mi dearest familia,
If I could build my own city, it would probably take on the same pattern of beauty as Merida, Mexico. It is as if God has collected all of my most favorite things and put them in one place, because: the food, the people, the architecture, the colors--I love it all. Amidst all this loveliness, there exists many perks of being one of the few white people here, such as: I now have the best singing voice in the whole city, because turns out nobody here can really carry a tune. Among some of the not so perks: I still have not learned how to hold on tight enough during bus rides and tend to get thrown around quite a lot, and my sense of direction has yet to improve among the many calles we walk every day.
The vegetarian haters will be pleased to hear that I ended that lifestyle within the first twenty four hours here. Meat and fizzy drinks are a daily occurrence (my favorite, right?), and although it was a little hard at first, I have ben blessed with the will to eat everything and not get sick. Along with meat and fizzy drinks, I sleep in a hammock every night, take bucket showers every morning, and receive ten new bug bites a day (the count is now up to 42). My trainer and companion is Hermana Martinez--the kindest 29 year old Ive ever met, with a spirit that is almost too good and talented. I am pretty sure shes the best missionary in the mission, mostly because everyone has told me so--I am so lucky to have her! We are in the area Mulsay, about twenty minutes outside of Centro. It is the best of both worlds, because we are in a neighborhood thats not too big, and we get to come into the city about four times a week for meetings and such, so I have been able to be in the mission office a lot and around the greatest missionaries in the world.
In terms of teaching, we taught twenty six lessons this week and I havent taken the time to count how many investigators we actually have. They range from inactive families to kind of inactive families to people who are hearing the good word of God for the very first time. These people--all of them--really do have the desire to believe in something greater than themselves. It has impressed me so much that no one is afraid or ashamed to talk about God or what they believe. Everyone has open hearts and a seriousness to things pertaining to religion--it makes the work a little more easy. A couple of our most dear investigators are Juan and the Espinoza family. Juan is the epitome of humility--a young twenty something year old with a girlfriend and child who is trying to do his best in life. I have never felt so much love at once than when I am sitting in their home. The Espinoza family is a less active family in our ward--they have the most beautiful children that tell me the words for things in Spanish, and sometimes we go to their house for FHE. It is the best feeling being around families and knowing that they are the same all over the world.
If anything, these past seven days have taught me that God speaks everyones language--both in words and in the heart. Even amidst the poverty here, I have never felt doubt in the fact that God loves each of His children. I feel as if I have been able to feel a particle of His type of love while Ive been here, as my heart feels too full with the lives of these good people. God speaks our language because He speaks the language of the heart-- knowing what we need and what we feel and what we hope for.
I love you love you and am already planning the day when we will walk down these streets together, eating dried bananas with salt and loving every minute.
with mucho amor,