I must first apologize. following this there will be no more capital letters. the keyboards here are different and it takes me too long to reach over and find the shift key, so i´m not going to. please forgive me.
with time being so very short today, i am going to leave out a lot of things that don´t matter and include things that do.
first: i am doing great. it certainly is not easy by any means. there have been some moments that have been very difficult, but in the final accounting i am quite well, happy, and working hard. in our first full day here we had some training regarding health, eating, foods, etc. the wife of our mission president told us new missionaries that we would for sure get sick within the first few days or week. so far i have been incredibly blessed. i have had no problems and have not had to stop or slow down for anything. so that has been a huge blessing.
my first companion here, also called my trainer, is elder sosa. he is from uruguay and is a great missionary. he has a strong accent, so at times it has been difficult to understand. natives here often have to ask him to repeat things. but i trust that having to pay careful attention to everything he says is helping my lanugage skills a lot. we get along well and are learning more about each other.
because time is so short, i just want to share one experience i have had here. there will surely be more to follow.
on my second day here, we began the morning by walking to where the garcia family lives. it was a pretty good distance and i noticed as we walked that elder sosa had brought a bag of plastic bottles and collected more that we found along the way. to get to the house we had first to hike along a pretty beat up road and then cross a bridge and leave the road, we scrambled down the hill side, at times using all fours to make our way down. their small home has sits on a flat spot that they have dug out of the hillside. this family, consisting of a mother, father, a daughter of about 11 years and a son of 12, has taught me so much already. to begin when i say they are a humble family i would not have you confuse that with an ignorant or unlearned. while their opportunity for education has surely been little, they are bright and capable. i learned that he makes his way by collecting plastics and other recycleable materials each morning from the homes that he has established this relationship with. they live primarily outside, but they have a small home with a bed inside. they are kind to us and always offer us what they have. brother garcia is a fun and joking guy. that first morning that we stopped by, after talking and sharing a scripture with them we were able to help him with his ongoing project. he is digging and leveling out a large spot on the hillside to build a house. he anticipates it will take him 2 years.
when we came by later to talk with his neighbor he sat in with us and shared with this woman and us his testimony of the goodness of God. he told of times when he and his family had nothing to eat, and so they would start a fast that the lord would provide. each time, he said, a way was found that they could eat and get along once more. he and his family have truly found out the things in life that do matter, and the things that don't. he works hard each day, we have had the chance to return and help him more a time or two, and he puts his faith in God. they walk each sunday to church and sit happily and content with all the others. a pure example of a humble follower of Christ.
There is so much more to share, but time does not allow. It appears that I will get mail every month to 6 weeks here. The place to send it would be the mission office, which i believe i put in my very first post, but if not i trust my family will repost the address.
much love from mexico. hope all is well