"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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letter #6 from Mexico

Friends and Family,

Emailing early, guess I caught some of you by surprise. :P

But, that pretty much characterizes the side of missionary work I got to see this week--the uncertainty and unknown. But, before we get started on that, let's mention the ungodly.

Have you ever noticed it never mentions fish in the Word of Wisdom? I think there is a reason for that. Long story short, I have seafood 3 times this week in my area. P.S. Since I emailed you last week I have only been in my area...3 times. But, this week I learned that shrimp is a lot better when it is breaded, and it isn't hidden below a mountain of mayonaise. By far the worst thing I have ever eaten yet. 

Anyway, I got called to Villa again to do some things for my visa. So I left in the morning with another Elder from my Zone that had the same thing (except he had to go to Mexico City because he lost a paper--bad because he had already served 1.5 years and if things didn't go well he was going to have to go home--things went well). Point is, once in Villa I didn't really have a companion. But, the plan was to come back the same day with whoever would be his replacement in Carmen. Because of that, I only brought a Book of Mormon and some Chokis (the local equivelant of Chips Ahoy) because the travel would take all day. The Chokis did not last long. I also thankfully took out some money from the ATM before our travels so I could buy speakers Monday (today)--cause you don't go to ATMs often. This turned out to be key in survival since I soon found out after I had reached the offices that I was not going to return that day. And they didn't know when I would be.

With that, we went to work. And, for the next three days I worked with the office elders. I ended up breaking so many common sense hygiene rules and many more that I was told in the MTC. But I'm healthy. Long story short I realized how high maintenance we missionaries are forced to be and I found myself buying things to shave in the morning. 

Also, did you know that it rains more in Villahermosa than any other place in the world? The truth of that was quickly made a reality to me and rain came down. Seeing as I ended up wearing the same clothes from the first day many times in a row, I found that it was important to keep them as dry as I could and therefore finally purchased my first poncho (it really doesn't rain much on the island). I only ended up spending 3 days in Villa, because the office Elders helped me get out and had my Zone Leader come down to sign something--or else I was going to have to wait until Tuesday with the transfers. 

Transfers. Still with Elder Andrade, still being trained. But, that doesn't mean we are spared from the confusion and run around. Right now I am working with Elder Hurst, my Zone Leader, which is why I am writing earlier. Elder Andrade got assigned to go with another Elder to close a pueblito nearby. We got this assignment last night at 7 PM right after a lesson. We found ourselves 30 minutes away from our house with no money for a taxi to get back. At this point we had another Elder that didn't have a companion as well. We were to be at the bus stop in 30 minutes. We found ourself running in our suits back home. (You don't run in Mexico because it usually means you stole something, but...we had to run). After dropping off the other Elder, grabbing a few things I missed most from not having them in Villa, we ran out the door to catch a convey (bus) to ADO (the bus stop). I had in my hand once pesos (11) while we found ourselves running once again to try to catch the convey that passed just a few moments before we left. We didn't make it. We ran for about 20 blocks (really) until the next convey caught up to us. At this time the once pesos I had been clentching were given up and I had been sweating so much that my hands were like prunes. Imagine that. At this point it was dark, but still insanely hot. We arrived at ADO and Elder Andrade bought his ticket at 7:59, 1 minute before the last bus left.

Hope you guys are staying busy too.

Love you all,
Elder Andrews

A "Zone" is a grouping of several "Districts." There are District and Zone Leaders appointed by the Mission President to help conduct meetings and report to the Mission President.

"Closing" a town means that you pull the missionaries from that area.

pueblito = little town
convey = bus
ADO = bus stop
once pesos = 11 pesos
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