Monday, April 28, 2014

{Week 20} La Perla - April 28, 2014

¡Hola mi familia! ¿Como estan? Espero que todos estan feliz y que pueden encontrar una guyaba un dia, porque son tan ricos! Les ama mucho, y estoy muy animada para hablar con ustedes.

Guess what! I speak Spanish! Well... almost. Seriously though, changing areas was a huge boost for my confidence. People are always shocked when they find out I don't have much time in the mission, because they say my Spanish is really good! One guy told me he thought I had a year here! Honestly people, the gift of tongues is real! There is no way I'd be able to speak Spanish without some major help. And thanks for your advice dad - I don't want to become complacent in the language because I can mostly communicate everything. So I have big plans to keep studying hard! And my accent is still pretty bad - it was funny because we contacted this one lady, and after I gave a 2 minute spiel, testifying of the power of the gospel to change lives and the restoration and stuff, I asked her if she'd like to hear more, and she said "Sorry, I didn't understand. Were you speaking English?"! So my comp stepped in, but it was funny! Afterwards, Hna Bravo told me that my Spanish had been great, just the accent stinks... so I'll keep working on that!

So Hna Bravo is my new comp! And she's great - super relaxed, doesn't get stressed, we just keep working! She's got a great accent - kind of Italian or something. I think she sounds like Angelina Jolie with an English accent speaking Spanish... if that makes any sense. But she's helped a lot of people here, and I love her!
So my area is tiny - it's a long skinny rectangle, about 2 blocks by 20 blocks. And on Saturday's the two long streets that stretch through the whole area are filled with tinangis! (the outdoor market) It's hilarious and huge, and takes us forever to get anywhere because there are so many people. And the members are great. There is this one family, - la familia Velasco - and they have a whole bunch of people living in the same house, and we go there a lot, because they feed us, they accompany us on lessons, and we stop by sometimes just to use the bathroom! They're great. And there is this other family that is hilarious. They have one daughter, Monse, who is 24 and so funny, and her cousin is always there too - Eric. He just got back about 3 weeks ago from his mission in Chile, so he comes with us a lot for lessons. And our Lider Missional! (ward mission leader) He actually works with us! Comes with us on lessons and stuff! I'm pretty sure the awesome members are why this area has had several baptisms in the last few months. I love them! And we're a branch, not a ward, but I feel like there were more people in church on Sunday than in Aculco, my old ward. Strange!

So yesterday evening, they called all the missionaries in the stake - La P - and their mission leaders together, and we had a fireside type thing about the importance of working with the lider misional. It was great! The person in charge of missionary work in the stake is 21 and just got off his mission 4 months ago. He had some great advice about obedience and bore a powerful testimony. My comp and I had a nice talk after and we've set some goals to be more exactly obedient.

And David! David is one of my favorite people ever, and he was baptized on Saturday! Technically my first baptism. He's 28, and is such a nice guy. He came to a baptism a while ago, and when he saw it, he turned to my comp and Hna Benson and said that he wanted to be baptized, so they taught him! I got to teach him for a week before his baptism, and he is so eager to learn the gospel. He really wants to change his life. It was so inspiring!

David on his baptism day! And us :)

But the baptism was a funny story. It was originally scheduled for 5 on Saturday, but at 4:45 he called us and asked if we could do it at 7 instead, because he was working and wouldn't be done for a bit. So we said yes, but a bunch of the people who were there for the baptism were a bit disgruntled, and left and didn't show up again for 7. So then again at 7 we were there, with several members,and we waited...and waited...and waited... and David didn't show. And he wouldn't answer his phone. So finally, at 7:50 he and his friend Augustine (who is actually an old investigator who introduced us to David) pulled up on their motorcycles. Then Eric (the member who just got home from his mission in Chile) and David went off and changed into white clothes. Eric came out again, but after about 10 min, David still hadn't come out, so someone went to check on him, and he was just standing by the font waiting patiently! He's so sweet! So we brought him out to take pictures, and he told us he was expecting his family to come - and he was worried they wouldn't. But while we were taking pictures, about 10 people came - his family! Parents, siblings, aunts, and cousins. Then we had the service and he was baptized! It was super special and really awesome. I was so happy for him.

Augustine, David, Eric, and Hermano Carlos - our Lider Misional.
Us again at the baptism.

But my favorite part was the following Sunday when he was confirmed in church. When they said 'Receive the Holy Ghost', the Spirit was really strong. I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost in my life, and how we can always have guidance and help and comfort - we truly are never alone.

I still don't know if Ismael was baptized - I know he passed his interview, but I'm waiting to hear from Hna Cruz. If he was baptized, I consider him my first and David my second.
But yeah! Life is good! I love Mexico! Sometimes I wake up and look out the window and see 'Mexico' and think, what in the world am I doing here, but the truth is that I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here and to help the people. I love this gospel!

And I love you all and am excited to skype you! We'll be skyping from a members house - do I need an account to skype you? and if I do, could you make that for me and email me the info? Thanks!

Cuidese mucho, y nos vamos en una semana, cuando vamos a hablar por medio de skype!

Be good, say your prayers, and be obedient!
Love you all
- Hermana Taylor

Now for some pictures of my new home . . .

Our rooftop.
(I'm wondering if those black barrels are their hot water tanks - solar heated?)

The view from our rooftop.
Another rooftop view.
And the final rooftop view.
The view looking down from our roof - we live on the second level, and the bottom level is the courtyard.

The view of the second level.  Members live through the door you can see, and our door is across from them.  Members live downstairs too.
Our 'living room' study.

Our study desks - my desk has my backpack on my chair. (This backpack was Hna Aguilars, but I use it now. It's so hard on our backs to use shoulder bags, so most of us use backpacks.)
Our kitchen.
Our bathroom - it's really wierd to shower without glass or a curtain or anything...
Our bedroom! My bed is the blue one. This quilt was Hna Aguilar's too.

My corner of our closet.

The other corner of our closet. We don't have a lot of plugs that work, so we cook in the closet on the ironing board. And Hermana Bravo :)

We do our laundry - by hand! - here in a type of laundry room that's on the roof of the house  of the other Hermana's. We don't get to use the lavadoras, and instead get the sinks on the wall. My wrist are sore from washing my clothes by hand!

And the view from the roof of the the house of the other Hermana's.

The houses here are crazy - when you come in the door, you are in a type of courtyard, and then there are 2 to 10 different houses that are crammed in there, with 2 - 10 families living in one house. It's crazy! Some, like Hna Zanbrano's and Hna Williams' house are more apartment style, where there are stairs with different people on every level, and some, more like ours, are just houses stuffed wherever they can fit. It's crazy but I love it!

And mom, I was wondering if you could send my another white half tee-shirt, like the one we got at MisH. The one I have is not going to last another year - I use it practically every day. If you can, I'd love another one in size medium. I haven't seen any here, or I'd just buy it myself. Thanks!

Carlee! your letter was so funny! I like your jokes :) And I have one for you! What does a fish do all day? Nada! ....That's Spanish for both 'Nothing' and 'It swims'... hahaha.... :l And I have a word for you! Supercalifragelisticexpialadocious! What does that mean in English? Lol just kidding - Look up hijole - or horale. They say those a lot. I'm not sure I spelt them right.

I believe that's all for today! Love you all and take care!

Monday, April 21, 2014

{Week 19} La Perla - April 21, 2014


So this morning, my comp and I got up, cleaned, washed all our clothes and hung them to dry, and then were lying on our beds reading scriptures, when we got a phone call at 8:30 - It was Presidente Morales, and he told us that I had cambios especiales! And I had to have my bags packed and be in the Nessa stake center (45 min away) by 12! So we flew into a frantic frenzy, packed my bags super fast, stuffed my still half wet clothes in a plastic bag, and rushed to Nessa by taxi, and traded comps! My new comp is Hna Bravo from Ecuador. She is 21, and has 7 months in the mission. And her comp, Hna Benson who was Hna Ingram's comp in the MTC went off with Hna Cruz! So now here I am in the Stake La P - pretty much the most dangerous area that they have Hermanas in this mission. We have to return by 8:30 instead of 9:00. My area is called P 1, and we share the ward with Hna Williams and Hna Sanbrown (or something like that). My old area was in the Federal District, but now I'm in Estado de Mexico (Mexico state). I'm super excited to be here but also a bit sad. These last few weeks with Hna Cruz have been amazing. It's like we suddenly clicked and were the best of friends. We had so much fun and I'm going to miss her so much! We both cried a bit. I gave her my CTR ring to remember me by, and she gave me a bracelet. I'm going to miss that area. It's sad because I was there for exactly 3 months today, and I didn't have a single baptism, but this Sunday we were going to be baptizing for sure, and I had cambios!!  None of us are quite sure why there were special changes, usually that means someone did something bad or has a stalker or something, but that didn't happen... But either way, here I am in La P!  It's a lot poorer here, and it's all streets - no edificios and plazas and parks. The house is nice - we live above members again, and it's a lot bigger. I like it!

But now for my final stories about my first area, the beautiful Aculco 2.
On Friday morning at about 9:30, I learned a new word! Temblar! That means Earthquake!! We were sitting there studying, when all of a sudden, the house started moving! At first I thought I was just really dizzy, but then my comp was like '¡Temblar!' and I said ¿En serio? ¡Que Padre! (really? cool!) And then it got stronger, so we ran outside on the balcony, and could see all the people leaving their houses and crowding in the streets. It lasted for about 30 seconds and was pretty strong. It was the weirdest feeling - like the house was blowing in the wind in a circle. Then it ended so we went inside! It was crazy - my first earthquake! We weren't scared or anything - we were actually discussing the earthquakes and storms at the time of Christ's death, and how all the Nephites who survived were huddled together saying things like - If only we had repented... It was cool!

And yeah, Easter here is huge. They have this celebration not far away in Itztapalapa, where a man that has been preparing for a year is chosen to represent Christ for the whole week. They start with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, then the last supper, the betrayal, and the crucifixion, and then the resurrection. And they have people who act like all the people for the whole week - and they actually beat and crucify the guy! Well, they don't kill him and they don't use nails, but everything else is real - carries his cross and everything while a crowd of 'Romans' mock and jeer. It was on the television in one of the houses we were in, so we saw a little bit... It was really... I didn't like it. And the day of the 'Crucificion' was the day of the earthquake.... interesting. But yeah it's a huge party here, but we still worked every day.

And I had my first (and only) scary experience in Aculco! We were leaving the house of a member, when this guy with long hair came up to us and started talking. At first we thought 'contact!' but then he started like singing and dancing around in weird yoga poses, and brushing his hair from his face... and we realized he was high or drunk or just naturally strange, so we tried to leave, but he was following us. Then this other guy who had been talking on his phone came up. At first we thought he was coming to rescue us, but then he started talking in what he said was Japanese, then a mix between Spanish and English, and telling us that he loves the temple and the book of Jacob, and could we get him a copy please of the book of Jacob, and was saying something about the 6:30 session at the temple, and we realized he had problems too! And the whole time the other guy is singing and dancing and throwing his hands up at the sky like he was praising the sun. We tried to get away, but the two of them kind of backed us in between some cars, and then the long haired singing man pulled out some brass knuckles and put them on! We thought they were going to beat us or rob us or kill us or something. Somehow we squeezed past them and were pretty much running away - and they were following - and then a lady came running over to us, and when they saw her they left. She turned out to be a Christian and gave us both hugs to help us feel better. Hna Cruz was almost in tears. But then she also gave us her name and address and an appointment! But I don't know what will happen cuz I'm not there... But it was really scary and pretty cool. The Lord protects us and sends his angels to help us, and through very strange means, we find potential new investigators!

And Armando... remember him? We went to visit him with our District Leader, who at the time was on splits with our Zone Leader Elder Robinson, so that they could tell us if we should keep teaching him... and he was super drunk. It was hilarious the way he talked, calling Elder Robinson 'Senor Joven Guerro' (Mr. young white boy) and me Hermanita Linda (beautiful hermana) and making kissy faces at me. And he kept telling stupid jokes and falling over... It was funny, but at the same time super sad. He doesn't want to change. He had been doing so well, but now... it's sad :(

And Ismael!!! He's getting baptized this Sunday (if he passes the intrevista tomorrow). He's about 25, and has some problems so he's like a child in the mind. But he's so smart and I love him! We have to teach him things like 3 times before he'll understand, but he honestly wants to be baptized. I love teaching him. Hna Cruz told me that I helped him a lot, because he generally understood better when I taught, and I'm super sad I'll miss his baptism. He's honestly amazing. His only problem was * , but when we taught him the ley de castidad, he went home and immediately threw away all *. I love him!

And on Sunday, we spoke in church! Hna Cruz, then Elder Arcia, then us four sang "Did you Think to Pray", then me, then Elder Sibrian. I spoke about the Book of Mormon, because a lot of people here are converts and a lot have never read it. And afterwards, I received so many congratulations on my Spanish! People told me it was excellent! And Hna Cruz told me this morning that my Spanish has honestly improved so much. I was so happy to hear that! I've been studying so hard, and this was the first time people told me I was doing good. That was so nice to hear. And Hna Bravo asked if I knew Spanish before I came, and when I said no, was pretty impressed! She told me my Spanish was pretty good! Yay! she speaks English - like 70%.

And I want to tell you about the fruit. I love mangos. Best thing ever. And naranjas, manzanas, y platonos son muy rico aqui tambien. (It's so hard to talk to you in English! I said oranges, apples, and bananas are really good here too) And Guyabas! They are small and yellow - about the size of a plum. And so good! They don't have a core, the middle is just a pile of deliciousness and seeds - so many tiny seeds. At first I tried to spit them all out, but that's too hard, so you just eat the seeds too. But they are seriously amazing. I don't know if they exist in Canada, but if they do, find them and eat them. I love them!
And Tamales! My favorite food in Mexico are the tamales verdes in tortas. I don't actually know what they are, but they are good! It's like rice... or something and pollo and salsa verde that are cooked in the wrappings of an ear of corn, and then served in a bun (torta - kind of like a hoagie.)

So yeah! Here I am in La P, and I'm going to miss all the people in my old area - Hno Flandez, Hna Preses, Hna Veronica, Hna Carmon, Hno Jesus, Fam Varela, Fam Escobar.... I love them all! And Hna Sam! My landlady! She's on vacation right now so I didn't get to say bye :(
But things are good, I like my comp (all 2 hours we've been together) and this area should be an adventure!

Love you all! Be good, say your prayers, and find some guayabas and eat them!
Cuidese Mucho...
-Hermana Taylor

Book of Mormon: My advice is read it! Seriously that book is amazing. I've been reading it in Spanish lately, and it's cool because sometime I won't understand exactly what it says, but because I've read it so many times and know stories and scriptures, I can remember what it is in English, and translate from there. And sometimes the selection of words in Espanol actually helps me understand better! But I have a huge testimony of the book of Mormon. When we read that book daily, our lives change. There is always something more we can learn from that book, and when we read it, ponder it, and and pray about it, we will know the truth through the Holy Ghost (second last paragraph in BOM introduction and Moroni 10:4-5) I love the book of Mormon and I KNOW it is the work of God.
My district the Monday before transfers. We did a gift exchange.

Turns out Hna Cruz got my name for the gift exchange. She gave me this lovely bunny.
I named it Conejo (rabbit in espanol).
And sorry, but not a lot of photos this week. Next week there should be more! Of my new house and comp and stuff.
Dad! I loved your letter from last week so much that I printed it off and I read it all the time! And mom, just so you know, I always love your letters. Thanks so much for being awesome. The families
of Hna Gutierrez, Aguilar, and Cruz hardly ever wrote. Thanks for being so awesome!
Mom, thanks for working on getting me the contacts and the shoes, and... I'm not sure about the coral ones. If you want to, go for it! It would be fun, but isn't necessary. And the sheet... sure that would be nice too. And the pasta - I would love some! I don't care what kind. We have spaghetti here... but it's different. They do have a really good white sauce that we eat some times.
And Dad: no, I have not been praying for snow. I wouldn't mind some though... Maybe you can send me some in the package.... My comps love the pictures of snow you send me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

{Week 18} Aculco - April 14, 2014

I love you all so much! Thanks for the letters everyone. And Dad thanks too. I love hearing from you and I felt the Spirit and your love when I read your letter. (yeah, I cried)

So tomorrow is transfers, but my comp and I don't have cambios. We'll be together for another 6 weeks! I've decided I'm happy for that. We have another 6 weeks to learn to talk to each other and get along better. She was sick this week (doesn't that sound familiar?) and on Thursday we went to the temple to see the doctor, who ordered her to bed rest for all of Thursday. It's the favorite joke of my district and my ward that I 'kill' all my comps. It's pretty funny. Everyone is always telling Hna Cruz to be careful with me.

Me at the Mexico City Temple

The temple was so beautiful. I love going there. The feeling is great. And we took a taxi to get there, and ended up having a great talk with the driver about the gospel.

(Unfortunately, she probably won't be able to go in this temple. 
 It closed for renovations in January and isn't expected to reopen until late 2015.)

On Friday I went on splits for the first time! Hna Mendoza - the sister training leader for our zone who only has 6 weeks left - came to our area with Hna Cruz, and I went to her area with Hna Williams (who has 6 more weeks than me)!  So there were two tall blond white girls together in an area where the guys just looove to catcall. So that was fun. We taught some lessons and contacted and chatted! It was really nice to be with her and I learned some stuff from her in the one day we were together. She's super sweet, but has cambios. Tomorrow she'll no longer be in my district.
My district. Left to Right - Arcia, Sibrian, Cruz, Me, Nance, Mendoza, Williams, Cardenas, Bennett, Mercedes, with Hunsaker in the back and the DL Elder Perrea in the front.

And on Tuesday we had to go to the immigration offices to finish visa stuff. So we had to be at the mission offices by 7:30 am, so we had to leave at 6! Then all the Americans, one elder from the Dominican Republic, and one Canadian (me!) all said adios to our comps, who hung out in the offices all day while we all went to immigration! That was fun - a herd of white people. There were about 18 of us. And Elder Hixen was there! I was so happy to see him again. He's a great elder, and has baptized almost every week. In case you don't remember, he was in my district in the MTC and was one of my zone leaders there. So it was Bennett, Lopez, Hixen and me - half our MTC district. Hna Gurley was scheduled to go the next day so wasn't with us. And then when we went to the temple, Elder Hixen was there too! I got to see him 2 days in a row!

Something that made me pretty sad this week was our investigator Armando. He's about 38 and a sweet guy. We've been teaching him for a while, and he was supposed to get baptized yesterday. He passed his baptismal interview, he was excited, and then Saturday night he told us he wasn't sure. Sunday we went to get him to bring him to church, and he wouldn't open the door. That was pretty sad. The church is true, and it's so sad to see people who know it's true, not want to change their lives. And then our other 2 investigators didn't come either. And another just left on vacation until May. So that's been kind of depressing. But somehow, I now have a renewed determination to work harder than ever. Hopefully I'll be able to communicate it to my comp, and we'll work harder than ever!

And Mom, about the shoes - I would love another pair of the Kadee crocs in black. They're the comfiest shoes - the clarks rub the side of my foot funny, and aren't great for all day walking.

Have I told you about Hno F? He's the old bishop, and is now the first counselor. He's one of the 4 men in my ward that have served missions, and he's awesome! He's funny and really smart, and he helps us out a lot. He was the one that was going to feed us tacos de tripe on Thursday, but my comp was sick so we missed out. Rayos. (that means 'lightning', but they use it like 'dang it' here)

But things are looking up! Obviously there is something that we can still do in this area to help the people, or we wouldn't still be here. There was a rumor going around for awhile that they were going to close our area because there hadn't been baptisms in so long. But we're still here, and I'm determined to work harder than ever. We taught some members about patience the other day, and I'm doing my best to have patience and faith in the Lord's timing, and until then just keep working as hard as I can. We've had some amazing experiences here, and I know that God is on our side. Did I ever tell you that I read Jesus the Christ about a month ago? That was amazing. I highly recommend it - but if you don't have time, just read the beginning, the end, and the part about the sermon on the mount - particularly the Lord's prayer. Seriously amazing.
Me at the Visitors' Center

I love you all!
Be good, say your prayers, and have patience in all things! Mom if you're still reading Preach My Gospel, the part in the attributes of Christ about patience is pretty awesome. I recommend it!
Love you!

-Hermana Taylor

And now for some more pictures . . .
My kitchen. We have a blender, a fridge, and a stove.

The other side of my kitchen. Food!

Hna E - a less active convert of 4 years, who is the sweetest old lady you'll ever meet. She has cancer :(

THis area is called Aguamiel, and is pretty typical of my area. Big edificios and large plazas
The view from the top of one edificio - the green tents are the tiangis - the outdoor markets that are there everyday.

 The tiangis again.

This little girl is my favorite! Pretty sure she's the Mexican version of Katia. Her name is Sophia.
We were in an investigators house and she had a coconut monkey! I had to take a picture. Were your coconut monkeys like this mom? and yes I did get your FB letters from Hawaii and the mission experiences. Thanks!
It's hailed twice.

Daniela,Hna Cruz, Andrea, and me! I love this family - the V's. They are amazing and their kids are all really sweet. I sent this because we fit 5-6 people in the back of a car on a regular basis. Seatbelts don't exist here.

 Love you all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

{Week 17} Aculco - April 7, 2014

Hi Family. And everyone else. How's it going?

I received a letter from Brent and Janice, and Denyse. Thanks so much! It was fun to see what's going on in your lives :) AND I got one from Jennafer! Penny! Thanks so much! I'm so happy to hear from you and I'm glad basketball is going well! I can't picture you with holes in your ears and gunk on your face, but whatever. I'm sure you look beautiful.

The scariest thing that has happened was... I can't think of anything. My area is pretty tame. Apparently I'm in the safest zone and one of the safest areas. The most I get is everyone calling me guerra or guerrita (White girl) and some guys will say things like 'oh look at the precious guerrita. Que bonita guerrita.' It's more funny than anything.

I haven't eaten anything really strange yet, but I have an appointment this Thursday to eat tacos de tripe - intestines (I'm not sure of which animal). Apparently it's really good... I have my doubts.

I haven't been sick at all, but I have been pretty tired lately...

And Hermana Cruz.... She's been having a tough time because she misses her old area where she was for 7 months, and because she feels like we can't talk, and apparently she's used to joking and laughing with her comps. Unfortunately I barely understand Gospel Spanish let alone jokes, so she feels pretty alone, which has made it difficult for her to focus on those we teach and feel the Spirit. She told me that I'm her toughest comp so far. And I don't know... we just don't click. She won't give me any advice for weeks, even when I ask for it, and then she dumps all the things I need to do better on my head all in one evening, which makes me feel overwhelmed and sad... It's all good advice, but all at once it's pretty overwhelming. And basically we just don't talk. We walk in silence.... everywhere. So obviously, it's difficult at times to have unity in lessons when we're both mad at each other. But the other night we had a huge talk, and things have been better since then. She's really good, she's just having trouble with focusing on the work, and my lack of Spanish doesn't make things any better.
But on a happier note, wasn't conference amazing? The English speaking Missionaries all went in a side room to watch on our own TV... but when it started it was in Spanish! but we figured out how to change it. But then, after Elder Holland's talk, our TV cut off, as well as the feed to the chapel. They were able to get the Spanish going again, but not ours. But ironically, we were rescued by a disobedient missionary who had an Iphone... he tuned into the internet, we plugged into a speaker, and then listened to the first session in English. The second session went without a hitch. Sunday morning, we didn't get a TV and all crowded around a computer in the family history center... but the internet was too slow, so we just listened again, and the same for the Sunday afternoon session. But the internet died with about 30min left in the session, so we missed the last speakers. But other than the technical difficulties, wasn't it awesome! I especially liked Holland, Uchtdorf, Bednar, and Pres Monson's remarks in the Sunday morning session. I was so sad when conference was over. I loved it. I was so happy to get to hear it in English - and I can scarcely wait for the Liahona to come out so I can study the talks. We get Liahonas every month which is nice. And 2 of my investigators came to the Sunday morning session! I was pretty ecstatic about that. Although apparently they almost fell asleep... yikes.

The language is coming along... I can say pretty much everything I need to in lessons, but apparently my accent is pretty bad and people have trouble understanding me sometimes...I'm working on that. And I'm still pretty lost in everyday talk. I can do the basics... but I think that's going to take some time.

And the other day we were walking, and Elder Sibrian nudged my foot funny so I stumbled and my shoe fell off. So I promptly grabbed my other shoe and chucked it at his head. (Don't worry people - they're croc flats so they are super light. It didn't hurt him. much.) It was pretty funny. Maybe not exactly appropriate but... yeah.

I love it here. This last week has been pretty hard with my comp... but we have 3 investigators who are progressing, and it looks like one will be baptized this Sunday!
My comp was super excited to see the Stutznegger's photo, and so was I. She thinks he looks Mexican. (this was a picture of their future mission president and his wife by the map at the MTC) 
And the house looks so good! You're awesome Dad! Nice job!
Mom, thanks so much for your letters. I love reading them every Monday.
Richelle and Logan, love you both! be good parents for my niece-nephew (why isn't there one English word for your nieces and nephews? Like grandchildren... that's not gender specific. niece and nephew... it's a mouthful)
Jordy and Smalls, be awesome. That is all.
Penny, I haven't forgotten about our movie night!
Katia and Mackenzie. I wanted to tell you both how much I love you and I hope you're having a ton of fun back home. Do something awesome for me and send me a picture!

And Dad. How was your mission? How many baptisms did you have? What was it like living in a different country so far away from home? How was the language for you? Did you have some difficult comps? What helped you? I want to know EVERYTHING! Thank you so much for your example to me. It's because of the stories that you've told us that I've always wanted to serve a mission. With time, my reasons for wanting to be here have changed, but your stories are what planted the desire. I love you!

I don't know what else to write... Things are good. I'm trying to work hard and study hard. I think conference inspired my comp to want to work again, and I know it helped me a ton. I finish my training this week. I've been learning a lot about faith in the Lord's timing, and not our own. D&C 63:9-13 and D&C 24 have been really inspiring for me lately. I love the work and the people, and I love you all! I look forward to talking on Mother's day - how are we going to do that? do we still have skype? and Saturday or Sunday? And Richelle, you need to have your baby before or after Mother's day. I'd prefer before, but you're not allowed to be stuck in the hospital when I call home, ¿Sale? (ok)

But honestly things are good. Like Uchtdorf said, be grateful. I have a comfy bed, my Spanish is slowly getting better, the food is good, we got to listen to conference, I'm getting a tan, I feel the Spirit tons, I'm learning a lot, and we have hot water again! (we've been showering in cold water for the last 3 weeks). Tons to be grateful for :)

I love you all. I love Mexico, and I love my companion.
Be good, say your prayers, and love everyone. And Jenna get another 3 pointer for me!
Until next Lunes,
-Hermana Taylor