Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Week in the CCM (MTC)

I don´t have much time. Today´s been more hectic than usual. We´re a-leaving. Although since I live out of a suitcase I´m already half packed. We leave on Tuesday.

Oh my goodness. We actually had clouds yesterday! So the sunset was amazing. I got some boss pictures and the sky looks like it´s a fire. I can send them later, but not in the MTC. We had Dominoes Pizza last Friday! We´ve had "pizza" here but it´s more like tomato sauce on pita bread. And the "hamburgers" are pretty sketchy too.

So, interesting story. Or rather, interesting for a missionary. My shoes have always felt different and I assumed the left one fit better because I had worn it around the store for a while. Nope. The right one is a different size. Extra wide and normal are a big difference when normal barely fits.

Yesterday we went to the mall and I am excited for buying clothes right before I leave. Not to sound weird but a lot of that clothing is boss looking and it´s pretty dang cheap. You can buy some sweet shoes for 3€ which is like 5 bucks. It´s been so hot here. It´s been 40 a lot which is like 105. Although, it may be on the downhill after that rain.

I love the talk called The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. I wish you guys could see it. The main message was that the greatest attribute of Christ was that he always "turns out". When people would be thinking about themselves he is always thinking of others. Like after his encounter with the devil you can read in the JST that instead of getting angels to help him after a huge encounter like that, he sent them to John who is in prison. You can find examples everywhere.

I really want to type more and I will next week. I like the MTC but I am excited to get out because we make sardines seem cozy. And all the sardines don´t have to use things meant for a group half or third their size.

Elder Morgan the Younger

Thursday, August 22, 2013

101 Dalmations--Wait, I Mean Missionaries

And thus the mad typing rush begins. So, Prado. Definitely worth the free ticket. More than that? No. A lot of depressed or dying or naked people or all of the above. That and random stories from history that I've never heard of before. The only thing that made me excited was recognizing mythology stuff, the copy of the Mona Lisa that I thought was real but then it wasn't, and the very literal titles of paintings that didn't have a title. Such as: Dead Birds, A Zebra, A knight with his left hand on his crest. Pretty self explanatory. I was also excited to see modern art. Oh wait, no. They only have pictures from 1890 and backwards. Whoopdeedoo. That word sounds better out loud. 

So, I've been playing football (soccer) a lot and not gotten a single goal. Mostly because I stayed on defense. But Monday I got three goals in one game. In fancy footballer lingo it's called a hat trick. At dinner we had drinking competitions, but not with alcohol. Something much worse and harder to drink. Gaspacho. Olive oil plus salsa and vegetables in a blender essentially. We had a few people just gag and spit out half way through. It's was pretty great. 

Lessons are going a lot better. Apparently Spanish people talk very fast. Ya. They do. People from the south drop their S's and use the ceta on c's and z's and speak even faster sooooo, ya. It's hard. Thank goodness they're only from Andalusia. That covers the south. I had a miraculous moment yesterday. We were hearing a story from a guy about an investigator and he was speaking really fast Spanish. I was understanding pretty well and suddenly I realized that I could understand him perfectly. I don´t know when it started. It was like Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites. It sounded almost like English. Then I realized that he had switched to his really thick accented English halfway through. Psych! But I still understood the beginning well. 

My Philipino companion got his man-skirts sent to him today. They're pretty sick. Oh, and tell the Lisonbee's that Elder Fonseca is in my room. I forgot to mention that. They know him. So we got more missionaries. It's good, but it's cramped. This place is meant to hold about 70 people max. We have a 101. It's interesting because they didn't get endowed and whatnot until they got here and spent a day here. We couldn't kick it in garments in the halls yesterday. Dorm halls. Not anywhere else because they have a fit if you even wear t-shirts on temple grounds that aren't your hall or the opposite side from the temple. 

We almost never get fluffy clouds. We get really flat wispy clouds that are thick. We're going to the mall today and we're all excited because we need stuff. Apparently the European equivalent of Walmart is some French place called Carrefour? Something like that. I ran out of stuff and need hangers (Almost wrote hangars. Don't need those. No planes.), and mere mortal underwear for workouts. We play football in "The Oven" a concrete pit, stadium, thing. It's been like 103 midday most days and we sweat like a fat person sprinting across the Sahara for a burger. That came out of nowhere. Or rather, it did come from my head. Wow, I should probably stop writing before sentences get weird. Scratch that. Weirder.

Elder Morgan the Younger

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Missionary Choir

A senior missionary couple at the Madrid Temple does a blog where they post every Sunday the missionaries in the MTC there singing on the steps of the temple.  You can see Daniel in the photos and the video each week starting with July 29 to Sept. 1.  Here's the link:

Here is one of the videos of the choir.  Daniel is basically in the middle:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Real Missionary Now

The stadium we visited was called Bernabeu. It was pretty great but not too exciting. There were a lot of trophies and whatnot. It´s huge though. They just added on and added on.  I got lots of sweet pictures. Today we´re going to Prado Museum.

So I´m now known for telling jokes. People ask me all the time to tell but I´m not some sort of jukebox comedian so I do it in my own time. Never saw the bear and strawberry tree statue. Something may have been stolen by gypsies but I´m not sure. I'll explain later. 

Dang, I want to see the new temple video but we won´t get it until it´s translated into Spanish in the late fall. My companion is great. I love my district and room and zone. We all get along besides a few people who take things way too seriously or complain. It´s fun to hear that you met his mom. 

Our printer doesn´t work so I don't even get to print off everything so I´m sorry if I don´t respond to everything. My schedule is pretty normal. Studying, class, and investigators are most of the day with meals in between. Thursdays we get to go the temple and go on an expedition and listen to amazing devotionals from old talks. They are amazing. We heard one from Elder Bednar that was amazing. Sadly we can´t see them outside the MTC. The big thing he said was that people ask him how to know if something is just a thought or the spirit. His response was "Don´t worry about it. Just be a good boy or girl." He shared experiences where it was inspired thoughts, but he couldn´t feel tons of spirit. Fridays we do service. Saturdays we proselyte in the park. 

I´m apparently a real missionary now because I´m been sworn at and I passed out a Book of Mormon. We passed out the BoM to an interested, funny Cuban guy and this lady yelled in English, "Buzz off! Do you understand?" When we just said hello she used a very colorful word instead. After that we prayed and found the Cuban guy so it was good. Sundays are pretty chill. We have church. We got to tour the temple today. 

I gotta make like a banana and split because there is the ever present schedule and pressure of email. Love you all! I wish I had more time!

-Elder Morgan the Younger

P.S. That means "Wesley" has to sign it as the older. Yes it does.

As a bonus, I found his MTC companion's mom on the Missionary Mom email site and we've exchanged a few emails.  She was nice enough to send to me a bit that her son shared with her that had to do with my son.  Here it is:
"Viernes (Friday) - Normal day except I feel I had a really good comp talk with my companion. We didn´t teach our first investigators very well and kinda got reprimanded so he was feeling frustrated and I was frustrated so I was like Élder we can´t do this. We need to go talk about it and figure something out. So we did and our lessons have been improving since."

Thursday, August 8, 2013


"Vale" is the new magical word of the mission. It´s pronounced ¨BAH-ley¨. It basically means OK. Not in the Ï´m ok¨ sense but other stuff. We use it a lot here. Must be a Spanish word. I´ve found out that most of the words I learned in Spanish class are only South American words and they don´t like them here. Also they drop their S´s sometimes and shorten "hasta luego" to "staluego." and Guapo is uapo.

The foreigners had strength competitions in the lobby but now they all left. They were really funny. I got a few pictures but I can´t send them until later. Time is weird here. It feels pretty long, but also short at the same time. I just don´t think about the past or the future and that makes things weird too. We heard a great talk from Elder Holland in the Provo MTC from January. Find it and listen if you can. The bathroom stalls are like safes. They are entirely steel and the locks are big and chunky. If there is a bombing or shooting, I´m going to the bathroom.

Hymn 158 is ridiculously hard to sing in Spanish. I don´t know what it is in English. They seem to need to shove as many syllables as they can in the hymns here. They invented this evil sideways parenthesis that makes you shove even more syllables into one note. And some words that are long and sort of one or two syllables are always shoved into one. Like Dios. Always.

I love soccer. We play it in this small concrete stadium in the ground. It´s called The Oven for obvious reasons. It´s madness because they expect us to teach 2 fake investigators almost every day and still learn Spanish and learn the gospel. They want way too much of us. One elder fell off his bunkbed in the middle of the night. Another started the phrase, ¨Tengo poop¨ for I need to poop. I love singing. I heard there is a new temple video now. We haven´t gotten it yet, though. Go check it out. This keyboard is freaking me out. Everything is mixed around. I keep on thinking I can go do things but I realize I´m in Spain and on a mission. I found out from my teacher that the word "Spaniard" came from English people calling them Spanish (rude word that rhymes with Spaniard a bit.) On P-day we went to the center of Madrid. Every single building is gorgeous. We saw the exact center, we went to the Plaza del Sol and Plaza Mayor. We also saw the royal palace and the museum nearby. Oh my heck. Gypsies. Everywhere. And they seemed to like our group. They want money but really they´re making bank. We found a black guy from Idaho and we talked to him and he said he´d check out our church. It was a group of like 20 that talked to him. Today we´re going to some famous stadium.

This message was loads shorter. At least it wasn´t the panicked rush of last week. It´s very busy here. Still was a panicked rush sorta. I have to print off emails from everyone to read them because there´s no time. Love you all loads! I miss you guys!

-Elder Morgan

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Yay for the 1st Email!

It´s P Day! So here we go.
The MTC is on floors 4,5, and 6 which is really 5,6, and 7.* The way to remember is the three degrees of glory. The lowest is classes which is the worst of the three, the middle is beds where you sleep which is second best and the highest is the cafeteria where we eat which is the best. Whenever we walk up and down the stairs we have a magnificent view of the temple. It´s really cramped. We have small 6 person rooms with barely any room. 3 bunk beds and 6 small closets. But guess what. We now have 8 people in each room with cots taking up all the floor space so it´s a little cramped. 

I´m living out of my suitcase right now. By the way, I have no idea where some things are. I couldn´t find my recommend to save my life. I got a new one, but the president wrote it wrong, got me a new one, I left it in the library, tried to pick it up at the secretary but she gave it to the president who thought they had found my original one so he tore the newest one so he had to fix the one where he wrote wrong stuff. Wow. 

They threw us right into classes and everything our first day here. My teachers are a man from Texas, Hermano Pickup; a lady from the Canaries, Hermana Perera; and a lady from Spain, Hermana Camerero. They´re all pretty nice. But they don´t all use the ceta so that's confusing. I´m getting used to the ceta now. It´s nice to have to know how to spell things. I am understanding more Spanish now. We did go to the park the first Saturday. It was good and bad. The park is gorgeous. It´s El Parque de Retiro or something like that. Look up pictures. Some people were very blunt and mean, but we had a good conversation with some Bolivian tourists and a really long conversation with this nice Spanish man. He liked our church but he also liked his. He loves our geneology stuff. I´m still not perfect so it was interesting to communicate. 

The food is great. The milk comes in boxes like juice. I´ve drunk a lot of pineapple juice here and Fanta is the only good drink around. There is so much fish. The first night here I found out that we had swordfish. We´ve had squid too. They have a basket of mass produced pastries but they are still good. I love the Cañas de Crema. We´ve also had croissants some mornings. Mostly we have cereal in huge bowls. I´ve fallen asleep most meetings. I don´t know why but during certain times I am ridiculously tired. I already had a clothing casualty. On the way to the park I tripped and tore my shin on these sandpaper cobblestones of death that give grip next to the curb.

 My first companion is Elder López from the Phillipines. He doesn´t speak Spanish. I have not much time to write so I hope Mom will correct my mistakes and make paragraphs.  (I did)  Thanks mom. We also had another accident. A train here crashed here badly. It went around a 80kmh turn at 180kmh. It killed around 80 people and one of our elders was in it. Thankfully he was in the 8th car so he only had a bruised femur and a fractured vertebra. He´s back here recovering with a neck brace. Look for me on the news. They took a lot of pictures and video here. I think it was mainly the associated press. 

When I left one of the meetings a little boy as tall as my thigh came up and hugged my leg and smiled. It was random but I felt better afterward. I´ve been to the temple twice now. It´s gorgeous. Since there are so many of us it´s in English. There are about 80 of us here and another 20 ish at Provo waiting for visas. Hopefully they figure out more space for them. Oh, we get "merienda" here which is the magical snack time that Spaniards get during siesta except we switch cena (dinner) and merienda so its more normal for us. They say the first few weeks here are like being sprayed with a fire hose and trying to drink. Ya. That´s it. It's a bit overwhelming but I´m getting better. We have a tight schedule. 

I love singing Spanish hymns. I love you guys a lot. It´s weird to think I wont be home for 2 years so I try not to. It feels like a dream and like I´m going to wake up any moment. The keyboards are funny. They have things like ñ and ç with their own key and things like ¬. No idea when I´ll use it. There are loads of languages here. They do Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, and Italian. The Russian guys are funny. I spoke a bit to the French. I know how to say ¨Je ne parles paz francais¨  ("I don't speak French.") or however you spell it. I got some laughs. It´s really funny here. We have a lot of happy and funny elders. We have a sister that looks like the girl from She´s the Man, an elder that looks exactly like Bill Nye, and one guy looks exactly like the guy who tries to blackmail Batman in the Dark Knight. Love you! My timer is running out so I gotta go. 

P.S. Also, physical letters are really exciting to get so I´d be absolutely fine to get those from people. :) Emails are great too. Thanks for the letters!
*In Europe the 2nd floor is known as the "1st Platform" (I can't think of the word in English), and so the 5th floor would be known as the 4th in Europe