Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011

Familia! Man oh man do I have a ton to tell you about. First of all, consider this your first ever email from Mapimi, Mexico. The place I now call home. You wouldnt believe it if you saw it, its a lot like the set of an old western. Which is one of the many reasons why I love it. As for our house, we live in the center of town, above a store! That part is pretty awesome, we can go downstairs and buy bottles of Sprite for 50 cents like its nothin. Second cool part about our place, its like over 100 years old! Im basically living in an old Spanish mission on the second floor. All our doors, and windows, and all those little things you can just definitely tell have been around longer than Juni Fischer has been a member of the Yorba Linda third ward. Also! We have a dog. Here name is Camilla, and shes nuts. Shes like 3 months old, and will eat anything. Seriously, anything. Well, shes technically not our dog, the lady who owns the store owns Camillas Mom, and so she feeds it and everything, but she lives with us. Im not entirely sure if thats against the rules or not, but I think its one of those things thats just better to not ask.We live right across the street from a giant Catholic Cathedral, which has lead to some very entertaining contacting. We have successfully memorized the Catholic schedule and make a point to be outside of it when anything ends. Good times.

Spanish is still coming, and even though Im learning a lot everyday, its just really hard! It was especially hard in the beginning, all of a sudden I couldnt really speak to people anymore. I had no idea what they were saying to me, and even if I did, I had no idea what to say back! Luckily, things are getting better, and I can communicate again. That is blessing I want all of you to appreciate, being able to communicate with peope. That, and showers. Im going on about three or so weeks of bucket showers, and trust me they are not nearly as bad as you would think. Ok, theyre not great, but still not too bad. You just pour cups of luke warm water, add a little shampoo in the mix, and your looking good for Mapimi standards. Were just surrounded by a bunch of little ranches, and I am pretty sure Ive already walked as many marathons as that Ultramarathon man guy. I kinda enjoy it though, the gentle breeze, the feel of the sun, I feel like I have gone back in time to be honest. The people here are super friendly though, and love missionaries.

As for my companion, hes a pretty cool cat from Veracruz, Mexico. Doesnt speak too much English, so its Spanish from here on out my friends. Definitely for the best, I really want to get this language down. But the truth is I have no idea what he is saying half the time, and usually just guess what he means. Im actually right more times than you would think, except it took me over to figure out he was telling me to turn out the light the other night. When I first got to the area (last week) I asked my companion, hey how many investigators do we have? Zero. Ay yi yi, the missionaries who were here before did not work the area like they were supposed to. But I am happy to say after my first week in Mapimi, we have 2 people on date to be baptized and a family of 6 were going to put on date tonight. I dont know how it happened, considering I cant really speak Spanish very well, but things are picking up. One of the investigators I am most excited about is a cool girl named Xoichtl. I know, try saying that out loud. You say it like this, Souji. We knocked on her door last week, and she has a baptism date! She is 14 years old and is pumped about the gospel, which is always great. I feel like this place has so much potential if you just find it. We do have the smallest ward in the history of man kind, we had a record setting 15 come to church last week. So far I have spoken every single week in church since I arrived, and I think thats going to just keep happening for the next 2 years. The members that are there, rock. Our bishop couldnt take the sacrament last week, and I am not really sure why, but whatever, we going to fix that.

How bored is everyone right now? So bored. Okay, how is everyone else? Happy Birthday to Benjamin, and I have the same advice for you as I did for Grandads 87th birthday, keep on truckin. Thanks to everyone who DearEldered me the other week, I get seriously pumped to see how everyone is doing. This is for Bretts kids, hey guys! Want to know about the gross things Ive eaten? Well, the other night I had pig skin, and the other day I had cow stomach! Doesnt that sound delicious? Wasnt too bad actually, well before I knew what it was. The key I have found is just not to ask, and eat it. It will taste better that way.

So I tried to read a bit of the Mexican newspaper and looks like Melo went to the Nets? At least thats what it sounded like, totally not sure though. Why would he do that? Come on Melo, at least go to the Knicks! Play with Tom Tekulve! By the way, there are tons of Mexican Tom Tekulves around here, literally look just like him, but just Mexican. }

I hope everyone is doing good and enjoying life back in the States. I never realized what a charmed life I lived before my mission, our toilet actually flushed! But I love it here in Mexico, and have so much to look forward to. Keep the letters coming, and if you feel like sending your old Uncle Tyler a bag pretzels, dont hesitate! Everyone stay happy, the church is absolutely true, and is the only way we can be together forever. Dont forget that! Pray for Xoichtl and the familia de Cecelia! And Jesus! Jesus Gonzales. You guys are the best!

Elder Abbott

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