Hola Familia y amigos!
It is crazy being back on my mission! It is really crazy to be in Mexico! I’ll try to fit all that has gone on into this letter but I'm not going to guarantee anything.
First of all being in the MTC was crazy!! There was a lot of déjà vu going on for three days. The district I was with was so awesome!! They really accepted me and I made friends with all of them really quick. I also got to see Hermano King again!! Unfortunately not Hermano Bruce though. Not a lot happened while I was there. We did watch Sister Monson's funeral which was very interesting to watch. Best wishes to President Monson as we keep him in our prayers.
Now it gets a little more exciting because MEXICO!!! It is crazy to finally be here in Villahermosa! My first day I didn’t get into Villahermosa until 10 o'clock or so. All we did was go to one of the missionary’s houses to sleep. Though it was raining like crazy!! “Cats and dogs” doesn't quite describe it. I was outside for maybe a minute and I was almost soaked. A good welcome to Mexico, huh?
The next day we went to the stake center in Villahermosa to meet our companions. We had a couple of informational meetings with the president and his wife. After those we were walking around and kind of talking to the trainers and guess who was there?! ELDER LOVE. It has been a long time since we've seen each other. It was great to see him and we got to talk for a long time. He told me that I would be the one to break my ankle. Oh, Elder Love. Well he also said that he was checking with each transfer with the office to see if I had come in yet. I guess it was meant to be that he was training so that he was in Villahermosa to see me.
And Elder Love and I are.... not companions... At least not yet! Hopefully we will be sometime. My companion’s name is Elder Montañes. He is from Coahuila Mexico. It has been a little interesting this week because he doesn't speak English very well. At least I don't think so because we basically only speak Spanish. I actually understand most of what he says and we can communicate pretty well. There are some things that get lost but most of it I understand. We have had a great time together. He is a great missionary and I have learned a lot from him.
We are serving in a town called Las Choapas. It is actually in the state of Veracruz and is about four hours from Villahermosa. It is probably a good thing that I have a native companion because the streets here are just crazy. No road signs so I am lost most of the time. Just starting to figure out where everything is. The drivers are insane!! They don't stop for much. It's kind of funny actually because even though they put up stop signs, they also put up a ton of speed bumps so the drivers will at least slow down.
Our area here is pretty big for just the two of us. Without cars or bike it’s a good hour and a half of a walk if we want to visit some of our investigators. There are plenty of people we have to visit though. There are probably about 500 members here in Las Choapas but we only have a branch. That's because only about 60 members are active. We do a lot of work with the Less Active Members here. We probably visit 4 or 5 a day. We hope to be able to help change this branch into a ward. We have a lot of work to do but we know that with the help of the Lord we can accomplish it.
This week was kind of a hard week. We worked really, really hard this week. We got a lot done and had a lot of success. We committed twenty less active members and investigators to come to church. Unfortunately, it rained Saturday night. And when it rains not a lot of the people make it to church. We only had about 50 this week. However, we are going to work very hard this week to get as many people to the church as we can.
The members here are so great. There are a couple of families that are a very good help to the missionaries. One is the Conde family. Their child Oscar is a returned missionary and goes out and works with us a lot. This is important because he has a car as well so we can get to some of the people that live further away. We also do our laundry there so we end up at their house a lot.
The other great family is the Juarez family. They love the missionaries. They would do just about anything for us. If any of the appointments to have lunch with a family fall through we can always go to the Juarez family. Also Hermana Juarez and her daughter are bakers so they give us a lot of bread as well. They also love to have me try the food of Las Choapas. They have already had me eat Chile Quiles (YUMMY), Tuna (Delicious), Crab (Great), and unfortunately Pozol. Elder Love told me stories of the terror that is Pozol. How they make it is they take corn and grind it up and then they add cocoa and water and if you’re lucky some sugar. When they hand you the cup it looks like someone is giving you a cup of mud. And it pretty much tastes like it too. As you drink it, you almost have to chew on your drink. And if you forget to swirl the drink as you are drinking it you end up with a big clod of corn and cocoa at the bottom. Everything else here is very good but for some reason they came up with Pozol.
We had some great new investigators this week as well. The first two are actually a rather funny story. So there is this member here whose name is Freddy and he is a little bit crazy and is definitely an albur. (kind of like sarcastic person) Anyway he told us that there were a couple of less active members that we should go visit so we did. We got there and started talking and Elder Montañes asked one of them at what age he was baptized. Edgar responded "I think I was about 8 months old." We were both really confused. "You mean 8 years?" "No it was 8 months." Turns out that they’re catholic. Well at least we have some more people to teach!!
Well that’s all for now!! Hope everything is going well. Thanks for all of your prayers!
Until next week!!