Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding people

Okay, so I went to Costco for the first time in like.... 7 months the other day and since when do they have BBQ pulled pork sandwiches?!  I feel like I've been gone too long. 

But about what's going on here... 

Since I've got to Celaya the area's just been kinda... dead.   We had like 5 investigadores, and almost all of them we were going to drop in these weeks. 

So naturally the instinct was (FIND PEOPLE). So we asked for lists and for names and for numbers.. anything. We went through the lists of people and must of knocked on at least 100 houses, of addresses we had of people that were members once but stopped going, only to find out that they moved away 6 years ago and no one (in these 6 years) thought it would be smart to take them off of the lists that they gave to us.

It's been a little bit, well just hard. Cause even after all that,.. like 30 hours of work we ended up finding 1 person.. 

And that leads up to about Thursday of this past week. We ended up having a conference with all the missionaries in Celaya and the president of our mission. 

 The only thing that really stuck out was that... 

We often live in compartments, and only focus one one thing at a time. when we get back to the house, Sleep/Relax mode. 

When we wake up, shower mode, then breakfast mode.

 When were walking in the street, talking to people mode. 

Eat mode, then food coma mode. 

And then spiritual mode, which is all in slow motion with an all boys soprano choir in the background. (at least that's how I imagine it) 

But it shouldn't be like that.  We need to learn how to multi task, and be the same person in all situations, so that we can always be guided divinely to people who are ready. 

So we did that. and... it worked! So hay va. Poco a poco. 

And that's basically all that happened this week. We're still working on finding people and all that but it's a lot better. :) More stories next week. Hope you enjoy the pictures

Elder Arvanitas

Nick met a guy who makes masks.  He made all the masks for the Lion King show there.    

Elder P......

Elder P...... and Elder Arvanitas

Cute little 3 wheeled delivery truck

Burned his tie trying to get a stain out.  So, he cut it off and fixed it.  

Playing the Mexico version of Clue

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tacos and Fireworks

Que hice esta semana....
Guess i should just start with the basics.
So my companion. Elder P.......
He's one of my favorite companions for sure. He's from Puebla,  from a city that has 365 iglesias catolicos. So there's a party everyday there where they walk around carrying different saints and shooting off fireworks. 

Speaking of that, they started doing that here and now I cant sleep -_-.   Also the fireworks scare the heck out of me cause they always light them off right by our house, or while we're teaching a lesson and they sound like bombs going off.
The fireworks are a little more ghetto here. I bought half a stick of dynamite for $1.50. (No i never lit it, I ended up leaving in it one of my old houses for someone else to blow off their fingers)
But I realized, I'm getting old here. Almost an entire year out here in Mexico.

I still remember my first day here when public buses were a nightmare, and buying stuff in stores was worse.
When eating tacos meant an entire night in the bathroom, and every time we ran out of gas, I cried.
But it's cool to see how much I've changed in this year. Now I realize how much more fun bus rides are when you're speeding down a hill made out of rocks at 60 mph ,or when you fit 6 people in a taxi, not counting the driver.
Also the awkward moments when you talk to someone that's completely crazy or you can't understand them at all because they don't have any teeth and you just end up laughing right in front of them.
Also about the tacos and gas, I can pound tacos now, and every time we run out of gas it's kinda like "Eh I don't have money right now, we can wait like a week" 
But also spiritually. I've met a lot of awesome people out here. People that I'll always remember. 
I promise an experience in my next letter :p 

But,  I'm out of time and I can't send pictures cause my computer's kinda garbage. 
Also thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa for the birthday gifts and cards (both sides) 

Take care, love you all.
Elder Arvanitas

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another week of lists

So since I'm running out of time I thought I might just continue on with my list of things about Mexico.... 

Streets with the same number/ without a name

It honestly doesn't make any sense here. We went to go to our food appointment Sunday.  We show up at the house 110, and this really dirty man walks out with a cigarette. So were like
"Is this the house 110 on this street?"
"Yep, but there's another one at the end of the street"

So we start walking 110, 112, 114, 116, we get to like number 130 and it just starts over at 110 again... of course that was the house we wanted.

Also there's the colonies that don't have street names so you get references like you have to go to the big store in the middle, then find the tree, and its the 7th house on the left with a stump. It's ridiculous. 

Driving commercials 

The cars just drive around blasting commercials with speakers on top of their cars selling everything from fruit to gas to T.V service. It's never quiet. 

Street Sweeping 

The people here throw water in front of their house and proceed to take out a broom and "sweep the street". After a year, I still don't get it. 

Chile and Lime theory 

If anything tastes bad just put some chile powder and lime on it. 

Also FACT, in Mexico there's Limones and Limas. Limones mean limes and I'm still not sure what the word for Lemon is or what Limas are. 

Bus Clowns 

Sometimes creepy clowns hop on the bus and start doing an act. When I was on a bus once in Queretaro this one clown hopped on and took out what must of been the filthiest Elmo puppet ever and started to talk. Elmo must have been doing some pretty hard drugs that day. 

Cold Showers 

We store all our gas for the house in tanks that you have to fill up. So as you can imagine sometimes they run out and you're stuck with taking cold showers in the mornings (like today). Every morning it feels like I take a sea plane to Alaska and chip out a circle of ice in a lake to just hop in and back out. It's the about worst thing in the world.


As for Celaya, I love it here. It feels more like how I imagined Mexico. It's so much fun. 

Sidenote- As for pictures I haven't been carrying around my camera that much. People that were in my area a couple months ago got robbed with knives and they took their backpacks with all their stuff. I'm just hoping to get robbed on a day where I don't carry that much. (Nick says his new companion was robbed recently and when Nick got there last week, he didn't have any food.  Nick apologized for spending money.  Ummm.... I don't think so Nick, it's there to use.)

But just a few things. 

-I bought my first pair of TOMS! They were 13$. For the girls they're only 10 :p 
-There's a mariachi band that plays outside our window every single night. One day I'm going to throw rocks at them. 
-We did service for this lady that had 5 sets of encyclopedias... I'm not sure if she's discovered that wikipedia exists. 

I'll name more next week. Love all of you guys. Take care 

Elder Arvanitas

He quickly told us his companions name before he signed off but not where he's from or anything.  From his name,  I think he is another native speaker.  I think that helps Nick to keep up his Spanish.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Leaving San Juan del Rio

Well the changes came and.... I'm out. Going to Constituyentes Celaya! 

Funny story about it though. So Friday night we were getting anxious about our changes to see if we should start saying goodbye to people or not. So we casually called our assistant and casually asked if we were going to see him at the next meeting. 

So he was like,  fine I'll check, but don't tell anyone cause I don't want to get in trouble (meanwhile I'm telling all of you...) 

"Elder M....., hes gonna stay and train, Elder Arvanitas he's going to go to Guanajuato, Guanajuato. But it could change"

So I was thinking of like famous mummies, giant churches, and lots of hills. And I kid you not, the words came out of my mouth, "I'm just glad it's not Celaya."
I imagine Celaya as kind of the poopy area of the mission. 

And I believe it was in that moment exactly, that my words changed the pattern of the air waves and a change happened in the universe, and well,  president changed his mind in 48 hours and I'm off to Celaya. 

I cursed myself.... 

But that's okay, I know its where I need to go and we'll see what happens. (also there's the fact that my companion now gets to take my place in Guanajuato...) Nick says that sister missionaries are moving into their places in San Juan del Rio

On the other hand,  for our last week we found this awesome guy. Hes a graffitero. 

Fun facts about Graffiti. As he explained it to me "when your born, your parents get to choose your name and who you are. But when you (start to graffiti? graffiti-ing?) you choose your own name, and who you want to be. Then you try and spray paint that name in as many different ways possible, every time a new way, trying to become recognized and having your name be known" 

And he said this all in English too! He lived in the states when he was 13 until he was 19. Only the first time he graffiti-ed a building over there, the police found him and he spent the night in jail. 

United States is no fun, I know. 

But he told us that he wants to change. We asked him what he thought about God, and hes like "To be honest I don't know him, but I want to." 

Just a really humble guy. I'm so happy that I got to meet him right before I leave. 

What else.. 

I started making a list of things I'm going to miss in Mexico. I forgot my list.. but here are a few things.. 

-cheap meds 
-stray dogs / dogs on the roofs 
-hallway houses 
-bus races 
-bonice people 
-random clowns on buses 
-the fact that "copyright" doesn't exist down here (I've been to the Candy Crush store, Pizza Planet, etc.)

That's about it. Longer explanation on that next week. 

Love you guys! 

Elder Arvanitas

Dead cat, ´merica  Happy 4th of July!