Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good fortune

Today Elder O and I ate Chinese food. I got a wonderful fortune in my cookie: ''Serás famoso y te casarás con una persona muy guapa.'' I don't think I have ever had a better fortune come from a cookie.  It was even better than the one I got a few days before my mission about how Wednesday would be the day that changes my life, and I was leaving on Wednesday.

So about being famoso...

A group of greenies came up to me. ''Hey, you're the guy from the blog!'' ''No way!'' ''It's Elder Dorrough!'' ''Wait a second, I'm going to get my camera!'' And one of them actually took pictures with me. I guess I'm the number one google hit when somebody searches ''Xalapa mission'' or something.

You won't be surprised to know that my curse still breaks everything with which I have contact.

However! On a more positive note. 3 months and two days left! That would make my mission exactly two years and zero days long.

The date is 99.99 percent official. They haven't sent me the flight plan yet but Sister Greer showed me on her laptop (even just seeing an Apple product shocked me) that the departure date for my generation is the 29th.  

It's not just the Apple products I will be shocked to see when I get to the US. Also the trash bins. Seats with padding. Public bathrooms. ''No smoking'' signs. People in suits. Men without moustaches.

I really do love Mexico.  I love the people and the culture and the food and everything.  I know I will miss it when I come home.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I love Poza Rica

I’m quite excited to see how the office project turns out! Schedule a cleaning for me the first Monday I'm back, would you?

Alex emailed me. If one of the roommates ends up moving out, it'd be pretty sweet for me to stay there with Alex. I'll need a plan B and C, though...

What a fun bread making project! Speaking of food! My favorite Mexican food would have to be mole. It's so different from any food I'd had in the states. I have officially gotten rid of my bean-phobia (since who knows how long ago) and enjoy eating Mexican tacos, enchiladas, tortas, molotes, bocoles, tostadas, doradas, empanadas. and at least three other dozen foods I've tried. The only food I still definitely don't like is spaghetti. I much prefer rice.

Mole...  I guess you just have to get used to it. It depends on what region you're in, too. El mole poblano (de Puebla) is different from the Veracruz mole. In any case, at this point I really like it!

Well, I should have two more weeks here with my buddy Ortiz. But really, I don't know. I could be with him another transfer or we could get special transferred or they could send me somewhere else or they could close our area. I'll just enjoy serving these amazing people here until I am called to go somewhere else.  It is fun to be in such a big area and ward.  It's impossible to predict the transfers. That's been one of my favorite parts of the mission recently. I know the Lord is at the head. He is ultimately the one in charge.

I look forward to going to Rockwood and asking for the food in Spanish. We have to go on several Rockwood adventures when I'm back so I can show you everything I ate for two years.  I'll be sure to show you what foods actually taste good and what foods you eat just to be polite, don't worry.

Being home in three months really does just sound so awesome to say. Three months is nothing. Compared to two years, three months is going to be pretty short.  And I know it will be hard to leave Mexico when the time comes.  I really love it here.

I can't wait to give you a recap of my whole mission. Assuredly that recap is going to take about 3 hours to tell. The funniest thing about telling mission stories is when somebody asks you to tell a story you can't remember it, but when you start talking about a companion that's when all the stories come to mind.
 A view of Poza Rica.
 Elder O and a member's dog.
 I snapped this from far away, but I knew Mom would love this minion piñata party going on in the street.
 We dressed up a dog like Elder O.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This week

This week we celebrated another fun Mexican tradition, ''Día de los Reyes Magos''. In Mexico, Santa Claus gives you presents on 24 December and then on 6 January the wise men come and give you more presents! In addition to opening presents, families also make a special bread called ''Rosca de Reyes'' and everybody eats a slice. Hidden within the bread are Little figurines of the baby Jesús. If Jesús shows up in your bread slice, you have to make tamales at the next party!

I know that in missionary work the Holy Ghost works in people's hearts. The humblest investigators sincerely ask and thus receive, as the scriptures so indicate. Yesterday we had an experience with a family that made us quite delighted. A young lady accompanied us to church for the second consecutive week. She told us before we had even started the lesson, ''I want to join the Church of Jesus Christ. I already know it's true.'' She read, she asked, and she received.

The Ward threw out a lot of their old library materials yesterday and said the members could take anything they wanted. There were about a thousand Liahonas in Spanish, class manuals, etc. Amidst all the materials I found three English Ensigns! All three are from the early 80s. I felt at home again reading the old general conference talks in English. I really miss studying Elder Maxwell's teachings. That man is seriously so witty.  ''The church is for the perfecting of the saints, not a well-catered resting home for the already perfected.''  He's incredibly funny and I think his talks would not be at all the same in any other language. The message just doesn't get through the translation.

Sometimes we get caught in the rain without an umbrella.  Here's what some people do in that situation.  Smart!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feliz año neuvo!

I'm coming home this year!  Don't even worry about coming to get me. I will just want to get home as quickly as possible. Later on when I'm able to be a normal tourist we can come back and enjoy everything super relaxed.

Yup, I've got until the end of this month with Elder O.  After that,  you never know what's going to happen for the last 3 months of my mission.

It sure is fun being with a companion who's so similar to you. His parents sent him some money for his birthday and guess what he bought: A violin. That's right. A violin. Now he's learning the hymns and we're going to do a fun ''piano guys'' duet together before the transfer ends!

Another fun thing we do is contact people. Elder O is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in PetroMex we are sharing it with everybody! The Church has recently given us some little pass-along cards with questions on them which are actually quite handy to start a conversation, at least with Mexican people.

Joel keeps telling me I need to get an Android when I get home, but he's not aware that no matter how many cool functions an Android may have, if it enters my hands, it will always break. I did it with three of them in four months.   Home still seems so unreal, though.  I do love Mexico, but I can't wait to see you guys.