Julio Velazquez-Elder Tyler Blanchard
Po. Box 1486
Presidio, TX 79845

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 7 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

TYLER:   I´m getting along really well.  We are both learning a lot from each other and he is a great missionary so I couldn't ask for a better companion.

TYLER:   My companion cooks eggs for me, and soup, which has been nice.


Sunday went great, I am in just a small little ward.  I counted and there were around 44 people there total, a few might have come in after I counted.  My comp actually speaks a small amount of English.  He doesn't understand a lot but he is able to help me remember basic words.  He also seems to be picking up on my English as I am picking up on his Spanish.   My Spanish is coming along well,  I am learning so fast.  I am able to understand so much more than last week.  It is nice to have an American around.  He doesn't come with us in the streets but we are in the apartments and eat with the members with his companionship.  He explains all of the little sayings or different things that aren't in the Spanish books.

I couldn't believe that I got to baptize two people either, it was a cool experience. I got an opportunity to do that because I was new to the mission and since they were the sister missionaries investigators, I was able to baptize.

That is too bad to hear about all of the controversy in Bingham, and with those people.

If you could send food that would be nice.  Peanut butter, granola bars (not the chocolate covered ones), maybe some fruit snacks, some candy...anything really.

I´m doing great, my teaching still isn't the best, I do a lot of listening. I still have two baptisms. I have had a bit of a celebrity status with the kids, because I speak English and I'm from the United States. They always ask me how to say simple phrases in English or how to pronounce words or my name.

I have lucked out with my apartment.  Today I spoke with Elder Brown who was in my district and he has had to wash clothes by hand and doesn't have hot water. I sent some pictures of our apartment and it is actually pretty nice.

The rain hasn't been a problem this week, just lightning storms here and there. I have been making sure to take care of my feet, the biggest threat I think is the shower.  It is just nasty in there so I wear my sandals.

Ya I do feel like a bit of a giant here.  There are a lot of short people here, not only members and investigators but also the missionaries from Mexico.

My missionary work is a bit different than usual because my comp is District Leader, but most new missionaries have a District Leader comp.  We traveled almost every day to Cuautémoc last week for interviews.  I haven't really talked with people but I guess I can start trying.

That's too bad to hear that you guys got sick. My companion has been sick off and on this past week, but luckily I'm doing well.

It's cool to hear you have been listening to a lot in Spanish.  Listening is the part that is the toughest right now.

Sorry about the inconsistency of times for writing.  It is just whenever we can right now, we are both new to the area and it will take a bit to find the best spots and times.

MOM:   Have you been able to play soccer yet?

TYLER:   Once at mutual with a few of the youth.

MOM:   Where the youth impressed with your soccer skills?

TYLER:   Ya, the youth and my companion were impressed haha.

TYLER:   My companion and I switched stereotypes, he likes American football and I like soccer.

TYLER:   Here in Anáhuac baseball and soccer are both pretty big.

MOM:   Do you have a ball in your apartment?

TYLER:   No ball in the apartment.

MOM:   I hope you get to do some fun things for p-day. How is your mission president?

TYLER:   I haven't really talked with my mission president much.  He is busy and we are an hour or two from where he is at.  I had an interview with him last week because he wanted to get to know me a bit, and he is really nice and seems like a cool guy.  For p-day today we got up at four-thirty because we had to go to Chihuahua for me to get my picture taken for emigration documents.

TYLER:   When is the best time to write, just so I know for the future the best times to try and find an internet cafe.

EMILY:  Hi Tyler how was your first apartment?

TYLER:   My apartment is actually pretty nice.  Everything is new; new beds, pillows, utensils, refrigerator.  I sent you some pictures of the rooms in our apartment so you can get an idea.

MOM:   Tell me about the city.   

TYLER:   The city of Anáhuac is kind of small.  Some of the members and investigators are really poor and their little houses are in bad shape, but there are also some pretty nice homes.  There are dogs and cats everywhere but they don't bother us.  If a dog comes our way all we have to do is bend over, acting like we are picking up a rock, and they scatter. There are tons of mosquitoes here, but spider wise, I haven't had a problem.

MOM:   How are the members?

TYLER:   The members and everyone are really nice, this is the coveted area of the mission because of this.  Everyone is friendly and very nice.

MOM:   Emily prays for you all the time. She likes to tell everyone about how her brother is serving a mission.  I think she is really proud of you

TYLER:   Haha, that is good to hear.

MOM:   Is there a WalMart or a store for you to buy things? Like a sweater or gloves or hat?  Or, do you want me to send you things? Has it gotten cold yet?

TYLER:   I haven't had to help with the sacrament.  The food has been great.  I don't know how to explain what we eat.  There are soups with carrots, chicken or steak, potatoes and tortillas.  There are enchilada things with tortillas, there is rice and chicken with tortillas.  Lots of meat and potatoes here, I can't complain.  I don't need gloves or sweaters, they are dirt cheap down here and it's not even cold yet.  Everyone else is cold, but it feels great for me because I'm from Utah.  Candy wise, I don't know anything really,  little bite sized Snickers or 3 Musketeers.  Just little things I can snack on I guess.

TYLER:   They have WalMart, Sam's Club and a bunch of little shops too.  Tons of different things to choose from.  You don't need to worry,  I'm set with that stuff here.

MOM:   Do the people ask you where you're from? Do they know there is something Latin in you?

TYLER:   People ask, but just because they hear my accent and see my name.

MOM:   What about fast food?  Are you missing that yet, or do you prefer the food you have there?

TYLER:   Fast food I haven't been missing because the food here is great.  Last p-day we had subway, but I really haven't been missing it.

TYLER:   Oh, if you could send me a little compact umbrella that pops open like the one I left with, that would be great too because I forgot mine on the bus and I haven't been able to find one like it here.

MOM:   Do you know how long it would take for you to get a package?

TYLER:   I don't know how long it would take, sorry, probably a week or so.

MOM:   Tyler, I heard it could take anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks? Ask your American companion.

TYLER:   My American companion isn't here with us.  I think it only takes that long because it sits in the mission home until we are in town to pick it up.

MOM:   Are the Mexican people what you expected?

TYLER:   Ya, they are a lot nicer and friendly than I thought, but maybe that's just my area.

MOM:   You have been out for almost 2 months!!!  It seems to be going fast.  It really helps seeing the pictures. You truly look happy. 

TYLER:   It's crazy how fast time flies, it feels like I just started.  Looking back it is fast and happens all so fast, but in the moment it is the opposite.  Everyone says after the first three months in the mission the time flies.  I can't imagine it going any faster but I guess we will see.

TYLER:   How is it for you guys, does it go fast as well?

MOM:   Time has been flying for us too. I truly look forward to Mondays!!

TYLER:   Sorry, it started pouring rain, lightning and thundering and we lost power for a bit.

MOM:   Do you have any time for finding investigators?  Or, are you too busy trying to interview the other Elder's investigators?  How big is your district?  Do you have to spent a lot of time traveling on the bus or walking?

TYLER:   Last week we didn't spend a lot of time in our area, we traveled a lot.  We walk on average 10 or 15 minutes to get to locations within the city of Anáhuac.  We do have time at night to meet with investigators and a bit in the morning.

TYLER:   We walk quite a bit, but it's not bad.  It's nice, especially with the weather we have been having.

TYLER:   My English is so bad now.  I feel my grammar slipping and I always forget how to spell words or I add unnecessary things to words.  But, I'm glad to see my Spanish is going in the other direction.

MOM:   I also hope you get to have a fun P day and maybe visit a fun city or Museum.

TYLER:   We will try.  We still have to get to know the area.  Everyone is new and we have to get to know what's around.

MOM:   Have you heard from Elder Gumm yet or seen him?

MOM:   Also make sure you keep saving your pictures. And make sure you don’t forget it in one of the café shops after you down load some pictures.

TYLER:   I have not heard or seen Elder Gumm yet.  I don't think we have each other's email.  Next time I go to Chihuahua I will ask the office.

MOM:   Also, I keep wanting to ask you if you have a way of listening to music?

TYLER:   We have a little portable DVD player that can play music off of USBs but only music.  My companion has a bunch of music that we are able to listen to which is nice.

MOM:   How often do you have transfers? Is there a set day of transfers, or are they random?

TYLER:   I have to go now, we are out of time, talk to you next week.

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