Monday, March 25, 2013

From Mexico!!!

March 25, 2013
I'm realllyyyyyy tempted to say that I'm sorry I don't have time to write this week so that you guys are like WHATT?! NOOO! But I decided that's a whole other level of cruel so let's just dive right in.

With New Companion March 19, 2013

          So first off I miss my district a tonnnn! Those guys and girls were the closest thing i had to family in the MTC and when you are with people for more than 18 hours a day for 6 weeks you get kinda attatched haha so the night before last at the MTC we dragged some extra matresses into our room and all the guys came and slept in our room together. It was awesome. Then we took pictures the last night and i woke up at 3 am to say goodbye to Elders S and N, then woke up again at 5 to say goodbye to Elders B, S, and N. Then i woke up at 6 to say goodbye to Elder K and then finally once more woke up at 6:30 to get ready and be at the travel office at 7. The flights and the airport were fine. Our plane from the Houston airport down to Puebla had 3 seats in each row, 2 on one side of the plane and then 1 on the other side and luckily for me i got to sit on the side with the single seat so i had pleanty of room to stick my legs out. We arrived in Puebla and went through customs and then met the mission president and the rest of the people coming into the Puebla mission from different flights. Then we went back to the mission home and me and the 2 guys from my district back home slept in the same room together with another missionary who went home the next morning. It was sooo weird sitting there talking with him about his mission that is already over for him and yet we are justtt starting and the end seems sooo far away! but he gave us some good advice. The next morning we got up, took a freezing cold shower, and had the changes meeting at the stake center in Puebla and it was all in spanish, PLUS they make all the new missionaries sit up on the stand...not seeing the logic behind that as everyone just stares at you and when you're 6'3" and white as paper it's pretty obvious you are a GRINGOOO. So they announced the changes and I am companions with a guy named Elder P and we are going to be serving in the Loma Bella area in the city of Puebla in Puebla. There are actually small areas in our mission that are in other states like Oaxaca and Guerero. He is from Hawaii and praiseeeeeeeee he speaks English! haha so I don't have to feel totally alone. So that first day we went back to our house which is.....simple haha we have a small bathroom, a bedroom, a "kitchen" which consists of a fridge, a table with a foreman grill type thingy on it and a sink. So we dropped off my stuff at the house and then went out the door...yes i said went out the door. These people do not play around - haha we then proceeded to go to three appointments and teach 3 lessons in which my companion asked me to bear my testimony at the end of 2 of them. So they aren't kidding about the whole jump in thing. But it was good. I really didn't understand much of what was going on except phrases here and words there so i wasn't able to really help out a lot. That's pretty much been the story all week here though haha i have been able to interject things here and there but a lot of the time when people are telling stories they tend to talk even faster and they use words that are slang or different. Anyway we have been teaching lots of people all week and my spanish is definitely getting better. I can talk freely with the families that I'm comfortable with but i usually say minimal things when we are teaching people that i don't know.

              The big story this week would probably be that God protects his long as they are obedient. Sooo on Wednesday i had these weird quesadillas that are NOT like American quesadillas. They have mushrooms, some different cheese, and then you eat them with a ton of green salsa. Then for my comps birthday we went to a seafood shop and had some raw fish dish and it was unlike anything i have ever had.....yah....and then we went to a family's house and we had the oh so famous MOLE which i found out...isn't my favorite thing here. So BAM BAM BAM my first 3 days here i was already eating all this crazyyy food that I've never had, but it was all going okay because God protects those that are obedient. So then on Friday morning i did something disobedient that we aren't going to get into but I KID YOU NOT, within the hour i was feeling sooo gross. I was sick to my stomach and hungry but everything looked gross, I had the runs (TMI? IDC.), and I had a fever and was ready to just lay down and pass out. But that's not how missionary life is so i kept going through the day and it was important because we had to teach this family who has a baptismal date but the Dad went on the internet and was looking up things about the church and found out some CRAZYYY stuff that wasn't true so we had to go clear that up. But then that night i got up like 4x to go and puke and then finally the next day I was able to walk around normally even though i hadn't eaten any food in 2 days. And then that night I sold my soul to the cashier at a small market for a jar of peanut butter and went and bought bread and had a peanut butter sandwich. If any of your kids are ever sick of PB&J, try serving them Mole for a few days and they will be begging for it! haha so then the next day i was fine again. Needless to say when i started feeling gross i repented of the disobedience, but God decided I needed to learn just how important it is to be obedient. So now I am back to normal and things here are alright.

             So a little bit about the area: We are in the "city" but it's more like a suburb compared to any cit in the US. We can't drink the water so we have to buy it in these huge barrels, everything and I mean EVERYTHING, is covered in dirt so shining your shoes just means you will have a nice sticky surface for the dirt to stick to. We have lunch appointments at the members homes instead of dinner because it just works out better, there are dogs everywhere just randomly running around. We travel around on foot and it takes about an hour to walk to the other side of our area so we try to schedule those all on the same day. We have to do our laundry by hand usually although luckily for me this week we had a member say that if we brought the soap we could use her machine so we got to do that and it's apparently veryyyy lucky. My companion is really cool and we have a great time. He is obedient, but he is also fun so we aren't EVER arguing, he is a good missionary and has 11 months and like 29 days on the mission so almost exactly a year. We listen to a lottt of the same music before we came on the mission so we joke around and talk about that a lot. He doesn't look at Taylor Swift with quite the same admiration...yet. But i figure i have about 3 months to change his mind since companionships are usually in an area together for 2 changes. The people are sooo awesome here and it really isn't hard to love them. They are all so humble and have worked so hard their entire lives for the simple things that we take for granted. They are also very patient with a gringo trying to learn to speak their language haha they are all very hospitable.
Volcano behind Puebla
            So thats about all of it. The work is good and the rewards are better. Sometimes i start to think about how long 2 years seems but quickly i remember the words of EVERYONE who ever talked to anyone about a mission "forget yourself and go to work" and then I fall back into the blur of the busyness. There are slow and fast moments, i haven't had any heartbreaks yet even though I want some of the families we are teaching to make it to the temple sooo bad and it's always sad when they don't keep commitments and things like that. But it goes on and we find that after all you and the spirit do, everyone still has agency to choose for themselves. So yah I'm just trying to lose myself in the work right now, keep my mind on the people and the great work with which i have been entrusted. Hopefully the next time i get sick won't be for a longgg timeee haha Anyway, thanks for all the support coming from back in good old Virginia!
             The spiritual thought this week comes from John 16:33. As i have been going about here in a strange foreign country, not being able to speak the language, not being able to understand the language, not really loving the food, and adjusting to all the new changes that are rapidly happening i have thought a lot about how Christ has felt all the things that I'm feeling and how just like i saw those missionaries going home already, I'm gonna eventually grow accustomed to this and then the 2 years will fly by. "...That in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." There is NOTHING that i can't do when i put my absolute faith in Christ because he has overcome the world. He already did it and he knows that it won't be easy for us, he even says it right there! We will have tribulation, but let us be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world, and through him, we too can overcome.

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