Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Letter #4

I got a new Companion and things are much better now! I became the district leader which the whole district was thrilled about, because they all didn't like my companion and complimented me on my patience. And my old companion emailed me and said when he got back to the states the doctors couldn't find a hernia. Shocker! I don't think he will come back out on the mission though.  Elder Colby is great. We gave him a blessing and in the blessing it said you will walk sooner than you know. He was walking 2 days later and is now playing ball again!! Power of the priesthood! Most of my district is from Utah. One from Idaho falls, one from weezer idaho, one from kentucky, and one from london. The temple is gorgeous, but the pictures won't do it justice. We got a lot of pictures and one with the whole district.

Dang I wish I could have kayaked too! But here i've had a lot of water activity too, ( Because of the rain haha) I had to run halfway across campus in monsoon type rain and then teach 3 lessons. It even started leaking from the ceiling onto my head in the middle of the lesson!! I can do more than just my testimony now though. I've started reading scriptures in spanish. It takes me awhile because I compare it to the english scriptures after each verse I read in Spanish, but either way I'm understanding most of the words. I found that I can speak pretty decent spanish in the lessons and when I'm reading scriptures. Its the other times when i struggle. I think its the spirit, but i'm not sure. Also my new companion that i got hadn't taught much in the lessons before joining me because he was in a threesome. It has really pushed me to step up and grow faster. It is really stressful, but fun because I feel accomplished. Just a CCM driver during the little crash. it was a fun sensation to have the ground drop out from under you. Also in the city I found a chinese restaurant, that was pretty dope!

will sure try the cow tongue. I heard its pretty good! 

I read my patriarchal blessing and my set apart blessing this week. That gave me a ton of strength. It said that your family is what will keep you going on your difficult mission. you've done well so far, so thanks for that. so a little about this week. I moved rooms and pulled out the bead lizards that katie made. Everyone loves them and wanted one. I gave them all one and they loved the idea of giving them to the kids. So thank you katie! We also had a minor earthquake which sadly i didn't feel. I talked to some people about Mexico City north. Apparently its pretty sketchy, but not as sketchy as other parts of the city. Oh and side note to dad. If you could send me all those quotes that I had in my young mens binder that would be great. And others if there are some. And Please for the love of everything holy, send me an alarm clock with the alarm of arrival to earth like I used to have. I am going to be driven to insanity with these other alarms. If there is an alarm clock that you could put a song on it in mp3 format just to set it as an alarm, that would make my two years so much more joyful. And my District is making huge strides in the right direction since i became the leader. We made some goals and are doing well. We also decided to work out in the mornings. So I will be even more swoll when i return. Watch out! and today we worked out with the CCM president, President Pratt! We are pretty much homies now.

Love ya'll,

Elder Finlinson

(This is Julie. Andrew sent some pictures too. I will post them on Saturday Night or Sunday. I am out of town so this is the best I can do for now!)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Letter #3

I haven't received any mail yet.(I had asked him if he had received any of our written letters by snail mail yet.)  My companion is going home on Monday for a hernia, and I've been reasigned a new one... but he speaks about as much spanish as I do so we are kind of screwed for the lessons for the next little bit. I'll get some pictures of my district soon. And my best friend in the district might go home because he just got plantar fascitis and won't be able to walk for about a month. We gave him a blessing so hopefully he will stay. He wants to go home.. We will visit the temple next P day I think so that will be awesome! And yes, if you could send a good luck thing that would be great! (All of these were answer's to questions I had asked, so if it doesn't make complete sense that is why!) It sounds like kayaking was fun, I wish I could have been there, but I'm still enjoying it here. I've learned a ton and my lessons are starting to get better. I can't understand still when they go off rapid fire in spanish, but I can bear testimony about each section in the preach my gospel in spanish, so that helps a lot to invite the spirit! This week I have gone outside the CCM boundaries three times because of hospital trips and a trip to the consulate. Mexico looks awesome! We even drove past a little part of my area! The houses are amazing. The weather here has been all over the place. It will literally be 80 degrees and completely sunny and then a half hour later its hailing. I'll try to send a video of it. Just know that it doesn't give it justice how crazy it is. Oh and at the hospital I was able to use my medical anatomy and explain to my companion what is going on with the ultra sound and what the next test is... so on and so forth. I was also able to help my friend Elder Colby with his foot to explain what happened and what can help. I really enjoyed that part. Outside the CCM is pretty cool because I was expecting poor cars, but I've seen a bunch of mustangs, audi, mercedes, camaro, and a hummer limo! Anyway I'm loving it here. The spirit is all around and I really am growing close to a lot of people. I've learned a ton and also like hanging out with Austin!

Love you, 
Elder Finlinson
                                    Andrew said many of the trees look like this in Mexico City.
                                                              A view of Mexico City.
                                                        His companion in the Hospital.
                         I guess the Hermanas in his district got a hold of his camera and took a selfie.
                                                                     Mexico City
                                                           A cathedral in Mexico City.
                                           A minor car incident they had...drove into a hole.
                                                  The a view from the C.C.M. (M.T.C.)
                                 Selfie of Andrew and his companion after their first haircuts.
                                                                 The crazy rain.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

                                               Elder Finlinson with his cousin Elder Farley
                                                                     Mexico MTC
                                                                 Mexico MTC
                                         Elder Finlinson loves Batman. He took a picture of the
                                         barbed wire around the MTC because it looked like the
                                         Batman symbol. ;)

P-Day is apparently Thursday!!!

Hola Familia! I found out quick where the good water was, so I don't have the carbonated water anymore. The weather here actually has been stellar! it's like 70 degrees all day long and then will usually rain around 5 to 7 pm It's like clock work so I know when I need an umbrella. But when it decides to rain... It really rains!  Regular days I have to wake up at 6 10 in the morning to shower which sucked the first 5 days because we didn't have warm water. It was literally Ice water coming down. We have it fixed now though. we have breakfast, personal study, lots of language classes, then how to teach investigators also in spanish, then more personal study, lunch, language on the computer, come back for more class, then gym until dinner, then we have to teach an investigator at night. I've taught 4 lessons in spanish so far. The first two were pretty bad honestly, but the third I remembered that dad gave me el plan de salvación. I used that and we taught an almost perfect lesson! It kept the investigators attention the whole time and our spanish was pretty decent. I've learned a lot of spanish already except its mostly just gospel nouns. I still struggle with conjugation and past and future tense. I surprisingly haven't been homesick at all. I have seen some of my old sky view friends and thats been nice. Also I've gained a lot of friends in my district. I found out I will be district leader starting week 4. I've fallen in love with the book of mormon, which sounds weird, but its almost an addiction. Since sunday after church, I am around page 130. I don't have a lot of extra time, but with the time I have thats what I do. My roommates are way cool, I like them a lot. My companion reminds me a lot of jordan larsen though.... so thats fun and I'm pretty sure he is trying to go home. He doesn't want to study ever and he just talks about his girlfriend all the time. 
On tuesday I played tennis with austin and got to talk with him quite a bit. Its way nice having him here and Its a good thing I'm here for him to because he lost his scriptures yesterday and I found them sitting in my hallway. I went to see whose they were, and of course it was his haha! I guess he left them the day before when we took a picture. I'll try to find out how to send pictures in a bit. I like the food here since its mexican of course. Except sometimes you have to be creative. one night we had bean and spaghetti tacos... which weren't horrible. basically you just put everything in a taco shell. I love the devotionals and videos here. They are so great. Oh yeah sunday is personal study, priesthood, then a district lesson which me and my companion have to teach. then sacrament which you get called on to speak out of the audience so you have to always be ready to give a talk in spanish. 

to finish the mail system here is pretty crappy and I heard sometimes they steal things out of the boxes you send, so you would have to put a picture of jesus or write may god protect this in spanish. or you could send things through Dear Elder or a sight something like  
It's good to hear about Jordan, and austin told me grandma heath passed. She is in a better place though. Actually in the MTC is Santiago Ramirez, Casey Krafts, Mason Hill, Zach Balls, and a kid from the mountain crest basketball team. the coaches son.  Most of my district is going to mexico city north, but my companion and a few others aren't. 

Sorry this message is all over the place. I'll get better as I go on. I just don't have a lot of time. 

 Love ya'll

Elder Finlinson

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First email home

Well here I am! So far everything has gone smoothly. When I first walked into the airport Uncle Bill came up and greeted me. After talking with him for a while I recognized another person. Santiago Ramirez (Used to go to Sky View) was going on the same plane as me. So right off the bat I had a friend. When I got on the plane I expected to be by the other elder going to Mexico City North.. That was not the case. A man with tattoos and gauges sat by me. I talked to him and he was really nice! He was on his way home from visiting his family in Wyoming and was headed back to his home in Louisville, Kentucky. On top of that he had just gotten done with his first year of Southern Baptist Seminary. That just showed that you really can´t judge a book by its cover. I then proceeded to sleep for most of the flight. At Dallas I talked to a few of the other missionaries. I met two sisters going to Mexico City North. That makes four that I know of going to that mission. The Dallas plane was just kind of long honestly. I talked to one elder that I was sitting by for a little bit, but other than that I just sat there or slept. Flying over Mexico City was a way cool experience. All of the pictures that you see of it being jam packed don´t give it justice. There is a ton of color all around and there are buildings as far as you can see. They even have those stacked houses along the mountain side like the pictures I´ve seen of places like Rio. We rode a bus over to the Mexico MTC and you´ll never guess who the first Elder I saw here was... Elder Austin Farley!! I got all my stuff and went to the doctors room who told me I had to get a tetanus shot. So that was fun. After that joyful experience, I went to dinner with Elder Peterson (not my companion, I haven´t seen him yet, but his name is Elder Orchard) At dinner I was craving water. I got a big glass of the stuff and sat down to drink it. To my surprise it was not regular water, it was carbonated! I´m not a fan of the stuff, so I stuck with pineapple juice. The meal was super good though other than that. After dinner I got my first sample of the rain. It pours for sure. Overall its been a long day, but its been fun. I am looking forward to getting into the swing of things down here. I am pumped to learn the language and to share the gospel. I know this is what I need to be doing, and that Heavenly Father will help me along the way. I'll be praying for you.
Love, Elder Finlinson