Hey Everyone! I hope you are all doing good! This week has been quite the change, but it has been awesome. I have a cousin named Elder Foutz and I am going to format this letter like his because it makes it simpler haha.
Tuesday: I left for the airport at around 4 o'clock in the morning. I was way excited to finally get out to Salt Lake. I realized I had forgot a few things at home, but I didn't forget anything incredibly important, so I'll count that as a win. After struggling to get through TSA because I have only flown twice in my life, I found a friend of mine, Hermana Charters! She was on my flight because she lives in Chandler. It was way fun, and really nice to have someone on my plane that knew what was happening haha. We got to the airport and found a few of the area presidency assistance. Their names are Elder Monu and Elder (no sé lol). One of the Elder and one of the Sister that were flying from Seattle got lost in the airport because they went to the wrong baggage claim haha. This is where I made a friend and found another one of my friends. Hermana Kerr had just come in from Seattle! I should probably mention that I studied Spanish in the online CCM with Charters and Kerr for 6 weeks. I also met Elder Julian as we wait for the late peeps. He's cool, he's from Seattle and went to BYU for a year, and wants to study linguistics. We went to the mission headquarters and just waited until we talked to the mission president about where we were going tomorrow and who are companions were. In this mission there are 2.5 zones of Spanish and 7 zones of English, so statistically my shots were low, but all I wanted was a companion who spoke Spanish. The Lord had different ideas though haha. I was informed that I was one of the Elders that would be going to a Spanish zone! It was a real blessing to be able to do that. After that I met my last friend that I made from the CCM.. Elder Ezell, or J-EZZY. He's awesome! If I remember correctly, he's serving in a Spanish zone as well. After all of the interviews, the AP's took us on a ride around temple Square, and that was so cool. The temple is under construction, but I saw the conference center and some other places. I had never been to Temple Square before, so that was cool. After that we went to the "mission mansion" to drop off some stuff because we were staying the night there (see picture of a bunch of Elders looking extremely confused in one room haha lol). Usually the AP's will do something with the new Elders, and they decided to split us up and have us go tracting... We were going tracting, and it hadn't even been 12 hrs since I got off the plane! Tracting is a little different during COVID because we can't just knock on random doors. The rules are. If they are outside, if they have been taught a formal lesson, or have been referred, then that's free game. Not much to say about that, we got a few numbers (J-EZZY really killed it, while I just stood there and gave some comments lol), and it was terrifying haha.(sorry that was really long, but that was because it was the first day. The other days after this aren't quite as long).
Wednesday: We woke up and trying to get 12 Elders to be efficient with taking showers, was a nightmare. I have no idea how my parents got 6 kids ready for church regularly. Long story short, I did a ton of paper work and met my companion. My companion's name is Elder Ross! He's kinda like me in the fact that we both don't inheritly talk very much. He's fun and has pretty good Spanish, so he's helping me out. He says that my Spanish is way better than his when he first came out, but he started in an English area sooooo... Esta bien. Every Wednesday we go and help with a food bank at the stake center, it's one of my favorite things so far. I love walking up to a car saying "English or Español?" and having people who speak both think "there's no way this greengo knows any Spanish" , so they say "Español". They seem slightly impressed after I ask them two questions that they don't realize are written on the paper I am holding lol.
Thursday: I helped in a lesson we gave Jaime. Jaime and his wife were just recently baptized, so we were preparing him to receive the priesthood, and I got to use my very choppy Spanish to share and an experience relating to how the priesthood can bless families. We also went and served one of my favorite people on the planet. His name is Genaro, he is the ward mission leader, and is really funny. He calls us every night at 9, to help us practice Español. He's way cool, and if any of you are looking for a role model for your callings, he's your man lol.
Friday: Friday was quite boring.. We went 0-2 on lessons planned, but we did have district council, and that was interesting. They talked in Spanish like 90%, and I got most of it, but by the time the sisters wanted us to practice OYM (Open Your Mouth) my brain was done understanding Spanish haha. The sisters made a cute card that has an acronym to help us with OYM (See picture).
Saturday: Saturday we helped a lady move. It was fun! Serving as a missionary is so awesome because these are some of the few times we're out of our house a lot. We're blessed to not be super quarantine here. We can go knock doors, but the rules are we need to wear masks outside. The missionaries are kinda funny because if you ask someone "Does anyone around here speak Spanish?" and if they tell you, that counts as a referral haha. You may know that I don't talk a lot regularly, and especially to people I don't know, so we went to a park to talk to people and it was awful haha.
Sunday: We had planned that Jaime would have an interview with the obispo (bishop), so he could recieve the priesthood. That kinda flopped because of bad communication, but it's all good. The sisters messaged us and asked us if we wanted to go and teach Jaime and his wife (Gazell). It was about the Restoration, and it was all in Spanish, so I could only help so much. They asked them "How can the priesthood bless your family?", and Jaime said "That it can bless families with healing." That was the exact thing I shared with him on Wednesday! He remembered my super choppy story! My companion told me he also said that after our lesson, he told his wife about my experience with the priesthood. So that was cool.
Monday: No sé lol. It's only 7 o'clock right now and I have absolutely no clue what we do on P-day. I think the DZL (the District, Zone Leader (he's both, COVID makes weird things haha)) is going to pick us up so we're can go buy food at Walmart. I am very uniformed, but that's okay haha.
1. Genero taught me that "Obisbo" is Bishop, but "Avispa" is wasp. So whenever I see a wasp I say "Avispa".
2. Genero has taught me how to say all of the animals on my desk. There is a "Ballena negro con puntos blancos" (he also called it "ORCA de Free willy") and "Rana de Madera". I need more animals for my desk haha.
3. Elder Ross has a list of quotes and he writes down when I say something strange like "Stomach acid is like one of the best things on the planet" and "Compared to eternity our like is like a grain of sand in the ocean.." He says they're better out of context haha.
4. At the food Bank, I meet a lady who speaks Tongan and English, so I am learning how to say "What is your zip code? " and "How many people in your family?" in Tongan. If any of you know Tongan, I would love to know how to make " ' " that letter noise haha.
5. Me and Elder Ross are practicing our Argentine accents. In Spanish "ll" makes and English "y" noise, but Argentineans pronounce it like "Sha" lol.
I love you all and can't wait to talk to you all. Hopefully next week won't be as long, so I can have more spiritual stuff in here. I'll leave with my testimony in Spanish though, haha.
Yo sé la Iglesia de Jesu Christo de los santos de Los ulitmos dias es verdad y Jesu Cristo es El Salvador de el mundo. Serviendo Dios es much important porqué El es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial y queire nos a regresar a El. Somos todos un familia de Dios. En El nombre de Jesu Christo Amen.
Elder Martineau (Alfaunzo)
picture 1: Me and my man J-EZZY
picture 2: It's the conference center
picture 3: The Salt Lake City Temple, under construction
picture 4: The 12 confused Elders standing in one room
picture 5: My first failure of breakfast, Cooking on a pan is strange haha
picture 6: My desk, clean and tidy. You can see my two animals
picture 7: My companion, he's not really into taking pictures lol. He kinda looks like my cousin Crew sometimes
picture 8: The "HEY TACO" card the sisters made for our district council