Monday, November 17, 2014

Poza Rica!!!

Poza Rica is actually quite like Papantla! The barrio PetroMex borders my area from Papantla, I believe. I thought they'd put me smack dab in the middle of the city, but I'm on the outskirts. All the jungliness and hills and all. This week it actually got relatively cold, but not too cold. I'm glad I gave my winter jacket (the black one) to Elder V. He must be freezing in Xalapa! 

My new companion's name is Elder O - ¡y es Costarricense! My streak of companions from different countries continues. He's awesome. It would be nearly impossible to be a better companion than Elder V, but Elder O looks like he's going to tie it up. I have more in common with him than any other companion I've had, even going back to Vegas. First off - He speaks English! Not only does he like it, but he also prefers it to Spanish! In that aspect he and I are twinners. In the house we talk in English and out working we talk in Spanish. Secondly - he loves music! We have awesome guitar/harmonica duets in the house and for comp study we sing hymns in parts. Third off - he's a total nerd! he loves to read, likes Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, history, economics, so many geeky things I hadn't had in common with any of my companions until now.

My plan to tell everybody I'm from Spain is working out quite well. They all believe it. When people find out I'm from the states they ask, ''Then how do you speak Spanish so well? Your accent is completely native and you talk so fluidly!'' Elder O is a jokester as well and is totally cool with playing the silly ''where's he from'' game. After a while of people saying I'm from Spain, he will say - ''Just kidding. He's actually French!'' or, ''He's from England!''

I have had about 10 people this week tell me that I look like Daniel Radcliffe. I don't know if it's the Poza Rica eyesight or what, because nobody in Xalapa told me that. Possibly something to do with my glasses, I think.

We have three baptisms programmed for this Sunday. They're all cool and come to church and the activities on their own.

We'll see how these last five months fare! So far the people are a lot more open than the Jalapeños. Also, my area is at least 15 times as big, which helps a lot. There are people who haven't heard of us before!

I said goodbye to my Xalapa family...
 My new companion.
 A random guy painted silver and juggling machetes.  No big deal.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Ah! Transfer news! I'm going to Poza Rica! The PetroMex ward. Yes, the ward has so many members working for PetroMex that that's the name of the ward. My companion's name is Elder O. I know two Elder Oand I'm not sure which it is. He's either Mexican or Guatemalan. I hope he's fun and a hard worker!

Huela a miercoles, yes. But the good news is it's winter time so it won't be very hot there anymore. Also, I because I can't smell, the oil stench in the air won't affect me.

Yes, it will be warm, but not the overwhelming 110 degrees like it is over the summer. I travel there tomorrow morning.

I'm happy you got the photos from Sister Isis.  She told me that she sent you the quinciñera photos. She was just waiting for you to respond all day Sunday. I love that family and will really miss them.

I had an interview with President Greer on Thursday - in his Honda Odyssey! He had told the whole mission he was going to do interviews in our houses, but he ended up doing them in the car while Sister Greer talked with the other companion in the house. He sure has a tough job figuring out all the transfers and keeping tabs on 230 missionaries.   We also talked about his new grandchildren, how I felt about my testimony, and other random things. Today in his letter he thanked me for my attitude.

I can't wait to meet the members in Poza Rica!

A swarm of bees!!

 Subway here is like subway at home.   Just no spinach.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dia de Muertos

This past week was fun! Sadly, this week shall be my last with Elder V. Of that I am 99% sure. There's no way to tell, as President Greer could always surprise us, but 3 transfers with one companion is a good chunk of time.  I am so grateful I have spent such a length of time with Elder V.  He is so great. I expect to get transfer news this Sunday. My best guess is I will be  likely finishing my mission in my next area. Hopefully it is so - the longer I spend in one area, the quicker time seems to fly by!

One thing is for sure - whatever my next area may be, there will be more people to teach there. I'll arrive at my next area with a very positive spirit and ready to work for 5 and a half more months!

As of today I have 5 months 26 days left... having fewer than 6 months until you go home is a weird feeling. I am finally starting to feel like this adventure is going to be over soon.  I have loved this adventure, but it will be so fun to be home with my family.  I am so grateful I was called to serve my mission in Mexico, and feel like I really am Mexican on the inside as my MTC companions told me.

Yesterday A was baptized. He is a very special convert. The way he got to know the missionaries, how he received the message, how he has changed and how he is now such a spiritual person have all impressed me. The stories are long to tell by email but I'll gladly tell them when I'm back home.

It is always so fun and interesting to see Dia de Muertos in action.  The colors are so beautiful mixed with the creepy skeletons.  I love Mexico.

Three colors of corn!

The baptism yesterday.

 One of the many alters we saw set up on Saturday.