Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Weeks in the MTC

The weather in Mexico sounds pretty amazing right now for us Arizonians! We could use a little break from the heat. Dallin has said several times that when it rains, it pours...literally. He said its like a hurricane; tons of lightning, torrential downpours and very windy. They had a volleyball game out in this weather and poor Dallin was freezing :) He also said they have lots of earthquakes in Mexico!! A little nerve-wracking to hear but it sounds like they aren't major earthquakes. Each time they have an earthquake, they all have to go to "earthquake circles." The sounds of sirens are becoming very familiar to Elder Hazelgren.
The Spanish is getting easier and easier. One night, his companion, Elder Shipman, heard him talking in his sleep and apparently Elder Hazelgren was giving a lesson in Spanish!! One day this past week, he even got scored on his Spanish speaking skills...9 out of 10!
Dallin was pretty stoked he got to play some soccer this week. He LOVES soccer. When he got his mission call, that was one of the first things he said about going to El Salvador.."I get to play futbol with natives!" (Futbol is soccer is Spanish) He said they played on concrete, which is definitely different from grass. Let's hope no one gets seriously injured :/ The concrete they play on is called "the cage" and this is where the all-stars come to play soccer.
Another little eye-opener for Elder Hazelgren besides sirens 24/7 is how these Latinos party! They are a culture that loves dancing and music and when they have a party of some sort, it goes on and on and on till the wee hours of the morning. One night, they didn't get a lot of sleep from loud music all night long. 
Nothing says welcome to Central America like a cockroach in your food!! One Elder this week found one in his beans. Now none of the missionaries eat the beans.
A humbling experience was when Dallin noticed one Elder not eating his food and Dallin was just saying "you need to eat!" when this Elder told him his mom had just been diagnosed with cancer so he was fasting for her. Dallin felt terrible but said he is going to fast with this Elder.
Elder Hazelgren has one week left in the MTC. He leaves next Tuesday for El Salvador! We are so excited for him!
Enjoy some pictures from this past week...A lot of missionaries left this week for their area of service, so he sent home lots of pics with other Elders. (Dallin is quite the poser!!)

                                               Elder Gee
                                               Elders Hatchett & Hazelgren
                                               Elder Hall
                                                       Elder Ashby

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What's English

Dallin is learning the language much better and has said they try to speak Spanish as much as possible. Speaking the language is easier when he speaks about the gospel, but regular conversation needs some improvement still :) We are proud that he is a leader and really pushes everyone to speak only Spanish. He said he told everyone to carry their Spanish dictionaries around to help them. Dallin is learning that obedience can bring about the miracles they need, especially with learning a new language. Quote from Elder Hazelgren: "Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles." What a great quote to remember and try to live by! He also said he has put post it notes throughout their house with motivational sayings on them. He loves getting people pumped up and excited about things! Especially when it comes to serving the Lord.
Dallin got a small eye infection this week. I'm sure this is the first of several infections he'll probably get over the next two years :( He had his eye checked at the clinic & was told to put warm water on his eye and his eye is fine now.
Unfortunately he only sent one picture home this week, he said he was having computer troubles. Its a picture of his scriptures in Spanish and if you look closely you can see words he's highlighted and have an English word above them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I think I might be a native Latino..

Dallin was able to go to the Mexico Temple this week. From the pictures, it looks like a pretty awesome temple.


He said they got 290 new elders at the MTC and now the food is scarce! There is a link on www.lds.org that shows a little bit about the Mexico MTC - http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/video-first-missionaries-complete-training-new-mexico-training-center?cid=HP080213064 . Dallin is really loving being in Mexico and said he is feeling the Spirit more and more each day.
He said they get tons of rain and hail and that it really isn't that humid there.

Dallin said his companion and he made a goal to speak only Spanish whenever they are in buildings which he said is about 8 hours a day!
He was able to go on exchanges this week and teach their "fake" investigator.
Dallin met up with some friends from Basha & rec soccer.
                                                Elder Hatchet from Basha

                                               Elder Ashby (middle) from rec soccer

It's always great to hear from Elder Hazelgren and how he is loving being a missionary and learning more about the gospel.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Two weeks down

Elder Hazelgren is starting to feel like a veteran now that there are new missionaries who have arrived at the MTC! They do "fake" missionary lessons where they teach someone who is a member of the church but pretend they are not. He said those lessons are going well and he and his companion (Elder Shipman) have been able to teach by the spirit alone, no notes.
He is learning the language much better now and that is coming out more in the emails :) To all the elders it sounds like the Hispanic people are speaking a totally different language because they speak so fast! All the missionaries got to bear their testimonies and do it only in Spanish! Elder Hazelgren said he did fine especially since all the missionaries still don't understand it very well yet!
Dallin is very grateful when he gets to eat ice cream or other treats. They truly are a special "treat" down there considering the main dishes aren't so good.
Spiritual thought for the week..."I studied a lot about the Atonement today, I thought I knew the story, but I had no idea. If you think you know the story, look up every scripture about the atonement, then come talk to me. Its crazy to think how Christ would want to suffer for people that did such terrible things to him. I grew to love the Savior a lot more today."

Enjoy some pictures from week 2....

                                                Laundry Time...

                                               Just outside the walls of the MTC

                                                Class time