MEXICO VILLAHERMOSA MISSION -- JULY 2012 - 2014
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Friday, July 27, 2012

Letter #4

So, this week has been interesting. First of all, it has seemed extremely short. I am pretty sure it is because of Pioneer Day (the Post Office was closed) and we tend to measure the weeks by how often we check the mail. Just a thought. But, things here at the MTC are going well. We went to the temple this morning and it was nice. Our district really has become like family because we do practically everything together. Which brings me to my next point, since the gym has been closed for so long (they are re-doing the floor) we have developed our own district soccer team (and then a few stragglers come with us). But we have never lost! Except for twice--when we were obeying the Mission Handbook and didn't keep score. :P Anyway, sports are rough here at the MTC because its hard to remain Christ-like sometimes. I won't go into the details, but just know that I am ok, and so is everyone else that I have ever played against. One of the new Elders in our district (two moved up from the beginners class last week--forgot to tell you), Elder McKinley (he looks like Steven Erickson, Allyson's Wife, the whole district agrees)...anyway, he mentioned how someone in his old district got kicked in the shin, broke it, and he was on his way to serving 19 weeks in the MTC. Imagine that. Rough thought to say the least. Thankfully, that has not happened to anyone at our gym time.

You get the weirdest ailments as a missionary too. Most of mine would take too long to decribe, so just know my health is doing well--and maybe read my journal upon my return. But. I have had a pretty nice cold this whole week. So thank you Kari and family for all the tissues. I haven't had any bloody noses so I guess that is a blessing. Somehow I have had the strength to do everything that has been required of me despite my illness--going back to my point about how I am able to move throughout this mission because I am not relying upon my own strength, but the Lord's. I even lost my voice, which made it pretty hard to speak Spanish if you can imagine. But it was cool, because it was very briefly and my voice got so deep, I could have sang Come Come Ye Saints with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I also took a study challenge from Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel that said to read 5 specifc chapters and highlight every time it mentioned the Savior or God. So I did! But, I also read it wrong. So, after reading those 5 chapters, I highligheted every time it mentioned Christ or God in any way throughout the whole Book of Mormon. Whoops. I suppose it might come in handy one day though. I don't feel too bad about it cause it was interesting to see just how many time they was mentioned and, I bought a really cool highlighter here.

The Ecuadorians also left our district on Tuesday morning for the Peru MTC, so, Elder Milovidov (It's Russian, but our teacher, Hermano Walton remembers how to spell it with: My Lovey Dove-funny story.) is our new District leader. He is definitely the most like me in the district, and we already plan to be roommates upon our return to BYU.

Also, I really thought that I would enjoy my MTC experience, or at least make the best of it by enjoying the clean water before I head of to Mexico. I had been drinking a lot of chocolate milk at first, so I decided to detox and go with just water for the past maybe two weeks. I guess I should have asked more specifically for water without disease, because it truly is "clean" water here. And by that I mean it smells like Toilet Bowl cleaner. At first I thought it was the glasses I was using, and so I would smell each one before I would fill them up (people would look at me weird, but I would not be duped again!). Yesterday marked my 7th and 8th times experiencing the joy of Toilet Water. How did it get me so many times you might ask? Well, that was the worst thing about being sick. You don't really smell things correctly when you have a stuffy nose. So, I usually found out after I started drinking it. So, I think it is safe to say that I know what Toilets taste like. And they tend to make you lose your appetite, so I would not recommend it. Long story short, I have since switched back permanently to Chocolate Milk at meals and am a happy camper. I still drink water from the normal water fountains, so don't worry, I'll drink some water still.

Then, last Saturday, Elder Cox and I went to teach at TRC (Training Resource Center). Here a bunch of members come and you just give them a lesson. Some might pretend to be a different religion, but this week they decided to be nice and we just openly talked to them and it was nice. Our second, and last visit was with a Mexican man roughly 60 years old who, as it turns out, was baptized not even a week before. So that was really neat. We were able to give him some good thoughts and even answered his question about olives or something (its hard to phrase his question in English under this pressure). Long story short, we referred him to Jacob 5 and showed him how to find answers using footnotes. I already knew Jacob 5 would be his answer when I heard "olives", but we cheated and looked at the footnotes anyway.

Also, we do speak some English throughout the day--mainly at night--just so you know. Class is strictly Spanish though.

Take care, and I love you all.

Con amor,
Elder Caleb Andrews

Translations:

Hermano = brother
Con amor = with love
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