Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week 1: I thought a lot happened in the MTC!

Oh man... I thought a lot happened in the MTC! It's crazy here! I still don't think that it has fully settled in that I'm in Mexico. Life is sooooo different. It's all very humbling. 

So on the plane flight over I sat with another missionary from my zone named Elder Parker. There was a Mexican lady that sat next to us and she could speak English. When she first said something to us in English Elder Parker and I looked at each other knowing that we were both thinking the same thing. I said a quick prayer and we started to get to know her and asked a ton of questions. We eventually started to talk about religion and found out that she was Catholic. I introduced who we were and started to talk about our beliefs. When I asked her if I could share a scripture from the Book of Mormon she quickly said ''no'' and there was a bit of silence after that... I then started to talk about why we were going to Mexico and how excited I was to share the gospel. As we continued to talk about how excited we were about dedicating two years of our lives to share the gospel she started to ask more questions. She kept saying that we were both so happy and seemed sincere about wanting to share the gospel not because we had to, but because we wanted to. We eventually got her to hold the book of Mormon, then we had her read the introduction, then a few scriptures. It was amazing to see how the Spirit guided the conversation and the obvious change that happened in her. At first she didn't want to have anything to do with the Book of Mormon, but when we told her that she could keep the book, she was thankful and kept asking if we were sure she could keep it. This experience sure got me excited to get into the mission field. 

When I landed in Mexico I quickly realized that it might be a while before I have another teaching experience like that because I really can't speak Spanish... It has been really hard not being able to communicate with anyone here. But I have a great trainer named Elder West and I'm still with my companion from the MTC Elder Huefner in a trio! Elder West leaves for home this December and speaks really good Spanish, sometimes it gets discouraging when we talks to us and both Elder Huefner and I sit with blank faces... But I continue to try my best to have faith that the Lord will provide a way for me to learn the language. Because I know I'm incapable of learning it on my own without his help. 

The living conditions here are crazy... It has been the most humbling experience to walk into some of these homes, if that's what you can call them. Some of them are more closets. One member that we visited brought us into his home which was just big enough to fit a bed and a tiny chair. He cleared his bed off and we taught him while sitting on his bed. I can't tell you how many times I've walked out of a home holding back tears because of their living conditions. Last night we visited a single mom with two daughters ages 13 and 9, they live on the second floor of a cinder block building with a tin roof. We threw little pebbles on their roof to knock. Their house was two rooms hardly furnished. When we sat down on their little couch and they pulled some chairs up to listen, I had to fight the tears back. I imagined my younger sisters living in those same conditions and I have never wanted to help and serve anyone that much before. I tried my best to convey that as I bore a simple testimony in Spanish. I really want to learn Spanish as fast as I can, because at that moment I couldn't tell them what I wanted... 

There are dogs everywhere! seriously. On the roofs, in the streets, under the cars... everywhere. It's pretty sad because they obviously don't have anyone to take care of them, most of them limp because they've been hit by a car or something. Oh yeah and the driving here is insane! Red lights are just suggestions that most people don't pay any notice to. Crossing the street is risky, but we do it a lot. 

I spoke in church on Sunday! I actually did alright I think. I spoke about prayer and how it can bless our lives. It was pretty simple, but that's all I could do in Spanish. The ward members that are active are amazing! They're all super nice and help out a lot! But there are only about 40 of them... We have a lot of work to do. Inactivity is a big problem here. 

We were visiting people with a member when a truck drove by selling batito de pollo (chicken feet) yep... I've had chicken feet already. It didn't taste bad, it was mostly the thought that almost made you throw up. The way you eat it is stick one of the toes in your mouth, it falls off at the joint, then you move it around in your mouth until all the flesh falls off, then you spit the bone out. Simple..... I'll have to do it again so I can get pictures. yippee…

Sorry that I don't really have a spiritual thought in this letter.. I just had a lot to talk about! I'll try to include something spiritual next week :) I love you all so much! Thank you for your support. Serving a mission truly is a honor, it's hard work and stressful at times, but it's worth it! I just can't wait until I can participate in the lessons more and teach. 

I love you,
Elder Twede


I do get dearelders here! So feel free to send as many of them as you want! That way you can be sure that I get what you send :)

studying by candle light because the power went out. I don't know why it looks bright outside... but it wasn't.

Up on my roof. oh and by the way. my area is called Santo Cruz Meyehualco. It's the very edge of the mission. I'm actually in Mexico city where I'm at. 

I don't take many pictures outside because I'm scared to take my camera out in public... but I did take this one on a bridge when no one else was around. 

Bringing our laundry back from a members house. we were lucky enough to find someone that has two washers! So we didn't have to do it by hand! but we still had to hang it out on our roof to dry.

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