Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wesley's Letter 5-27-12

Oops, forgot the camera chord again. Looks like there won’t be any pics, whoopsy-daisy, oh well next week.

Hey tell Matt I’m so proud of him for his mission and everything and that I’m going to send him a gigantic package when I get home and while he’s still on his mission. And if he comes home early he won’t get anything!

All right, so here’s the what’s what. This week has been sweet. We found all sorts of people interested in listening to us and a lot of people who want to get their baptism on, but are unable to, due to their work. I say that because most people here are fishermen. For their work they leave for like a month straight, on fishing voyages. So ya, if everything goes well this next transfer could be my most successful I’ve had so far. Which is pretty cool because when I got here this area was pretty dead. There’s a tradition that goes around the mission that says that pueblos, (villages, NOT cities) are the hardest places to work because that’s where the people are the most traditional and don’t accept new things easily, but honestly I think pueblos are the best. Even though the people are traditional and there are less people than in the city, it actually makes it easier because everyone knows everyone. So if you’re ever looking for someone you just ask a guy that lives on his street and he'll tell you something like:

"Oh Rigoberto, ok go about 4 houses that way, make a left down the little dirt road and when you see the little fruit cart selling mangos you go 2 houses to the right and the house you’ll find has a green fence. Well, he lives in a rented room in that house."

Also everyone knows exactly where our church is. Its funny because everyone here knows it as " la Iglesias de los tios fresas" or the rich people church, because honestly our chapel is a lot nicer than the rest of the others. But what they don’t realize is that the members are normal people, it’s just that our tithing funds don’t go towards the preacher’s new BMW. (The local clergy, bishops, teachers, organists etc. in our church don’t get paid. They are all volunteers.)

Honestly the biggest houses here in Champoton are those of ministers and preachers of other religions. It kind of makes me a little bit sad about some of the preachers here. They go and preach from the Bible about humility in their little bitty over crowded cinderblock tin roof chapel, then afterwards they go home to their giant 2 or 3 story houses with 3 cars all paid for by the tithing of their congregation.

It’s pretty backwards world here. Honestly it’s grown my testimony that this (our) church is true. You can’t attack our church’s tithing system because literally no one personally benefits from it. It all goes to chapel construction and maintenance etc. and not to our clergy.

I don't mean to attack other churches while I’m here; but honestly, I’ve seen so many disgusting things from some of the hypocritical ministers. Sorry if I offended anyone; but if it wasn’t a problem, I wouldn’t have said it.

Whelp I’m all out of time,
Smith out

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wesley's Letter 5-21-12

Hey Guys,

I got the pics to work so that’s good. You’ll be able to see in person yo boi Smitty.

I’ve got something kind of cool, so the other day we were eating at the Branch President’s house and we asked where and when he served his mission. He said in Sonora about 8 years ago and I asked him if he knew a missionary named Lance Rondo. He said yes and that he was his missionary companion! Crazy huh? So tell Lance his old companion Elder Balam is Branch President here in Champoton and he wants Lance’s email to catch up. Ya, so that was cool.

Mission news: We just baptized a kid named Jesus who is 15 years old and he’s pretty cool. This week we might baptize a young woman named Patti, so that’ll be cool.

Oh ya Mom, to answer your question, I haven’t been eating too much crazy stuff, but the most recent crazy thing was sea snail. But you know what? It wasn’t even that bad, just the thought of it being a snail was the bad part, and you wouldn’t even know it was snail unless they told you about it, because it was all cubed up in a fruit cocktail.

All right I’ll describe these pics; one is the inside of a well. I was surprised that people here in Champoton still use wells, not for drinking, but for chores and sometimes bathing. It’s pretty sweet. I feel pretty Colonial when I pull up a bucket to wash my hands and stuff. I did that the other day because we spent like 2 hours carving out the inside of a pool for a member using a hammer and chisel (out of rock) and honestly my hands were pretty gross afterward.

The other pic is of my comp’s hammock, pretty huge huh? He’s stretching it out and it doesn’t even finish the word “mission” but the whole thing says Mission Mexico Merida.

I think I’m going to buy another hammock while I’m here BUT BIGGER! It’s going to be so cool. Same colors.

Some of the other pics are of a mango tree, graffiti, the coast and all sorts of sweet stuff.

OK, there are pics of the coastline, like I’ve said this is a fishing village so the entire coast is covered in fishing boats. The other pic is to let you know just how dramatically the climate changed here and with little warning. Another pic shows the same rain shower.

I actually have one of the pictures of Elder Rondo with my Branch President and I’ll put it in this file. There’s the one of our baptism this week. (for some reason these 2 didn't show up in Wes' email)

Oh and good news, almost all of the people I was teaching in Cancun have now been baptized by Elder Suarez, so that’s chill.

There’s a pic of a house of some people who like Cruz Azul. Yep, there’s a pic of a zone conference, I’m not smiling in this one, but it’s the only one I’ve got. There’s a pic of the city central.

I’m out of time. Send me some letters!

Cal´ankt´ba´ix! (Later in Maya)

Elder Smith

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wesley's Letter 5-7-12

Whelp what’s up family and friends,

Guess what? This Mothers day I’ll be able to talk again by phone so if you’re in Encinitas and miss your buddy Wes, then head on over to my house at I think about 2:00 this Sunday and we’ll be able to chat and it’ll be super sweet. I’ll be here at the local Mormon chapel waiting for my parent's call at 4:00pm Campeche time and this time I should be able to talk for a little longer, so if your even just a friend it’ll be chill to talk.

Ok, whelp I’ll just let you know that while I was writing this letter the power here shut down. Pretty annoying but it’s ok I’ll just let you know that the May heat just hit here in Champoton like a brick wall. This is by far the most uncomfortably warm I’ve ever been in my life! This area is a little bigger than it probably looks, but that might just be because we walk everywhere and don’t have bikes.

Alright, seeing as how Josh got his mission call to here, I thought I’d just give him the rundown on the basic stuff he should have in mind while he is preparing to leave. TAKE EVERY ONE OF THESE TIPS SERIOUSLY, because you’ll die of heat if you don’t haha!

Alright Josh, here’s the DL- go and buy all of your missionary clothes at Missionary Mall. All their stuff is guaranteed for 2 years and it’s likely most of your stuff will be ruined in the first, also because Missionary Mall stuff is designed to breath in humid conditions. Also, buy the bag my parents bought me. Ask them about it. It’s by far the best bag I’ve seen for this mission and the most comfortable.

Ya that’s the first super hint.

Next hint:
You will be sleeping in a hammock for the next two years, but don’t worry you’ll get used to it and it’s not that bad. You actually can’t sleep in a bed because it’s too hot. The first week you get here go and buy a giant hammock. The best and cheapest ones are from prisons so go and talk to the Bishop in your first area and see if there is anyone in the ward that makes hammocks.

Next hint:
Go and study your Spanish and learn to speak it with an accent because you can speak Spanish fluently and perfectly but if your pronunciation is bad no one will understand you.

Next hint:
Write down you’re friend’s mailing addresses if you want to write to them. That’s something I never did and I wish I had.

Next hint:
Make sure you don’t go home early from the mission. I promise it’ll be the biggest mistake of you’re life. The first few months of your mission, I’m not going to lie, will probably be the hardest of your entire life but be patient and I promise it’ll get easier. There’s nothing more rewarding than serving a mission. At least you’ll be arriving when everything will be cooling off here in October.

Next hint:
Cherish your time with the Mexican companions because that’s when you’ll learn the most Spanish and the more Spanish you know the easier it’ll be here.

Next hint:
I encourage you to look up the mission on Google Earth and study the names and everything. I promise the Maya will shock you but believe it or not Maya is actually easier to learn if you already speak English than it is for Spanish speakers.

Ya, those are my hints for right now. I’m all outta time. If you want more specific answers send me a letter on paper because then I’ll have more time to think and write about exactly what you need to bring.

Hope to hear from all of you this Sunday.

Smith Out