Sorry I can't respond to all of your email! I just have too much to say in such short time. I'm glad the family is having fun and thinks about me.
Tuxpan does look quite a lot like San Ignacio, Belize!... but everything is in Spanish. That's one thing about Mexico that's different than a whole lot of other countries - nobody here knows a lick of English.
Those Danner Romeos were the greatest missionary purchase of all time. Those shoes are absolutely indestructible while being both waterproof, breathable, comfortable, walkable, and non-irritative all at the same time. They will definitely last me all two years on the rough, rocky, broken roads of Mexico. With normal dress shoes, my companions have gone through about 5 pairs each 19 months into their missions. I'm very grateful for my Danners.
The thing I miss the very most about America is warm showers. The water here is probably about 1 degree centigrade and impossible to shower in. I manage, but it's painfully cold. I also miss carpets. I also miss how organized the Church is. In Mexico, they basically take the one member of the ward who has been sealed in the temple and call him as the Bishop and the 5 other active members constitute the ward council. Everybody else is on a free-for-all run coming to Church or not. My ward has less than 12% attendance in sacrament meeting, which is really pitiful. That's something the Lord has called me here to help improve. With His divine assistance, I know I can do it.
It's a bit unique seeing the military drive around all day in Ford pickup trucks with a 50 caliber machine gun on top.
Thanks to both my parents for teaching me to just get to work. It is a universal plague to put off doing something and I am grateful that my parents have raised me up immune to it. I work hard because I know life is all about work! It makes the mission much easier having been taught how to work beforehand.
Tuxpan is called the armpit of the mission because it is so hot and humid. My shirts get drenched everyday in my sweat - which the Assistant Elder L told me is awesome because it is literally by the sweat of the brow that we work and grow in Mexico.
I finally figured out what the word TACO actually means... it means a soccer cleat. I bought a pair of tacos for super cheap. Now I laugh every time people talk about eating tacos, because the type made for playing are not edible. Just a funny little thought.
Funny Spanish phrase of the week: ¡No manches! (Don't stain it!) Which is the equivalent of saying, holy crap! I can't wait to recall all the slang I will have learned in two years...
Also, don't let anybody ever think there is such a thing as boredom. I saw Mexican kids slide down a muddy hill on cardboard boxes. If that doesn't sound like fun to do on a day you're not busy, I don't know what does!
Tell Dad to please clean my guns, because I forgot to before I left. Also tell him that I like telling people he's a freaking fast runner. The Mexicans use the word freaking a lot. Literally, just Freaking! It's funny Spanglish.
Tell Aubs to make sure she is ready to read! College is a lot of reading. Let her know it'll be a blast if she manages her time right.
Tell Jake I'm sorry he hurt his trasero working in the yard. Also let him know that landscaping is great preparation for a mission.
Tell Joel he should keep working on his Japanese. You never know what the Lord is doing to prepare His children!
Tell Noah that he is the spunkiest human of all time. A lot of the random things I have done on my mission remind me of him.
Tell Savanna that she needs to make it to the Olympics. Can she do a standing front flip now?
Tell Zachary that he's the man and that everybody says he and I look like twins. Tell him he needs to play soccer or basketball, because he's so cool. --Also, in one of the pictures you sent of all the family in Belize, he is apparently (though quite accidentally) making a very offensive hand gesture to Mexicans. My companions laughed their heads off and I'm careful not to show it to others... --
I love you all! Thanks to everybody for thinking of me and praying for me.
Elder Abram Dorrough