Family! Alright, so I feel like I was just writing a letter to you guys literally a couple of hours ago, time is just the weirdest thing in the world out here. For example, are you guys ready for me to blow your mind? I am pretty dang close to finishing 6 months of my mission! I know! Crazy. I'm not really sure how I feel about it to tell you the truth, I mean, I definitely should know a ton more than I do. I finally know how all those guys felt when they said they wished they paid more attention in seminary. When you think about it, seminary was just a recipe for disaster, so incredibly early, sitting inbetween Drew and Rick, I remember about as much from Seminary as I do from my first trip to Disneyland. I blame myself though, my mind was totally elsewhere and not concentrated on those kinda things in that part of my life. And now I am officially one of those dudes who wished he paid more attention in seminary, wonderful. I guess I just kinda thought before my mission that my testimony would get me by and I wouldn't really need to drop much knowledge, not true! So I am doing my best to know the doctrine better (doesn't the word "doctrine" just kinda freak you out?) and knowing my stuff. It's like a double threat sometimes, people will be shooting bible verses at me, which means first I don't really understand the Spanish, and secondly even if they were speaking English, I still wouldn't understand. But that's okay, just break out the ol' testimony, it's the Kareem Dream, the unblockable shot.
So another week in the little Pueblo of Mapimi. I am becomming a total regular of the community these days, pretty sure I know everybody and everybody knows me. I never ever remember their names, because often times I don't understand their names (who decided it was a good idea to have 7 names?), but it evens out because they don't remember mine either. Elder Boot. Yep, that's me. It is cool knowing a lot of people, but to tell you guys the truth I think I feel ready for a change. Mapimi is kinda infamous for bringing out the worst in missionaries, and I am doing my best to not let it get to me, and to be honest I feel good about the things that are getting done. I will now relate another thing in the mission to the NBA. We're putting up good numbers, contacts, lessons and what not, but we're not quite winning anything (baptisms.) Right now, we're kinda like Monta Ellis for example, sure we can put up tons of points, but where is that getting us? We need to be more of a Derrick Rose, helping out the team (area) in lots of different aspects and getting the W's. I am definitely not the best missionary in the world, but I am doing the best I can and knowing Heavenly Father will make things happen, and we're seeing some results. That's right family, we have a fecha. This means that we are going to have a baptism! Kind of a big deal for Mapimi's standards, so we're excited. His name is Luis, and even though he sometimes mixes up Sacerdocio (Priesthood) and La Palabra De Saburdia (Word of Wisdom), he is a cool dude. Very humble and teachable and willing to learn, all gold for an investigator. I really hope this works out, baptism dates don't always mean a baptism, but I'm optimistic. I made kind of a goal before my mission started, I want to have a baptism every transfer, but I have a back up goal too in case that one doesn't work out, a goal every area! They make come out selfish and sounds like the baptisms are for me, but that's not true, I just want to be a good missionary and live up to the missionary you guys think I am. No pressure!
So life is still going on, and I am learning how to eat like an animal. I mean, when you eat at a Mexican's home, you gotta clean the plate, not a single scrap of food. I have definitely seen dudes just straight up lick the plate when their done. Relax Mom, I haven't done anything like that yet, but I have just learned to eat through the pain. Yes, sometimes I am actually full before I even begin a meal, but me and the lady giving me food both know that I have to eat everything, and then ask for seconds. For the first time in my life, I am starting to be legitimitely conserned about getting fat. I never thought this day would come, but I believe it is here. Thank goodness we walk so much in the heat, or I would come back like Jabba the Hut. Hey, I learned how to cook a really cool dessert! I just asked Elder Tarabilda if there is two S's in dessert, and he told me "Ya, because you come back for seconds." I felt like that needed sharing. Anyways, me and Elder TB are still destroying it in Basketball, clean sweep again the Family Castañada this morning, I'll tell you all about that family when I get back. Really glad TB is around this transfer, my companion is definitely that companion, you know? The one they warn you about before the mission, but whatever, things are still getting done.
So how is everyone doing on the Other Side? Congratulations Mike and Vicky! I am going to have another half Mexican neiece or nephew! How cool is that? I will make sure he knows his Spanish and plays some Football. I love to hear that we are just adding on to our already awesome family, the more the better for sure. He will be entering the world about the time that I finish a year out here, which means he will be a year old when I come home. Hmm....notice I said "he" I guess it's just hard to imagine anything else coming into this family of mainly dudes. Somebody in this family is going to have to represent the girls, and I get the feeling it'll be me or Marvelous. Marv could have like 5 girls and I could have like 6. Aw man, I don't want to think about it, who would watch Laker games with me? I refuse to live in a house where "The Bachelor" takes presidence over Lamar. Just can't do it. Or I'll just buy two TV's. But anywho, sounds like life is going good for everybody. Congratulations on the new house Gregorious, although I will miss the classic 4th of July parties outside the ol' apartment. I am really pumped to see it when I get back, but by the time I get back Greg should be living in a solid gold house, driving his rocket car.
Well, I definitely miss all of you, but I think I am going through The Change in the mission. Where I can't really remember much of home anymore and this just kinda becomes my life. No, I absolutely won't forget all of you's, but it's kinda weird to think that I used to live in a land where I could take a warm shower whenever I wanted, and I could speak English! That's just crazy. Well life isn't always easy, but I know it's always going to be worth it, and I still feel like the best of my mission is yet to come. I really appreciate all the prayers you've done for me, and all of the support I get out here. All of your emails mean a ton, and really help me out when I need it most. Keep em' coming family and friends. Well, the church is true, and I am forming a hard earned testimony of that. There's a lot of different emotions on the mission, but the gospel is always constant, and I am getting better on depending on that. Elder Tarabilda's Mom said something really interesting, it went something like this: "The Church is perfect, it takes 19 year old young men who are so wrapped up in themselves, and sends them to a foregin place with different people, and those young men can start to forget about themselves for the first time in their lives." Man, is that true. Not going to lie, life was pretty perfect before my mission and I was very much so wrapped up in my life, but now I am learning about more important things in life. The Church is true, have a great week, and I love all of you so much!