Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 7: Language Barrier

My mission president and wife are super nice and they speak English. Thank goodness! We have 230 missionaries serving in our mission and 60 are hermanas. I am only the fourth set of American sister missionaries to come to our mission! I’m like a pioneer. :)

Life is going great! I’m loving Mexico. The best way I can think to describe it is that it's similar to Michigan City...but ten times more intense. There are absolutely NO white people here - Syd lies. So people stare at me a lot, because I kind of really stick out. lol And people here are a lot more open with their compliments. You’ll walk down the street and someone will say “beautiful ladies”. They all love my eye color because my eyes are hazel and not brown. But I don’t mind people telling me, even though I usually can’t understand and they have to say it like ten times.

I’ve decided the most difficult part is trying to understand what in the world people are saying. They talk so ridiculously fast and they slur all of the words together. During lessons I don’t really talk much because I have NO idea what they are saying! Usually I can put words together well enough that they will understand me and what point I want to get across, but I have no idea what they are saying. By the end of the day my head always hurts.

Me & My Companion

My companion is Hermana Suarez, and I’m the second missionary that she has trained. She has been in the field for 11 months and I’m her first American companion. She speaks absolutely NO English...that makes things a little difficult. She is super duper nice and she’s 19 years old. She kind of reminds me of Syd, because she loves to talk. It’s not uncommon for us to have a two-hour lesson, which absolutely KILLS me because lessons should be no more then 45 minutes. I guess that’s good because she can teach even though I have no idea what’s going on! lol 

Life here is pretty different. People are scary drivers. Oh my goodness! You know how I freak out when we drive on the sides of mountains and cliffs? This is so much worse. lol I’m surprised that there aren’t a thousand accidents every day. Life is a lot more relaxed here. Everyone says hi to each other. We never call before going to someone’s house - we just drop by, which is kind of weird but they think it’s completely normal. Showers here are cold and you hand wash all your clothes. Part of the wall in our apartment isn’t there, so mosquitoes freely get in and eat us alive during the night. It’s crazy how poor everyone is. Most people live in apartments. If you live in a house it usually doesn’t have all of it’s walls and they just use other things or leave it open. I kind of feel like a spoiled brat when I walk around and see the living conditions and yet how happy and giving people still are. It’s amazing. I’ve definitely simplified my wardrobe, because I feel ridiculous with all of my jewelry. 

We get about 850 pesos every 15 or 16 days, which is about 65 dollars. This week we had to spend 600+ pesos for a three-day exchange. Then every day we had to take a few buses and taxies to get places - which left no money for food or anything else! The members normally feed us for lunch. The meals ALWAYS have tortillas, and they are quite different and fun. But then for breakfast and dinner we just don’t eat anything. Kind of depressing. Then we ran out of water (and you can’t drink water here) so that was unfortunate. After a few days I remembered I have a filter water bottle. But yeah, very different. I’m getting used to the whole never eating thing. On the bright side I’m losing weight! :D I was hoping to lose weight on my mission.  I’m just not sure if this is the healthiest way? lol 

Conference was great because I got to listen to it in English!!! I think my favorite session was Sunday morning. My favorite talk was probably President Uchtdorf. I absolutely loved Conference and loved hearing the words they had to say. It was exactly what I needed to hear to have a little boost. :)

The name of my area is Lazaro Cardenas Michoacan if you want to google it!

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