Final Email From The CCM--Elder Lund Leaves for Honduras Tuesday, February 4th


Wow, I can't quite believe it, but this will be the last email I write from the CCM. I leave bright and early Tuesday morning for the mission field. It seems like we've been here for a year, but at the same time it feels like we got here yesterday. It's so true that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I have loved the time in the CCM and I'm so grateful for all the opportunities and experiences I had while preparing here. I'm also incredibly grateful for my district. We work hard, but we also balance it out by having fun. Our two maestros are also awesome: Hermano Gonzales and Hermano Enciso. They are both great return missionaries and I hope to acquire some of the characteristics that both of them have. All in all, I'm going to miss my district so much...I'm pretty sure we will all cry when we sing Para Siempre Dios Esté con Vos this Sunday after the movie. I know that we'll be great missionaries in Nicaragua, El Salavador, Colorado, and Honduras. We all want to have a reunion when we get back, and we know it will probably be like Alma 17... 

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren (and sisters) in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.   
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
4 And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years (well, 18 or 24 months in our case) among the Lamanites (Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras... yaaaa), having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.
5 Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.
7 Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings (don't forget the machetes); and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.
8 And thus they departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God (by the spirit) unto the Lamanites.

I really don't have much to say this week, or have time...this día de preparación will mostly be spent by packing and getting ready to leave. To sum it up, we just continued planning, studying, teaching, and learning the language. I'm confident in the language, but I know I still have a lot of work to do. During TRC last night, Elder Lau and I were investigators for some native Hermanas from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I understood probably 70-80% of the lesson (well, it also helps that I know mas o menos what they are teaching me based on the lesson). Also, the hermana from Mexico was easy to understand, but I had to keep telling the DR Hermana to slow down. She talked super fast and didn't speak any English. I'm pretty sure I asked her otra vez at least ten times, but it was a good lesson and great language practice.

Also, our investigadores Calros and Francisco got "baptized" this week and we got to start teaching Daniel and Guillermo. They are just our teachers if you haven't read the previous emails, but they base their roles off of converts they had on their missions or friends that they have now. 

President Octaviano Tenorio, once again, had an awesome MTC Presidency class this past Sunday. It was on using time wisely. He started out with a story that went something like this: Imagine that you have a bank account where $84,600 gets deposited daily, but at the end of the day that money is gone. What would you do? Take it out and use it the best way possible of course. Each day we have 86,400 seconds and at the end of the day it is gone forever. Take advantage of this time and use it wisely. He went on to talk about multiple experiences in his life where using his time wisely helped him professionally and spiritually. One of my favorite quotes that he used was by Ralph Waldo Emerson:Work every hour, paid or unpaid. See only that you work, and you cannot escape the reward. You truly reap what you sow (thanks dad). President Tenorio also talked a lot about vision and how powerful our imaginations are. He was given an opportunity to go to New York for his job once, but in order to get there, he had to learn English. He put in the work...he took a two week course and he studied literally 16 hours a day. Whenever it got tough, he imagined being in New York. Not only that, he imagined himself learning English in that time period. It reminded me of a Fireside from Bishop Husein (I think he shared it with us two or three times actually, so it must be important). He had us watch a documentary of a blind man and his miraculous feat of climbing Mount Everest. Bishop then talked about vision. Although the man couldn't physically see, he had the vision to accomplish the seemingly impossible task. We all need vision in our lives. We must be able to see where we want to go, but also be able to see the relevant steps to get there (then of course follow up and take those steps). 

Our Sunday devotional was given by Elder Richard G. Scott this week. He talked about the importance of prayer. He urged us to improve the quality of our prayers and have them be like a son talking to their loving father. He also told us that we will have a lot of tough times on our missions and also throughout life. He are never alone. You always have your Father in Heaven to talk to no matter what...Never complain about an experience. Ask the Lord what to do and grow from it. He also talked about the three ways our questions can be answered through prayers:
  1. Peace, comfort, and confidence
    • This is the right thing to do...go ahead and do it
  2. Stupor of thought
    • Don't do's not the right thing to do
  3. No answer has come for a considerable amount of time
    • assume accountability and take action based on gospel principles
    • the Lord wants you to use your agency and learn how to make the right decisions on your own
    • you will grow and develop through this method
Sunday night, we also watched a movie on John Tanner and the movie on Jesus Christ with Pilot in it from the 1970s or 1980s. I really enjoyed both of them. From the John Tanner movie, I felt like I need to do a better job of leaving the world behind (we do a lot of movie quotes in our district)...put your hand to the plow and don't look back. From the second movie, I really liked the way Christ has set the example for us of how to act even when we're at our lowest. Even though he had just suffered for all the sins of the world and was physically, mentally, and spiritually drained, he always acted with love towards Pilot and those who tortured and crucified him. It's easy to do your best when everything is going well, but what are your going to do when you're at your lowest. Even when the going gets tough in Honduras - fatigue, hot muggy climate, bad food, bad water, cholera, dysentery, etc etc etc etc - I know I still have to be at my best, and I sure hope I can rise to the occasion when those times come.

Well, that's all I have. I will leave with my testimony in Spanish (probably won't be grammatically correct, but whatever). Estoy muy agredecido por la oportunidad a venir al CCM. Estoy agredecido por mi Padre Celestial y Su Hijo Jesucristo. Yo sé que Él se murió para mis pecados y para los pecados de todo el mundo. Sé que por medio de su Expiación y viviendo los principios de Su Evangelio, podemos ser limpios de nuestros pecados, llegar a ser comó Él, y también regrasar otra vez a nuestro Padre Celestial. Sé que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios, y Dios resauró el Evangelio a través de José Smith. Sé que El Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios y esté libro tiene la plentitud del Evangelio. He leído y orado sobre este libro, y sé que si ustedes quieren saber la verdad de estas cosas, pueden saber por medio de oración y el poder del Espíritu Santo. Si harán, Dios contestará. "Sí, he aquí, hablaré a tu mente y a tu corazón, por medio del Espíritu Santo, que vendrá sobre ti, y morará en tu corazón." (DyC 8:2). Estoy agredicido por la oportunidad a enseñar la gente de Honduras. No puedo compartir verdadamente mis sentimientos sobre mi amor que tengo para la gente, pero puedo sentir estés sentimientos para ellos. Sé que el don de lenguas es verdadero. Estaba estudiando muchas cosas de la idioma estas semanas pasadas. Podría hacer cuatro años en la escuela para aprender estas cosas, pero hemos aprendidolas en cinco semanas solamente. Sé que mi Padre Celestial y mi Salvador y Redentor Jesucristo viven, y les amo mucho. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, nuestro Salvador, amen.

Elder Lund

CCM 1/23/14 - 1/30/14
Elder Lund--Ready to serve in Honduras!

The Importance of Journals and the Story of the Chickens and the Eagle

Chicken Wings For All!


Preparation in the CCM is still going strong. Unfortunately, I didn't write in my journal for a couple of days, and when I went back one night to try to write what happened, I couldn't remember many specifics. I am going to try to write at least something in my journal everyday from now on because it's tough to remember everything after it has passed. I'm kind of glad I learned my lesson now in the CCM instead of out in the mission field where it could have been worse.

We've just been working, studying, eating, and sleeping this past week so I don't have too much fun stuff to talk about. I did, however, learn a lot spiritualmente.

During my personal study one day, I studied and pondered on D&C 121:34-46. I've read it before, but it just kind of hit me even more this week that priesthood power is only manifest when the holder is using it righteously, and it's more than just keeping the commandments. Melchizedek Priesthood holders MUST turn outward and focus on blessing others instead of focusing on themselves. The promise in verses 45 and 46 are pretty awesome:  

45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
 46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. 

The Lord promises us some amazing blessings, but these blessings won't come if we focus on ourselves. If we're too focused on how we will look with these blessings, we will never get them. Those who receive these promised blessings only get them after living principles of righteousness, and they will in turn use them to bless others.

Since President Pratt is out of town for the next couple weeks, Elder Octaviano Tenorio gave the MTC Presidency Class these past two Sundays. Last week he talked about personal revelation and being guided by the Holy Ghost. I will not share those stories at this time. This week, he talked about specific prayers. Together, we studied Genesis 24 where Abraham commands his servant to go find a wife for Isaac (or something like that more or less). In the chapter, the servant gives a very specific prayer in verses 12-14 in order to find the right wife, and long story short, everything he says in verse 14 comes to pass. Presidente Tenorio then shared several stories of people having similar experiences. 1) There was an Elder who left his backpack in a taxi that had money and ALL his pictures from the last year and a half of his mission. He was devastated and prayed to the Lord with a specific prayer. Long story short, he finds his backpack with everything with it. 2) A companionship of sister missionaries prayed one morning with a specific prayer. They prayed and asked God that the first man that asked for help they would help. They would then say that they were missionaries and they had a message for that man's family. Finally, they prayed that this man would have a family of 8. And it came to pass, that they helped a man with his car, they told him they had a message for him and his family, they went to his house later that night and found 10 chairs - 2 for them, and 8 for the family. 3) There was a young woman who had two boyfriends. She was getting very serious with one - nearly engaged - but didn't know what to do with the other. She prayed specifically and asked the Lord that whoever she should marry would do the following things: the "chosen one" would call at 1:15 AM and tell her that he was reading his patriarchal blessing. He would then say that he knew it was talking about her and that they should marry. Well, it came to pass. One of the boys called, but it wasn't the one she was hoping for. Nevertheless, she dated him and are now happily married. When it is necessary, make specific prayers and have faith that they will come to pass.

I enjoyed our reunión sacerdocio (Priesthood Meeting) this past Sunday as well. One of the Branch Couselors, Presidente Garduño, chastened us a lot for not using the mission language as much as we should be. He told us a story (en Español) and here is the basics in english: Once there were some chickens who wanted to learn how to fly. They found an eagle and asked him to teach them. The eagle accepted and began to teach the chickens how to fly. However, after the lessons were over, the chickens walked back home to their homes. Presidente Garduño said that we were being taught how to fly, but instead of flying home, we were still going back to our old ways and not applying what we learned. He committed us to use the mission language more this week, especially on Sundays during church meetings. He also went over the First Presidency Message for January 2014 which talked about goals. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the next best time is now. The best time to learn the gospel was in seminary, but if we didn't, we need to learn it now. The best time to learn Spanish was in high school (con Señora Olga Chandler, que horror), but if we didn't, then we need to learn it now. President Uchtdorf also talked about New Year's resolutions in his message. After reading the FPM and learning more from Presidente Garduño, I kind of wish that the world would get rid of New Year's celebrations. Too many people rely on this holiday that comes once every 365 days to create goals and when they don't follow up on January 2nd, they go back to the old bad habits. Goals should be created daily. Every day is a new beginning, and we don't have to wait until January 1st to change our lives for the better. I personally need to do a better job at pushing myself temporally and spiritually with effective daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

The MTC Devotional was given once again by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He is awesome. He's so passionate about missionary work and he inspires us all. To quote a favorite of mine, his address wasn't was fantastic! I'm going to copy my notes for all of you. They may not make sense since you didn't see the address, but hopefully you'll get something out of it:

  • You're going to have a great 50 year ride after your mission
  • It is a great time to be a missionary: hastening the work
  • Prophets have written about our it
  • No dispensation ever succeeded including the Meridian Church
    • this is the dispensation that WILL NOT FAIL! No, not this time!
  • The Second Coming began in the spring of 1820
    • you're in the middle of it
  • You have to be a better missionary than I was
    • you have to grow up overnight, be mature and bold
    • you have to be your best...bring your A game
  • You are COMMANDED to have at least one convert
    • it better be YOU!
    • you can't blame it on anybody if that doesn't happen
  • Don't see me in a dark alley if you're an inactive RM...(I'll chasten you) (Everyone started laughing after he said this)
    • I can't take this halfheartedly because it means so much to me
  • Invest in yourself for your sake and for God's sake
  • Teach the lessons from your heart
  • You have to teach the gospel His way...It's Preach My Gospel, not preach your gospel
  • Don't whine why you have to follow the rules
  • The only way you can Preach His Gospel is through the Spirit
    • The only way you can have the Spirit is to KEEP THE RULES!
    • "They taught with power and authority"
  • You are God's investigators...keep the rules and if not, REPENT...the mission rules are primary level
  • Helaman 5:17-19...power and authority
  • Mosiah 27:11,18...astonished
    • Go out to the mission field and astonish people!
    • Astonish = tondra or thunder
    • it might not be thunder for you, but it will be thunder for your investigators
  • Preaching His Gospel by the Spirit takes your best effort
  • Convert yourself, obey the rules, strive for the spirit, work hard
    • if you do these things, then you're successful
  • Adison Pratt, Dan Jones, Matthew Cally
    • perhaps the 3 greatest missionaries in this dispensation
Elder Holland's address was from a year ago, and at the end he said the dedicatory prayer for the three MTC buildings named after these three men. Even though it was said a year ago, you could feel the spirit so strongly and feel the power behind his words. It also led me to think how organized this church is and how much work that is behind everything: creating PMG, Distribution Centers, MTC's around the world, Temples, Temple Visitors Centers, Ward and Stake Chapels, etc etc etc etc etc. This is truly the Lord's work, and we are instruments in His hands.

We finished Sunday night by watching the Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. If you haven't seen it, I invite you to watch it. It's amazing to see what great service Joseph Smith has performed for everyone, but this isn't the church of Joseph Smith; this is the Church of Jesus Christ y por medio de Su Expiación, nosotros podemos ser limpios de nuestros pecados y regresar a Nuestro Padre Celestial. (I had to try to get at least some Spanish in)

I hope all you have a wonderful week. I invite all of you to make personal goals (for whatever aspect of your life) and take the relevant steps to achieve them. If you don't live up to your goals, you don't have to wait until January 1st...everyday is a new day to become the person both you and your Heavenly Father wants you to become.

Elder Lund

CCM 1/17/14 - 1/23/14

President Hinckley's Building at the CCM

Jesus Christ--The Savior of the World

Elder Lund leaves for Honduras February 4, 2014

Elder Lund enjoys a good enchilada every now and then!

The District...

Halfway Through the CCM

Elder Lund With the Other Missionaries in His District
Dear Family,
Another week down at the CCM. The days are going by super fast. It seems like we just had preparation day yesterday. It's probably because we stay busy working from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night.

The beginning of week 3 was a little difficult. However, as the days went by, things started to go a lot better. I thought about the situation as I was going to bed one night, and I just felt like I needed to change first. I needed to be more patient and more loving with him. Instead of getting upset when he wouldn't prepare for lessons, I would try to put on a smile and correct him, but lovingly. I wouldn't get mad with him. I tried boosting his confidence by complimenting his improvements and giving him words of encouragement. This attitude continued to strengthen after Sunday church meetings. During District Meeting (AKA Sunday School) we went over chapter 6 in PME - how to develop Christlike attributes. We spent a lot of time on 'Patience' because the Elder Roney said he needed to work on that one. I think I needed it just as much as he did. It really helped me put things in perspective. During Sacrament Meeting, President Cisneros - a counselor - talked about loving your companion. He urged us all that in the CCM and in the mission field we need to aprenderán a amar su compañero...or learn to love your companion. I've been putting it to action the last week and the improvement has been incredible. I know that learning to love someone will help me out post-mission as well.

Another CCM goal I have that I mentioned last week is to read the entire Libro de Mormon en Español antes de nosotros salimos el CCM. Last Friday, I began getting up at 5:30 every morning to read since I don't have much time during the day. Usually it's just Elder Soifua and I - I have to wake him up - but sometimes my companion and some of the other members of our district join us. It's been a great experience, and the day goes by so much better. Furthermore, before this week I had been paying attention to my sleep schedule and I noticed that I would consistently get up anywhere from 4:30 - 5:30 each morning wide awake, but I would have to go back to bed and then when I woke up at 6:30 I'd be exhausted. So this reading in the morning works better with my sleep cycle too.

Spanish is going well. It's kind of funny to think how fast we're moving through the material. The last three weeks would've probably taken a year and a half in middle school. We're starting to get into all the verb tenses which I really need to re-learn. I also had the opportunity to conduct la reunión sacramental (Sacrament Meeting) in Spanish. It was a little intimidating but I did ok. I'm glad that I took Spanish at CMS and CHS because it's coming back really fast since I've already learned it, but I wish I had taken better advantage of the opportunity. We messed around too much with Ms. Lee y Olga. ¡Que Horror! Singing in Spanish is a lot of fun too. They only have 209 hymns in the Spanish hymnbook and the words don't always follow the English verses, but the Spirit is still there, if not stronger, when we sing in Spanish. Some of my favorites are El Espíritu de DiosBandera de Sion, Más Cerca Dios de Ti, Para Siempre Dios este con Vos, and my all time favorite in English, Conmigo Quédate Señor. (The Spirit of God, High on the Mountain Top, Nearer my God to Thee, God be with you till we meet again, and Abide with me, 'tis Eventide).

My personal study of the Doctrine has really improved. It's crazy how many times we pray here at the CCM, but it's so important to open and close each study session with a prayer, even when it seems repetitive. I've been studying a lot more concerning the Doctrine of Christ as well as the Atonement. The other day, I wrote on a flashcard about 7 scripture verses that cover why we need an Atonement, why there needed to be an infinite sacrifice, why we need to have our garments cleansed through the blood of Christ, etc. I also try to study a lot of the Bible Dictionary and the Old and New Testaments, in addition to the Book of Mormon, so I can better relate with my future investigators. The other day, I was reading in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and fell upon verse 14. Paul urges us to "Be ye not unequally yoked..." I thought it was kind of funny...don't skip leg day! The rest of the verse is actually pretty good too. It talks about not being yoked - or as we learn in the footnote be married - with unbelievers. I think the yoked part of the verse would be a pretty good BYU Meme.

We learned a lot from the instructors this week. Hermano Enciso had us read 1 Nephi 17 together and we had to relate it back to our mission experience and future mission experiences. Basically, the Lord commanded Nephi to arise and start building a ship to get to the promised land. Even though Bountiful was a great place filled with milk and honey, the Lord had something better in mind for them. Not only would the promised land be better, but they would grow from the experience and trials of getting there. Although he had way more interesting points, to sum it up Hermano Enciso related it to Bountiful being our old lives and the Lord has something better in store for us in our missions. But we have to arise and get working on our boats (learning the language, learning the doctrine, being more Christlike, etc.) In my study journal, I wrote Arise, and get the heck out of Bountiful. Our Zone was kind of relaxed on the rules the past week, so Elder Lau and I set some Zone Goals for obedience. We announced it in their classes, but then delegated most of the work to the District Leaders. We set the overarching theme of each goal such as Focus on the Task at Hand and then the District Leaders have to write out the relevant steps and key indicators - so to say - for how the goals will be accomplished. For each goal, we also had examples if we saw something that specifically had to be changed.

We also watched devotionals from Elder Holland and Elder Bednar again this week. They are both awesome. I don't have time to say everything that they had to say, but I'll quote two things that I liked from each:

Elder Holland - Don't be idle...get into overdrive! and When you're a man, you put away childish things...grow up!
Elder Bednar - The 'trial of your faith' is usually not some big dramatic event. It is usually just trying to do the simple things daily.

We also watched Mountain of the Lord Sunday night. I really like that movie. There was a scene where a 12 year old wants to work in the stone quarry with an older gentleman from Scotland. The man at first denied saying he was too young, but the boy replied the work is faster/better with teams of two. I thought immediately about missionary work and how I need to be a better companion and focus on loving/building the companionship so that we can be better instruments in the hands of the Lord.

Last night, the Elders in our district decided to sleep in the living room. We wanted to apply the scriptures more in our lives, specifically 1 Nephi 2:15. We built a fort/tent out of tables, extra bedsheets, etc. We really had to put our Eagle Scout skills to the test. Elder Naupoto, who worked in construction in Hawaii before coming on his mission, really helped a lot. He had some excellent skills for some of the tasks. He wants to go into engineering at BYU after his mission. Anyways, we built it and took some pictures too. To be completely honest, we stayed up kind of late talking since we knew it was p-day today. We talked a lot about our missions too. It was a good to talk and our district seems closer than ever.

Well, that's all I have time to write about. I probably left out a lot of good things, but I got the most important things in. Estoy agredecido por la oportunidad a venir al CCM y llegar a ser más como mi Salvador.

- Elder Lund

CCM 1/10/14 - 1/16/14

District Tent Building
Eagle Scout Skills at the CCM
Mission Accomplished

Routines, Churizos from the CCM Taste Good, and Spanish Progress


This week was again really good. Unlike last week with all the orientations, we really got into rhythm with the gospel and Spanish classes.  There is a cycle that is taught at the CCM that helps missionaries get the most out of their work.
  1. Planning - Daily and Weekly
  2. Personal Study
  3. Companionship Study
  4. Language Study
  5. Teach by the Spirit
This basic cycle can probably be applied to anything post-mission as well, but that's not so important at this moment in time.

Right now, I feel confident with steps 1, 2, and 4 (probably because they are all personal). We taught Carlos a couple times this week and we got another investigator Francisco. These investigators are really just our teachers. The first week, we didn't know Carlos was going to be our teacher, but he showed up to class with a teacher name tag on. We all had a good laugh with him. Anyways, we taught Carlos with his member girlfriend there. We started off the lesson with some small talk. They were going to watch Titanic that night. We then went on to teach our prepared lessons on the Word of Wisdom and Chastity.  We plan on teaching them the Plan of Salvation tomorrow night and we will tie it back to Chastity.

My Spanish is getting a lot better. I am able to hold conversations well and teach the lessons in broken Spanish. My accent is still probably pretty bad and I STILL can't roll my r's. The other day, I was reading in PME and I could understand what I was reading. I didn't even have to translate it to English as I read too. Yes, there was the occasional word that I didn't know, but I looked it up and then moved on. I want to set a goal of reading the entire Libro de Mormon before I leave the CCM. I want to follow the example in The Other Side of Heaven by reading a verse in English and then a verse in Spanish. Our Mission President and his wife said we should be reading El Libro de Mormon everyday and they promised we would learn Spanish faster if we did this. There is not much time during the day to do it, so I'm planning to do it in the mornings, evenings, and preparation day. 

Basketball and ping pong are fun as usual. The food is good as usual. The weirdest thing, I guess, that I've eaten in el comedor - or cafeteria - has been cow throat burritos. Churizos, I think it's called. It was actually pretty good. I wouldn't be surprised if I've gained weight since being here.

Well, the preparation is coming along. Elder S is hilarious. He always puts a smile on my face. He's 6'0 and probably 350 pounds and played the O-line for Alta High.  I really get along with all the other missionaries in my district as well. Elder N wants to attend BYU after his mission and walk on to the football team. He's like 6'3-6'4 240 and athletic. We get along well. Elder N and I get along well too. We are always having little doctrinal discussions together. Elder R and I talk about our futures and we have really good games of ping pong. I don't really talk to the hermanas that much. In fact, Elder S was giving me a hard time and he told me to talk to them more. Not flirt, but talk haha. Even though we get along, sometimes we are a little too relaxed about things. I talked to the district about keeping all the mission rules and being more mature in speech and actions. They started improving after I gave them a little talk with a graph that I drew on the white board.

Well, that's all I have this week. I probably left out a lot of small details, but I got most of the good stuff. In the upcoming weeks, I will write a little bit more in Spanish as well.

Hasta Luego,

Elder Lund

CCM 1/3/14 - 1/9/14

Life at the CCM, The Mexico City Temple and Elder Holland's Devotional


I didn't have time last week to write a summary of the week, so I'll be doing that now. 

The flight from San Jose to Dallas went alright. I read about half of Our Search for Happiness on the flight there. I was about to reach for the magazines but remembered just in time that I wasn't supposed to read it. When I got to Dallas, I had to take the shuttle to the different terminal. When I got to the terminal, I met up with a bunch of Elders and Sisters who were going off to various places. On the flight from Dallas to Mexico City, I finished up Our Search for Happiness and talked to a grandmother and mother who were sitting next to me. I didn't really share the gospel with them, but I did brush up on my Spanish a bit. When we got to the airport, we went through customs...all my bags were there thankfully. One of the sisters lost one of her bags. We then took a van to the MTC (el CCM). It was a pretty sketchy ride over, the other elders and sisters were a little scared with some near misses, but our family trip to Puerto Vallarta the year before prepared me for the sporadic driving. When we got to the CCM, we had Costco Pizza for dinner, got our nametags, and all our materials. I also had to get a Tetanus Booster, but it was fine.

The first couple days were just filled with orientation classes -- security, schedule, worthiness, etc -- and it was difficult to stay on top of things. On Sunday night, we watched a MTC Devotional address from Elder Holland. It was pretty inspiring. As Schmidt would say...CHILLS! My favorite part was probably when he said My mission meant EVERYTHING to me. Everything good that has occurred in my life can be pointed back to the preparation from my mission. It was awesome. Afterwards, we ate dinner and then watched The Testaments. Every Sunday and Tuesday, we watch a devotional address and then we also watch a church movie Sunday Night before heading back to our casas.

It's amazing how much you feel the spirit in the CCM. Not only do you feel awesome because of it, but you are able to learn a lot faster. We had our first lesson with a guy named Carlos. It was extremely difficult, especially to do it all in Spanish.

So, my district.
  • Elder L - from Utah...going to Nicaragua (my companion and also a Zone Leader)
  • Elder R - from Southern California...going to Nicaragua (District Leader)
  • Elder N - Tongan from Hawaii...going to Nicaragua
  • Elder N - from Utah...going to Nicaragua
  • Elder S - Saoman from Utah...going to Nicaragua
  • Hermana F- from North Carolina...going to Denver, Colorado 
  • Hermana M - from Utah...going to Honduras (comuylanga or something like that)
  • Hermana B - from Ohio...went to BYU...going to El Salvador
  • Hermana C - from Idaho...graduated from U of Utah...going to El Salvador 
  • Me - from California...going to Honduras (Zone Leader with Elder Lau)
Right now, there is only one other district in our zone. They are really cool too, but I won't list them here. Every Elder in my district is going to the same mission, but there are two elders going to my mission that live in my casa. They are Elders J and G. Elder R is our District Leader...he is awesome, he is going to be a great missionary. Elder L and I are the Zone Leaders for our Branch. My companion was a little too excited after we received the call. He was saying stuff, but I calmed him down and helped him to not be so in your face with the leadership position with the other elders in our casa.

Pretty much everyday, we study PMG (or Predicar Mi Evangelio), las Escrituras, y Español in books and TALL (basically missionary computer language program). At night, we teach a lesson to an investigator. Throughout the day, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is really good here. Lunch is the best meal of the is also the biggest meal. We also have GYM from 3:55 to around 4:45. We have planning session at 5:15 so we leave gym a little later than 4:45. We play ping pong, basketball, volleyball, and workout. Hermana B ran track at BYU so she just runs for the whole time and then says its too short and she wants to run more.

It seems like we've been here for months, but the days go by very fast. They all just mesh together. On New Year's Eve, we didn't even really know it was a holiday until our teacher told us there would be a lot of noise that night. We couldn't sleep. It was super loud, fireworks were going off, the church fires blanks with a cannon, gunshots, etc. The noise was pretty much 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Oh ya, gunfire doesn't really bother us anymore. We usually here 2 or 3 gunshots minimum per night.

We finished this week by going to the Mexico City Temple. It was beautiful. The architecture was similar to the Aztec temples. Right when you walk in, their is a HUGE mural of Christ visiting the Americas (the one that's in pretty much every copy of the Book of Mormon). The session was good and we all had a great time. Unfortunately, it will be closed for the next year and a half to two years for renovation. We were the last set of missionaries to go. It closes on Saturday. I'm grateful I got to attend.

The weather in Mexico City is kind of like Carmel actually. It's cold in the mornings, but heats up to high 60s and low 70s by the afternoon. Unlike Carmel, there is no fog, just smog. The first couple days we got here, every time we went outside we could smell the pollution. I don't even recognize it anymore. We are all used to it, I guess. 

By the way, the Spanish keyboard is difficult to type with so please be patient with my spelling. I can't find the quotes so quotes are italicized. Also, my English spelling and grammar will probably go down the drain as well especially when I get to Honduras.

Well, that's all I have for this week. ¡Adios!

-Elder Lund

CCM 12/27/13 - 1/2/14

 Dinner from Costco upon arrival at CCM--Bueno!

 Bunk Beds at CCM--"Gunshots don't really bother us anymore.  We hear 2-3 per night."

 The Mexico City Temple
Elder Lund and his District--the last group of Missionaries to attend the Mexico City Temple before it closes for a renovation project for two years.  What a blessing for them to be able to attend!