Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 26, 2016 Travel Plans to Oaxaca

Dear mom and everyone,

Sounds like you had an eventful week. I'm jealous because mine was pretty boring. 

So I've been pretty good keeping a journal here, at least every other day, and I use it to help write my emails. So there's only two entries since the last time I emailed. 
well 3 but it was from Pday so You already know what happed. 

Any who so on How it works for teacher is we have one in the Morning and one in the afternoon/evening. Well our evening teacher got another job and her last day was Saturday. She was super cool; she actually was our first "investigator" before we knew who she was. It was a little sad that she didn't get to see us off but that's life.

Earlier on Saturday for TRC we had to teach a younger district because they couldn't get enough people for us to teach. We had a fairly decent lesson, but they spoke less than half the Spanish me and my comp do so they praised us like we were fluent which was funny and a little confidence boost. Then we tried talking to a Latino and we were put back in our place.

Sunday was cool because for priesthood we had a really cool guided group discussion about the power of the priesthood. Then later that night We watched the new-ish Joseph Smith movie and we had a really cool district testimony meeting afterward.

Okay the good stuff. We found out our travel plans yesterday. I leave the MTC and 2am Monday morning and my flight leaves at 6:55 am. I'm the only gringo to go to Oaxaca with 12 Latino. That will be an interesting flight. I get one 50lb check bag and a 23lb carry on and my personal item isn't supposed to be over 6lb but they don't check if it doesn't look too big. It's 850 pesos for the other checked bag and I'll have to use my debt card so make sure dad has money in my account. Everyone going to Mexico didn't get travel plans so Idk when I land. My luggage totals right about 123.5lb so I'll have to wear an extra shirt or something.

As far as where my district is going 5 are going to Tampico and 5 are going to Queretaro an hermana is going to Redlands, California and then me. 

Thanks for the other package, but since I'm only allowed to take pictures on P day I don't have my camera on hand most times and I didn't think about it, but my district says thanks.
(We sent Mitchell a second package of Mt. Dew and 14 candy bars to give out to his district)

Okay so the first pic is my comp attempting to play cage soccer
The next 2 are the whole district with Hermana Gutierrez (I hope I spelt that right) the teacher that left
Then a cool scripture case for my Spanish set

Then we found the pretty big moth earlier today 

This one is for Grandpa Clarke!! Finger in the nose and rabbit ears! Oh MY! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Just Another Week at the CCM, Oct 21, 2016

Dear Mom and everyone,

This week was probably the most boring of them all. Saturday we had TRC; it was a return missionary that had a hard time since he got home. I was able to speak with him pretty while and shared a scripture with him about the Holy Ghost. 

On Sunday was fairly boring a lot of personal and comp study. We did watch a really cool video on the book of Mormon; a pastor from a different church found it and didn't know what it was because the cover and title page was worn off. He read it and started teaching from it at his sermons. He finally found the church when he was really old.

Nothing interesting happened on Monday but on Tuesday we had the general young women's president come for the devo. she actually did a tour of the campus and came into our class. I felt like a museum exhibit. We were in the middle of practice teaching each other so she came around and looked at the groups said hi to two people and then left. It was really funny. They also took pictures of us so you might see those somewhere someday.

A lot more of the same on Wednesday and Thursday but today we actually had time to prepare, no immigration no temple no nothing. so what do you thing we do all day. Goof off and play volleyball and cage soccer all. It was a lot of fun but I still have two piles of laundry i need to iron and put away and I am wiped out.

Okay so my district has 12 people in it:
Me and my comp elder Skidmore you know about us.
Elder walker (red head) and E Edwards: Edwards is the district leader and Walker is like a mix of Devin DePriest and Dennis
E Ayer and Rassmussen. They are the Zone leaders. Ayer reminds me a lot like Garrett. He was in theater and likes to tell stories.  Rassmussen is cool with a quirky sense of humor. E Smith and Howell. Smith is really cool. we kind of buddied up and make loose plans to meet up in Idaho and serve in the temple because he did that to. Howell is an interesting missionary. E Hansen and Jones. Hansen kind of reminds me of a kid I grew up with. He has lots of crazy stories to tell.  Jones is just a super chill guy and speaks softly but still has a great personality And we have two hermana’s,  Hermana McBride and Warren.

So all in all they're pretty cool

(Questions Mom asked)

1.The room is still the same, just me and my comp in one room and the rest of the elders in my district in two other room. 2. The best thing was probably the fact that the young women's president didn't say anything to us; I was kind of expecting her to stop the class say hi maybe teach a short message or bare her testimony but nope. I was so focused on teaching that I barely looked up at her. 3. I couldn't really say what exactly I leaned: more Spanish works, how to teach better. Although I did finish “Our Search for Happiness” and started “Our Heritage” which is interesting but I like our search for happiness better. 4. Also I finished the last mountain dew on Thursday so that was sad.  5. We don't find out travel plans until Monday although I did hear of a missionary who asked if he could call at the airport and the guy said, "don't ask me that because I have to say no.” So I'll try to call. BTW My P day next week will be on Wednesday.

 Like Father like Son!  Loves their Valentina for every meal

 Just a lot of Soccer on P-day this week!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Surprised Package! October 14, 2016

Hello mom and everyone

This week was a little boring so I apologize if the letter is a little short. Every day is wake up, get ready, study, eat breakfast, have a different combination of a Gospel lesson, language lesson, a teaching demonstration or teaching an "investigator". Then we go either to a computer study tool called TALL or gym then lunch, TALL or gym, lessons dinner language study daily planning and then bed. We don't do a whole lot in daily planning because they already have the whole stay in the CCM planned down to the minute. 

The package was a great surprise!!! I was so happy to see I got one. It's like Christmas in October. I may or may not have already drunken all but two of the mountain dews in the four days I’ve had it. 

So last week right before we left before we were at the bus which is by the cafeteria and if you remember our casa is on the opposite side of everything. My comp had forgotten his recommend in the casa. So we had to run all the way to and from the casa. We ended up last on the bus and had to sit on the wheel seat. I was a little irritated but quickly got over it. Then Saturday we had TRC which is where people come in from outside and we get to teach them. I think they came from like a seminary class because she was young and already had a Strong testimony. But it was still cool to teach someone we didn't know. 

For Sunday talks everyone prepares a talk and he calls them out after sacrament. So it's a little nerve racking. I didn't get called though. I was however able to bless the sacrament in Spanish which was really cool.

Tuesday night we had the devo but it was broadcast from Provo and it was Elder Bednar and his wife teaching. that was super cool. He talked about looking back on conference talks and to do what is best for us. He did although show us his way. He looks for three things. 1 doctrine or principle 2 invitation to act 3 and a promised blessing. He spent the rest of the hour going through several talks again using this method. At the end he said that nothing is coordinated as far as talks and topics (which I knew) but there still are themes that pop up. We also watched a video in class about missionary work from one of Elder Hollands earlier talks. He said mission are work and salvation was never easy because it was never easy on Him. 

I also started reading “Our Search For Happiness” which is really cool. If any of you haven't read it I would really recommend it.

It's super cool Cami is having them (the babies) blessed give them my love and wish them luck. The language is kind of plateaued. I feel like I know enough to become fluent in the field but I don't know if I'll learn more here. We didn't get any roommates and don't think we will at this point. The rainy season is over so it hasn't really rained much. Once or twice in the last two weeks. The only thing I think I need is marking pencils which either I can't find or I can buy them really cheap here. I really wish I could have gone with you guys to the lake looks like you had a ton of fun!!

Love you all 

Elder Olsen

 Elder Olsen's District
 Dinner at the CCM
 The CCM
 The Mexico Temple
 Elder Olsen and his Companion Elder Skidmore
Elder Olsen's District at the Mexico Temple 
Progress on the construction at the CCM

On this p-day, he had to go to the immigration office.  He emailed and said: "Oh yeah, I forgot to type about going to the immigration office.  It was just like a DMV.  You waited in line to get a number, to wait in a chair.  We signed two papers and they took our fingerprints.  We saw a lot more of the city which was really cool.  It's like if California St. (our rental apartments) was a city with more cool statues of Aztecs and stuff like that.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 7, 2016 Conference Weekend

Things are well, a lot of work but nothing I can´t handle. The language is coming along, their are time where i feel like i´m really doing well with it other times where I´m humbled and put in my place. Sleeping is only ok, the mattresses suck but other than that yea. I actually saw Sam last week and i recognized her but I believe she changed her last name didn't she? so i was unsure. We are still in our own room, which I'm ok with. The food is okay, just kind of bland and repetitive. The tamales here are nasty but the milanesa is good. My shoes are great, i do a lot more walking here than I thought i would so I'm wearing my big shoes most day. My favorite part of the day is the teaching the investigator, it's also one i dread. I like to use my spanish and thats the easiest way to do it. My companion is good. We haven't really connected but we work well together. We did get to watch conference in english. I want to preface this that i prayed that I would get what i needed out of conference, I slept through the saturday afternoon session and half of each on sunday. I gave an honest effort, I took notes and everything but I could not keep my eyes open. Although I did enjoy the talks I did hear. I really enjoy Pres. Uchtdorf first talk on the plan of salvation, I'm paraphasing but he said something along the lines of ,the gospel and simple answers the the world's most complex questions. Also a thought I had on pres. Monson's talk, he knows that he is only going to be able to talk a few minutes so what he would talk about must be super important. I think his first one was less on the word of wisdom and more on calling upon the blessings of God when we follow His commandments. 

Most of what I'm doing is super repetitive and boring so ill just say the good stuff. One of the days we tried to only speak spanish, a lot of elders were just quiet most of the day but i think i did pretty well. 

Well I love you all, ill send another email with pictures in a few

 Sleeping during Conference
 Mitchell's closet at the MTC.  Everything he owns for 2 years in one little closet
 Construction going on at the MTC
 Rainy Days 
 The Disciples
Study Time at the MTC 
 His district decided to move all of their beds into the living room until they get more missionaries
 Hope no one snores too loud!
All of the Missions in Mexico.  Mitchell's is the Olive Green one to the left of the last  purple one on the bottom right.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

First 10 Days in the MTC Sept 30, 2016

Dear Mom, 

Everything is going great!
CCM (mtc in spanish) is huge, at least a square km.of course our casa is in the back corner of the place so it take at least 10 min to get anything from there. Almost everyday I heard, just wait til sunday is gets easier (Connor and Spencer told that o me a lot) and it was true. the first week is difficult just because the through so much information at you. My comp is someone Garrett might know, Elder Sander Skidmore. He from gilbert and is good friends with Easton Allen, I Don't believe I knew him before. I actually brought the most of my district and I haven't really needed anything i didn't have.  I see andrew every few days not too often thought, and he was infact the first person i saw. I'm only allowed to take pics on Pday but I did take a few before. sleeping is fine i wake a few times a night for a minute or two but I'm just a little tired. I've only had one headache which is good. We can't go outside the walls aside from the temple which is only on temple grounds. I have yet to find anyone going to Oaxaca and i really haven't learned anything about is that i didn't already know. There are a few, I think i heard an hermana get a package through the costco near here ;) and using the dear elder sites or something like it. I usually just use the umbella it's too much or a hassle to carry the coat. I'M NOT ALOUD TO LISTEN TO MUSIC, it really sucks.

Mi casa is this little 5 bedroom house with 4 people a room so it can get a little cramped but right now its only half full and there is only the two of us in our room. I think a Group of 3 weekers (probably latinos) will fill up our house in a few weeks. There is a comedor (buffet like caffiteria) a tienda (a shop with most of the needs) and a ton of classrooms named after prophets, we meet in the Joesph F Smith building. They have a perfect exchange rate so i got all my money changed to about 1,800 pasos.

Tuesday we have pizza for dinner and go to a devo that was hard to understand because of a thick accent not a whole lot happened after my email (Sorry is was short i was only supposed to give you the info at the top, oops) 

wednesday I wasn't feeling well but I pushed through, it was mainly dehydrations and after I took some IB I felt better. It doesn't help that the matrises are as hard as a rock. I learned is does in fact rain a lot here. Most of my time is spent in classes either learning what not to do, how to teach, or how to speak the language. There is no free time at all.

Thursday they through us in with our "first investigator" after our morning classes, apparently I knew enough spanish to teach a lesson, we got just a little bit of info from her background and taught her a lesson based off of it. This is when we started to get close as a district, sat at meals together and talking more. We also had a gym orientaion, basically don't do anything stupid

Friday we started with personal study in the classroom,I'm so tired that I forget most of it. during class I learned I learned that i need to use a notbook because i forget most of the stuff we want to teach our investigator. After we taught she came back to the class with us to teach us spanish(obviously not a real investigator but our teacher). We also started gym that day, basically whatever we want to do that isn´t full contact or baseball, so like tennis bball or soccor.

The days get a little repetitve and im running out or time so I need to skip a few days.

Sunday is fast sunday. it's probably the first time i've done a 24ish hour fast. the testimonies were cool and constant. It really was a day of rest we just didn't do much. We did listen to a devo from elder Holland call the divine companion, i think dad was listening to it a few days before i left.

Tuesday we invited Nyelli (our investigator) to be baptised and she said yes so i must be doing something right

Friday is PDAY!! we wake up and got to the temple, i completely forgot to look up the pres. The mexico city temple is cool but nothing special.

sorry if i missed anything and the missing captions an hour is not enough time for this
I love you all

Elder Mitchell Olsen

 Pday at the Mexico Temple

Elder Olsen and Elder Skidmore, his companion  We actually saw him at the airport and Mitchell's brother, Garrett, know him and said good bye to him.  Small world 

 The Mexico MTC

 Mitchell's Bedroom

 Look Grandpa Ray, he's wearing his Los Gatos T-shirt

Streets of Mexico