Monday, January 13, 2014

FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!! I AM IN MEXICO!!! January 13, 2014

Ok, if you can´t tell, I´m pretty excited to be here! It has been one crazy psycho week, but oh my goodness, I just love it here SOOO much!

So Tuesday morning around 1 AM, we arrived in Puebla! We then went to my mission president´s and slept for a while haha. Then that morning, I had my first Mexican breakfast and we started the day! Just so y´all know, my mission president and his wife are incredible. They are very generous, sweet, and spiritual. Hermana Reeves doesn´t know Spanish, but she is trying hard! They have been mission presidents for a while...they actually go home in July :( But that´s ok. Anyway, we had an orientation meeting that morning and then we went to the stake center for assignments! Ahh! And that is when all the Spanish started, haha. But after I met my companion and we took the two hour bus ride to our area, I felt much better.

So my companion is AMAZING. She is from Peru, can say maybe 10 words in English, is SO sweet, has been a convert for about 3 years and knows WAY more about the Gospel than I do! She works SO hard, which I am so grateful for. I came here to work, and that is exactly what we are doing! Her name is Hermana Muñoz, just so you know :) And I love her dearly!

So Wednesday, I offically (really) started my mission! I am serving in Tehuacan right now, and will most likely be here for all of my training (about 3 months). It is very dusty here, lots of bugs, but the weather is PERFECT! All of the natives here though think that it is FREEZING, haha, so I´m a little worried for what summer will be like. I am the first American woman that most of the people here have ever seen. You probably think I´m joking, but I´m not. This definitely isn´t a tourist area of Mexico. Most of the members here call me Hermana Barbie, because I´m tall and white and they think I´m pretty haha. Yeah, I´m really tall here! Crazy right? So on Wednesday, we studied (we study for about 4 hours every day: personal, companion, training and language) and then started walking. We do a LOT of walking, but I like it. We also eat one big meal every day with a member. My first day, I had the weirdest thing that you can eat here, according to Elder Fryer (he is the other american in my district). But I ate chicherron...which is pig skin. Yup. I could really use Costa Vida again, haha. But other than that, the food here is really good. I have also eaten torro (bull), tacos (way different here than in America), hot dog soup (yup, you read that right) and mashed potatoes wrapped in ham. We eat a lot of rice and a lot of tortillas, and i like both of those :)

We have 3 investigators with baptisimal dates: Moises, Rosario and Guadalupe! Moises was supposed to get baptized this last Saturday, but he had a relapse with the word of wisdom, and so now, we´re aiming for this Saturday! He is 23 and loves the Book of Mormon. He is a very great person! Rosario and Guadalupe....ah, i just LOVE them! They are a mother and daughter, and they are the sweetest. On Wednesday, we visited them and they told us that they were reading the Book of Mormon and just loved it! We invited them to pray about it and about Joseph Smith. Then on Friday... we invited them to be baptized and they both said yes! The date for their baptisms is February 1, so please pray for them, and for Moises as well! 

We have many other investigators as well, and we also do a lot of work with the inactives here. Yumico is awesome, and she is trying really hard to keep her commitments and seek answers from Heavenly Father. Etson and Guadalupe (son and mom) are fantastic. Etson is 11 and he is so smart, and he loves reading the Book of Mormon. They won´t commit to baptism yet though because Guadalupe´s husband doesn´t want them too. That is kinda a big problem here - many of the mothers and kids want to be baptized, but the fathers don´t want them to. But I have a feeling that they will eventually be baptized :) Mayra is a single mom, and she desires to be a better mom for her son, and we are helping her to see how God, Christ and the scriptures can help her to be the person she wants to be. All in all, we aim to teach around 5-6 lessons a day. We also pick up 1-2 new investigators every day, just from talking to them as we are walking everywhere. The people here in Tehaucan are very receptive and desire to following Jesus Christ. It definitely helps in our work as missionaries!

The ward here is INCREDIBLE. I just love them all so much. We work a lot with the Bishop, and his wife comes with us to lessons a lot. The ward mission leader is very dedicated, as is the rest of the ward to their callings. We do a lot of ward activities that we bring less-actives and investigators to, and the people here are so nice. I totally feel at home. All of the hermanas here just take care of me! Funny story - yesterday, we were a tad late to Sacrament Meeting because we were picking up Rosario. When we walked in, everyone was looking at me, and then Elder Fryer ran up to me, and explained that the Bishop wanted me to give like a 5 minute talk! GAH. So I just went up there with my awful Spanish, shared a scripture and bore my testimony. Apparently it was ok, because everyone told me that I did way better my first time than Elder Fryer did his first week, haha! so success! Oh, another funny story! So we were helping an hermana in the ward make tacos for a ward activity (yeah, i made legit Mexican tacos this week!) and her daughter, Evelyn is the sweetest. She is 8, and tries so hard to make me feel welcome and and home all the time. We were helping with the tacos, and Evelyn found out that I never had a Barbie when I was a little girl. (Which i am grateful for, Mom!) But she went to her room, grabbed her only Barbie, and tried to give it to me! It was so thoughtful and sweet. ...The people here really have nothing. It is so different here...but the people are so charitible and giving. It has definitely made me a lot more grateful for what I have had in my life.

All in all, familia, I love it here. My spanish is coming rapidly and there is no where else I would rather be. Even though I´ve had to take freezing cold showers, I have bug bites all over my legs and I have to wash my clothes by hand...there really is no where else I would rather be, nothing else I would rather be doing than serving my Heavenly Father and His precious children.  :) Until next week, i hope all of you have a great week! i love you all so much!!!

love always, Hermana Smith

PS- EVERYONE asks me if i´m related to Jose Smith. Everyone. Thanks, dad :)

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