Mom, and everybody else,
Things are going great in La Gran Manzana (that means big apple but I'm not sure if anyone actually says it in spanish).The zone activity went great we played lots of capture the flag and I realized how out of shape I am. Flushing Meadows park is really big, I've already walked through it a couple times, and I saw the big globe. It's pretty cool. Cooking and shopping has been going well. We eat a lot of toast and eggs and cereal and yogurt in the mornings and lots of sandwiches in the afternoon. We get about 4 dinner appointments a week and will eat out every once in a while and eat left overs a lot. and I will get a chance to pick up my easter package in the mission office. We can go down on the next pday probably. We've had a lot of meetings at the mission office recently but those are slowing down now. I like my apartment fine. The mission is upgrading everyone's apartments to nicer places and ours hasn't been upgraded yet, so I'm excited for that when it comes. I've only seen one other, the zone leaders', which is in our same building. Theirs was much bigger than ours. Rent is really expensive here though. We saw a monthly reminder slip to pay the rent and it was $1200 for our tiny little pad. On a typical day we won't go too far from our apartment. The farthest we go on average is probably 10-15 minutes or less by bus. Sometimes we go further.
What do I like about the big city? People are generally pretty nice when you actually get to talk to them. When you ask the missionaries here about what they love, they say the people. There are parks everywhere with basketball hoops and handball courts and some other open space. I like that. Then there are the times you run into crazy people and you decide you don't want to live in a big city like that for your whole life. Plus I really like doing my laundry at home over doing it down the street.
Tell Drew that spanish with native speakers will probably turn his world upside down, and listen to as much native spanish as he can online, on tv or anywhere. If I were preparing for my mission I would read preach my gospel and just read it through so I understand what is in there and where it's all at. Reading the Book of Mormon a lot in English and Spanish is a good idea. I learned in the MTC to study in your first language so you learn better (Doctrine and Covenants 84:85, also somewhere in section 11-maybe verse 21). But reading in Spanish is a good way to get a handle on the church/scriptural language. And yes, I just quoted scripture in my email home. But that's what I'm supposed to be doing now.
Thanks for all the love,
P.S. So you may have realized that I sent this on tuesday instead of monday. Yesterday we were kind of hurried to go to an activity for a different zone. We went to a church with a big basketball court (our chapel doesn't have a cultural hall) where we played basketball and had a barbeque. Then I learned that another missionary there played volleyball for BYU so we started peppering and then volleyball started and we played that for a little bit. People continue to complement me on my volleyball skills. Thanks Diane!
So back to my main point. Yesterday I was finishing up my email and then my thirty minute session at the library computer ran out, and it logged me off. So we are back today to finish our emails. Yesterday I went to the mission office on the way home from the zone activity and my Easter package was already there! We opened it up but Elder Rose and I are going to try not to eat the candy until Sunday. He was really excited to see a bag of candy for him. And we already broke the tail thing off the nerf football, but we are still having a lot of fun with it. Thanks so much!
We do proselyting now, but I think two or three transfers ago the whole mission only did service and clean up for hurricane sandy victims all transfer long. I guess everyone loved it and it was an incredible experience serving all day every day. Now work has resumed as usual. I really like my branch, they are all really nice and fun members. We are going to play soccer with some of them tomorrow. Love you!