Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Yesterday at church we went to the young men’s class instead of going to the Elders’ quorum class (which makes me fall asleep) because the President of the YM’s wanted us to share some words.  Sweet. He really didn’t have to say much to convince me.  The president is 20 years old, a convert, and about to go on his mish. The YMs consisted of 3 youth; all good chaps.  The youngest is a very humble good kid that doesn’t hide who he is. He is who he is. When he bears his testimony his honesty brings the spirit.  He was the one that invited Luis (kid that just got baptized) and was largely responsible for the rapid progress.  The other two are older and also good guys but do try to be the cool kids.  The President is Mario and he had invited the mothers and fathers to the small meeting and he was super nervous. He had a blood vessel popped; I think due to the stress. He began talking about how the quorum had some really big problems, and I felt as he talked that it was a little dramatic, but the meeting turned out to be really great. These kids are not sinners and the parents did a good job in giving them praise as well as good counsel. We all got to talk a little and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. At the end Mario (YM Pres) acknowledged that it was a good quorum and then shared a story about his past:  

He said that when he was younger he had never realized that his father beat his mother. He said sadly that he didn’t understand how he was so clueless but that he lived in a bubble. The last time that it happened, he caught his father in the act and hit him until his father left the house, his father punched him back but once Mario got in the door, he wouldn’t budge.  Sometime later his father returned to the house. Mario warned him to leave and his father kneeled down before him and pleaded for forgiveness. But Mario said that he denied him. His mother told him that she wanted to talk to her husband. Mario was enraged and stormed out of the house. He didn’t go home that night. The next day, his friend asked him if he heard what had happened at his house the night before. He hadn’t. His friend told him that his father had died.  That he had said good bye to everyone in the family and then that night passed away.  Mario said how awful he feels about having been so arrogant as to not forgive his own father.  He said that he just wanted to have this meeting to say that as members of the church we can’t be arrogant. 

One thing I really liked is that he said that before he was member he had had serious problems he had to overcome and that he was embarrassed to even say it, that he would love it if his life had been and was perfect but that just isn’t how it goes. 

I felt a lot more respect for this kid after.  

Dad - while I was reading your comments about the private nature of loneliness, I thought about my first video call in May of 2013. In that time I  was feeling stressed and frustrated and as I closed the  video chat I felt good; but walking out into the dimly lit street I remember that my comp was asking me about the fam and I answered pretending to be happy but really felt confusion.  I remember thinking that I should have been filled with good feelings having just seen my fam and having a good comp, but really I just felt the overwhelming sensation of loneliness and sadness. Probably because it would be a long stretch before I would open a Skype page again.  

It’s weird to think about that because of the stark contrast to how I feel now. In this area I have lots of friends; children in the street, families that we teach, drunks, man that sells the beer to the drunks, teens, teachers, store keepers, poor , rich, super fat man, distressingly skinny little girl...etc.  I am friends with the members and the other missionaries and I will be soon getting home to a welcoming family and lots of friends.  I don’t feel lonely anymore, especially not spiritually. My core beliefs are as strong as they have ever been. I have a lot more spiritual knowledge now and that makes me feel more competent and helps me live better.  I have worked hard every day of my mission and I feel like the Lord has accepted my effort. It’s a good feeling.   


Because of Christmas and all of the activities that will be happening this week, the mish had transfers on Thursday, the other guero (which means white boy)  had transfers so I am now the only white boy in the entire city.  sweet

We went to the ward to play basketball today in the morning but because I am the only whitey I am a foot taller than everyone else, so we decided to play soccer instead.  They were the ones to choose basketball but soccer was more fun because they are really good at it. 

Friday was the day of Guadalupe, so they had this huge Guadalupe (Mexican version of the Virgin Mary) parade this week. We had to be in the house at six because they all get drunk. It was just outside of the house so we put on normal clothes and went out to watch 5 minutes of it. I put on a mustache so that they wouldn’t kill me.  Hopefully my shirt didn’t give me away. haha 

Yesterday we went to a small city, 15 mins from San Pedro, in the morning to hold sacrament services there; coolest experience. There are 30 members there that don’t come because of the distance.  Pretty much all of them are women, they didn’t all show up but a good group made it.  We had the services in a partly built mud one room house; super humble and great people. Also we had a big bread roll to use and not that many people so the bread chunks were big and yummy!  It took two bites for me to eat it all. My comp, the 1st councilor, and ward mission leader (that had come with us) and I all took some time to share a message.  I talked about Alma in the Waters of Mormon.  How we like them were a small group but that didn't make it any less right. How others were anxious to find them after so that they could validate their testimonies with baptism as well. 

We spoke again yesterday in the normal sacrament services.  I spoke on the responsibility of being a member.  

Hey and I also shaved my legs this week, it feels awesome.  I left some patches undone. oops - lack of experience. I remember Cate telling me how she had shaved off a huge chunk of skin on her shin.   ouch

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shoe Repair

My week:

The investigators here have to go to church 5 times before we can baptize them. Soo yesterday was the last chance that I had to get people to church to have them get baptized in that time frame.  Any new progress will require a baptismal date for the Saturday after I leave. That’s weird. I pretty much had to threaten this guy to get him moving. Ha and...no investigators showed up..  nailed it. But we did get a pair of youth to come to church. They live at the home where we helped to take down their wall. 

We had a zone conference last week and I am super good buds with a handful of Elders in the zone so we had a killer time. 

There is this super strong glue here that now is illegal because everyone gets high off of it. Somehow my comp has it and I used it to glue my shoes together.  Ahh baby these suckers are going to last me. 

We ate dinner with a family and they served us Pozole, which is friggin delicious but makes you fall asleep

The wisdom teeth of my comp just shot through his gums this week so we had to go to the dentist.  I was joking around with the dentist while he was getting his mouth cut up.  The dentist was a funny one. She is 50ish with high heels and an attitude. Awesome

Every time we see a group of kids we play around with them or tell jokes for a few minutes. Ha ha – it’s the best.  Now everywhere we go kids that I don’t even know will pass us on bikes or in cars and wave.  

new jokes
"¿porqúe tenía una panza el foco?"   
   - porque iba a dar a luz

"¿porqúe tenía puertas tan grandes la capilla?
  -para que el altísimo podía entrar

There was a fire this week!  That never happens here because all of the houses are made of cement or dirt.  We saw the smoke in the morning and it was close to the house so we went running to see it.  It turned out to be the old abandoned theater in the center plaza.  Everyone and their dog was there to see it.   By the time we got there it was already pretty much extinguished, but the soldiers showed (thank goodness they were there so that they could shoot at the fire.) and started screaming instructions to tell the people that there was extreme danger and they had to back up.  The people were far away already and the only danger presented was that the 1000 year old fire truck would explode from old age.  haha I was cracking up.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving, Luis, and Benemerito

Thanksgiving is crazy here in Mexico!  They do .....nothing.  ha  love that

I’m super jealous about the Subway hike. Maybe we can do it again in 2015. 

Luis was baptized this on Friday! Crazy stuff actually, because Thursday night we realized that no one would be in town on Saturday so we had to do the baptism on Friday. He needed to have his second interview so we called him that night but he was with some friends watching a movie and he couldn’t do it that night. I guess it was scary because he told us later that he almost peed his pants.  Ha so we had the interview the day of the baptism and then we went to fill the font and found it filthy.  There was lots of dirt, bugs and even a scorpion. The drainage was so clogged that we had to bucket the water out and then pour it down the toilets. Finally we got it clean and started to fill it, but it came out cold so we lit up the boiler. The pipes were dirty and the water came out rusty brown and with flies. I had to make  a call to the bishop to see if he was going to show up with the baptismal clothes. While I was doing that the other elders saw the font and thought that the kids had made it dirty because the water was murky and started blaming them, because they didn’t know about the rusty pipes, chaos. But finally the Bishop showed up and it was go time. My comp and I spoke and we watched a video.  Luis is a great kid and the baptismal service, with all of its confusion beforehand, turned out to be fantastic.  I actually had a great time in the prep time laughing with the other elders.   

Several months ago the zone leaders combined and made a list of goals for the mission. One of them was to "honor the sacrifice of those from benemerito" (that was the school that is now the MTC). Everyone thought that that was weird and Youd and I were always joking about it. So I made him a small kit "to honor the sacrifice" which included candles and a balloon, and tinsel and a CD with the school song and a yoga type song from gladiator, and other things. Haha -  he made a small alter type thing on his desk haha.

I seem to fall asleep every week here at church.  I think they put melatonin in the sacrament. 

Shoes, Chairs, and Potato Sandwiches

Yesterday an older woman brought our food to church. It was two sandwiches with beef and potatoes.  She is the nicest lady and very humble.  She lives in a partially built house and is 80 something years old. She is pretty much a pioneer here.  She has collected every Liahona since the day that she was baptized thirty years ago. She goes with signs that she makes and ´preaches in the cemetery and the town center.  One son is the branch president. Great people.

My shoes have some pretty sweet holes in them but they will last these last 7 weeks. I am determined.

I fixed my chair with a cinderblock. Now it’s awesome - Super manly.  

One night we contacted a house looking for a woman that we had spoken to earlier. I think I was a bit tired because I was trying to say to her that we didnt want to intrude on her privacy because there wasn’t a man there and that we would return later. Unfortunately it came out something like " we dont want to violate you right now so we will wait and come back until a man gets here."  :D I fixed it after.  sort of ...  ooops.

We knocked down a wall this week in back of a less-active’s house.  Super fun. They both were baptized a short time ago. They don’t have any money. She broke her lower spine a few months ago because she had fallen off a roof.  They heard this week that she probably wouldn’t be receiving disability income.  We brought them food this week and sang hymns with them.  My heart breaks every time I talk with them because the situation just keeps getting worse. 

This week we also made Chorrizo which is pretty much sausage. Yumm - I wish megs was there. Washing your hands is overrated.

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Guy & My Chair

We met this sweet ex military captain this week.  He knows everything about all things military. He has several medical conditions and injects himself with animal medicine that he gets from the vet.  Ha - Homemade concoctions.   We actually had a great chat about the purpose of life, and I learned about 8 new Spanish swearwords. They are easy to identify. They are the words that are used often and that I don’t understand.  

My time with the last two comps was a killer time but my new comp seems to be a good egg
He is from the capital of Mexico (DF). Honestly I had enjoyed the two weeks before so much that it was hard at the beginning of the week to not be kind of bored. The advantage with the other two who were my comps was I had already known them for a month and we were already great buds when President put us together. With three together we were always talking and laughing. He is great - super nice. Starting with someone that you don’t know is always more boring because you have to start off with the get to know you questions. But now we are good buds.

My chair is crap and was broken when I got here. There was a box underneath but it was empty so there is now a smashed box under it. Sweet. Maybe I will borrow one from the church, or use a bucket.