Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 7 & 8

Well I'm finally here in Mexico! It is so crazy! Mexico City is very busy! The weather is probably about 70 degrees during the day and it gets really cold at night so i am grateful for the sweaters you sent mom and dad! 
My new p day will be Monday, but since we traveled on Monday, they are allowing us to email today (January 22, 20140)!
Only send mail through USPS, or there will be taxes on the mail. My mission president said that the mail service is very reliable, however I will only be able to receive letters and packages about once a month because I am so far away from the mission office..
My mailing address for my whole mission will be:
Elder Connor Keith Koehler
Mexico, Mexico City North Mission
Apartado Postal #98
Cuautitlan Izcalli, Edo. de México 54740
Saturday January 25, 2014: My language study today was more efficient! One of the zone leaders said that Gordan B. Hinckley said that if you read the book of Mormon in another language along with your native language, you will be fluent by the time you finish! So I am reading one verse in Spanish, the same in English, then again in Spanish. Just one chapter helped soooo much!
I was so hungry today and had no food in the apartment that i resorted to eating a tuna fish sandwich... it was okay at first surprisingly, but by the end it was horrible! haha
Sunday January 26, 2014: Today I got to meet the whole ward! Everyone was so nice! We met with Jaime for the first time today too and he told us that he didn't want to change religions and that he just wanted to learn more about Christ, but by the end of the lesson we helped him to want to change his life and invited him to be baptized and he said yes!

Monday January 27, 2014: Today was my first p day! It was awesome! I got to meet most of my zone and finally speak some English again! We played soccer and it was fun! I met an elder that is in the same ward as hermana lopez (From my district in the MTC) too! It was cool finding someone that I had something in common with!
Things are going much better my second week in Mexico!! I am able to understand a lot more and I am also able to speak better! Not necessarily correctly, but I am retaining more vocabulary. What gets me, is trying to speak in past tense because there are 2 different ways depending on the situation! But with study, it is coming a lot easier. Also, my zone leaders told me that my language is coming along faster than average! They said i will definitely have the language down by my goal of 3 months or even sooner!
So to describe Mexico a little more, it is very dirty. There is trash all over the streets! Also, everything here is very cheap! I receive 1500 pesos each month and that gives me about 350 a week (which i don't even need that much) So I'm pretty rich down here! haha

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Trip to the Mexican Consolate in Las Vegas

At The Las Vegas Airport 
Thursday January 9: Today I woke up at 3:45 to get ready and left for the airport at 4:30. I saw President Webster in the security line! I knew I was going to see someone today! I totally called it the day before! Then this random lady came up to us all and said that it was her tradition to take pictures of missionaries and send their moms pictures of them! It was really cool and nice! Let me know if you got them, because then it happened in Las Vegas too!! haha so Las Vegas was pretty boring.

Mitch Gibb's Mom

On The Plane to Las Vegas
 Another crazy thing though was running into Mitch Gibb's (from madrigals) mom! She was looking at me and couldn't see my name tag and finally she asked what my last name was! I didn't recognize her at all!

It was nice being with Elder Sontag!

Text from President Webster to Keith Koehler 01/09/2014:  I'm flying to Las Vegas with Connor today!  Apparently he was on a visa trip.  He looked great! DAVID R. WEBSTER 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Week 2

I've been having so much fun here in the MTC! Time really is flying by like crazy!

Sunday Dec 21, 2013: Elder Gilbert and I were called as Co-District Leaders, with him being active DL for 2 weeks and then I will be active DL for the last 2 weeks. And something exciting for me because I can rub it in all of your faces...I had to tighten my belt another notch!! hahaha I don't know how because I eat so much food here, but I'm losing weight!

Tuesday Dec 24, 2013: Class started kicking into gear today. Our teacher told us if we get something and feel like we're going too slow that we can speed up and we all decided we wanted to go faster at learning the language! I'm using a technique called SYL (speak your language) where we speak Spanish in normal conversation as much as possible! It really helps! So funniest story here in the MTC so far. Do you know how people say that every missionary poops their pants once? Well I was sitting in my apartment room and I hear this screaming "NOOO NOOO WHY??" coming from the bathroom.. it was elder sonntag who decided to fart while he was standing up and peeing.. and you can guess what happened.. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Wednesday Dec 25, 2013: So Christmas in the MTC was really cool! I kind of got my hopes up with everyone telling me how amazing it would be.. It was still really cool, just not what I expected. There was a really awesome talent show! One elder did a magic show that was just plain amazing. Everyone loved it! Another elder did a funny dance with a bottle on his head! It was hilarious! For one of the devotionals, Elder Bednar came and spoke to us! That was the coolest part of the day. And how he did his talk was even more amazing. He passed out 200 cell phones to be passed around to text questions to his iPad! It was a live broadcast to all the other MTC's in the world as well so he was getting questions from them too! My favorite quote from him which is a rare thing to hear from the mouth of an apostle was "If you try to call home, I'll find you and do bad things to you!" ha ha it was hilarious! 
So for my favorite scripture for my mission plaque, I really like Doctrine and Covenants 31: 3-13. And I like verse 3 the most. If not that scripture, I like Ether 12:27
My alarm clock you sent works great and my sweater fits perfect!
I love everyone and miss you all! 

Love, Elder Koehler

Friday, December 20, 2013

Week 1B

Hello everyone! 
I miss everyone so much! It feels like I've been away from home forever! but it also feels like I got here yesterday! The MTC is great! It's a lot of fun and I was placed with the best district in the world! We are all super comfortable with eachother and we act like a family!

Dad: Im glad that work has picked up! and i don't recognize the name of the guy who replaced me.. And thanks for the package! I got it last night! I was worried about the shoes because i put them on and they didnt fit! This morning i remember that I tried them on with the custom insoles in the store so i put those in the shoes and they fit perfectly! And I also love the bag! and about getting sick, i didnt get sick until i got that letter from you dad! haha i got sick wednesday night with sore sinuses and i didn't get that much sleep so thursday was really hard to focus in class, but i got better by thursday night!

Mom: Sundays are really cool! We have a sacrament meeting with our zone and they pick us at random to give talks, IN SPANISH, so we have to have one prepared for every sunday! Then we study for hours on end, but its nice because its scripture study rather than spanish study! Spanish study gets old sometimes because we study it about 10 hours a day.. We also have priesthood meeting with our zone and at night we go to a devotional with all the missionaries at main campus. It was cool because the devotional was put on by the BYU mens chorus and it was just amazing!

Lindsay: Congratulations on your new calling! To answer some of your questions, my zone all has bad gas and no one is afraid to share it! I'm worried that the Hermanas are feeling comfortable about it because everyone talks about that stuff together in our district.. thats how close we've gotten in a week! haha oh and just to let everyone know, the first night, my companion Elder Gilbert said, "Elder, im sorry but i snore" hahahaha its awesome, because i got the perfect companion for my first companion!

Emiline: Im doing pretty good and yeah time is flying by already! The first weekend was really slow, but it picked up quick! Everyone describes staying at the MTC the same way! Days feel like weeks, but weeks feel like days. The food is okay.. not the greatest but there is a lot of good stuff! And tell chris that there is no caffine! haha
I did have a spiritual experience yesterday when our teacher told us to go and pray with our companions about the book of mormon and its truthfulness. We went and found an empty classroom in another apartment, (Our classrooms are in apartment buildings) and we prayed about it. It was an amazing experience and I have many more. I just don't know how to write them because i feel so constrained with my time on the computer that I can't think! Maybe I'll send some home in a handwritten letter.
Some of the fun things my district does is pranks. We love pulling pranks on eachother! we always scare the hermanas and eachother! The Elders in my apartment have pranked me twice in the shower.. the first time they poured cold cups of water over the curtain and the second time they threw a bucket of snow in, but i was prepared that time so i dodged the snow! haha
We do work hard at the same time so don't think im not being a good missionary or anything, because our district is one of the hardest working districts here!
I can't believe how much spanish I've learned in a week! I can pray in spanish which started coming naturally to me when i was blessing my food a few days after i got here! I can bear my testimony, teach lessons, im starting to be able to converse casually in spanish too! We try to speak as much spanish as possible so there is a lot of spanglish here on west campus. All the missionaries on west campus are learning spanish so its really cool!

I hope to hear from all of you soon! I love getting letters! Elder hixon (other companionship) has gotten at least 2 letters and a package everyday since we've been here!
I miss everyone so much and I love you all!
                                                                                                                              Love, Elder Koehler

Friday, December 13, 2013

Week 1

Hola Familia!!
I miss everyone so much already!!! The first couple of days and nights were rough here, but today I am starting to really get the hang of things! Walking away from the car, I felt so welcomed by everyone so that was really good! I immediately started meeting new people. We got all of our books and bussed to west campus where we put our stuff in our apartments. I saw Hermana Gregory that day! I haven't seen Elder Nelson yet though. We went to our class and Spanish was immediately thrown at us! I've learned so much already! 
My companion is Elder Gilbert. He is from Washington and I can tell that we are gonna be great companeros! Same with my district! It consists of 4 Hermanas and 4 Elders.
Us 4 Elders (Elder Sonntag, Hixon, Gilbert) share an apartment in Wyview, which are the apartments where Brianne (makell's friend) lives! I wonder if I'll run into her? Anyways I get along really well with the Elders and Hermanas. We all have a lot of fun!
Today is our Pday (fridays). We actually get an hour to write emails! It's the first day I've really gotten to settle in here and stop feeling anxiety from being out of contact. Even though it's Pday we still had to teach a lesson to a mock investigator today. And to let you know how much I've already learned, my companion and I taught the mock investigator a 15 minute lesson in pure Spanish! I was amazed at what we knew and I know that I have truly been blessed with the gift of tongues!
I'm excited to get out there and serve in Mexico! I hope everyone is doing well!
Oh and by the way, the works a lot faster! I haven't gotten any mail from USPS yet. I sent some pictures of my district earlier in an email so let me know if you got them!
                                                                                                        Love, Elder Koehler