Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015 -- First Week

Sorry this is not Monday like you would've expected, but the first p-day (preparation day) of the month is on Wednesday so that we can go to the temple (which I'll write about at the end). I feel like so much has happened this first week and a half, like I've been here months already in terms of experiences.

As I said last time, my companion is awesome, but probably didn't say that he is probably the best missionary here. Seriously, I have never felt so loved after so little time. He was AP (Assistant to the Mission President) before his last change (or cambio, Andy, as they're called here) and now only has two changes left. I've also heard that when you get a companion who only speaks English, you learn Spanish a lot quicker. Guess what, his English is probably the worst in the zone. The first few days were pretty rough when we would spend minutes trying to figure out a word or phrase, but it defintely helps me learn faster. The first day, they took us practice contacting in the area by offices in the real world. First person I talked to, I decided I didn't know Spanish. I knew a little about what to say and what to expect in return, but they speak so quiet and quickly. Luckily, it's gotten better since then and now I can actually communicate, más o menos. Whenever I'm having trouble with something, for example rolling my r's (which I can almost do the right way now!) Elder Velez always says "poco a poco" or "little by little". He's very patient with me. When someone trains another missionary, they call the the trainer the dad and the trainee the son. They also see the mission as a whole life, as in when you first arrive, you are born and when you leave, you die. So sometimes they say that I'm killing my dad...

Anyways, first area is..... ESCOBEDO B!!! Not to be confused with Escobedo A, that's another set of missionary's area. The people here are so nice and open to talking to missionaries for 10 minutes or more just on the street about religion, sometimes even inviting us in for a lesson and offers us water. Hermana Diamantina is a suuuuuper nice lady in the sociedad de socorro or relief society in our ward. We have gone to her house probably at least once a day since being here. She gives us references, invites us to have meals, comes to lessons with us, one of her contacts is even getting baptized next week! That is a cool story. She's been having a rough time with law of chastity stuff, just moving out with her boyfriend, but the first lesson I was there for, I bore my testimony on the importance of being baptized and how much the gospel has helped my life. She decided it was time to have him move out then! I'm so glad that my companion is a FANTASTIC teacher and was able to take the rest of the lesson and set me up like that so she could feel strongly about being baptized. Week one!

There's another family who is Asian Mexican, but only speaks spanish with a few English words, except the older daughter who learned english for her master's degree. Apart from her, there is a mother and another daughter who just got baptized the week before I got here and confirmed my first Sunday! Crazy experiences here. I love to teach them the lessons for the second time because they have great questions and just funny people.

So at the temple, we woke up at 3a to walk to a bus to take another bus to the temple. By the way, compechanas(?) are my new favorite food here which we have the eve of temple p-day. A columbian missionary had to share a bed with me to make the same bus and I couldn't shower last night because of the bugs in the shower (sorry for the randomness, just what happened last night). Our house, AKA 'la gata' is not very clean and may just be hot and humid enough to iron my shirts when I hang them up, but it gets the job done and we're not there for long. Anyways, temple. Got there around 6 and did a session in spanish, and yes, it's just as much of an experience as it sounds. On the way back we took a bus to the metro to another bus to the gata. I contacted a couple of people on the way back. Wish I could show you pictures but I forgot my camera. Next monday!

I wish I could talk more, but just don't have time, sorry if I can't get to anybody's emails before my hour is up on the computer. Know that I love you all and thank you for your support. Fotos to come next Monday since I forgot my camera. Love you!

-Elder Allgaier

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