A Week of Firsts: Transfer 1, Week 5‏

Spanish Zone Meeting
Spanish Zone Meeting
The new apartment, yo.
The new apartment, yo.

Hello all. This week was definitely a week of firsts for me. I’ll
share some firsts that I had.

First of the firsts: I had my first Spanish zone meeting. It was super
dope. All the Spanish missionaries in our zone are really cool and I
had a good time learning the gospel with them. I’ll talk about this
more later and attach pictures (don’t judge though. It was ugly tie
day and I also decided to wear my glasses for some reason.)

Second first (are y’all confused because if so, mission accomplished):
La semana pasada, comí mi primer taco de lengua. Translation: this
week, I had my first tongue taco. There is a taco truck in town that
has $.99 taco Wednesday’s (who can pass up that deal?!) and I got a
cow tongue taco. Apparently, lengua, or tongue, is a commonly used
meat in tacos, and it’s not that bad. I have a video of me eating it.
I’ll add it if I can.

Another first: we had our first actual real lesson this week. We
taught a lady named Natalia the restoration. Natalia lives in the
neighborhood where we play fútbol with the niños every week. We also
got our first referral this week, but we haven’t been able to contact
them because apparently they are never home. We’ll keep trying.

First: I hit my first month mark. On Thursday, I have been serving in
the Oregon Portland Mission for a month (#OPM, yo).

First: this week, I got my first missionary apartment that is actually
mine. And we are the first missionaries to live in it. It’s super
nice. We moved to Clackamas, which is a nice part of town and the
apartment complex were in is really nice. Also, were the first elders
to live here, so we have brand new EVERYTHING. All the other elders
are jealous because everything is brand new. It was well worth the
wait.

Last first: yesterday I blessed the sacrament for the first time in
Spanish. I was super anxious because I didn’t want to mess the
pronunciation of the words up and have to start over so I was super
careful. Halfway through, Elder Cepeda (who was blessing with me)
started choking on his bread. I freaked out because I thought he was
trying to tell me to start over because I messed up. Turns out I did
it right and he ended up being okay so it was successful.

This week had a lot of firsts for me and it was a really good week. It
started off with the Spanish zone meeting. I was super worried about
the meeting because it was all in Spanish and I was afraid that I
wasn’t going to be able to understand anything and I was also worried
because I and another greenie, Elder Cornwall, had to give a
presentation. It turns out that I understood basically everything and
was able to speak so everybody understood me. Some of the other
missionaries told me my Spanish was actually really good and that was
super cool to hear. My head couldn’t fit though the door of our new
apartment.

After the Spanish zone meeting, we went down to Lake Oswego (where the
temple is) because President wanted to talk to my companion. While we
were there, we stopped at Deseret Book and I bought a set of
scriptures in Spanish (they are paying me for mentioning them in this
email). It was kinda lame though because everybody that went to the
Mexico MTC got a set of shiny new Spanish scriptures for free and I
had to buy mine. It was also kind of nice I didn’t have to go for 6
weeks, so it was a fair trade.

Wednesday we taught our first lesson. We taught the Restoration to a
lady named Natalia who runs an ice cream truck and lives in the
neighborhood where we play soccer with the kids each week. It was a
super good lesson, and we’re super optimistic about her progress in
the gospel. After, we played soccer with the kids again. We whooped
their butts. As a gringo that has never played soccer before, I’m
taking that as a win, I don’t care how old the kids are.

Thursday we did some service at a farmers market and I bought some
fresh fruits and veggies which was super awesome. Also, one of the ladies
there is Hispanic and we helped her out a lot because we could speak
with her and she makes tamales and they were SO good. I have been
trying to train myself to eat more spicy food and the tamale was way
spicy. My stomach hasn’t been very supportive of my decision. A couple
weeks ago, the other Spanish elders made me eat a habanero and it
literally caused me physical pain. I was crying. I have a video. I’ll
try to send it out. But I have a long way to go in terms of the spicy
foods.

Saturday we helped a family move two doors down. I and the bishops
from one of the wards here basically moved an entire piano by
ourselves. I was actually really impressed. All those push-ups have
been working. Afterwards, all the missionaries hung out with their
family, played foosball and they took us out to lunch. Later that
night, the Sopers, a family in our branch, had us over for dinner.
They made us bacon wrapped shrimp and homemade lasagna. And when I say
bacon wrapped shrimp, o don’t mean like teeny weenie shrimps. They
were called tiger prawn and they were huge, and wrapped in bacon. And
they used three pounds of mozzarella cheese and three pounds of
Italian sausage in their lasagna. It was amazing. Way better than the
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I make when we don’t have dinner
appointment. The members treat the missionaries so well, bless their
hearts.

This week was filled with fantastic food and missionary work and it
was awesome. I’m super excited about General Conference next week. I
hope y’all have a good week!

Back row, left to right: Hermana Birkenshaw, Hermana Gutierrez, Hermana Anderson, Hermana Mercado, Elder Coronel, the ugly one with the orange tie is me, Elder Young, Elder Cornwall, Elder Mugleston.
Front row, left to right: Elder Dunn, Elder Cepeda.
The new apartment, yo.

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