¡Feliz cumpleaños para mi favorito hermanos! (Happy Birthday to my favorite brothers!)
Thank you for sharing everything that has happened this week. I love hearing all the stories that are happening back home. That sounds so awesome that Parker and Matthew got to ride in a McLaren for their birthdays. And the pictures too... it is nice to see everyone still looks as I remember them.
Girls camp looks super fun. I am kind of jealous, it sounds like everyone had a great experience even though there were bison roaming around. haha!
So I apologize because I was not very clear as to where I am in my mission. But to be fair, I didn`t really have any idea either. So with that, I am in the state of Sinaloa, in the city of Mochis, and our area is central Mochis or Macapule B. As for the name of the city, I don't know why it is called Mochis, my companion and I joke that it is the city of backpacks (mochilas).
So our mission is very hot! Big surprise, I know. After being outside for about five minutes, I am soaked in sweat. A lot of people here carry around rags just to wipe the sweat off, so I plan on investing in one of those. The worst is when you are in someone's house and they think the fan is pointed at you, but its actually not. Then you just wish you had a rag to keep the sweat out of your eyes and from dripping down your face. It sounds pretty gross, and it is, but it is normal here. When you shake someone's hand you don't have to worry about your hands being sweaty, everyone just expects it. (And you know me, it is quiet a relief because my hands are always sweaty.) :) Oh, and because we sweat so much, we get to drink this really great drink called Suero. It is basically this drink that has different flavors such as apple, fruit punch, or coconut. The only catch is that it taste like someone has poured a bunch of salt in it. So basically it is like drinking a slightly less salty ocean. So it brings back memories of swallowing salt water. But the reason is because we sweat so much, we lose a lot of salt, and if you lose too much, you get dehydrated even if you are drinking a lot of water. So in order to get back those salts, we drink Suero.
As for my first week... it was hard. I am glad you shared your times of difficulty on your mission, so that I can know that it is not easy for everyone.
So, my very first lesson. We went to one of our progressing investigators houses, Enrique. Enrique will hopefully be getting baptized this Saturday if everything goes as it should. So we sit down to teach Enrique. Now I left the CCM with a decent amount of confidence because I could understand about 70 percent of what someone was saying to me. Now I can honestly tell you that I understood absolutely nothing of what he said. I did not recogize a word. Even when he said the prayer! There are specific words that we always use in a prayer, and I heard none of them. This is mainly because Enrique speaks kind of quietly. He does not open his mouth at all and he stutters at pretty much every word. I think what makes it really hard is the stuttering, which at times makes it difficult to understand what someone is saying in English, but in Spanish it is pretty much impossible for me at the moment. So my companion takes the lead in all of our lessons. And the only way that I know what is going on is because I can understand my companion.
Now most of all the other lessons go in a pretty similar manner. Except I pick up a few words here and there, but not enough to actively participate in the lessons. I get to share my testimony and I can give a little insight but that has been pretty much all I have been able to do. I rely a lot on Elder Lowry to carry the lesson. And I am extremely grateful for his patience.
So missionaries are supposed to eat one large meal with the members. Now in the U.S. that is dinner, but here in Mexico it is Comida, which starts at 2:30. But Comida is one of my favorite parts so far... the food is always sooo good! So we eat breakfast, then we have to wait until comida at 2:30 to eat, and then because we don't eat dinner with the members, we work until we get home at 9:30. Then we do our daily planning and with the time left, we have to scrape up some dinner and get ready for bed at 10:30.
Oh, and another thing that I was not expecting was that I have had to help give two priesthood blessings. So I was the one who annointed the oil. But the problem with that was that it had to be in Spanish, go figure. But not that that was bad... what was really hard was that the people here have very long names and I pretty much have no idea what they are saying. So the first blessing my companion repeated the name to me as I was giving the blessing. Then the other time, we were giving one to a hermana and she was nice enough to write her whole name down for me. So that was fun. :)
So to get around, we mainly walk everywhere...so we sweat a lot!! We are always sweaty when we go into someone's house and it is very nice when we get invited inside because they usually try to make sure the fan is pointed towards us. But to get to our church we take a camión or bus. The buses are always fun because each one looks different but they all drive the same. The bus drivers stop for anyone on the road (because you have to pay 7 pesos each time you get on) so the bus stops when you least expect it, and you can tell the bus driver to stop pretty much anywhere. Also there are no traffic laws in Mexico. So people are crossing anywhere in the road that they want, and a red light only means stop if you want to.
I love you all so much and thanks for all you prayers and everything you have done for me. This experience in Mexico is really testing my faith, but I know that with the help of the Lord, He will make weak things become strong and help us after the trial of faith.
|The city of Mochis|