It was very nice to hear about all the fun stuff happening in Arizona. I am glad everyone is having fun.
Junue is doing well. We are trying to help her husband, who has lots of doubts. But he is opening up more and more.
Leonor isn't active in the church right now because she has classes about how to repair cell phones on Sundays. She says she will return. According to her, she is reading her scriptures every day.
I am making ID cards, sending emails, calling families, replacing cell phones, assigning and receiving referrals, and doing whatever else I am asked to do. It is a lot of work but I am doing well.
I am doing well with Spanish. I need to learn to speak at the front of my mouth, because Americans speak at the back. So I am trying to DIRECT THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, or so my companion says! I am not entirely sure how to do that, but I will do it! My companion says that I pronounce every letter of every word, and though that is good, that is not how people speak. So I need to imitate the natives more. My accent is also very, very Gringo. So I will work on those things. I learned some interesting words...First the word "burro" means two things...it means donkey and ironing board....Isn't that just the strangest combination?
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT MEXICO AND THE MISSION
I am not sure if you knew, but our mission was split awhile ago. The other mission includes Pachuca.
The houses here are very, very interesting. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before. Often, when you open the door, you are led to a courtyard that is surrounded by walls. And those walls contain homes. So when we knock on a door. There is sometimes a 1/20 chance that the person we want to see will open the door because so many people use the same door!
Cross the street when there are no cars...that is the rule!
Sometimes we will see dog fights in the street. There are also people that have many dogs, and they will feed them meat and bones outside on the sidewalk sometimes...Wow!
There is a giant market in my area. It is the classic Mexican market, with all kinds of food to buy.
Remember in "Nacho Libre", how the man always rode this little bike with a giant basket in front? That is incredibly accurate, because that is exactly what people ride here!
Obviously, soccer is extremely famous. As we walk the streets on game days, we can see the same game playing on the television in almost every shop on the street.
Often when you want to say GRACIAS (thank you), you could lift up your hand and show the person the back part of your hand. That means thank you. But if you do it a certain way, it means thank you, but extremely sarcastic! It depends how you do it. If you lift up your hand and role your eyes, you are being sarcastic. But if you lift up your hand and do something gracious, like nod your head at the person, then it is a sincere thank you. I think that is interesting, and I sometimes do it when a car lets us cross a road.
In the United States, hand shaking is a normal way to greet someone. Here, it is the same, but there is more. You shake hands, and then give a hug, with normally two pats on the back. Then you retract, and shake hands again. That is very normal and expected here, and I love it. Obviously, we don't do that with the sisters. With them, it is just a handshake. With missionaries, the handshake is often replaced with a hand slap and fist bump. This is also very normal among missionaries.
The food is dew from heaven. I love chilaquiles. I love tacos. By the way, tacos in Mexico are often just a normal tortilla with meat. Lime is used in almost every meal, and I love that as well. Milanesa is a type of delicious meat. The soup is incredible. Tortilla shops smell incredible. I love chilies...but not the super spicy ones. The sisters, who often feed us lunch, often warn me when a certain type of chile is at the meal, it is very spicy! I am thankful for that. Fruit is used in almost every meal. Bananas with cream are probably my favorite. Noodles are common. Chicken is very common. Mole is common, but not my favorite. I do enjoy it somewhat, however. The quesadillas are the most incredible quesadillas I have ever eaten. They are absolutely incredible. There are also lots of burgers here, believe it or not. Chicharon is pig skin. And it is horrid. But it is very, very common here. Nopales (cactus) is also very, very common, and tastes very bad. I am not a fan. When it is served with sauce or meat, it is sometimes very good. But alone, I dont like it so much. Enchiladas, often very different than the ones in the US, are heavenly. Mexico has incredible food.
It is incredible how much English has integrated itself in Spanish here. Words like Sticker and Ride (like I NEED A RIDE) in English are the same in Spanish. The words Pain Killer is also the same in Spanish. The people just say it in English. My companion is Elder Loveland, and the people sometimes pronounce it as Lublub! That is a little funny! By the way, my companion is great. He is a muscular Idaho farm boy, and loves country music. And he always has something funny to say!
I have learned recently that God will likely not help us very much unless we do all we can do. I invite you all to ask yourselves, whenever you are faced with a decision...which is quite often by the way...., ask yourselves WHAT WOULD GOD HAVE ME DO HERE? I am trying to do that as well.
I love you all and hope you are all happy. Remember always that God lives.