(It's always fun to glean other tidbits from companions...this week's contribution!)
"Then we got started on the fence. It wasn't too hard. Elder Schenewark ended up doing most of the work digging the post holes because he liked it and didn't want us to switch out with him,
Today for preparation day we tried to get Nacho Libre approved, but it wasn't. So instead we bought four habaneros and we each ate one. It was nuts. Those things are so hot! Now we are going to go carve pumpkins for Halloween this Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday, guess where the whole Yuma Zone, us included, gets to go this Saturday? THE SAN DIEGO TEMPLE!!! Our stake is in the San Diego temple district so we got permission from Salt Lake to go do a session on Saturday instead of trying to do missionary work when everyone is out trick or treating. It is going to be awesome. Expect a ton of pictures!
Still no word on Elder Schenewark's visa. I hope he gets to stay here for a while. He is a super hard worker. He is awesome. I love Elder Schenewark. He came pre trained. He's learning Spanish super fast too!"
Dear Family and Friends,
Yeah, I was going to write about Waldo, but I ran out of time last week. The only thing I'll add is he told us he was interested in our message but not right now because he was living with a married person, and he knew that was wrong and God didn't like it, so he was trying to stay as far away as possible from God, but he wants to be with her, and as soon as her divorce is finalized and he is married, he said he would give us a call.
So yeah, definitely a character. And no one can hide from God. We appreciated the ride, the drinks, and we feel like we did our part. But we aren't going to worry about finding him.
This week we continued to improve. The first few days were killer, and then the last couple have been difficult. But on Sunday, it was amazing to see some of our investigators come to church. I've been sad when people haven't after committing to, but I was surprised at how happy I was to see them come. It was fantastic. We are teaching quite a few people who hopefully will get baptized before the end of this transfer. Work remains.
On Wednesday, we taught a super fantastic(scout camp anyone?) lesson, with the relief society president, to our miracle family, the one we interrupted as they were praying for people to come, that ended up going over an hour. When we went outside, Elder Bradley's bike was gone! Honestly, I'm not going to lie, my first thought was just relief that it wasn't mine, because I did not want to fork over a couple hundred for a bike I had used for two weeks. But I felt really bad too. Our bikes were right next to each other, so it was just a 50-50 thing. We called the police to report it. The family we had been teaching had a son who had left the house 15-20 minutes before we went outside, so the family called him and asked if he saw two bikes, and he said he did. He came driving back, and said he would drive around the neighborhood and look for it. Five minutes later he comes flying back to say there's a teenager riding Elder Bradley's bike back. And then we asked were the helmet was, so they drive back down to a dumpster, and they climbed in it to get it back. They asked that we not say
anything, so Elder Bradley called the police back and explained that he did in fact have his bike. So, all in all, a terrible situation ended up being a good story and pretty funny as it ended up all right.
Except, Elder Bradley had to buy a new lock. He had put his u-lock just hanging on the handlebars. We put our bikes right behind some cars, and San Luis is actually pretty safe and quiet, so we hadn't
locked our bikes up, but now we do every time. And we had already called the other missionaries for a ride, so we got a ride back to the house which was nice. Moral of the story, and my mission motto,
Saturday, we are going to the San Diego Temple!!!! I am really excited! It's the sixteen missionaries in the Yuma Zone, and a senior couple assigned to this area as well who are going. I'm not sure what
the times are, but because it's Halloween, we won't be doing anything anyways.
In answer to the Halloween question, there's decorations, but not an insane amount. One thing you have to understand is, most if not all decorations stay here. Most of the houses have Christmas lights up all year round. Not on, but they are always up. And there's some Halloween decorations, but not a huge amount. One thing a lot of houses have as well, are Virgin de Guadalupe shrines/altars. Which is interesting. And, I included a picture of a lawnmower I saw, because it might be the only lawn mower in town. Everything is sand so there's no need for one. The city has a couple green areas they maintain, but not 99% of yards.
Lots of people sweep the sand with a broom getting the rocks and maybe leaves out of the way.
The sunsets and sunrises are always beautiful here, but usually there are no clouds. I did think we might get something from that giant hurricane, but nothing. It doesn't rain here. A lot of the ward had members they were worried about in Mexico,but I think everyone is all right.
And in answer to the seventy percent unemployment dad mentioned, everyone here has a job, so I would guess they might be counted as unemployed because of legal status? I don't know for sure. Only that everyone works. We are teaching one lady, she has worked in the field for 45 years, from the age of 14, to 59. Hoeing lettuce, or lechuga in Spanish for a lifetime. We did meet one person who is physically unable to, who collects bottles and takes them to Mexico to recycle. Also, most of the women work here too. Some of the field workers are on a bus at two a.m. And ride to California to work, but yeah, their is no unemployment, just underemployment. The top,jobs are for the schools here, either as teacher or maintenance and it's like you have it made. It's helped open my eyes to how blessed we all are.
For food, we usually make lunch at our house. And I go 100% American, as dinner is always Mexican. Authentic too. I thought I had had it before but not really. Tortillas, always corn and dripping with oil, frijoles, and avocado, are guaranteed at every meal. And then some variation is added. Sometimes chicken, maybe beef, rice, etc. Also, always soda. That's the one thing that's rough, the foods been fantastic here, but not a fan of drinking soda every meal. The water here isn't very good, and everyone buys and refills the big blue bottles, whatever they are called at stores, and have them in their kitchen. But no one uses them. It's always soda. They definitely know how to cook. We have done service twice recently and one of the places, the member is way awesome. He cooked us carneacada, which is made often, but his was so good. And he made us huevos rancheros the next morning, which is tortillas, beans, salsa, and eggs. He actually made cactus salsa, which I really liked. Not spicy at all. And I love prickly pear! Even though it doesn't taste like much. I eat it as a snack a lot. We dug fence holes for him, which is actually really easy because it's all sand.
Today, all four of us ate a habanero pepper. Won't do that one again. Elder Goodrich bought a gallon of ice cream for us, and we ate almost all of it. But I know I can do it now. Everyone makes their own salsa, and I don't want to have to decline anything. So I know I can do it. But it was smoking hot. Also, their is a McDonald's and a Jack in the Box here, and everyone loves Jack in the Box more. And they all call it Jack, which is funny. Just Jack. "Do you want to eat at Jack?" "I had Jack for lunch." Etc.
I don't go down the hills fast. I'm very careful, and catch up with my companion by pedaling harder on the flat. You know me, very cautious.
Apparently there used to be a giant narc tunnel here, that was found out and shut down a couple years ago. The druggies shot the cop and then just moved towns. Just an interesting story I heard.
My Spanish has only been bad, because I was totally unprepared, but it's definitely improving, and one investigator said something which made my day, she said that when I talk about the gospel she can always understand me, but when I talk about other stuff she can't, and she knows that I am a servant of Christ. So that was very nice of her. And my comprehension is going up as well. Still work to be done though! Elder Bradley has really good Spanish, probably the best of any missionary here, so he helps me out when I need it, which is a lot. I'm understood, it just comes out broken.
This house had twenty one cats here! And there was lots more on the rest of the street. The whole street smelled like cats! I don't know why so many cats lived on this street, but I am glad I don't!
It's also finally cooling down, which is nice, and some temps will be in the 80s this week!
I know this gospel is true. My testimony grows everyday. As does my love for each one of you! Families are the best and the most important! Be thou an example of the believers! I love you all!!!