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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Too many coconuts, grocery shopping, skyping, royal planching

We had to make a gift for the mission Christmas party. I made a really crappy snowman to hold your photos. I apologized to the girl that got it.
Elder Lux, Elder Hulme, Elder Perrett (Zone Leader)

Elder Maughan, Elder Jenkins 
Elder Miller, Elder Hulme (from same MTC district)

Giant snowman pinata with Elder Lux

This week we made friends with a people that have a coconut selling firm, well a small business that is a little sketchy. The two coolest dudes are named d and e. D gave us free coconuts. I ate wayyyyy too much coconut. Xander, you know exactly what happens when you eat too much coconut. bahaaaa. Needless to say, coconuts are tasty.

Mom, yes I got your big package a few weeks ago. The small package I have not seen. But we only get mail once a month, because the mission offices send it to us via the zone leaders. So I'll probably get it in January.

Grandma Dot is Number 1! I got her package. The silverware poked through the wrapping paper, but let her know that we loved the treats that she sent, especially the chocolates. Elder Lux devoured those. As did I. And we are excited to get the silverware and the other mystery present. Grandma is the best best. 

I did my grocery shopping today. I'm a big boy now. Mom, to answer your question, this is what I bought:
one canteloupe
some strawberries
3 avocados
a ton of bananas
I eat oatmeal every day for breakfast, but then I hook my oatmeal up with tons of fruit, like strawberries, bananas, apples, and guavas. It's super tasty. 

CHRISTMAS. I will Skype you guys at 4:00pm MEXICO TIME. Which I think is 3pm your time. But yeah, skype skype, (I will do everything I can to be punctual at 4pm mexico time sharp, but mexicans are late, always, with everything). I cannot wait to chat with you kids.

This last week we had our christmas activity with our president and all the elders and sisters from Morelia, and another district. It was fun, but at the beginning, we got a ROYAL PLANCHING. To planch someone in spanish means to iron them, or grill them. President has got some new and very difficult expectations for us, but that is no reason that we shouldn't complete them. 

Man every week mom hooks me up with everything that has happened during the week, which is a ton, how do you guys have enough time to do all of this things, going to parties and going to wedding receptions. I forgot that Budders Walker was getting married, that is crazy, but WAHOO. 

This week was good, a little tough but good. Right now everyone is out of town or at parties all the time, so we have had multiple days of pretty much just trying to find people to talk to because no one is home. Mexico loves parties, and they party hard. Starting on the 18th, pretty much everybody goes to a different "pasado" (huge party), and parties. From what I can tell they usually start around six or seven and go all night. That is another fun thing, they are not afraid to stay up all night and do fireworks the whole month of December. 

You guys are the best, and I hope you all have the best christmaseseses ever.I sure love you all so much, and I hope yours Christmases rock da hawwwwssss. 

say hello to all the family

ps, don't be afraid to send pictures via email because I can print them here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jello, best dude ever, Christmas tamales, ponche

Hello my friends, 

There is literally very little time to write emails today. I got sick yesterday. I called the mission president's wife to tell her I was going to take some ibuprofen because I didn´t feel well, (it's a rule), but then she told me I had to go see a doctor. I didn´t like this order, because I know that it is just a cold, and what-not. Moral of the story, when you wake up on Sunday, and it feels like there is a large cactus in your throat, just take the ibuprofin and don´t ask questions. But no need to worry, I ate some jello for breakfast and feel great. JELLO. If any of you knew how much jello we eat here, you´d be astonished. Seriously we eat tons of jello and I have no idea why, but I really like jello now, especially flavor purple.

Also we had to go to a foot doctor today for Elder Lux. He's been rocking a gnarly ingrown toenail for a month now, and decided it was time to check it out. wahoo.

Jeez, you kids had a crazy fun week it sounds like, and mom thanks for the christmas wishes and all that good stuff. I already know what I'm getting myself for christmas, this week. A sister in our ward is going to the temple, and I've got her all hooked up with money to buy me these really cool spanish scripture cases that say Mexico all over them. I'm pretty excitered. 

This week we found the best dude ever. His name is Jose C. He has been a drunk for farrr too long. He came to us, and said he was sick of being a drunk, was sick of feeling like a bum, and was spiritually lost, and wanted God to be a part of his life. GOLDEN. We had our first lesson with him on Tuesday, we told him and did everything we could to help him leave his alcoholic ways, he has been sober ever since. On Tuesday when we first met him, he looked like, well, your typical drunk, grubby clothes, raccoon eyes and scrappy beard. Kind of *tuesday-esk* We had another lesson with him on Thursday, and when we got to his house, he was in the other part of the house, so we were talking with his mom and dad for a little bit. He came downstairs and looked like one million bucks. 1000000$$$. He had completely changed up his clothes shaved and looked all spiffy. I didn't recognize him to be for realsies. We have been trying to keep him involved in whatever we can, to keep his mind away from alcohol. One of the other wards had their christmas party last week, so we took him to that, he also came to church on Sunday. The lessons that we have had with him have been incredible, because he actually wants to change. He says that he'll do anything to get his life back together. It's lovely to finally have someone who wants to go to church, and who has the desire to become closer to God, even if it requires the slightest amount of effort. We have another lesson with him today, really soon, and I am STOKED. we love Jose C. 

Dad, it was your birthday, I love your new trombone, and you'd best be practicing every day. 
Also in that christmas party we were at they had some amazing tamales. They had tamales flavored red, green (CHRISTMAS SPIRIT) And also a sweet tamale, that was flavor pineapple. Lets just say that christmas tamales are great things. There is this stuff here called ponche, its pretty much just like a cider, or wassail, but it is made with red fruits and served hot, and it is tasty tasty tasty tasty tasty stuff.

You guys got to see all of your friends this week, the olpins, the fishers, jon hansen, and mom had bookgroup, what could get better than that. Speaking of friends, the tienda that is right by our house is called *abarrotes Fer* A couple weeks ago I asked the owner his name and it is fernando, thus he calls his tienda  abarrotes FER. He is this frompy dude, with a funny haircut, that knows a little bit of english and always talks to me in english, he is the best and is one of my friends. He is a good friend.

Tomorrow we have a christmas party of sorts with the president with everyone in my zone and another zone. It will be a good time I think. 

Mothers questions:
1. I don't know when the next time I go to Guadalajara will be, probably not for a while, those last couple weeks were just extra special special.
2. This week was good, very stressful, and at times very disappointing, and at times very rewarding. I think that is how missionary work is in general. But one of our investigators didn't show up to three of the appointments we had with her during a week, so that stank. But it was a good week. It went by crazy fast.
3. Spanish is good. If the setting is controlled, I feel 94% confident. But there is hardly anywhere quiet in this city; there are always cars driving crazy, car alarms, dogs barking, babies crying, cars honking, and music playing somewhere. To celebrate christmas everyone does a ton of fireworks all the month of December. So at times it is REALLY hard to hear. 
4. We don't know exactly where we will be on christmas, I have somewhat of an idea, but it is not set in stone.

Christmas is just next week, that is nuts crazy. I'm pretty darn excited to talk with you guys. That'll be the best christmas present ever. I feel like I haven't talked with you kids in forever, but it has been 2 months. Also, I have been reading a lot in the bible, I like the bible, I mainly love the scriptures now. But for reals kids, this year, I feel like everyone is old enough to really get their minds set on the reason we celebrate christmas. JESUS. I love the tradition that our family has of reading the christmas story every year, but try to keep christ in mind and think less about gifts, giving or receiving. 

Love you all the most, hope that your weeks were super great, and that the skiing is good, and that the snow keeps falling, and that you drink way too much wassail, and eat way too many christmas goodies. (nobody here uses their ovens to bake tasty desserts, they just eat jello. I MISS HOMEMADE COOKIES).

with lots of loves love.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tripa torta, Christmas devotional, New Testament is cool, any day with mole is a good day

Ok first things first, kids. Every night we pass by a tienda. There are two tiendas on the street right out in front of our house, one of which has this guy named Fernando, who I really enjoy. But the other tienda, has street food with tacos and tortas and all that jazz, and we pass by every day, and it always smells sooooo goooood. So on Friday, we decided we'd stop by. I got a torta, which I love tortas, they are everything you would ever want, greasy, big nice bread, with melty cheese, lovely. I ordered a "tripa" torta. I had heard people talk about tripa, but hadn't ever tried it, so I did. Then they had all these spicy salsas to choose from, which works out well because now I can eat spicy food like a mexican, it's great. We got to the house and ate them - never has a torta tasted so incredible, it seriously cannot be explained. After we finished Elder Lux asked me if I liked the tripa, so I told him that it was tasty tasty tasty tasty. I asked why he wondered if I liked it, I thought it was just some sort of typical meat cut, that I just hadn't ever tried. I looked up tripa, and learned it is cow intestine, well this stuff was cow intestine. AND I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT OKAY.

The next day we were out doing our work, and our next appointment was forever away, and we had a lot of time, I was like hey Elder Lux, is it okay if we stop by the house I should probably use the toilet before this appointment. The walk was about forty minutes, and it was a death march, I was about as close as you could get to ruining a pair of garments, when we got to the corner of our street, I gave him the keys and made him run forward and unlock the doors so I could hurry to the bathroom with no mistakes. Moral of the story, cow intestine is a delicious meat, but it blows right through Elder Hulme....yay.

Hey, where did all that snow come from? seriously, that is the best. SIMON DON'T CRASH STARFIRE CABBAGE PLUS. You kids be careful out there with all that snow and ice, because if you end up crashing into a Prius, or a tree, it could cost a shiny penny or two. 

This week we had more divisions, I was with Elder Jenkins (our district leader from Eden, Utah) and we were in my area. It was cool because it was the first time I lead my area, which was a bit spooky at first, but it went super duper well. We had tons of lessons with investigators and also, there is this return missionary in the ward who is super great, because he wants to help us out. So if we need a member to come out and help us he is super accessible and since he's only been home for like a month. He knows his stuff really well. I feel like I'm learning to handle some of the things people do better. I don't know why people accept appointments with us when I feel like they already know that they are going to flake out, but I've learned to cope with it and make the best. But the other day, we had tons of appointments, and every single one fell through, but all is well. 

I started the New Testament the other week, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME TO READ IT BEFORE? The New Testament is the coolest. I started Mark today, and it is super cool because I recognize all the stories and parables, from sunday school and all that, but right now they mean a lot more to me and I understand it.  Also, this morning I was reading in Mosiah, and in 2:41, it talks about how if we obey the commandments of God, we will be blessed spiritually and temporally. That was cool, because right now we have a recent convert named M, and his girlfriend E, who is one of our investigators, who just recently informed us that they are living together again, even though M knew that they couldn´t live together before his baptism, and E wants to be baptized, but she is now living with her boy toy again. But we were trying to explain to them that when we do what God asks, God hooks us up with blessings. The problem is when you explain this to people they want you to know exactly what blessings they will receive. Unfortunately the scriptures//commandments don´t give us an X+Y=Z equation with a derivative of what the Z blessings are.

Mom, you asked about if stores and everything get all decorated here like they do in the states. They don't really. Some people will do lights and stuff, but not nearly the same. My favorite parts of all the Christmas decorations, is that they all are so incredibly tacky and cheap, it is so funny. I think it's mainly because the electrical bills and all that are super high if you have extra lights running every night for a month, so pretty much only the rich people do. 

We got to eat mole yesterday. Any day with mole is a good day. Also, we got to watch the Christmas devotional, that was super awesome. At the beginning they were having some technical difficulties, so it was in English for a little bit, but then they figured it out and we watched it in Spanish. Spanish is great too, but it loses some of its authenticity when President Uchtdorf doesn't have his cool German accent, and when M. Russel Nelson sounds like he is 25, but the messages are still great. 

It doesn't feel like Christmas because it is super hot in the day times, but I cannot wait to talk with you guys. I received the email with the information today, so I will look at that. Things I know - It will probably be on Christmas. It will be before 7:00pm Mexico time, and we will use skype, so get your skype skills up to date, and if you wanted to make an account for me and make it so we are friends, that way I can log on and we can CHAT, and have no conflicts. 

This was an awesome week for Elder Lux and I, I hope you guys had good ones as well. 
Keep it cool
Love you all tons.

-elder Hulme.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gamberro, Pumpkin Raisin Ice Cream, God in Life Always, Thanked in Public

Gamberro means hooligan, but I am the only person in Mexico that uses it. I found it in two dictionaries. For a while I thought the word for hooligan was bomberro, but that is fireman. So, when you want to call someone a hooligan, be careful that you don't call them a fireman.

Happy past Thanksgiving family. That is sad business that St. George is out of the picture and in the past. But it sounds like you guys had a good time all together.

It is crazy that it is December. Yesterday, when I wrote down that it was December first that was nuts, the other nuts part is that Mexico gets cold. Really really really cold. The mornings and nights are shiver-me-timbers, but all is well. The days are lovely, kind of like that end of september sort of feel, where it is nice and warm in the sun, with some nice fresh air. Love it. I really miss the snow though. 

-This keyboard is totes busticated, the Shift key and Delete key rarely work.
-Christmas lights. That is super cool that you guys got all the lights up, I feel like that usually happens later, but I don't know. Elder Lux has a fetish for christmas lights and christmas trees and tacky christmas decorations. It's super funny - every christmas tree in every house he wants a picture of the tree, and him with the tree. 
-There is this ice cream place here called La Michoacana, they have the best best best ice creams, its crazy creamy and their flavors are nuts good. I had this one called rompope (I think it might be an alcoholic beverage), BUT IT LOOKED LIKE PUMPKIN, and it had raisins and was tastylicious. But yes blizzards and ice cream are lovely, because sometimes it gets real hot hot hot.
-Good news, I don't have to go to Guadalajara next week.

-So I forgot to tell you this story from one of my first weeks. In the first weeks we kept on going to a house, trying to get a hold of Vlad and C. But, they were never there, but we were always looking for them, they are inactive. Every time we passed by, I had the image in my mind for Vlad as some crusty russian dude. (This mental image came from the bike shop, either this summer or the last summer - there was a crusty old russian dude who bought a small 3500green for his grandson and some other bike for his granddaughter. Nonetheless, I was picturing crusty, grouchy, grumpalumpagous russian dude with a silly accent). After probably 2 weeks of trying to get a hold of them they finally were at their house. When they answered the door, there stood a probably 6 foot big ol muscley black man from the Dominican Republic. Vlad is sweet, he works for a bank, or something, and accents from the Dominican Republic are super.... gangster, there is no other word to describe it. So for the last probably 3-4 weeks we've been having lessons with Vlad and C semi-frequently. They had some sort of weird thing happen to them this week, where there was all this scandal stuff with money and just bad news, that scared the bejeebers out of them. Whatever happened they both instantly, FINALLY, made God a part of their lives, and God helped them out big time. Yesterday in testimony meeting, they both showed up for the first time in at least 8 weeks, and both shared their testimony, which were both incredibly powerful. (Also both of them thanked us in front of the congregation for continually visiting them.)

Couple of things I learned from this:
1. Please don't make it so that having a very serious situation with money and jail be the reason that you realize that you need god in your life. Make him part of your life always.
2. It feels marvelous to have a big beautiful black man thank you in public. 

- We have been working with less active members and families a ton lately. The mission president before mine had many rules, mottos, motivations and tactics that I don't agree with. He pretty much had no rules for who you could baptize, and all he cared about were numbers, and the only thing that made you a good missionary in his mind were your numbers, and everyone wants to be a good missionary in the eyes of their president. But there are bad consequences and stories of this. Like people were getting baptized drunk, or they felt like the missionaries were making them get baptized. The result of this kind of leadership leads to TONS of inactive people. So we do lots and lots and lots of teaching to less active people. There is something about the majority of the people here that is just great, for the majority everyone is very, very, friendly, and also very Catholic. 
-We started teaching a new investigator, her name issss... blanca. Her husband is a member but hasn't been active for 11 years or so. I really enjoy teaching them, they have an 8 or 9 year old and a 1.5 year old, super cute the both of them, and they are a cute family. But I love teaching them, she has a lot of questions, doubts and doesn't like to be taught with the Book of Mormon, but it's all good. Luckily Elder Lux knows the Bible like mom knows cooking. It's nuts how much of the Bible he knows. I hope that we can help her with all of her doubts because blanca and her family have incredible potential.

-Mom, about you changing your plans to help that lady, and then her bailing. I guess I got part of my frustration trait from you. It is unreal how often our appointments fall through. There are days when we have mad numbers of appointments and then nobody is in their house, or can't talk, or they have some lame excuse. I get really frustrated sometimes. But I know that is one thing that the lord wants me to work on, because it happens on the daily. Everyone here is at least 25 minutes late for everything - it's the culture.

-The only clothes I have purchased are ties, which I have purchased two. I will probably be looking into buying a new sweater while I'm here, one that can take a beating.
-Yes I will be staying with Elder Lux for at least until January 5th. That is when the next transfer is, but who knows if I will be transferred or what. He keeps on telling me that I'm going to train, but who knows.
-I did not have to buy blankets and pillows when I got here, I have my sheets, and my sheets, that I use for sheets, then our landlord gave us some blankets, and I have gotten really good at not using a pillow. 
-The citrus here is nuts good, except all of them have seeds, but I just eat them anyways. Oranges are crazy cheep, they are usually only 1peso, or 12 cents. BUT, the oranges here are not orange, pretty much all of them are green and yellow, occasionally you'll see an orange one. Also the clementines are unreal good. The other day, a member gave us a bag full of clementines that were from her tree, and they are spectacular, like the sweetest cuties in the world. Also all the other fruit is super good and pretty cheap as well.

Sure do love you kids. If it snows any time soon, go play in the snow for me. Oh jeez, Sundance is probably going to open this week. WOOOOH!

Have awesome weeks.

-Elder Hulme.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sushi, little red guavas and learning to give thanks.

Today I ate makis, there will be pictures, it was honestly just sushi, but it was suuuuper good, and it was 2 for the price of one day, so that was good. mine had salmon and seaweed, and we fell well together.

Yes mom we always let our mission president know when we get robbed, we started to look for a new house this week, but finding one that is cheap, safe, in our area, not cockroach infested, the right size, and this and that and whatnot is really hard. But we will get it all figured out. The hardest part is the mission allows very little money for us to spend on a house.
Visa renewal stuff was fine, just lots of busses and waiting and what not, but we did go to dairy queen in guadalajara and I LOVE BLIZZARDS, they have a special spot in my heart now. But I have to go again in 2 weeks from today, so we'll waste some more time there. All is well.
Simon had a birthday shout hooray.

This week, yes was a bit more normal. I finished my first transfer/first 6 weeks, and these six weeks went by tons faster than the 6 weeks in the mtc. Stuff that has gone on... 
*There is a sister in our ward who is less active and we have been working with her a lot to get her to come to church, she came to church this week, that was super exciting. Her name is Angela, she also cooks quesadillas every night at 7, and her quesadillas a deep fried and unreal tasty. 
* We had a lesson with one of our investigators, Maydena, the lesson at first we were talking about the importance of baptism and confirmation, and making sure that she understood those terms, but then the lesson *mighty morphin power rangers* changed into talking about problems. And I commented this to dad earlier, But we were talking about how a lot of times the problems that we have in life are for our own benefit. God has perspective on our lives, God knows how things will end and the possibilites of how we will react. It is part of our agency to react in the best way possible and to learn from our problems. I really like to think about this. Also I like the story in 1st nephi, when they are on the boat, and laman and lemuel tie up Nephi, so much that his wrists and ankles are super swollen. Then it takes them until a giant wave is about to destroy them to untie them, and the first thing that Nephi does is pray and give thanks unto the lord. Thats a thing that I want to learn to do, give thanks for my problems. I CAN GUARANTEE YOU, that if last week  I was tied up, on a boat, in the rain, about to die, the first thing I would do after I was untied would give thanks for my problems. I want to learn to be a good dude like Nephi.
* Elder lux and I are getting better and better at working together, which is a huge blessing, I love that little guy to death, and I love him more and more as I can understand things more and more. 
* This coming week an elder that I know from high school will be coming into the mission, Elder Hutchings, I don't know where he'll go, but it'll be cool to know someone else in the mission. 
* Today was our first p-day in two weeks, which means the house hadn't been deep cleaned for 2 weeks and 6 days, It was quite filthy, and I am now pleased, Mom you'd be proud, I've learned to become really clean, with my study area, with my pots and pans and stuff, because I cannot stand to live in filth any longer. The only problem is that other missionaries don't like cleanliness as much, so I'm always picking up after elder lux. And, I can only imagine how fed up you must've gotten always cleaning up after my messes. THANKS A BUNCHES MOM.
* Next thing I want to learn. Which I don't feel like I have a very bad problem with this, but reliability. I get a bit frustrated at times with the amount of appointments we have to teach, or talk, or have a member accompany us, and how people will just not show up, or not be at their house, or the chapel or where ever, ITS THE WORST, I'd much rather have them just not set an appointment, then to not be there, But all is well.
* One of our investigators gave us this bag of mini red guavas, there was a lot and they were the tastiest thing ever, elder lux and I ate the whole bag right after she gave them to us, we both had the runs for a day.

I think that is the majority of things that have been going on. Mom, I'll try to take more photos of me in them.... 
Sure do love you all, have awesome weeks, dont get sick, play hard, work hard, learn lots, 
love you all

elder hulme.