November 4, 2011

Happy Merry Dia de Muerte!

First of all, I got to watch Remember the Titans in Spanish. That always cheers me up. Now, I wasn't being a bad missionary by watching a movie instead of working. See, this is just my soft way of saying that I spent two hours in a Doctor's waiting room because I had a stomach infection. But don't panic mom! The Cabrera's gave me bitter tea (blech) which I drained like a shot and now I feel fine. But that's how I spent Friday and Saturday: sick. Saturday, though, was pretty fun because for Comida, we went to Huayapam, which I love to do because the walk back from Huayapam is beautiful. I think I've said that before. In Huayapam, the family (19 year old Andres and his mom) helped us make hamburgers. Mexican hamburgers are a bit different than ours. They have all the normal stuff -- beef, american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup -- but they also have hot dog, ham, and jalepeños. Sometimes pineapple. They are delicious. I love hamburgers here. After the hamburgers, we got to make cake, which was awesome.

Oh hey, here's a cool story: Do you remember Adrian, the taxi driver investigator who I mentioned in like my first letter? I talked about how I had a really good feeling about him and how we hadn't technically started to teach him yet? Did you ever wonder why he never came up again in subsequent emails, unlike names such as German, or Enrique? Well, that was because we couldn't find him. He pulled us over in our first meeting and expressed interest in learning more. Problem was, he worked all day driving his moto taxi (a little three wheel taxi for getting to and from places in larger pueblos). But he said that when we saw him again, he would drive us to his house and we could teach a lesson. So we would go occasionally and wait at the corner where all the mototaxis waited for passengers. But we could never, ever find Adrian. We asked: most people said they didn't know him. One guy said that he didn't work there anymore. The conspicuous lack of Adrian and evidence that Adrian ever existed began to worry us. Was he really or only the figment of my greenie imagination? Eventually, we gave up hope of finding him. We stopped waiting. Then, as we were walking back from Huayapam, full of hamburgers and cake this week, somebody said hola to us. It was dark and we didn't recognize the man holding his child. We figured it was just a friendly resident. Here in Mexico, it's quite common to hear a friendly hola or buenos días or buenas tardes from strangers as they passed by. So we continued walking without pausing for a second look. When he said cómo esta, however, we looked again. It was Adrian, outside his house. He had, in fact, changed jobs and now worked across the street from his house. He has a family and he STILL wants to learn more. I've got a good feeling about this guy and I don´t want to lose him again.

Another cool story that actually isn't from this week, but I can't believe I forgot to tell it when it happened. Okay, so there's this recent convert family in our ward. It's a family of eight: Hno Gerado, Hna Adriana, Abril, and five other children under the age of 10. We visit them a lot because they are recent converts and struggling a bit, mostly financially. I've had family home evenings with them, dinners with them, pan de muerte with them, and done many things with them. So one day, we had Comida with the Hma Adriana. When we got to the house, there was this unusual buzzing in the background. We inquired as to what it was as we sat down to eat. Turns out, the bathroom of this family had become infested with bees. Big bees. Mean bees. But the bathroom was an outhouse, away from the dining room/family room/kitchen, so nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. As the meal commenced, bees began slowly infiltrating the house. They would buzz pass our heads, causing us to freeze midbite. Elder Juarez hates bees. He was quite scared as this happened. I was kind of laughing at him for his fear because, as I had noticed, the bees never landed on anybody. I was still laughing as a bee flew all around Elder Juarez. I stopped laughing as the bee changed course and flew right at my eye, landing there quite peacefully. It stayed on my eye for a couple of seconds. Then it started walking around. It walked all around my face, my other eye, my nose, and eventually came to crawl right on the line of my very tightly shut mouth. Bee legs are unpleasant. They are sticky and pockey and make you think of the sting that you know is inevitably coming. They are exceptionally uncomfortable are your mouth. So imagine my sigh of relief when the bee took off finally after what seemed like 6 days of holding my breath. The sigh only lasted about a second, though, because the bees sensed the open mouth and flew right back at me. It land on my mouth again, and this time tried to poke its head inside once, twice, three times. I finally panicked and ran, hoping the bee would not follow. It didn´t, thank goodness. And now I'm afraid of bees. Probably the most unforgettable comida to date. Eating with the bees.

Well, that's all I really have this week. Sorry if I've told that or other stories before. I don't have my journal with me this time. I'm gonna quick answer some questions and leave: yes, it's day of the dead here instead of halloween, but the two are quite similar. The only differences are pan de muerte, which is a sweet type of bread, and the fact that it is a much happier holiday here than in the U.S. In the U.S., halloween is about scaring people. In Mexico, it's a fiesta, with carnival rides, candy, and a lot of stuff in broad daylight. The music is fun and upbeat. There are parades. You wear masks, you get dressed up, but the object isn´t to be scary. It´s to celebrate. We haven´t done much for it yet because we are missionaries, but maybe later tonight. After all, it is Preparation Day. We have not had hurricanes or earthquakes. It has´'t even rained that much because it is winter and the rainy season is spring and summer. I have not worn the baptismal pants yet. I do not think I will need a new suit this year, but I may need new tennis shoes soon as I burned a hole in my dwills today playing soccer. They are covered in electrical tape now, which has fixed the hole, but removed my traction. So I might need new shoes. I bought a soccer jersey today. That is all. I miss and love everyone! Hope to hear from you next week!
Elder Johnson

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