Monday, March 23, 2015

3/23/15 El flaco is eating his way through Mexico City!!!

My week was good. Nothing especially new, but more like just pushing forward with the working, working with our investigadors on the road to baptism. Elder Lee did get called as District Leader, so now he reports every night, which is an adventure as there are about 3 spots in our apartment that have signal: on the desk (the phone cannot be taken off the desk, because if we do then we lose signal), on the bed (similar to the desk), and on the roof. From what I hear the signal is usually good here, it's just that we live on a cerro, so it can get pretty spotty. In place of our old district leader we got a Dominican elder in our ward, so that's cool. 

As far as what I need, nothing really. I bought a new bag today, as the other one was just falling apart I didn't mind all that much when the top was ripped up, but when the bottom started ripping I knew I had to get a new one. So that's what the charge on the card today was, and so yeah, turns out the card works well. All it does is charge me like 29 pesos (at least at the machine we take our money out from) to take money out. 16 pesos is about a dollar these days. Fun mental math trick: divide a price in pesos by 100 and then multiply by 6 and you have an approximate cost in dollars. And thanks for the music, it was what I wanted.

Yep! They're actually pretty good! (referring to the frozen taquitos he sent photos of last week) haha. I sort of graze a lot between breakfast and when we leave so they're nice to have. They're really good with chipotle mayonaise. Elder Lee and I found brownie mix at the store, so we're gonna cook it up in the church kitchen in betwen conference sessions, so I'm pretty excited for that. Today I also thought about getting the stuff to make Crunch sometime. What do I mix the butter with again? Flour? And how much of each thing? We're getting a blender and a shower curtain probably this week too, so that'll be fun.

Yeah, go ahead and accept the DF requests. One of the hermanas here to whose step son I gave my Facebook to told me the other day: "Vi su cara manzana."  to which I was like "What?" and then she was like "En Face" (they drop the last syllable when talking about Facebook. Like they do with other sports. So you also have "Me gusta jugar fút pero no beis" and "Me gusta box") and I had to think about it for a couple seconds and then it was like ohhhh yeah, my cara manzana.


Things are going well here in DF. We didn't have any new inestigators this week, but the ones we have are progressing, so that's good. It's sort of been more of a week of just moving forward. 

Some quotes from this week:
Elder Lee: What time is the zone meeting at? I forgot.
Elder Pollock (at the time the District Leader): Elder Lee, what does it say in Moroni 10:5?
Elder Lee: (rolls eyes)
Elder Pollock: By the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of ALL things. If you have to ask me what time the meeting is, it's proof you're not in tune enough with the Spirit.

(coordinating with 6 other Elders for P-days)
Elder O: Okay so in two week's we're going to Sam's Club. Three weeks is Centro. Four weeks we sub the cerro.
Elder S: What else are we going to do in 2 weeks? Sam's Club isn't going to take all day.
(every Elder just stares at Elder S)
Elder O: You're uninivited and can't plan with us anymore.

Elder O: Okay, so that leaves the week before changes. What are we going to do the week before changes.... (very serious like he just had a great idea that solve our problems) I've got it: Tortas.
Me: Dude, we get tortas every week, that's not something you have to plan for.

 Hermana from our ward: I saw all the missionaries talking after the meeting tonight. Are all Elders such chismosos?
Elder Lee: Well Hermana, we can't watch TV, we've got to do something.

Let's see what else.... I've hard chicharrones in salsa. Most American Elders have a hard time putting it down, but I'm happy eating that stuff. Elder Lee, who also happens to like it, was a bit surprised I liked it. I couple of weeks ago I tried this stuff... Longiniza. It's some kind of meat and it's fantaaaastic so I just ate and ate it. Then about 5 hours later I'm performing a... uh... "sitting down operation" for quite some time. The ward mission leader asks me waht's up, Elder Lee explains we had longiniza, to which the ward mission leader goes "ohhh, that explains it. You can only have like one or two tacos worth of longiniza." To which Elder Lee agrees. That's great, Elder Lee, do think to tell me BEFORE I eat it. I was in and out of the bathroom for a couple of hours after that, but I'll tell you this: It was worth it all. Every American Elder tells me they've have the exact same experience, but that they regret nothing.

We have an investigator working on the Palabra de Sabiduria right now, he told us he doesn't really want to do any of those things, but at work that's just what everyone does, so he doesn't want to stick out. That next day I was trying to thinking of a good scripture story and then it came to me that Meshach, Sharach, and Abed-nego fits perfectly with his situation, so that was a cool thing to share with him. It's cool to really adapt your plans to your investigators.

Also, we're planning to use the go-out-to-eat money when we go to Centro, which I think is supposed to be downtownish. Just to let you know we haven't forgotten.

Do you know when Easter is? Our favorite taco place that does 2 for 1 Friday nights is closed on Fridays until then.

Things are going well here in DF. We didn't have any new inestigators this week, b

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3/9/15 and 3/16/15

Here are excerpts from the last two weeks worth of emails:

Last week he wrote:
I have to tell you, I had another weird-welcome-to-being-a-grown-up-experience this week. Today we were grocery shopping and Elder Lee needed more toothpaste. We were perplexed at exactly what the difference was between Colgate Total, Colgate Total Professional Whitening, Colgate Total Professional, Colgate Total NEW Professional, and Colgate MaxWhite. Even though the lady "explained" the difference, I still couldn't tell, but she did tell us that the toothpaste with Shakira on it was not in fact the best as we had previously thought. How are you supposed to decide?? The box tells you practically nothing about the difference.

This week he wrote:
But, like, is there any real difference between the toothpaste, or is it just that they're different colors and they mark up the ones labeled "Whitening" and "shakira"?

How go things back in the Nard? Christian informs me filming has started for Tron 3 and that there will be a Rouge Squadron movie.
Things are going well here. I tried pig foot at a members house. It wasn't bad, but I didn't really enjoy it either. But I'm glad I tried it.

I do have to say, I had a tiny bit of a Knowledge Bowl relapse this week. We had a Zone meeting last night and a ward activity this morning, at both of which we played Jeopardy. The ward activity turned a little ridiculous (as happens when an entire ward plays Jeopardy in ONLY 2 TEAMS), and some of the questions Zack DEFINITELY would have challenges (Our answer of "By the Holy Ghost" to "How do you get a testimony of the BoM?" was denied as it didn't match the answer they had. Also we got the question "What is music?" which he also got "wrong". And the other team got "How do you get into the celestial kingdom?" All our team was waiting to see what on Earth the answer could possibly be, but they ending up getting right as the answer was "Respuestas Varias"), and there were some physical challenges mixed in, but it was still a fun time. At the zone activity I really got a fix when they question was "How many book are in the Old Testament?" and I told my team "I don't know for sure, but something is telling me I've heard the number 39 before for this" and it was RIGHT! And then we used that to figure out how many were in the New Testament when we got that question because I knew there was 66 books in the Bible. And I just remember thinking "Man, I loved Knowledge Bowl". That rush I get is just uggh.

Tell everyone I'lll probably get around to writing I legit general letter soon.

A quote from Elder Lee this week:
Me: That was back when you liked Taco Bell, yeah?
Elder Lee: Are you kidding me?? The first thing I'm doing when I get home is buying 5 99 cent beef and cheese burritos, unwrapping them, and then rolling them up all together to make a mega burrito.

I'm starting to learn a little bit of chilango. I figure I should learn Spanish first, but in DF I'm bound to pick up a lot of it. Are you very familiar with it? Lee says that in some areas it's super crazy. Like they use "Jamaica" in place of the word "Jamas" and they say something that translate into "Mattress" to say I know it or something like that.

Attached are pictures of:
A bien padre view from a member's house's roof
Me cooking the frozen taquitos Elder Lee and I got hooked on last week
A Pinguino
A bag with a surprising specific expiration date
My first agenda finished

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This is an excerpt from the email we received from Jonathan on Monday. 

I'm not sure if I'd say much "exciting" happened, but it was a good week. Elder Lee got sick. We're thinking it was either the sardines or the armadillo we ate that day (armadillo is pretty good, but I didn't like the sauce it was in) so he was out for a day. Also! We took an investigator to take a tour in the church with up and there were other Elders there holding a baptism so she got to see a baptism so that's cool. Also, there was a pump-it-up style big ol´slide set up in the chapel that night. And a trampoline outside. At first I thought it was for the baptism, but it turned out it was for a birthday party. So that was.... new. With the one with a fecha this week we're still waiting to see if she'll get permission. We'll know Wednesday. We had a lesson with her and her mom two Sundays ago that the YW presidency also came to. At the beginning her mom was very much against it but we could tell that as she listened she started to soften up and the answer changed to "we'll talk about it" so we're praying real hard and have fasted a couple times.

These are the photos he sent for me to post. The letter part does not seem complete, so I am not sure if that is all he meant to send or he just ran out of time :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Excerpts from 2/23/15

Response to Dad's email:
Let everyone know that I'm doing well. Eating tortas and preaching the gospel. Or... wait... stop... reverse that. Anyway, yeah things are going well. My first baptism was this week. I only really taught her one lesson, but it still counts. 

Also, the milk I drink has that one kid on it... chavo, champolin? With the CH heart shirt. He's like a bug suited superhero or something yeah?

Response to Mom's email:
It's going well! This week I felt I was especially getting in the rhythm of things. A few quick answers:
1) I'm sleeping alright. No better or worse than at home. And while it's hard sometimes, 6:30 isn't too hard compared to 5:20 or whatever it was. I was too still-sleeping to note what time I used to get up.
2) My shoes are holding up well. I should give them a polish. I'll get around to that eventually.
3) Actually yeah! I'm in the same zone as Elder Gibson, so I see him sometimes. He subbed the hill with us last week. It's always good to see him. Elder Turnbull is in another zone, so I haven't seen him yet.
4) It's coming okay. They ache between apointments, especially when going all the way from the bottom of the hill to the top, but I actually kept up with Elder Lee all the way to the church this morning. (this is Mom- I had asked about his calf development)

The baptism was good. The Spirit was there. And we also got to see a video about a crocodile eating a gnu or wildebeest or something during it. You can ask Christian for more details. It is trippy! Our investigators are doing well, but they both need parents permission and that looks like it may or may not happen. I can tell they both want to be baptized. But we'll just pray and fast and have faith and hope for the best.

Excerpts from 2/16/15

The mish is good. We did have some... interesting happenings haha. The weather is really great. Really cold in the mornings though. Like, really cold. And yeah, I'm starting to get to know some people, even though I have no clue where I'm going most of the time. I just follow Elder Lee haha. And he's good. He's really understanding. We just drop our laundry off with a sister in our stake with other companionships and take turns paying her every month. The foods good. I got 8 tacos for 28 pesos on a 2 for 1 Friday the other night. Good stuff.  Tal vez mi cuerpo esta acostumbrando

To be honest, things got quite a bit harder for me this week. But my companion was very good about being understanding so I'm greatful for that.

Things are going well! We had Stake conference this week so that was cool. The stake center is on the same property as the church building. One of the 70s came to talk, and while I didn't understand most of it, everyone said it was really fantastic. I could tell it really affected one of our investigators there who is getting baptized next month, so that's good. Our mission president also talked, and his was good. For whatever reason I could understand most of what he said. They had a deaf hermano give the prayer. He did it in sign language and there was an interpreter who said what he signed. That was cool as I'd never seen a deaf person pray before.
Our apartment building is supposedly owned by a narco. I've never seen him before, but every now and then one of the people here calls him up. So that's cool.
My comp is good. He seems like he knows his stuff and is always willing to help me when I need it. He walks really fast though haha. So I always get tired trying to keep him.
Starting this next Saturday we're going for what I call a "Triple Combination". Three baptisms three weeks in a row. 

I haven't really cooked yet. Lunch is the big meal here like dinner is in the US. We have lunch citas every day so we get feed pretty well at them. The members are always super willing to fill us to the brim if we want. Sometimes we even teach a lesson without planning to eat there and the food finishes when we do so we essential eat 2 lunches. Breakfast is usually cereal or fruit or ramen or whatever. Lunch is at about 2. Sometimes we just eat snacks or by little things throughout the rest of the day. The members often will give us little things throughout the afternoon whether it be bread, fruit, cookies or whatever. So sometimes when we get back to the apartment for the night we'll have dinner with whatever food we have at the apartment, but it's usually not big or prep-intensive.

Monday, February 2, 2015


We just got told by one of the APs we're having tacos de pastor night. Que chiiiiiiidoooo. The room was quiet but now everyone's talking.

We left the CCM at 10 this morning. Packing was actually pretty easy without the weight limit to worry about. I took my own sweet time with it (per usual me haha), but it was easy. Not as much strategizing to be done haha. We're here at the mission office now (which is actually in the Este mission. I made my first Spanish pun today 'Este is este' and the latino AP gave me a laugh that was *just* a tad more than a pity laugh. The Elders are bunking here tonight. Tomorrow we meet in Minnesota to find out our new companions and areas. Sister Stutznegger says about half the mission will be at the transfer meeting. She's really friendly, us American Elders talked with her during lunch, which was sandwiches.

Elder Gibson had 2 bottles of Martinellis left from a package from a while ago. We broke them open at breakfast and poured some to the Latinos going to Sureste who were sitting at another table. At first they were kind of hesitant, then we explained that it was Martinellis and was bueno. No sirvesa..

I'm super excited to get out and do work. In a lot of ways, the part of the city I've been through so far remind me of LA just with a slighlty different... "flavor" I guess. We're just about to start doing more things right now, so I have to go. 

Pdays will be Mondays.


*** For those not familiar with the LDS missionary lingo, this might help:
AP= Assistants to the President
Minnesota=Part of the area where will Jonathan will serve is called Nezahualcoyotl-Neza for short. Ota is an augmentative when added on to the end of a word. Mi in Spanish means my. So Mi-nez-ota=Minnesota to an English speaker.
P-day= preparation day=day off to do laundry, clean house, shop, write to your Mom, sightsee.
Sister Stutznegger=The wife of the President Stutznegger, the President of the Mexico City Southeast mission. They are in charge of the well-being and management of about 200 missionaries. 
(added by Mom)