This last week has been really crazy.
We went to Guadalajara yesterday, all the elders and sisters that have been out here the same amount of time as me had to go to Guadalajara. Yesterday after sacrament meeting we got on a combi, and rode to the central. The central is pretty much just your intermodal hub, where all the big buses that go places go. The combi ride was about a half hour, then we waited for a little bit for the next bus to Guadalajara, which took about three and half hours, we waited for a different kind of bus, and took that to the mission office. All in all total of the travel was about 6 hours. The buses that take us to Guadalajara are really nice. They have little tablet sort of things on every seat, and they have a whole bunch of movies loaded up on them. So that is what everyone does, except missionaries. They also have music we can't listen to and whole bunches of stuff like that.
So we got to the mission offices and waited for a little. All this was a pretty good experience because I got to see all my old MTC pals - this was all fun. Once we were in the mission offices, we waited for a while and then we all slept in one of the houses of the secretaries. Eight elders and one bathroom is less than fun, but it all worked out. One of the secretaries was asking if anyone else was going to shower in the night, I figured I would ask him if he wanted me to shower at night. So I did, but I accidentally asked "do you want to bathe me," so that was a really good laugh. In the morning, we went back to the mission offices which were pretty close. We got to eat breakfast at the mission home.
The mission home is super killer nice, and we ate watermelon and cantaloupe and then this chili stuff with a crap ton of tortillas, and some beans. It was tasty. They had carpet and a dishwasher. This was the second room with carpet I've seen in Mexico, and the First Dishwasher. DISHWASHERS ARE GREAT APPLIANCES. But I've actually grown to not mind the lack of dishwasher. It also helps that the amount of dishes we have are pretty minimal as well. After we ate, and shared stories, we went to a chapel, and had a training meeting, woooooooo. It was a training meeting. Then we did the whole busing back and forth. We did tons of busing the past day, and we is exhausted.
Next item of business. On Friday into Saturday, I had divisions with my zone leader. This is just where you work with them for a day. It was super awesome. Our district leader is Elder Jenkins, from Eden UT. He did the majority of the teaching, but I had 2 grand experiences with him. 1) We went to this partial-member family's home, and they call the grandma "grandma cookie." She is one of those super sweet old ladies who loves missionaries and loves to give them cookies. We were teaching the Gospel of Christ, and kind of focusing on repentance/the atonement. And before the lesson, we ate a ton of cookies and cajeta. Cajeta is love, it is just this caramel stuff, oh and a lot of the cookies here are just like graham crackers in circle form. So yeah, after devouring 2 packs of cookies and a whole jar of cajeta, we were talking about the atonement. I jumped on in there and shared my testimony of the atonement. It was an incredible experience, one of those where there is power behind the words, to where when the words are said, you feel it, and I hoped that everyone was feeling it as well as I was. The spirit was super strong, in so much that all could feel the spirit, despite my broken Spanish. 2) Next experience, we go to visit a drama queen, who conveniently owns a counterfeit clothing store. But we were talking with her and she was letting loose on us with all her problems. Eventually I jumped in with a little bit of a prayer lesson. I really like prayer and I really like telling people how cool prayer is. So we talked about prayer for a while and how it can help us with so many things, and once again that there Mr. Spirit was there.
On Saturday we had a ward activity, Called "viaje a Hawaii" (trip or travel to Hawaii). It was for the missionaries to score some investigators. Pretty much we had tickets that we would give to members who thought they might have people that were interested in the church, and then they brought them to the activity. It went really well. The story was that everyone that attended, was going to Hawaii. Elder Lux and I, the pilots, totes crashed the plane and killed them all. There was a slide show and sound effects, the works, but when they died, we had an angel come out and took them to all the kingdoms of glory that were possible, starting with OUTERDARKNESS. We had rooms all decorated and it was actually really well-done. We have been planning it since the week I got here. So yeah, We haven't gotten to contact any of the new references because we have been in Guadalajara or on a bus, but time will come.
Those are the mega points of my week. Mom you asked about Maydena. Maydena is good, she is also a huge stressor..... Maydena wants to be baptized, but she is the breadwinner for her family and just barely got a job. She works always, and we are trying to find a time when she can be baptized, buuuuut, she works every Sunday, so she can't be confirmed. This is another problem, if you are a member of the church, and you don't go to church, you are inactive, sooooo, should we baptize someone who will INSTANTLY, be inactive? I DON'T KNOW. The bishop and our mission president say yes becauuuuse they want numbers, they want baptisms, they want those to increase. And I just wanna say, "Do you want numbers or true conversions? Because I'd bet you we could walk out into the street and say to some Tuesdays (homeless people), "who wants a free bath?" and we could get them some numbers. BUT ITS ALL GOOD.
Momma Bear here are answers to your questions:
1. We are in a house, it has 2 bedrooms, kind of like a living room, which is where we sleep, the bedrooms are just used as closets, and a bathroom, and a "kitchen." I would send pictures, but I forgot my camera at the house, so that is good.
2. We walk a bunch, use a bunch of combis and not as many buses on a typical day. Every day is different. We try not to use combis a ton because you burn through your money really quick, really really quick. But we walk a ton, but other areas that don't have combis walk more.
3. Oh gosh... do people have pets. One family has easily over 25 birds, and when we eat there you feel like you are in some sort of a zoo or birdhouse. It can be really beautiful, or reallllllly annoying. A lot of people have dogs. I am yet to see any sort of other pet other than fish. Some dogs are treated like Gold, some aren't. There is this one family that has THE NASTIEST looking dog I have ever seen. It a large dog, larger than Decca, with super long white fur. Buttttt, the dog was so old and so un-groomed, its fur was about six inches long, and the dog was sooo incredibly nappy that the fur had just turned into dreadlocks - big dreadlocks about 3-4 inches wide - not kidding in the slightest. The beast is so putrid that the family doesn't touch it. They use a broom to push it away from them. It was really quite gross, and comical simultaneously. Also we have lizards that live under our porch. I have yet to name them for lack of a great name, but one will come to me.
4. I see butterflies. I have not seen any huge ones, but you see a few a day. I would like to see more, and more huge ones.
5. Yes we keep our doors locked and lock the gate. The gas thief did not get a way with the gas, but he moved it about six feet and cut the line. We have hot water now. Except, I like to think of our boiler as a pubescent girl/boy/teen. It decides when it wants to cooperate, and it just depends on your luck.
All of your family things sound super cool. Except for the poor person that crashed into Starfie, That dent will just add more character to Starfie... One cool thing about Mexico is the cars. People are really funny about stuff. They will drive a piece of crap car, with suuuuper nice rims, and suuuuper nice stereo system, and live in a terrible house, and eat nothing, but they have a really nice stereo system. PRIORTIES.
I'm super close to finishing the Book of Mormon. I like the famous quote that goes something like "if we don't learn from history, we are destined to repeat it." All the Nephites and Lamanites and Jarodites and all those cats never really understood that. They become righteous, then they start seeking for money and idols and fornication, and then they are sad, and then some amazing prophet comes along and teaches them to change, and then the next generation falls in. I want to be the kind of guy that can learn from my mistakes, and not fall back into them, a lot easier said than done.
I sure do love all of you guys and I hope all of your weeks are super duper. And if they aren't CHANGE IT. Also easier said than done. Also that is really great that Sandee has a baptismal date.
Love you all. Stay sweet. And stay strong, and remember who you are, and be polite, and always say thank you, and dab not scrub when you spill mole on your tie, and don't get ingrown fingernails, and don't eat food that gives you diarrhea.
---Elder H U L M E heeyullllme