Things are still crazy/confusing/awesome/mexican here! I dont even know where to start, we had a lot of crazy things happen to us this week...heres a short list to start off with.
1) Elder Thomson almost got eaten by a dog
2) Im starting to have conversations with people, not with Elder Thomsons help
3) I've been sick all week because I love chile and I ate waaaaay too much of it, haha. It's super bad for you stomach, basically it destroys it but its sooo spicy and delicious!
4) The first of the week started at about 90 degrees 60 percent humididty, and the last couple of days it has been 60 degrees and raining, but its starting to warm up again
5) We fixed the light in our bathroom, booyah.
6) I got bit by something and it swelled up huge but now it's back to normal, there's a picture of it in the pics that I sent and it wasnt even that bad then
Anyways, it is always an adventure here in mexico, thats for sure!
So for our baptism, we had a date set up with a kid named Alfredo (yes, like my favorite food) and we were going to teach him two more lessons this week, but he wasn't at home all week and so we had to move his date to this saturday. We were woried about him though because his family kept telling us different things every time we came to his house, so we had no idea where he was, so we prayed. He showed up to sacrament meeting the next day and we got to talk to him! Miracle, because we didnt even invite him to church the whole week because we couldnt find him, but he came anyways! So hopefully we can finish teaching him this week and get him baptized this saturday.
We found a new investigator (we have something like 9 or 10 right now) and she is golden. Her name is Montiel and she told us straight off the bat that she is Christian. We have only taught her twice so far and have a baptism date with her. We invited her to church on saturday and she said she was super busy in the morning but would try to make it (which usually means no) but we prayed hard that she would be able to come. Right after we took the sacrament on sunday the door opens and in walks Montiel in a dress and high heels. I did a double take, it was so cool! She was sooooo into church the whole time, if she had been on the edge of her seat anymore she would have fallen off! After church she said that she didnt like how only one person prays, she is used to where everyone prays together memorized, but we will teach her more and help her get over that. She is going to be gone this whole week, we are kind of bummed about that, but hopefully she will continue reading and praying while she is away, we are going to call her every day this week. She is kinda crazy, but in a good way! She knows sooo much about the bible and has all these outlandish stories and dreams that she always tells us about. Sometimes its hard to control the lesson because she loooooves to talk but shes great and Im sure she will get baptized.
We actually have two wards, its kinda of a trick to go to both and work with the members and everything in both wards but I think it's a blessing. We are the only misionaries in both of the wards, and in sacrament meeting there are usually 50ish people, its alot different than in Utah! But one thing is for sure, the church is true no matter where you go, doesn't matter what language it's in or what country, the spirit is the same, the doctrine is the same, and I'm so glad to be a member of this church!!
The weather is amazing here, I dont miss the snow one little tiny intsy winsy bit!! It is super humid, hardly ever windy, and really hot. It has been alot cooler this week cuz it's been raining, but usually its around 85 or 90 degrees, and it's winter. Elder Thomson says when May and June come, it gets up to over 100 easy, with the humidity. Bring on the tan. Or the sun burn. We are usually pretty soaked by the end of the day, whether its rain or sweat (usually sweat, it hasnt rained that much).
A typical day is get up at 6:30 (it always comes waaay too fast, mom and dad were right, I have never been more tired in my life!) then I work out until a little after 7, shower and eat breakfast, and get ready. We have Estudio Personal from 7 to 8, Estudio Compañerismo (companionship study) from 8 to 10 (an extra hour because Im a greenie) and then idioma (language) from 10 to 11. We go out to work until 2 when we have lunch with a member (the food here is absolutely amazing, I havent eaten something that I dont just absolutely love yet, I reaaaally need to cut back on the chile though...) The members are usually pretty shocked because i love the comida picosa (spicy food), they think its funny that I can take the heat and I'm a gringo. We eat for an hour and then we go work again, until 9 when we come back, eat dinner, write in our journals, and do daily planning. Its a long hard day, but I'm loving it! Elder Thomson is a little burned out, he has been here for 18 months so I think it's been good for him to have someone with the "greenie fire" they call it. He tells me every day to work him hard, so that's what we're doing.
We find people through street contacts, knocking doors, and referencias. We have really been trying to work closer with the members so we can get more referencias, Elder thomson says he never has worked that closely with the members but when I came we set some goals and are trying to change some stuff so we can have more success!
The spanish is still coming, I am starting to have conversations with people without Elder Thomson translating everything for me, and it feels like everyone is talking a lot slower than when I first got here. There are still times when I feel like I understand nothing and my brain is just fried from trying to process everything all day, but for the most part it has been a miracle, the help that I have received from my Father in Heaven!
I'm out of time, but I love you all soooooo much and I pray for you every day! I hope you enjoy the pictures! The pink one is our house, there is the picture of my bug bite in there, and a picture of me standing by a wall where you can look out over all our area! Thank you for your prayers and Emails!!
Esta semana ha sido, quizas, la mas loca semana que cualqier otra semana en mi vida!! No sé cuando debo empezar, espero que ustedes estan preparados, porque esta carta va a estar loco y quizas no tendrá sentido!
What a week!! The airplane ride was awesome, the best part was taking off and landing! Let me tell you though, when we got in Mexico City and got walking around the airplane, it happened.... We realized we didnt know spanish! Everyone was talking so fast it was crazy! We went to get food and when we saw that a couple of tacos were 70 bucks, we were kinda freaking out for a little bit, but then realized that we were in Mexico and everything is in pesos, so we felt a little better after that. The first thing I noticed when we got off of the plane in Veracruz was the humidity. It hit us like a brick wall as we walked off the plane.
We got to Veracruz at about 9 at night where we were greeted by Presidente Treviño and his wife, and the APs. We went to Presidents house and ate some lanzana stuff....amazing. Him and his wife are incredible, so nice and they have a great sense of humor. That night we stayed in the mission offices and the next morning we had a meeting with all the new missionaries for a couple of hours, just like an orientation type deal. At this point, an orientation was appropiate, because, we were lost as could be, haha. Then we met our trainers, my companions name is Elder Thomson, he is from Jordan Utah,went to copper hills high school and has about 6 months left. We get along really well and he is really helpful. His spanish is really good too, and he has a good relationship with alot of the members here. We are assigned to an area called Poza Rica, its about 5 hours away from the actual city of Veracruz where the mission home and offices are, it was a looooong bus ride there, I was feeling a little homesick and didnt know spanish and just ate some mexican candy that didnt taste like candy and some lady got on the bus and was trying to sell us dried banana peels with hot sauce on them, (which were actually really good) but ya I was soooo lost, haha it was awesome.
So far, if I could describe my week in one word, it would be Magnifico! We stay in a house with Hermano and Hermana Luna, they are sooooooooooooooo. They are an older couple (members) and have just always rented out a room upstairs to the missionaries. We are actually really blessed because we have hot water, we use their washing machine and hang dry all of our clothes, and we have air conditioning in our room. Of course though, the room has personality just as any mission room should. The light in the bathroom flickers on and off, sometimes we have light and sometimes we don't. The bathroom is so small that if you wanted to, you couldn't get dressed or undressed in it. The walls are bright orange, and we have a refrigerator and one little stove thing that fits one pot. The view from the top of the house in incredible, you can see all of Poza Rica.
The gift of tongues is soooooo true. The first of the week I understood nothing, everyone was talking so fast and I was so nervouse that there was no way I could even think straight. Last night we ate dinner at a members house with a family of like 7 or 8 and I understood close to all of it!! I was so happy. Everyone says I have really good spanish, escpecially for only being here a week. After we meet someone new and talk to them for a couple minutes and I can actually talk to them pretty good, they ask me how long ive been in mexico and I tell them a week, every time they say " ¿pero en verdad?, porque me intiende!" Its kinda cool. Sometime I can understand like everything, sometimes nothing, some people are easier to understand more than others, but the spanish is for sure coming along fast. Believe me, Im praying like theres no tommorrow, and my prayers are being answered!
I have like 5 pages more stuff that I want to tell you all, but im out of time! We have a baptism set up for this saturday, i will tell you how it goes! Also we actually recieve packages and mail here, just send them to the mission office! We only pick up mail like every couple of week though because we have to be in Veracruz for some reason. Also, I dont know if i will have time to write too many letters, we are a little more busy on these p days in the mission than in the mtc! But if I every have time i will try!
I love you all sooooo much! Thank you for your prayers and I hope all is well at home!!
The visas went through faster than we expected. He arrived in Mexico City around 2:30 this afternoon and has a 5 hour layover and should be in Veracruz by around 8:30 tonight. This is the first free moment I've had to let you know where he is.
He called us Saturday morning and we got to talk for a whole 5 minutes to find out what was going on. And then we talked to him this morning for 10 minutes from the airport. He sounds fantastic-- very excited and very scared. He loved the MTC but is "STOKED" to get out in the real world and talk (or at least try to talk) to real investigators.
Thanks for all the love and support you show Tyler.
Hola familia! Solamente tengo 15 minutos para escribir, entonces estara corto, lo siento! (I only have 15 minutes to write so it will be short, sorry).
So we went to the consolate in Salt Lake today, it was an interesting experience. The building was completely spanish, the posters on the wall, flags, the people, the tvs, it was funny, we felt like we were in Mexico. They took our picture and fingerprints and then started to have us sign our paper work. (this was after we had waited probably an hour and a half). They got about 6 elders done with the paper work (there were about 25 of us) and then there was this huge delay and no Elders were called up for like 45 minutes (we had two maestras with us who were helping) and they told us that apparently the consolate had run out of the official paper documents that they use to make the visas, or something like this, I dunno, I never got the full story. But the paper they print the Visas on are obviously offical documents from Mexico and apparently there was a problem with them....
So the maestras were telling us that we might have to come back in a couple days or next week... we had literally been there for 3 hours at this point, and it was hot in the building. We were all hot, sweaty and tired, and we couldn't believe what we were hearing. Elder Wheeler and I were like no, we are getting this settled today. So we both said a silent prayer and 15 minutes later they started calling people back up to the front desk again to sign the paper work, and we all got to complete it. Honestly, I have no idea what was going on, I don't know anything about how the visas work, nobody really does, haha. I only know that we were going to have to wait even longer, but because Heavenly Father answers prayers, we were all able to get the paper work done. : )
We are not sure when were are leaving, we heard the visas can take from 3-7 days to come, so we will see what happens. We are praying for Monday or Tuesday though! But all the paper work and everything is done, now it's just the waiting game! It was an interesting day, to say the least. At the end of tomorrow, we are going to be down to 6 Elders in our district because 3 of them will have gone to their state-side missions.
Espero que todo este bien! Por favor ore por nuestras visas! Les amo mas que pueden saber! (I hope that all is well. Please pray for our visas. I love you more than you can know).
Mucho Amor!!! Elder Eastmond
Well, it's hard to say this, but there is no way we are going to be leaving on time. There are 94 missionaries going to Mexico this monday and only 12 of them have their Visas. We aren't supposed to hear what's even going on until next week sometime...Apparently we don't even have our premisos yet, and then we have to go to the consolate, then we sign our visas, and THEN we get our travel plans. So we are like 3 or 4 steps behind and we are scheduled to leave in 4 days. This has been an up and down week with all this happening. We have been waiting everyday to get some word of something, or get our plans in the mail since last thursday, and it's just not happening. I know that there is probably a good reason for it, and I know that we will get there eventually, but it's killing all of us right now. I'm soooo excited and so ready to go do all this for reals, and it's just hard to wait more. Ten weeks in the MTC is a long time, and we might have to end up waiting two or three more, I dunno. I love the MTC but there's only so much spanish we can learn here without being immersed in it, and if we stay another two weeks we won't even have a legitament teacher, and I'm just ready to start my actual mission. But, I'm sure there is some good that will come out of it, God knows a whole lot more than we know about the big picture than I do, so I'm just trying to be happy and to trust him right now.
On the bright side, we have our two baptism dates set up for this saturday (everyone in our District does) with Manuel and Johana. They both look like they are going to follow through with it so hopefully all goes well. Hermana Ellsworth told us that nobody has ever baptized Johana yet, so hopefully our District can be the first.
This Tuesday for the devotional, it was the 50th anniversary of the MTC, and guess who came to speak?? Elder Holland and Elder Nelson! It was a little differant than what we were all expecting, Elder Holland only spoke for like 10 mnutes and Elder Nelson talked about the History of the MTC, but it was still amazing. The spirit was so strong, just testifying how real it is that these men are called of God.
Mom and dad, the ties are THE BIGGEST hit here, you are the best!! (We sent the whole district the same tie). Everybody was just freaking out though, just going off about how cool my parents are. I was like "ya... I know!" :) We all wore them on sunday and for the devotional on Tuesday, it was hilarious. Every one in our zone kept coming into the class room and double-taking, asking where we got the cool ties from. Thanks again, so much!! Mom and dad, you are the greatest and coolest parents in the mundo. It's good to have fun little things like that to spice up life at the MTC. Also thanks for the candy and letter, and grandma, thank you for the cards, my companions loved them! Devin, I hope you know that you started all of this, with your present to me for Christmas! Bien hecho. I love you Parker!! (hadn't mentioned your name yet, just wanted to make sure that I don't get the "what about me??" question, haha)
Our district got to be host missionaries this week, it was a great experience. Me and my companions were in charge of traffic control, we got to use radios! (pretty exciting stuff right thur) I was stationed at the top, Elder Lee was in the middle, and Elder Wheeler was at the bottom. (In relation to the parking spots 1-25) We just basically directed all the cars and radioed to eachother to make sure everything was going smoothly, the radios got preeeetty entertaining, it was fun. I love my companions so much, they are my best friends, and I'm lucky to have both of them. We have kept eachother sane this week for sure.
Well I love you and miss you all and pray for you in every prayer!! Please pray for our visas, I will try to let you know asap when we get news of our situation!