Today’s email is a bit choppy because apparently Elder Hagen’s dad (Gary) and I were both emailing back and forth with him. It isn’t exactly texting or instant messaging or a phone call, but I’ll take it. He sounds wonderful and knowing him he is working hard and loving his time there.The beginning of his email is a response to me. Being a “mom” I asked him if he had eaten a fruit or vegetable since he’d gotten there. All I can say is here at home I had to force him to take the broccoli or salad at meal times, so I pretty much assumed he’d never do it without me nagging… so it begins with his response to me…..
“I am definitely eating my fruits and vegetables down here, almost about two salads a day. Went to the temple again today it was a good experience as always, and in spanish. They are also setting up for the holidays they turned a street light into a christmas tree.”
Street light Christmas Tree.
That is a picture of us taking a picture in front of a fire-hydrant mirror thingy.
And there is a picture of all of us on the bus to the temple
“Oh and I forgot to mention that elder Leavitt and I got up extra early today, went to the other side of campus, and did our laundry so that it could be done before the temple trip at 8, so we were doing laundry by 5:45.”
” The weather here is the same as California, we had crazy thunder and lightning storms yesterday. The whole sky was lit up and you heard the sound that was of booming cannons, which also reminds me, whenever people are celebrating here they launch fireworks, not anything flashy but the kind that just release a huge cloud of smoke and sound like mortar fire, that was what we woke up to today.”
When I asked if he got Spencer’s letter (sent at the same time as his other 2 brothers, which he did receive) and he asked if Dad (Gary) got the letter he wrote in Spanish and the answer to both was “no” he responded….
“hmmmm…. well that’s not cool, i did however get packages from both you and the tolens, Thankyou so much!! oh and i got the first package of Doughnuts from the tolens too if they were wondering. everything came on thurday of last week if that gives a timing distance. Picture time…”
This is the Gymnasium in the Gordon B, Hinkley building.
my view of the CCM when i walk out of the door of my Casa in the morning
We bought bananas from a street vendor!
a view of the city from the bus, those are homes and streets and shops all the way up on the hillside, the CCM is in the valley i would guess center left of the picture.
There was a parade today as well, so half the streets were closed, so traffic was all in one lane going both ways, i mean both directions of traffic were in one lane
I then asked him a couple more questions…. When exactly did packages arrive so that we can figure out how long they took (in case your wondering Izzy Tolen, Heather Tolen and Gary all sent Grant goodies from mydearmissionary.com, a company based in Mexico City, so all the goodies arrive fresh and fast) and I asked if all the missionaries in his district are going to Fort Worth at the same time… and he said….
“Well, the cookies came before wednesday, i cant remember which, the package i got from you guys was dad’s cinnamon rolls, which i still need to eat, kinda storing food…. The two hermanas in our district are going to Flordia and New York City, whereas two elders in our district are going to El Salvador, Elder Smith and Elder Dow. Elder Ray, Elder Leavitt, Elder Hornberger and I are all going to fortworth texas, i think they put everyone going to the same mission in the same district. But we have met others going to NY and FL and El Salvador so im not sure. The Hermanas leave a day before us, the El Salvadoreans dont know when they leave, and we all leave december 10th.”
Elder Dow: El Salvador Mission
Elder Hornberger: Fort Worth Texas Mission
Elder Rey: Fort Worth Texas Mission
“I have gotten 3 packages, 1st was doughnuts from izzy a while ago, then i got cookies from aunt heather and cinnamon rolls from dad yesterday, that is what i mixed up, the days that i got stuff”
“I have 5 mins left…
I want to say that I love you, and everyone else back home so much,
Thats not a complete email, accidently hit send, I want you to all know that I love serving the lord, This opportunity for me to grow is a blessing in my life, I know my testimony has greatly increased. I miss all of you and love you, but at the same time, i love the people here, especially the natives, they are friendly, kind, and mostly janitors and gardeners that my companion and i stop and talk to frequently. the letters that I sent today, i sent one to dad, and one with answers to both tayler and Jacob.. should have written to spencer too, wish i had known he wrote.
Spencer, I love you buddy, im sorry i didnt write, but you are awesome and wow you have probabily grown so much since i left. take care to all of you Love, Elder Hagen”
CCM compañeros: Elder Hagen and Elder Leavitt