About five months later, I would like to revise my definition of Mexico. Mexico is:
Yelling street vendors. Huge stray dogs. A million different smells at once, all with an undertone of "sewer." Pastel and neon-colored boxy houses. Corn. Spicy powder on literally everything. Humidity. Lizards. Jesus on the cross in every available space. Shrines for the Virgin on every corner. Silver teeth. Raw chicken being sold everywhere you look. Drunk guys who band together, never shower, and sleep on the sidewalk all day every day. Loud music that is always playing. Newspapers with a front page that consists of a dead person and porn. Fresh juice, always. Soup before every single meal. Peaches and mango as dessert. Out-houses. Soccer. Bright lipstick. That one area you avoid because it's where some select members of the town always go to the bathroom. Oxxo instead of 7-11. Mazapán, peanut. Margarine, not butter. Shoe-shiners. Tamales on-the-go (being pedaled around on a bike). Combies and camiones. Rice with bananas. Mole. Tortilla machines, stacks of tortillas wrapped in brown paper. Whole families, grandparents cousins and all, living together in one or two rooms. Everyone smoking. Master house painters. Awful soap operas. Tacos al pastor. Pay phones. Catholic by tradition. Everyone sleeping in late every day because school starts in the afternoon. Cheetos, Doritos, and Fritos that are 100% different than in the states, different flavors and different textures. Lala milk. People opening their window to talk instead of coming to the door. Never ever carpet, always concrete. Businesses that attempt to have an English name (who wants to head over to "Cute Girl?":). Motorcycles that stop for no one. No traffic laws. Little tiny 7-11-type stores literally every 3 or 4 houses that have the exact same selection of chips and drinks. Oranges always on-hand. Clothes drying on the rooftops. School uniforms. Bakeries, bakeries, bakeries. Little family-owned paper stores. Piñatas for every occasion. I LOVE IT. It's my home now, crazy as that is! Also, this week was better! We didn't spend tons and tons of time contacting because people kept a lot more of their commitments - we taught a lot of solid lessons this week. Some highlights:
Tuesday, Hermana Bravo told me in the morning that I was speaking Spanish, laughing way hard, and BEATBOXING in my sleep. No, she didn't use that exact word...but she demonstrated. Also, I remember I was dreaming something about being a rapper, so makes sense... Also, we taught Ernesto a few times, and he surprised us all by asking about serving a mission! Keep in mind, this is a kid who told us he didn't believe in God only a few weeks ago... I ate food de Argentina with a member, super good. Hermana Bravo found a Woody doll in the street and kept it, and the funniest thing I heard all week was when she randomly said in English "I love you, Woody" in the sweetest voice in the world. Also, she had a really random funny moment when we were contacting some soccer-playing niños, and she kept poking the kid in the chest and talking about how 'special' his jersey was, jejejeje. Saturday was, of course, dedicated to getting people to church, and in a moment of discouragement I was praying SO hard that the next lady we were going to visit would, by some miracle, accept, even though she didn't seem very likely. Well, she did, and she's now progressing! She even through into her acceptance that she loves listening to me speak Spanish and she feels something really special when she listens. A guy told me this week that I have a French-sounding Spanish accent, and also for about the 5th time someone asked if I was from Germany. Here I am, love me. Here's the low-down on our progressing investigators:
Estefania, has a baptismal date, but might not be able to come to church next week...please pray that she will! She's awesome, even went out a bought herself a dress for church yesterday!
Ernesto, pray that we can arrive at the point where he will be ready to consider baptism this week.
Liliana, pray that she'll open up to us and give church another chance, because she wasn't thrilled about it the first time.
Marcos and Isabella - our miracle, the family that's always excited to see us and gathers the family to talk. Pray that they'll continue reading the Book of Mormon and that they'll make it to church this week!
Saul, pray that he'll answer the phone, that we'll make contact with him and that he'll recognize our invitation for what it is. He's a little depressed because the returned missionary in the ward he wanted to marry is getting married to someone else...
Hilaria, pray that her kids will get excited to come to church this week, because they're the key!
Maria Guadelupe, pray that she'll realize that this is the right path for her family to take, and most importantly, THEY'LL FOLLOW IF SHE LEADS.
Sorry for my email last week being a bit of a downer! This mission is a crazy, cool thing, and I realize that heartache is an inevitable part of it. I want you all to know that I'm trying my best. I'm so far from perfect, but slowly but surely I'm becoming better, I'm becoming stronger. I love you all so much. I know that this is the church, this is the organization, in which God wants us to be. I've said it many times, it's a piece of His kingdom on the Earth. I love it, I love my Savior, I love my mission, I love you all so very much. Have the best week!
Beeeeg Keeees, Leeeeeeetle Keeeeees