I am so glad I get to live without technology. I don't know what everybody's deal is with cell phones and iPads when you can sit down and have a conversation with somebody or read a book or do something real. It's sad to see families here that don't do a darn thing but watch TV all day, but I know that in the US it's a lot worse. At least here they watch TV together and not on separate devices.
This week I took a two day trip to Xalapa to finish up my Visa paperwork! Xalapa is about 30 degrees cooler than Tuxpan and it shows. The funniest part of the trip was arriving in the bus station and one of the Missionary Secretaries called the phone I had. I answered in Spanish and after figuring out where I needed to go, the secretary asked, Who is this? Elder Duro. What? Elder Duro! I thought they weren't sending any Mexicans down with you guys...? And then I laughed and starting talking in English. The other missionaries say my accent sounds just like a Mexican who moved to Texas. I am so grateful the Lord prepared me for my mission by learning conversational Spanish. The other Elders who got their Visas were telling stories of horror because they have absolutely no idea what's going on and nobody here speaks English. It made me realize that the Lord blessed me by prompting me to learn Spanish 5 years ago.
We must always follow the promptings of the Spirit, no matter how small they may seem. The Lord does not speak in the wind or the fire but by the still small voice.
In Xalapa, we had Costco pizza for lunch. Guess how many slices I ate? Nine! That's correct. I ate more than an entire Costco pizza in one setting, thereby setting the mission record. I might be small, but I miss America too much to care that my body doesn't want more pizza at the moment. It's Costco, for crying out loud. I love Costco.
The situation for a lot of missionaries here may change soon! There will be 30 missionaries coming next transfer in two weeks with zero available missionaries to be trainers... so there'll be a lot of changeups here soon. How mission Presidents logistically work out all of this stuff is incredible.
One thing about my experience so far that even my companions have noted is unique is how much stinking spaghetti we have been offered at meals. Probably half of my meals so far have had spaghetti. I have only had to eat it twice, and once I started gagging so stopped. The Mexicans think it's really weird that I'll eat straight habaneros or goat meat or balut whatever but I'm so scared of spaghetti. My comps say usually they eat rice and chicken. Like every day. Spaghetti is usually a rarity, and they don't even know what's going on! It's just the Lord testing my endurance, I guess. :P
I figured out that black beans I CAN eat, but the other kind that's not black but brownish I can't. One Sister fed us a meal and said the beans were a different kind, and THAT bean is the kind that disintegrates into grainy inedible mushiness. Black beans are totally cool with me. It's the texture of the other one that gets me.