Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 20

March 31, 2014
Wow I can’t believe I am already at week 20, time seems to be going by so fast but so slow at the same time... I am almost 5 months into my mission but it feels like it has been so much longer because so much has happened but then I can remember the day I got dropped off like it is yesterday.... it is a really weird phenomenon. Well today marks the day of a new change, as President told me I am staying here in Constituyentes and as I knew also Elder Herd left. It was really hard to say bye to Elder Herd for 3 reasons. 1) I love Elder Herd and I am going to miss having him as a companion a ton! 2) I am really going to miss being able to talk in English ;) (My new companion is Mexican and I will talk about him a little later in the email. 3) It made me really homesick and was really hard saying goodbye to Elder Herd when I knew that he was going to Utah where I would love to be so badly. I am of course going to stay here for my whole mission and it has been getting better but I still really miss home and wish so much that I could be there sometimes.

Enough about my sob story, a little bit about my life here in Mexico: As many of you know I just barley turned 21 on Friday (speaking of which happy birthday Emily!!! and thank you all for the birthday wishes!) and so this week was the week of cakes... We ate tons of cakes for my birthday and for the going away of Elder Herd. My birthday was a pretty normal day. We still worked hard, we still had a day like we would normally have but the only difference was that the sister who feed us gave me cake, and Sister Whitehead and President Whitehead called and sang me happy birthday. The week was good and having my birthday was really good, but I was sick almost the whole week, which stunk a little.

A cool, funny story that I will post pictures of were from last night. Last night the Family Mondragon (The huge family we just baptized) threw Elder Herd and I a huge Going away/Birthday party with cake and confetti and everything. A tradition in Mexico is to have the person you are celebrating the cake for to take a bite out of the cake and everyone shoves your face into the cake.... so Elder Herd and I were supposed to take a bite at the same time and of course we both go about 7 hands on the back of our heads shoving our faces into the cake, but that isn’t all... After the cake was pretty much ruined by our faces someone had the great Idea of picking up a piece of cake and throwing it at Elder Herd.... This started a huge cake fight, which was crazy, tons of fun, and something that I will never forget. By the end nobody ate any cake but I had enough on my face, shirt and pants to feed at least 4 people a piece of cake... haha. I think that shirt is ruined with chocolate stains but I am soaking my pants and I’m about to go clean them, hopefully they can be cleaned!

Third, this week we had another baptism. This week we baptized both Anahi and her sister Cynthia. Elder Herd baptized their parents last change before I got here. Anahi needed to be married so when we finally got that finished we were able to baptize her and her Sister Cynthia doesn’t need to be baptized because she is mentally handicapped and perfect, but when she saw her parents get baptized she wanted nothing more than to be baptized with her sister, we got special permission from President and it was a really cool experience. I love this family also so much, they are so funny, so kind and generous and they always put a smile on my face. It was such a happy day seeing them get baptized.

Lastly the news I’m sure you have all been waiting for... my new companion. My new companion is Elder Grajeda. He is from Chihuahua Mexico. I don’t know him very well because we have only been together for a few hours but he seems really nice. He is a hard worker and doesn’t speak any English, which will be hard. We went to the train station this morning where everyone was being changed, I got to see everyone from my MTC district except for Elder Mason. It was so awesome seeing them again and I loved talking to them and sharing experiences. I hope everything goes well here this next week with my companion, I have a feeling it will be hard not being able to communicate well and I hope it doesn’t bring up anxiety to badly. I miss you all and love you all, I miss you extra today saying goodbye to Elder Herd who said he was planning on going to the house Saturday. I LOVE YOU!


Elder Adams 

Photos from week 20

Confetti being thrown at me for my birthday

A picture of the aftermath of last night.

Elder Herd, Elder Grajeda (My new companion) Elder Godrich 
(Elder Grejedas last companion) and Me.

Baptism with Cynthia and Anahi 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday's Baptism

15 Baptisims in Constituyentes!

Hey everyone!! This week was really good and I have a lot to tell you so this email might be a little long, but here goes nothing: First off to answer some questions from my mom, who paid for all the weddings? Well the bishop told us to go tell everyone to fast for them this past fast Sunday and took the fast offerings from that week and used them to pay for the marriages. Second as for my packages I got grandmas package but not yours yet mom. Just a heads up Sister Whitehead said to always use US mail not fed ex or anything like that, and if you do send them, print off a picture of the Virgin Guadalupe and put it on the box. Everyone here is very superstitious and religious and wont open it and steal all of the stuff.

Secondly, this is the last week for a lot of things, this is Elder Herds last week as my companion and as a missionary. Im going to be getting a new companion next week and President told me that I was going to stay in Constituyentes for sure, so I will have a new companion sent here and I will have to show and teach him the area which is a daunting... haha. I am getting acustumed to being out here on a mission but the one thing that is still really hard is Mexicans listen to a lot of American music and when I hear songs like wrecking ball, roar and other popular songs that came out before I came out... that makes it really hard.

I don’t have many crazy stories but just a few that I wanted to share with you.
1: We went to Taquezicac to marry another couple (which is about 3 hours away) and on the bus ride back we had the craziest driver ever. He actually started racing another bus and every speed bump (which there are tons here....) sent us flying about 3 feet in the air, my butt hurt so bad after. Then to get around another car he went off the road, took out some huge branches that snaped on the door and flew in the bus. The ride is really hard to describe but just take my word that it was CRAZY!!
2. This really isn’t crazy at all but something I wanted to include. This week we had the best Chile Reno of my whole life, and the day following had the best Mole I have ever had in my life!! I thought of Dad and Ben and how jealous they would be. I am going to upload all my pictures on dropbox and there is one of the Chile Reno so dad and Ben can drool a little bit haha ;)

Alright, enough with the stories and updates the rest of this email is going to be spiritual. First off there are 2 things that I learned this week that I really wanted to share:
1. We had a priesthood lesson that was so good! It was about the sacrament and talking about Christ said take the sacrament in my name, to remember me. The teacher then gave this example: Each one of you imagine that your whole city go sick. That everyone had a rare blood disease and would die except for your son. The doctor said that if we use the blood of your son he will die, but he can save the whole city with all of your friends and family, so you and your son decide to sacrifice his life for the better good. Then about a week later you hold a banquet in his honor, you have pictures of him and everything to remember his sacrifice and you invite the whole city, but no one shows up. How would you feel? Angry? Sad? Frustrated? Like the people of the city are so ungrateful for the sacrifice you and your son made to save their lives? Well this is the same with the Sacrament. Heavenly Father sacrificed his only begotten son so that all of us can live forever, and holds a banquet in his remembrance every Sunday, and if we don’t go, we are the ungrateful citizens.... This really kind of hit me hard.
2. During our weekly training with our zone we had a special practice. Our zone leader had me and a few other people come and do the practice. We had to pretended and act like the elder we were teaching was our mom, and we all wanted to be baptized except for her and this was our only chance to convince her. The moral of the lesson was to treat everyone with love and affection and to imagine how it would feel it you were sitting across from your mom trying to live with her forever. Even though I took this away from the lesson also I thought about something that I wrote in my journal. I said: Think about how much you miss your family for only two years. Now think about how much others will miss their families forever if you dont help them. This really helped me a lot and when I get homesick at all I look at this and it gives me strength to push on.

Lastly, the greatest part of this week. This week my companion and I baptized the Mondragon family. We baptized 15 people in the same service from this family and it was so amazing. These were my first baptisms from this mission and it was so amazing helping these families change their lives and really it made all the pain and hard work so worth it. The best part of the baptisim was when Odilon (the dad) offered the most humble prayer I have ever heard and tears still come to my eyes every time I think about it. All the nights of hard work, all the sore muscles, all the morning where I thought I was to tired to get out of bed, but I did it anyway. All the blisters I have on my feet and the diseases I got from baptizing bare foot where all so worth it when I heard this man that I love so much start crying, thanking his Heavenly Father "For the missionaries who came and changed the life of him and his family. For the amazing opportunity to be baptized with his whole family and for the chance to live with them forever." This really hit me hard, this is the first time I really felt how much of a difference I made in the lives of this family that I love so much, a love that I cant even describe. Everything, and I mean everything was worth it and 1000 more times when I heard how truly grateful Odilon was for the influence and impact that we made on his life. This is something  I will never ever ever forget and I am so glad I got the chance to be apart of the change this family made. 

This week was amazing and I am so happy I got the chance to teach and baptize this amazing family. I am going to attach the picture of the baptism and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. I love and miss you all!!


Elder Adams

Photos from the week of March 17, 2014

Dad and Uncle your heart out!

Renatta's Birthday Party

 Celebration after the baptism.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Week 18

March 17, 2014
I need to get better email titles, but I don’t really have anytime to think of them because I only have an hour to email. Well this week was very busy, but not a lot of teaching. Here in Mexico EVERYONE lives together without being married because in Mexico religions don’t have the authority to marry and so they need to go pay a judge. Of course to be baptized you need to be living the Law of Chastity and so we always struggle needing to marry. This week we married 5 couples from the big family we are teaching. My companion and I had to go outside of the mission about 4 hours to go get them all married and then 4 hours back. After this we interviewed 15 people for baptism this week which took forever but we only have 5 more to go. 

A few more crazy stories:
1. I now know the true meaning of "Mexi Packing" My companion and I got on to a bus to go home, that was so full literally only my feet were in the bus and I was holding onto the inside of the bus rail hanging out of the bus, holding on for dear life. 
2. I had some more crazy food this week. We eat some crazy things here in Mexico. Number one, I hate cows foot, which is absolutely disgusting. Next I had Taco al Pastor which was really, really, really good, probably the best taco I have ever had in my life, but the meat pastor, is dog... Who knew Bailey could taste so good? ;)
3. While my companion was using the payphone someone drove by in a truck and looked over at me. He pulled out his pistol and kind of laid it on the side of his window and started looking at me, then back at the pistol then at me and so on. He ended up just driving off after nodding his head like he was all cool, but it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. Mexico is crazy!!!

Lastly this Saturday we went to the temple visitor’s center with 16 investigators from that big family. We are planning on baptizing 18 from them this week and the visitor’s center was so amazing! They all loved it so much and it was such a cool experience. Speaking of which, I have lots of pictures and I uploaded them all on dropbox. 

I miss you all and love you all tons! I love hearing from you all and I hope you all know how much I love you!!

Much Love,

Elder Adams

Mexico City-West Mission photos

These are photos from the past month, taken since he's been in Mexico City.

Taylor arrived in his mission with these Elders and Sisters (Feb. 17)

Picture of Mexico City (probably from his apartment)

Elder Herd is on the right, this is Taylor companion.

His current district.

On their way to the Visitor's Center with the families they are teaching.

 The Visitor's Center with the families they're teaching.
Mexico City Temple

SLC pictures

These photos are from when Taylor was in the SLC Mission, waiting for his visa to come through.

Salt Lake City temple

Taylor and his two companions: Elder Gonzales  and Elder Flores.

A family in SLC they were teaching.

Taylor sporting the Seahawks' championship gear I sent him.

Taylor sporting the Valentine's Day tie I sent him.

Taylor and his companions sporting the Valentine's Day tie I sent them.

He really loved Elder Gonzales! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 17

March 10, 2014
Well to start out, we still work really hard, I still miss home lots, which is hard, and I am so physically and mentally tired every single night. I really do love the people here and I will talk about them more later, but the mission is really hard still. Something funny that I was thinking about, we always go into houses with the TV on and I always see shows that Emily watches all the time like Avatar, iCarly and things like that, but they’re all in Spanish... I just thought it was really funny to see.

So this week was really crazy and I have 3 crazy stories to share:
1. We ate this really good meal (The wife is one of the best cooks I have ever met and can make anything taste good). At the end of the meal my companion asked if I knew what I just ate, I replied no and he said oh you just ate Chichuron, which is pig skin. Surprisingly it tasted really good... haha I don’t know how good it would have tasted if I knew before hand though... haha
2. My companion and I were giving a blessing to this bigger lady who was really sick. My companion was anointing her with oil and I was standing to the side with my arms crossed and head down. Then all the sudden the sister landed on me and I caught her. My companion had this huge panicked look on his face and she wasn’t breathing.... he thought he killed her. We got the other sister in the house and she was screaming her name and trying to get her to get up, fanning her off and smacking her chest, about 3 minutes later the sister caught her breath and had just fainted... it was really scary but really funny to look back on now. 
3. We had a lesson with a family we are teaching and at the end of the lesson some crazy lady was yelling outside the house. Maria, the mom, went and talked to the crazy lady who was saying that Maria’s kids broke her window. Maria calmly said, no they didn’t they were over here, did you see them do it? And the lady responded, no, but I know it was them and you need to pay. Maria said, I’m not going to pay you because they didn’t break your window... the lady said fine, then you will pay this way, and threw a huge rock through the window and the rock landed about 6 feet away from me... scared me so bad haha. Later they went over to her house and said, your window isn’t even broken!! And then the lady kicked a hole in her own window and said, “Yeah it is, look!” haha so crazy!!!

Next point of business, the Spanish is really coming along well. Everyone tells me that my Spanish is really good for only having 3 weeks in Mexico and I believe it because there is another Elder in our zone who has the same time here and can’t talk very well at all.... I can understand about 80% of what people say (unless they talk super fast or have a thick accent). I can understand most conversations but questions asked directly at me are kind of hard because if you don’t understand one word you don’t understand the question.... It funny, because I have a hard time understanding those questions and conversing very well with people who aren’t missionaries. Everyone thinks that I don’t understand when I actually do.

Lastly, the people here in Mexico are so amazing, so humble and so kind. For example, one of our investigators, Odilon, works harder and longer then I did in my job in the United States, makes about half the amount that I made and supports a whole family with it. He lives in a house that is very humble, and looks like a house that a few buddies and me could have made ourselves, but still every night that we come over he gives us food and treats us like family. This is just one example but there are so many people like that here in Mexico. They are so kind, and are willing to give everything even if they have nothing. 

Well I love you and miss you all. Everything is going well with our family here in Mexico. We are marrying 6 of them because here in Mexico people just live together and have a family because you have to pay to be married. We have a total about 22 people we are planning on baptizing the 22 of March, which will be awesome. Miss and love you all!


Elder Adams