California Arcadia Mission

A Missionary Blog for Elder Andrew Page
Serving The Lord in the California Arcadia Mission
August 2013 - August 2015

California Time

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Woah, We're Half Way There

¡Hola Todas Personas!

This week has truly been a blur. The days run together and I love it. It makes me feel like Im working hard. Its hard to believe that im really half way there (outta the CCM). I love every second of it. Even the tough times.

This week was one of my more challenging weeks. Just so you know, in case i didnt tell you, i have two teachers. Hermana Olsen in the morning time and Hermano Whittaker in the afternoon. FYI Hermano Whittaker was the first ínvestigator we taught at the beginning of our mtc experience. Anyways it was funny to see our investigator teach us how to use the gospel and to teach us about spanish grammar rules. Entonces, long story short, my teachers are awesome. I was kinda mad at myself one day because we had to have a Spiritual Thought with some other class just to change it up a bit, companionship with companionship. Also this week ive felt like ive hit a plateau in my language learning. I didnt feel as if i was progressing in the language. Anyways It was a good experience but the elders we were talking to knew A LOT more spanish than me and my comp and theyve only been here for like a week less than us. I did have to keep in mind that they are in the intermediate class so i shouldnt compare myself to them. I shouldnt say compare but measure up to them, ya know what i mean? After the lesson we had with them i just was frustrated that my spanish is not very good. I want to be fluent right now but it doesnt work that way. I had to remember the wise words that people keep telling me in Dear Elders. The language will come little by little. I shouldnt expect so much from myself at once. The reason i was feelin a bit stressed is because I have to remember a lot of things. How to prepare a 5 min lesson, different aspects of the gospel that we delve into in devos and what not and what- oh yeah spanish. Sorry if this is overwhelming for you to read but heres the good part. My teachers are awesome. They basically said forget spanish. Its the gospel that teaches you. If you learn the language of the gospel, spanish will come to you eventually. Especially hermano whittaker. He took on some questions that the class had and answered them with the scriptures. He said lets read moroni 7 and see if we cant answer our questions. It was awesome because he didnt plan on doing that for his lesson. He just picked out a random chapter and said if you keep your question in mind, youll receive respuestas. It was awesome because we all had different questions in mind and all received answers.

I LOVE my teachers. More importantly, I LOVE the scriptures. That really strengthened my testimony of The Book of Mormon. I have been reading them everyday and recording my thoughts in my notebook. It really is a blessing to see what a significant change can occur if you simply read. In The Book of Mormon, we can learn the answers to any answer we have. REALLY. Even if it is a seemingly petty question, it can be answered. I love learning about what happened to the Nephites once they thought they had it all figured out. They get chastised. I think that our lives are like that too. We think that we have all the answers and that nothing can stop us. But then we get to prideful and maybe start doubting why its necessary to go to church or to read The Book of Mormon. Dios does this to test our faith. Not the doubting part, but this cycle of pride. What good is faith if we only rely on ourselves? We need faith in Jesucristo in order to remember that we dont know everything but through Him we can. I hope that this made sense, and if i get some things wrong, go ahead and correct me Bishop :)

I just need to remember what [the apostle] Elder Jeffrey R. holland said: dont focus on the faith we dont have, focus on the faith we do have and expand from there, the best way forward is not to look backwards.

I love you guys and to answer some questions I´ll say this. Thanks for the offers for a set of Spanish scriptures, but i already have a set. I guess i forgot to mention that I received spanish scriptures, Preach My Gospel spanish, and other stuff on the first day of being here. And just to be clear about the food, I DO like it. I just thought it was interesting that its not stereotypical spanish food. Its really good but you have to be weary of the chicken on bone. And yes its messed my digestive system up a few times hehe :) And im not sick anymore, i finally caught my nose. And today i went to the temple AGAIN. It was awesome. It always is. The Temple is a house of God and im glad i got to go.

BTW i wanted to tell you real quick that traffic here is ridiculous. Everyone goes really fast and they all run stop lights. Also the roads are not very good condition. They randomly have speedbumps so that people wont go too too fast. Its kinda funny. They call the speed bumps dead policemen. And they way you merge is by honking your horn and moving over really quickly. We almost got in several accidents today, but we didnt :) we are all safe.

I love you all! Thanks for the letters that everybody sends! I will try to respond rapidly. BTW im not going to send anything by snail mail. Sorry to disappoint. It takes a while to get to you guys and i dont feel safe doing it. ALright!?!?

Elder Pagína

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise!

Hey its me again!

Just so ya know I have received all of your Dear Elders so thank you for sending them! I would kindly ask that you would send them only by mail please, not to my email. It takes exactly 10 days to get here just so ya know. I just recieved your letters yesterday. Its a little tough to keep track of things that i have or haven't read with them in my email too but its all good :)

This week I will try to write to everybody. Sorry for leavin people out. Its just the way the Choki (cookie) crumbles.

Also i thought i might mention why i didnt really have a lot of time last week. Cause I went to the TEMPLE! It was sooooo beautiful inside. It was a really special experience. I knew exactly what was happening and I am glad that i went so many times before my mission. Thank you guys for being awesome! I loved every second of it.

I really am grateful to you guys. I dont know where i would be with out you people and the church. Its such a blessing to be in this Evangelio and sentir the things i feel. I cant thank my Heavenly Father enough for the blessings I receive.

Also i wanted to mention that I got sick last Wednesday with a horrible stuffy nose and sore throat. I didnt rest at all though. I knew that if I kept on working I would get through it. Boy was I wrong. My throat doesnt hurt any more but nose continually runs and Im not quick enough to catch it :)

I guess Ill give you a quick run down on the food here since Ash asked. It usually is pancakes or waffles daily for breakfast or you can have some kind of meat with some fruit sauce covering it. Its not bad, but i can tell you im kinda tired of pancakes and waffles. Probably because they are made from the same batter. Cereal is always an option for every meal. It runs out quick though so you gotta be fast. Las Hermanas and Older Couples always go first for food, which I actually think is nice but you´ve got plenty of others who complain. Chivalry is not dead :)

Anyways the lunch consists of some kind of chicken or beef with really spicy sauce on it. Beans, rice, and corn tortillas are always available during lunch. Its really nice to make your own taco slash burrito. But youve gotta be careful about the chicken on the bone. One day we were eating it without question and we realized all our pieces had feathers on it! It was truly disgusting. Lets just say that cereal was out that afternoon hahaha. But other than that there hasnt been too many disgusting things. Some things youve gotta grin and bear. Bear or bare? And dinner is very similar to lunch minus the beans and tortillas. Its not stereotypical Mexican food here. If you think Mexican food you think of some sort of enchilladas or burritos, with cheese covering the whole plate. Nope it really is just some sort of meat with fruit sauce on it. Like peach covered pork or something. And every tuesday is pizza night which is nice except the dough is a little doughy. Eh, cant complain. I like it (:

It really is a blessing to be with such amazing people surrounding me. I look up to every single person in my class. Everyone has their strong suit. Haha mission jokes. Anyways its cool to see how people grow in el Evangelio. I can feel each individual´s sweet spirit. Also since Ashleigh asked again I thought i would mention that I live with my classroom at my house (minus las hermanas obviously). My housemates are the same as my classmates. We sleep one room away from each other. 4 elders in my room and 3 elders in their room. 2 showers between both rooms. 1 objective for us all. (<<< See what I did there!!!)

I knew that it was inevitable, but the class got into a little spat. I wont go into great detail but i thought it was worth mentioning. But after we got over ourselves it was way cool to see us become even closer, if its even possible. We apologized and then moved on. We also talked about ways to avoid these things. I love my class and Im glad we are so close.

Thanks for supporting me while im here! I love you guys. And mom you said to ask for anything. I want a NEW WATCH. Im not fond of it. It ticks too loudly and I cant tell time very fast. I know thats horrible but i would like that really cool watch Brennan Burgoyne had. It was awesome and it told time effectively. And i want a Five Guys cheeseburger so bad. Amen.


Elder Pagina

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Elder Pagina & The CCM

¡Hola Mi Familia!

Yeah sorry for having pday on thursday and not being able to write. Your first week here you dont get a pday. Well today is the day! I have pdays on thursdays in case you didnt catch that :)

I have got to say Mexico is AMAZING! Everyone is so nice where ever you go. Everyone in the CCM (Spanish MTC, it means Central Commission for MIssionaries, in spanish of course) is super nice and willing to help at the drop of a hat. Its so nice to be around wholesome strangers 24/7. Everyone has the same goal. Su Objetivo. Which is the Missionary Objective. I have it memorized in Spanish! Yay me! I could recite it right now but then how would you know Im not looking at it haha :) I also have the first vision memorized in spanish.

I guess Ill tell you a bit about what goes on around here. Wake up at 630 every morning, shave, brush your tooth. From 7 to 8 personal study. Breakfast at 8. Then we have language study for most of the day until 1140 which is gym time. Then lunch, then prepare to teach our first "investigator" his name is Pedro. He is actually a member but he acts like an investagador for our practice. Its hard to understand what he is asking or what he needs to hear but me and mi compañero made it through our lessons with the spirit present. We had a total of 5 lessons with him. It was muy dificil but we got him to commit to baptizm! We are pretty awesome.

Oh I totally forgot to mention my companion! His name is Elder Logan Nielsen. He is from Seattle. He is soooo funny! He is a huge guy like muscle-wise. Hes not that tall, so hes pretty stocky. He can bench some ridiculous amount and he eats like 4 times the amount of food of a regular person. No literaly. We had pizza a few nights ago and he ate 9 pieces. And they were huge slices! We say he eats like a beast because he does. He is really spiritual too. We both talk about the same amount during our discussions with our investigador (its all in spanish just fyi) and he comes up with some really good sentences. We both love Batman and we both love Harry Potter. Hes a pretty happy go lucky guy.
Elder Page's companion: Elder Nielsen

All my housemates are awesome. Debo escribo a circa de them for a while pero i wont. I will just give a quick run down cause their awesome. In my room there are 4 beds, 1 for me, 1 for elder nielsen, 1 for elder elm, and 1 for elder haws. Elder Elm is from Utah and he is a pretty cool guy. He loves to read and he has listened to the audio books for Harry Potter for like 3 years straight. He loves Harry Potter soooo much. His mom gave him a list of HP quotes that can relate to the gospel too. He is also a big sports fan. And elder haws is a cool guy too. He loves to run and has some ridiculous times for cross country running. He is from Nebraska. He is probably the smartest guy in our district.

There are a total of 2 pairs of sisters, Hermanas Rawls and Carter and Lau and Stott in my class. There are 3 sets of elders in my class, Elders Haws and Elm, Elders Goff and Tesina and Perry (a 3 some) and then me and elder Nielsen. We all mesh well together. We do everything together and thats okay by me cause they are all awesome people. Ill tell you more about them in my next letter if you want me to.

Anyways ill tell you some funny things that happened. On the first day here we taught an investigator as a class as part of orientation. We were wondering what were some ways to approach the investagador (investagador is the spanish spelling). Anyways the teacher asked "do you think that he could ever be a member?" and then hermana rawls hand shot up and said "oh yeah, mormon girls all over him!" It was so funny because she basically said he was cute and it caught me off guard. It was like the first really funny thing i heard since being at the mtc. Hahaha. I told my class about it and they thought it was hilarious too so now its our inside joke. It was funny.

Everyone here calls me Elder Pagina (pa-hee-na) because that means Page in spanish. Sometimes they even call me just Pagina. I like my new nickname :) even my language teacher sister olsen calls me pagina. Its funny.
Elder Page and his teacher Sister Olsen

I love it here. It really is a pleasure living in my own house and we get to go outside every where we go. At night we can see the stars and we can see the mountain right next to us light up. It really is bonita.

Sorry if i dont get to everyones emails. I will try to be faster next time. Next time ill be deadly serious next time. Whats that from? My brain!

Love, Elder Pagina

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Flight to the Missionary Training Center

¡Hola Everybody!
I am here and I am safe. It was a little nerve racking to fly by myself but I made it through. I don't have much time to write except to say that i made it. Forgive my typos the keyboards down here are a little weird and they will take some time to get used to. I want you all to know that I love you and I will be okay away from home. I met some other missionaries and they are going through the exact same things as me and that was comforting.
I couldnt help but relate the plane ride here to my new beginning. As I left, I thought that the take off was my take off in a missionary way. Its anticipated, unexpected, and yet satisfying. Its a little bumpy at first but once you keep going it gets more and more beautiful. The lining above the clouds truly is silver. I know because Ive seen it. I know that Heavenly Father sent me that comforting that message at that time and it was what i needed to hear.
I fell asleep a couple times on the plane but the screaming baby next to me wasnt helping :) Customs was really easy to get through but it was a little tough to navigate through the rest of the airport. The toughest part so far is the language barrier. I arrived and was quickly whisked away by the welcomers. They didnt know any english
bye sorry
15 minutes later
hahahahahahha! sorry for that unexpected goodbye. A siren went off and then they told us to get out. Suposedly an earthquake was going to happen but nothing ever happened! hahah that was funny. It wasnt a drill either it was just a small tremor haha.
Anyways, they didnt know any english so it was tough to figure out that they wanted me to get some spanish money and then go to the bathroom. Then everybody started to come. There was 5 of us total. 4 elders and 1 sister. They are all pretty awesome.
The bus ride from the airport to the missionary training center took about 50 mins. It was a great site to see.
Anyways i hafta leave for real. I love you guys. I´ll be learnin spanish in no time and i will learn Gods language too.
Love, Elder Page
Officially labeled a representative of Jesus Christ. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Open House

First some preshow kid pictures:

 Arin got a little silly!!

 We got some good ones though.

 The Johnston Family

 California Arcadia Misson

 Brother and Sister Steffenhagen
 The Thomas Sisters

 Jackson Family

 Cousin and Cousin-in-law

Thanks to all those who came out to support and give some love to Andrew; even those who I do not get any pictures. We appreciate it all!

A Couple of Addendum's

Missionaries can now email whomever they'd like and don't have the time limit like they used to in the glory days. :) So if you have an email address you may give it to Andrew and he can reply. He will still write a general update email and I will still post it on here.

Also, with the new rules on the emails, it doesn't mean that hand written letters (and packages) aren't appreciated. I will update his physical address as I receive it.

Thank you,
Arica (management)