Tuesday, February 25, 2014

He's FINALLY in Mexico!

Well to start off this keyboard is different and I don't know how to caps or anything like that, so mom please fix my spelling and my grammar mistakes. Secondly this week was really, really, really hard and we work really hard here in this mission. We have very strict rules, a lot of which we don't have anywhere else in any other mission. Some of which include having to part our hair every morning, not being able to write anyone of the opposite sex minus our family and having to follow the schedule with 100 percent exactness-doing everything 100 percent obediently. Secondly we work so hard in missionary work and our numbers really show for it... in SLC we had goals of 20 contacts a week, 15 lessons, 2 new investigators. Here we have goals of 70 contacts a week, 60 lessons a week and 15 new investigators. We have the highest numbers in all of Latin America and we practically run everywhere we go. 

I've never been so tired in my entire life; this has probably been the hardest week of my life. I'm exhausted because we live at the bottom of a valley and every morning we run up the valley to then go take a combi, which is basically a big white van, to the other side of our area. We run and speed walk everywhere, which with the altitude change and air change is really, really tiring. They say that the air is so bad in Mexico and that it is like smoking a pack of cigs a week. It is also about 5,000 extra feet about sea level (Dad’s edit: Mexico City is 8000 ft. above sea level) and so I'm ready to die everyday going up hills and stairs because none of our area is flat... Spanish is really hard also. Everyone says that for my first week my Spanish is leaps and bounds above most people who come in, and I can usually understand what is being said, but the hardest part is understanding the different accents, different names and where everything is and what it is called.

The area I'm in is called Consituyentes and is just outside of D.F (Dad’s edit: D.F is the Federal District or Mexico City and is not a state - similar to D.C). We are in el Estado de Mexico (Mexico State). Life here is so, so, so different and I can’t even explain it without having you here to show you what I mean. Everything here is made of cement and you have a nice house if the floor and walls are level. There are dogs covering the streets and most of them are afraid of people because a lot of people throw rocks at them and the kids kick them in the face. There are no real shops like there are in the US. Everything is run out of a house and won't have doors. The bigger shops are just like a shop in the mall where it has big opening where people enter and exit as they please. Most shops though are just run out of their own homes. They have a small little shop with lots of stuff that you have to go up to the window to buy and behind the window is usually the house of the person who owns the shop. My companions name is Elder Herd and I will be his last companion. He is 23 months into the mission and will be going home the first week of April. He is really kind, very humble and a very, very hard worker. 

Some experiences from the week: this week the four new elders who came into the mission with me all got assigned to their trainer and went to their areas. One of the new elders got sent to the most ghetto, dangerous part of the mission. He said that within his first 9 minutes after getting out of the taxi he saw a dead person.... wow that is so crazy to me! Secondly on the other side of the valley from us, where we live, are our best investigators. That whole side of the valley is actually one family. They are all related somehow but we are only teaching about 30 of them, about 6 different families. They are so awesome and are so strong and we are planning on baptizing all of them by the end of the transfer. One of the daughters whose name is Adriana is 19 and has 2 kids, which is very normal in Mexico, took us out one night to all of her aunts and uncles and was like oh these are the missionaries you should listen to them... haha it was really cool and really funny. Lastly Saturday night I got really, really sick. I was throwing up all Saturday night and actually gave my self a fever going from my bed to the bathroom so many times and as of last night had a 102-degree fever. I still had to go to church yesterday but after we went home and I rested the whole night and I'm feeling a lot better today. Well I’m out of time love and miss you all.

Elder Adams
Taylor's Mission President and wife-President and Sister Whitehead

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 13

February 10, 2014
Wow I can't believe that I will be on a plane in a week from today headed down to Mexico City!! That is so crazy to me and even though I'm very nervous I'm also really excited! I think I will finally be able to post all of my pictures on drop box today so you can all see those!
One story I forgot to mention last week was the Haywain burger challenge. There is a place down here in downtown SLC that is run by a Tongan man who lives up here now. Like a lot of local hole-in-the wall restaurants he has an "eating challenge". The challenge is called the Haywain burger challenge and you have to eat a burger that is about 10 inches tall, has 10 oz of hamburger patty, 10 oz of Kahlua pork, 10 oz of ham, lettuce, onions, tomato, cheese, mayo and a thick slice of pin apple. But that's not all, you have to eat this along with a pound of fries in 30 minutes. I was doing really well and was devouring the burger and fries. I was about half way done in 10 minutes and I thought I was going to be able to finish with time to spare.... about 5 minutes later I got hit with the feeling of being stuffed and couldn't eat anymore... I have pictures on drop box but I finished about 3/4 of it before I felt like I was going to die... haha.

These past three days have been really cool and lots of fun. Yesterday was a great day and was one of the best Sundays so far in the mission. I am still feeling sick and Sunday mornings after study for us are very relaxed. I took a long nap because I was feeling sick and then felt ready to go for the day. At church I had to give my first talk in Spanish and it was about 15 minutes. It went really well but was kind of a weird experience because the branch has a translating service for those who attend and can't speak Spanish. So as I was giving my talk in Spanish I heard our ward mission leader off to the side translating everything I was saying into English. That was kind of a cool, awkward, funny situation that I never thought I would be in. After we had dinner with a Mexican family where the wife actually served her mission in the Mexico City East mission. She was very kind and cooked us the most Delicious authentic Mexican food I've ever had. We had Chuleta (Which is pretty much very salty pork chops) Quesadillas, Spanish rice, and amazing beans! She provided us with so much food and encouraged us to keep taking more. My companions and I each had 4 plates of this amazing Mexican dish and all left the house having a hard time walking because we were so full... haha. After that we went to Temple Square and the Conference Center with Diego and Hydi which was very cool and lots of fun. Diego and Hydi are dating and both as of yesterday are considered reactivated members. Yesterday we had 7 members be reactivated yesterday and that was a huge step for our small branch.
This morning (and every P-day) we went to Penny Ann's Cafe which is an amazing little dinner that reminds me a lot of Pat's dinner in Cortland. The owner of the restaurant is LDS and told us missionaries that we can go once a week and get our whole meal for free. We always look forward to eating there because it is free, and more importantly, AMAZING FOOD!!!!

I don't have a lot else to talk about, the last thing that I can think of is an investigator names Josue, he is a 9 year old kid that we are going to be baptizing this Saturday. His mom is less active and his 15 year old brother is newly re-activated. Josue has MAJOR ADHD, has a hard time focus in lessons and one would be nice by calling him crazy... His mom thinks he is possessed by the devil and he does crazy things all the time. Some examples of this are: 1. During lessons he will go grab a sharpie and start to draw up and down his arm. 2. He tries to place mouse traps and other sharp objects on the floor and get people to step on them. 3. One time when we asked him to pray he said no, him mom convinced him to and he said "Dear Heavenly Father.. Amen" "There HAPPY!?!" the mom then said no and so he began to say another prayer that said "Dear Heavenly Father, please bless that my mom will shut up, and that she will give me 100 dollars, Amen" and then stormed off. We are trying to work a lot with him and he is progressively getting better but he is still very very very rude to his mom and whenever he talks he lifts up his hand like he is going to back hand her.... This is very difficult to work with but we are seeing noticeable progress.

One more funny story, we have an Elder who lives right above us who is Hawaiian named Elder Paulu and he has been working on his Spanish and we taught him how to say "Le gusta mi corbata? Tiene Pina" Which means "Do you like my tie? It has pineapples" because he has a brand new pineapple tie. So he went up to one of our Mexican friends in the Branch and quotes this line, and Juan replay's "si, pina para la nina" and me and my companions started to bust up laughing while Elder Paulu stood there not knowing what he said, he then asked us what he said and we responded "Yes, Pineapple for the little girl" (which in Spanish rhymes) Elder Pahulu died laughing and we always say that to him now.

Sorry my thoughts were kind of everywhere today but I miss you all and would love to hear from you, I leave to Mexico City next Monday so I'm not sure when my next email time will be, but when I get my travel plans and flight info I'll be able to email, text, or call my mom with those details and then we can set up a time to talk in the airport :) Love you all and miss you!


Elder Adams

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week 12: I got my visa!!

February 7, 2014
Wow this past few weeks have been very hectic, I was serving up in Layton and for those who don't know I was having a very rough time, I had really bad anxiety and really bad panic attacks, I almost went home because it was really hard to deal with. I've since gotten help, I got transferred down to Liberty in downtown Salt Lake City with 2 new amazing Spanish speaking companions. I love my new area here and we bike everywhere. It is still a little weird riding my bike past SLCC and Spring Mobile Field (places I use to see all the time living in American Fork) but this area is awesome. Things have been going a lot better and everything has been looking up. I get to speak Spanish in this area which is awesome and I love the Hispanic people, they are so kind, loving and funny. 

This week was very hectic and I'm emailing late because on Sunday of last week I found out that I got my visa! I went up to Boise on Tuesday which was our P day here this week. My trip to Boise was really cool and a lot of fun! We got into Boise late Monday night and slept at the apartment of some Boise missionaries. The next morning we went the Mexican Consulte and had our fingerprints, and pictures taken. After we went to the food court in the Boise mall for lunch and found some awesome tie deals at the mall where I got 4 new ties! haha. After we had the cool opportunity to go to the Boise temple. After the temple we went and picked up our visas and then spent the rest of the day at Boise State University which was a lot of fun. I have lots of pictures but the computer I'm on right now doesn't have an adapter so I will load them next week. On Monday morning I started to get sick and the cold of Boise didn't help, neither did the plane ride home. By the time I got back to SLC I was sick as a dog and the last two days I've been layed up in bed not able to do anything. The two Elders who live upstairs from me where just as sick also so us three stayed in while my two companions went out and worked. Being sick in the mission is extra hard because number 1, I usually lay on the couch watching TV shows or movies, and or playing video games, all of which I can't do here on my mission. Number 2, laying in bed all day gives you nothing to do but think which can make you really homesick. I'm still pretty sick but I'm up and about today trying to shake the awfulness of being bed ridden.

I know you will all be expecting my two cents on the Super Bowl and what happened this past Sunday so I'd like to preface this by saying that was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Our mission President made every missionary check in for the night after dinner so that no one would watch the Super Bowl. Luckly our ward mission leader was texting us and giving us score updates but it was so hard knowing that all my friends and family from here and Seattle were watching the game and cheering on the Seahawks when I couldn't! I'm really happy they destroyed Denver and on Monday we did get to see the highlights which was nice. Speaking of the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, in Boise all over the mall was tons of Seahawks apparel and while this is going on, Mom, will you please by me some Seahawks stuff while they are selling them in bulk? :) Thank you!

Well even though being sick and not being able to watch the Super Bowl was really hard I'm doing a lot better than I was 2 weeks ago, I'm really excited to go to Mexico City but I'm also really nervous at the same time. I don't have lots of time so I will get off now but I just wanted to say I love you all and miss you tons!! :)


Elder Adams