Monday, January 20, 2014

¡Hasta luego, Teteles! ¡Te adoro!

The changes formally arrived... both my comp and I are going! I will miss this beautiful place a great deal, but I have worked hard and hopefully left this place better than when I came.

Things I'm going to miss about Atempan and Teteles:
The Church bells. The 400 year old Catholic churches that to this day still ring the bell every hour so all the people know what time it is. It's one of the first things I noticed arriving here. As you know, I am very audio-oriented in my observation. Who knows how it will be going to civilization and having to look at my watch again...

Locuras. Mexico is basically one big relaxed go with the flow system, but here in Teteles it has been extraordinarily fun to see how people deal with problems with as little involvement as possible. For example, when a car crashes into a light pole, everybody simply drives around it in the street instead of cleaning it up. A week or so later the government will get it, no worries, guys. Or the fact that everybody steps in the new wet pavement just because and nobody says anything.
Hermano C. He made my life here liveable. The coolest branch member a guy could ever ask for.

My little house. I live in a little neighborhood of equal houses, but it's the only one in my whole area. The rest of the place is dirt floors with metal sheet walls. It did make me so grateful to be living with a comfortable roof over my head and a ghetto water heater in the back to take warm showers.

Combis - combis are a Puebla thing. The rest of the mission is all Taxis or buses.

Nahuat - how is it that people in Mexico don't even speak Spanish still? Is it just my way of thinking or is that a really weird thought?

The economy. Yes, there are some nice parts, but the many of the people live very sad lives in poverty. It breaks your heart, and also makes you so appreciative for the basic things I have.

One thing I'm not going to miss is the universal mindset. I talked about this with my comp. As soon as you cross the mountain from Teziutlan to Atempan, you discover everybody has the same brain. They're all just as tradition bound as they were 400 years ago and it's almost impossible to change. It's not even a matter of being right or being happy, it's a matter of doing what your parents did just because that's what you do even if it makes you horribly miserable.  It sure makes the missionary work slow here, but the branch is full of happy people who are making something of their lives.

Thankfully we did find three golden investigators who actually  were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ. It may not be like the rest of Mexico, but the Church slowly is growing out here in the mountains.

The baptism today! What a special way to end my time here.  She is my favorite convert of the mission so far. She is such a sweet lady. She's the one that more than 4 months ago Elder S and I got to her house and the storm had knocked over their cornfield so I said, ''To heck with teaching, let's fix up your crops!'' And we spent 4 hours chopping and stacking corn. She's the one who was robbed by a 12 year old member at a family night in the house of prayer. She's also the one whose mother died soon after I gave her a blessing releasing her from this life. More than 4 months of teaching and progressing and she finally nourished the seed that was planted in her heart so it grew. Such a special day today - and likely the only Monday baptism I'll have!  The niños are her grandchildren, and they are so adorable.  They just said goodbye to me and gave me besitos.  I will miss them.
 My comp has been so fun.  He is a hard worker and likes to be goofy.
 I took a picture in this same spot soon after I arrived here 4.5 months ago.  I will miss this beautiful mountain valley.
 My comp and I took some cool shots in the moonlight.  I was pretending I was a model.

My last letter from Teteles,

Elder Dorrough

Papantla, here I come!!   My new adventure will be super fun--my new companion is from Bolivia!

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