yup that is us :) his name is Elder Hernandez and is one of the oldest missionaries in the mission... this is is last transfer before he is going home. He literally has 5 weeks left as a full time missionary.
this is in my new house (see attachment)... we went to Costco today to buy stuff to make in it.
So I am now in the area of Manantiales 1 in the stake La Libertad. It is right next door to my last area (literally, the only thing between us is the VW plant, aka, a small city). The city where I am is called Cuautlancingo. my area is almost purely apartment complexes. It is nice because it is super safe (they almost all have gates and security, to get in you need to know who you are going to visit where they live and give them an ID) and the ward helps a lot. When we give them an assignment it always gets done.
My companion is Elder Hernandez. He is from Tijuana and will be going back there on July 23rd. yup this is is last Transfer in the mission. I have the privilege of killing him off. the key to killing a missionary is not to let him die early. make him work until the last day of his mission. I'm the Senior companion (although it doesn't really mean much) so I have the responsibility for the area and the companionship. I don't really like being Senior comp but hey "I'll do what [He] wants me to do."
The area I am in is really "Fresa" (a slang term that can be interpreted as posh, rich, really nice, or just anything upper-class. There is no exact translation). Almost all the houses are nice and ours is super nice. We have an oven/gas stove and a washing machine... in the house (the washing machine was a gift from someone). We also have access to Costco (not in the area but nearby).
I don't think I will be here for more than one change because on Thursday one of the Assistants called us asking about how secure the area is and if we think it is safe to put SISTERS here. It is super safe (see above). We told them absolutely, there is one area that is kind of unsafe but we would just need to leave a note telling them not to go there at night because during the day it is just fine (we haven't even gone at night so I'm not exactly sure how unsafe it would be). It looks like I will go 4 changes in my first are 3 in my second 2 in my third and 1 in my fourth (notice the pattern? all I need to do is have emergency changes halfway through the next change and the pattern will continue). Don't go jumping the gun yet because we still have 4 1/2 weeks before they will tell us if they are going to put sisters here.
1: You have to warm up their water every morning by turning on a boiler that is outside the house and fueled by a tank of natural gas that you buy off of trucks that drive down the street.
2: There is almost no such thing as a back yard. (or a front yard for that matter) because all of the houses are placed one next to the other.
3: A finished house is the exception rather than the rule.
4: You buy your bread out of a van that goes down the street blasting a really annoying song.
5: You can basically live within a block of your house.
6: Instead of a police force to control speeding they just put speed bumps every 100 meters on all of their main roads. (even the freeway has speed bumps).
7: No one has personal computers. Instead they go to the nearest Internet server to do anything and everything computer based.
8: You can't buy a vacuum in Mexico. partly because no one ever has carpet.
9: Wooden houses are for the poor people and cement is for the rich. (a wooden house here is basically like a camp shack, 4 walls and a roof)
10: Pizza is delivered by a motorcycle.
*11: Fresa (strawberry) is a slang term that can be interpreted as posh, rich, really nice, or just anything upper-class. not just a very tasty fruit.
*12: Being 30min to an hour late is normal...
*13: A Piña (pineapple) is a slang term for a good looking woman. not just a delicious fruit.
*14: It is virtually imposable to buy Root Beer.
*15: Milk is sold in boxes and doesn't need to be refrigerated until after you open the box. The expiration date is usually for next year.
Here is my letter to President Chirsensen.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be here in Manantiales 1. This is an amazing ward. They work hard and are helping the work advance. I am still trying to get to know the area so as to be able to help the work advance as soon as possible. I hope to be able to receive miracles here in this area.
This week we have decided to focus on putting more baptismal dates and getting more people to church. We have decided that since our area is almost purely apartment complexes and there are members who live in every apartment complex we are teaching in. we are going to assign each member to be in charge of going by for every investigator or less active member that lives in their apartment complex in order to bring them to church.
I have two questions for you. First off is a question that came up in the coordination meeting: I am given to understand that you have given the instruction that here in La Libertad we are only allowed to work with the members that live in our part of the ward. I am told that the reason is because the members were choosing which of the missionaries they wanted to work with based on how much they liked the missionaries. I just want to clarify that this instruction did indeed come from you and also wish to inform you that the stake is teaching the opposite, that it doesn’t matter.
The second question is about how I can improve as a missionary. We had an experience on Thursday where both myself and my companion had a feeling to say something but we both didn’t because we thought it would offend him and we didn’t want to offend him. We realized afterwards that we should have said it because it was from the spirit and decided that we are going to follow the spirit more. The question isn’t about whether we should have said it, we are both sure we should have because the spirit was telling us to, but rather how can I be more bold without offending the people I am teaching. I have been studying when the prophets from the Book of Mormon taught the people to try to find how they taught and see where I can improve in my teaching. I would love to know how I can improve my teaching and be bolder in how I teach.