Monday, April 27, 2015

Why I ate the habanero

(Mom comment:  I asked why he ate the habanero.)  Eating the habanero was to make me more Mexican. :) Hmmm, I don't know. I eat a lot more picante food than other white elders at my time in the mission. 

I speak English maybe 1% of the time. I eat in Spanish, pray in Spanglish, I'm getting to the point of understanding most of what is said to me. For lunch, we eat with members, and I occasionally cook breakfast: french toast, pancakes or eggs. Otherwise it is cereal or a sandwich. (or cookies) :)

This week was a little rough on the side of appointments. The first two days, none of our appointments came through, but at the end of the day we went to a birthday party for one of the older sisters in our ward and there was a lot of dessert, and quite a few people in a little house.  

We started going to a gym this week and it's great to wake myself up and to get strong again. It makes the days a bit longer though.  On Saturday, we went to eat with a member and we were eating and then the rest of the family came in with some more chicken. At this point, I was thinking. gracias pero yo estoy bien. (I didn't really want it.) But then I was given one and when I bit in, HOLY guacamole, it was actual BBQ!  So I ate three more large pieces of chicken. And yesterday we went to a baptism of the other elders in our ward. And afterwards we got two of our investigators to commit to baptism!  Then we had a lesson with two people we contacted in the street and they were very receptive.  We taught a whole lesson. (Normally we teach half, or even just one point, so that the investigator can understand well.) 

Can you send me some photos? I want to show pictures. That is something that I should have brought.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week Three

Wow time flies! It's already been 3 weeks in Mexico City. I'm writing great emails? They seem short compared to others I've seen.

Mexican style shredded cheese is a lie. There is no cheddar cheese here. :,(

We are going to see Conozca a Los Mormones in the visitors center with some investigators this week. It should prove to be fun. The work is picking up a little bit. We have more investigators now. We hope to be able to baptize in May.

On Saturday, we ate a ton of food. First, we went to a member's house to help them clean out their "garage" ( the garages here are where the front yard would be, and you walk through to get to the house.) They fed us breakfast. I ate like 8 pancakes, then at our next cita (appointment) they bought us pancakes from a street vendor. These particular investigators like to give us stuff (we teach them in their tienda (store)) Then we had lunch with a member family. Then our next cita, we talked with for the rest of the day and they have a little food stall they put up at night. Since I hadn't tried sopas or pambasos, they gave us them. Sopas are tortillas with beans, cheese and lettuce on them, and pombasos are sandwiches with potatoes, meat, cheese inside and then sauce on the outside.

Week Two in the Field

Whooo. It's crazy being in the field. I am doing contacts pretty much by myself. (Contacts is talking to people on the street and inviting them to hear our message; Elder Hernandez clarifies what I say and try to set a date to teach.) 

This week, I ate a Habañero. It was to help me with my Spanish. We were eating at a member's house with the other companionship in our ward. We were talking about learning Spanish and Hermana Guaderama goes to the kitchen and puts the Habañero on my and Elder Boyle's (white missionary of 4 months) plate. We both put it in our mouth, and the first bite wasn't bad. I thought, this tastes like a bell pepper. Then my whole body flushed with heat. It wasn't that bad in my mouth (and by that I mean burning) but my body reacted. My face was soooo red and I was crying. Then I opened my mouth. Air makes it worse. I ate salt to calm it down.

We made a journey this week as well. Elder Hernandez had an appointment with a eye doctor, so we went outside our zone. *gasp* We took the metro for 40 minutes to the end of the line, then got on a different line for another 20, then another line for 5 minutes. Then we walked for 15 minutes to the hospital. He got his new prescription an hour later. There was a Krispy Kreme in the hospital so we treated ourselves. The Krispy Kreme donuts here are different as well, they are kind of drier, less fatty feeling. I kind of like it but I kind of want American donuts. Then we took a micro back. It was much simpler.

Explanation of public transportation here: from small to big:
Motos. They are just motorcycles with a covered bench attachment. They work the same as taxis but only on one side of the metro. They cost about ten pesos to go across our area (25 minutes walking). 
Taxis: I'm pretty sure everyone knows what a taxi is. Costs about 6-7 pesos a minute.
Micros: Small buses that are a fixed cost. Ranging from 4-6 pesos (up to 10 for more than 6 km).
Metro: 5 pesos. Very cheap for long distance travel.

We walk a lot. It has been 3 or 4 days that we have walked our entire area in a day. We are tired all the time.

Street food is good. So far I have had tacos and tortas. They are really good.

Funny thing yesterday, we got contacted by a missionary of a different church. He gave us a booklet: El Evangelio de San Juan. It was the book of John from the Bible. I gave him one of our cards having the web address for Gracias a que Él Vive video, but I should have given him a Libro de Mormon.

On Sunday, we went to a normal church service and we have a mascot. There is a dog from the street that sits on the grass of the church property. We are trying to train him not to go in the building. There is like one person in our ward that can sing. And we don't have a pianist. o_O

​The Zone. Elders: Velez, Hernandez, (member), I forgot, Murphy, Lopez, Padilla, ME!, Hernandez (My comp), Eichmeir, Te, Guerra, Perez. And Hermana: I forgot her name as well, and the other Hermana is not in the picture.

I got the package. Thank you very much.

I got the package.  Thank you very much. It was nice to get something. So Becca decided. BYU? (cause you said cold weather) I haven't given those Book Of Mormons yet. We have given out some Libros de Mormon, but I don't quite know when to give out yours.

Oh my gosh. I was so excited to hear that DJ is getting baptized! Tell DJ that I am so excited for him, and I would be there, but I am helping others to get baptized in Mexico.

We are very busy. Walking a lot. I'm working on the big email. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Photos from CCM

14C and Hermano Tinoco

​14C leaves the CCM to Mexico City and Monterrey. (and Hno. Cayetano)

​All the Elders leaving the CCM at the same time as us.

​Swaggiest Teacher in the CCM

General Conference April 6, 2015

SO, interesting thing is that my companion and I are in a area that hasn't had missionaries for awhile, so we are just trying to find people. We have no investigators as of yet. Yesterday we had almost four straight hours of walking because none of the people we planned to visit were home. I am understanding Spanish little by little. It should be no time before I'm fluent. (max. 2 years) We play Risk at night with the companionship in the same apartment as us occasionally. My companion is nice and knows some English but doesn't speak it. It's good for me to understand Spanish. The houses here aren't consistenty numbered, so it is hard to find people's houses most of the time. Here instead of eating with members for dinner, we eat with them for lunch. I don't talk that much because I don't really understand the conversation, but I get the general idea of the conversation.

Then there is the mystery of the lipstick. It just shows up. We just find a smudge on the floor, or on a shoe, or on our hands, or anywhere. It is on three of my shirts and two of my pants. We keep cleaning, but it keeps appearing. We have no I\idea where it is coming from, or how it is getting on us.

General Conference was cool but I wish I could have understood it completely. There were not a lot of people at the church watching. Favorite parts:(disclaimer: I am not sure this is what they said, but it's what I heard.) 
Eyring: Talked about how fast offerings help people all over the world. And I thought about how grateful we should be to have consistently hot water, health and safety codes, and stable buildings.
Anderson(70): Compared knowing and feeling the spirit to dancing. You have to first know the steps, then you have to feel the music to dance. And to hear the music you have to be in tune. In regards to the spirit, you have to do the correct things to keep in tune with the spirit to hear the spirit, then listen and dance.
Cook: Sunflowers always point to the sun. So must we always look to the light. If there is anything lovely of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Holland: I always love Elder Holland's talks and I wish I could have completely understood it. What I got was the story of the brothers climbing and they got stuck. The elder brother pushed his brother to safety, and realizing the only way to escape his situation was to jump. He knew it was life or death and he jumped. He jumped with enough adrenaline to reach the ledge, but there was no hold. He knew that was it, he was gone. Then his little brother's hands grabbed his and didn't let go. I didn't hear the comparison Elder Holland used but what I thought of was the mercy of Jesus. We need to do all we can do. It is life or death. And we can't do it by ourselves. And only after we do all we can do, He saves us. 

Then I think it was Zebellos: Did he use my favorite quote? The Cheshire Cat quote. "Could you tell me where I ought to go from here?" "Well, that very much depends where you want to go." 

April 6, 2015 What volcano?

I haven't really looked for Popocatepetl but it's probabaly too smoggy to see it anyway. Things are just normal in the city, no mention of Popocatepetl. We just cleaned our apartment and hope that we got rid of the chinches. We listened to conference but it was completely in Spanish. The two Spanish speakers were kind of easier to listen to because there wasn't a voice speaking behind them.

I'm in Mexico! April 1, 2015

Woo, this is a bit weird, being out in the actual Mexico. My companion is Elder Hernandez. He is a nice, big guy from Cuernavaca, actually kind of close to here. Yesterday was my real first day, but we didn't really do anything. The day before that, I was temporarily with Elder Mollotte and we taught a few people. It was awesome because one of them wanted to get baptized! Yesterday when we got to the apartment, we unpacked, then repacked because Elder Hernandez found a chinche. Chinches are nasty little bugs that lay eggs in your skin. (Mom comment:  I looked it up.  They are bedbugs, an itchy nuisance, but not disease carrying.)  We cleaned the entire apartment. It is a bit stressful beacuse I know little of the language, what to do and other things. Soon I will know these things and it will be excellent. They have a ten cent coin here that is tiny. It's about the size of the pad of my pinky finger. 

​This is a legit coin. 10 cents and it is tiny.

Many things here are different. I wish we had a vacuum to clean with, but some missionaries have it worse. There are a lot of people. I'm kind of worried about understanding people and speaking well, but I know it will get better. 

Our apartment is small, three rooms. It was very dirty when we got there.

The water from the tap is not safe to drink, but we buy water.

Did Josh get his papers in yet? and anyone get a call?

P days are on Monday, but every six weeks, with changes, it's on Wednesday. 

At the mission office, I had to finish my visa papers and get the signature exactly right. And I mean exactly. It took me about twenty tries.

Much love, Ryan

I don't know my address really yet. I am in the V... area, I think.  (Mom comment:  We are not supposed to publicly post names or places.)  It's kinda scary walking around not knowing where I am really, but I will know eventually. I am sitting in a Ciber to email. There were four that we passed to get to this one because they were closed. There are just tons of little shops everywhere.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Popocatepetl Volcano 3 April 2015

This volcano looks close enough to see in Ryan's mission.  I wonder if he saw it this morning!