July 31, 2014

First 10 Days in Monterrey! (Weeks 6 & 7)

**we went to the temple today so PDay was today! Usually it is on mondays**

FIRST I´d like to begin by saying that the end of my last post....RIP ENGLISH.... could not be more accurate hahaha.  Writing this email is the most time I've spent writing/Reading/thinking in english!  oh man....so much to say about these 2 weeks!  I really am doing great, but yeah I thought the MTC was difficult and tiring...I definitely lied.  I don't think I've ever felt this confused, lost, lonely, or worn out in my entire life!  Not to mention I've been soaked in sweat every since stepping off that airplane....soooo humid and hot here!

MISSION FACTS:  in this misión there are about 230 missionaries and only about 35 sisters!!  This first american sister came to this misión about 7 months ago.  about 60% of the missionaries here are natives of central/south america. On monday 4 of us came from the Provo MTC and 20 from the Mexico MTC.  haha we were all sitting in a room the first day awaiting instruction, and I was playing hymns on the piano and all the new hispanic elders were singing soo loud in spanish.  It was awesome.  They are all really funny elders.  We have about 60 baptisms each week in the misión.  My misión president is awesome!  Really funny guy.  Him and His wife are from california.

my first companion here in the misión is my "trainer" and she will be my companion these next 12 weeks.  Her name is Hermana Batalla, from Southern Mexico.  She is sooo great!  She's been in the misión for 10 months, and this is her 2nd time training.  She knows her stuff!  I definitely got my wish of having a native trainer, but her knowing barelyyyy any english is so difficult!  Learning everything from her in straight spanish is exhausting and stressful at times, but I really am picking up the language fast this way.  All the native missionaries are expected to learn english so it's been fun teaching her english.

The Area I'm in is SADA VIDRIO.  Some streets in my área {Dad so you can look on google maps!} is INDUSTRIAS DEL VIDRIO in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon;DUCLO SAOLINAS in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon *this is the Street I live on!* FRANCISCO G. SADA in San Nicolas, Nuevo LeonPLAN DE AYUTLA in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon *where my church building is!*  Nuevo Leon is the state I'm in, and the 3 cities in my área are Guadalupe, Monterrey, and San Nicolas.  Monterrey has East and West missions.  The West is much more upperclass and wealthy.  The área I'm in is very humble.  The people are so warm and lovely.  It's really sad seeing how some of these people live, and yet they are all so happy.  Always surrounded by family just sitting outside their homes.  On the streets everyone says hello to everyone!  You aren't a stranger here.  You're friends with everyone!

we live in a tiny 2 person apartment with this super narrow staircase....haha getting my suitcases up here was such a challenge
Haha no one knocks on doors here!  You simply yell their names outside their home to get their attention.  You rarely find a home that doesn't have huge posters of Jesús and Mary, and you'll casually see Jesus' face on chain link fences near construction hahaha.  They loveeee the bible here.  Most of the people here love talking to us!  Hermana Batalla and I have about 20 progressing investigators, 20 kind of interested investigators, and we meet with less actives as well.  sooooo many people to keep track of!  We teach about 6 lessons a day.  The people here lovee to talk for hours haha.  It's cool teaching them outisde on their porches.  We have about 8 baptisms set for this month which is great! and hopefully more to come!

The drivers here are crazyyyyy! The rules are so relaxed.  Seat belts are optional to these people.  Everyday is an adventure haha don't worry mom I'm safe ;) I actually do feel very safe!  I have yet to see another american here so people often stare and are probably thinking...what is she doing here? or I will get creepy commentary but really I feel safe! We take taxis for far away places but typically we walk everywhereeee.  Good thing I have my black clunky nacho libre shoes for comfort haha!

The food is sooo delicious!  Lunch is the main meal here so we eat at a member's home everyday around 2 pm. Homemade tamales, tacos, tortillas, spicy salsas...Dad you would loveee the food here!  so spicy.  Because we eat at 2 we don't have a "real" dinner so we usuallyl get tacos from a taco truck around 9 pmhaha!  "campachanas" soooo good!

 first taco truck taco....success
everyone is always playing music in the streets.  On weekend nights this loud obnoxious brass band plays righttt outside our aparment around 11 pm haha!  everyday we do lots of Street contacts and it's sooo hard understanding people!  They talk so fast here!  Learning their names is a challenge. 

my typical day:

6:30 wake up/ exercise/ get ready
8am personal study
9am companionship study
10am language study
11 to 2pm teach people
2pm lunch
3 to 9pm teach people
9 pm plan for the next day
10:30 bed

a few cool experiences from this week (that i could understand... hahaha) we are teaching this older man who is partially blind, Ramón, and He had a dream where he saw an angel in his room and he thinks it is some sort of sign from God, so he is really interested in talking with us!  we also stopped to talk to this 80 year old woman in the road and she just started to cry saying that we were an answer to her prayers.  Moments like these are really cool!  We are teaching a Jehova's witness and she studies the bible for hours everyday...so that will be interesting teaching her.  So many cool experiences here in the mish!  The hardest part is going to have people stay committed. They love talking to us about God and Jesús but they have a hard time committing to come to church!

***meanwhile I have lots of bug bites, bright red sunburn on my neck, a constant sweaty back, more freckles, and a super cute baby farmer's tan***

It's a good thing I couldn't write home after the first few days because I would be a WHOLE lot more negative and stressed writing this post haha!  This adjustment is sooo hard...and I have felt really lonely and unable to connect well with the culture and people here.  During a lesson I just so badly want to know what they are talking about so I can help them!  But each day gets better...My trainer says I'm learning everything so fast and really moving fast in the language (although I don't feel that way... haha)  I just gotta remember I've only been here 2 weeks!!

a scripture about missionaries in Alma I've been refferring to lots goes like this:

"now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said:  Go amongst thy brethren, the lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success"

yo sé que Dios está allí por nosotros siempre, si pedimos por ayuda.  ¡amo ser misionera! hasta lunes....

*it's also the hottest day of the year today so that's cool... hahah gahhhh!*
happy happy happy

c o n  a m o r
hermana riches

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