We had a good week here in Tulancingo. Elder Cataldo is leaving, changes are tomorrow and we will be leaving at 7 in the morning. It is kind of bitter sweet. He has been a good companion and we have gotten along well.We found a couple of new investigators this week that seem pretty solid. We received a phone call this week from a brother who had a reference for us. We went to go check it out and it turns out that Alma (weird coincidence right?) had been meeting with the missionaries in Chiapas and had to move to Tulancingo. She was searching desperately to find us again to keep learning more. She went to church on Sunday with her 2 year old and loved it. We also found a less active family to activate this week. They were baptized about 4 years ago but had been inactive for work. We found them and they are no longer working on Sunday`s and were excited to see us. We went by to go pick them up on Sunday and the mom told us that the dueño of their house (they rent like everyone else here) was really Catholic and had told them that we could no longer visit them. She told him to get lost and that they would be looking for a new apartment. She said "I won`t change my beliefs just for an old man..." Haha. It was funny but in a serious sort of way. That is what the gospel does to people--it gives them the strength to do impossible things. Impossible is just a word for people who don`t want to try.
As for the missionary work here in Tulancingo there are not very many people in the street and it is not very effective to contact in the city center where there are a lot of people in the street because no one lives in our area. So we walk and knock doors and contact anyone that is walking in the street where we are knocking. We don`t always knock doors though. About half the time we walk down street looking for people to contact and only knock the doors that we feel like we should knock. We also try to visit at least 1 member every day to share a spiritual thought and ask for references or leave a Book of Mormon so that they can give it to their friends.
I was trying to think of a really Mexican food you could make. Try looking up a recipe for Pozole (it is a soup with corn and chicken and other things) or you could try Tinga. I`m sure you could finds a recipe for them. The really Mexican thing would be mole...but they don`t want to eat that. I learned how to make salsa. It`s actually pretty easy. Just buy some tomatoes (the smaller cylinder red ones I think they are called romano or something like that) and a couple of chili`s. I made mine with habanero but you could buy serrano or de arbol. I guess jalapeño too but that isn`t really that spicy. Then you fry the tomatoes whole and the chili`s too in a frying pan on the stove until they are nice and toasted. Then you put it into the blender with a little bit of garlic or lemon juice and salt (if you want to make guacamole then just put in the avocados and cilantro in addition to the garlic) and you blend it. Then you put it in a pot and heat it up until it has a nice salsa-y consistency. Then you put it on everything (that`s what they do here anyways). That is salsa for tacos...there are other ways to make other salsas but that`s the only way I know how to make it.
I haven`t really seen gardens. They usually just have random plants and trees that give fruits like lemon trees and orange trees. They have plants that they use to make tea (lemon leaf tea or yerbabuena or manzanilla (I think that is chamomile)). They can`t grow things on their roofs because they are made of either cardboard or aluminum sheeting. Some have concrete roofs too. In my area the streets are about 70 percent paved and 30 percent not paved. The city is pretty rural, most of the people come from the campo and so are pretty country like. The people here are a lot less educated than in DF so it makes for some interesting lessons sometimes. For example this week we knocked a door and a lady let us in. She is maybe 35 and said that she goes to a Christian church. We go into her house that looks half abandoned from trash and old food everywhere and sit down on some rickety old wooden chairs. We begin to teach and she said "I don`t know why God can`t heal me, maybe I`m a bad person because I have asked so much to be healed and He hasn`t heard me." She didn`t look sick and so I ventured the question "What are you sick of?" She answered "schizophrenia" We ended to lesson rather quickly and made our exit. There`s a lot of crazy people like that here. There are also a lot of well educated and wonderfully talented people also but they don`t make for such interesting stories.
HEY::: I almost forgot something I need in my package.....I`m gonna need more contacts before I go home. I have until June 21st...then I`m out.There`s no easy solution to life...just working until your head falls off. But if we are willing to pay the price of success God is willing to give it to us. Really and truly though...everyone has to learn things for themselves...that is the hard part for those who have been there before (To sit there and watch while others have to learn the same lessons) That is the hard part about missionary work too.
Well, I love you all. I`ll tell you about my new companion next week. Also I have been a little sick with a sore throat. Love ya.Love,