Monday, December 19, 2011

Wesley's letter 12-19-11

Alright so this week was pretty sweet, and I’m gonna start by finishing that story about the family,

The reason they changed their minds in the beginning to not listen to us is because the mom was talking to friends and heard some pretty messed up Mormon rumors. I don’t know where they come from but the rumors here have gone rampant. I’ve heard more than I can count and the people here, being super gullible, believe almost all of them as if they came from legitimate sources. These rumors are probably the third biggest reason why people stop listening to the missionaries. The specific rumor the mom heard is that the first night of a marriage the Mormon pastor has rights to the bride... ya some of the people here are pretty lame in believing these rumors.

There are actually a lot more rumors and each is weirder than the last.

This week we were going to baptize the Hermana Verta, but she didn’t show up to her own baptism. It was pretty sad, but now she’s 100 percent committed to getting baptized next week.

Alright, so I got my hammock and it’s probably one of the more impressive things I’ve seen on my mission. It’s not exactly the way I wanted it, but that’s ok because now it has more of a Yucateco flare about it. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there’s a series of designs running up each color line and every design is unique. These hammocks really are works of art. I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy at least 3 more of them like this while I’m here.

To explain some of the photos in this album, the ones with the fires in them just testifies that people around here really use arsony to save a little bit of work...

So the fires in those pictures really all they are doing is mowing the lawn, and its just because its easier than taking a machete to it, which is the other way of mowing lawns.

The picture of the dead dog is pretty disgusting, but I thought I would send it because it’s something I see a lot of here. There’s a lot of stray dogs, so inherently there are a lot of stray dogs getting hit by cars and dying. The grossest part is that when something dies here, something causes their bodies to inflate, and eventually the pressure causes the body to pop. It’s pretty sickening and the worst part is that city workers, being Yucatecos, and knowing its better to work smart not hard, they know the best way to clean up this rigamortis mess is to throw the deceased pups from off the side of the road into the Monte, or the over growth/ forest (outa sight out of mind) so now pretty much every road that has over growth stinks of death.

I wish I could explain every photo but almost all of them have a detailed story behind them, I just simply don’t have enough time and I’ll put a more in depth explanation when you guys call me this Sunday at what I think is 3:00 San Diego time and 5:00 Merida time whoooooo. So if you’re really one of my friends you had better be at my house at that time because the next opportunity to talk to me won’t be until Mother’s Day.

But ya once again I’m all outa time talk to yall este domingo
Hasta Tsalma
El Esmit

Wesley's letter 12-12-11

Hola ¿Baax tal morros? It’s yo boi smitty les esta radiando de Kukulcan and here are my stories for this week:

I still haven’t gotten my hammock but the people that I spoke to about it told me it’ll be done by this Thursday and que esta bonita, entonces estoy medio animado the coolest part about it is that a hammock of this magnatude really would cost at least $120 + and it only cost me $60. Hammocks are rightfully expensive because they really do take dozens of man-hours to make. One can spend an entire week of just stitching one hammock, not to mention mine is double stitched, custom colors, with the Spanish pronunciation of my name stitched in it "ESMIT" I’m super syked.

So what’s been happening specifically this week is that 2 days ago I had my first baptism for like a month and a half. But good news, we have baptisms lined up every week for the next 8 weeks. That’s unless I change areas this Christmas. Coincidentally Christmas falls the same day as transfers and also 3 days after I hit my 6 month mark from home.

Its crazy I’ve almost been in Mexico for 4 months and I still feel like I’m on the struggle with Spanish. The only times I feel good about my Spanish is when I’m around the other kids from my generation (or the missionaries who’s showed up the same time as me) because at least I have developed an accent. I can’t properly describe to you how horribly atrocious sounding it is having an American speaking Spanish without an accent.

From now on I think I’m going to stop telling everyone about the baptisms and more about the stories because I’m not judging my mission by how many people get baptized, rather the lives that get genuinely influenced.

Like the other day we taught a family, who told us all the problems they had and how they wanted to change their lives. In that first lesson of teaching them we set a baptismal date. It was actually one of the better nights of my mission. However, the next day we went by to visit them and the mom ran inside and the dad told us that they didn’t want to see us again without a real explanation, so we left all bummed. After a week had passed we had almost completely forgotten about them. Then one day during companionship planning, we got the feeling we need to pass by and visit them again. When we got to the house the entire family was out in front. I was expecting the dad to get mad at us, but to my surprise they didn’t even say anything he just came up to the gate and led us inside the house. He told us that not a long earlier he and his wife were in a heavy discussion that maybe they should talk to us again, but they didn’t have our number or directions so they had no way of contacting us, then they went outside and within 2 minutes we arrived at their house again. It was a pretty sweet experience and also there’s more to tell but I’m outa time so I’ll tell ya next week, but until then…

Con amor
Elder smith

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elder Smith's Letter 12-5-11

Well I’m not gonna lie, I pretty much already opened everything in that package and it was awesome! You guys really are the best family, and tell everyone in the ward they’re awesome! That little chain thing with their writings on it was la onda!

Anyway this week a few other cool things happened, for one I have all the legit phone information so you all can talk to me on Christmas. I’m going to be in a members house at 5:00 pm Mérida time so I think that’s 3:00 in San Diego but you guysa can figure it out. I’ll be able to talk for 50 minutes so friends and family if you wanna talk to me be at my house at that time and lets face it, I really wanna talk to all of you.

Some more cool stories from my neck of the woods, are that I’ve been hearing a lot more Mayan legends and stuff. More of them are actually pretty funny. The most common is the legend of Los Alo´ox or little trolls that live out en El Monte or the jungle that come out at night to cast spells on people and steal stuff. Actually Los Alo óx are now more of a scientific fact around here than legend because almost half the people here are 100 percent convinced they exist, and they all have different stories of how at one point they saw Un Alo´ox. Or they blame their family’s bad luck on a family member who at one point wronged an Alo´ox.

Another funny myth is the legend of the ish´tabai. Its supposedly a beautiful witch that lures borachos (drunks) in to the woods and when the borachos are found they’re unconscious and without clothes. So if you see any unconscious naked drunks you know the ish´tabai has struck.

Seriously the people in my mission are soo superstitious, its pretty hilarious.

I’ve been having some pretty funny stories around here, I just don’t have enough time to write them all. For example the other day we were teaching a lesson with a family when the drunk dad came stumbling in tripping over is own lack of sobriety, and was yelling "yo la haré la oracion!" Then he took us by the hands, screamed bloody murder while saying a prayer and lifting our hands up, then brought our hands together and gave them a few kisses. Not gonna lie, stories like this are pretty common here and pretty funny.

I’ll tell you all more stories next time but I’m all out of time.

By the way I’m finally going to start baptizing again starting this week.

Any ideas about what this is?

That's my boy!

I have no idea what this is about.