Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Busy first week in Guadalajara

Hey Everybody,

Wow this week has been a crazy one. It was my first week in my area and it has been kinda difficult adjusting from life in the CCM to life in the Field. My area is quite large and one of three in our ward (Buenas Aires Ward). It is much different here than I am used to back home in the US. All of the houses are very small and all are connected to one another, even the nicer ones. We live in our own house. It has a bathroom two bedrooms an area for our desks and a small kitchen. It has a very small back yard (like five feet deep by fifteen feet wide). It is fairly nice for here, it is much nicer than some of the houses that our investigators live in and I kind of feel bad, but I am grateful we have a good place to live.

We have quite a few investigators, we still have quite a bit to teach them. One Family the Arredandos were supposed to be baptized this saturday but they didn't come to church yesterday and we still have a lot to teach them so it will probably be a couple more weeks now. I have tried hard to listen to the lessons but I don't understand much still! I can sometimes share a little testimony when I have been able to follow the lesson but it is very difficult for me!

I am sorry I cannot right more I am out of time! I love all of you guys and hope you have a great week this week! I will tell you more next week I promise!

Elder Mitchell J Condie

I Made it safely to Guadalajara

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you have had a great week this week! It has been crazy for me! In the CCM this week we worked on packing all of our stuff and getting ready to head into our missions. It was full of a lot of stuff. The biggest challenge was getting my suitcases to stay under the weight limit for my flight. President Pratt the MTC President had his last week along with us, and the CCM will be getting a new president. It was cool on Sunday because they had a special devotional where they talked to us and they shared some wonderful experiences. He shared about how it happened that they opened the new CCM in Mexico that was once the High School and the way it came to happen. It was a very neat talk. Sunday night for the video I said the opening prayer in front of the whole CCM and it was kinda scary but I think I did a good job. We watched the Testaments movie which is one of my favorites. It reminded me of the importance of Christ's life and Ministry to the entire world and made me thankful once again for his great example.

We went to bed a little late that night because we were doing last minute packing. It was hard saying goodbye to Elder Anglesey my companion and the other elders in my district, Elder Anderberg, Elder Adams, Elder Bartlett, Elder Crowley, Elder Parrott, and Elder Stringham. We got up at 3:00 in the morning to get ready because we had to leave the CCM at 4:00 to get to the airport.

I made it safely to Guadalajara. It was a quick like fifty minute flight from Mexico City. Guadalajara is similar to Mexico City, not quite as crazy but still pretty crazy. It is pretty here. I am still super tired I was up pretty much the entire time from 3:00 AM until 10:30 yesterday. We went to the Mission Home and met President and Sister Camarillo, they are both very kind and I am excited to get to know them all better. After that we went to the Mission Office and learned about how stuff kind of works. After we learned a bunch of stuff we went to a Church building and had a devotional with President and Sister Camarillo and our future trainers. We found out who would train us there. My trainer is Elder Ventura from here in Mexico, I still can't understand where. He doesn't speak much English at all, but I am sure it will help me learn Spanish more quickly.

We got to our house around 8:30, it is definitely not as nice as the CCM and all of the other arrangements that I am used to, but I know it will be fine. I am definitely grateful for what I have at home and honestly it kind of makes me miss home a bit more than usual. I know that it is going to be hard adjusting to being here but I am excited that I have this opportunity to come and see a new place and learn about a different culture and way of life. I will definitely have to pray a lot for help but I know that the Lord is watching out for me!

Today has been our preparation day, but we still had District Meeting this morning, it was good and my district leader is from Draper, so he talked to me in English a bit. It was good and we learned better what to do when teaching a lesson. After that we went back to our house and dropped off our stuff and then went and shopped for food.For lunch today we went and ate with our Ward Mission Leader I cannot remember his name. He made us some good food and we had a good message with him and his wife about the liahona and the things in our life that can be a compass for us.

I am excited to be here in Mexico and I cannot wait until I can get better at the language so that I can be a better missionary and teacher! I am grateful for all that the Lord has done for me and I cannot wait to share his message with all of his children. I cannot wait until I get to meet our Investigators and see who they all are and what they all like! I am in an area called Buenas Aires, it is here in Guadalajara we are only about twenty minutes from the mission offices. I think it will be a good area. Elder Bartlett from the CCM was sent to the furthest area which is ten hours on a bus away and I am glad that I didn't have to do that ride! I am grateful to be here even though I am away from all of you! I appreciate your messages and prayers! You are all in my prayers and I love and miss all of you! Have a great week!

Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Only 3 days left in the MTC - Then I fly to Guadalajara to start teaching the Gospel!

Hello Everyone,

I hope that this past week has been good for all of you! This week has been a good one for me and it feels like time is just flying by already! I cannot believe that in 3 Days I am going to be in my mission in Guadalajara! We fly out on Monday January 19, 2015 at 7:00 AM, which means we will be leaving the MTC at 4:00 AM to be to the airport on time! I am sure it will be a long day, but I am very excited to leave the CCM and be in the field!

This week has been pretty busy as always for us! We have been working hard on learning Spanish and I am getting better! It is so difficult learning a new language but I am so excited to be able to speak it better over time! I have been trying this week to speak as much Spanish as possible because next week it will be all that I can speak! In a way I am super scared to be in the field, because I feel like I will suck at speaking to people, but hopefully it just helps me to learn it all better! I am so thankful for this calling to Mexico though, I know that the Lord inspired those who made the assignment and I know it will be the best thing I have ever done so far in my life! I am grateful for this challenge and I am so excited to work and do my best to be the best missionary I can be!

We got our travel information yesterday and our extended Visas. They also gave us all a water filtering water bottle to use in our mission, I know it will be helpful to have here in Mexico. We will have to renew our visa in December again this year and I don't know after that. I am just so stoked to get out into the field and begin teaching people!

This Tuesday we had another devotional broadcast from Provo. It was a special one because it was for all of the new MTC Presidents that are being trained right now. Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to us again about being the best missionaries we could be and I loved his message. His wife Wendy also spoke, she spoke on desperation and the power it has to help us achieve hard things and change and turn to the Lord more for guidance, it was an inspiring message to me as well! President Pratt the MTC president here is being released two days after we leave and the new President will be Pres. Tonorio who was already in the MTC presidency here, I know he will do a great job!

We taught Rodrigo for the last time this week and I feel like we have improved teaching so much. Elder Anglesey and I are super excited about our improvement and both of us can't wait until we can teach real investigators even though I am sure it will be intimidating sometimes! I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here to learn, and I can't wait to learn everything I can! We had TRC last night and we taught an elderly women who I think really just wanted someone to talk to, it was so difficult to understand her and I know I will definitely have to get better at deciphering what people say, but it was great sharing a short message with her and just seeing her beautiful smile! She was so cute and so glad that we came to talk to her, and I cannot wait to get to know people like that here! They are all so kind and wonderful and I am so glad that I can be here in Mexico to lift others up and help them in any way that I can. I can truly feel the love of Christ for these people when I am talking to and teaching to them, and I can't wait to feel that more often!

I know that these next two years are going to be some of the most challenging times in my life, but I also know that they are going to be filled with happiness and hope and love and I cannot wait to see the miracles in store for all of those that we teach! I am so grateful to be here learning and growing! 

Earlier today it was awesome because we got to go visit the Mexico City Temple grounds and Visitor's Center. It was fun to go and see it and how beautiful it is! I am sad we didn't get to attend it because it is under renovations, but the Spirit there was so wonderful! We got to hear from two sister missionaries who gave us a tour, one from here in Mexico and one from Columbia, they had great English and shared a wonderful testimony of missionary work and also eternal families with us! I love the temple and I can't wait until I can go through a session again!

I am so grateful to be here even though I miss all of you! I know it will fly by quicker than we think! I am so glad to have so many wonderful friends and family members that are supportive of me! I appreciate all of your emails and messages and all of the prayers. I feel them every day and I know that they are working for me! I look forward to telling you all about my trainer and first area next week! Wish me luck! I love all of you and am praying for all of you! I hope you all have a wonderful week this week!

Elder Mitchell J Condie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Elder Condie's email from Jan 8 ,2015

Hello everyone,

This week has been a very quick one, I cannot believe that it is already my P-day again. Before I know it I will be in the field and teaching! I truly am so excited to get to teach all of the wonderful people here in Mexico and I am so thankful that I am here! I cannot believe that I leave the CCM in only ten days! I am so excited to get to Guadalajara and start teaching! The CCM has been wonderful and I am so grateful for all that I have learned here!

Spanish has been hard, but I have improved so much. I know that God is helping me so much and I am so thankful for his help! I am excited to get in the field and be immersed even more fully in the language so that I can learn it well and be able to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so amazing to me to think about how much I have learned in only four weeks here at the MTC!

Today was a crazy day for us. We got up at 6:00 this morning to get ready and eat breakfast so that we could get on a bus and drive for and hour to get closer to downtown and visit the immigration office to finish the process of extending our visas. It took over an hour to drive there. We had our photo taken and then we waited for over an hour outside the office in the cold so that we could go in and do what we needed to. We were fingerprinted and they had us sign a couple of papers. It was noon by the time we were done. They gave us lunch and then we got back on the bus to head back to the MTC, we drove right through downtown Mexico City which was really cool because we were able to see lots of cool stuff. In downtown there are many big buildings and it is really nice. I was glad that we got to drive through it so that we could see a bit of the city before we fly to Guadalajara in a little over a week!

I have felt the spirit so strongly this week, I love it. On Sunday night we listened to a devotional from Elder Jefferey R. Holland, it was so inspiring! He is like my favorite. He talked about the need for us to be strong missionaries that know the gospel well so that we can teach to the investigators the things that they need to hear. It made me want to be so much better and work harder every single day! I am so grateful for the Apostles and the Prophet and the guidance that they can give us! I am so grateful for Preach My Gospel and the way that it helps us to teach people not lessons!

It has been a good week, we've been busy! It is crazy how quickly it went! It is starting to get colder here, more like their winter. I have been thankful for my coat this week. It has been around 50-60 degrees all week, but our casa and classroom do not have heating or air so it is pretty much the same inside as outside. I miss the snow! 

I love that I have grown so much already and I am thankful for the Spirit that I have had with me during my time here! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here sharing the wonderful message of Jesus Christ! I know that this is the greatest work that I could be doing in my life! I am so excited to share with others. I know that this is the true church on the earth and that this message is meant for every single person on earth! Jesus Christ lives and he is my Savior and Redeemer and I am more grateful for him and his sacrifice than anything else in this world! I know that God and Jesus Christ love us all individually and that they know us and the things that worry us and trouble us. They listen to and answer our prayers. They want so much for us to find happiness through the Atonement and they are there for us whatever we need! I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost and his constant companionship! He guides and directs us every day if we are in tune with his messages and promptings! I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration and I am so thankful that he translated The Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I love reading it daily!

I love all of you guys and hope that you are all doing well! I pray that you all have a wonderful year this year and that all goes well! I love you dearly!

Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great holiday season this last week! I am so grateful for the happiness that we can have with us in that special time of year! I know that I have enjoyed the Christmas Spirit here in Mexico at the CCM. My Christmas day was a great day, and although I talked to my family on the phone I wasn't too terribly home sick! They had two devotionals for us the live one with Elder Russel M. Nelson and one with Elder David A. Bednar (it was from a year or two ago I think, but still wonderful) and then that night we watched Meet the Mormons (it was the premier of the version with Spanish subtitles that were done here at the CCM) I was so glad that we got to watch it because I had wanted to watch it again! They made us a special turkey dinner that was really nice, so all in all it was a good Christmas for me, I felt the spirit super strong many times that day!

This has been a good week, and I feel much better now! We have done a lot, as always, we are super scheduled all of the time, but I guess it is good to be busy! This week we taught a lot, last night we started what is called TRC where we teach volunteers that can be either members or non-members. We teach for about twenty minutes. Last night we taught about receiving answers to prayers and I think it actually went really well. I could tell that the lady was a member though so who knows if it will be anything like that in the field, I am sure it will always be kind of different just depending on the people that we teach! Spanish is still hard, but I am steadily learning more and I know that I am improving with the help of the gift of tongues! In our lessons we are getting better at understanding what they are saying and how to better respond to their questions. We don't even use a completely written out lesson anymore, we just follow an English outline and translate into Spanish as we go! Being Zone Leader is good, its not actually too much extra work just mostly on Sundays and Tuesdays after the devotional. 

We lost a District in our Zone on Tuesday and we will lose another one next week. We got a new one today, but we haven't met them yet. The Zone that left are all serving in different missions in California. I am going to miss them because they were fun people, we played volleyball with them at gym time a lot! Hopefully our new district will be fun! It is weird we only have two more full weeks here in the CCM, and I cannot wait until I get to the field! It is kind of scary but I am more excited than scared. After the other district leaves next week my district will be the oldest in our zone, its crazy! In many ways it feels like it has gone by so quickly but at the same time it feels like ages that I've been gone!

I am steadily learning more and more Spanish. Some days it is super frustrating because I do not always understand all of the rules of the language, but I just have to stop and remember how much I have learned in the last three weeks. I have to remind myself that I'm not going to be perfect in Spanish right off of the bat and that I need to rely on the help of the Lord to give me the words to speak when I teach. I know that in time and when I am out in the field working to teach people the Gospel that I will become more fluent every single day! I cannot wait for the day when I can just say exactly what I feel in my heart to say without stumbling over the words in Spanish! I am getting really good at bearing my testimony in Spanish though and I know that it will be one of my strongest tools in teaching the people our glad message!

The CCM is really fun and I am really growing to enjoy my time here! The people are all here focused on the same purpose and it makes it easier to know that everyone is working to overcome obstacles here! The spirit is always so strong with us and I love that feeling so very much! I love the opportunity that I have to be here in Mexico preparing to teach those who are ready to receive the restored gospel! I know that this Gospel was put here on Earth by God and through his Prophets for the welfare of man! I know that through sincere prayer and real intent that the Holy Ghost can testify of any truth unto you. I believe with all my heart that this message is true and that the Book of Mormon was restored on this earth by a prophet, Joseph Smith. I am so thankful for him and the service that he did for all men to come unto Christ and be converted and perfected in him! I know that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the Church are true Prophets, Seers, and Revelators of God on this Earth today. I know that Jesus Atoned for the sins of the world and through that precious gift we can be cleansed, comforted, and healed for anything! I love all of you so much and the great examples that I have in my life!

I wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope that all goes well for you in 2015! I look so forward to this year and I pray that all with be well with you and with me while I am here teaching the Gospel! I love all of you and miss you!

Elder Mitchell J Condie