What a week it has been here in Pachuca. The week was a little bit hard because it was "La Semana Santa" and all the Catholics were out in force on the streets and no one really wanted to talk to us. But the Lord siempre pone los medios para nosotros. We found a family of 6!! They live in a colony that is called Europa, and it is the poorest place in Pachuca. There aren´t any paved roads, and it is hasta el cerro. (which is a saying that means far away). We went to Europa because we had a sita with a person that we contacted on the street, but their address didn´t exist, so we knocked their door. I love stuff like that.
Ok, I am going to start by answering the letters that you guys sent me last week. Mom, I didn´t get any packages, but they told me that the pouch personal was going to be delivered by Presidente in our interviews this week. My shirts are 15 and one half, and are Stafford "the oxford shirt." I don’t know if anyone will know it is my birthday...I don’t really like attention but I think we will have a Pechanga with one of the families that always helps us out in everything. I thought of something else that I would like for my birthday...if someone could make a copy of every single cd of efy and church music we have and send it to me for my birthday I would love it. I love the music I have, but after a little bit ya get board...wow I can´t believe I just spelled it that way...bored of the same Christmas songs. I have a cd player in the house and it would be easier I think for you guys to send cd´s to me.
The rainy season is supposed to start in May and it has been really hot here, I keep getting sunburned on my nose, I constantly look like Rudolph. Last Sunday something really cool happened. Supposedly every year in Pachuca on the day that Christ supposedly died there is a huge storm. Last Sunday was that day...because it rained and hailed so hard that it looked like it was snowing and there were rivers in the streets...literally about 4 or 5 inches of water flowing down the street. We were stuck about 4 blocks from the house under the overhang of a taco stand and didn´t really know what we were going to do until a member saw us and gave us a ride to the house. I tried to put the pictures on my flashdrive today, but this internet didn´t have the slot for my SD card and I forgot my cable. I will do it next week and send the sd card.
As for missionaries, Elder Casillas and I are in charge of 2 stakes, Pachuca Mexico and Pachuca Sur, Pachuca Mexico has 6 missionaries and Pachuca Sur has 14. So in total there are 20 missionaries in 2 stakes. Jase Ward is in my zone!!!! He is in the Tecnologico ward. I am way excited to work with him, he seems to be doing well and wants to work hard. We taught their district class on Wednesday and it was cool to see him. My new companion is Elder Casillas, he is from Guadalajara and is 26 years old. He was baptized about 4 years ago. He has been teaching me a lot. I am training him as a Zone Leader because he just barely got called as one. He is a nice guy, I get along with him really well....but he is a little serious all the time. I was used to a Casey Hare/Jackson type companion, but it is nice because he really has desires to have success and we are going to baptize all of Pachuca.
To answer the questions that Dad had the last time. When I stay with other Elders I usually sleep on the floor or on a chair or couch if they have one. I stayed with Elder Jordan and Elder Rodriguez, and they had a couch, so I slept on that. The truth is I love Pachuca, it looks a lot like home. The members in Pachuca are really good, and we have an amazing Bishop that is always helping us out. I feel like I have been here before or that I was born here. Our area has a mixture of pueblo and city. Pachuca is a city of about 1 million people and we spend most of our time in the city because there are more people to talk to. Our area is the side of hills, kind of like Badger Mountain but full of houses. We can see the whole valley and all of Pachuca and it is soo cool. Pachuca looks a lot like home, desert, but with more hills that are bigger, kinda like Provo. It is at the base of the mountain range and is the highest in altitude, something like 8000 feet. Here in Pachuca (and in DF) people don’t have landscaping, there isn’t grass because all the houses are joined together. I will try to take a picture and send it to you. To contact people what we do most of the time is walk down a street and talk to everybody, the pedestrians the businesses the street vendors...everybody. When there aren´t people in the street we knock doors and visit members. The most effective is talking to everybody on the street, we can usually make 4 or 5 appointments for the afternoon by talking to everybody in the morning, then we fill the morning with appointments by talking to people in the night time.
Kolby, study chapter 3 of PMG if you ant to know the basic doctrine of the church, try to find a scripture to go with every single sentence...that´s what I am doing and it is really helping me understand how inspired PMG is. Keep reading in Spanish...Spanish is the best.
Cameron...yes I am still Zone Leader and yes I am still in Pachuca, I think I will be here for at least 5 more months because they don´t change zone leaders very often. The food is better in Pachuca...people here have more money. There are still tortillas and salsa. Congrats on your Eagle...now finish your duty to God...you have to be better than me and I never finished it. Also...when I read that you sent Kolby a text from the bathroom I laughed really hard, and thinking about that situation, there really wasn´t much else you could have done. I support your text.
There were a lot of changes in the mission. Every single companionship in the zone except one had cambios. One of the Assistants Elder Walk is going home at the end of this cycle...so he got President to let him train a new missionary as a district leader in the zone where he started his mission, Pachuca. It is such a blessing to have him here and we are learning a lot from him. We received 24 new missionaries, 16 Americans! We have 4 in our zone. I was looking back at pictures of me with Elder Llanos and I can´t believe so much time has gone by. I have changed so much, I don´t even look the same. I want to train a new missionary so badly, but I can´t now because there are always 2 zone leaders.
Melissa I love ya. I hope you enjoyed BYU, I hope it motivated you to work as hard as you can so you can go there someday. You are going to be so grown up when I get home that I´m not even going to recognize you.
I am doing well. There is a really cool scripture that talks about a fire in my belly that I could not contain. I have heard that phrase a lot of my mission and everytime I hear it I think of Grandpa. If we truly love the Lord, and truly understand the atonement there is no reason to sin. When we do not sin we feel an incredible burning urge to share the gospel. I can´t describe it. It´s like a burning that I couldn´t extinguish even if I wanted to, a love for Christ as our Savior. I love Him so much. Sometimes that fire is put out a little bit when he work is hard or when people don´t listen. But if we are praying correctly it always returns. When we have that fire in our belly, that animo the people take notice and listen more, we have more success. This week I am striving really hard to purify my motives and building the fire in my belly. I have always had the problem of focusing on the numbers and not the people. But I should want the numbers, not for the numbers themselves but for the souls that those numbers represent. I found a really cool scripture in Galatians 5:6, and 1 pedro that says that faith works through our love and charity. I am going to try to send you the news letter from the mission so you can read it. I love you all so much. Thanks for your support and letters and prayers, keep praying because it works.
o yeah. I forgot to tell you how they celebrate Easter here. They have a big parade where the Catholic Padres sing and give sermons on different parts of Easter. There are several people carrying an effigy of a crucified Christ and several more carrying a huge cross down the street. They climb the hill and then tie and actual person to a cross. Then afterwards they go party and celebrate Easter with food and drinks that might not be 100 percent appropriate.