Thursday, October 24, 2013

¡Abrir Su Boca!

Hey!!   Sorry its taken me so long!  Our first P day wasn't until today so I couldn't write all week and it was killing me!  
This week has been crazy and I have so much to tell you so buckle up!

Mexico City in general is crazy.  The city is loud, the people are loud, and the food is... interesting.  Flying into the city, I was feeling so lost since I couldn't understand any of the signs... and then I saw a Home Depot sharing a parking lot with a McDonalds and felt right at home :) 
The Centro de Capacitacion (CCM or MTC in English) is like a little fenced-in, 90 acre paradise in the middle of this crazy city.  It's really peaceful here and I love how you can just feel the Spiritual power of 800+ Spanish Speaking missionaries in the same place.  The weather is super weird too.  Some days it goes from being super sunny (or as sunny as it can be in this polluted city) and then it rains super hard for about 5-10 minutes and then goes back to normal.  There's also mosquitoes everywhere!  I wake up with a new bug bite every morning.  I've also decided my body is not a fan of this much Mexican food.  We eat beans and rice with EVERY meal here and mi cuerpo is not a fan.  But I love it here besides all that!

My companero (com-pan-yero) is awesome!  His name is Elder Tyler Meidell.  He's from Reno and is headed to the Texas San Antonio Mission.  He's practically fluent already so I feel sorry that he's stuck with me since I struggle so much, especially in lessons when he does most of the talking and I try to figure out what we're saying... 
There's only 2 downsides to him as my companion:
1.  I have to hurry and try to fall asleep before he does because he breathes so hard that it keeps me up until midnight or later.
2. He loves soccer and lifting weights.   I 'm not coordinated enough for either.
But he's awesome and I'm learning from him every day!

My Spanish/Spanglish are getting so much better!  We eat with the native speakers at almost every meal and Elder Meidell always gets them to talk to me so I can try and improve.  Most of the time I just nod and say "bueno" or "si" because I have no idea what their saying.  But really I am getting better.  I read for almost 45 minutes everyday from El Libro de Mormon out loud and its really sarting to help.  Throughout the week I've noticed that there's some words I can't remember how to say in English so that's pretty neat!  I much more firmly believe in the Gift of Tounges, or El Don de Lengues in Espanol.  There´s moments, during lessons especially, where I can feel the Spirit helping me along throughout the lesson.  The most important thing I need to remember is to "Open your mouth and it shall be filled," or Abrir Su Boca!

Tuesday night is Pizza night!  Apparently there's a Costco nearby and we have Costco pizza every Tuesday!  I was a very happy elder.
The dorms are small.  Like really small. And the showers are nasty.  I understand why I brought shower sandels now.

 My district is awesome!  Its like we've been friends for a while but its only been 1 week.

On Sunday me and my companion got called to the Branch President's office and he asked us to be the new Zone Leaders!  I'm so excited to be able to serve the people of our awesome Zone.  Tonight we get the "opportunity" to welcome the new District and teach them a 20 min lesson about Predicad Mi Evangelio Capitulo 1!  Should be fun!

Today we got to go to the Temple!!  I was so excited!  The whole session was in Spanish (obviously) so that was hard, but I've never felt so at home while feeling so lost :)

Here's my funny moment for the week:
We were teaching our "invesitigador" Carlos (who's actually a teacher here at the CCM apparently) and the whole time I was talking to him he'd just smile and chuckle and nod.  I thought "oh I must be doing better on my spanish than last time... or I'm doing really bad." but I kept talking anyway.  Half an hour after the lesson, I realized I was speaking bad Spanish... and my zipper was down the whole lesson....

Last thing!  Tuesday night we had a devotional where Elder Lester Johnson of the Seventy came and spoke to us.  He spoke all about the importance of the members in missionary work.  PLEASE try and help out the missionaries and the Ward Mission Leader as much as you can.  They really need your help!

Also the MTC address we had in my call packet/gave out to everyone was for the OLD Mexico CCM since this one wasn't open when I got my call...
The real address is:

Carr. Tenayuca Chalmita No. 828
Col. Zona Escolar, deleg. G.A. madero
C.P. 07230, Mexico, D.F.

I know this church is true!  I know that no matter how hard learning/teaching in Spanish is, I'm supposed to be here and prepare to teach the amazing spanish people of Nebraska.  I love this gospel!
I love you guys SO much!  Gracias por todas cosas!

Lots of Love,

Elder Zack

PS translate the Spanish version of Called to Serve into English.  It's got 4 verses instead of two and the words are sooo much better than the normal version.  We sing at the top of our lungs at every devotional.


1. My sleeping Asian plane buddy to LA.
 I couldn't resist a good creeping opportunity :)
2. Flying over ST George on the way to LA.
 I teared up a little bit seeing the red rocks
for the last time in two years.
The dirt here is an ugly, normal brown color.
3.Mexico at Sunset from the plane :)

More Pictures!
1. Welcome to Mexico City!
2. My batch of crazy people arriving at the CCM really late at night!  40+ missionaries arrived on the 16th! (Elders Stevenson, Ogan, Miller, Paddock (thats me!) and the Hermanas Baker, Dutson, and Porter)

3. My badge :)

4. Our room. Guess which bed is mine :) Even more pictures!

1. The view from our window.
2. I got a laugh seeing this in the middle
of the huge, foreign city. :)
3. The Mexico City Temple.  
Absolutely gorgeous inside and out :)

4. Holiness to the Lord.  House of the Lord.

1. Elder Meidell and I at the temple.
He looks like Gale from the Hunger Games,
but he looks at you weird if you tell him that...

2. My District with the sign and the "B" (for Benemerito)
Hermana Hendrikson, Hermana Feigell, Hermana Schumaker, Elder Ogan, Elder Atkinson, Elder Meidell (ZL),  Elder Bergeven, Elder Paddock (thats me!)(ZL), Elder French,  Elder Loosle, and Elder Bowen (District Leader)

Bonus short little emails:

Sorry last thing,
Guess what?!  I learned how to Pray AND Bear my testimonio en Espanol on the third day and I've been doing it ever since!  Super cool, right!
I just wanted to brag for a minute on my progress.
I love you!

Elder Zack

Hey there!
The first week is hard but it was fun!  Airplane food made me sick so I slept most of the way from LA.  My companion is great and no I haven't met anyone going to Nebraska yet.  Most people are as suprised as I am that there's even Spanish people there!  There is one kid going to Alaska though so I guess mine's a little less strange then that.  
My spanish is struggling and its really hard when your comp is practically fluent but I'm getting better everyday!  
I glad you had fun at Disneyland!  We need to go when I get back, deal?  
We play volleyball like everyday that I get to choose the activity for gym time.  We've also got a fun new game combining volleyball, tennis, and soccer that I'm super good at.  
Tell Meg I say good job on her grades!  I'm proud of her as well!  
My P day is Thursday not Monday.  Hope I wasn't stressing you out!  
I love you so much!  


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elder Paddock's Adventures Day One: I'm here!! Let me tell you about today!

Leaving home on the First Day of Mission.
Entering the St George Airport.

Away he goes.  Elder Paddock is on his way!
Saying goodbye to the family.

I'm here!!  
Let me tell you about today!

First off, I was sitting in SGU waiting to go and ended up being on the same flight as two other missionaries!  Elder Able is headed to the London MTC to go to Germany and Sister Porter (from Hurricane)  was stuck with me the whole way here!  Lucky her, right?  

The flight to SLC was fairly lame but when we got there we met up with two other missionaries, Elder Martin (from Cedar) and Sister Dutson ( from Herriman) who joined Sister Porter and I all the way here.  
On the way to LAX, while the other 3 missionaries had awesome conversations with their seat buddies, I got the "opportunity" to sit next to an asian man who spoke very little English while his 4 year old daughter, who was sitting behind me, sang in Chinese at the top of her lungs and kicked my chair for the whole two hour flight! 

When we got to LAX, the four of us small town Utahns finally realized how sheltered we really are.  I've never felt so lost.  We landed in terminal 5 and needed to get to Terminal 2, so we looked at the Directory, thought we knew where we needed to go, and headed off.  We soon realized we were going the wrong way so we asked an Airport worker where to go, and this what they said: 
"Back the way you came, down the stairs, outside, onto Bus A, over to Terminal 2." 
and then she walked away, leaving us to try to understand what exactly she'd said.  So we did that, and ended up having to go through Security again, and almost missed our flight to Mexico.... but we didn't!  
We Made it!  Love you!  I'll send pictures later.

Elder Paddock 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Called to Serve


May 28, 2013
Elder Zachary Ashden Paddock
90 North 2820 East
St. George, UT 84790

Dear Elder Paddock:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the Nebraska Omaha Mission.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Mexico Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. You should prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.  Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel.  You will be an official representative of the Church.  As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president.  As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life.  Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children.  We place our confidence in you and pray that the lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president.  Please send your written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.