Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week 4 update from Mexico City:

Following are portions of Travis' latest update.  Most of the pictures we received were of FOOD.  Perhaps later we will do a collage of all the items he has partaken of and or missed...  He only has one more "P" day in Mexico City.  He arrives in Portland on Sept 11.  So, without further Adieu, here's Elder Jorgensen:

Alright so sadly I have no updates on Vino challenges to give... there are some disputes amongst the district as to the validity of my record because I puked to achieve it... which I understand although I don't necessarily agree with it... it's been a pretty calm week thusfar.
Alright actually there is one slightly funny thing that happened... do you guys remember the ping pong net that we had for just under a day?? Well, the cleaning crew comes on Thursdays, and the same guy cleans our house erry week... So freaking last Thursday we are walking up to the casa, and his cleaning cart is outside, AND JUST SITTING THERE is our ping pong net!!!! We all looked at each other and had a brief counsel amongst ourselves, and the verdict was unanimous that if the cleaning guy was going to be stupid enough to just leave our net on the cart, it would be sinful not to take advantage of the opportunity presented us. So, after making sure the cleaning guy wasn't around, I unzipped my backpack and threw the net inside, and later that day we acquired a ping pong ball...:)
I FINALLY got you guys' letters that you sent like at the beginning of August last Thursday... I think it got lost or something because there was markings all over the envelope, a stamp that said air mail on it, and whiteout had been used on my address... I mailed my letters back on Friday... . And that's all the mail I've gotten... it's gonna be so nice to be Stateside again. The other night we all started talking about American things we missed... food was up there pretty high..
Wes...  Keep taking spanish and that way when I get home we can talk in espaƱol!!! Siiii!!!! Alright so they have futsol courts here, pretty much like indoor except concrete and caged, same size, and I am in the process of converting my district to the greatest sport on earth. Yesterday we played and we were playing a group of natives, Latinos who have grown up balling on the streets, and we slaughtered them like 5 to 1... I was the goalie:) It ended up being like the US versus Mexico... because some of the guys in my district were outside the fence chanting ''U.S.A!!! U.S.A!!!''... it was pretty great.
 I am doing well, Elder Laing and I have been getting along pretty great, we are learning how to teach with more unity as a companionship. After I emailed you guys last week and after the Temple, I got kinda home sick for the first time. I think it's because school is starting and usually the start of school for me has meant the start of a sport, and I'm missing running a lot. This week has been kinda tough because of that. However, I know that pouting about it isn't gonna help anything, so I just pray every day to be able to focus on the Work. We watched a really cool live recorded devo by Elder Holland on Sunday about how our missions are supposed to convert us as well. We can't come back the same person we left, that's not the point of serving a mission. I really liked that because it made me think about why I'm out here and the goals I have for myself during this time.
 Have I told you guys that I have officially lived through 4 Earthquakes?? Supposedly whenever one happens there are alarms that go off and we all congregate to painted circles in the middle of the streets... Not bunkers or like hiding under desks or something, PAINTED CIRCLES IN THE FREAKING MIDDLE OF THE STREET! I wonder who's brilliant idea that was and if there are any good reasons (such as they are DEAD) that they can't explain to me the wisdom in grouping like 50-70 people out in the open during an earthquake... Have I said I am excited to get back to the States yet? Even though the alarms go off, I have yet to feel anything. Supposedly the one last week was like a 6.1 on the richtor scale and buildings in the city right outside the fence were swaying but we didn't feel a thing.
Alright mi familia I've gotta peace out... are there any things you still want me to take pictures of or questions you want answered while I am still here? Next week will be my last P Day here so I´ll take the pictures and if you have anymore Mexico specific questions I can answer those too..
Elder Jorgensen

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Here is the latest in week 3! We think he looks good, but we are biased.  Just a bit of background as we did not update week 2:  For those that DON"T know, Travis can be, well, slightly competitive.  In week two he engaged in a "friendly" grape juice drinking competition.  the crowning event is listed below.

First off, as per usual, allos me to start off with a story about a grape juice drinking contest.
Grape juice is only here on Tuesdays, so that in an of itself makes Tuesday at lunch the time when competition happens. After having watched my record destroyed, I took a week to nurse my injured pride and plan my victory. So Tuesday approached... and lunch came... and I undertook the daunting task that is drinking 17 cups of grape juice. After drinking 10, I was in a world of hurt, but when have I ever been one to back down from a challenge? So, after a break of a few minutes, I set my sights on cup number 11, and chugged it with much speed. Coincidentally, right after I had finished that glass, my stomach decided it had had enough. I have puked enough times to know when it's time, and boy oh boy I didn't feel so good. We eat right next to the door, so I went out the door, walked down the stairs, and waited about 10 seconds before spewing forth pure purple from my mouth. The other guys in the district were dying of laughter. So I went back in with my tail between my legs, because the rule was established that should one puke while attempting to break a record, they voided all of their downed cups. And then someone asked me if I was going to drink more, and I asked if it would count, and Elder Mecham, the record holder, informed me that it would. With renewed enthusiasm I drank 5 more cups... by the end of the 5th I wasn't feeling so well. But there's MORE. The 5th, or 17th, cup, I drank outside, slowly so as not to puke, because by the time I got that far once again I was not feeling well. So as I downed the last contents of that cup, I triumphantly raised it up in the air because I had conquered the grape juice challenge, and reportedly I was staggering a little bit. And when I turned around, who was right there staring at me but the MTC President, President Pratt. He asked me if I was pretending to be the Statue of Liberty, and my exact response was, ''Nope, I just beat the vino challenge.'' He looked at me kinda strangely, gave me a thumbs up, and walked away. Now, why is my exact response important to the theme of the story?? The real way to say grape juice in Spanish is ''jugo de uva''... juice of grape. But vino is just SO much faster, no? The only problem with that is that Vino translates to.... wine:D Which we knew, but like I said... jugo de uva takes too much work to say. So swaying like a drunken fool, I told President Pratt that I had just beat the wine challenge... However I was still allowed to go to the Temple today and I haven't been called into his office yet so I think I will survive..:D
I don't just spend my time drinking grape juice, lots of Spiritual things happen too. The other day we were practice teaching people from another District and the guy who taught me shared with me 2 Neph 4:30 and it just talks about how God is the Rock of our Salvation...  which I've heard before it is just nice to be able to take this time and develop my relationship with Him. And 1 Neph 17:50-51 which says if it was God's will Nephi could have turned the oceans into dry ground, so building a ship wasn't gonna be a problem. I took that and applied it to myself and said God can help me learn to teach people in Spanish, easy. Like I said I went to the Temple today, I´ll send some pics, and though it was in Spanish I could understand most of it and I took my Patriarchial blessing and read it in the Celestial room... that was powerful.

 He is adjusting to the food and the surroundings.  One of the elders in his district does not think running is a sport, but Travis is willing to overlook and move on.

So, till next week...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week #1

Hey family!
So Wednesdays are my P days... just fyi.
So first thing is first I have officially had my first transfer!!! Last thursday Elders Dudley Herring and I were preparing to teach our lesson in spanish when someone approached me and told me that at 230 later that day I would be getting transferred with Elder Laing... no relation. So I packed up and after some time found my new class, district and comp. He is from Tennessee and he is headed to Portland with me! He is almost 20 and we get along really well. HIs sense of humor kind of reminds me of Randy´s. And my new district is awesome too, we are all like brothers. In total there are 6 of us and we basically do everything together and spend all day laughing at each other... it´s pretty great.
There are 12 people total en mi casa. In my room is me, Elder Laing, Elder Mecham, and Elder Farley who is the District leader, then the other two guys from our district share a room with some guys from the other district and the third room is all the other district. Speaking of mi casa, I am pretty sure I am in the wrong spanish class... I am in a beginners level class and I can far outspeak anyone in my district. I don´t really mind... I just want to start learning some new stuff!!! I can pray and bear my testimony now, which I did bear my testimony in church on Sunday (fast sunday... kinda sucked...), and I have taught three lessions in Spanish AND sometime before I leave am gonna get to give a talk en espanol in church... what fun.
My daily schedule is more or less as follows... wake up at 630 (I´m doing better than I thought I would) get ready, and then go eat breakfast at 7. After 7 we have an hour of personal study time before we go to class, where we spend about an hour and a half learning spanish and an hour and a half learing gospel teaching principles in English, then half an hour more of study time, then lunch, then more study time, then Gym time (FAVORITE time of the day) for an hour, then learning spanish on the computer for an hour, then a daily Planning session for half an hour, then dinner, then various activities such as devotionals or teaching an investigator or whatnot... yeah.
I´m not going to lie, last Wednesday was the longest day of my life and last week was the longest week of my life, I feel like I´ve been gone forever, which isn´t necessarily a bad thing. We just do so much erry day and it´s so different from how I was living a week and a half ago...
The food... well it definitely isn´t American... and I sometimes have to fill up on Salad and fruit... but... it´s edible. Last night we had COSTCO PIZZA, HOLLA!!!!!!
The shower is interesting... my first morning here the water was a little black for a little bit but it got better... and I´m always afraid I´ll never have any warm water because it takes FOREVER to warm up!!!! But so far, so good....
Lets see... what else... oh I freaking LOVE spanish himnos!!! Love them!!!!! It is so different from singing in sacrament at home because even though here we might not know what we are saying the whole time... we feel the power behind the words and we sing to the high mountain tops!!! Every night nuestro casa sings a himno... it´s great.
I am definitely not in Kuna anymore... Mexico city NEVER EVER EVER EVER sleeps. EVER. There are always sirens going and Cinderella has some obnoxious relatives down here, but a lot more of them, and there´s whistles and drag racing and a few nights ago I heard some gunshots... pretty legit. I am having some trouble sleeping though... so maybe if you guys could pray for that that would be awesome?!
The spirit is so strong here. So strong. I feel it in everything I do.
Talk about crazy weather... it goes from decently warm here to dumping rain within about 2 seconds. Last night right as we were getting ready to go to our devo, it started DUMPING, i mean the heavens opened and POURED out their love, and hailing, and in the 30 seconds it took me to get to the devo building (by sprinting through flooded streeds and sliding errywhere in the water, might I add) I got SOAKED!  But, it all worked out.
So the old mtc shared a lot with the temple... We don´t... kinda disappointing... bbbbuuutttt I get to go next week so hey...
Thanks for the update on stuff... I already knew about Kylee, but it was good to hear again.
Alright guys I think that´s about it, I love ya and I´m keepin ya in my prayers, keep me in yours!!
Elder Jorgensen
P.S. Padre when you type like Jonah and I do you sound like a wannabe gangsta... don´t know if that´s what you were going for bbbuuuttt...:)
P.P.S. Wes my comp says the funnest thing he has ever done is go to a Weird Al concert.
P.P.P.S As much of this as you guys wanna post on my FB or whatever you decided to do, go for it.
Hey I have one more story for you guys!!
So my favorite part of the food here is probably the good drink selection, there are really good grape and strawberry juices, and I usually drink about 2 glasses per meal of whatever one there is!! So Elder Banks, the one from Wyoming who killed the cockroach, and I have a friendly rivalry. So yesterday he and I were both filling up on grape juice and he grabbed one glasse and I grabbed two and I looked at him and said ´´I´m gonna drink one more than you today Elder.´´ So then he grabbed two and was like not today, Elder. Now he and I probably eat the most in our district, so keep in mind we were already pretty full.And thus it began. I would down some and get a couple more, and so would he. I ended up beating him 7 glasses to 6... that seventh glass was one of the most painful mistakes of my life. For 20 or 30 minutes I swore I was gonna lose it. I´m talking spray chunks everywhere!!!! My stomach hurt so bad!!! But I set the record and must defend my title!!! aight for reals now I´m going. love ya!