Monday, September 23, 2013

No rabies, and a new area

I am opening a new area out in the middle of rural nowhere! The branch is called Teteles, but my area consists of the entire area outside of Teziutlan on the mission map. It's gigantic! It's the biggest area in the whole mission! And I love it. I live in a village called Atempan and the other villages I will be working in are Teteles, Hueyapan, and Yaonahuac. Including a dozen or so 'pueblitos' in some of which the people don't even speak Spanish, they still speak Nahuac or Maya. It's quite the exact opposite of my 'Downtown' (centro) ward in Tuxpan, but I am so excited for this adventure!

I spent most of this week just plain getting to know the area. Thankfully, my skills at directions have been slightly improving on my mission... at least to the point where I know how to get home. We found one house by pure luck 2 minutes before we had an appointment. We just stopped by, read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and showed the family that we loved them.

Guess what! Hueyapan is known as La Tierra de Sarapes. (Note from Mom--our family is obsessed with Sarapes). You know what recuerdo I'm buying in that village. And what I'm wearing home on the airplane. Ohhhh yeah. In one of the little villages in my area there is apparently an expert sword maker, and my Branch President said he'll take Elder S and I down there one P day.

My companion Elder S is the man. The first thing he said when we got to the house: ''El Espíritu Santo no puede morar en una casa sucia. Vamos a limpiar.' (The Holy Ghost cannot reside in a dirty house. We're going to clean.)  I was going to do that anyway, but we got off on the right foot because he thought just what I did. We are super good friends. I am exceedingly grateful the Lord has blessed me with the gift to be able to communicate with the people here. It is truly such a great blessing. When we were talking about our previous areas, he talked about how bad Poza Rica smells. I said I can't smell, but I've heard Poza Rica smells like Wednesday. (That's an extremely slang way of saying something smells really bad. Actually, don't say it in front of people who aren't teenagers.) Elder S fell over laughing his lungs out and said, ¡Este cuate sí habla español! (This dude does speak Spanish). It really does help me to get along better with my comp, being able to really talk to him.

I've really enjoyed just telling stories with him back and forth and talking about the home life and telling jokes and working hard and just having so many good feelings I haven't had since my weeks waiting in Vegas. I really like Elder S.  Today we got frustrated because we don't have money for food or transportation and we don't have a phone to ask why we don't have money. So I taught him about catársis. We took a machete and just chopped a tree to pieces. Then we felt better and went off to the cíber to write letters. I'm actually laughing right now because we decided we'd mow the front yard with the machete, too. It's Mexico. Why not?

Good news on the dog bite is that I don't have rabies.

As for clothes, I bought a very warm chamarra and a suéter to wear around because it does get pretty cold. Surprisingly, there weren't gloves or warm hats because they don't arrive until October, but whatever! My chamarra is pretty warm. I also bought an air heater because neither my companion nor I could sleep the first two nights. We got probably 30 minutes of sleep between the two of us because we were so cold. It felt funny drinking hot chocolate with a family instead of mango water... what a change of climate!
 My comp and me.  We both look a lot better after we have had some sleep--this picture was after one of the freezing sleepless nights.

 I thought for sure I wouldn't see any cedar trees on my mission, but here I am by my cedar tree.

This is my branch president.

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