Sunday, December 21, 2014

November 17, 2014 Hot Water? Where are you?

Hola familia!

...and that is about the extent of my Spanish right there. In the mtc i thought that the sink or swim technique was really effective... its not, that was just the gift of tongues. Other elders in our district kept saying that we would spend a lot of time just nodding and saying, si! They were very right, thats exacttly what i do, all the time. (oh yeah, by the way, dont expect much punctiuation, i dont get this keyboard yet.  also all the words are underlined with red because this computer doesnt like english) but yeah, still dont know much. but im getting really good at smiling, and saying the opening prayer in every lesson we have, and bearing my testimony on the topic i think we are teaching about. but for the most part im not too worried, its a little difficult, but i know that i am picking it up a lot faster than a lot of missionaries, and at least im not speaking  japaneze or something. but i am a bit frustrated with my inability to help with anything (and its annoying when little kids run around speaking spanish... that four year old can communicate better than me... :( ) i cant understand words or topics yet, but i can see what types of situations are happening, when people are happy or sad, what types of problems they have, etc. often i know that if i just knew what they were saying that i could help, but i cant.

in other news, my companion is elder v (i would have told you last week but i couldn’t remember his name) he is from vera cruz, where the other half of my mtc district went. he is great, we get along well, even though we have a bit of a language barrier. he is a good teacher and a very caring person, im also pretty sure he is the mexican flash, he can walk at the speed of light, like i get cramps keeping up with him. im not really good at describing people so im just gunna end it there.

when we came in to mexico, not going to lie i was a little disappointed. it didnt look anything like nacho libre, it looked like a kinda dumpy city in the us. then we came out to our area and it was much better. we are in a little city called matehuala (sounds like guatemala) in the state of san luis potosi, and it was much better. its a poor area, so lots of it is not so nice (not like dangerous not so nice, its pretty safe, jut dumpy not so nice) i really want to know what the city planning meetings are like, i imagine they go something  like this

so i propose we build a street

oh i like that idea, what shall we build it with?

well, i have some rocks

very well, we shall build a street with rocks, what shall be on this street, shops? nice houses? dumpy little brick shacks?

lets put some of each on it, its more fun that way

youre right good sir, it is more fun that way..

etc. etc. you get the picture. the streets are all different, some with rocks, some with pavement, some with dirt (mud if it rained recently) and there is all sorts of variety everywhere, some people have shops in the middle of a street of houses and just live in the back, some buildings are in ruins with nobody living there, some are actually pretty nice.

i dont think they have any rules to the road either. but like i said before, its more fun that way. there arent any crosswalks and so you just kinda cross when its safe, and you usually walk on the side of the street because its nicer than the road. there are dogs all over, but the only ones that seem to want you dead are the ones in the houses, so its all good.

 i got to bless the sacrament in the branch which was nice, because i could actually say it. the branch is small, about 70 people, but its big for this area. fun fact, none of them can sing, it was so off tune i had to hold myself back from laughing at times, but if you listen to it as a whole its not bad. also they dont sing parts. during preisthood we sang 88 in the spanish hymnbook and it one where the chorus has two different parts in it, i sang the second part and was literally the only one haha. the kids looked at me like i was crazy but i just kept singing it. Eventually elder velazco took pity on me and joined in.

so far my only complaint is the temperature. it is absolutely freezing in the mornings. and the showers i had were all way cold too (one was lukewarm but from a bucket, so...) but now we have gas and stuff, so its fine. but seriously, i thought hot water was the name of the mission.

last thing, best thing that happened to me this week. we went to an appointment last night and challenged a guy to be baptized, he accepted but that wasnt the great thing, because it wasnt a surprise, he was ready. when we walked into their house, their little girl had written on a piece of paper taped to the wall, elder gandola y elder v, bienvenido. that was it. i dont speak their language, i dont teach well, but i am making a difference in that families life. by inviting the spirit into their home, i am important enough to them that their little girl wrote my name on a piece of paper and taped it to their wall... that’s it, it seems dumb but it was one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen.

well thats it for this week, im keeping my hands clean and my shoes dirty (and i mean filthy) love you guys (family)

-elder gandola

ps forgive any spelling errors they dont stand out because the whole letter is colored red

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