Thursday, October 31, 2013
This past week has been really great.
On a daily basis we teach two investigators and I'm feeling really good about it. It truely amazes me how I understand most of the things they say and now I'm actually able to give a lesson all in spanish. Its pretty fun teaching now even though our investigators are our two teachers. When we teach them they go by different names and refuse to speak English to us. Teaching them is fun because they take on this persona of real people that they taught on their mission. Oh and our teachers have only been off there missions for less than a year. I don't know how they do it.
This last week I have been rocking the gospel teaching and the language. Just yesterday i was practicing a lesson and a random teacher came up to me and was so surprised that I had only been there for 3 weeks. Then he asked if I was in the intermediate classes to which I answered no. Boy did his eyes go big after that. Teachers are always telling our District how great we are doing in Spanish. I think tomorrow I'm going to try to speak spanish the whole day.
Also this whole week I have commited to follow any promtings that I have and I can truely say that it is paying off. I am feeling the spirit in an increased amount. All of my lessons are benefiting as I have followed my promtings even if I have no idea why or were I'm going with them. They have really paid off.
Last night we had another TRC (we teach random members not teachers) and going into it I was really nervous since the last one bombed. But everything went great. Infact I was the one leading the lesson out of four Elders and I understood everything the lady was saying. It blows my mind still that high school spanish couldn't teach me anything in two years and now I'm having conversations in Spanish.
Well today was yet another P-Day in which we went to the Temple. Going to the Temple is such a great experience here in Mexico but it eats up practically our whole day. Today I was brave enough to go through the temple without the translations. Yeah it was scary but all in all it was a very good day. It was really funny becuase I walked up to one of the temple workers and asked in spanish "please help me word by word" and he just laughed and said I had nothing to worry about.
Its really good to hear that everyone is doing so well. It was funny becuase today on the bus to the temple I was reading the Emails. Hearing that my brother bought some random kid a holloween costume because his father couldn't afford it made me cry. Luckly nobody saw me. I really love hearing things from back home. Don't get me wrong I'm not home sick at all but it really is nice to see what's going on in the world.
Okay sorry but I don't have any pictures this week but I'll try to explain some from last week. The picture of me in the huge group was my district. The picture of just me and that Elder is my Companion Elder Rubisch. If you were wandering about the huge B on the mountain, I really don't know. That huge B is everywhare around the CCM too. I think I heard it's for remembrance of some Mexican hero.
This last Wednsday the CCM got some more newbies and it is so funny. We can always tell because they lug aroung every possible book they can have and even when we say "Hola" they have no idea what to do. Its funny because now I know how dumb I looked.
If anyone wants to send me some candy or regular chips from the states that would be sweet. Don't get me wrong La Tienda is a good store filled with all kinds of snacks and sodas but all the chips are spicy stuff. I don't like that.
I heard my Companions mom is going to send me some new stuff and that is really nice. seriouslyshe doesn't know me but is buying me stuff. Last week my Companion got some candies sent from his mom and there was even a little baggie of goodies for me. So nice.
Well I don't really know what else to write now. So I'll just leave you with my testimony.
I have come to know this gospel so much more. This whole experience has been really humbling and spiritual. Just the other day one of the Elders in my district Elder Linderman talked about how we need to follow spiritual promptings. During his whole little speech I was just thinking about Jordan (my brother). I shared a little experience about him as I felt prompted to. During my whole ordeal tears rolled down my cheeks but I felt the spirit so strong. Seriously I have never felt the spirit so strong like that, that my whole body was shaking. All I shared was how he was a good example for me. I know this gospel is real. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers becuase he has answered mine. Now I don't know if this will help anyone, but I needed everyone to know that I know the work that I'm doing here is true.
With much love
Elder Ivan Rodriguez
Friday, October 25, 2013
Elder Rodriguez at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in Mexico City, Mexico
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Alright this week has felt like forever and at the same time its speeding by. I sent multiple pictures containing what it looks like here in the CCM part of my visit to the temple last Thursday, the earthquake circle and me after my new haircut. Oh yeah I got a haircut today and it was super sketchy since all the ladies don't speak English. I have seen some pretty bad haircuts come out of there so I was really worried. But the lady did a good job. And since I felt bad that we cant give tips i sweep up their whole floor. SERVICE BABY.This week has been a lot of fun but also really challenging. Most days we teach lessons to two people only using Spanish and for some reason I have been just freezing up. And yesterday we taught a old little Mexican lady and I felt like I was utterly demolished during the lesson. I didn't say more than a sentence the whole lesson. The only thing I said was, "My life is hard because my father is not a member". That was a lie my life is easy. I just had no idea what to say, I was lost. Every word she said just bounced off my head into oblivion. Even my companion said barely anything in that lesson.hahahahah It was bad. Luckily we were doing like a coop teaching with some Hermana's in our district and they totally saved us. Both me and my companion have kinda struggled this week, spiritually. I even fasted for a day but I'm just finding it hard to teach with the companionship of the spirit.But I know as I stay faithful and put my shoulder to the wheel, Heavenly Father will help me out. anyway last Tuesday we had a devotional by an Elder Lester Johnson from the seventy. It was nice of him to come down and speak to us. He was hilarious and was really inspiring with the whole language thing.Evey day I spend roughly 16 hours teaching, reading my scriptures and studying Spanish. Everyday I'm finding my knowledge of Spanish increase and I can say more.Its truly a blessing. Its funny because any latino that sees my last name asks if I speak spanish. So i obviously say no. Then they ask which one of my parents are Mexican. So i tell then neither then I have to explain my heritage. Its annoying but they always light up when they see my last name. I enjoy it because I get to use my spanish.
Uhh okay weather. The last two days it has rained. And thats not bad, Im not complaining but it did suck when the second I use my umbrella the first time, it flipped inside-out bending the bars. So now I have to bunch up with Elder Rubisch. Im sure he doesnt mind but it does kinda suck. Oh and its getting freaken cold here. Im so happy I bought that sweater, its a lifesaver.It blows my mind to think that the CCM experience is going by so fast. It is the wierdest experience seeing new missionaries come in and think "I was like that a week ago. I had no idea what to do or say just like them".
Well anyway what else......... Oh today we are going to play baseball with our whole district. Our district president, Presidente Torres( a fat little man with the funniest baby face) invited us to play some ball with his 8 yearold son. Im super excited and everytime Presidente Torres talks about it his face lights up.The food here is still good and now they have SALT!!! I have never been so happy to see salt in my whole life. I have been getting more sleep every night also. I think its just out of exuastion. But Im glad that i can fall asleep fast becuase those crazy Latinos have parties every night. I know Im gonna have to join them one of these nights.Every now and then I get a littile home sick just when someone reminds me of someone back home, but Im good. Im doing great here and I love the mission life.I have the greastest time just buying stuff at la tienda. I feel like a rich man with all these pasos. If your wondering it takes about 13 pesos to equal 1 dollar. And almost everything in La Tienda costs only 8 pesos.If anyone wants to send me something in the mail that would be great. Just dont send it through UPS for some reason they have problems with that. If you need to know my adress just ask my mom at firstname.lastname@example.orgPlease also send me lots of emails I really enjoy seeing how everyone is doing and how the world is moving on with out me :)I really miss all my friends and family (especialmente mi madre) and I hope everyone it doing okay.With much love- Elder Rodriguez
Friday, October 18, 2013
Well I just finished my first week here in the MTC or as we call it here the CCM. I have no idea what that translates to in English. The first day was really weird. Me and my companion Elder Rubisch (which I'm related to by marriage) just had a bunch of meetings. And so far surprisingly the food here is great. I usually eat way more than most of the Elders in my district. The worst food so far was the pizza hahaha. So everyday we wake up at 6:30 AM. Fight for the shower then off to breakfast. After breakfast our day pretty much consists of learning Spanish until lunch. It's kinda weird because as I sit here typing I'm finding it hard to think in all English. It's pretty amazing that I can understand the majority of Spanish conversations. On my second day me and my companion had to teach our first lesson to a man named Milton. It was all in Spanish. Everyday here is really cool. This CCM is amazingly beautiful. It's like a bubble in the middle of chaotic Mexico City. Surrounding the CCM are hills covered in shanty homes. It's a surreal view. And every hour on the hour some guy in the village shoots this huge cannon. It's so loud!! Anyway, my companion and I get along very well, he's a cool guy. Actually my whole district is really cool. When we play sports they always call me Sneaky Rod....I don't know why. Our dorms are cool, there are three rooms in every dorm. Me and my companion are in one room. Then right next to us is Elder Parsons and Elder Linderman. The room has some Latinos but we don't see much of them. This CCM is sweet because they have a tienda were I always buy these cookies and they are so good. Well earlier today we went to the temple, it's amazing. It was a great experience to have that break for us. Between learning Spanish, teaching Milton and eating we don't have time to do anything else. Well all I have left to say is I miss everyone and love you all. I'm having a great time here but just pray for me that I learn the language better, that I may speak it fluently. Thank you so much and love ya!
Elder Rodriguez left Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona for the Mexico City, Mexico MTC on 10/09/2013 where he will learn Spanish and the Missionary lessons for 2 months. After which he will leave for Ecuador.
Elder Ivan Rodriguez, Mom Shana Norris-Mott, baby brother Beckham Mott & older Brother Jordan Rodriguez @ the Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport, AZ
Elder Rodriguez leaving for Mexico City, Mexico
Elder Ivan M. Rodriguez was set apart as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 10/08/2013 in Gilbert, Arizona.
Elder Rodriguez will serve the people of Eucador in the Ecuador Quito North Mission.
Elder Rodriguez will serve a total of 24 months.