Ok, I know it's been a little while... Where to begin...
In the picture, my comp, Elder Tirado (Fun Fact: translates to dropped, thrown-out) de Tijuana, is on the far left. I'm on the far right. In the middle, the man holding the baby and his wife in the striped dress just got baptized (my first Sunday here). He's Oscar, she's Nayelly, the baby's Gael, and their "tremendo" son (Note: Doesn't translate to "tremendous" as in "great." More like, a "tremendous" handful) is Oscarín. He's the one that always shouts when we arrive, "The Mormons are here!" They got confirmed the next Sunday, and they're still going strong!
The only problem is, they were the only investigators that the other missionaries had, so we had literally nothing. So, we've been looking! And we've been finding, little by little, which is good, and there're a few investigators with promise. The truth is, I've kind of avoided talking about investigators in the past, because there have been a lot of disappointments with people that can't or won't progress. But, I don't know, I feel like I should talk a little bit more about the work here. Our four investigators with the most promise (and, therefore, in need of prayers :)) are Enrique, Eduardo, Georgina, and Margarita. Enrique was a contact that we made a few weeks ago who accepted us and so far everything we've taught him. He's been to church, and although he's having a bit of trouble looking for a job that'll let him keep the Sabbath day, he's progressing well. Eduardo is the boyfriend of a member in the ward who's been attending with her for over two months, but only accepted more recently talking with us. He's got some doubts, but he's got the desire to resolve them, so that's fine. Georgina's husband and two of her kids are already members (all three recently reactivated), but she hasn't been baptized because she and her husband aren't legally married, just living together. First the wedding (extremely complicated and expensive here), then the baptism. But she's solid, and apart from some other familial complications I hope they can get sealed in the temple before I finish my mission. Margarita... probably the most difficult of the four. Her husband is a member, for a long time inactive, who one morning just showed up for church and asked that we visit his wife. If that's not the Lord's hand in something, I don't know what is. He actually had been inactive for a long time, but had a powerful life-changing (life-threatening, actually) experience that made him decide to go to church again and put his life back in order with God. His wife, Margarita, is really nice, and she listens to us, but she has a lot of personal obstacles to work through before she'll feel ready to attend church with us. She's progressing, but it's slow, and everything's complicated by the fact that they live really far away in a ranch that's 30, 40 minutes out by bus from the area we usually work. The ranch, Paso Canoa, doesn't have cell service, and they don't have a phone, so that also doesn't help. Also, if you don't catch the 7:00 pm bus (that sometimes passes by at 6:40, as we found out) there aren't any more buses to the main town until 5:00 the next morning. So we have to visit them earlier in the day. But because she's progressing more slowly we have to visit them less often. So it's more difficult. But it's worth it, if she's progressing toward the temple with her husband.
Ok, time for some Q&A with my mother...
How are you doing? Well, thanks :) Seriously, well, even if it is too hot here. The sun's a lot more strong, here, too, which doesn't help. But I've gotten used to it. Health-wise, well, mental-wise, tired (nothing new, there), spiritual-wise, learning more every day, wise-wise, still no, unfortunately.
How are you feeling? See above post... Tired, hot, but good!
What do you love about your new area? The ward is supportive, which is always a good thing. The ward councils especially I like. Also, the iguanas, and the wacky fruit.
Anything not-so-great? Well, the people aren't always nice to us, but you kind of have to get used to that...
Having fun with your new companion? Yeah, once we spent more time together I think he opened up a little more. Also, he reminds me of someone... Ask David, I told him.
What size is your new town? It's actually a few towns... Kind of. It's the smaller, almost rural part of Tuxtepec, but it also includes a huge area that we rarely ever visit because there aren't members there, and those areas are usually a little more dangerous, and it takes time to visit places by bus. I don't know square mileage, sorry, and would be really bad at guessing. I would say, what size? Medium. Medium size.
What’s it like to grocery shop there? We go downtown! To a different area, where there are Costco-like stores. The peanut butter costs way too much to buy, though, although recently I've been craving Nutella more.
Meet any interesting people? Every day. It's the interested people that are far and few between. So many stories, so little time... Suffice it to say that there are a lot more prophets and apostles here than I think Jesus is aware of...
Will you finally get to play piano in your new area? Not really... Well, in priesthood they usually ask me to play the opening hymn. So that's something! But it's ok.
I've eaten new fruit, heart of chicken, and have been extremely disappointed to learn that iguana season is over. But, we did see and kind-of help a family of strangers in the street to trap an iguana (a medium-sized one... I'm not sure how to describe size... Like a weiner dog, but longer. It's tail was about the size of my arm, it's head the size of both my fists together). They're going to eat it, but they didn't invite us :(
I saw a pig the size of a shetland pony, and learned that the end piece of a loaf of bread is commonly called "la suegra." The mother-in-law. ¿Por qué? ¡Porque nadie la quiere! Sorry, not as funny in English.
I hope everybody's doing well, health-wise, spiritually-wise, and wise-wise. I love you all, and would love to hear more about how each of you are doing! Sorry, I know, I know, take out the beam first... But I would like to know!
Elder Rob Weatherford