This week Cindy and Christofer got baptized. They have changed a ton since i got here, it's been ridiculous. Cindy has lived through more than anyone i've ever taught, on the street since she was 5, on drugs from 8 to 15, but at 15 dropped them after almost dying on an overdose, and has lived the commandments sinces. She was balling after coming out of the water, and according to her husband, he has never seen her cry until there in the church. Doesn't suprise me based on what she's been threw, but it is sad. She is a great person, and her husband is too. It was an incredible baptismal service. Elder Twede played the piano and we sang be still my soul in a medley with cuando me bautice (when i am baptized) in spanish. it was cool. My companions are making some progress with the language, it's still tough, but we're making it. They are really great guys though and we are really enjoying it. Lots to go, but i'm excited for the next three months. Sister crickmore told them to teach me english, and called me cholo (like gangster) because the english is so bad. Love you all, Elder West
Hola todos. this week has been nuts. wandering around mexico city with two new companions who don't speak spanish, in an area i don't know at all. It was nuts. And exhausting. I didn't realize how different it would be to train americans than it was to train people who already speak the language. Especially when there are two of them... They don't understand me or anyone else when they speak, but are working really hard, and i'm sure they'll get it soon. They are great guys. Elder Twede from herriman, utah and elder Huefner from Bountiful, utah. First time with companions from utah. it's been nuts. So much has happened, but not a lot of time. It is quite an experience teaching two americans about mexico. i didn't realize how many things there are to learn about the culture, the country, the language, etc. lots of work, but it is nice to have companions that have a decent amount in common with me. we're teaching two people who finally just got married and have been coming to church for a while, but we changed their bap date for this saturday instead of the last one so that we could teach them a bit more. They are really excited, we're hoping everything goes well there. Love you all! Elder West
Tomorrow i get my new companions and head out to whitewash an area and train. I'm a bit nervous, but so ready. I can't wait to be free. It's been a ton of work. But it's been good. We finally just got all the last new missionaries fed and are now in our house until the transfer meeting tomorrow. We got them from the mtc in the morning, and then the airport in the afternoon. It was crazy. So many new missionaries. It was such an awesome day. But very tiring. Love you all! Elder West p.s. new p-day will be monday again. probably going to write in the mornings around 10 or 11. We'll see. Love you! p.p.s. i heard there is no hot water in the new house. party... poor new guys. welcome to mexico. but it'll be a nice adventure on top of it all. I will be in Santa Cruz Meyehualco, Iztapalapa. It's part of Mexico city. Lots of cars, people, etc. chao.
These are some photos from splits in tepecoculco. I'm going to miss having a camera on my phone (only the assistants have it...) The nicest building by far in the pueblo is the lds church. Lots of people don't use shoes, which is fairly normal in several pueblos, the houses are often one room for 8 or more people, and lots of hills and trees. It's actually a really beautiful place, but sometimes a bit tough, the people have almost no education, little time (they all work in the fields a lot), and have lots of customs/traditions. The cool part is that they all have a ton of respect for the missionaries, even if they don't want to change at all. Tepecoculco is a weird pueblo though. President has said it, and i agree, it feels so weird, something is different in this pueblo. But the divisions were fun, and it was cool to be back in a pueblo. It's been a while.
Birthday was great. A family from my old area invited us to come eat, and seeing as we didn't have anywhere else, we had permission to go there, and it was cool. They made cochinito pivil, which is great, and they gave me a cake. Though the tradition is, that after you sing "las mañanitas" (the birthday song here), the birthday person is supposed to bight the cake. So i bit it. And Elder Scott pushed my face a bit further... Also part of the tradition... My comp gave me a tie, (i saw that after i'd actually forgotten it was my birthday in the morning...) Also there is a photo of a metal engraving a member form ozumba gave me (from my area a year ago). She had made it while i was there, and we were in ozumba on the way back from tepecoculco (the farthest corner of the mission), and she said she'd made it and hadn't had a way to get it to me. I also saw a convert of mine in the church there, active and helping with an activity. That was great. It was awesome to see the members after a year. I also put a photo of the primary program from chalco. That was awesome too.
Hola todos. THis week was also pretty crazy. President told me he won't put me as a junior comp to finish. I was pretty disappointed, but he is going to have me train two new missionaries, so i'm really excited about that. This week was also one of the toughest i've had. There has been some real divisions and problems in the mission and i was honestly getting pretty tired of it. But it was interesting to see how with a simple decision president fixed everything. And now i feel like i will actually be able to leave the mission in a good place when i get out of here. We are finally on our feet, and things are now running here way better than they did in the other two missions. On top of that the mission culture has changed so much and we are way more focused on only letting the people who really prove they are converted get baptized. Interestingly enough baptismal dates are going up and church attendance of investigators is higher than ever. God really is blessing us, and that's how it should be when we do things his way. Seeing as this is going to be one of my last p days that isn't on monday (and everything closes on mondays) we took advantage of the day to run to see Chapultepec. There is an awesome castle there, and a really cool zoo, and some other things. We got soaked on the way back, which was fun, and i have now checked almost everything of my places to visit of my list. Next week is board week, transfers getting ready, etc. and finally the 17th are transfers and i should be free. Can't wait. President is a great guy, I've learned a lot from him, but it's time to go back out and put my heart into an area and not a mission. Can't wait for it. Love you all! Elder West