We received another e-mail from Elder Jaussi today. It was his first p-day. Translations have been attempted. :)
Just Another Week in Paradise—Spiritually, of Course
Buenas Tardes!!! (Good afternoon)
This is what Elder Villnueva and I always say when we're outside someone's house and want them to open the door. It's kinda different from the normal tracting. This week we have been doing a lot of street contacting and tracting because unfortunately we don't have many investigators. The ones that we do have haven't been keeping their compromisos (commitments) so we kinda had to stop spending so much time at their houses. It's kinda sad, but at the same time they have their albedrio (agency) and we can't tell them what to do, ¿me explico? (Do I explain myself?)
I'm pretty sure I didn't tell you folks this last week when I wrote but if so, just act like it's new news I suppose. I believe it was last Wednesday, but we were going to one of our appointments which was about a 20 minute walk away and it started raining a little bit here and there. Then it started absolutely pouring buckets!!!! It was pretty darn nuts les digo (I tell you). That's not it though. You know how the Utah monsoon season brings some rain storms like that that usually only last for about 10 minutes, if that? Well I kept thinking this one was going to end but it never did!!! Needless to say, I was soaked and I wasn't sure what exactly I had signed up for. They say missionaries can't go swimming but I think that's what we were doing more or less! Nah, bromas (jokes), it was all good it was just a shock.
Another thing that is an absolute shock is the heat here. Vaya, vaya, vaya!! (Wow- not a literal translation) I think the only thing I can compare it to was during football when we had our helmets on and we were over in the swampy grass and it was above 100 degrees. It feels like that all the time here from about 10 a.m. to 9 at night. As the saying goes, I'm finding sweat glands that I didn't know mankind had.
Things are going really well though. Don't get me wrong it's already probably the toughest thing I've ever done and it's tough to have zero real investigators but todo esta bien (it’s all okay). The members are really great too! (Just a heads up, this email won't be any more organized than other ones) I'll talk more about the members in a bit though, no se preocupen (don’t you worry).
McKay, do you remember when we went down to Southern Utah, I don't remember exactly when, but when we saw lizards we thought it was the cat's pajamas? All I remember is we thought it was so cool that you could see lizards running around and it wasn't just at someone's house in a glass box. So anyways, (Nacho Accent) I have probably seen more geckos in our casa (house) than I have ever seen in the wild or any kid like Hayden Jaussi's house. If you lift up your mochila (backpack) or move your shoes, you'll see a gecko scurry off in a hurry. It's pretty neat, because that's "neature after all, gee dangit."
The hamaka (hammock) still is awful but Elder Villanueva was trying it out last night to show me how he sleeps in a hamaka and then he told me he thinks mine is too small for me. I'm not sure what I should do really. Every morning I wake up and I feel like I just got back from a campout with Bishop Mustoe sleeping on the rocks, ya know? Last night I ended up just sleeping on the floor. I didn't feel too much better but it wasn't as bad. I figure that's just one of the many sacrifices I'll have to make these next two years. I'm sure I'll get accumulated (is that even a word?) (acclimated) to it but I'm just warning you, when I come home I might be like Quasimodo or however you spell it. All in all, hamakas are really hard to sleep in. If your back is comfortable, then your neck is probably hanging off at a ninety degree angle... Oh well, it's all good in the Valladolid hood.
I don't know if you guys have looked up Valladolid on Google maps but I highly suggest it. It is que potente (cool)! The central of the city has a huge Catholic church and I'm pretty sure I tracted into Nacho when we walked by. Yesterday we were in the central square waiting for a member to take us to a nonmember's house who asked for a blessing and an older couple came up to me and started to talk to me in English. I actually started to talk back in Spanish! They told me they were from England and asked how much longer I had on my mission and all the other good questions. They said their nephew went on a mission to SLC and when they asked me if I had ever been there, I told them it was my hood of course! I was getting the vibes they weren't members so I decided to ask what they thought about the church. They said their brother (the guy's brother) was a member but they had heard all about the church and weren't interested. I told them that it was all right and if they wanted a Book of Mormon, which I was sure they already had, they could have one albeit in Spanish... We talked for a little bit longer but then they went back on their tour bus. It was really nice to speak English even if it wasn't the real kind.
Valladolid actually brings in a lot of tourists. It is halfway in between Merida and Cancun and is really close to some Mayan pyramids so we get a lot of riff raff in the square every once and awhile. All around the city on the brick walls are paintings that say "¡Como te quiero Valladolid!" (How I love Valladolid) It definitely isn't Utah anymore but I'm starting to agree with those paintings. The people here are great, and even when they start off the conversation by saying "Soy Catolico" (I’m Catholic) they're still fun to talk to. Elder Villanueva answers their questions for me because I still can't pick up one word besides no, si, (yes) and Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) really. Then when he looks at me I try to figure out what they were talking about and bear testimony about the subject. It's been working so far because the people have never looked confused.... I think... haha I really do like street contacting though. It was scary the first few times but Elder Villanueva told me I had to do it by myself three times in a row, and now I love doing it.
Because we have no investigators Elder Villanueva and I decided to have an intervention. When we were having our planning time, we were wondering what we could do and then I suggested we hand out cards to people in the streets, and the members do the same. We have the cards ready and basically they have questions of the alma (spirit/soul) on them like "where do we go after this life? Can I live with my family in the after life?" And questions related to the Plan of Salvacion (Salvation) and families. At the top it says "have you ever asked yourself...." and then at the bottom it says something like "If you are wondering the answers to any of these questions please come to the SUD capilla (I think this means Santos de Los Ultimos Dias Church—or Latter-day Saint’s church) on the 22 of September. Our plan is to have a big lesson about the plan of salvation in the chapel and then outside on the basketball court or in the classes we'll have tiny tables that have more specific topics i.e. the spirit world, this life, etc. I don't know if this is making sense, but as they say here in Mexico, it's going to be potente!! (cool, really, really cool) Before the 22nd we're going to have a ward activity this next Saturday that focuses on missionary work and to talk to the members about the activity on the 22nd.
On Thursday I thought that we needed to go talk to the Bishop for a minute just to ask him if there was anything we could do because we were just tracting. Elder Villanueva had me call him and he said he would love to meet with us at the capilla (chapel) and he would be there in a few minutes. We went to the capilla and after waiting for a few minutes, he came and we went into his office. Elder Villanueva had me talk because he said "Elder Haussi (That’s how he would pronounce Jaussi in Spanish) just wanted to talk to you and meet you" So I basically told him what Elder Holland told us missionaries to do when we first meet the bishop.I I told him that I didn't want to take much time but I just wanted him to know that we were behind him 100% and we are here for him whenevs! (Taylor translation=whenever) I told him I didn't want to be a burden for him but we wanted to help him in any way possible and that because we're missionaries, all our time is devoted to the work from sun up to sun down! Fue potente les digo. (It was cool, I tell you)
After we talked to him for a bit and he gave us references he told us he would be more than willing to go to teaching appointments any time Thursdays through Saturdays in the afternoon. Then after that he asked us to give discursos (talks) in church. I was pretty darn nervous but because of what I just told the bishop of course I said yes! Haha The talk went really well actually. Elder Villanueva looked over what I had written and after I gave it, a lot of the members came up to me and said I sounded like a native. I started out my talk by letting the ward know the same thing we told the bishop, that we were there to serve them and help them bring more people unto Christ and ultimately to the ward but we need their help. Then I told them that if I ever look at them with an eyes glazed over look after they say something it's because I can't really understand that well. If I talk to a member before they talk to me they think that I know Spanish perfectly so they'll go off on a crazy rampage. It's all good though. I figure in 4 months I'll be able to understand enough to get by. I'm not sure what to do until then though.
There is a little girl in the ward named Fernanda and she kept passing me notes during sacrament yesterday. Elder Villanueva and I are positive she'll wait for me after the mission. I mean, she's about 7 years old so the chances of her getting married are way slim!! Hoorah! No, it was funny though. All of the primary girls crowd around me at church and ask me to carry them but I have to tell them I can't. It's kinda tough because they're so cute, especially the little tike, Nefi. He is the son of the ward mission leader and he is about 1 or so. I don't like the rule that says missionaries can't hold little kids but I definitely understand why it is a rule. It's kinda crazy though if there are a lot of the primary girls because they just bombard me with questions like why I have green eyes, why I'm so pale, etc. They're really funny. Elder Villanueva really gets a hoot out of it.
Well fam, sorry for the crazy bombardment of info. I think that's it for now.... We have to drive off to Cancun in an hour because Elder Alonso is coming to talk to us! People go to Cancun for cruises but me? nah!! I go for mission conferences!! It should be potente though. As far as the letters go, you can send emails but I only have an hour to write to you guys (family only unfortunately) and to President. President recommends letters but if you send them it will take awhile to get here. The best way to get those to me would be through the mission home. I don't think the Valladolid mail service is so reliable.
Anyways, (Nacho Accent) I love you all more than Uds. Saben (you know). I hope all is well and that you're all hugging Jentz for me! Please pray for Elder Villanueva and I that our activities will go well and we will find more electos!! (investigators)
Love all around,