Hola Family y amigos!
This is my first week in mexico and i will tell you it has been alot different than i pictured haha. there are so many things that are different it is crazy! I arrived there and the first thing i see when i got off the plane was a man in an army suit with a rifle. I didnt know call of duty was in the job description. But after that right away we went through security and then we waited at the airport for like 2 hours because the president was late. We slept at the house of the assistants and i met alot of the people there. The next day i was given my first companion and his name is Elder Villacis. He is from Ecuador and he speaks so fast it is crazy. He has been a huge help to me so far though. There are so many things i want to say... we have 3 baptism dates right now but only one came to church which is not very good because when people go to church that basically makes or breaks them. Emanuel is his name and i actually teach him again today right after i do the laundry. But he is really cool and he lives in a really rough part of town where there is a lot of drugs and stuff. Oh my area is Guadiana, Durango. It is pretty downtown but i am not in the downtown area i am in the poorer area of it. There are so many people here and the thing i here most is "Yo Soy catolitico." But there are always tons of people who reject us, and i hardly understand anyone, and basically i can only bare my testimony in spanish when my companero stops talking, and alot of the time people in the streets just call me gringo and shout out naughty words haha. But despite all of that i have seen so many miracles already!
The members here that are active are incredibly strong in the church and they are have really strong testimonies. Alot of the time people dont talk to me because they know i cannot understand much but each day i can tell more and more of what people are saying. I like talking to middle aged old people because they talk slower but not so rusty sounding that i cant understand them. I love the humilidy of alot of the people here. The houses of some of these people is crazy and is almost hard to see sometimes. There are dogs just running around like everywhere and alot of the people just throw garbage whereever they would like to. The other day we were tracting and it was raining real hard but i dont mind it is actually kind of fun and some lady apparently yelled at us that we are crazy and we will get sick. My companero laughed and said no we are not crazy we are dedicated to a wondedrful cause!
There are many opportunies i have seen already to get discouraged though. Many plans fall through or you have to walk at least 10 miles a day just to have the person not even be there. Those can be tough but i just have to remind my self of what i am doing and why i am here. Each day will get better. Each day my testimony will grow in Christ. How can i expect others to become closer to christ if i myself am not. Anyways, Torreon mission is starting something new in the next few days. We are the first mission in the world that is stopping tracting all togehter and we can only teach if a member is present. This is my opinion is alot better because it forces the members and the missionaries to work together. If we do not get help from the members then they are not allowed to have missionaries and we have to leave. Our mission is setting an example for others so hopefully this new plan is successful!
Family and friends i hope you are all doing wonderfully and i hope that everyone is enjopying their beautiful summer. Because i am enjoying mine here being the big red missionary that is taller than everyone else and cannot understand a thing haha. But the good always out weighs the bad i will admit that! My companion and i will continue to get better together. He is a short elder who has been on his mission for 10 months and he likes english so while he is teaching me spanish i am returning the favor for english. I can honestly say my spanish is just flying though. I hope i keep improving! I love you all and you are always in my prayers! Hooooorah for Israel :)