Hi! Whether you're friends, family, or total strangers who have stumbled upon this page I'd like to welcome you to my blog. My name is Elder Josh Hamm. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving a 2 year mission in Puebla South, Mexico. This blog is kind of like an online journal where I will be recording all the experiences, both good and growing, that have while I'm on my mission.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Capacitations, Chichicaxcle, and Tropical Storm Trudy
Chichicaxcle....my new nemesis
Alright guys. This week is seriusly JAM PACKED with news. So i really hope that you are ready for a longggg email haha sorry im not sorry. Sooo lets go ahead and start off with the questions from my Dad!
Okay, 1) There are not really any lakes or rivers in our area, however there is kinda a stream.....its the sewage and its always nasty, but the water flows....soo i feel like that counts as a stream. 2) No. There has not been snow in the area of our mission.....ever as far as i know. HOWEVER, there are rumors that snow fell in Puebla 2 years ago....but you know how rumors go. AND 3) In EVERY area, you really cant find any restaurants of fast food that are from the US. You can find in EVERY area a chinese food place, tacos, usually a few pizza places but none are usually chains. The ones that they have here from the US would be Burger King, McDonalds, Subway. The foods different here though, cause the quality is a little lower.
WWWHHHEEELLLPPP. Where do i start? Honestly its been crazy. Alright well ill just give you the play by play. So for starters - Tuesday.
Tuesday we pretty much just worked normally in our area. We had a brother in our ward who burned his eyes while welding here without a mask. The doctors were worried he wouldnt see again so we gave him a blessing and he has since recovered. So thats good.
Aaaand that's my hand 5 minutes afterwards. OUCH
Wednesday morning....the chaos of the week began. Wednesday in the morning we went to the church and gave a zone capacitation to districts 1 and 2 (8 Elders). It went pretty well. So then we worked the rest of the day, which is normal. Until about 7 oclock at which time the day took a turn for the worst haha Long story short, we were walking along a road in our area and i for some reason got the desire to reach out and grab a plant that was along side us. So i did and while attempting to pull a leaf off, plunged 50 or so tiny thorny needles into my fingers. This very SPECIAL plant called Chichicaxcle, just happens to be one of the most painful stinging plants there are. The needles are coated with a type of poison similar to that found in the sting of a scorpion and you (or in this case I) feel it up to your armpit with a strong, sharp, burning pain. So that was fun haha we were able to get to a members house and get the needles out and calm the pain and now its almost completely healed! But that helped keep things interesting.
Thursday we woke up, got on a bus, and went to Tehuitzingo which is about 90 minutes away. Gave another (the same) capacitation to those Elders. And then came home and worked in our area....DIDNT touch any plants, and passed a realitively uneventful day, before going to bed at 10:30.
Friday we had to wake up at 5:30 in order to be able to take the bus out of the state of Puebla, to the area that is the farthest away in the mission, AKA - Tlapa, Guerrero. Its a 4 hour bus ride through windy mountain passes, NOT recommended for the faint of stomach. So we got to Tlapa and gave the capacitation AGAIN haha and then spent the rest of the day on interchanges with the Elders there. So at about 7 oclock that night it started raining. Not an incredibly hard rain, but it was a good constant downpour. So we get back to the house of the Elders of Tlapa, go to sleep and wake up the next morning to find that it has been raining ALL night and is continuing to rain with no signs of stopping in any direction. So no big deal....until we get a call from President letting us know that he received an email from Church Headquarters saying that we need to take precautions because there is a tropical storm that is going to hit Guerrero hard. So we are like okay, we´ll tell the Elders here. So we get to the bus station to go home and they inform us that the roads are flooded and we wont be able to leave. Not okay....So we ask them to check again, and they tell us that there might be a bus leaving in 20 minutes to go to Izucar and it might be the last chance to leave. So we tell President, and he makes the official call to take the Elders of Tlapa out of their areas until further notice. so we get on the bus, take the even MORE perilous journey home, and the Elders of Tlapa are staying here until we get the Ok for them to go back. Pretty crazy stuff.
Sooo that was the pretty crazy week. To finish it off there is an activity that the branch here has been planning for some time now. Basically there is an Elder here named Elder M who was with us in Mayorazgo when i was with Elder P. During that time, he found out about my music and now everywhere he goes he tells people about it. So here in Izucar I am legitimately famous haha like people will come up to me and say, excuse me your nametag says Hamm....are you Josh Hamm?! And then they will ask me for an autograph and take pictures hahaha its been unreal man, but thats not the first of it. So the idea of the branch was to put on a "Josh Hamm concert" centered around the fact that im a missionary who left my career pursuits to come on the mission. Long story short, the idea is approved. On the 25th of October, i will be performing a free concert in the Zocalo (the center plaza of the city) and we will be showing Mormon Messages, talking about how im Mormon, and of course singing. BUT thats stilllll not it. This morning there was a TV ad promoting the concert and tomorrow at 7 i have a radio interview to talk about the concert. There are also several hundred flyers (designed by Elder C) being handed out that explain the concert and the fact that im Mormon - It even has the link to my Blogspot on there! haha so its been crazyyyyy!! Ill let you guys know how it all goes down, but we think its gonna bring us a LOT of missionary opportunities.
Alright, well to wrap up this incredibly long, yet short week, and this incredibly long, yet....longer email, lets get a spiritual thought in there. Just a quick thought i had while reading in D&C section 132 verse 50. It reads: "50) Behold, i have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as i accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac." That really stood out to me because I feel like we think sometimes that God doesnt understand how much we have to sacrifice in todays world to stay in line with the standards that He has given us. But He does. God says in that scripture that he has seen ALL of our sacrifices made to keep our lives in harmony with the gospel. Thomas S Monson shared a quote form Robert Louis Stevenson that i really liked. "Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name." Others may not know the true sacrifices that you are making to be obedient to God´s commands, but He sees each and every one of the noble acts you perform, and he will bless you and help you as you continue in faith.
Elder Josh Hamm
Leaving Tlapa to escape the tropical storm....pretty crazy!!!