Hospital Angles de Lindavista. Apparently its the best hospital in the entire country. Its is outside of the mission, but very close to my area. We were planning on just getting some drugs, maybe a brace and leaving. But they took x-rays and told him it was fractured pretty good. And he needed surgery that very day. I was a bit surprised. We waited all day for the surgery but the doctor never came so it ended up being the next day. President Anaya came to the hospital and I wrote you guys on his iphone. Elder Bocanegra got to call home, they have to approve the surgery. So the second day in the night he finally had his surgery. He has 5 nails (i cant think of how to say it in English??) and one plate in his arm. Pretty nasty little situation. So we were in the hospital from Monday morning, until Thursday evening. It was a bit boring, but I did enjoy the rest. I ate at the restaurant on the 1st floor every day which was amazing. SO good. Expensive but it was all reembolsable. Other Elders came, and pres came a lot so I could go down and eat. I was alone in the room for 3 hours during his surgery. It was a bit weird. I got food then watched movies :) Being in the hospital affirms that I want to be a surgeon. I love it so much! I wanted to watch his surgery, but they wouldn't let me. The zone leaders came one day and stayed for like 4 hours. One of them went with me to the giant mall across the street, one of the nicest in Mexico City. We walked around and ate breakfast at Starbucks. Then we played chess forever.  But ya. . lots of movies, writing letters, reading, and sleeping. Pretty chill mini vacation. Then the day came to leave. I helped E Boca get all dressed and what not then Pres and Sis Anaya came, payed the $105,000 medical bill then we left. I almost shed some tears when I had to say goodbye to the beautiful bathroom and the amazing food. He took us straight back to Martin Carrera. He said the Elder Bocanegra still has his legs and mouth, so he can work. haha. But he said only go the appointments we have set, we cant proselyte. It really hurts his arm to work much. We have to take lots of taxis. haha like to come home every night.
So ya... the work has been pretty chill. We had a whopping 7 lessons this week. Woo! Almost 40 right?? It will be a rough 12 weeks of recovery for Elder Bocanegra though. We have spent a lot of time with the Elda's. They always want us to be with them now that Elder Bocanegra cant walk much. They're awesome. They are always making us food, giving us money for taxis, watching movies with us and all sorts of good stuff. One day we hadn't gone there and they called us and said we had to come because they missed us. haha Don't know what we would do without them.

We also spent some time preparing a new arrangement to perform, but we didn't have enough time to prepare to do it yesterday in church. It is a super awesome arrangement of Joseph Smiths first prayer I found on the Internet. The piano is hard, but I'm learning it fast. Elder Bocanegra is a super good singer, and it sounds awesome.
Sunday was good. Church flew by for some reason. Maybe its cuz I wasn't starving as usual in church cuz the Elda's brought us croissant sandwich's and juice to eat in between classes. haha I love Hermana Eldas little kids so much. They told me that I was there Dad and were gonna go home with me. I had to go pick them up from their primary class bc now their mom is just their aunt and I am their real parent. haha. They make me miss Maximus, Sadie, Elle, and Nix so bad. We also found out Sunday that our investigator moved to the United States, so that kinda sucks. He has had lots of problems lately, so its probably for the best.
Then today. Super busy. Big News! I'm leaving tomorrow! ahh! I have transfers tomorrow and I am finally saying goodbye to Carrera. I am excited but sad. It seems like I have been in the mission for so long, but only leaving my first area. Elder Bocanegra is super sad that I am leaving, and it will be hard to say goodbye to him as well. He has been an awesome companion. It is gonna be so hard to say goodbye to some of the members. Eldas, Ivan, Rubi, Teresa, don't know if I will make it through. I'm nervous about where I'm gonna go! I'm not training again, and neither is Elder Bocanegra so it will be interesting. . So today I have been running around getting ready to go. Also. . today we played tennis!! Woo! Super fun. Right behind the temple there is a tennis club. Me and my DL played. I told you he played 2nd doubles for Timpview his senior year. We both sucked cuz it has been so long, but still super fun. I am def not in shape and got 2 blisters on my hand, and now my ganglion is hurting but it was worth it! I will send pics. So tonight I have a lot to do to get ready to go but I'm excited!

Well. . think that's about it. Sounds good back at home. Dad have fun on your luxurious vacation in England. haha. Glad you went skiing at least once this year! Don't be getting all old and lazy on me. So your starting riding again? Another Lotoja? How many more? Gracias for the pacakage, I will look for it in the coming weeks. Is it my bday package as well?? Sounds like some fun spring break vacations. Hope everything continues to go well this week!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Elgan

Monday, March 10, 2014

Short and Sweet

Well hello everybody

This is gonna be a short letter today because I am writing from President Anayas iPhone. Elder Bocanegra had a little accident today playing soccer and ended up breaking his wrist. So we have been in the hospital all day with that. He is gonna have surgery today but who knows when. The lack of communication hére is epic. But now we are just chilling hére in the hospital room with president waiting for the surgery. This hospital is súper nice though. The Room is like the Logan Rooms after the peeps have their babies. So ya … I don't know if I will be able to write You guys again tomorrow or not to actually read your letters and tell You guys about the week. But who knows. It was a really good week though, much better than last week. But  a quick overview is that ya I miss Home a lot, but this work is really important to me and I know I am hére because the Lord has called me hére and I have a purpose to fulfill hére. :) there is Lot of things to say, and I Will see if I can't email Home tomorrow if I can when Elder Bocanegra writes Home. If we are  out of the hospital by then … We'll see but its all good.

Until we talk again

Love Elder Elgan

Monday, March 3, 2014

No Pain, No Gain

Happy March Everybody!

Well this week sure flew by, and not necessarily because it was good. haha no it was pretty rough because me and Elder Bocanegra were sick allll week. We could barely stand up Tuesday morning bc our whole body hurt and we were sick to our stomachs. The pain went away fast but we have still been pretty sick all week. I am finally better now though. We went to the doctor and he gave us a bunch of drugs and a special diet that I am not going to follow bc its ridiculous. haha Right after we left I bought (or rather were given to us by our awesome churro investigator) churros cuz I wanted them and I was like, um ya probably not gonna follow that whole special diet thing. So that was a big distraction to the work this week, and the lessons really went down (think we had 24) bc there were just moments when we couldn't walk or teach anything. We used a lot of movies to teach this week bc we didn't have the energy to teach a whole lesson. I lost a bit of weight and now am back to normal :) But oh well this is a new week and I am fine now. 

Every time we ate this week with members was just awful. haha not because of the food, but it just hurt my stomach to eat much especially the crappy grease they usually give us. Good thing we had Elda for Thursday and not Lucy bc I could only finish the soup and rice and not any of the main dish. If we ate with Lucy I would have died. One day we ate with a hermana and she gave us KFC which was good but not for the stomach. We had to get a taxi to go home bc we couldn't make the walk. haha it was rough especially because he only took us half the way and said that he couldn't go any farther. So we ended up having to walk anyway. 

On the bright side, we baptized again yesterday! It was another super busy Sunday, we were running the whole time. We had studies, then church, (confirmed Teresa), then we filled the font, had a hamburger and fries party with like 7 hermanas from the ward, then had the baptismal service. It was a good service. It was combined with Elder Jenson's ward bc he had a baptism as well. We baptized Aide, who was a reference from the Visitors Center. She was pretty golden from the beginning, with doing all the commitments we left her and more. She shared a pretty powerful testimony at her baptism. That always makes a missionary happy. Also I got pretty happy in another lesson we had this week. We found a new investigator Oscar, a friend of Royed. We were teaching him with Royed who has just been so freaking difficult for months but Royed was actually supporting everything we were saying and helping us teach. I was a little in shock. I know Royed is going to be baptized one day, just a very slow process with him. Ah I will be sooo happy the day that he does get baptized. 

Today was all right. We had a zone activity that was pretty lame. haha.  It was fine, we just played soccer forever, then 4 square water balloon and blanket edition. Super tired after all that time in the sun. Then we went to Walmart and found Elder Rodriguez there by coincidence. He had emergency back surgery this week! Crazy he went in to the doctor and right there they said you are going into surgery right now. They didnt put him out or anything and it was a fledged surgery. Like a 6 inch incision on his lower back. He is ok now though. He even worked in his area that day when they told him to rest for 2 weeks. He is a good missionary nothing will stop him. haha  

Well thats basically my week, not too exciting. Your week at home sounds much more exciting. Moab looked super fun! I miss the outdoors soo much. I just want to be in the mountains. Enough of this cement jungle life. haha. It is warming up there, well here as well. Every week it seems to be hotter here, I'm not loving it. 

Dad hope you had a great birthday. Wish you could have had real mexican tacos, not the crappy american kind. :) haha Cant believe the kids in the picture. They all look 2 years older. Especially Ellie and Nix. And Sadie with her super long hair. haha 

Glad everybody likes the letter, just as long as they know they are very edited on the blog. haha if only they read the originals, haha jkjk 

Dad to answer your question, yes we take the metro a lot. For lots of missionaries its all they use. But we take it to downtown, malls, things like that only on pday. Martin Carrera is a pretty major metro station so lots of people know my area for that reason. 

Here is my Ben Elgan wisdom of the week. Something I remember from the MTC, so I have probably already said it. Knowing and not doing is worse than not knowing. If you know something is right, why would you not do it? Think about it. 

Well everybody hope you have a great week. I love and miss you all

Elder Elgan