Saturday, June 22, 2013

1 more week in the Missionary Training Center!

Friends, family, other interested parties,
I still have not much to write this week. One week from today however I will be leaving the CCM, after which I will have 1 Latino companion, and the whole Central City Mission! I do not really know what to expect, so I guess you all will have to wait to hear what it is like. My Spanish is improving leaps and bounds, such that I rarely have to translate anymore back into English.

One of my pairs of shoes that I brought with me I wore while I worked at the theatre, and so after wearing them for a few weeks here, they have worn almost all the way through. Never fear though! I purchased some epoxy at Wal-Mart the other day and re soled them… sort of... I had another nice new pair too, which are holding up marvelously. They have shoe stores all over here, and I am fortunate enough to be about the same size as all the rest of the people here, so shoes shouldn’t be a problem.

I just learned the other day that since P-day (preparation day- their day to get things done) for us here is usually Wednesday, and everyone else has P-day on Mondays, and since we are leaving here on Tuesday, I will not be having anytime to write home next week... L  Oh well, I will just have tons of things to write about the week after. I expect it should start to get a lot more interesting after that.

 I guess I could tell ya´ll about my companions I have had here for the last month. Elders Refuerzo and Elder Wyatt. They are both pretty cool guys. Wyatt is really a talkative and loud person. He loves to sing all the time. His favorites are ¨I Dreamed a Dream” (from Les Miserables) and the He-Man song... it gets old after a while but all the Latinos think it is hilarious. Elder Refuerzo is awesome also. He was into a lot of the same things that I was before I left: longboarding, Xbox, YouTube, pop-culture, and shooting, among other things. He loves to lift weights and wants to be a personal trainer when he gets back. His favorite movie is Pain and Gain J  

Our main teacher is pretty sweet too! Hermano Chen. He is a native to Guatemala who just got back from his mission about 2 months ago now (1 when we got here) He likes to joke around lots, but he is also a very excellent teacher. He is planning on going to BYU in September, so all the guys that went to BYU before they left tell him absurdly crazy things about it.

You asked about the money I spent at Wal-Mart. I had to let my comp use my card since he had a lock on his backpack and no key, so he couldn’t get his wallet out. He paid me back already, I only spent about 30 dollars. I wasn’t able to find an MP3 player. We didn´t have a ton of time to look though, they only gave us 30 minutes to shop, and it was low on my priorities. If you haven’t sent the package yet you should see if you can fit a few of those 07 G2 pens please! Mine are empty, and they are like 4 dollars apiece here... also, if you haven’t sent it yet, it might be better to send a cheap MP3 player, cause I haven’t seen many. We are leaving in one week from today, so it would have to get here fast, or else just wait until I have another address for you.

The weather here is great most days! About every other day in the evening we get rain and usually lightning. Some times we get these awesome thunder storms too. I’m glad everything is good at home! I wake up lots of times and think I am still at home for a second.

Just wanted to say thank you for doing everything that you have to get me to this point. I have only been here like 5 weeks and already I feel more adult. My companions have mentioned also that I have matured since I got here. It has been such a wonderful experience and I love it. I can’t wait to get into the field and have even more great experiences. Thank you for encouraging me to go on a mission. I love it here J You wouldn’t believe it anyway, but I read the book ‘Jesus the Christ’ in my free time. I bet you also wouldn’t believe that I’m reading the Libro de Mormón from the beginning.. Es loco no?! Anyways, lots of love - Elder Rice

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Been out for nearly a month!

Everything is good here! I have appreciated all of the letters I have gotten so far, it is definitely my favorite part of the day when I get a bunch of letters! Sooooo... send me more! It’s been about the same here, we are still in the MTC, so not a lot of different stuff happens.

We had a HUGE storm the other day! Nothing destructive or anything, just tons and tons of rain. The thunder here is crazy! During the storm we were just hanging out when all of the sudden it sounded like the entire sky had just ripped in half. It was such a powerful sound that I was actually afraid, and not in the startled kind of way. And the thunder here rolls too, like 4 or 5 seconds! There’s not usually all that loud of thunder though.

As far as our visit to the market, It was soooo different! The one we went to was actually in this weird building that I’m not going to try to describe, but it had 3 floors. There were little store everywhere!-selling tons and tons of home made things: pottery, paintings, clothes, dresses, just about everything you could possibly make out of leather, machetes, live chickens, soccer jerseys... just tons of stuff! and it was all sooooo close together, the whole place was cramped. Everything is super cheap too! One of my companions bought a hacky sack for 4 quetzales there.. which is like... less than 70 cents. It’s cool! I didn´t buy much, since I figure I’ll get to spend plenty of time shopping. I did buy a backpack sort of thing, in the local kind of style. They are sweet! They have sweet colors, with a messenger style strap that’s not very comfortable, but they also have a hipstrap, like a hiking backpack. It’s really nice for walking, because it doesn’t make your back all sweaty. I’ll send a picture when I can of it, and all the other cool stuff

It feels like I just wrote home the other day, because not many new things have happened since last time I wrote home. Oh there was one cool thing, a little bird flew inside one of the buildings we use here, and my Latino companion just went up and grabbed it and released it back into world. It was pretty sweet. I´ve been trading magic tricks with another Latino here too, I stumped him when I turned 5 quetzales into over a thousand right in front of his eyes. It’s a sweet trick!

Send me more letters! Please and thank you!

Also, send me some pictures, just a few, like 2 or 3 adios!

-Elder Rice


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life at the CCM


I don´t really have all that much to write about this week unfortunately. It’s been pretty regular day-to-day. We are very busy all of the time, but there is not really anything new that has been going on this week. We mostly just work hard to relearn the gospel in Spanish.


We got new Latinos and a few new gringos this last week, and it has been fun getting to know the new guys. I am now able to understand most of what the Spanish speaking people say if they talk a little bit slower than normal. I finished the Book of Mormon all the way though this morning in my personal study, so I have endeavored to read the New Testament now. It is much harder to understand... I have also started to read the Libro de Mormón from the beginning. It takes me 3-4 times longer to read in Spanish, but I can understand about 80 or 90 percent of it. The Latinos in my room told me I have learned Spanish the best of all the people in the CCM ever last night. I don´t think that this is true, but it helps to know that they think I am able to speak pretty well. I bought a Book of Mormon in Che'chí (I think that is how it is spelled) yesterday at the distribution center, and I am going to try and start reading that too in my free time. Che'chí is one of the native languages that people speak up in the northern mountains. There isn't really any reason for me to learn it, since I'll be in the city, so I am not spending too much time with it, just for fun.


The food here is great. I just don't eat when we have big burritos with sour cream and guacamole, but just about everything else is pretty good. Usually the food is cold though. Nothing like cold scrambled eggs with nacho cheese or salsa on them.


You will all unfortunately have to wait for First Collin Chapter 3, as there is not really much for me to write about, and I'm far too tired to translate to Book of Mormon grammar. These first 3 weeks have just flown by, and I’m sure the next 3 will be even faster. I can´t wait to get out to City Central. We took a walk off the reservation yesterday! It was sweet! We only went like a block though.


 The last two weeks I´ve practiced sewing a bit J I took one of my shirts and sewed the sleeves into a muscle dress shirt. It looks so sweet that several other guys had me do it to theirs too. I think I have done 5 or 6 now J I also fixed a seam that was bursting on one of the guys in my district's pants. I think I am actually pretty good at it, it looks nice and clean. Elder Refuerzo and I sewed Elder Wyatt’s pants shut, and all his ties together, and then hid his picture of his precious Camille. Good times!


We get to go to Wal-Mart next p-day! So my companions and I are planning on buying a few things.. We have a list, ordered by importance:

-Zip ties, to tie people in front of us to their chairs during devotionals and Zone Conferences

-Protein Powder

-Beef Jerky (if they have it)

-Bar soap (for showering... If anyone asks, tell them to bring AT LEAST 3 bars of soap for a six week stay...)

-Pens (for writing letters to friends and family... and taking notes sometimes J )

-Febreeze or some other similar air freshener... (We have been taking the ones out of the bathroom up until now J)


Tell people to send me more letters, it makes my day to get mail, and it makes all the other guys jealous when I get lots of letters, especially from girls.


Con Amor -Elder Rice