Well, it´s p day again! This past week was Thanksgiving, and it was such a big deal here in Mexico that I forgot about it. No turkey, no potatoes, nothing but tortillas. But the good part is that I like tortillas. That is one of the major cultural differences here in Mexico, the Holidays are really different. Christmas isn´t really a big deal either because most of the people celebrate the Day of Kings instead. The Day of Kings is the 6th of December I think, and it is the day when the 3 wise men showed up in Bethlehem. The really big holidays are the days when the people celebrate and worship the saint that they named their pueblo after (San Juan, San Martin....). These holidays are called ferria, and there are carnivals in the streets and flea markets (tjiangeys). Tons of people dress up in traditional Mexican clothes and there are dances performed in the Plazas of the Pueblos. Loud music and fireworks too. Also they have special Masses for the Saints, and the parties don´t stop for days. Kind of cool, but it makes preaching really difficult when no one is home and everyone is drunk. As for poverty here, I don´t think it is quite like you imagine. There are people that are really poor, but the majority are middle class. The thing is that middle class here in Mexico is a lot poorer than middle class in the U.S. Most people don´t have cars in Teotihuacan (Tay-o-ti-WA-con). People have money to eat, and pay the rent, but not a lot of people have the money to go on vacations or buy T.V.s. Most of the kids go to school. For fun, a lot of them play soccer. They also like to hang out in the plaza. A lot of kids have to work, but they work in the stores that their parents own. Everyone works.
Mom, I really haven´t gotten sick, nor am I sick. I am lucky, at least until I get transferred into the city. I went to DF to sign some papers for my visa because there are problems and the most likely is that I´m coming home next month....just kidding. I signed them so that it could be extended from 6 months to one year. Don´t worry, that probably wasn´t funny for mom, but I thought it was funny. Also, there is a piano in the capilla, but I don´t play it because there simply isn´t time. I could practice for a half hour, or we could find people and help them make covenants that will give them salvation for eternity. It is a matter of priorities. There are 2 sisters in our zone, but there aren´t very many in the mission. We have the visitors center at the temple and so we have more sister missionaries than the other missions, but it is more dangerous for the sisters. There are no North American sister missionaries.
My frustration with the language is neither understanding nor speaking. I can speak and understand well enough, but I want people to focus on the message, not on how I am saying it. The truth is there are times when the Spirit is so strong that I don´t even think about what or how I am saying things in Spanish, it just comes out. But Elder Llanos is helping me. He and I are going to perseverar hasta el fin. He doesn´t want to go home, because I guess after a while the mission becomes a second home.
Cameron, I have been getting your dearelders, sorry if I haven´t responded very well. We get dear elders every 3 or 4 weeks, so I kind of have to piece together all of them into one response, but keep writing. I love getting your letters. Sounds like Homecoming and Mormal went well. Dances are really fun, I always really enjoyed them. You are a good guy Cameron. Read your Book of Mormon every day without fail. It is an incredible book that will change your life each time you read it with a real desire to follow Jesus Christ.
I got Grandma Nelson´s letter and loved it, I am still waiting for Grandma Andy´s. We will go to the temple to do a session the 21st or 22nd of December. I get my phone call the 24th or 25th of December, we still don´t know all the details for how or how long the call can be. I am soooooo excited for that phone call. As for letters I print them off, read them, date them and then put them in my binder for letters. Yes, I had my 1st haircut, yes they used a straight razor to shave my sideburns and neck and yes it made a little nervous. But everything worked out well.
Ok, the miracle of the week. On Tuesday we were contacting waiting for an appointment when E Llanos decided to knock on a door. Fernando opened it (26 years old), and told us to come right in. He had always seen us walking in shirt and tie and wanted to know what we taught. Turns out he is searching for the purpose of his life and what happens afterwards. Perfect! We taught the Plan of Salvation and he agreed to a return appointment and to pray about our message. Then he missed our return appointment, and his sister kept saying he wasn´t there each time we went back. Then on Saturday night we were walking down his street because we felt like we should follow up on a reference. Fernando was waiting in his door step for us. We didn´t intend to find him, but he said "I felt like you guys were going to look for me, so I decided to wait for you out here!!" How cool is that? He said that he received a very ´´satisfactory¨´ response to his prayer, and came to church the next day. People that God prepares can´t be denied the Gospel.
Mom, I love you. I try every day to be the missionary you think I am. Dad, thank you for your letter I loved it. That stinks about BYU...but wait till we kick them next year. I love your letters, thank you for the example you are of a righteous father.
Darci and Joe, thank you for your letter. I loved it. I love to know how you are doing because I pray for you every day. I will pray for your job Darci. Don´t feel like you have to write me all the time, but once in a while I like to know how you are. I love you both so much. Sounds like everything is going well for you two, as it should. Keep doing the right things and the right things will keeping happening for you.
Grandma Nelson, sorry I haven´t responded yet to your letter. I love you so much. Thank you for all the cookies and memories you have given me. I know you miss Grandpa, but thanks to the Atonement and the ordinances you have completed and covenants you have made you will see him again. You will live in peace and happiness with all of us one day, keep that vision and keep doing the right things.
I love you all,