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!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The lady with no address

It sounds like it was a good week for Nick and he continues to write about some of the things he notices along with his experiences.  

This week was awesome.  We talked to so many people, I love it here. Here's some things though... 

So, every night, outside our window there's  a group of 5 dogs that just go at it and they bark and whimper till like 12 am. Every night.

There's also butterflies the size of your hand, that are brown and look like giant killer moths. We were eating at this lady's house and I just looked up and found a HUGE one right above my head. No fun.

But speaking of lunch with that lady,  I went on changes for the day with our zone leader Elder Dalhberg.  I went to his area, so we called this lady and were like ¨Donde esta su direcion?¨ her reply ¨No tengo direcion¨. So, we were like, great this lady doesn't want to tell us where she lives. But, it turns out she really didn't have a street name or anything.  We met her at a gas station, walked down this dirt road that overlooked the city into these tiny homes and met her son who has a mental disability. He was the coolest kid ever. But, they came out with food, and gave us chicken and all this food, while they only ate fruit. You could tell they didn't have a lot of money, so it was hard not to feel bad.  But, at the same time, it was one of those moments that just made you think. It really helped me remember why I was here. 

So conference, I had to watch the entire thing in Spanish, so I didn't get anything out of it. Turns out, I really suck at Spanish. But Elder Manglinong and I tried to watch it in English on a computer in the other room, clicked a button and all of a sudden everything went silent. Next thing we know, Spanish people come in and are like ¨Que hace!¨. Yeah we screwed up the internet and it took 30mins to get it back on.  The Mexican people were not happy...

Oh so remember when I said root beer doesn't exist here?  I was right. 

So Elder Manglinong and Sanchez lost their keys. We had to break into their house, which is the 2nd time in the 3 weeks I've been here breaking into someones house. This guy came with us with a big screwdriver, put it in their window, hit it once and it popped right open in 30 seconds. I'd expect nothing less in mexico. 

So after we got back from changes with the ZLs I took my Ariel pillow with me.(Sydney took the Little Mermaid sheets but Nick swiped the pillow case with Ariel on it) But, we had one more appointment with this family before the apartment.  So, here I am sitting with these two young parents teaching them, while holding my pillow with Ariel on it. I clearly didn't think that one through. (Serves him right for not letting Sydney take the pillow case)

So in Mexico, every time you look for a house it's like playing ¨I spy¨. The house numbers, unlike in America, are not in one designated spot. So it takes like 2 mins to find out where you are, and by that time you've past the house by 2 blocks.  Also, no houses have mailboxes. 

Tianges. Certain nights all these like merchants come in with tents and take over side roads. It's where you find the cheapest fake stuff.  But, there were these ladies that I saw during my day with Elder Dalhberg.  They work for the tianges, get up at 4 am everyday and make 300 tamales, every day. 

The other day I tried to pet this really cute stray dog in the street. It didn't like that.  I've never been more scared in my life. 

 Mexicans, once every 2 weeks, they water the trees. You know those water cannons they use in riots.... yeah those. I don't know who thought that was a good idea.

Joshua (pronounced ho-sway). One of the coolest guys we've met. Granted, he's addicted to  all this alcohol and like sniffing paint and stuff. We tried to go visit this old member, and found him. The other person had moved. But he let us in, gave us water and told us his story. He's really been through a lot, but its awesome to find someone that actually needs our help. The next lesson Elder Cruz and Elder Harland  (the other ZL) had with him, he ended up throwing away all his alcohol to quit his addiction. It's gonna be really hard, but I know he can do it. 

So there's all these houses here, that are like apartment complexes and they only have one exit and entrance with a huge gate. Its the most frustrating thing in the world. One day I'm going to set the gate on fire so they can see how flawed their logic is... only kidding...

So the other day i was looking at the wall on the back side of our house. On the top is just a bunch of glued down broken bottle pieces. It works i guess..

Hot dogs at the store are like neon pink here and I don't know why.

Taxis. Even if it only seats 4, you can still fit 6, and no one cares.. because its Mexico. 

But yeah that's all.  The people here are the best, they do so much for us. I feel like I'm getting fat from all the food so I'll have to work on that.  I love you guys.  Hope all is well. Talk to you soon. 

Local graffitti

Going down the road to the lady's, with no address, house

Elder Dahlberg and her son, Jose

Nicholas named this "Mariposa de muerte"  Seriously?  This is the one above his head.  What a wimp!

Jose taking a selfie

Jose and Elder Dahlberg

Elder Arvanitas and Jose

Breaking into the elder's house who locked themselves out

Nick went to a skateboard museum for pday, today.