Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This week (9 to go!)

This week my flight itinerary arrived! It is official. I will be home the 29th of April. I look forward to serving these last two months with diligence, knowing that the efforts I put in these next few weeks will be the last I will be able to give to the Lord in these two years of service.

I’m traveling home with two missionaries that I know quite well.  They are both from Beaverton.  It will be fun to travel all the way home from Xalapa with these guys.

I get along super well with Elder G. He got baptized when he turned 18 and loves being a convert. He says it helps him a lot being a convert and being a missionary -  he's able to understand better what the investigators are feeling and thinking because he's gone through it all already. I'm learning lots of cool things about Peru and South American culture. Elder G is just as obsessed with rice as Elder O was, which means we eat very little spaghetti!

I'm glad I could live in Mexico for two years. I've developed a love for fútbol that I otherwise never could have known. It really is such an important part of world culture and Americans who never leave the country can't completely understand that as hard as they may try. When your economic possibilities are low and you don't have much hope of a bright future, sometimes the only thing you have to hold onto is a ball and some shoes. I understand why the world famous football idols give the kids so much hope here - they give them something to look forward to every day, even so much as watching a game on TV and talking about it the whole next day. Football really does help the people here to fill a gap, in an emotional and social sense.  It's a great way to begin a conversation with a total stranger as well.

Two years ago I wouldn't even have been able to tell you the difference between Barcelona's jersey and Real Madrid's jersey, and now I basically have all the players of the entire Spanish league memorized. I really know a lot more about football than I did before the misión.

(about men without mustaches) Seriously, I'm totally convinced they don't exist. I don't know what that is anymore.

I’m so happy that I get to live with Alex at BYU this fall.  That will be awesome.

I have told you before that Nacho Libre is real Mexico, and here it is.  I can't wait to watch that movie when I get home. 

 I ran into some old friends from two different areas this week.  One from Papantla and one from Tuxpan!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two whole hands

I remember when I turned 10 and Diane Bangerter told me I was Two Whole Hands old.    Well, now that I have only 10 weeks left on my mission, I thought about two whole hands in a new way.  I am happy to be finishing my mission with such a great companion.  The Lord truly has blessed me with good companions.

We had a girl ready to be baptized this last week, but there was some drama with her family just before the baptism, and we all decided it was better to wait.  She is a great girl and will be a fun addition to this ward, so hopefully things get worked out with her mother this week.

It is good I have only 10 weeks left, because one pair of my shoes is pretty much dead.  The Danner police boots are still perfect, but the Danner office boots are coming apart.  They have been the best missionary shoes ever and have survived miles and miles of rocky and dirty roads, and plenty of rain.

I will miss the delicious food here.  Especially the seafood.

 This is Poza Rica in the background and my really cool companion.  He is so awesome.
 Monday morning fútbol is such a great part of the week.  It will be fun to play fútbol with the kids when I get home.  We will have to go play at a local park so that we won't lose the ball in the backyard over the cliff and into the river like we did with Joel's brand new birthday soccer ball many years ago....twice.  I will miss seeing soccer goals in every possible greenspace.

Monday, February 9, 2015

This week

I let my comp  wear my special Mexico tie for a silly picture.  He is from Peru, and he is super easy to get along with.  I really have been blessed to have so many great companions.  He has been out five months, and his first two companions really taught him how to work, so it will be fun to spend the last two months of my mission working hard with a really great friend.
 We had a baptism for a really nice girl from a really nice family.

 After the baptism we had a delicious dinner with my favorite food here--mole.
 I was so surprised to run into my old buddy this week!
 This was pretty exciting to find!
 We love fútbol.  Can you spot the storm trooper?
I'll be home in 11 weeks.  At least, I think I will be home in 11 weeks.  Everyone else who is leaving at the same time as me already has his plane ticket.  I have heard nothing.  With my history with the missionary department, who inadvertently left me in a black hole while waiting to get TO Mexico, I wouldn't be surprised if something has happened and they forgot me again.  We'll see.  I do love it here, but I am getting excited to see my family.

Monday, February 2, 2015


I am officially staying in Poza Rica for another transfer.  However, I am losing my buddy Elder O, as he has been transferred to another area here.

Life hack 101.  A super-charged lighter.  No idea how this happened.
 A fun little park in our area.
 Buying elotes.
 We have baptized two really special  members.  Their excitement to follow Jesus Christ has been so inspiring to see.
 With a mission buddy who went home today.
 I love mariachi music.  These guys were fabuloso.
 I wish I could pack these guys up in a suitcase and bring them home to Savanna.  Her mariachi dreams would all come true.