Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mexican Independence Day was awesome and Temple was amazing!!

Sept 16, 2014
Mexico City Temple


It's seriously so crazy to think that I'm leaving in a week! This last week for me so far has been awesome! I should be leaving next Monday or Tuesday. I should get my flight plans tomorrow. The Mexican Independence Day was awesome! We didn't get to go outside the MTC walls unfortunately, but the MTC hired Mexican dancers to come and dance for us. After they did their performance, President Pratt (the MTC President) conducted the Mexican National Anthem and the yelling of ¡Viva México! thingy. It was really cool and fun. And all the Mexicans in the city have huge parties all night. There was music playing until about 5 AM, and fireworks all night long. According to one of our teachers, Mexicans shoot pistols straight into the sky, and there was 83 deaths last year from falling bullets.
Outside the dorms at the CCM (MTC)

I've been writing in my journal every day.  Yeah, the spirit has been pretty great here. There have been times that it hasn't been super strong, mostly because of Elder Colvin, but other than that, it's been pretty strong.

The Spanish learning has slowed down a lot. I could pray in Spanish like the third day I got here haha. I think I'm at the point where I can't really learn more until I have to start talking to people that don't know English. It's so easy to me though. At least so far. I know that once I get to Chile I gonna feel like Elder Calhoon from the Best Two Years. "That's not the language they taught me in the MTC". But over time it will be okay.

 Earlier today, we had the chance to go to the Mexico City Temple. It's about 45 minutes away from the MTC, so we got to see a lot of the city as we were driving to it. It's crazy how much different it is than America. It's even a lot different than Cabo San Lucas. It's waaay more crowded, and the building are packed super tight. There are 22 million people in Mexico City. It's huge. But when we got to the temple, we had a tour of the visitor's center. The actual temple is closed, but we could still go to the visitor's center. It's an amazing temple, and it's gigantic.  It's was really cool. It's a really pretty temple.

Mexico City Temple
Elders Stam, Johnson and Walker
 They've had a lot of food here that was completely new to me. Some of it is good, and some of it is gross. They've also had a bunch of Mexican candy. I don't like Mexican candy. I don't know what's wrong with these people. They had a sucker made of spices. That's not okay.

 My companions aren't bugging me yet, so that's a good thing. It's only a matter of time until I get a companion that I don't like. HAHA.

Love, Elder Stam

Got this email from him a few hours later!


We got our flight plans, and we leave the MTC Monday at 4:00 PM!  Our flight leaves at 8:25 PM and we arrive in Chile at 6:50 AM. The flight is about 8 1/2 hours. I don't know what's gonna happen after that.   
         Love, Elder Stam

Anxious to go to Chile!

Sept 9, 2014
Elder Stam, Elder Johnson and Elder ?

My week has been alright. It's all starting to be the same now. We do the exact same thing almost every day, so it's getting pretty boring. I'm supposed to leave the MTC on September 23rd. Which is two weeks from today. I'm so stoked to get out of this place. I'm so ready for Chile now.  I'm still feeling great. Not sick at all still. Which is good.

I got the package of goodies. Thank you haha. And yes I did share with them. And the cream soda was awesome.  Thanks for the note as well. I'll try to send more pictures later today. I don't have very many pictures though because we can only take them on P Day.

Yes I eat chips and salsa almost every day at lunch. They have the most amazing salsa you could ever imagine here. It's crazy. One of our teachers is also going to bring habanero peppers on the last day for anyone that wants to eat them. I'm up for the challenge. It might kill be but it will be memorable haha.  I've heard that the food in Chile is really good, but it's not spicy unfortunately. I love spicy. It'll still be good though.

 There's been a huge debate in our district over BYU and Utah. Of course, me being the district leader, made it final that Utah was better. I love that they're having a good season so far. I can use that against the BYU fans now too.

 In the MTC, we have the same companion. I'm pretty sure I'm companions with him until we get to the mission home in Chile. I have two companions now, because his other companion went home, so we were put in a trio. It's strange, but not too bad.

I was able to say a prayer in Spanish after like three days haha, so prayers are easy to me. It's just the every day talk now that I can't do very well. We've only learned gospel Spanish, so just talking normally is pretty hard. We don't have the vocab yet. I can say "Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ you can be cleaned of your sin and be worthy to enter the kingdom of God", but I can't say fork or spoon in Spanish.
Having fun with his companions!

Love, Elder Stam
District in Mexico City

Elders Stam, Walker and Johnson

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 3- MTC Hump Day!

Sept 2, 2014- Still no photos of Elder Stam, UGH we need to figure that out asap!


The time has absolutely just flown by. It's crazy. Yeah every day all day is study time haha. They haven't taught any culture classes at all. In fact, we haven't heard anything about Chile really. That's okay though. It'll make it more of an adventure when we get there. It should be a lot of fun.

I am doing pretty good. I'm starting to get bored though. We do the exact same thing every day. And we pretty much eat the exact same thing every day too, so I'm starting to get sick of the food. But I still haven't gotten sick, so that's good. Time is a weird game, I could swear we just got here like three days ago, but it feels like I've been here for an extremely long time. And I'm already starting my fourth week in the MTC tomorrow. I have definitely learned a lot, but I'm ready for something new. Chile will be a lot more fun I think. I've been watching the weather too. We get on the computers every night here to do this thing called TALL, which is a language learning thing, and we already check the weather for Santiago. It's been pretty cool there actually. Well, colder than here. It feels a lot like home here though. Elder Johnson is from Kaisville, Utah. Being a district leader has been pretty hard. There's this one kid named Elder Colvin that just doesn't respect me or any of the other missionaries and he's been a real struggle. I'm about ready to punch him. He has major anger issues. But it's alright.

Yes, I have been wearing my retainer. I can't send any more than two pictures an email. I don't have my camera with me, but I'll try and send some pictures later today. I haven't had the opportunity to take very many though, because of the rules here. Maybe you should learn how to play the piano then. It's not that hard. ( I told him I HATE the silent piano)

We don't know when we get to go to the temple until like two days before, so I have no idea when I'll get to go. It'll probably be next P Day though. That'd be really cool! I want to go to as many different temples as I can before I die haha. I am pretty sure that I am still going to be the first one to give you a grandkid.

I started reading the Bible, and it's extremely hard to read. After I finish it, I'm gonna read the Book of Mormon, and after I finish that, I want to read Jesus the Christ.

Wow my fish is still alive?? That's a miracle. Keep him alive as long as possible haha. And I agree, it was nice spending a lot of time with you. I miss the Office haha we have been talking about it a lot here. Well I'll email you again later today possibly.

Elder Stam

Week Two- Elder Stam is doing great!

Week Two- Aug 26, 2014- Still doing great!
This picture is a road in the MTC that leads to the food place. When it rains the road turns into a river.

Things are going really well at the CCM! It's been another pretty eventful week. My throat started hurting a little bit a few days ago, but other than that I haven't really gotten sick at all! The food just keeps getting better as well. And yes I got my surprise haha thank you very much. I'm pretty sure the donuts are what gave me the sore throat though. As District Leader, I just have to make sure everybody stays on task, and focused. I have to check the mail for everyone because we all share one mail box and only the district leader has the key to it. I also have to conduct all the little meetings we have as a leader and I have to assign people to pray and stuff. And every third week I am in charge of the sacrament preparation. There were 12 missionaries in our district, but one had to go home. So now we only have 11. The one that went home was in our room so I only have two roommates now, and I also have two companions now. My other new companion is Elder Johnson. Both my companions are really nerdy, but that's okay. The Spanish is still going really well, but the learning has slowed down a lot. We get rain here almost every night. In the morning, it is super sunny, but at about afternoon, it gets cloudy and it rains. And it rains super hard. A lot harder than it ever rained in Utah. And the thunder is like someone is shooting a gun in your ear. I've only seen a few missionaries from Murray. I've seen Chris Green, Blake Brockbank, Hayden Mann, and that girl that was in my mission prep class. I don't remember her name though.

That ice bucket thing sounds really weird. Maybe if my companions are up to it, we will find a bucket of ice water and do it ourselves and take photos of it. That'd be really fun.

 A normal day would be waking up at 6:30, getting ready and being at our classroom at 7 to study til 7:45. Then we go to breakfast til 8:25 when gym starts. Gym goes til 9:15. We have half an hour to get ready for class then class starts at 9:45. Class is different every day. We teach an investigator for an hour during class in the morning and in the afternoon. That class goes til 12:45, then we have lunch. After lunch we have two hours of study time, and then class starts again at 3:15. It goes til 6:15 when we go to dinner. After dinner we study the language from 7-8, then we do a technology assisted language learning system on the computer for an hour. After that we have a district discussion about anything til 9:30, where we go to back to our house and study and write in our journals or something like that til 10:30, when we go to bed. That's an average day.

I totally expect my mission to be hard. It's going to be exhausted. In fact, I'm already super exhausted. I'm tired every day. But they really enforce this thing here called exact obedience, where we just obey the rules exactly. It's pretty hard at times but it definitely makes things better and have the spirit more. Everything here is starting to be the exact same though. It's gonna start getting pretty boring. But I will try to keep my head up so I can make the best out of it. I think the language is going to be really hard when we get to Chile because we were talking with one of our teachers, Hermano Sánchez, who is from Mexico City, about the language in Chile and he said that they talk so fast that sometimes he doesn't even understand them. But that's okay. It'll take a lot of work. It will take me several months to get the language down, but it will be worth it. I'll be better an Spanish than Josh or Cody so I'm okay with that. I'll email you again next week.
The house that we stay in while at the MTC. There are only 50 houses, but each house fits 20 people. And the rest have to be in apartments.

Love, Elder Stam