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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Week 32 (Anáhuac, Mexico)

On Monday I lucked out and didn’t have to give a lesson to the district because the assistance of the president came and gave a lesson to our zone. They talked about a scripture in Matthew 14. This is where Jesus commands his apostles to go in a boat to the other side of a body of water. When they got half way they stopped because of the waves and the wind and because it was stormy. They only got half way across and stopped. They then applied this to us about how we have been commanded like them to do the missionary work and we can’t be like those in the story who only go half way and stop when the going gets tough. 

This last week there were a lot of baptismal interviews to be done within the zone. The zone leaders wanted me to help so they called president to ask for permission on my behalf to do baptismal interviews. They called President on Tuesday morning as we were leaving the house and I had no idea that I would be doing baptismal interviews. Once they got an OK from president they started going over the basics of the baptismal interview with me while we walked over to the house of a guy who was to be interviewed. The guy’s name is Guadalupe he is in a wheel chair. We found him at a park. I interviewed him on a bench. It was a cool experience and luckily there were only a few distractions. The sister missionaries in the district that I am helping out thought that I had more time in the mission than I do, it was pretty cool to hear that my Spanish doesn’t sound like I just got here.

While on the busses here in Mexico there are performers. Usually when we go from Anahuac to Cuauhtémoc there is a guy who sings and plays guitar. It is pretty cool to watch them balance on the bus and perform. On Tuesday this guys came on with a keyboard tied around his neck, his key board was missing a bunch of keys and it was a really Mexicanized set up. He actually turned out to be pretty good. There are also a bunch of guys who wait by intersections and run out in the street when the light is red and start juggling or doing weird tricks for money.

On Tuesday I also worked a bit with Elder McGavin and Elder St. Pierre. Elder McGavin was the elder from Anahuac when I first arrived. He is serving in Cuauhtémoc now. Elder St. Piere was with me in the MTC, and we were able to catch up on old times. 

This week I have been staying with the zone leaders and this other elder, Elder Newman. Their house is really nice. One of the zone leaders Elder Gallup knows how to cook so we have been eating really well. We made granola one day and ate that with chopped up fruit and yogurt. We ate some really good egg sandwiches with ham and chipotle sauce. We also made orchata one day that was really good. On Sunday morning we made French toast. It made me remember the French toast that dad used to make it wasn’t as good as dad’s but it was pretty good. It has been fun to hang out with these guys this last week. I have learned a lot and I am staying with them this next week too. 

On Thursday we were told that we all had to be at the church at 5 and we had to come really clean. We had to cut our hair, nails, come in our suits, and shine our shoes. Everyone thought that we were going to have lesson from a seventy or something. But it was just a doctor over the missions of Mexico and he just told us things that were common sense. Like bathe, or wash hands, wash fruit and vegetables before eating, be careful where you buy things to eat off of the street, wash dishes. 

On Saturday I did another interview for a girl named Gretel. She was a lot easier to interview than the first guy and was actually really prepared and will be baptized this next week. I have done two other interviews this week, I can’t remember which days, but I have been learning a lot mostly from experience and just by doing it. But is has been cool to learn from the zone leaders and my comp for this week. 

Also we went for some clean clothes for me to Anahuac and we played soccer at the church with some kids who are getting baptized this next week. 

This week I have eaten a lot of American food. On Thursday we ate at KFC because a member owns the restaurant. And on Friday we ate hamburgers at some member’s house, it wasn’t bad it just was coated with mayonnaise and guacamole. They thought I was fifteen years old. And on Saturday the member who owns pizza hut sent us a pizza with cheese filled crust.

The weather here has been pretty good. It has been raining quite a bit, and it has been warming up. It is getting hot. And I have heard lots of bad stuff about how hot it gets here. I am not too worried about the heat it will just be really hard to fast. 

I actually haven’t had to give any talks or lessons since the last time I talked to you guys about it. I am still not looking forward to having to speak. I am not worried about giving lessons though. It is just preparing something to give a talk about that I need to practice.

I do miss the temple; it is crazy how long it has been since I have gone. Juan Manuel is doing good from what I know but I haven’t been over there with him for a week. Last I heard he smoked one time this last week, but is back to good.

Ya our mission president is a great teacher. He was an institute teacher for a lot of his life and is really smart. Someone pointed out that we were called here under such a great teacher because expected to become teachers later in life or we are to become teachers whether it is a calling, a job, or just as a parent. The closer we look the more we see how he is always teaching us some kind of lesson about something.

I did luck out that they are giving me some training first. The zone leaders said that pretty soon all of the leaders in the mission are going to finish their missions and there aren’t going to be any leaders because they haven’t been training well. So both elder Newman and I are getting trained and refined.

Sorry don’t have any pictures this week but I will try and take some more this next week for you guys. 

Love Elder Blanchard

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