Monday, January 18, 2016

Elder Saunooke 12/22/15

Hello everyone! Sorry for being so depressing last week... one hour of sleep more or less in 48 hours, combined with the climate of Hell was not a good combination. Today is better.

To start off let me just say that the day we first got here I was so excited. I fell in love with Merida the insant I saw it. We had lunch at Presidente Garcias house and his wife made tons of food. I ate so many waffles, and it was wonderful. His house is in a very nice area, and my first impression of Merida was kinda what I pictured Florida and Cuba combined to look like. A cold day here is about 90 degrees with one hundred percent humidity. My companion is from Sinaloa, Mexico and speaks very rapidly. He also knows a lot of english thankfully because otherwise life would really suck. This week has been a very humbling experience as I realize I dont really know much about anything... I have so much to learn about this Gospel and how to teach it, and even more to learn about how to teach in spanish. At first this was very discouraging but I have come to view this as an exciting opportunity. I know that by serving a mission, I will be one million times the person I was when I left in all aspects of life. I keep thinking of the Count of Monte Cristo where Edmund Dantes is in prison being taught by the abbe Faria. I am reminded frequently of the scene where he is being whipped, but while he is being whipped he is repeating mathematical measurements and calculations in italian. Though I do not have it nearly that bad, the living quarters of most places here arent much different. I did find out however that Ryan Gosling has visited here before, so basically I will be Ryan Gosling someday. 

The next day we went to the temple. This was cool because I was really feeling down, and they only do temple trips four times a year, and I just happened to be here on one of those days. The bad news is that in order to make it to the temple on time, we had to leave at 4:30 am. We did not eat until 3:30 that afternoon but we did have Los Trompos pizza! I used the atm for the first time and got my two weeks allowance. We get 750 pesos every two weeks which is around 50 US dollars. That night I met Jose Vasquez who is one of the coolest people ever. He makes hammocks for his job, and he let me try about 20 different hammocks. 

I am not going to lie the living conditions here are hard. Our shower is a barrel of water with an empty cool whip container, and AC is unheard of. We have one frying pan with one burner to cook things, and a fridge as the extent of our kitchen. Toilet seats do not exist in Tixkokob.

The next day sucked. I set a mission record for number of mosquito bites. 97 bites in two days. I had over 70 on my right arm alone. I thought I might have gotten sick from it because I could have sworn I felt a sickness pulsing in my blood. That day we ate mariscos and we had some sort of shrimp pico and lisa fish with tortillas... you can see the eye of the fish but it was actually very good. And of course habeñeros... everything here has habeñeros. I ate jalepeños the other day and they tasted sweet to me after all the spice. I was told by Hermana Garcia that if I ate habeñeros more often that my spanish would improve faster so of course I have been eating them like crazy The best part of this day was teaching an investigator who owns her own coffee shop. She made us piña coladas for free that were ice cold, and if you dont know me, piña coladas are the way to my heart. 

The next day I hit an all time low. I had so many bites that I went to the doctor... and got a shot... in my butt. Terribly painful. We had lunch with the Branch presidents wife who also happens to be Garcia, and it was like eating in the jungle. There was a thatched roof and a panther carved out of coconut. I met the funniest guy ever that night and his name is Don Piche. He drives the trizzy taxis (nacho libre mobile) and he speaks a lot of mayan. He cant read, but he was so amazed when we showed him a picture of the Salt Lake Temple and how big it is. We also met a drunk guy in the centro and he originally stopped us and asked us for money in english. I lied and said I barely spoke english haha which clearly is not true but he was putting his arm around me and trying to bring me towards him so I needed to come up with something quick.Turns out he lived in canada for 8 months and so he can speak a bit.. He is actually kind of one of our investigators now..

Skip forward to meeting the Primary president. She has the cutest little boy ever, the kind of kid I can see Nana falling in love with and his name is Jarrett. He can say my name better than anyone in Tixkokob and he is only four. We ate with her mother Hermana Lupe, and the weird thing is that before I came she had a dream I would come. A tall white kid who couldnt speak spanish.... talk about weird.

Sunday was interesting. There were about 20 people there and it was so different to see such a small church. At first I was thinking about church back home but then I realized that if the churches back home are packed, then why the heck would I be there? What a perfect opportunity to expand the gospel. I gained a lot of strength this last week from thinking of Jarret serving in Brazil and how fast the time seemed to fly. I look at our APs and think they have all this experience and wisdom, but I am willing to bet that they didnt start off like that. I am excited to become like that one day.

Love you all, and have a great week.

Elder Saunooke

Definitely greener than Idaho!

The bathroom

WOW!! Mission Record for # of bites

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