Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 3 in the MTC - Oh No - the CCM




Hola!!!!!

I'm doing great!! I'm getting stronger, physically and mentally, and spiritually. The last being the most important,  of course :) 
The work is... it’s coming. Practice teaches are hard sometimes. The language. ugh They all talk sooooo faaaaast its like catching every 3 or 4 words and then I have no idea what they just said. But that’s better than before when I had no idea what anyone was saying.  I’m not giving up on this. I'm practicing and studying all the time and I’m making progress so I know it'll all be ok :)

  
So um here are the last of the questions on the list. Took forever. :)

Are you in a casa or a dorm?
I'm in a casa!!!! Casa 36 :) 

How many rooms are there?
There are 5 rooms in our casa along with like a kitchen (nothing in it to use) and a like living room with the most uncomfortable couches I have ever sat on >.<

How many have to share a bathroom? Tell me about it.
Each room has a bathroom and out of 5 rooms only 4 are in use and there are 4 in a room. So four to a bathroom but we have the spare in room 5. So it’s never like we have to wait because if we had to other rooms would let us use theirs.

This picture was taken right after I got there and before my roommates got there.

How many roommates do you have?
I have 3 roommates. I room with Elder Moore, Elder Tilby and Elder Watchman. 

       
 Do you have any natives in your room? Tell me about them.

Nope no natives. Which is probably good because they don’t seem to understand that you put the toilet paper in the toilet and not in the garbage can. I feel so sorry for all the elders that have to explain that to them.


Mosquitoes ? 
Nope. I haven't been bitten yet. No idea why.

Are they as bad as I have read about? 
 Well I mean there are a lot of them but they don’t seem to really like my blood or the blood of my companion.

Do you use the net? 
Not a once have I used the net. Would it be ok if I gave it to Hermana Curtis and Hermana Hanson for while they are in Panama?? They'll have more need then I will/do.

How is your shoulder bag?
Totally rocking it!!! President Pratt said at this MTC we all have to wear them. But some missionaries use the backpacks they brought. Which totally makes sense since otherwise they would have to buy a bag from the store and they aren't very nice bags.











(Note the large shoulder bag)


I heard there was a crazy storm the first night you were there. Did you get soaked? 
No I had already gone and had dinner and I got to just chill through the storm that night. My 3 roommates weren’t so lucky. They got to the CCM at like 5 I think maybe 6, they had to run through the rain to get some cold gross pizza. It took forever for their shoes to dry out :/ 

Do you use your umbrella and/or rain coat?
Usually Yes. I have this problem where I forget it sometimes and then it dumps on us and so I hold the waterproof shoulder bag above my head. I look like an idiot but I stay pretty dry :)

What has been your favorite thing so far? 
ummm. That’s hard. We have so many fun things. We have lessons which we always dread but they are never as bad as we think they will be. Well except the first one we came out laughing because either we walked out laughing or we walked out crying.  It was not a good lesson. But they have been pretty awesome since then :)
 ummm Gym is always fun. I've been for a couple runs on the track and I’m getting  stronger and faster.
ummmmmmm. Additional Study Time after TALL. Thats always a blast. We have no teacher soooo sometimes we don’t always study. We just hang out and talk, and study, and talk, and then we just talk. We have decided to do better from now on :)

Me doing TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) I can record my voice saying words in Spanish and then listen to how it is suppose to be pronounced and try again.


Gym time in the rain (Elders Watchman, Moore, Grisham, Larkin  (front), Lots, Tilby, Gore and Eichers)


What is your least favorite?
Uhhh I don’t think I really have one. Unless it’s not being able to sleep. I wake up about every 2 hours every night, and with only 8 hour nights that really isn't helpful.  It’s pretty much the worst sleep night after night after night.  I can’t wait to get back to the states and be able to use my heavy blanket!!!!  (Zach’s mom made him a weighted blanket (it weighs 16 lbs!) it really helps him sleep much better.  It was too heavy & big to put in his suitcase.  We will mail it to him in California.)

How is your investigator doing? How are your lessons going?
Well at this point we have 2 investigators and they are progressing. The Hermano (Brother) is pretty easy. But the Hermana (Sister) is having some issues. They aren't actually related. I’ll explain this all in my answer for the next question.

Who is your favorite teacher?
I have a morning and a night teacher. Hermana Callejas is like one of the nicest people I have ever met. She tries so hard and she does an amazing job. It was her 26th birthday a couple days ago and we sang and got her candy. She is one of the sweetest and most sincere people I have ever met.

 Our night teacher, Hermano Vargas,  was our first investigator. He is the guy in glasses and the suit. He's really nice, always smiling, and super fun.


Hermano Vargas


So our teachers are our investigators and they angle our lessons towards the things we have to work on which is everything so basically they just angle them at us.

We are trying to get Hermano Vargas and Hermana Callejas on a date. They would just be super cute together. It’s probably not going to happen though :(

My favorite food is Pizza Martes!!! Best thing in the world. New missionaries and pizza :) soooo good!!!




Do you love singing in Spanish? 
Uhhhhh. I prefer English. Totally prefer English. In English all the words and notes line up. We have to squeeze multiple syllables onto one beat and it’s really, really hard sometimes.  But we make it work.

Is there a choir?
Yes there is a choir. And it’s the 12 missionaries in my district. Yay!! Nobody else seems to want to be in it :(

Did you have to give a talk on Sunday?
No talk yet. But I write one every week. It’s the scariest thing. But there is nothing so good as looking at the program and not seeing your name  :)

 Have you gotten sick from the water or food?
  I haven't yet but I don’t drink the tape water. They ship in a couple hundred 5 gallon bottles of water and every casa has a stand for them and so I drink out of those. But one of the girls in my District got a parasite and they are doing some tests on uh.. some samples to put it vaguely and not wanting to say exactly what they are testing.

What do you do during gym time?  How is your knee?
During gym we play a lot of Volleyball and Basket ball. I stink at basketball but I play my hardest I’m best at defense. But volleyball I’m pretty good at :) my knee is getting better. I run around and I went for a run a couple days ago and it didn’t start hurting until we were done and then I ran a tiny bit the next day and nothing. So I think its healing :)

Have you bought anything at the Tienda?
uhhhh. Presents for each of the girls, and uhhh on Monday i bought 10 rolls of sweet tarts.... uh and I bought a picture of Christ knocking at a door and a picture of the Mexico City Temple which I must say whoever cropped that photo is a master cropper because you can’t tell what’s actually around the temple! Crazy, scary México City!!! oh and a case for my scriptures and some tape to put up all the pictures you've sent in our room :)

I hope this answers a lot of your questions and I'll try to tell more next week!!!!

My companion needs a hair cut so I'll talk to you next week!!!! (Talk = email).

Love you all!!

Elder Gore



Elder Moore and Elder Gore at the Mexico City Temple

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week 2


My District's Elders at the Mexico City Temple

Everything is great! We are teaching some mock investigators and learning Spanish. It’s a little hard but I’m praying and working crazy hard.  We have been learning new verbs every day. I'm still pretty bad. This is what I get for taking 4 years of German in High school I guess….

No I didn’t feel the earthquake. We had the earth quake warning alarm go off 3 times so far and have had to run out into the streets but haven't felt anything yet. So I have only ever felt an earthquake in Virginia.

The craziest thing though is it rains every single day here. At the exact same time every day. Well almost the exact same time. If it hasn´t rained by 5 it starts almost exactly at 5 but it’s always a storm regardless of the time it starts. Thunder, lightning! It’s crazy. But we have fun :)
We played a crazy game of volley ball during a thunderstorm! It was awesome!!!
Zach’s dad sent him a few questions.  Here are his answers:

1. The Best thing about being a missionary?
Learning and teaching and feeling the Spirit all the time!

2. What is the hardest thing?
Ummmmmmmmm Spanish. Its way tough. I hate conjugating >.<

3. What do you think you were the best prepared for?
Not having any technology and the work and the energy involved.

4. Send us a couple of good pictures so we can get one on the missionary board at the Church.
I'll see what I can do. Can mom send me her Costco account? It would be easier to upload them all onto there and then she could pull them off.  Cause I can only send like 4 in each email and that takes way to long when i have like 70 pictures.
Me and My Companion on the Bus to the Temple
  
Zach’s mom sent him a bunch of questions.  Here are the answers to about half of them.

How is your companion? 
  He´s pretty cool.

Is it really Elder M.? 
  Yes it really is :)

Are you getting along? 
  Yeah, I think so.

Tell me about him. 
   Elder M. is way tall and he´s a really spiritual guy. I'll send some pictures so you can see him!! He likes sports and he can sing even though he says he can´t. He took Spanish in high school so he´s like miles ahead of me even though he says he´s not very good.

What is it like being with the same person 24/7? 
    Ummmm it’s not like a huge deal. We get along really well so it’s pretty easy. Also it’s just like what we do. We are always supposed to be with our companions soooo we are and there is nothing much else to it.

How is your district? 
   My district is sweet!!! We have some of the coolest spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. We learn and work and have fun together. We are together at least 12 hours a day if not a bit more. I don’t like thinking about the end of the 6 weeks because I love these guys. They are so awesome. Sorry I’m not gonna talk about it I might start crying >.< well probably not but still….

How many Elders & Hermana’s are in your district? 
There are 8 Elders and 4 Hermanas.

What are their names and where are they from/going? 
 Elder M. is from Utah and is going with me to Redlands. Elder T. and Elder W.
 (mi roommates) are also from Utah but are going to Bakersville Cali. Elder La. and Elder E. are from Cali and Utah, respectively, and they are going to Chicago. Elder Lo. and Elder G., from Utah and Alaska, are going to Santa Rosa Cali. All us elders are in the same casa so we hang out a lot.
The hermanas are: Hermanas Han. and Cur., from Arizona and Florida, are going to Panama!! Panama! Panamaha!!(Van Halen song - sorry) and Hermanas Cul. and Har., from Mississippi and Washington state, are going to Salt Lake City and Florida, respectively.

Food!!! 
How is the food? 
   The food is alright. The pancakes and waffles are all really dry so we have to pour our milk onto them before we eat.  They serve a lot of meat and they have these like white bread roll things and we cut them open and fill them with meat. It’s not bad. Could really use some salt or just not dry food.

And the milk?
   Ehhh it’s like that H milk dad was talking about in Germany I think. It can sit out and get warm but it doesn't go bad apparently I don’t drink it when it’s like that. But if you can get it when it’s really cold it’s pretty good. That’s something I’m really looking forward to back in the states. Cold milk. Oh!!! AND COLD WATER!! None of it is cold and it’s annoying >.< haha

I have read they have Fruit Loops. Do you eat them for breakfast, lunch & dinner?
I usually have them at breakfast and dinner but that’s in addition to whatever breakfast or dinner is - they don’t serve them at lunch. haha. :P I eat food mom!!!

Have you found anything else you like? 
  Everything I’ve tried I’ve liked well enough. Nothing is super fantastic. Oh well the lemonade was sooooooooo goood!!!! But then I think we drank it all so now it’s just like juice from prunes, and pineapples and just other random juice that nobody really likes so I have water at lunch most days.

Costco pizza on Tuesday’s must be your favorite!
   Pizza Martes!!!!!!! It’s the best thing in the world!!! We see all these new missionaries and we talk to them in Spanish and they have no idea what’s going on and then we say jk and welcome them and head over to class.

 I sure hope you are not losing anymore weight or your pants will really be hanging off of you.
  Uhhhhhhh. I’m on my last belt loop...I’m probably going to have to poke another hole in all my belts. Sorry >.<

Sorry this is all I have time to send!!!

I got Jena, Emily, and Katie some nice things from here!! I'll send them when I am able, in like 4 weeks once I’m in Cali!!

Lucky ducks you girls!! I would give anything to go to Water Country or swim or just have cold water!  Emily you take good care of that car!!! We need it to survive to Katie!!

The Spanish is coming along.

 I’m attempting to upload photos but it’s being very picky and annoying so I’ll see what I can do.

 I love you all!!!!

Elder Gore!

P.S - Oh can you send me the lyrics to the song Homeward Bound??? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings it and a group of young men sang it at the devotional and so if you could send me the words that'd be awesome!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week 1

There are timers on the computers they use, they have 1 hour to read and respond to all of their emails. 

Here is the first email we received today:

Awwwwwwww maaaan I miss everything good (Zach’s response to a list of fun stuff we did AFTER he left). Oh well I´m having a lot of fun here. We  just got back from the temple so I uh don’t have my camera cable with me... again.. I’m sorry >.< I promise I’ll have it next time!!

Thank you to everyone who emailed me this week!  It was great to get so many emails, I am sorry that I cannot respond to each one individually.

 My first week was long and hard. We have 15 hour days starting at 6:30 and ending at 10:30. We are studying and learning spanish. ALL DAY! its fun but hard.

This last week has been intense. Hmm..where to begin. Well I finally met my companion Elder Moore! He´s pretty cool and we have a lot of fun. I feel really short though sometimes haha. The 12 members of my district are. Élderes Gore, Moore, Tilby, Watchman, Eichers, Larkin, Lots, and Grisham and the sisters are Hermanas Curtis, Hanson, Harris, and Culotta. I have like the best district ever. Everyone is so cool.

I´m the only real east coaster everyone else is from Utah or some other state in the west-ish haha. Us elders all live in the same casa (little dorm house) it’s green. I will send pictures next time. I got the top bunk! SCORE!!!!!! and we use my alarm clock. That is by far one of the hardest things to do. Wake up in the morning.

Here is my schedule:
6:30 - The alarm goes off. Those that didn´t shower the night before shower then we get dressed 7:15 - head to breakfast
7:45 - we have personal study
8:45 -  language class
9:45  - language couching
10:30  - more language class
11:45 - additional study time
12:15 – lunch.  

Lunch is an hour-ish and then it’s either back to the classroom or to TALL (Learning Spanish on the computers) after that is more Study and then more Language and then Gym at 3:55. Then we have prep time and then Daily Planning and then Dinner. (He didn’t tell us his schedule after dinner but we know it includes teaching an investigator (who is really one of his Spanish teachers), and more Spanish class and study time, until 9:30 when they have personal time (showers etc.) and 10:30lights out.

Since the Friday that we got here we´ve been teaching an investigator. Its scary! Our first lesson was awful but our 2nd and 3rd and 4th have been better and better.

 We had some other crazy stuff happen but I’m almost out of time I’ll share everything else soon!!

I love you all and miss you so much!!

Elder Gore

Second email….

Oh never mind the timer hits 0 and nothing happens. Soooooo I’ll finish. We participated in the first world wide MTC devotional broadcast on Tuesday it was really cool. Elder Scott spoke about missionary work it was Very inspiring.
Also Elder Moore and I were called to be District leaders last Thursday :) We teach a class/give the lesson during district meetings each Sunday. It’s kind of nerve wracking cause we are like in charge kind of everything, well really we just have a lot of responsibilities. Like teaching, and leading classes and calling on people to pray and just leading our district in general. We have a lot of fun though.

Elder Eichers got a package from his familia yesterday so please, please, please send me food and maybe my frisbee?????? I need it for gym.

 Ohhhhhh yeah!!!!! I can run again!!!! I tried during our first gym time and I ran for 40 mins!!! I almost couldn’t believe it. Dad and Bishop Clark thank you so much for that blessing!! (Zach hurt his leg last January running, and had not been able to run since. He did everything the orthopedist had told him to do, but still could not run without sharp pain.  The Sunday before he left he asked his dad & our Bishop to give him a blessing.)

The Spirit is just so strong here. We pray all the time, for everything!  The beginning of every class, end of classes, food, before bed, before lessons, in the middle of study if we feel like we need help.  Nuestro Padre Celestial is how we begin prayers and we end En el nobre de Jesucristo.

Alright got to go now!!!

Love you all,

Elder Gore!!

PS-  There are no driving lanes and stop lights seem to be optional. Its craaaaaaaazzzyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!! >.< But I´m having lots of fun :) I´m learning lots of Spanish and more about the gospel. If you don't have the link ask my mom for the blog of my mission letters it should be a lot more detailed.

PPS -  We had the craziest experience last week. We taught our first investigator!!!!! I mean it was a teacher pretending but we still had to write a lesson and give it in Spanish. Oh yes I am learning Spanish. Its kind of slow but it is coming along.

PPPS - The food here is pretty good :) I´ve tried quite a bit. You´ll probably be surprised about what I´ll be willing to eat when I get home. I haven't gotten sick yet thank goodness but I mean I guess I never know.




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