So this week has been pretty crazy. First off, we saw the best devotional ever right before we left the CCM on Sunday. It was given by Elder Bednar in the Provo MTC last Christmas. Honestly, it was probably the greatest thing I have ever watched. If I could only recommend one thing for you to watch, it would be this. It was just incredible... please watch it! It talks about what it means and takes to become truely converted and have a Christlike Character. We also watched a mormon message that was the best mormon message I have ever seen. It is called missionary work and the Atonement and it has Elder Eyring and Elder Holland. It is very powerful.
But enough of me telling you what you should watch. Let me tell you about the longest day of my life!
So, it all starts (Monday, Aug. 3) at 1:20 a.m. when we all woke up to get ready to go to the reception area. So we get to reception at 2:00 so that they can make sure our bags are under weight and get us all ready to leave by 2:30 for the airport. We then get to the airport and it takes us about an hour and a half to get our bags checked. When we finally get to the terminal it is about 5:00 a.m. and our plane leaves at 6:05. We all then proceeded to go find a payphone to call our families. Unfortunately, it was pretty much impossible to call because you had to tell an operator what number to dial, except you could not hear the operator at all. So eventually we all gave up.
Then we all boarded our plane and began our journey to Cuidad Obregòn on about 2 hours of sleep. So our plane left at about 6:10, but there is a 2 hour time change going to Obregòn. So when we landed it was about 6:20, however the flight took about 2 hours. So we get to add 2 more hours to our day!!
When we landed, we got to meet our mission president, who was there to greet all of us at the airport. This airport was tiny! It was the smallest airport I have ever been too. Yes, it is even smaller than the Idaho Falls airport. There was only one termal and we were the only passenger plane there.
We then go outside to get into the van that is going to transport us to the mission home. But then we are greeted with quite a surprise. It is about 6:30 in the morning and we are all in suits and it is already about 90 degrees and it is humid. But honestly, what did I expect!
Then we got to the mission home where we had to endure through another orientation. From about 7:30 to 2 where they tell us everything we can and cannot do. This basically means don`t be stupid. For example, don`t talk to the drug lords or big guys with guns (yes that was really one of them). But don`t think I just blew the whole thing off. I learned a lot about our mission rules. Like our whole mission, we are not allowed to have any soda. And that is because it will dehydrate us. But it was very hard to stay awake and attentive because we only had 2 hours of sleep and we were sitting down watching a power point in a dimly lit room.
Then the time came when we finally got to meet our companion and trainer. It was very exciting. My trainer`s name is Elder Lowry. He is from Utah. He has been out for almost a year and his Spanish is amazing. He sounds like a Latiño and is fluent. He is also the District Leader in our area. So I am very happy that I will be able to learn more Spanish by listening and hearing him speak, and if I am really confused, I can still ask him to explain in English.
I then asked Elder Lowry where our area was and he told me that it is about 3 hours from the mission home. The name of our area is Macapule. So just when I thought I was done traveling we started out again. So we shared a taxi with another companionship to the bus station, where we would take a travel bus to our area. At the bus station we were able to contact a few people before we were able to get on the bus. There were about 4 companionships with us on the bus to where we were going. We got there at what I believed to be 9:30, however I learned that Sinaloa has daylight savings time so it was actually 10:30. Then we took a taxi with another companionship to our apartment (their area was too far away to take a taxi too, so they were going to spend the night at our apartment.)
We then get to the apartment, which is just incredibly tiny. There is a tiny room right in front of the door where we study, a corner where the kitchen is, and our small bedroom. At that point, I was so confused as to why this other companionship is staying with us. We then walked to a 7-eleven type of store to buy dinner because everywhere else was closed. Then we all started getting ready to sleep. We pushed the 2 beds together so that more of us could sleep on it. So there were 3 of us sleeping on the 2 put-together beds, and Elder Lowry slept on a blanket on the ground. Then we went to sleep at what I thought was 11, but it was actually 12 because of the daylight savings.
And so concludes the longest day ever!!!
The next morning, we walked with the other companionship to show them where the bus stop was. Now the bus that picked them up did not look like a bus. It was just this big sketchy van looking thing with marker written on the window. But they got on the bus with confidence and that was the last we saw of them. Elder Lowry later told me that the "buses" sometimes have holes in the floor so that will be interesting to see.
I am so excited to serve my mission here. I love how crazy everything is here, and I can`t wait for my Spanish to improve so that I can share the gospel with confidence. I love my mission and I can`t wait to give it everything I`ve got.
|Some pictures of Zach's apartment|