June 9, 2014


The first time I have been in an area for less than 3 changes. Thank you for letting me come here to Almecatla 1. It has been awesome and I have learned a lot about how to be a better missionary. I wish I could stay another change or two. I really like it here. I hope that I will be able to fulfill my next assignment, what ever it may be. I am so nervous about where I will go and what will be my new assignment. 

It was funny when we got the call from the Zone Leaders about the changes. Elder Graff (who has been here 3 changes, 1 more than me) thought that for sure he was going to have changes. It was to the point that he was saying goodbye to all the members and investigators we have here. I had told him not to say bye before he knew for sure but he ignored me and kept doing it all week. So when the Zone Leaders call Saturday night he answers the phone and they ask him who he thinks is going to have changes. We already knew that two of the sisters in the district were going to have changes (one is going to train and as one of the leader sisters she can't do it in the area so she was going to have changes and the other sister was tolled by President Christensen in that morning because her companion is going to have a special assignment and they always advice/ask before hand). Elder Graff answered that those two sisters and then said that he thought that he was going to have changes... They told him he was right about the two sisters but wrong about himself. I have the changes and he doesn't. His reaction was super funny. He was so surprised. This is a perfect example of counting your chickens before they hatch.

We have seen success here these last two weeks. We have had people in Sacrament Meeting every week. We haven't had success with the divisions but I have learned a lot about how to organize things so that even if things don't go as planned we can still manage to attend to all of our obligations. I really hope that I can put into practice all the things that I have learned here during the rest of my mission. 

It is always so hard to say goodbye to people you have known for months and now are not likely to see for almost a year and even then only once more. I really hope that I like my next area even more because it will take away from the sadness of leaving such a good area.

So Dad has asked me to start commenting on things that surprises(ed) me or that I find interesting about Mexico and/or Puebla/Tlaxcala (the other state in the mission). I may have mentioned some of these things before but I will make it a list to keep track of what I say so I don't keep repeating myself every few months. I will just copy the list and add to it (putting an * before the new ones) every week.

*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.


Elder Jason Blanding.