We were able to talk with our Elder Jaussi after a few attempts with a calling card on Christmas Day. He was at a member's home and we were able to have a good visit. He is doing well, still has very high expectations for himself and is doing his best to be a good missionary and trainer. He told us how grateful he is for all of the letters and packages he has received. Missionaries in the office have come to know him by name from the mail that comes through on its way to being sent on. Missionaries who have never met Taylor have said, "So, you're the Elder Jaussi that gets all the mail." Then they proceed to tell him that it won't always be like that and that after he is out for longer, the mail will decrease significantly. Taylor asks that we not let that be the case and for everyone to keep on writing! (Letters can be sent to Salt Lake to go in the pouch system, for free through DearElder.com or sent with an 85-cent stamp directly to the mission home. Addresses and instructions are listed to the right.)
Taylor and his companion, Elder G., were headed back to Cancun last night for another training session for a couple of days. This time around, he will be one of those doing the teaching and training for a small portion of the conference. He told McKay and any other prospective missionaries that this training would be great to study in preparation for serving a full-time mission.
His brother, Sean, asked him what some of his favorite things are about the culture there. Taylor said that he likes the Mayan influence (though he hasn't seen any of the Mayan ruins, etc.) and how some of the older people still speak Mayan and their children understand it too. He likes how many people have a "store" of sorts in their living rooms where they can stop in and purchase a needed item very close to where they live or along the way as they are out working. There isn't a lot of Christmas music played around the town or much decorating for the holidays and he has missed that. The fact that the climate is so different makes this Christmas different as well. He says it's really warm in the afternoon, but that it can get cool at night just because of the high humidity.
Transfers are January 6. Elder Jaussi says he will most likely be staying in Valladolid at least another transfer to finish up the 12-week training course for his greenie companion, unless his mission president feels that there should be a change.
It was great to hear his voice and have a chance to talk with him. He still does well in English even though sometimes he has to think about the English words now. We're sure that it will be even more difficult come Mother's Day.....only 5 more months to wait.
Here, Elder Jaussi's Dad holds a cell-phone up to the speaker phone so Sean and Caitlin can hear the call from their home in California...
The family gathered around the speaker phone chatting with their favorite missionary....