Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm Here!

Nebraska out the plane.  So flat!
I'm here!!  I'm loving being back in the States!  I miss Mexico like crazy though... everything is so quiet and boring here BUT the water is clear and not gray and the sky is blue and not nasty colored so thats nice! 
Let me tell you about my trip here!  We got up at 2:30 AM and got on a bus to the Mexico airport were we waited for a couple hours, called home (which was lovely by the way!  It was so great to hear your voices!), and sat around.  While one of the Elders in our Tri-panionship was on the phone, the other Elder and I went to the M&M store across the hall where we could still see him but give him his privacy.  All of a sudden I felt this impression like I should talk to the Mexicana lady working at the counter, so I struck up a conversation and we talked for a little bit.  Then she asked why in the world I would go to Nebraska from Mexico so I told her a little bit about how I'm serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She'd only heard a little about our church so I asked if we could share a quick message with her, which she agreed to.  We were able to teach her all about the Book of Mormon and give her a copy to read!  SO cool!  (Random side note: I'm pretty sure sher threw it away right as we walked away but at least we gave her the chance, right?  She can use her agency however she wishes, we're just giving her an option)  After that I was super excited to be able to share the message of the Restored Gospel with Anyone, so on the plane ride over to Dallas, the same sort of situation happened with the guy I was sitting next to.  His name was Victor and he said he was "Super Catholic" but he agreed to listen to the message I had. During our three hour flight, I was able to teach him and talk with him about everything in the first lesson and invite him to read the Book of Mormon! (which he started to do on the plane!)
Want to know the coolest part for me?  All that was in Spanish!  I just somehow knew the words to say and was able to just share the message of Christ's restored church without much difficulty with the language!  6 weeks in Mexico really paid off I guess!    The only problem with all that Spanish though was when we got to the US, all we knew how to speak was Spanish and English was really hard for us!  People looked at us pretty funny because we're just talking Spanish to them and they had no idea what we're saying.  It was great! 
Cool sign we found by the temple. 

The Winter Quarters Temple.  We missed fall by two days
I heard but I was able to get this picture!   Its a beautiful building :)

My Mission President is great!  President and Sister Weston are probably some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life.  They're nice and geniune and care for each of the 250 missionaries in the Nebraska Omaha Mission.   They're fantastic   
Mission Office
Thanksgiving was great!  We went to the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters (Which is amazing by the way!)  and they had a full on feast for us!  It was amazing.  I forgot how good American food is. 
The next day we found out who our companions are and where we're serving.  Just so you know, there's only 30 Spanish missionaries (24 Elderes, 6 Hermanas) in NOM and so I was worried I'd be English speaking... but I'm not!  My companion is Elder Juan.  He's originally from Guatemala but has lived in Kansas and Manti for the past 5 years.  Fun fact: His first language wasn't Spanish... or English... It was Mayan!  I didn't even know that was still around!  It sounds funny and I don't understand any of it so he doesn't speak it a lot.  He told me he didn't know hardly any English when he got out here though so he's been doing a lot better.  During language study, he studies English while I study Spanish.  Its a lot of fun!  He's probably one of the funniest guys I've ever met.  President Weston has assigned us to open up a new area in Sioux City, Iowa so thats where we are now!  I've heard that the Sioux City missionaries get super fat during they're time here because the members love us so much.  That'll be fun!  Maybe my jacket will actually fit!      
Elder Juan and I
Sioux city water tower.

Its not too cold yet.  There's already snow on the ground and we wear our suits all day but I'm not dying yet.  Give it a few more days and I'll be pretty cold I think.   
Thank you so much for the packages!  They made my day!  I'll try to find time to respond to those letters but if I don't, try not to be offended.  We're super busy opening up this area and finding people to teach :) 
Thank you for the Christmas box :) 
We already hung up our "tree" :)
Last thing, Tracting is super fun!  I like it a lot!  Maybe its because my little Guatemalan companion is super funny but last night (our first night knocking doors) was amazingly fun.   We met all sorts of people: White, black, hispanic, muslim, catholic, baptist, etc. you name it!   And thats just within a mile of our house since we don't have a car!    Whats really funny is when you knock on a door, they come out, see who we are, and shut the door again and turn off the lights like they're not home.  That happened three times and each time Elder Juan will just yell in his funny accent, "OK you have a good night!"   and then we'd just laugh and walk away.    We ended up finding 10 people to teach!  Its going to be fun going to talk to them this week.   
Thats all I have time for this week!  We only have an hour on the computers in NOM so I don't have a whole lot of time for anything.  I love you all so much!  Thank you for your love and support! 
Lots of love,
Elder Zack

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