Monday, January 3, 2011

2nd week in Mexico

hello everyone. Well it has been a whole week in mexico already and it has gone by fast and a lot has happened. First things first, i am in the city of La Venta. i´m not exactly sure where it is, but i think it is about 45 min west of villahermosa. the city is very small. we live in a one room "appartment" here that is pretty nice. it is one big room, tile floors, two beds, a refridgerator, a washer type thing, and a bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink all in one small room. It is pretty nice compared to most peoples houses though so i cant complain at all. we live in the centro or downtown area, but the downtown is only about a block of different stores and then the rest of the area is houses. the area is pretty big and we take taxi´s sometimes up and down the main road to get to different parts of the city. the taxi´s arent too crazy here because theres only one lane, but its def different than the US. my companions name is Elder Tanner. He is from spokane, washington and has 23 months in the mission. he gets home the 28th of january, which means that i have to know the area well enough in 3-4 weeks to be able to take over when he leaves. That is going to be really tough, but hopefully i´ll be able to do it. the streets in the neighborhoods are really hard to follow and there are a lot of alleyish type things and different paths and stuff, but i´ll try to learn it the best as i can. he is a good missionary and has really good spanish and teaches well and is obedient, so i am happy. he is helping me with my spanish and I am trying really hard to be better. it was hard teaching in english right before getting here, but it gets better everyday and hopefully soon I will be able to communicate without problems.

This week there have been some fun things that have happened. New Years we went over to the other two people in our districts house and spent the night. there are just 4 elders in our district and my comp is the district leader. elder clark from my mtc district is in the other area so it is nice to still be together with him. on new years we didnt go to sleep on time because it was way too loud. everyone gets together in their families nd blast music from 7 at night to 9 the next morning. they also light off nonestop fireworks all ngiht. the majority of the fireworks are just these popper things that they light and then go off and just sound like a loud gun shot. at midnight they take this jumpsuit filled with paper and fireworks that they have made look like a man and then light it on fire. It was pretty funny to watch the man on fire and explode with fireworks.

Also this week while tracting i had an accident where i ran into a cement block. It was sticking out of the side of the wall like a foot and a half right at head level and I hit it pretty square on. It didnt hurt too bad but was a bit of a shock. Luckily we were close to our house so I got my companions little towel thing to put on it and then we passed a few people that I think probably thought we just got mugged or something, that gave us some weird looks, but i got cleaned up quick and then didnt have a headache really or anything after, but it was a weird feeling for the rest of the day.

We are teaching a lot of really great people. We didnt have too many people when i first got here, but we have been working hard to contact people and have three people on date for the 22nd of january now! we are trying to build our teaching pool and are trying to talk to everyone on the street. We have had some really cool experiences in lessons and have been teaching a lot. I am getting better at my spanish, but it will be a process. Also this week we had a zone conference. The president got up on the stand a little before it started and asked me to play prelude music and then all the music for the zone conference. i wish i knew more hymns by heart, but it went pretty well. also he got up and had all of us new missionaries sing a song for everyone that he had just had us practice once in the car one day. its not a song i know in english by was called se que me ama el senor. it is a good one and i like it a lot. the president played piano for that one. he is a great president and jokes around with you but it very spiritual. he had us sing it once for everyone, but then said that one was practice and told us to come over. he then told just us to really sing with all of our hearts and bear our testimonies when we sang and he teared up while he said it. We sang it agian and it was much better. This mission is much more obedient than my other one and i am really excited to keep working hard here. There are challenges, but i know that i am given the help that i need. this is the lords work, and as long as i keep myself a worth servant of him, i will be given the ability and the spirit to accomplish his work. I have had many opportunities to bear my testimony to people ehere this week, and also to give the experience of the first vision. we have taught a ton of first lessons which is the foundation of our church. it has helped strengthen my testimony as i testify to others and say that I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and the only way that we can return to him. I love this gospel and i love these people. there is no happier feeling than hearing the words come out of someones mouth saying that they will be baptized. We taught a man named alvero yesterday where after we taught him the plan of salvation he said. ¡quiero ser bautisado pronto! I felt the spirit and felt the joy of this work when he said that and know that he is doing what his savior wants.

Dont worry about me here, everything is going great and i am loving my mission.


elder smith

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