Gooooood afternoon ladies and gentlemen, It's Elder Ashton coming at you live from the Mexico City MTC. Sorry for no email last week, today is my first P-Day. First things first: my companion's name is Elder Hunter, he's from Spanish Fork Utah. We do not have very much in common. We get along well enough though, we don't fight or anything like that. The weather: it rains every single day here. Which I would normally love except for the fact that since it rains so hard here, my umbrella got snapped by the wind my second day. When it's not raining, it's beautiful outside, probably mid 60s-70s all day long. The MTC: is smack dab in the middle of Mexico City. It's super big, even bigger than the Provo one, and is surrounded by a super big wall with armed guards. Which I wondered about at first and then I realized why after the first night of trying to sleep and constantly hearing police sirens, gun fights (I'm not lying) and people yelling. Mom I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth. Haha. And we are prohibited from using first names here, or even anything other than "Elder" or "Hermana". I've gotten busted by teachers a couple time for referring to guys in my district as "compadre" which is the Spanish equivalent of "bro". The food: yeah. It's about what you would expect from a Mexican cafeteria. I'm doing fine though, they have the best pineapple in the world and for the 4th of July they cooked us American food all day, which was awesome and made me super homesick. I would kill for some Chick-fil-A chicken strips or some of Mom's homemade chicken pot pie, but I'm doing fine! I'll somehow (by el poder de Dios) learn to down a burrito or two. :)
I'm learning Spanish sooooo quickly it's ridiculous. In the week and a half I've been here, I've learned more than I did in the two years of it I took in high school. Crazy. The Gift of Tongues, or "Don de Lenguas" as we call it down here, is real. We've been giving 20 minute lessons all this last week (completely in Spanish) and my companion and I can get thru the entire lessons of the restoration, Plan of Salvation, and the other first few lessons entirely and pretty darn smoothly in Spanish. At the end of 6 weeks I'm confident I'll be pretty darn close to fluent.
I've become a bit of a legend here in the Mexico MTC (or CCM as it's called down here) which honestly, what else would you expect from THE Elder Ashton. On the 4th I got up on one of the chairs in the cafeteria and proceeded to direct all the Americans in the cafeteria (probably about 200 of us) in a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful -- after which I was told to sit down and never do that again by the MTC president. So worth it :) We have literally no free time here, it's just study the language, study Predicad mi Evangelio (Preach my Gospel), or teach lessons ALL THE TIME. And we're pretty much only allowed to speak in Spanish unless we are in our dorms, which is annoying sometimes but it really helps me learn the language. Anyways, sorry for such the long email, but since this is my first one I had a ton of stuff to get out. I love you all, miss you all, but I'm having a pretty fun and wild time here. Can't wait till I get to leave for my real mission on the 7th of August, and teach real people. Feel free to shoot me emails, I love hearing what's going on back home (also apparently Lebron is in LA?? What?)!
Con mucho amor,Elder Ashton
1. In his email to his mom he said "you were right" about 6 times.
2. He has a lot of blisters on his feet from all the walking.
3. The food is ok, but they've got Froot Loops all day so he is surviving.
4. He has to get a haircut, which he is not looking forward too. The gel situation has been handled, they have a little store there which carries gel. It's not as good as the stuff from home, but it's good enough.