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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 15 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

I've had a great week and a good zone activity too. The activity was just playing jeopardy together eating cookies, Applebees, and watching a movie. It was a reward for having done so well as a zone in the past few weeks. This week they rented a soccer field and all of the guys in our zone played soccer. Everyone was amazed with how I played.

This week was kind of crazy.  We have been doing a lot of splits, that means they switch my companion for a day or less. During this week I was with three or four different companions. I spent two days working with the new guy, Elder Babb. It wasn't bad, but I much rather having someone to follow than blindly leading someone. 
We weren't able to get into more than two lessons so we just contacted a ton of people. After that I went to Cuautémoc and worked with a few different elders. It was actually pretty fun. I only don't like sleeping in other people's apartments. The food in Cuautémoc is really good. There is a member who owns a KFC and one day i ate KFC. We got mashed potatoes, fries, four pieces of chicken, drinks and biscuits. It was all free and it was great to have American food again. 
The next day we had empenadas filled with meat, eggs and potatoes. They were really good (they weren't nearly as good as the ones from home) and they also had a blueberry cake. The next day was pretty good, just meat potatoes and tortillas.The member who fed us has a disabled son and he always slaps people, so during the food he was just trying to slap us in our faces but it wasn't bad it was a funny experience.
The weather here has actually been perfect during the day. Only cold when the sun goes down, and then I just wear that jacket that I bought, it was like 42 bucks.
The ward has been great, not a lot is new because I wasn't in my area for like a week and on Sunday we had a meeting with a zone leader and a few district leaders right after sacrament. Thanksgiving is just another day for almost everyone unless you get lucky. I think there are a few like Viviana who try to do a little something extra special. My comp said that he ate a Thanksgiving dinner last year and he loved it so hopefully there is something like that that goes on here.
That's cool that you get to go to grandmas house. Right now I am craving all of the pies that they always have. I am going to miss turkey, some nice rolls and mashed potatoes. I will miss that pumpkin pie desert you made, the one with oats in the crust and also pumpkin pie in general. Ya, I don't think that I would want you to send a pie. But they have had some great desserts so i can't complain.
We went to Sam's Club a few times for food and they had the Christmas decorations and the trees and the Christmas treats out and it reminded me a lot of home. But other than that I have only seen one Christmas tree and one house with lights. It will be different, but it shouldn't be too bad.
I am able to understand a lot when I read. The Book of Mormon is a bit difficult, but i usually have my english one side by side to help out sometimes. But the Old and New Testament are really difficult to understand in Spanish. I spend more time in the English than the Spanish because I'm constantly checking to find out what a word means.
I am not sure what to say about the little ward, the members are great but they don't have a lot of people. Last Sunday Elder Babb and I were asked at the last minute to give a lesson in priesthood class. There were only three people in the class so it wasn't too bad but their ears were probably in pain after the class because of our accents.
Elder Blanchard

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 14 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

I don't have a lot of time to write because we have an activity with our zone today and our time has been cut short. I got your packages, thanks for all of the candy and treats. 

Everyone was amazed when they saw the two packages, and my companion and I were both blown away by the amount of candy. We don't have an oven for the cake but we will probably have to go over to the church and do it or maybe with a member I don't know. 

Sorry we have to leave for the meeting, but just wanted to send a little message and send you guys a few pictures.

Love Elder Blanchard

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week 13 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

My birthday was great, I got lots of treats. I got a pack of snickers from Elder Babb, my companion gave me that red sweater and we had a zone meeting that day and when everyone heard they all gave me some of their snacks that they had brought. I sent you guys a few pictures with the gifts that I got. I did not get a cake in the face because there was no cake. But I think some of the members are making a cake for Sunday, so I will be on the lookout.

I don't remember what I ate for my birthday but the food here is always good so I probably enjoyed it.

Glad to hear that they posted those pictures of our meeting and that you were able to see them. The jacket is Elder Maldonado's that he let me borrow. And yes I ate some grasshoppers or something I am not sure. It actually wasn't too bad. It was really crunchy and didn't have much of a taste, once you got over putting the bug in your mouth it was fine haha. And no, it was definitely not spatzle haha.

We had a meeting with president Chavez that day and he told everyone to cancel their food appointments for the day because they were to be providing food. We got there and they said ok here is you food and brought out the bag of grasshoppers and all of the sisters were terrified. They had us line up and everyone ate some. Luckily later they gave us actual food. They bought everyone a burger and let us have more if we wanted two burgers. I got a double special with ham, bacon and a Hawaiian with pineapple.

I haven't really noticed an accent yet but I can definitely see my grammar going. Just looking back at the sentences I have written here or in my journal I can see how strange it was written.

Last Tuesday we had some guy pull up next to us when we were walking in the street and he wanted to know everything about the church.  He wanted a Book of Mormon, wanted lessons and was the epitome of a golden investigator. It is too bad that he was in the area of Elder Babb and his companion though.

There is also another store owner that was very interested and said that he had stopped by the church a lot but it was always closed. We gave him a pamphlet and the next time we stopped and he had filled out and answered all of the questions in the back of the pamphlet and he was very excited about all we had to say. But his wife won't let him come to church or talk to us so I don't think we will be getting anywhere with him.

(This is the new zone. Elder Babb is the second one in from the right on the back row and his comp Elder Garivay is to his right.)

I have not been able to go to Chihuahua yet and grab my package I hope to get to go soon , but I don't know. How is sending packages? is it expensive or a pain to send them? Haha tell Emily thanks for praying that I receive the packages.

The weeks are going by so fast. In the MTC they said the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. and it is so true. Well the days actually aren't that slow. 

It is true, the gospel really does make a big difference in the lives of people. I think I already told you guys about the family that was reactivated in the gospel the family of the Little girl Alejandra. They have changed so much, the difference is night and day, and it has been a great opportunity to watch them go through that change a to have been a part of re-introducing them to the gospel.

Glad to hear that you are doing well. Luckily my health has been great here. No problems at all. My comp. felt a bit sick at the beginning of the week but I haven't had a problem.

The day that those picture were taken the weather was cold, but now it is hot and very sunny again. I am going to try and by some warm clothes for when the weather dips again.


Elder Blanchard

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 12 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

I am doing great, my week has been going great too. I have learned so much, we have done a lot of walking because a lot of investigators are not home during the day, they go to Cuauhtémoc for work.

They do celebrate Halloween a bit. It is nothing like at home but the parents take their kids to the main street where all the stores are and they trick or treat in the stores. A lot of kids just wore masks and rode around on their bikes.

The time change has been so nice, that extra hour was perfect. The time here is exactly the same as in Utah. It has gotten colder here too but probably not even close to what it is there. I am usually good wearing the cardigan that you guys sent me and I usually only need it after the sun goes down.

 This is Elder McKay my old zone leader.

Thanks for the birthday wish and the birthday card picture haha . Thanks for sending me a package, I have not received it yet but it is probably in the mission home. Anything that you guys send me is good, but for the future lots of granola bars and NutriGrain bars anything of that manner would be good.  I love the candy but I can't snack when in the on it because no sugary treats after seven o clock and we get to the house at nine at night.

The new missionaries are great. There is Elder Garivay from Mexico somewhere he is nice but I don't understand a lot of what he says, but he is our district leader and he seems pretty cool. Elder Babb is from Utah, from the Provo area and he is brand new so I get to help him out now, and I know just enough Spanish to roughly translate things for him and help him out.  He came into the MTC knowing no Spanish what so ever and his accent right now is kind of funny but he is doing well.

I have been having a great time, it has been such a great experience. For me it isn't really about the results, I am happy as long as I am working hard, doing all that I can to be a good missionary and I know that even if the people don't get baptized I have planted a seed.

Luz and Manuel have kind of stopped progressing, they say they know the church is true they just don't want to change. Last week we went with the zone leaders and taught them a lesson (about the gospel, the way I wrote it sounds like we punished them or beat them up haha). Luz said she will get baptized if Manuel is baptized because she has seen the way that he has changed. and Manuel just doesn't want to be baptized and go to church because he owns a tortilleria and doesn't want to take a break on Sundays and he know it would be bad or hypocritical of him to do so, well this is what we have come to believe.

He says that he will be baptized if he gets an answer. But the lesson was crazy, he got a blessing to receive an answer and he got a great powerful feeling he said, and the zone leader then did this: he said do you believe that god can speak to you through the scriptures? And Manuel said yes. so the zone leader flipped through the scriptures and told Manuel to tell him when to stop. they stopped randomly somewhere in the third Nephi I can't remember and neither can my companion but I think chapter seven.  And it talks about how having a hard heart is bad or something of that manner and Manuel said ya, I think maybe that is me. And maybe I need to change. So we asked him if he wants to be baptized and he said no. So we are not sure what to do we are kind at a dead end.

 These are all of the missionaries that were in Anáhuac with me.

There is always something keeping me busy here in the mission and it is easy to just get lost in the work.

The weather here has also gotten a bit chilly, it has been pretty windy the past two days but I only need a light jacket every once and a while.

The rules are strange but lots of them are easy to follow.  Some are actually good, like the candy rule, I would be eating candy like crazy if it weren't controlled.  And the soda rule I like that a lot because I don't want to get hooked on the stuff because from what I hear the soda here is amazing.
I had a coke one time in an investigators house, he was a drunk old man and he asked his daughter to bring us something to drink she brought us some coke and my comp and I looked at each other and my comp said in English that we can't because it is soda and I nodded because I knew.  The drunk guy saw that we weren't drinking and said something like what my food isn't good enough for you? Do you not trust me? Something like that and my comp looked to me wide eyed and said drink it! It was actually a funny experience we were never scared or felt that we were in danger, we were there trying to speak with the daughter who was like 30 or so but the coke was nasty and flat. But the rules have been good and I realize they are for my benefit and health and am fine with them.

The language has improved so much I am able to understand a whole lot more. I feel like I can almost always at least pick out the main idea of what is happening. I still talk like a bit of a caveman but in time I will improve.


Elder Blanchard