Sunday, December 7, 2014

August 25, 2014

Okay, so first week in the field!!!!!!!! I left the CCM early Monday morning, basically late Sunday night. Then me and the other 33 (I think thats the right number) new missionaries spent all of Monday at the mission home. Our mission president is a stud. There were rumors going around at the CCM that we only got 30 mins to email in the field in Mexico, and that we could only email family. Well, that's not the case. We get 1 hour and 30 mins and can email whoever we want, so long as they aren't currently within mission boundaries. 

Now, what happened this week? A TON. I can't organize it all pretty like I did last time. Okay, so Monday was basically orientation, where the assistants to the president showed us the rules and stuff. That evening we went tracting among the people of Veracruz City. I went with Elder C from my district in the CCM, and a guy named Elder A (who was actually the comp of my trainer in the CCM). We talked to a billion and one people and walked a ton. 

I accidentally deleted the draft of this email when it was 1/3 of the way through, so now I gotta be really fast with the rest of this. 

I have been in the field for one week now. Veracruz City is the hottest place I have ever been in my life. When I walked off the plane it felt like I was walking into a wall of water, not air. That's how humid it is. Basically, just a bunch of rain drops everywhere that defy gravity. And that was at 8 in the morning. It only got worse. Anyways the food there is the best food ever, and puts all Mexican restaurants in the USA to shame (including Chipotle), and I don't know if I can ever eat at a place like that again after this. 

We spent Monday night at the mission home. All 33 of us. (I think that's how many of us newbies there are.) It's the most new guys Veracruz has ever gotten in one month. We're about half and half Hispanic and American. Probably a few more Hispanics. Our mission president is a stud. 

Tuesday I got my trainer. His name is Elder P. He has been in the field for 14 months. He speaks almost no English, so it's a good thing that I can usually understand his Spanish. He's super awesome, and a great example of being Christlike. 

The area that I will be serving in during the three months of my training is called Tuxtlas Sur. It is the southernmost of 10 zones in my mission, and is the most beautiful place on earth. I will send some pictures, but they don't do it justice. This is the part of Mexico where people talk about witches and that sort of thing, but I have yet to see any, and I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. So I don't know how true that is. (If there are even any of those kinds of people here.) Pictures taking forever to upload. Maybe next week. 

Now, talking about this week. My area within my zone is called Buxtaxpectac or something like that. I definitely spelled it wrong. The x's are pronounced like 'sh'. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere, with almost no paved roads, and everyone is very poor. Not very many people have air conditioning, so at this point I'm used to sweating and smelling terrible wherever I go. No big deal. I take 2 super cold showers a day, because our water heater doesn't work. They're actually a blessing, because they do wonders for cooling me off. The kids here are almost all literate, but very few of the adults are. This makes it very difficult to teach, because they can't read the Book of Mormon. So we talk a lot about prayer. It's not as hot here as in Veracruz City. It's about like Tennessee in the summer, during the super hot days, every day. Except more humid and no AC. 

My Spanish is actually great! Everyone is super suprised when they hear me talk, because they can usually understand what I say. They like me because I can roll my 'r's properly. Most gringos can't do that. And it's not the way you think it is. They roll every r. It's actually really tough sometimes, but I try. I can often understand the general idea of what people are saying, but not pick out the details. But it depends on the person. Some people here are really lazy with pronunciation, and even Elder P, who is from Mazatlan, Mexico, can't understand them super well. So yeah. Spanish is good. I'll bet I'm fluent in 6 months, which is saying a lot. Already for many English words, I think of it after I think of the Spanish word. So it's starting to take precedence over English in my mind. I could probably survive if I was stranded in Mexico for the rest of my life right now. And this is after 7 weeks of learning. Soooo.... yeah. If that's not God blessing me, then I don't know what is. Because I took two YEARS in school and could never come close to this, even if I studied. 

Now, what's up with preaching the gospel in Tuxtlas Sur? Well, we have a lot of investigators.  They have to go to church for 5 weeks to be baptized, so that's hard. But it's a good thing.

The church here is about 15 minutes away by car, so we have to take a bus. Nobody has a car. This week we had 44 people at church, including the missionaries, who are me and my comp, and then our district leader and his comp. None of them can play the piano. Only a couple have hymn books. But the music there was the most beautiful that I have ever heard, because of how little they had, and how sincerely they tried to sound beautiful. I gave a talk and taught a class, all in Spanish. My companion conducted. This is what it's going to be like for me while I am here. So there is much work to do, but I am super excited to do it! and to learn Spanish!

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