But in reality, Spanish has actually been getting easier... sometimes. At times I can understand almost everything, at other times I understand nothing. I have done a bit more communicating this week, but a lot of that is just because the people realize that I don’t speak their language and decide to interrogate me about it extensively. Sometimes I kind of want to quote Justin Hammer (from iron man 2) on them and say, "you know, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I don’t SPEAK, SPANISH (Russian)" but that would be rude and would not invite the spirit, so I just smile and nod instead. There’s a lot of things that I understand, but just don’t make sense. I have had like three people ask me if my family is weird back at home. And no, the words for weird and worried are not anything alike. And they always say something along the lines of "your family is weird, only work, something something blessings"
Haven’t actually had to many slip ups in Spanish yet though. So far, I used pescados in our first lesson (which is weird cause I never had trouble with that one in the mtc) and I told a sister yesterday that these things can bring us felicidad en nuestro gozo (happiness in our joy). So far though, the best one was Elder W. Our first day in Aguascalientes, we all had interviews with the president, in Elder W’s, when President Viareal asked for him to offer the primero oracion, Elder W thought he said, primero vision, and started reciting the first vision in Spanish. President stopped him and in english just said, "no, i want you to pray"
But I have been teaching a lot more; I usually start by explaining the principle, then Elder V fills in the holes and shares scriptures and other missionary stuff. I usually have to lean over and ask him what I’m teaching because i didn’t understand in planning, but the investigators don’t seem to mind, so I guess that’s ok for now. Actually, most of what I do seems to work well with the investigators and members. I don’t really know what I’m saying, and I have to ask Elder V for every other word, but they seem to be getting stuff out of it. I don’t know if they are hearing something completely different than what I’m saying, but the spirit seems to be making up the difference.
I have also gotten to do a bit of contacting, twice to be exact. One of them was a guy who lived in the states for 20 years and spoke English, the other one was an old lady who spoke only Spanish. I stared talking to her and was fine because if I didn’t understand Elder V could help, but right as I start, the phone rings and he walks away talking to the zone leaders. It turned out alright and he came back just in time to ask if we could visit and stuff. Both actually accepted us to come visit them, so good stuff.
Ok, fun facts from Mexico. 1. Everybody has either lived in houston or has family who lives in Houston, (and I mean EVERYBODY) 2. coca cola owns Mexico, 3. The men here give weak sauce handshakes, the best handshakes are from the 40+ women. 4. Dogs favorite places? The roof. not sure how they get up there, but they do, they’re on every other roof barking at the world ( I kind of keep hoping that one will fall off, because it would be funny. but then it would probably come tear out my femur or something, so I’m ok) 5. They don’t know how to eat without tortillas. At first the food was scary because there was lots of thing and I dint know how to eat it, then I realized you just put it in a tortilla and then in your mouth, so it’s not scary anymore.
Speaking of scary things, something happened this week that very well could be the scariest story of my mission. I know we aren’t supposed to tell our moms this stuff, but I’m going to anyways. So we were heading down to a lunch appointment (because they don’t believe in dinner here.) and we got there fine. We walk in and it’s a pretty nice house, like it’s nice by united states standards. So everything is all good until we go to sit down. We all sit down and I look down and guess what’s sitting on the table? Two spoons, that’s what. Two spoons by every single plate, a big spoon and a small spoon. that is for fancy people, I am not a fancy people, and I was fairly sure I wouldn’t have to worry about fancy people in Mexico. So I just drank a lot until I saw which spoon everyone else used. It was the big one (Lucas would have known that.) I got through the meal fine, but I had to think hard to remember all those useless manners that mom taught me. You know, no elbows on the table, pinkies up, stuff like that. (Ok so I didn’t raise my pinky. but I was tempted.)
But no, in reality, nothing scary has happened. I have realized the truth in the principle that fear is the opposite of faith. It applies to lots of things. When Elder V tells me in teaching about patriarchal blessings, or that I’m contacting, or even just walking down a dark alley in Mexico. I could worry or let fear or doubt get in the way, but if I just trust the lord, I know that he will take care of it, and so far, it works out better when i do that anyways.
Other than that, this week was a little different. Friday we had a branch party, which was fun, and we got to eat dinner. (I swear sometimes I feel like merrry and pippin "what about dinner?" "I don’t think they know about dinner elder Gándola" "how about breakfast? Second breakfast? elevevsies?" " I wouldn’t count on it") then on Saturday the mission president came down and we had the first ever Matehuala zone conference. didn’t understand to much, but it was nice to be able to see Elder W and talk English all day.
And last of all, thank you all for your letters, you mentioned a lot of things that I don’t know if you thought much of, but were direct answers to specific prayers that I have had. And that leads me to a strange request that I have. Please don’t pray for me. That sounds weird, but right now I don’t need the blessings, that’s not why I’m here. Please pray that others can be blessed because of my work. And not just those that I’m teaching or my companions, but others at home or family that can receive blessings because of my service. Right now all the blessings I need are the ability to do the best I can in the mission, the only other thing I want is for others to receive the blessings that I earn, and that will be a blessing in itself. I know that you guys are going to ignore that and still pray for me, but please remember others too.
Well that’s it for now, love you guys (again, family)