Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Estoy aqui!

I made it to El Salvador! It all went down with out a hitch. It is pretty humid here and it is definitely a lot different than America or Mexico. Down by the coast where the airport is, the humidity was probably 95% with 80 degree heat at 8pm. As soon as I walked out of the airport and its air conditioning  my glasses fogged to solid white, before I could even do anything about it. 

We slept at the AP´s house, which has 14 bunk beds. This morning we went to the temple complex and we are going to have meetings in the church building next to it all day. We ate in the distribution center here on the complex. We won´t be able to enter the temple for another two weeks. As a mission we get to enter the temple twice a year unless someone we are working with invites us to come with them. 

The temple grounds here are SO beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than any other I have seen. Apparently everyone here loves it, even the non members. 

Also, there is a chance I will go to Belize for a while, but not for sure.

Elder Vierkant

Monday, October 28, 2013

Leaving the CCM!!


So I leave the Mexico CCM today in an hour. It is crazy to think the day is finally here where I get to leave. It is really sad. I am leaving people that I have spent 14+ hours a day for six weeks and I won´t see most of them again for at least two years. The Hermanas in our district already left so we said goodbye to them last night. That was very sad. We are making our final preparations and are taking our final pictures. It is weird that I will probably never see this place again. It has become life, everything that I know. I felt like I would be here for ever, but just like that it was over.

I don´t have a ton of time to do my emails because I am leaving soon so I am going to answer those questions:

Native speakers

When there are native speakers here, they make up a third of the people. They get out of the CCM in a fourth of the time we do and they come only every other week. Since there isn´t an overwhelming amount of them, there is way too much English spoken here. At the beginning most of the teachers were from America but the have transitioned to mainly natives of Mexico and they plan on changing the CCM so it is almost all native speakers in the administration.


There are some pretty big spiders here because there are also a lot of mosquitoes here. I also have seen moths the size of birds and a caterpillar the size of my thumb.


For never having had to share a room with a bunch of guys for an extended amount of time before, it was an easy transition, especially since everyone in my room is very mild.

Tall people

There are a lot of very tall people here. There is a missionary in my district that is 6 foot 5 inches and there is another Elder who is 6 foot 9 inches.

Mexico City

Mexico City is crazy. Buildings are as far as the eye can see. Things that I learned about in Spanish class like the basilica of the Virgin Guadalupe are all around me. People walk between cars and sell stuff. Millions of cars driving inches from each other, very aggressively without ever getting in an accident. It is is incredible and seems like there is is so much to do and explore. I wish I had the opportunity but now is not that time.

Elder Vierkant

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

El Salvador Address

Matthew would love to have some surprises waiting for him in El Salvador ie., letters, picture or anything else you want to send. He should arrive around November 1st.

Letter Mailing Address:

Elder David Matthew Vierkant
El Salvador San Salvador Mission
Apartado Postal 3362
CP San Salvador, San Salvador
El Salvador

Package Mailing Address:

Elder Vierkant
Misión El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belice
Apartado Postal #81, Correos de El Salvador Multiplaza
San Salvador, El Salvador C.A.

Package mailing tips: 

1) Send using the United States Postal Service.

2) Use a padded envelope made of plastic on the outside instead of paper.

3) Include an invoice inside and indicate on that invoice that you have sent him a separate letter with the invoice included also. This helps prevent theft.

4) Clothing type items may not get through to him, due to customs.

La quinta semana!

This week is going to be short because I have a lot to do today. It has been a really incredible day today anyways, so I will regale you with the tale of my P-day.

This morning we went to the Mexico City. A little interjection- I have been to almost international temples as Utah temples and when I go to the San Salvador temple, it will be the same amount. Anyway, I was going to sleep on the bus because we had woken up early to look at our emails before we left, so we could write responses on paper and send them later. I was reading the emails I had gotten when I read an email from Nathan Marchant about him, Erik and Trevor giving a life sized photo to some ladies and having them hang it on their wall. I laughed out loud and told my companion the story in Spanish. A Latino who was sitting between us heard it and started laughing too. This sparked an hour long conversation on the way to the temple. It felt incredible to be able to have a conversation and feel pretty normal. He told us he was speaking slowly for us and we had to have him describe a few words for us, but it was still awesome.

At the temple, I had one of the best, most spiritual experiences ever. I loved it and wouldn´t change it for the world. It really was incredible.

On the way back, we talked with the Latino again. He is a teacher at the CCM who is going to get married December 14th. He is super excited. He told us that his future wife is a great cook, told us about his favorite food, taught us new words and tried to get us to sing. That last part didn´t work out too well because we got stage fright, but we learned a lot from the former items. I wish I could go out and learn more about the city, but that isn´t the important thing.

When we got back, we went to the Joesph Smith building, which is the administration building basically, I need to back track for a second. We had been there a few times before and one of the times I had noticed they were learning English on the white bored, so I offered my companion and my service to help them. We tried every Tuesday for the past few weeks, but finally, this week we got to do it. It was so cool. We talked to them in English and corrected their mistakes for 30 minutes and then for the next 30 minutes we answered their questions about grammar. I have to say, I am glad I already know English, because it seems a lot harder than Spanish. Count your many blessings. It was a great experience and it will help in the field, I feel like, because missionaries often offer English classes for their weekly service.

Afterwords, I compared those two experiences and thought about how I must sound like those speakers and I though about the how the Latino had done the exact same things that I did for the office workers. I felt like I had done my good turn for the day. It was awesome.

I will try again next week to answer those questions. Sorry. I feel like I have answered a lot of them just through my stories though. 

Hasta la próxima semana!

Elder Vierkant

The pole in the middle represents how much Mexico City has sunk since 1983. You may not know this, but the city was built on a drained lake bed. As the water leaves the ground the city sinks. The city is also at a higher elevation, above sea level, than Park City, UT.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City#Geography

Must be a stinky group of boys, I mean MEN ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

La cuarta semana!

¡Hola todos! ¿Como estan? Hablo mucho más espanñol ahora. He estado tratando hablar solemente español para tres dias. No lo es dificil, pero tengo que hablar en una manera estraño a veces cuando no se una palabra porque tengo que describir la palabra.
For those who don´t want to translate that:
Hey everyone! how are you? I speak a lot more Spanish for three days. It isn´t hard, but I have to speak in a eird way at times when I don´t know a word and I have to describe the word.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is the day all the new North American missionaries are coming in. The week we came in was the last week they had North American missionaries come in on Tuesday. Anyways, tomorrow a bunch of fresh missionaries will be coming in and there is a CCM-wide challenge to speak only Spanish tomorrow so when the new missionaries get here they will be scared out of their minds because they will have no idea what is going on.
Another funny event happened already this morning. I need to backtrack a bit and talk a little bit about yesterday. Mondays are service day. Yesterday we helped a worker here clean the walls of a casa. On the way there we talked to her in Spanish and this made her happy because, she said, our Spanish was good and she could actually talk with us, unlike other missionaries she had talked to. Then we cleaned the upper parts of the walls for her which made her happy because she was all of about 4´10". Afterwards she said she would bring Elder Jack, Me, and two other Elders in our district tacos from the outside of the wall the next morning which is today. Last night, at the end of the day, we got back to our casa and saw a sign that said "Sorry Elders, I can´t bring the tacos because they can make you sick." Which I was happy about because I was a little bit scared of the tacos to be honest. I decided to take the sign down and put it on the other Elder´s bed so it would like some how the where he was sleeping.
Well, apparently  I didn´t find out until after the fact, but they thought their roommates had written the note and they didn´t believe them when their roommates told them it was real. So this morning they stayed home from breakfast and then went to try and get tacos. They lady told them she didn´t have any and they missed breakfast. Which, I don´t know why they didn´t try to get both breakfast and the tacos. I would have if I hadn´t seen the sign. Anyways, I think that there is more than one moral to this story.
We taught a member yesterday during Teaching Resource Center time. It was pretty great. We had no idea if it was going to be a member or a non-member so we prepared a lesson for a non-member. When we got in there we found out that she is a member and during the lesson we switched from The Restoration to a lesson about Personal Revelation. It was great! The Spirit permeated the room!!
This week we taught our afternoon teacher as an investigator and that was awesome! We had no idea that she was going to bomb us with a problem, but somehow we had the perfect scriptures, words and lesson planned for her problem. It was great! You could really tell the Spirit had guided us.
On Sunday I gave an 8 minute lesson totally in Spanish, by myself during priesthood. It felt so good to know that I could do something like that. I know the Spirit helped me write the talk because my talk worked perfectly with the lesson before mine, without me even knowing until I gave my lesson.
I will answer the questions I was emailed next week. I just don´t have a ton of time right now. Later.

Elder Vierkant

(He was unable to send a description for the pics this week.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

La tercera semana!

First some goodbyes to my Sandy and District friends!
Goodbye Elder Hyde!


Goodbye friends!

Goodbye friends!


I can´t believe it! I am just over the half way point in my stay at the CCM! And what a great way to celebrate with conference. It was incredible being in the CCM for conference. Not to mention the fact the CCM was shown during conference. In the pictures they showed you could see the outside of my class room and the second picture was of my teacher! Everyone cheered a little when we saw it on the screen. I was even more excited to see that I am now taught by a famous person. The night of conference was crazy because we got to watch Testaments, which is the best church movie I have ever seen and it was super emotional. Then, right after. I got to take pictures with Elder Hyde before he left. It was crazy to say bye, but at least I got to see him one last time.

On a more serious note, I learned a lot from the experience. There was so many specific talks this conference and each one complemented the others in amazing ways. There could be no way they were written like that by coincidence. I took lots of notes. It was fun discussing the talks after words with everyone else and learning from them the things that I didn´t catch.

Yesterday our class got to teach my teachers inactive friend over Skype. It was a little hard for everyone to talk since there was twelve of use that we were trying to work with. I didn´t get to talk a lot but the lesson went in a way that I felt that I wasn´t needed. You could really feel the Spirit through out the lesson though.

We got to go out to the Mexico City Temple again today. The temple is about an hour away but it is worth it. It is the only time we get to leave the campus and see Mexico city. It is crazy here, so much different than Sandy. I wish I could explore it, but I know that wouldn´t be the greatest idea ever. The temple here is awesome. It is shaped like an Aztec pyramid and is beautiful on the inside and out. I feel like the only peaceful places in Mexico City are the church buildings.

I am growing closer to everyone here each day and it is going to be sad to say goodbye, especially to Elder Bird and Elder Ashton and the Hermanas because they are going to different missions than the rest of us.
I found out the other day that there is a crazy large amount of missionaries going to my mission. About 60 white missionaries and apparently 200 native speakers, although I don´t know if I believe that last statistic.

Elder Vierkant
Finally! Chicken and waffles!

Elder Bird and I


Funny orange car driving past the temple!

CCM to Mexico City Temple,
only 15k (9 miles) - 1hr.
From our house in Sandy to the Draper Temple is 12k (7 miles) 20 minutes.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

La segunda semana!

Hola! just finishing my second week off at the CCM strongly! Today was P-day and, since we don´t go to the temple every week, we got to play sand volleyball for two hours. It was great. Besides that, I spent most of my time relaxing, got some supplies from the tienda here and got prepared to write emails.
This last week flew past. The days seem too short but long at the same exact time. We just have so much to do. We have to study the scriptures, study Spanish, prepare lessons, teach lessons and go to the class and learn more stuff. It is right from one thing to the next. P-day feels really weird because you suddenly have 10 hours of time to yourselves.
Yesterday we taught four times as a companion ship. We taught lessons to people in class, we taught some missionaries who are about to leave for practice, we taught missionary to missionary during our "Teaching Resource Center Time" time and we taught our new investigator. Our old investigator turned out to be our teacher for the afternoon part of the day. Which is pretty cool except we never got straight feedback from them like we had hoped. I think they must just incorporate our needs into the way they teach, which is good but also frustrating at the same time.
Everyone around me is getting sick with the cold but I haven´t experienced any symptoms except for 20 seconds when my nose ran.  I think it may have to do with my large consumption of the incredible fruits here. Or It might have to do with me being hygienic. The part that makes me laugh is one person takes like 10 different supplements and has all those essential oils and he is still kind of sick.
Someone in our room sleep talks. Well, he sleeps yells, really. It is hilarious even though it wakes me up. The other thing that wakes me up are the random fireworks at night. They happen all through out the day too. If you watch you can see them go up and explode. They are super loud and only have colors about half the time. We asked why they shoot them off all the time and they said it had to do with saints or rain or something, but personally, I think they just like to blow stuff up.
 There are a lot of people I know from school here, plus a kid from my soccer team. It is weird to see them because They remind me of home and old familiar things. At this point I am so use to new, unfamiliar things that it is weird to see things from home.
I am having tons of fun with everyone around me. We are constantly laughing, learning, growing, and progressing. I love it here and I will be sad when I have to leave, especially those people in my district who aren't going to El Salvador. But I am super excited for all the adventures in El Salvador. It is weird seeing people leave that I know to their real missions. I made friends with some of the Mexicans who came here with us and seeing them leave was sad. It is weird to think that people who speak their native tongue leave so quickly. Love you all, bye.

Mexico City

Bus ride to temple.

Mexico City

Mexico City
Mexico City

Building by the temple.


Temple photo-bomb!

Temple photo-bomb! 

Temple with Elder Jack.

Weird towers I like.

Funny sign.

Our backyard.

District volleyball.


Our District

Elder Bird and I

Elder Hyde and I.

Elder Jack showing of our side of the room.

View from our casa.

View from our casa.

After the rain.

After the rain.