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.

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