Monday, August 1, 2011

First Mexican Impressions, along with MTC pictures

Elder Coley, my first companion
Elder Belchior, my second companion
the advanced district on the temple walk
first apartment in SLC
first apartment in SLC
first apartment in SLC
me with President and Sister Call
Our apartment (before cleaning)

my blistered foot

Well it's been quite an interesting first week here in Mexico. I'm in the state of Mexico, and the municipality of Apaxco (Apasco for you English speakers), which includes several smaller communities that surround it, including Coyotillos, Perez, Loma Bonita, and some others, so Dad, google earth all you want. Essentially, Mexico is extremely different from home, and even from the "Ghetto" of Riverside, SLC. This is by far the most humble place I've ever lived in, with two rooms and a tiny bathroom and an ever present odor that would make Mom cry and/or vomit. We did a lot of cleaning today, though, and we'll finish next week, but for now, I only have the before pictures.

We're definitely keeping busy here, mostly because we have to walk everywhere unless we're going to any of the other places, in which case we take Combis, which are just big vans used for public transport that costs 7 pesos per trip (not that much). My feet are suffering terribly, as you will see in the... pictures! I have pictures from the MTC until now, and hopefully I'll be able to attach them. Anyway, I think the Lord uses me to test my companion's patience, because when I got to SLC, we had trouble getting people to commit etc., and now here we're having trouble finding people, and the ones we did find didn't come to church except or one who is getting baptized next week. I'm not being difficult by any means, but we never seem to do very well in my areas... anyway, I'm not complaining, because I know that the Lord has already blessed us so much in the few people we've found, and He'll continue to help us. If you would remember to pray for Josefina (the one preparing for her baptism), Braulio and his family (Asuncion, Sebastian, and Sofia) to commit to baptism, and Diana and her family (Cesar and Diana the younger) to accept the message of the Restoration and keep commitments.

President Call did remember me, and made Sr. Call apologize again for saying I looked like a deacon. The first thing we did after the airport was go to his house, which is actually really nice. The only thing I didn't like is that in all the nicer houses in the area, everything is tile. Literally everything. Other than that, it was all good. He had me play the piano for him and Sr. Call, and was impressed because I stumbled through a Jon Schmidt song. Also, my trainer is Elder Irigoyen. He's from Uruguay, speaks some English, and has been out for not quite 15 months. He's the district leader (I always get stuck with those...), and our district has 3 companionships, whom I met last night. Elder Irigoyen is a really good missionary. He's very different from Elder Freitas, but still good. He's very affable and has lots of good stuff to teach me about teaching. They've apparently started using a new 12 week training system that we have to do in 10 weeks, but it's good, and it means I know where I'll be next transfer.

I'm glad you're all keeping busy, even if that means too busy. It'll be good in the long run, and maybe Tara will be more prepared for life after high school (when you're really really busy). I'm glad you are redoing the food storage and everything with emergency preparedness. I feel that will be something very important in maybe not the near future, but possibly within our lifetimes. Speaking of preparedness, everyone here is talking about some kind of crisis that's supposed to happen in the US this week or sometime soon. Any news on that? We're getting a lot of storms, too, and the only problem is that I can't figure out how to use that umbrella you sent me with. It opens, but I can't figure out how to make it stay open. I'll keep working at that.

To answer your questions, getting into Mexico was no problem. I forgot a part on the customs form, but that was as hard as it got. I could have had more luggage, so that wasn't a problem, and the lady at the SLC airport was nice enough to put one of my suitcases as a military item, so I didn't have to pay for anything luggage wise. It was hard to leave all the people from SLC, but I know they're in good hands, and that the work is the same here as it is there. Spanish is going good. I've had a few people comment on it being pretty good, which is nice, but I'm still getting used to understanding everyone, but it's coming. The address is the mission address, and we only get mail on transfers, unless we stop by the offices for any reason, which probably won't happen very often. Email is only for immediate family, meaning Mom, Dad, Scott, Lys, Brigham, and Tara. All others must write.
I hope everything continues to go well in the Facer house and all others which pertain unto it. I hope you will continue to see the blessings of having two missionaries serving, because I know the Lord is blessing you for it. Watch for the blessings every day, and if you write them down, like Elders Scott and Eyring have talked about, you will see more and receive more. This is the Lord's work, and I know that even though I'm far from perfect, He is molding me to be an instrument in His hands. Continue to read the Book of Mormon. That book is one of the greatest blessings in my life right now, and I know you will be blessed if you continue to read it

Elder Joseph Facer


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