Monday, August 31, 2015


I made it! So the whole trip started last night with about 2 hours of last-minute packing followed by lots and lots of goodbyes. I got to sleep around 12 and had to wake up at 3:15. We went to reception around 4 and then loaded up our luggage and such into a little bus and headed to an airport for buses. It was really different and weird but there was also McDonalds so that's a win at 5 am (;

From there we got on the bus and the road trip started. It lasted about 5 hours but only two of those were spent sleeping. I spent the other 3 hours with my face glued to the window looking outside or occasionally reading the Book of Mormon. Xalapa is so beautiful. It's called the "city of flowers" and I can see why. Everywhere we go there's lots of really pretty flowers. We got off the bus and next thing we see is President Greer and his wife waiting with open arms to take us to our home for the time being. They are both really really friendly and I'm super excited to get to know them more as the years go by.

I thought the bad driving in Mexico was only in Mexico City but I was wrong. It's a miracle there isn't a crash every couple seconds as people go crazy on the roads. We got to the mission office which is in a small little corner strip mall and it's really nice. There we had lunch and got some mission business taken care of. I don't think I get my comp until tomorrow and then I won't start teaching until Wednesday but I can't wait. My Spanish is still slow when compared to the Latinos, but I know after a little while I'll get the hang of it. Don't have much time so I hope everything is well. I love you guys!! stay safe!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

On to Xalapa

My district got an awesome week to leave on as we have had two devotionals this week and still another two on Sunday (: On Tuesday it was a video of Elder Holland talking about missionary work and how as missionaries in the PMG (Preach My Gospel) era we need to be better missionaries than them.....uhhh better missionary than Elder Holland,... i wish (; But it was really a cool experience to hear him talk about how with this book we teach people not lessons, which is the opposite of how he taught as a missionary.

Other than Tuesdays and Sundays there isn't much to talk about as it's all the same. But on Wednesday we had the amazing experience to hear from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife. I'll start with what his wife had to say. She talked a lot about charity and how it's something we don't just acquire but that we need to pray about and for. And that us going out into the mission field we will have no success unless we completely love the people. She said "when your invitations are rejected and the saddness you feel is not for yourself, but for your investigators who are rejecting the gospel, that is when you are a true missionary." I loved that because I think I'd take it to easy on people who don't keep commitments or continue to progress in the gospel. But as Elder Holland said in his talk "this is eternal salvation we are talking about" so I'm definitely excited to go and bring others to know of the truth in Xalapa.

Now for Elder Christofferson (: he talked about missionary work and how its a privilege to serve in this time where there isn't major wars keeping a large number of young adults from going on missions. And how while we are serving we need to be direct but loving. He talked about how the Savior was direct in all his dealings but still was able to show perfect love for his "investigators". He shared a story of the CCM President Tenorio who woke one day to the sound of someone trying to get into his house. He walked downstairs and turned the lights scaring one of the burglars but another waited and then continued to try to get in. At this point President Tenorio yelled out "hands up" and amazingly he put his hands up. And then he said "turn and face the street" and he did so. He slowly opened the door and put his fingers in his back as if it were a gun. And walked him out to the street where his neighbors came out and the police came. All this time he hadn't realized this man had no shirt and very torn pants. At this time when the cops were about to put him in the car, President Tenorio's wife came out with a button down shirt and said "we should give him a shirt, it's cold and he might want something to wear." This is where he stopped.... this man had just tried to break in to their house and possible steal or injure their family within... and yet the first thing on her mind afterward was to run upstairs and grab one of her husband's shirts to give to this man who didn't have one... he almost broke into tears when explaining how much love this women had for him... we need to have this kind of love. The kind that when we are spit upon or yelled at or who knows what else I'll encounter in Xalapa. but after all this I'm going to have to show love for the people no matter how I'm treated.

He shared a lot more but my email is already really long so oops... (; hope everyone is doing well and sorry about the lack of pictures. Next week will have a lot as tonight and tomorrow will be the times we take lots of pictures. The last thing I want to end with is about my ties I brought. It seems weird at first just wait a second (; so I brought a lot of ties. And most the people I'm rooming with don't have too many. We decided to do a little trade where everyone grabs some ties and then we trade them and write little messages to each other. Well it comes time for me to offer ties up and I literally grabbed this black knit one my brother gave me (love you bro) this whale tie I have (shout out to Conner Baldwin) and then this nasty tie that I traded with a Latino Elder my second week in a believe. Other than that I offered pretty much to anyone who wanted. Now in my room most the kids have really cool ties. But some of the other Elders came over with like four ties saying this is all they had but that they would trade them anyway. I had them all pick one out and then wrote little letters to them on the back and then snuck them into their room when they were out. One of the Elders came in holding the tie and said "Babcock.. umm did you leave this in our room?" and I told him it was for him and to read the message I wrote on the back. Within a couple minutes he came back with tears in his eyes and all he did was walk in and hug me... and then said thanks and I love you and left.

And I've come to feel that cool clothes, cool ties, cool shoes, it's just cool. It isn't until something has meaning until it becomes special to someone. When he put that tie on for lunch and walked around he had nothing but the biggest smile and a light in his eyes I havent seen in a while. That tie was cool. To me that's all it was. But once he received it, it became special to him and I love making a small change like that in people's days (: im hoping I can serve the people of Xalapa in the same manner (: love you guys!! I leave for Xalapa on Monday in the morning so the next time you hear from me I'll be in Xalapa baby! love you guys tons and miss you all (: go away! read some books!'


Elder Babcock

Off to Xalapa on Monday


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Last regular week in the CCM

This week is the last regular week in the CCM. Next week we have devotionals Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well as in-field orientation. The field is creeping up on me and I'm so pumped to get out to Xalapa and change some lives and be able to eat true Mexican food because this "comedor" Costco food with beans and rice just doesn't cut it for me.

We are officially the oldest district in the zone now as well as yesterday we had great-grand children. Most from Cali and a couple from Hawaii, however only one from "la fabrica" (that's Spanish for "factory" and it's what the Mexicans call it when you come from Utah). Yo soy de la fabrica. The Spanish is coming great and the teacher our teachers is even better. I finally feel like I can communicate everything I want to in Spanish and not be held back by the language.

Two days more and I will have been out for a month and it's crazy to think that. It hasn't felt long at all and I actually feel like we just got here. My comp and myself get along great and we spend hours upon hours studying together and preparing lessons. One of the best parts of this week was finding Tarzan in Spanish on my flash drive and listening non-stop during our computer time. Me encanta (;

Besides that not much has happened this week. Today we went to the Mexico temple open house. It's the largest temple outside the U.S. and let me tell you I've never been in a temple with escalators to get around. It's an awesome temple. We toured the inside and got to take pictures all around it. I really hope in Xalapa we can venture over to Vercruz and visit the temple because the spirit you feel there is truly amazing. I'd encourage all of you who read this to attend the temple as often as you can and do so with friends and family. Don't take having one or even ten so close for granted.

For the rest of my P-day jugaré futbol con los latinos. They never want me on their team until I score three times and then they all argue over who gets me. And if you think arguing in English is funny it's tons better in Spanish. Love you all and stay safe (: Only one more week and couple days until el campo está mío. Sorry about not much to write but it's difficult to do things that are worthy to write about in a maximum security place like the CCM. Hold tight, knuckle white!


Elder Babcock

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Week 3 recap

So this week went by too fast. It seems like the days just blend together and that not much happens even though every day is a 16-hour day.. I'm loving the language more and more each day and getting better as well. Its gone from Spanglish in class with some Spanish and some English to almost all Spanish. This week I started my journey of reading "El Libro de Mormon" en Español. At first it was hard. In fact I read the first chapter of First Nephi like 4 times before I finally started to understand it. But as soon as I got past the first chapter it's coming more and more easy each time. I have the Spanish and English versions open to the same spots and I read Spanish. Once I find a word or phrase that's not familiar to me I either look up in a dictionary the meaning or read the English one to get the gist of the sentence. It's a very slow process but it's amazing to see that I can finally understand probably 80% of the words I'm reading. It's amazing to see what's possible with faith, a lot of obedience, and oraciónes (that's "prayers" in Spanish btw).

Every hour or so during language study we get 10 minutes to play futbolito (fusball) which gets intense sometimes. Teachers join in and let's just say some of the teachers are too good at this game. Like lobbing the ball and heading goals... it's crazy. This was our first Wednesday without getting new Elders in our zone, which is good because our zone is the biggest in the CCM with 52 people. Sacrament meeting is always awesome and I love my zone tons. One of my new best buddies (he went to BYU but I still manage to love him) ran track for BYU. This "kid" is over six foot extremely athletic. Can pick up any sport and just "run" with it.... hahaha he's a runner... if you're wondering why I'm talking about him I'll let you know in a second. We have been eating lots of meals together, hanging out on P-day and even going to devotionals together. He's been having a difficult time with why he's out here. Like why he gave up the girls and the school and the job for this. He was struggling with the language and just not having a good time. A reason why he was struggling was because this super human among men was a couple hundredths of a second away from national records in high school track and also the same away from Olympic times. This guy is fast. So you can see why he was struggling with being out here, let alone leaving your family and girls and school and of course. more girls..

But then on Tuesday night we watched a video that I had seen before but he hadn't or at least not in a while. It was about a rugby player who was going to be selected for one of the best teams in the world. but, he gave up this chance to serve an LDS mission. My friend was watching and thinking oh my gosh, this is exactly like what I'm going through. After the two year mission, this rugby player became one of the world's greatest rugby players and he knew that had he not served a mission he would not have gotten close to that. Right before this video this Elder asked for a blessing from me. He had had a really tough day and just needed some help. In my blessing I felt the urge to tell him that he would receive an answer to the questions he had about being out on a mission. And this was just 30 minutes before the devotional..... it was amazing after that blessing to watch him sit in the auditorium and watch this video. He looked at me and said I know this is the answer you talked about in your blessing.. and now since then he has had the time of his life. He's doing amazing at Spanish and still dominates in the court, field, or table. This was truly an amazing experience to have and I'm glad that because of the increased sensitivity to the Holy Ghost while surrounded by all people with my common goals morals and standards I was able to give him an experience that most likely kept him from leaving the MTC.

I love the Spirit that at the place and this was a huge strengthener for my testimony (: hope all is well and "save me piece of that corn, save me a piece of that corn for later."


Elder Babcock

Sunset at the Mexico MTC

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Second P-day (: the days are starting to blend together and they are all the exact same. It seems like just as I lay down and finally get some shut eye my alarm goes off and its time to start the next day. I really love the language and am having an amazing time learning and applying it as we teach practice investigators everyday. It's now August, which means it's the month that I will leave for the field! I'm so excited to get out to Xalapa and be able to actually change some lives. On the 2nd of August, we had a 24 hour fast along with a District fast and testimony meeting. Its amazing to see how fast people can not only learn and begin to understand a language, but be able to stand up and testify in a different language what they know to be true in the gospel (me being one of them). After having the district sacrament meeting and ending our fast, we had a goodbye devotional to our older part of the district. Its a tradition to sing ´God be with you till we meet again´ in Spanish of course. I said goodbye to my ´grandparents´ of 13B and even though I had only known them for two weeks, they were the first to introduce my district to the CCM and I had some really cool bonds with them. Especially one who a golfer for BYU Hawaii.... the only thing keeping us from being brothers was the fact that he didn't go to the promised land of the U of U for school (;
The Spanish is coming along great. I'm picking it up really fast and its awesome.  My comp is super cool. He taught me how to solve a Rubiks cube. My schedule is wake up at 6:30 go to study time at 7. breakfast at 8. classroom language or doctrine study until 11:30. gym until 1. lunch then study time and then TALL, a computer language learning software until 3:30, and then classroom stuff until 6:30. dinner then and then classroom work until 9:30. then we head home and have personal study or get ready for tomorrow.
We were extremely lucky to take part in a devotional by Russell M Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He talked about how we need to become ´epistles´ of Christ. In other words a writing or account of the life of the Savior and that our job as missionaries is to share that account with everyone we meet. I cannot wait to go to Xalapa to share all I know with the people. From what I've heard so far is that it's hot, humid, rains everyday, and that the work is changing so many lives down there. I did hear the other day of a missionary who recently left the CCM to go to the Xalapa mission, and while trying to teach was spit on. Now at first it scared me. In fact it terrified me that I was going to be in a place where I'd be considered an outcast or that I would be as this Elder, mocked and spit on... and then I realized, even if this did happen, I wouldn't be alone. My older brother and Savior Jesus Christ will have gone through what I'm suffering and then more, and more, and more. Whenever I thought about all that Christ went through and all that he did for us, it gave me comfort in realizing I'm not the only one with tough times. In fact when I'm at my lowest it's Christ that carries me through my difficulties. I had a really good talk with my branch president about this and was the one who helped me realize that its not missionary vs  the world, even though it may feel like that at times.
Today, Thursday, we went into Mexico City and had a really long scary drive to have visas extended or something.. I really didn't know why we went, just that I got to go out of the walls of the CCM was enough to get me interested. The hour and half drive through the city was life altering as people in Mexico don't care about right of way... after taking care of things in the city, our bus driver took us around the city to take pictures of cool statues and buildings throughout the area we were near. Anyway its been a great week, and I love this place. It may get a little repetitive... but I know that it's the right place to be and that in 3 weeks it will be the start of the best and hardest 2 years of my life!
Elder Babcock
P.S. I became friends with an Elder who just left. His suit had holes in it he, his ties stained and his shoes worn. Yet he was the happiest and most loving person. Right before he left the CCM we switched ties. Seeing his face light up when he got the tie made it all worth it. The tie is the red and blue paisley one. Although I loved the tie, seeing him get excited over it was 1000x better than wearing the tie myself. We wrote each other messages on the ties and then we said goodbye. Anyway that's all.

The complete district

Downtown Mexico City for visa extension