Friday, December 24, 2010

December 20, 2010
So before I forget, I got your dear elder that you sent. I got it last Monday after I wrote. We get letters and packages every week in district meeting. It’s kind of sad but it could be worse. I wish I could know more about how it works. I’ll do some research in my “spare time”.
Man another week. This one has been real tough because we don’t have a guide anymore. When we came here, Elder Parra had already been here for a few changes so he knew where we were going. We had changes this week so he’s not here anymore. He got moved to an area and is stake president with only four months in the mission. Also he is senior companion. Hopefully he hasn’t cracked under the pressure, or inflated his head. I wonder if he thought he knew everything from here and thought that the mission wasn’t so hard. While we were in the bus station, I got to see elder Calvert (my companion in the MTC and Elder Fuller who was in my district. It’s nice to know that I’m not super behind schedule and that other elders are in the same situation as me.
But anyway, we’ve been really lost this week. It’s been tough trying to do a lot. We went to our little pueblo and tracked about a sixth of the pueblo in like four hours. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We got a couple of investigators there, but every day we go there, we take about three hours out of our schedule and thirty pesos each. It’ll be interesting.
Also a lesson I’ve learned, when tracking, it usually doesn’t work in the mornings. There are a couple of (here they call them colonies) that don’t usually have anyone home in the mornings. Luckily we’ve been blessed with a way to use our time successfully in the mornings. We got a reference from a couple other elders and have been teaching a super sweet family. The mom is inactive but has probably one of the best reasons I have ever heard. She got so tired of going to church and seeing so many good things, but never doing them throughout the week. One of the worst at this was her own mom. It was super sad to hear that her mom and her really butted heads and basically made her move out. She said she felt more comfortable with her mother in law than with her own mom (which is really saying something because everything that they don’t like here in Mexico they generally call it “mother in-law”. So like for example if you were going to use a knife that you didn’t really like, but knew that you needed to find it you would ask, “where’s the mother in law” and your companion would know what your talking about) anyways… oh yeah, the husband isn’t a member, but the have three kids. One is already baptized (12) one is 9 and we are teaching him and the youngest is seven. We usually have a standing appointment for eleven in the morning unless we know before hand.
We had a Christmas activity on Friday as a zone. We had the youth of the stake in a choir and while they were singing to a crowd we contacted the people around. We had a table of pamphlets and some hot chocolate (which tasted kind of weird) and Santa for the little kids. We went around inviting people to come and listen. We did it in what would be the equivalent of a mall in America. Except here they call it a plaza.
The biggest difference in this week was that I’ve been kind of sick. Monday morning Montezuma was trying to get at me. Wednesday night I got a sore throat. Friday I threw up while on the bus. And I still have a sore throat. Yes mom, I’m drinking tons of water. It’s actually kind of funny. That water that you and dad use to drink with lemons and ginger and all that stuff? Well the purified water has about the same affect with me as that water did with dad. I usually drink two liters in the morning that is mixed with a packet of tang (which come in some pretty crazy varieties)
With the Christmas call, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ll do my best to try to call when we can, but I don’t know when. I’m super excited to find out what’s been going on there.
I attached a few photos.
First is us playing around on a moto taxi of a member. They are really popular her. It’s kind of surprising because you wouldn’t think that they would be in America but here it’s pretty normal
Second we went to a member’s house for lunch one day and the member is pretty well off. My companion (elder Parra) is holding thirty thousand pesos which is a little less that three thousand dollars. This is what the brother made this week and it was a slow week!
Next is a picture of us after a pday of exercise. The humidity makes you sweat a lot its crazy but it was a lot of fun. I felt like a little kid when we were playing soccer.
The next is what a normal moto taxi looks like. Looks like fun no?
The next are a couple street shots of Mexico. They have real cars here, but most often you see Volkswagen bugs. It’s pretty funny when they got blue headlights and the bass vibrating the whole thing. That’s the “gangster” version. In reality though most are kind of older cars. I have seen a nice mustang here though. Who would have thunk?
Well I got to write some more stuff, hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas. Close your eyes and I’ll be there”.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010
What a crazy week!
So this week was different. An elder in another zone had problems with his kidney so since I was only about a half hour away, and in a trio, I went to work with his other companion. The sick companion is Elder Parra. The elder that I get to work with is Elder Paz. The funny thing about these guys is that one, one of my other companions was Elder Parra. The other is that ``paz´´ in Spanish means peace. But they are really great guys. They are zone leaders too. With Elder Paz, it’s a little bit different tracting. We try to feel more by the spirit what doors we need to knock on or who we need to contact. It’s a lot harder, especially for a newbie but its possible. It’s good that I have two years to do it.
Where I am now is called Canek. It’s in the middle of Merida, so lots of people. I felt a little out of place when I was going to my ‘new place” because there were so many people sometimes! I miss my small towns. The best lesson we had this week was with a less active sister. She didn’t understand why she had to go to church so many times and things like that. I shared 1 Ne 3.7. Then later I told her why I do things that I don’t want to. Then I turned to D&C 45.5 and explained how I want to hear this at the last day. My companion did most of the teaching but those were my tidbits. Also my first night in this area, me and Elder Paz went to a recent convert’s house. This guy is probably sixties or so. It’s been a month or so since his baptism and this past Sunday (5th) he blessed the sacrament water. The thing that we helped him this week is reading the sacrament prayers. He practiced from Moroni 4 and 5. It’s crazy how easy the Spanish comes when the spirit is there and you’re teaching.
Haven’t had any real crazy food since last week. I did have a drink that was weird. It was made with grass, water, and pineapple. It looked nasty but it didn’t taste that bad. This area is a lot better off than Kanasin. That’s where I was before. The cool lesson we had there is with Staycy, her friend Grisela, and the husband of Staycy (can’t remember his name). We taught as a trio the first lesson and it all went smooth. I recited the first Vision in Spanish to a real investigator without messing up anywhere. That’s one of the things that I kind of don’t like is that not a whole lot of people like to start with the first lesson. For me it’s called the first lesson for a reason. I do know though, that when the Spirit says that we need to teach something different, we teach something different. But we need to have a game plan first no? Any ideas? No answer is a bad answer.
What else…
So remember that I haven’t seen too many crazy bugs here? Well I did some service for a lady (cutting grass and weeds with a machete) and I saw a spider a little bit bigger than a silver dollar that was yellow and black. Then later I found a Praying Mantis on my arm! Also this week I’ve seen a couple iguana type things that are about two feet long (this was in Kansin).
The weather here is kind of interesting. In Canek, it’s a little bit colder, but in the day its not to hot but some nights it’s kind of cold; especially in a hammock with no bedding and air circulating all around you. The other night it was like 12 CÂș which is like between fifty or sixty I think, plus the humidity changes how it feels (which by the way I don’t hardly even notice any more. My companion Elder Paz was freezing! It was funny but not so funny when he told me to wait until May when it’s roasting hot. =(
As far as the package goes I’m super excited to see what it is! With the egg timer, I’d still like to have it because there isn’t really any type of a timer here. If I want to set aside a set time, I need to know when it’s done. I can do it with my watch but it would be a lot easier with an egg timer. Another crazy random thing that would be nice is cloths pins. We have a line in our apartment but we’re poking whatever through the threads in the rope. What else… Ramen noodles? Oh yeah you asked about the food here. The schedule is kind of different. We have breakfast first thing in the morning. I usually just have yogurt or cereal (which are super cheap here). Also we’re supposed to have two bananas every day with breakfast so we don’t get cramps. Every day for lunch it’s at two and we eat with one of the members. My companion Elder Brixey said that if the ward doesn’t do it, you just eat gas station type stuff and get refunded later. Then for dinner… well… we don’t really have dinner. We have a little snack like soup or something in the evening but not like a formal meal. It’s not that bad. One thing that Mexico has that is really cool is like ten different types of tang. I’m ex cited to try cantaloupe flavor! Also there is a pop that tastes like bananas, or even apple (carbonated too!). Also sometimes it’s like Mexican Kool-Aid, it comes in a bag pre- made but it’s basically juice. It’s different but still tastes good.
I don’t know what to say. I want to hear from all of you! Yes that means you! Hope you all have a great week. Mexico is good and so am I.
Elder Mackay