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

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 21 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

The holidays were fun here but it was a lot different though. That is just because for holidays we are not able to do a lot. We had to go to the house early because we can’t be on the streets because of all of the people who get drunk and drive around and no one answers their door so we couldn’t do missionary work. Towards the end of the week the work finally picked up and the people were out on the streets again. 

It probably would have been cool if we could have taught families or something like that but it is just hard to find anyone at home. On New Year’s Eve we had to go in our house at seven. My companion and I ate all of the stuff that grandma and grandpa sent me. We ate tons of caramel popcorn, tons of fudge, butterscotch and peanut brittle. We ate so much crap that night ha-ha. I still haven’t even put a dent in all of the candy that I have.

We did get dinner at 4:30pm on New Year’s Eve. We got a soup that had some red liquid, hot dogs slices, beans and chicarron (deep fried pig skin that tastes faintly like bacon or ham but it is not too good especially when soggy). We also got some chips and orange juice. After that we had to go to our house where we downed a bunch of my candy.

In Anahuac the people say that it hasn’t snowed to the point where it sticks on the ground for 8 years. It just gets really cold. These last couple of days the puddles of water in the road have been frozen and there is frost every once and a while. The other day, our clothes that were hanging to dry became frozen because it was so cold. 

My singing still sucks ha-ha but it is all good because most people here are equally as bad. During baptisms they just sing and there is no music to help it sound better and it is pretty bad---and that is coming from me ha-ha. I remember the first time I heard them I laughed. I don’t know if it sounds better in the US just because we have a lot more people or a piano or what. We always sing Mas Cerca Ddios de Ti (Nearer My God to Thee) and it has this really high part that everyone slaughters. I am not saying I am good by any means but it has been kind of funny to see.

We sometimes sing in the lessons which I am still getting used to and with investigators sometimes. Before we start the lessons we sing a hymn to invite the spirit. Luckily when I was with my other companion, Elder Maldonado, he sang loud and drowned out my voice which was good for both me and the investigators. Elder Hansen my new companion took choir so he does well for the both of us ha-ha. 

It is too bad that we aren’t able to go to the temple at all during our mission…that would have been cool. We do feel all the prayers and we have recognized all of the blessings and miracles that come from them. 

That is actually really cool that you are able to help out the sister missionaries with rides and stuff. I know exactly how they feel. It gets dark here at like 5 or 6 and when the sun goes down it gets really cold, and the wind is icy cold and the wind has been so strong this last week. I wear thermals two socks two sweaters my jacket gloves and scarf. It is always nice when we get into a warm car. We rarely do in Anahuac because none of the members have cars. But in Cuauhtémoc there are always members that are more than willing to help. 

The people here are so generous and kind to the missionaries. The same five or six members feed us every week and we always eat really well with them and not only is it great food but it is a lot too (well for me, not my companion, ha-ha, he is used to eating a ton). 

We were able to go to the park and work out almost every day this week which was nice because I eat so much here and I need that time ha-ha. We get a long really well, and he is a cool companion and I am learning a lot. I haven’t had time to play soccer at all, but every morning at the park I juggle with the ball that you guys sent and that has been a great thing to have.

This last Tuesday we had some spaghetti with slices of bananas in it. It actually wasn’t too bad, and tasted pretty good. That day I worked with Elder Babb and we contacted someone on the street who said that their daughter wants to get baptized in our church. It is crazy how people just come out of the blue like that. She was new in the area and didn’t know her address very well and just gave us a general area and some landmarks but we haven’t been able to find her again. 

On Wednesday we had to go the house at 7 and we ate tons of my candy and we got to go to bed early and catch up on some sleep which was really nice. We felt like crap the next day waking up because of all of the candy ha-ha. 

On Thursday there was absolutely nobody. The streets were empty, no cars or people and all of the stores were closed. We went to look for the lady we met on Tuesday and we met a bunch of people who we have been teaching this last week and they have been progressing very well, and it was cool to see that the bad address produced some great investigators.

On Thursday night there were transfers because a bunch of missionaries were going home and gaps needed to be filled. Only Elder Babb’s companion changed. Now there is Elder Perez and he is from Ecuador and he has 20 months in the mission. He seems pretty cool. Elder Hogan (the missionary that talked with you guys a bit on Christmas from Herriman) got transferred too. He is still in Cuauhtémoc but just in the other zone. My companion and I are safe from being transferred, well I might not be for long. I probably will get switched in three weeks because I have been here for a long time.

On Friday we had a little white cat run up to us from out of an empty lot filled with weeds. It was really small and meowing a lot. My comp picked it up and petted it then set it down and we kept walking. But it followed us. We tried to walk faster but it would keep following. We tried running but it still followed. We ended up losing it but it was really cute to see it following us like that.

In that picture I sent I am holding the chocolate that I got from Viviana that I forgot about. It was really good.

Love Elder Blanchard

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