Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nick didn't have a lot to write this week because we talked to him for awhile on Christmas.  It seems like a lot of Mexico, at least where he is at, have gone on vacation.   It makes it hard to teach people when they aren't a lot of people around to teach.  He wanted me to  just write about our conversation with him for his email this week.  I asked him to at least send some sort of thought.  The below email is what he sent.  We were able to Skype with Nick on Christmas.  It was great to hear him and see him.   Christmas Eve was spent with a member and later on Christmas Day, he was going to another members home.  He bore his testimony to us, in Spanish and sounds great.  He struggled to remember words in English, so I guess the language is no longer a barrier.  He is starting to have a little bit of an accent.  Hopefully, in 19 more months, he won't lose how to speak in English, ha ha  He looked well and told us he had even gained weight.  It didn't look like it, but he seemed healthy to us.  Thanks to everyone who has sent greetings to him.  He might not get them for a few weeks.  

First, Merry Christmas and Happy New Yea,r everyone. It's weird that it's already 2014, the days are going faster and faster, I swear. 

This week, we really didn't have a whole lot of stuff. Everyone's left here and gone on vacations to the beach or something. 

But I guess the thought for this week is this. With  a new year starting and everything, the thing everyone is worried about is goals. Since I've been out, I've  kind of realized how really important goals are in life, and how much we need them. In fact I've even set goals for myself when i get back. (Learn how to juggle, sword swallowing, fire breathing...) (Nick is really funny isn't he?)

But the most important thing to remember is that we should never be afraid of these things. 

Yesterday I was reading the story about Peter and how when he walked on the water he was good for a little bit. Then the wind started to blow and he got scared and sank. And was like "save me!"
And Jesus walks up and says,  "Pedro... *sigh* . Why are you so scared?" 

And Pedro probably starts to come up with an excuse about the wind and the waves. But all it is really is is an excuse. 

But the point is, is that we shouldn't really have excuses for things, or be ever be afraid. 

"be not afraid, only believe" 

So, more than anything as my message this week is that I encourage you to try something, set goals, change the things that you don't like about yourself and more than anything, don't be afraid when you fail, to try again. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Being stressed in December

Nick wrote us little notes today and is struggling with his new companion.  Not the most obedient or uplifting.    He ended up not being like he thought he would and Nick is really trying to work hard.  He didn't go into details, but it's not been a great couple of weeks.    He could use prayers to help him through this.  He told Steve there must be some reason he was put with him and he was always going to try to be a good companion.   We're excited to Skype with him on Christmas.    Merry Christmas!

Not a whole lot has happened lately. We're slowing losing all of our lessons and investigators, and haven't had the opportunity to teach really because of all the Christmas parties and stuff. 

I guess the only lesson that really stuck out in my mind from this week, is we were searching the lists and found this random girl that was baptized in June, that had wed, and we had never heard of, so we called her and she sounded really nice. 

So we go to meet her, and she's like, here come to my house, so we go. She opens the door, it's just a concrete square with nothing in it... ¨you live here?" "well right now? no, me and my boyfriend are just renting it, were going to move in together" "how old are you and him?" "were both 18" 
He shows up, we go inside and talk some more. Basically they're both 18, haven't told their parents a thing, just plan on leaving one day with all their stuff. They work all day 6 days a week, just to pay for the rent. 
Not to be the Debby Downer.... but I feel like it's not going to work out.  Everything was just weird too, cause they offered us drinks, or to buy mayonaisse corn for us like they were parents that had lived together their entire lives... but hey whatever. We're here to help everyone. 

We taught this other lady that just tore all the members apart. One by one, and all of the reasons she had were good too. You could tell she was just hurt by everything and everyone. It was honestly really depressing,because no one should feel like that, or have that impression. Shes like, I know your church is true, I can feel it. But I don't want anything to do with it or with anyone in it because of how they treated me when I was there... Except you guys, you guys are angels... Thanks lady <3 

(I asked Nick about celebrating Christmas there)Christmas day means nothing here in Mexico, everyone just has a huge party Christmas eve, with dinner. I bought Martinellis from Costco to bring to Martas house tomorrow for dinner. We were standing outside of Costco with them and these two ladies walked up to us and were like, you guys in that religion can't drink those. 

us. they're non alcoholic 
them. it doesnt say that. 
us. yes it does. 
... We were just testing you... 


That's really all I had for this week, there were a lot of other things that we did for Christmas so we didn't have time for a lot of stuff. But lately, I've just been feeling stressed with everything. Which, its December, everyone's a little stressed at this time. Just don't forget to think about what's really important in this life. 

On a side note, tried alcohol today. Jose Cuervo Tequilla, (or whiskey?) kinda tasted like floor cleaner and cyanide. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to give the missionaries chocolates filled with alcohol. But, I guess it's my fault too,  for not putting 2 and 2 together and figuring out that because the wrapper said Jose Cuervo, it meant alcohol.   

Elder Arvanitas

Monday, December 16, 2013

Do you have bathrooms?

This has been Nick's first full week with his new companion.  It sounds like he's had a rough week but one where he learns just how much Elder Cruz did.  I'm sure he has a new appreciation for him.  

So this week was probably the most frustrating week of my life. 

I'm  in charge of the area now, so I have to teach Elder D......... everything about the area, and until he learns it, he basically can't do anything.  Well I guess I didn't think it would be that hard but, it is. 

Tuesday was good though,  we had the baptism of Selene. Everything worked out for the most part and then Elder Cruz took off to go to the president´s house and then later to his house. So, I gave him a hug, he cried a little bit, and I guess I got a little teary eyed too. 

Wednesday-Saturday was all just a blur. It was a lot of getting lost, walking to nowhere, only to turn and walk right back. And for some reason no one was home. But it wasn't too bad I guess....

My companion for the most part is pretty relaxed during all this. Which I couldn't ask for anything more, cause its basically all my fault because he knows nothing about the area. We're teaching well together too. 

But yeah, that was my week. Here's a funny story. 

So we were walking down the street, arguing about whether the gas stations had bathrooms or not and I was like,  "Alright, I bet you right now that this oxxo (gas station) has a bathroom". Hes like, no, none of them do. So we walk up to it but for some reason it was closed, which is weird cause they're open 24/7. Next thing I know this guy pops his head out this little window and was like

 hey! you cant come in here
 I was like we just want to know if you have bathrooms.
No puede pasar! 
Just.. do you have bathrooms... 
... yes... 
Thank you. 

Then we walked away, and then it hit us that there were two guys in the store wearing street clothes, with the place locked down, and the workers just are standing there, while one guy was hanging over the counter. So they might of been robbing the place... And the only concern I had was if they had bathrooms. (At least he won the bet.  He is so like his mother. :))

But just a thought for this week. So I was reading the Parable about the master and the vineyard  and how he works all day in the vineyard and things are good. But, after a while everything just fails. He starts to cry, and asks himself ¨"What more could I have done?". "I've done everything.." then his servant replies and says "just spare it a little longer" implying just to "wait.." 

It's a lot of what I felt this week, and with my ward.  We work so hard here, and everything is still failing and a lot of the time, I don't know what to do. But, sometimes the answer is just to wait and things will work out. 

Elder Arvanitas

Selene's baptism
Some crazy graffiti.  They do love their soccer!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A new companion

This week.... 

Today!! I saw a building that was taller then 3 floors. I've never been more excited in my life.. Its been too long. Also there's a place with American imports, including Mountain Dew??? When I find it you bet I'm going to buy like 36 and sell them :) (I know he's kidding but sometimes, I wish I could smack him through the computer)

My new companion is Elder D........, he's way funny. Kinda reminds me of Levi sometimes, but a little less crazy. (For those who don't know Levi, he's a friend of Nick's who is serving his mission in Colorado right nowI'm excited though. He just doesn't know any English at all. So, we'll see how that goes. 

But this week on Monday, the church by the offices got robbed. (don't worry I've been assured's normal) The guy climbed through the roof and on top of the ceiling Styrofoam tiles and dropped down into the offices there and stole  5 computers. I was pretty impressed to be honest that he did it. The police came and all (we were there the next morning for a meeting) but, I doubt they'll do anything about it. 

But this week our numbers sucked. Literally terrible. But that's okay, guess I have to be grateful for the people we did teach. We just spent most of it preparing for the activity that we had Saturday, this huge talent show. The only problem is, our ward doesn't have any talents. The whole country of Mexico is tone deaf I swear. But that's okay :) 

The activity turned out, 100 people came. But, the people didn't bring a lot of food.  The mission President came.  I wasn't expecting him. Then he walked in and everyone was like, "ohhh booyy." But it was alright. I played Hallelujah(the song in the movie, Shrek) while the other elders came. It was a pretty relaxed week. We visited lots of members for the activity. 

I was talking to this one guy at the activity though. He's depressed all the time with everything, but he's trying really hard.  In those moments, the best is really just to express your love for them.  I told him that he meant a lot to me, and that he's been a huge influence while I've been here to become better. He almost started crying.. Then  he talked to me about Jehovah Witnesses for 20 mins.

 Today i spent the morning with Elder C..., he's coming back tomorrow. He's coming back to baptize S.......   I just talked to him about how sweet its gonna be to go back and see his family and everything. I'm excited for him. He's ready, along with all the other people leaving. 16 of them. 

Elder Arvanitas

Where the guy came through the roof of the church

Elder C...'s last morning.  

As a shout out to Sydney, they ate lunch on the floor.  

Elder M......... and D.......

Nick and Elder W.... who is going home

Elder H......., who is Nick's Zone Leader and going home too

Nick and Elder D........., his new companion.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Being sick is no fun

This week. 

It was pretty normal for the most part, at least for the first 3 days. We started house shopping a little bit.(I'm guessing they are looking to move.  I'm not sure.  He didn't elaborate) We found this 78 year old lady that just talked to us for 20 mins straight while we ate papaya. Papaya is by far the worst tasting thing in all of the world. But she was really nice,she just needed someone to talk to. 

I honestly don"t remember a lot of our other lessons that we had until Thursday. We're getting better though, at teaching, and right as Cruz is about to leave. (Nick's companion is done with his mission this week)

Thursday, Thanksgiving. At 6 we went and practiced in the church for our talent show that were having for the ward this Saturday, Elder Cruz's last one. We invited president and his family, so it's kind of a big deal. (He means is mission President)

But after, we had changes, and I was with Elder Sanchez. But before we all split, since it was Thanksgiving, we went out for Tacos. 

Well, that was a mistake, I got sick... Next morning I felt alright, but then it just hit me while we were teaching this guy. All of a sudden I got really hot, and so sure enough 20 secs after we left, I puked all on the street... right in front of this guys store. (We knocked and were like, hey... Sorry) 

But after, I felt great, but the lady that we went to go see for lunch, gave E. Sanchez a whole chicken and told me I couldn't eat any. Well of course I wasn't gonna pass up chicken for lunch, so I ate anyway.... 

That was a mistake too..

We were in Selene's house and I was laying down while Sanchez taught her, and in about 30 mins I puked all over her floor.. I felt really bad. But they (Selene and her mom) made me rice, and tea out of leaves in the front of their yard. 

I still felt like garbage the next day, but then I went to the Pharmacy and got some Meds really easily, and I'm great now :) I just  have been really out of it since. 

Sunday, set up a Christmas tree with Familia Castillo. Probably the first time I've had fun decorating. Kinda regret not doing it more, earlier. (Nick used to complain every year.  I'm going to hold him to this)

Then today, went to the largest mall in South America. The only problem is its still under construction, and there's only like 10 stores open. But, it felt just like the States... That happens sometime.... then someone talks in Spanish and its like, oh yeah.

Elder Arvanitas
Decorating the Castillo Family's tree

They let  Nick put an A for Arvanitas in the center of their tree.  ha ha

Monday, November 25, 2013

We celebrated Pre-Thanksgiving

This is really late.  We are in DisneyWorld for Thanksgiving and I needed to be back in our room to send this.  We thought Sydney would be upset and Nick wouldn't care that we're here. Boy was I wrong.  It was the opposite.  

So this week. 

I guess the most important thing was WE CELEBRATED THANKSGIVING! Yep, last thursday we met with Elder M........... and S......., and decided to go out and get ice cream at 7 pm. Ice cream is not the same in Mexico... But, the lady, when she gave me mine, was like,be careful it doesn't stick well. I didnt listen... And sure enough after 2 licks my ice cream fell and broke all over the street.  Probably one of the most depressing moments of my life, so I had to buy another one, but in a cup this time, like a little kid. 
    Then we all went back to the church, and found a table and decided to say 3 things we were thankful for. I dont remember much of what people said, just that M........... was thankful for the days when the old chubby ladies get on the bus and don't touch or rub against him. I said, the days when the cholos dont kill me. It's the tiny things that count. (Cholos are really rough Mexican kids.  Kind of like gang members)
    The next day we had a meeting with the entire zone and president, where we found out that Thanksgiving isn't for another week. So that was just Pre thanksgiving.... But president just told us all that we are terrible at teaching, and then we had a 3 hour meeting of what we should do. I think the biggest thing was with our questions.  A lot of the time I just think of what makes sense to say or stuff they want to here, or how to respond in Spanish But he told us that thats wrong, that we should be looking really for the question of ´´what does God want them to know through me?".
      So I've  been really focusing on that. One of our investigadores, Selene, she's been having a hard time quitting smoking and just everything. We are really worried about her. But, we asked her the question, just what did she think god felt about her now. 
    She said that he's  happy and content, because shes trying really hard, and he always has love for her. 
     I think that changed her view of everything, kind of gave her hope. So that was good. 
    What else happened, Oh! I played for some Young Women thing that they were singing for. That was a mistake, the music lady is  crazy and now she wont leave me alone... sigh. 
  I guess the final thing that happened is that this missionary, that was in my ward, came back with his family, and we ate dinner with him. Americans by far are the most awkward people.. It was really weird though after 3 months of not really seeing any. (did Nick forget that he is an American)  But after every sentence, they were like, what'd he say in english? And I understood without the translation!!! So that was really exciting.
Their Pre-Thanksgiving
A sad day when your ice cream falls.  Listen to the lady next time, Nick.
How they cut grass in the 1500's, according to Nick
Black Widow.  She looks dead.  I hope she's dead. 
Nick, his companion, Elder D, who was also trained by Nick's companion. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Working on becoming a better companion

Nick's companion is gearing up to end his mission. This tends to be a time for missionaries to try and get as much work done as they can, so they don't leave the area with more work because of something they didn't do. Nick will really miss Elder Cruz, but changing companions is part of being a missionary.

So this week. Not a lot to talk about once again, sorry.

The cookies didnt work out! I tried to make them today and they were just chafa. So now I'm stuck with like 6 kilos of sugar and I dont know what to do with it. It will make a good Christmas present, I guess.
Oh but about cookies, the dough was at least really good. So I started eating it, and Elder Cruz was like, can you eat that? I told him that it was bad for you and gross and that I was just hungry, so he wouldnt eat it. It made me think that no one here in Mexico knows what chocolate chip cookie dough tastes like. They obviously never had a childhood. (I sent Nick the recipe we always use because he asked for it last week. I hope he tries again)
All I remember from this week,  is we had splits with the other elders. I was with Elder M........ for the day. (Oh by the way were allowed to have sleepovers again so thats fun, except Elder S.......'s bed was sticky and moist and I dont know why) (I guess they can stay over night when they have splits, which is when you become companions with a different missionary, who isn't your regular companion, for the day. When you don't have to get back to your regular companion, you can work longer and then just switch back in the morning)
    But that day was pretty fun, we climbed in the mexican sewers cause we had to (let's just say, go potty). Also, I wanted to be able to say that I've been in the mexican sewers before. We walked everywhere in the world. Then, we hit this big field which had the biggest grasshoppers I've ever seen. .
     We made some lady cry at lunch cause I told her that every time someone feeds us, it really means a lot to us, because she doesn't ever have to do it.  But, she does anyway. Then she started crying and told us that whenever I'm in their area, her house is always open. So thats always nice :)
Nothing else happened that day. We kinda just walked and talked. Got back to the house and lit some shady fireworks that we bought from some guy that made them in his house. I still have all my fingers, so that's a plus.

It was Dani's 5th birthday, so we ate cake with him last monday. (Dani is the little boy of a couple they teach.  Nick sent a picture of them celebrating the dad's birthday several weeks ago. )
This is Dani eating his cake

But thats really all.  Elder Cruz is starting to get really like stressed with everything lately since he's leaving and the people in the ward can be stubborn and everything.  I told him to just relax a little bit and that were going to work really hard, but more importantly to enjoy his last 3 weeks as a missionary.  I bought him a really nice fake watch from the tianges too, for his 24 month anniversary. So he's better now.  I want to be the best I can for him though, and not be that kid that ruins his last change in his mission.  So, I'm just working on being a better companion right now.

Other than that all is well. Our lessons are starting to improve. The way I see it, if we make a person cry that day, its a succesful day. We made people cry 4/7 days. So, it was a good week. (When Nick talks about making someone cry, he means having them so moved by the Holy Spirit, it brings them to tears.  He does not mean that he's trying to be so mean that he brings them to tears.)

Love you all! take care


Some funny graffiti


Banana Tree

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Love of God is Always There for Us

It was a little rainy in Mexico this week.  A hurricane hit.  Nick is in the middle of Mexico, so they get hit with a lot of rain, not so much the wind.  I was able to email back and forth this week because I was online when he wrote.  His companion finishes his mission before Christmas, so he'll have a new companion before Christmas.    

So this week, not a lot happened I guess. I don't know how Syd writes so much about just everything. 

My brains so messed up now though. It's half in Spanish, half in English. Today we stumbled upon this random american guy in the most random museum and talked to him.  Just told him what we were doing and everything, and I thought I was talking normal but when I stopped, he was like, I don't speak Spanish... so obviously I screwed something up.

I went with Elder Harland  for a day though. We went to go eat at Marta's house and she has a chicken shop. (Nick has written about her before)  But,she gave us all these divine green chili peppers that had been laying in the chicken grease all day.  So they were good, until I bit this one that was all red in the middle. 

Let me just take a moment...I've eaten a lot of hot stuff in my life. (he has eaten the hottest wings at Quaker Stake and Lube) But nothing even compares to the horrific pain that filled my mouth for the 20 mins after eating that pepper. So that was no fun... 

Oh story time! So this week we really focused in finding new people or people that were just less active.  So we knocked on a lot of random doors that were in our lists of people to try and find.  We went to go find this one lady's house and instead, we found an entire condominium of 50 houses... she lived really far away too. So were like, well we didn't come here for nothing. So we said a prayer and kinda just asked for help to know where to go, and just for help. Immediately, we felt something different, and were like, go here. So we knocked at a random house, and the lady was just leaving but shes says,  yeah I want you guys to come back. 
So 2 days later, we did.  She kind of just started breaking down crying. She told us that she was having a lot of problems. She said that a long time ago she talked to missionaries like us and about a week ago she remembered them.  So she told us that she prayed for help from god and the next day we were there. It was kind of a miracle. (It's amazing what the Lord does when his children ask)

But I think more than anything I really learned  that god really knows each and every one of us, on a personal level. Just another thought from something I read this week. The love of god is always there for us.  Whether were happy or sad or we feel like we deserve it or not, it's simply always there. I like that. I love the people here. They're always so nice to us, and although I'm thousands of miles from my real home, it still feels like home here. 

Elder Arvanitas

Here's a little PS from Nick.  It reminds me of when he was a kid and collected YuGiOh  and Pokemon cards.  Oh! I forgot to mention my Tazo collection is growing.  Every time I buy chokis(cookies)  I get a Tazo. Everyone loves Tazos. The little kids all play Tazos though.   You stack them up and throw them and its hard to explain but, basically you bet your Tazos.  It's all fun and games till you're the kid that runs home crying cause your friends won all your Tazos. 

It was a little rainy during the hurricane

Here's a picture I found of Tazos, online

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking 2 miles in the rain is never fun

Nick didn't have much to say this week but I was able to converse back and forth on email.  He wanted my sisters chocolate cookie recipe and needed the ingredients converted into grams.   He's not allowed to just google stuff.  It's nice to know, he's obedient on that front.  I think he'll be happy once he makes his cookies.  

Anyway this week, not much to report again, it was pretty dry. 

Heard were getting hit by another hurricane so that's always stuff I'm excited to hear. Every time one is about to come it drops from like 80 degrees to 45 degrees overnight. 

But we started to explore new areas this week. For the past 6 weeks we've kind of stayed in this bubble that's about the size from like our house to Walmart... something like that.(that's about a mile and a half) But we went to go see this guy in Ciudad Dell Sol. So were like, that cant be too far, we can just walk. So we walk to where we think he lives, call him, then we walk a little father. Ended up walking about 2 miles in the middle of nowhere, just to see this one guy. We had to make the same trip back in the rain. So that's never fun. 

But on our list of new places to explore was Patria Nueva. Tried to find this one person that lived in an address that didn't exist. But Patria Nueva is  the worst part in our area. We showed up when it was pitch black, probably not the brightest idea. Were not going back.

We met this awesome kid though. It was a 6 year old, who I forget his name but, is blind. Never have I ever seen such a calm kid. But he was way awesome. 

Got your packages! One from you guys, one from Rachel. That was a nice surprise since I wasn't expecting them to come for a while. You'll have to wait to see the picture of my carving (I sent Nick cool patterns and pumpkin tools and he carves the state of Pennsylvania.  As his mother, I don't know where I went wrong)

So everyone's asking about the Day of the Dead. Honestly I don't know that much about it. Kids trick or treat on both days. We passed this one house with people in the most fancy skeleton costumes I've ever seen that were taking pictures with people... I regret that I didn't. (I asked if his ward had a party or anything.  He said, nope, just another day in the mission but, we did go get tacos.  Wow, he's living the dream!)

But on the Day of the Dead,  people set up shrines in their homes and on the street. It's way pretty and just something different to see, cause you know there's a story behind every person. 

But tell Maddie happy birthday! I wrote her a letter and still need to go shopping for other stuff.  Eventually it will get there though... Promise. Love you guys!

Nick's ward mission leader

Very large Cacti

Nick's sorry excuse for a carved pumpkin

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hairy Chickens are not normal

Nick's letter was later than usual because Mexico had their daylight savings fall back this past weekend.   Nick and his companion were somehow not reminded and they showed up to church an hour early.  He was so bummed about not getting that extra hour of sleep.  

So this week was a lot better,  or at least I think it was, the weeks go by faster and faster the longer you stay here. 

But I ate hairy chicken with Elder Manglinong. His philosophy was just tell yourself it's normal. So I did, and ate a patch of hair, until Elder Cruz was like, "Why is it hairy, that's weird?". So yeah, hairy chickens are not normal...
We also broke into the chapel through the window to play piano before we had a junto with the district. I forgot to talk about that. 

So how Elder Cruz cleans.  One day I go upstairs and he has our broom scrubbing the sides of that walls in the shower.  Now we have a bunch of hair in our drains and so they don't work anymore. Another day he was pouring cups of water on the floor. I still don't know why, but we got it figured out and our house is slowly becoming clean. You just have to tell yourself it's normal.

So I realized I've been gone for almost 3 months. That's already 1/8 of my mission gone. Crazy. 

Ate burgers yesterday and cheesy potatoes. That was a highlight. 

We've run out of money and food and water. Reimbursements take 2 weeks, so just have to hold out for another 4 days and then all is well. (Nick has money in a private account.  He won't starve.)

Had our activity!! everyone loved it.( I asked about this.  He told me they played Minute to Win it games and they earned talents.  Then they separated them into the 3 degrees of glory )Except for this lady....

So about this lady, we found her on Wednesday. She was like sure come in. So we talked to her and her sister for about 40 min and at the end she was like yesterday I prayed for help from god and here you guys are, and its a sign and you're the best, etc. 

So we went back Thursday and had an awesome lesson, invited her to our activity. She was like hmmmm.... I'll go,  come and pick me up. So we were like, sure no problem. 

So then Friday came around. We baptized 2 kids that day and then directly after had the activity. It was a really busy day.... but it wasn't until we got back to our house we were like, WE FORGOT ABOUT PATI! 

So we had to go back to apologize on Saturday, cause we really felt terrible about it. We get to her house and shes leaving. Shes like, yeah when you guys didn't come, I was like,  maybe God doesn't want me to go. It's a sign. So, I made other plans and  I am leaving for a week. Talk about feeling like getting hit with a sledgehammer. So yeah that sucked and we're trying to be better.

But yeah 2 baptisms happened, it was fun.  We got a nice rock to block the plug. (Nick said they found out on Tuesday that they were getting baptized on Friday)

We got on a bus on Saturday. There were 5 Jehovah witnesses waiting for us. I've never been so scared for my life. (I asked about this too.  He said they just awkwardly stared at them)

 I MISSED DAYLIGHT SAVINGS. We woke up, got to church and were like where isss everyone???? I get two days to sleep in for 9 hours and I missed one. Muy triste.

Sunday, that was rough too. This lady in our ward was going to go pick one of our investigators up to come to church.  12 o'clock rolled around and she still wasn't there. So we called her and she's like, oh I'm sick...... uhh. HOWEVER, our other investigator came on her own regardless. So that was awesome to see. But then the talks, this one guy gets up there and just calls everyone out. I wanted to cry. 

So that's really what were working on right now. Just helping our ward become friends and grow up and stop being mean to each other. It's like teaching a bunch of 2 year olds, but eventually :)

This is what happens when you don't listen to how to sew or get your pants hemmed in the MTC like mom said to.  UGH!

Elder Arvanitas' first baptism with Dante and Donald

The church mat.  ha ha

Ernesto and his son.  Nick and his companion are teaching Ernesto's wife.  It was his birthday.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I've never been so excited for a buffet

So this week, I didn't have anything like Sydney's catching a thief story.  Sorry.  If a package got sent to my house and someone stole it, I wouldn't know the difference. 

But I forgot my list of stuff to talk about (I have to make a list... I don't have much time)

But this week was pretty hard for the most part.  By the end of October we want to be teaching 30 different people.  Right now were at 19, so it's not bad. 

But we found this home this week with 13 people living in it.  Keep in mind its more of like a 3 room apartment then a home.  And they didn't have couches.  So, we just sat on the floor and talked to this guy Jesus, and this other guy Omar who's 18 and has a wife and a kid.  So that's pretty crazy. I  don't remember what we talked about though, we just kinda told him who we are, what we do all day,asked him about his life, the usual.

Oh have I said the carpeted floors don't exist in Mexico? Neither do dryers. And this week I saw both. It was a pretty big day for me. 

But this guy and his wife, Marroquin, they took us out for lunch this week that was 20 mins away.  It was this buffet, I've never been so excited for a buffet in my life. They had mashed potatoes, and french fries, and mini hamburgers, and pizza.  Everyone was probably like, look at this american... eating the american food. But that's okay, I forgot about everyone else and ate 6 plates of food. It was weird though cause it felt just like America, except for the fact everyone was Mexican and speaking Spanish. 

But Wednesday this week, was probably one of the hardest days of my life. It was another one of those days where literally everyone blew us off. We looked in our list of houses, (were not allowed to just knock houses anymore, cause people hate that. Also we might get shot.) but  we walked around for 5 hours looking for anyone to talk to.  Nope.  But finally at lunch time, we talked to the lady that fed us, and it was like really short, but special. She started crying. I don't remember what it was about though, but it just shows that it's not all about success, as long as we try hard we can feel the love of god.

Speaking about the love of god, I gave a talk Sunday, and played piano( The lady tried to tell me what songs I had to play cause she doesn't like singing the same songs. I told her no). The biggest problem is the all the people here gossip about each other. So that's no good. So I talked about loving each other and Elder Cruz told everyone that its time to wake up and do something.  So everyone possibly might hate us.

Also we have to plan an activity for everyone once a month. We planned one for this week, no one showed up. And also, the mirror that we took from our house to the church fell and shattered where people walk. So once again, everyone hates us. Now we don't have a mirror, except for a little slice that I cut myself on yesterday. 

Oh so there's this lady, Marta, she owns a chicken place, and she still loves us. The other day we walked by her house and she was like,  are you hungry at all? We're like,  just like a little bit. She cut a whole chicken in half and gave it to us and drinks also. So that happened too. 

But that's basically all I think. I'ts hard here, I"m completely drained, but it's worth it. I love the people here, they take good care of me. I"m good with Spanish now, just can't really speak it. Miss you guys though, I'll talk to you soon though. 

Elder Arvanitas

So the other ward had a baptism. They got to the font and it was full of dirty old water. So, they drained it out with buckets for an hour and then started filling it again, but little did they know it was all draining out the bottom. So I stood on a rag trying to keep the water in for 30 mins, only for them to cancel it. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm legal in Mexico!

I don't really have a lot to talk about this week. It was kinda just an average week. I feel like eventually all my letters are going to turn out like this. 

But we had 3 elders get sent home in our mission. No one really knows what they did though. So of course, the rules are now more strict. So that's no fun. But we had a zone meeting on Friday where we kinda just talked about everything. In the beginning of the week E. Cruz was kinda just getting on my nerves a bit.  It happens after you live in the same house with someone for that long.  But we had that conference and I kinda just realized how dumb it was to let the little tiny things in life bother us and keep us distracted from what is really important. It's a cycle that happens so often in life, and if people don't learn how to fix it, it ruins relationships completely. So yeah, everything's good now.  I love Elder Cruz, he helps me out so much.  And, if hes 20 and still doesn't know how to pick his dirty socks up from all over our floor, I don't think he ever will. And that's okay :)(Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?  I'm sure I've told Nick to pick up his socks more than once)

Oh!  So you know how some people in the US don't have teeth and its really hard to understand them, just imagine it in Spanish. It's 100x harder. I swear the guy was just making guttural noises for words. And he was talking directly at me too. So yeah, he should be fun to talk to in the future. 

Today we went to go get our immigration papers. I'm officially legal in Mexico. Yay.  I saw everyone in my district from the MTC today. It's crazy that it's already been a month that I've been in Mexico.  But yeah, this one kid's showering with buckets of water, and this other kid's investigator just died one day. So that's always fun... But it was good to see everyone, but at the same time depressing because, the next time we'll all be together like that is when we all leave. 

But that was my life this week. Can't really think of anything else exciting that happened.  Had this day where literally everyone blew us off, even our lunch appointment.  So that was a no fun, very bad day. But I still love it out here. Even if somehow 3 flying cockroaches have found their way into our house, and I got bit by a spider twice this week. (We asked Nick about this and he says the bites have disappeared, so he's good.)

Love you Guys!
Elder Arvanitas

NIck was still online when I wrote him a quick note and asked if he was teaching anyone.  Here's his response.  Very cheeky if you ask me. 

What else would I be doing in the middle of Mexico?.... :p

Yeah, we teach this lady now whose daughter is paralyzed and kinda just lays in bed all day and can't talk. She left her alone in the house for an hour and a half to go to church. You can kinda just do that here.
Nick studied on the roof of someones apartment building.  I love how Queretaro is so colorful!