Thursday, April 9, 2009

So another week has gone by already! Crazy! This past week has been a pretty good one! Mainly because we just had a baptism yesterday, and it was my favorite investigator so far so it really meant a lot to me! But I will explain more about that in a little bit. First, thank you Danielle, Cheryl, and Mom for the letters! I loved it and it was a huge booster! Danielle I’m going to try and answer your general Mexico questions in this email because I realized that I never had emailed home about that stuff.
So first off this past weekend was amazing because we got to watch all of conference and in ENGLISH! Crazy I know! Haha I know it would have helped me to watch it in Spanish, but I really wanted to get a big spiritual boost from it so the American Missionaries all watched it together in English in a different room in the church! Plus I think it would be weird to hear it all in a translated voice. It was really uplifting and I definitely came into conference with an entirely different attitude and in made a big difference in what I got out of it. I really cared about what was being said and really took notes. Also I realized that what they were saying literally was what the Lord wants us to know right now! It literally is the words of Christ! What could be of more value in our lives than what He has to say to help us in our lives? I came into conference with a lot of questions and they were all definitely answered as I listened and took notes. I know you all saw it too, but one of the main things I felt so many of the speakers were talking about was that we need to really live the principles of the gospel in our life, for the gospel to truly have an effect in our lives. That is we really incorporate the gospel into our lives, everything will work out and we really will be able to work though all of our problems in life and really be happy! There were so many amazing promises made to us if we do those things! I am so excited to be a missionary right now! Oh so a little more about life in Mexico, well in Juarez. Because the culture is different depending on where I am in Chihuahua because it is a huge state. But sorry for not saying more earlier, I guess I left out the little things about life here.... haha
We have a little house in a fairly nice area. It is just me and my companion living there and it’s almost always only 2 missionaries together, but in some areas they have 4 living together. It’s a really narrow but long house, all of the houses here are like that. Turns out it is a pretty nice house compared to what most missionaries have, and we keep it clean so it looks good. Don’t worry mom, you taught me well! :) Our house is always very very clean and we even sweep and mop the whole place every week and clean the bathroom and the kitchen every week on p-day. I have come too really like our little house, but it’s more like a condo in US house terms. Most of the houses here are like that, there are a bunch connected together and each house is a thin slice if that makes any sense... haha We have 2 wards, well one ward and one branch( because it is smaller) The branch is tiny but I LOVE it! It’s so nice to bring our investigators there because everyone knows everyone else so they all are so welcoming and friendly. The branch president is amazing and always helps out a TON. He actually basically runs the whole branch, but that’s okay... haha. The other ward meets in a larger building and although there are more members, it does not seem like it because the building is much bigger. The bishop is not as missionary friendly so that’s
Too bad, but the members are great. Everyone here, as I think I mentioned last week, is really nice to us. And everyone has a general respect for us, which is really nice. A lot of people help us out and come over and shake our hands and say hello because they like us and respect us a lot. So that is nice here. but my comp says in other areas they are not as nice so that is too bad, but I guess I will see when I get there. I have like just about all of the food here. I have always loved Mexican food here, but it is way different than in most places in the states. They cook a lot of different ways so that is interesting to learn.
They have 'chile' or spicy peppers on everything so I’m definitely
getting used to that and learning to really like it. The area I am in right now is not super super poor, in comparison to Juarez as a whole. Some places like, Alta Vista is super super poor its nuts. But my area is generally pretty nice and has a good amount of roads and such. Compared to what most all of you live in, in the US is super poor here... haha Missionaries live
pretty poor though because we literally just get everything we need and that is it. Only necessities and that is it. But I like it, I like living here with not all too much. Its kind of nice actually if that sounds weird... haha We hitch hike a lot, but it’s mainly in the back of people trucks for the most part. Don’t worry, we are always safe about it, the people who let us in their cars are never the bad people and it’s never for very long. Just when we have to go straight for a long while. There are not many Americans at all here, surprisingly there are not many people from the states coming to live in Juarez right now... haha Like the only other Americans( white people) are the other missionaries, and there are not too many of us... So with my extremely blonde hair I stick out a lot. I’m tan now, but my hair is ridiculous... haha Whenever I get on a bus, everyone stares! For like 15 minutes too! Haha Some people even ask my comp why he is with a white guy like me! Haha but its great opportunities to share the gospel and people are ALWAYS super nice here and talk to us and listen and are very polite! I love serving in Mexico! The Mexican people are amazing! Some people don’t like me because I’m white and American, so that is sad. Like not super mean or anything, they just won’t talk to me and give me dirty looks and never look at me. There is not many tho. Oh and people on the street, like teenagers, always say "what’s up man" With a way strong Mexican accent! Haha I love it! Sometimes I’m like a novelty with my blonde hair and blue eyes! haha Most of the day I wish I was much shorter and not so white... haha I hit my head like 10 times a day on stuff, it sucks, I’m not made for this world here. Oh and another weird thing is we can’t go tracking, or knocking doors, at night. Because when we knock on a door at night, people don’t answer to men all dressed up. We are mistaken for mobsters, or gangster (I don’t know the word exactly in English... haha) a lot. Like people don’t see our badge and get really scared of us. It’s always kind of funny. But when we walk by people at night, a lot of time they see us and run inside and lock the door really quick. Haha, It is just not super safe here so people are always really careful. And if we do knock doors, people just say, come back in the morning! Haha Anyways, that all I can think of right now, I hope I explained a little better how life is here :)
So about the baptism real quick, yesterday we had a baptism for Priscilla. She is amazing and really is living the principles of the gospel and is so happy because of it. It’s so amazing to see the whole change people can make and how happy they are because of it. She stopped drinking and smoking and took out her tongue ring and obeys the law of chastity and ALL! I love it! She is amazing and so very strong! Her testimony is so strong! The baptism went well, and I got to baptize her! I said everything right, but the water is always freezing! The spirit was so strong there and I loved it! All of her family was there (oh she is only 25 years old) and they are not members and I know they really felt the spirit too and really like the baptismal service! It just really meant a lot to me because she is a good friend! She even made me a cool card and told me how grateful she was and that she will never forget me and that I better never forget her! Haha I loved it! Her best friend Monica will get baptized soon too, she just has a few things to work out first. But really soon! :) It was an amazing experience to really see the spirit guide the service and help us out so much during the whole thing. I was really nervous that I was going to forget something haha But I just said, this is His baptism not mine, I have done all I needed to, to prepare and live worthy, and so I just relaxed and everything went great! I loved it! Especially since the last baptismal service was so crazy! Oh and we have to do everything for the baptismal service and it is a lot of work! Haha Thanks mom for doing all that for me! Haha Anyways, my comp is telling me to go, but I was able to say a lot this week so that is good! The Spanish is coming along well and I get better each day, I’m really really really learning patience! Haha We had interviews with the president of the mission today, and he said me and my comp have to wake up at 6 and go run for 30 minutes every day now because my comp is gaining weight! Haha Well that’s why he thinks we have to do it! I have been really good about eating well and exercising a lot so it just sucks to lose more sleep. We are the only ones who have to do it too... haha Ill tell you how about it next week. Anyways, I love you so very much and I hope to hear from you soon! Oh and don’t send anything this week to the PO Box, I might change areas on Sunday. I’ll tell you on Tuesday, just wait a week to send anything. Thanks I love you all and miss you so very much!
Elder Andrew Davidson

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