Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Halfway Done

I'm not sure everyone appreciates that fact that I am spell checking Trevar's emails.....I have spent 15% of my life saying "hey Trevar, how do you spell suchandsuch?" so basically if things are spelt's still my fault! So there's that. -lauren 

Well I´m halfway done here at the CCM, which is crazy. It´s been a really great time so far, and I´m super excited to get out to San Diego, but I´ll also be really sad to leave my friends here.

First, my district. What a bunch of awesome, valiant, megasupergreat people. We wake up at 6:30, get to the classroom at 7:00, go to breakfast at 7:30, then we´re back in our classroom until 12:30. Then lunch, gym time, and back to the classroomat 3:00. Stay there until 6:00, then we have TALL time (Technological Assisted Language Learning....something like that) and back to the classroom until 9:30. Then we go back to our dorm and get ready for bed, write in our journals, talk and wind down until 10:30 when we go to bed. Needless to say I´m with the same 9 other people ALL DAY LONG. But they´re like my Mexican family, and it´s been super awesome being here with them. We learn together, study together, laugh together, decide what superpowers we want´s so fantastic.

Second, so I don´t think I´ve commented on how I´m in bad. Mexico is beautiful. Beautiful plants and birds and mountains make Mexico so great. We have some crazy rain storms, which remind me of Ohio (people here freak out and don´t know what to do as I´m like skipping and jumping through puddles). We do have laundry machines, but I still have to wash some of my gym clothes by hand because......well you can imagine me working out in Mexico.....more like my whole apartment can smell me, so that´s been eye-opening. Also, the CCM campus is 90 acres of land surrounded by a really beautifully built wall that´s low enough that you can see out into the city. IT´S GORGEOUS! For our service activity this week I got to sweep the walls in some of the classroom buildings. Yes, the walls. That´s Mexico.

Third, Spanish. I´ve had some great progress this week! I can say a whole bunch of stuff! But you guys probably want to hear the embarrassing stuff, so here ya go. While practicing with my companion, he was pretending to be Catholic and said something about the Pope, and I accidentally replied by saying, "Well you see, the potato".....and my companion was already on the ground laughing. Gotta remember EL papa is the pope and LA papa is potato. Also, we were teaching one of our investigators (Joana, who is actually Hermana Arno playing a role), and I asked Elder Johansen to pray. So naturally I bowed my head, closed my eyes, folded my arms, and listened. But in his prayer he was describing how to pray, which I thought was weird because we were planning on talking about that afterwards, but it´s all good. So he got to the end and said Amen, and I, in a very loud voice, said Amen.......psych. When I opened my eyes and looked at him he then started his actual prayer........I was laughing SO HARD! So I´ve still got some work to do. My district also conjugated my name. Trevar in Spnaish now means "To be like Elder Dahl" and we conjugated it into every possible form. It was amazing.

Spiritual time. This week I´ve been obsessed with the Book of Mormon scripture Alma 26:12 
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
Trevar Dahl is not capable of a lot of things. He struggles with his self-esteem. He struggles with speaking English AND Spanish. He struggles with trusting others and opening up to them. He struggles every minute of everyday. HOWEVER, Trevar Dahl has God on his side, and with this knowledge, Trevar Dahl is able to do ANYTHING! I cannot boast of anything that I do, but I WILL ALWAYS boast of my God!

I NEED YOUR HELP! I have no contact information for anyone. I would love to write you and send you letters once I get to San Diego, but I need you to send me your contact information! Thanks! Also I hope Lauren is spell checking my e-mails because I have no time to go through and look over it. So sorry.

Oh there´s so much more to tell, but alas I´m out of time. If you have any questions feel free to ask! I would love some prompts for my super random letters like this one. Stay happy, and know that there is someone in Mexico praying for YOU (spoiler alert, it´s me)!!!!

Elder Trevar Wayne Dahl

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What the What

This week was definitely a What the What kind of week. Extreme highs and some pretty extreme lows. I don´t know where to begin, so I guess I´ll just start.

To answer some questions: If we receive packages we have to pay for customs service and I´m not about that life, so send anything to my San Diego address. I have one teacher in the morning (Hermana Arno, she´s still so great) and one teacher in the afternoon (Hermano Manroy, who is so cool and speaks in really easy broken Spanish so we understand everything he says). No I do not have a class on the culture of Mexicans, but I often ask my teachers about what is appropriate, and so far I´ve been ok for all of them. I barely have enough time to read my emails let alone respond to some, but I promise once I get to San Diego I will write real letters with real words and real details.

So most of this week was overall awesome. I can understand A LOT more Spanish, and my speaking now makes sense, so that´s good. I even had to help one of our Mexican roommates get a key for his room, and he only speaks Spanish, but we had a really great time talking to each other IN SPANISH! That was a huge milestone for me.

Tender mercy this week: Elder Johansen got pretty sick this last week, so we skipped gym time so he could take a nap. In the middle of his nap he woke up, asked me a question, and then said, "Thank you Elder Dahl" and went back to bed. Seemed like nothing right? Well that little comment really touched my heart, and whereas before we were kind of struggling to get along, we made a 180 and I felt SO MUCH LOVE for Elder Johansen. He really is who I´m meant to be with here in the CCM.

Next low of the week. On Sunday I was released as District Leader, because they called me and Elder Johansen to be Zone Leaders (for those of you that don´t know the zone leader is in charge of all the districts ion their area). Really cool right? Yeah not so much at first. I LOVED being the DL, and I was SO SAD to be a zone leader because they really only plan very few things for Sunday, so I was SO BUMMED! What had I done wrong? Was there something I could have done better for my district? 

That night (this was Sunday) we watched Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration. As I watched that movie all I could think of was how true this Gospel is and how it changes lives. I was reminded of one of my anchors (you can ask my dad about the anchor analogy; he´d love to tell you). I have WALKED through the Kirtland temple. I have STOOD on the Hill Cumorah. I have PRAYED in the Sacred Grove, and I KNOW that this Gospel is true. I know that God has a plan for me, and that he put me, some naive boy who´s about as white as it gets, as the district leader of an intermediate Spanish class, and he now wants me to be the zone leader. 

These events are like 2% of what happens here, and I wish I could tell you all everything that I want to. But know that I LOVE you all so much and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Do all that you can and God will make up for what you lack! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Elder Trevar Wayne Dahl

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life in Paradise

I´m pretty sure time is different here in the CCM (Mexico MTC). Everyday seems like an eternity, but I never want the day to end because there is so much for me to do and learn. I don´t know where to begin, but here we go.

First, the food here is totally fine. In fact it´s even delicious sometimes. Mexican food here is the bomb, and we´ve even had pizza twice (I got Hawaiian both times Lauren) in six days, so that´s cool. I live in a dorm room with five other guys, two to a room. Needless to say I wish we had another bathroom, but we somehow manage. 

So some unexpected opportunities entered into my life this week. I thought I was going to be in the beginner Spanish class....PSYCH...they put me in intermediate. Needless to say I was never very good at Spanish, and I haven´t even thought about Spanish in over a year. The natives love to talk to you, but they only speak Spanish, so I basically cry every time I see someone look at me. My teacher only speaks in Spanish, which has experience for sure. The first day I literally caught maybe 15% of what she was saying. Now I probably get about 75%, but it is SO HARD! And my speaking is still horrible, but definitely improving.

My teacher, Hermana Arno, is so nice to me though. Picture a small, cute, little Mexican woman, but then throw in some sass, a sense of humor, and an amazing ability to feel the Spirit, and you´re about half way there to understanding how awesome she is. She even sometimes speaks in English (cause she´s totally fluent) to really get the point across to us. I couldn´t have asked for a better teacher.

Our branch presidency called me to be the district leader this week. So I have 9 other missionaries (7 elders and 2 hermanas) in my district that I serve. It´s been an interesting challenge, mostly because I´m supposed to be the leader, but my Spanish is by far one of the worst in the class. But serving my district (and my district is made of some of the best people ever) has been a super awesome blessing this week.

My companion is Elder Johansen from Virginia Beach, Virginia. His Spanish is AMAZING and he is really knowledgeable, but I´m not sure if you will ever find two missionaries more different than the two of us. He can be a little distracting....well actually super distracting sometimes. We´ve had our share of struggles and even arguments these past six days, so needless to say I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! I never would have picked him to be my companion, but he teaches me so much everyday!

We had our first investigator, who only speaks in Spanish, on the second´s been crazy, but I will have to tell you more about that next week because I am out of time.

I NEED YOUR HELP! I need all of the prayers and thoughts that I can possibly receive! This is easily the HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE! Ever. In my whole life. But this has also brought me the most joy that I have ever experienced! I wish I could write more, but I have to go! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

Elder Trevar Dahl

Friday, August 8, 2014

This is CRAZY!!!!!!

Hello people who will be following Trevar....I mean Elder Dahl on this wonderful journey! Our missionary left Ohio Wednesday morning at 7:15 am and made it safely to the Mexico MTC. He was allowed to send us a short email when he got there so that we would know he made it : ) YEAH our first email!!!!!!  So with out further ado, let Tuesdays with Trevar commence!

This is Crazy!!!!!
I made it! Here is the part that I have to send you.

Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Elder Trevar Dahl
September 16, 2014 Branch 5 - District D
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is September 16, 2014. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

OK this keyboard is throwing me for a loop, but other than that everything is going smoothly! No problems with the flight and I was not deported! WOOHOO! I can't read your email yet because I only have like 5 minutes. But I love you and I will email you on my Pday (which is on Tuesday)! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Elder Trevar Dahl

Here are some pictures I took at the airport. Let me remind you that it is 5am and we are working on like 3 hours of sleep because Elder Dahl packs best under pressure.