Greetings from Teotihuacan. Well, one more weird thing I ate this week, mole rojo. They say it is everything that they happen to have in the kitchen thrown into a pot and simmered for hours. It looks like chocolate...but it tastes like someone burnt something and added water, stirred and heated. It is a sauce that they put on chicken or flautas. Not good...but I ate it anyway.
Well this past week was Dia de los Muertos, and it was a little crazy. The day is actually two days, Monday and Tuesday. It is a Catholic holiday where the people honor those who have passed on by putting flowers on graves and making offerings. The plaza (huge square in the middle of San Juan where people sell things, and eat and hang out....kind of like a park but without the grass and playthings) was covered with burning candles and skeletons in sand and pan de muerto. That is a bread that they make for the holiday, it is really good. Then afterwards everyone goes to drink and party, and the kids ask for candy and money like an American Halloween. Traffic is really crazy because no one works and the kids don´t have school. There are cultural type performances, people dressed like Lamanites dancing in the plaza. It was a little dangerous because everyone was completely wasted, which makes sharing a message about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ a little difficult, and we had to go back to the apartment a little early so that we didn´t get robbed or something. The holiday is good, because it is for honoring the dead, the drinking is not so good. It is like two days without laws because the police are partying too.
To answer Mom´s question, Elder Llanos actually was called to the Veracruz mission. He has a problem with his intestines (they are narrowing and closing) and needs to have surgery. They tried to send him home, but he refused, so they sent him to our mission because we have the best hospital in Mexico here. He is going home in the end of December, so he only has 2 months left. We are going to work like locos and perseverar hasta el fin. Oh, and his accent. Most people actually think that he is from Mexico, so his accent is basically the same as everyone else´s.
We have a mission standard of 1 lesson with a recent convert or less active member per day. So we work with them quite a lot. It´s good because usually they have lots of friends that aren´t members and we always ask for references. It is awesome when they come back to church and renew their covenants. Lots of them don´t come because of work, or because they don´t like someone in the ward. But we explain that baptism is a covenant with God, not other people in the ward. The reason we go to church on Sunday´s is to renew covenants and fulfill a commandment. We have a duty to reverently and happily renew our covenants each week.
For Dad´s question, I have no idea where Elder Warr is. He´s not in my zone so I have no way of knowing or finding out. But I´m sure he is doing well, he is an awesome missionary. We only have zone Conferences every three months or so, our next one is at Christmas. We get to go to the Temple at Christmas time, because the Temple and visitor´s center is in our mission. I am so excited to go, after the MTC where we went practically everyday for the last three weeks before I left I miss the temple and it´s tranquility. I have been reading the Ensign on the temple, and I love it. We do not realize how great blessings we have in the temple, we do not realize the incredible significance of temple work. I want to be a temple worker someday. Oh, and also I really only speak Spanish because Elder Llanos doesn´t speak English.
There are a lot of tourists at the pyramids, but they are all from Mexico and the only other white people I´ve seen are the other missionaries. The other gringo missionaries like to speak English to each other, but I usually don´t stand in the "gringo circle" because I was called to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.
The weather here has been cold. That´s kind of weird I know, I´m freezing in Mexico. In the mornings it is frigid, but by the time we go out to work it has warmed up enough to where I can wear short-sleeves. But the sky hasn´t been cloudy a day since I´ve been here, and so in answer to the question "am I getting a tan?" Yes. I have a farmers tan really bad. But I still look gringo, somehow no matter how tan I get I don´t think I will ever really look not gringoish. I have been using sun-screen (that was for Mom) but I still get sunburns on my nose. Sometimes I look like Rudolph, but whatever, it is all for the Lord. I actually haven´t gotten sick at all yet. There aren´t many taco stands in Teotihuacan, and I think that the rule is: if you eat off the street, you get sick. But I have been really blessed in that way.
For contacting we have really done everything. We knock doors, we street contact, and we ask references from members. The references from members are usually the best, but we have knocked a lot of doors. People here are willing to talk and so we usually get a lesson or two a day from knocking doors. We try to talk to everyone, on buses in the street, knocking doors, in stores...etc.
Ok, I couldn´t send pictures this week, but next week I promise. We had a baptism this Sunday. Our goal is to have at least one baptism every week. We baptised Sofía, the daughter of a recently activated member. This week we have two more planned for Sunday. I will tell you about them next week. Something really really awesome happened this week. It was 6 pm and starting to get a little dark. We were walking down the street quickly because we were going to be late for an appointment when this man approached me in the street. I thought he was drunk and was readying myself to run, but I decided to talk to him. He asked if we were the Elders of the Church...and we answered yes. He then told us that he had been searching for the Chapel for months, but couldn´t find it. He said that he was ready to make changes in his life, and took us to his house where we met his wife (inactive member) and their newborn child. He contacted us! Juan Miguel is now progressing as an investigator and is really ready to change. He´s giving up alcohol and drugs, and he´s going to be married to his wife. They are in a "union libre" .....they are not married, but live together. That strengthened my testimony that people are waiting for us to find them. There are thousands of people ready for the gospel we just have to find them.
Also, we had a ward family home evening where Elder Llanos and I gave the lesson. We told everyone to bring potential investigators. Jose Gonzalez showed up, and we invited him to church the next day. At church we set an appointment for later Sunday. We showed up Sunday night and taught the restoration. The Spirit was so strong with him and us that lesson. I could feel that he could feel that our message was true. So we invited him to be baptized on the 21st, and he accepted! 2 days, one lesson and he is going to be baptized! How cool is that.
Well, I´m out of time, next week I will try to tell you about more people that we are teaching. But the teaching pool is doing well, we are busy. We need to be busier though, we can always do better, work harder, baptize and teach more.
Cameron and Melissa I got your Dear Elders. I love you both, thank you for your letters. Cameron it sounds like everything went well at Homecoming, good job. You´re a Nelson so of course it went well. Melissa, remember those girls and how pretty they were. You are just as pretty. But the thing to remember is this, The Boy that you really want to date, or that you really want to marry wants a girl with a testimony. You are beautiful inside and out, but the inside is more important.
I love you all, until next week
P.S. I will not withdraw money from my debit card until I tell you first. If you see a withdrawal or anything let me know. Just in case. Also, for the feeling safe about crime and stuff. I am in a really safe area. Much safer than the actual city. It is still dangerous, but we are obedient and God protects us. We have to be in the house before most of the bad stuff happens anyways. I loved all your questions, and Dad thank you for your letter, I love hearing your experiences. I love you. I pray for all of you every day.