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