Mailing Address in Mexico

Elder Oliver Philip Hulme
Guadalajara East Mission
AV. 18 de Marzo #3088
Colonia las a Aguilas
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
CP 45080

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 21, 2013 - 1st Week in Camelinas, near Morelia

My friends and family, we did it. I've almost been in Mexico for one week, and it is the coolest thing.  I am in Camelinas, and from what I can tell, or what dad said, Morelia is about the size of Salt Lake. Today for special p-day purposes, we were in the centro of Morelia. It is absolutely beautiful. 

I am talking more in lessons but not a lot. We have lessons every day, and we have some investigators and we also go and visit with a lot of less actives and recent converts. We have a lunch appointment every day, except Mondays, we go to a members home and eat their food, it is awesome. It is like our Sunday dinners where you eat too much and talk. We aren't supposed to stay longer than one hour. One interesting thing is that, typically, we eat anywhere from 200pm-400pm, so when you eat breakfast at 730, and maybe like a snack before you leave the house, sometimes we are just starving when the lunch time starts and we just devour the food. The food here is toooooo incredible, it makes me want to cry. Just about  a half hour ago I pounded 8 el pastor tacos, and loved every every every minute of it, you would be so proud of me. And all the other food is grand, just grand. My first meal with a member was mole poblano and it was exquisite. Other things I have eaten: tortas, hamburgers, other tacos, just everything, the fruit here is super tasty as well, you just have to know what to eat. I've really taken a liking to tunas- they are these little green guys, about the size of a pear, and they have a super hard skin. You take off the peel, and just eat it, the seeds are always kind of tough, but the whole fruit is super good. Also, we have tons of guavas, I like those. The other night I bought 4 tunas and a grapefruit for 4 pesos, so less than 40 cents, needless to say, I was happy. 

The people here are the best things that have ever happened. Everyone is so nice, and just loves you, even when you don't know them. Last night we ate with the Abarca family, they are awesome, have 3 kids, but only one is a member and he is 11, they have been members for about 5 years, They want to go to the states, so I told them they could stay with us for a bit around christmas in 2015. Don't know if it'll happen, but I would love it if they stayed with us. I spent a little over one hour with them and it was awesome.  I dont have a ton of time today, because I spent a lot of my email time trying to fill out reimbursment forms for the bills we had to pay.

Church is different. All the floors in Mexico are tile, so when kids are running around it echoes a ton. It is also a bit weird not having a bazillion members-I think we had less than 100 in church yesterday, and our gospel principles had about 12. But it is good, our bishop is a bit intimidating but nice at the same time. We do in fact have investigators, one has a baptismal date for 11/26,  then there is a girl who we will most likely be baptized pretty soon. 

The language - language is good and a tough. I am learning a lot every day, but  you can´t quantify it. The only way I can explain it is, I have to ask Elder Lux to repeat himself less, which is still a ton. I have such a hard time understanding everyone, they all speak so fast it is ridiculous.

We do not have any other elders in our apartment, it is just us two. I sleep on the top bunk, which I cannot say I love because I know that one day I'm going to fall the 5 feet onto the tile. 

I'm loving most everything here. Friday and Saturday were two of the worst days, because there was a training meeting for all the trainers, (Elder Lux), so I had to go on a split for two days, with a new companion. He was nice, but for whatever reason, I was down, and grouch-a-pillar the whole two days- I didn't want to be but I was. It was just so hard being in another area that i did not know, with another companion that I did not know, trying to talk to people that I did not know, and I know I have to do all that stuff in my area, but it was different. We got chased by a dog, about the size of decca, but less fat, with much sharper looking teeth. It was behind its fence, but it had dug a hole large enough for it to fit under. As we passed, it escaped the mighty mighty fence and tried to chased us about twenty yards. It gave us a good laugh. As soon as I got on the cambí on our way home to Camelinas, I felt happy again and like I was home, it was weird.

CAMBÍS. They rock. They cost 7 pesos, they are pretty much the size of a swagger wagon. You can fit 20 people into them - driver, passenger, and then the back just has seats around the perimeter and everyone piles in. All the cars here are stick shift and everyone drives them so crazy, it's super fun. 

Love you, thanks have a good week

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 16, 2013

Hello all you crazy hooligans... You{re probably wondering why I get to email. Its because my companion had to travel all his pday to pick me up from the mission office essentially. So we are in a cyber right now, there is some sort of crazy awesome band playing outside in the street, i just purchased bananas, tomatoes, fresh bread and cantaloupe, and I am loving Mexxxxxico. 
Run down of how things went:

We flew to Texas, had a short layover, got on the flight to Mexico, that was fun, the sun was setting for part of it and it was super beautiful... We landed, did customs and all of those lovely things, one of the elders in my district put the wrong nationality or something and so the customs people totally pulled him into scary back room and made sure he was not a criminal. Once we got all of our bags and things, we walked into the main part of the airport. We met our mission president, wife and all of the secretaries. We landed at around 8:30pm or so.

Then we got into all the cars and they took us out to eat at a restaurant in Guadalajara, I don{t know the name of it, but they have the guinness book record for fastest serving time, so that was really cool, and the food was SO TASTY. I don{t know what I ate, but it had some sort of meat and this bacon, and it was in like a soup, then there were these beans and corns sort of stuff that you ate kind of like Xanders roti. Also the horchata was super tasty.

After that, they took us to the mission office, where we had about 4 minutes to grab everything we needed to get ready for the next day. Me and 3 elders in my district walked with 2 of the secretaries to their apartment and slept there for the night. It was soooo hot, and there was a lot of sweating. But honestly, I{m starting to get used to being a sweaty mess any time I go outside. The next day, we got ready for the day, we went to the mission offices, had our trainings and things, and had a really quick interview with the mission president. 

The buses here are a riot. All the vehicles I{ve ridden in so far have been stick shift, and it seems like everyone here doesnt even try to shift smoothly, it is sooo funny, but the bus drivers here, (and everyone else) drive absolutely insane, everyone drives fast and jerky, and it so so much fun. We went to the chapel, had lunch which was like a taco salad, then we sat in the chapel and had somewhat of a devotional and got our companions.

I am stoked on my companion, he is 1.56m tall, which is not very, probably weighs about as much as one of my thighs, and is the coolest. His name is elder Lux, and he is from Guatemala and he cannot remember my name, but I love him. He is very very helpful with Spanish and does not get mad when I say "como" every second, por que he talks super fast and I can never understand him. Oh and they also gave us our assignments. This brings me to my area, which also, I could not be more excited about, Im in Morelia, it is beautiful and my area is called Camelinas. But we are in Morelia, it is beautiful but the past hour is really the only time i have seen in because we got in late last night. 

We went back to the chapel, and then we got on a bus, this bus ride seemed like it took a very long time. We got to our destination, then got on the other bus, the bus to take us to Morelia. Both the bus rides were nice, they were air conditioned, the second one was very fancy, but we were on it for 3.5 hours. Once we arrived in Morelia, we got a taxi to take us to our house. The taxi driver was so funny. I did not comprehend one word he said - he had this super high kind of nasally voice, but it wasnt wimpy, it was high, nasally, and strong - weird combination. This guy was super hunchbacked and also weighed not very much. But he was a safe driver.

We got to our house, and houses here are very different. When you walk into ours it is kind of similarly shaped to a typical family room, but the bunkbeds are right by the door, then at the foot of the beds, there are desks where we study. Then there is a small kitchen, with a small fridge, a camp stove and a sink. There are two other rooms, which are both just used as closets. I like our bathroom - it is this awful awful pink color, but I like it. Whilst using the toilet, I feel somewhat how Buddy the Elf does in the movie Elf. Our toilet is teeny tiny and wicked close to the floor.

I started to unpack last night when we got home, and then finished this morning. But last night most of our time was taken up by planning. This morning we had our typical missionary schedule of personal study, companion study, language study, and then since I{m a fresh crop, we have another hour of training, we then start our work at 1200. 

I am loving Mexico. I am not loving this keyboard, because i don{t think there is an apostrophe in Spanish, sooooo every time you see these {{{{{{{{ That means I{m trying to use an apostrophe but I can{t... I simply can{t.

We did it ladies and gentlermens estamos aquí estamis en mexico.  I{m so excited to be here. Things are different and trying to hear what people say is just crazy, but I{m loving it and cant wait for what at least the next 12 weeks in Morelia have in store. 

Love you guys all so much have awesome weeks. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 9, 2013

I actually didn't get your package and letters yesterday. I thought you guys were shunning me, for some reason. Elder Hulme had a week without letters. BUT! I got all the letters and packages today, and it was awesome.  I saw the chips and automatically knew there was going to be salsa. and I've already eaten a lot of it. Thanks so so so so so so much, I love all those goodies.

Elder Hulme's district with their teacher, who had brought them each a used tie on their last day. 
Yes, I could hear the music walking to and from the main campus yesterday. I always did like those band competitions. Unfortunately, I was in the devotional when Timpview played, but I heard people practicing and playing when walking. It was fun. I'm glad they did well. But I'm sorry that they didn't clean house it... But at the same time, I'd bet the band room doesn't have very much room for more trophies they have won so many stinkin' competitions. 

I also cannot believe that I'll be in mexico in less than a week. I honestly cannot wait. Occasionally our teachers will go on a bit of a reminiscent tangent of their missions in Mexico and they will tell us stories, and I am so excited mom, It is unreal. The tricky part with the MTC is days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. So every day is slow, but all together or when seven of them happen it seems really fast. Like I can't believe it is already pday again, but at the same time, sometimes you are in class and it is like "I have literally been here for 88 days and nights." But the next few days will be going a bit different because we have in field training and stuff like that.

Oli, his cousin Lexie Hulme, her companion, and Elder Sealor
Fun stories.  The other day, I was laying on the floor in our residence, because I had just done a bunch of push-ups and I was just kind of staring off into space, and I saw that there was something in our stovetop hood. I walked over there looked up, and on the underside of the stovetop (where the fan is), there was a note. The note rhymed and was just funny good. It was a scavenger hunt. That led us into using the end of some nail clippers to un-screw the bolts of one of our air vents, that was the end of the scavenger hunt, there was 1 small package of trail mix, 4 peppermint patties (rotten), 1 granola bar, and I think something else. But it was super fun, and we want to do something like that before we go.

Also every p-day, Elder Sealor, Elder Wutkee, Elder Rey and I make a to-do list and pin it up on our bulletin board, because every Thursday our rooms get checked to make sure that we are keeping them clean. We just like to make the list for laughs and to make the inspectors think we are really weird. But here are some of the things that they have said:::: 
  • Shave each others backs. 
  • Turn fridge into incubator for geese. 
  • Assemble boxing match for spiders. 
  • Clean the tub. 
  • Buy ten pounds of toothpaste.

It is all just silly  fun

I absolutely loved this last week. I loved conference, and Elder Sealor and I were getting a long really well. We are working well together and I'm learning tons. Spanish is super fun, and on Monday, I went on an english fast, so i didn't speak english the whole day. It was tough, but rewarding. I also think necessary, because I will hear very little english in the next two years. .. Moral of the story I'm doing really well.

Love you all so much. Have a good week,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2, 2013

Brent and Oli accidentally bumped into each other on Frontrunner on Wednesday, Sept 25. Oli and been on the upper level, and Brent right below him for 40 minutes before Oli came down to switch trains to Trax. Brent thought he was being attacked by a homeless person until he realized it was Oli. They hopped on Trax and got to spend about 20 minutes together. Oli and several other elders were on their way to SLC to pick up their visas.

October 2, 2013

Yes I got your package. Thank you so much I told everyone they could eat whatever they want, excluding the apples and the peaches, and if they did eat of this forbidden fruit they would be in biiiiig doggie doo doo trouble. I will look for Lexi, and I hope to see her. 

On Saturday, your super coordinated son sprained both his ankles. I was walking down the stairs. I kind of rolled one and tripped, then I jumped off that foot, and jumped about four feet out, four foot drop, landed on both my feet and simultaneously rolled both of them. One is pretty bad, I went to the doctor and got a brace, because my whole ankle was masssssive and it is bruising. The doctor said everything I wanted: that I will be fine, and that I should just wear the brace and ice it. I just wanted to make sure I'd be fine going to Mexico.

Yes, I cannot wait to go to Mexico. Three of my teachers served in Mexico, and sometimes we can get them to tell us about it and it just makes me so excited. Also with the new missionaries that came in today, even the english speaking ones only stay for 12 days, which means that I'm a veteran of the MTC and I am leaving just as soon as anyone else. So I cannot wait. Yes I'm excited for conference

The Tuesday night devotional was given by David S. Baxter of the 70. Right at the beginning, one of the big things he said that really hit me was"you are leaving your family for a little bit, so you can help others be with their families forever." I like this, because .... I don't know just think about it and you'll like it too. He talked about why we don't use a symbol for our religion, specifically the cross. He said, 1. we believe that christ's ministry did not end on the cross, and the cross was just a part of what else needed to happen. 2. There are so many other events that happened other than just the cross, the garden, calvary, resurrection. 3. We don't want our symbol to be something small and forgetable like a cross, our symbol should be shown by the works and attitudes of our people. 

Other things I liked... Faith without works is dead, you have to do more than just believe---act on it. 
When other religions want to argue that in the Bible it says to not add any more scripture (last chap. in Revelations) He answers that, with that was John speaking, meaning he did not want other people adding to the book of revelations. and WHY would god want to keep giving us guidance thousands of years ago? He wouldn't, God loves us, thus we needed an updated part.
Also in the bible, it says there are books missing, and he made the point that if those other books were recovered, people would not reject them, even if they were added to the Bible.
**I hope all this is making sense**
He then ended giving a ton of statistics about welfare projects the church has helped with. I would suggest looking at those stats. Because they are incredible. Also it was cool, that in a tsunami in indonesia, the church bought 700 Kurans for the affected area. He also said we need to be respectful of every other religion, which I liked a lot because a lot of times we think that just because we think we've got it all, that everyone else is dumb. But we need to love everyone.

I love you all so much. I hope the email and the paper letters fills you in with my life as you need.

Love, Elder Hulme