This week we had intercambios (splits) I went to Arriago which is like 40 minutes away with Hermana Ruvalcaba, and her companion, Hermana Conde, came to Tonala with Hermana Juarez. Intercambios are only for 24 hours but it’s a chance to see a new area and way of doing missionary work. It was actually pretty fun. We taught one of their investigators who is an “escogido.” Escogidos are chosen investigators they want to know, they keep their commitments, there’s a light in their eyes and they’re just ready to accept the gospel. It’s awesome this investigator seriously had the world’s biggest Bible. When he pulled it out of his backpack (it filled the backpack) and then put it on his lap and it covered his entire lap and I had to try so hard to keep a straight face because it was ridiculously large.
When I returned to Tonala we ate with a member for lunch. During lunch her dog was acting all crazy and messing around under the washing machine (a rare sight to see) and she kept yelling at it to stop breaking the machine but then we saw a long tail pop out. There was an iguana under it! During the course of our lunch the cat and dog tag teamed together to catch the iguana while we watched. Dinner and a show you know?
Anyway on Friday we went back to the beach, Puerto Arista, which is 30 minutes away and absolutely gorgeous. We piled 21 people into a van so there was a lot of squishing and lap sitting. We went for Hermana Susi’s baptism. My first one! Everyone was wearing white and it was a really nice service. It was super cool and made me wish my baptism had been at the beach. It’s an amazing feeling to watch someone who you helped come unto Christ be baptized. After the baptism we ate with a member. At the time I thought I was eating a chicken soup that had a ton of weird skin (not my easiest meal to eat) but afterward Hermana Juarez told me it was cow stomach (tripe) and I actually almost died right there in the street. Oh man! I’m so glad I didn’t know what it was while I was eating it. Also I am grateful for the stack of tortillas that is present at every single meal we eat because I actually just shove everything into them and will my stomach to fit it all in.
But really things are going better for me, because mission life is becoming more normal and I am adapting. It’s still hard but I’m starting to have fun some times. I think I mentioned that I ‘m covered in mosquito bites, it’s even worse now. I counted them all, 40 bites on my left leg and 41 bites on my right leg. There are only 4 bites on the rest of my body and they just bite my legs. I use bug spray but I sweat it off after like 10 minutes and there’s just so many bugs here. We’re going to try to buy more repellent. The new mission rules for areas with lots of bugs say we can wear pants because of the mosquito borne illness threat in these parts so I might start wearing pants for more protection. It’s just so hot though, I don’t want to!
The Elders came to our casa with a ladder and light bulbs so now we have light which is really exciting. Some more details about life in Mexico . Everything is agua, horchata, jamaica, mango juice, melon juice, it doesn’t matter, it is all “agua.” But we never actually drink real water at meals, it always a soda or flavored water/juice. Pozol, the chocolate corn water I swore I’d never like is actually amazing. I don’t know how but it is. Remember to not touch anything you can’t see or before looking first. Any surface can have bugs and never lean against the walls or walk with bare feet, even in your own casa.
We learned about the “Word of Wisdom” at church and they said that includes “overeating” and all the missionaries laughed because literally every day we’re stuffed with food by the members. My companion and I watch the missionary movies called “The District” (they film how a day is for a missionary) and we laugh because the work here is so different and doesn’t even compare.
The pictures at the beach last week were at Puerto Arista and this week for P day we went to Boca de Cielo. Hermana Juarez and I went with our district leaders, Elder Aviles, Elder Allen and with our zone leaders, Elder Cervantes & Elder Garcia. Hermana Susi, Tonala’s 1st ward’s newest member, came too. We got permission to go in a boat to cross the lake to get to the beach. It was crazy beautiful and I took a nap in a hammock again. I love the beach here, the water is so warm and we ran in up to our knees. It’s usually deserted so it’s really fun and relaxing and a perfect way to start the week. I hope all is well at home and everyone please update me on any big news! Babies, weddings, mission calls, etc. I want to know!
Con amor, Hermana Dangl