Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weel 1- I'm here at the CCM

 (from the Mom, I was able to chat with him over email a few times this morning and he very happy and adjusting well.  He loves it!)

I learned three things about Guatemala really fast:
1. Do not be surprised if you see security guards with AK-47`s in front of your local gas station, this is perfectly normal.
2. There has to be sauce...on every piece of food you eat.
3. If anyone points to your name tag and says "¿El Propheta?" always answer with "¡Si! Es mi Abuelo!" and watch their reaction. Usually the Hispanos go all wide-eyed and their mouths hit the floor faster than you can tell them that you´re just kidding.
But if I`m perfectly honest with myself, this past week at the CCM has been pretty fantastic. Abiet the longest week of my entire life to date, but fantastic nonetheless. It all sort of started last Wednesday when I arrived in the country with a half-completed immigration form in one hand (at least, I think that´s what it was, I´m still not entirely sure) and the other hand clenched onto the arm rest with white knuckles: the plane´s touchdown was a little more violent than I was expecting. I hadn´t gotten any sleep on either plane the night before, I was too busy telling my fellow passengers about my religion!

So the ensuing Wednesday was....difficult for me, a sleep-deprived missionary.
When we arrived at the CCM I met my companion Elder Long, he´s from Tennessee and about an inch taller than I am, he was just made district leader on Saturday! So that´s always fun.....
The CCM itself is actually pretty great, it´s very small and there´s only about 150 missionaries here, 2/3rds of the Elders and Hermanas are Hispanic or "Hispanos" and the rest of us are nortemericanos, or "gringos." They encourage a lot of conversation between us, entirely in espaƱol...so it´s a sink or swim, do or die kind of deal.

We do most of the talking over meals, and the food here is, admittedly...meh.
For the most part, the stuff we eat is all the kind of stuff we would eat out in the field, meaning there`s salsa and guacamole on pretty much everything...needless to say, I have had to shake my "picky eater¨ mentality really fast...There´s a lot of beans and eggs...but the best thing in the world is arroz con leche! It´s like cinnamon oatmeal but with rice!

It´s pretty much my calling in life to eat that stuff every meal.
My Spanish skills are pretty terrible....and after a week I´m still hearkening back to the stuff I learned while watching Dora the Explorer when I was 6...which makes teaching discussions really hard.
Speaking of! My district is teaching a man named Jose, he works here at the CCM but is an actual investigator (Take that missionaries in the Provo MTC!)...at first I was skeptical too but it´s crazy how awesome teaching him has been. We got him to church on Sunday and he´s reading the Book of Mormon!

That´s about it for this week! Don´t worry about me down here in the land of eternal springtime! There´s no allergies and the humidity feels awesome!

-Elder Monson

I asked him why no pictures and he said they take everyone's camera away until after the CCM, no idea why, so we will have to wait until we get to see him.  I'll share a portion of our e-mail conversation because he makes me giggle so much.  He has a fun sense of humor and I couldn't help be visualize him during these situations... enjoy!

I´m great! I love it here! And honestly, I thought I would be missing home....and really, things are just great!
....although church in Spanish was hard....and they selected missionaries at random to give talks....it was like Russian roulette but for Mormons.....
....I´ve gotta go! my hour for emailing is up, but I love you guys a lot! don´t worry about me and all the weird food, I´ll survive...
(side note: when he was little we did just about everything to get him to eat so when he finally ate the "bean" we posted a sign saying "Tyler ate the bean" thus this next portion, so funny!)  
And you can put up a big sign saying ¨TYLER ATE THE BEANS AND THE PEPPERS AND THE TOMATOES AND THE FISH AND THE SALSA AND THE GUACAMOLE AND THE SALAD AND THE....etc etc" I´ve really surprised myself with all the suff I´ve eaten.
Also, please go through and proofread everything I write before you post it to the blog! These Spanish computers just say I spelled everything wrong

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good-bye, off to Guatemala CCM

"Hoorah for Israel"-Elder Monson said as he turned to walk through security at the Salt Lake Airport tonight.  He was anxious and excited and a little bit nervous.  We spent a beautiful day in the Salt Lake Temple and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  Couldn't ask for a better way to spend the day, together doing the Lords work.

Elder Huntsman, Elder Barlow, Elder Monson- traveling together and all serving in the Guatemala City South Mission

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The last few days...

Just a few more things to do and a few more memories to create and then Tyler is off.  He speaks in church on Sunday, is set apart as a missionary Monday night at 6pm and leaves Tuesday night for a long flight to Guatemala.  The time has come!

I have given him three pieces of advice that seems to resinate with successful missionary work:

1-LOVE the people and your companion!
2-WORK HARD, don't be afraid to give it your all! You can do hard things (a motto our family has had for many years)
3-Be EXACTLY OBEDIENT!  If you are the Lord will bless you, keep you well and you will experience immense joy as you serve.

A friend told me this saying, I think Elder Eyring said it, "Being obedient will bring success but being exactly obedient you will see miracles".  That is what I can see Tyler enjoying on his mission.  Miracles!

Love you Tyler, you are well prepared.  Your life this far has prepared you.  You are a happy, loving, kind young man and I just can't wait to see how the Lord helps you stretch and grow.  Go and do my wonderful son!

I love you to the moon and back!

Pictures of Tyler's day at the Temple- June 29, 2013