Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week #8 - Struggling Spanish, Good Eats, Dogs and Volcanoes!

 Us inside a combi. Our usual way of transportation.

With it being the second week, my compañero and I have got our feet better placed on the ground than the first week. We know our way around better.. Know a lot more of the members in the ward, who help us out a lot! Although mi español is still struggling, it was a good week in Puebla!

Looking back at the letter I sent last week, I realized were quite a few details that I left out in describing my life in Puebla. When we first got here, we had the orientation from the president and his wife, right? Well, the way the president's wife described our conditions in Puebla, it set my expectations really low. She said you will often teach from beds, the houses feel like garages, and the food is... interesting. I cannot say that is the case! Or at least not with my area. The president said Puebla has a very small, developing middle class population. 1% of the population is super duper rich, and the other 99% is super duper poor. All the members we have visited have nice homes, incredibly kind, and fed us like kings. Literally. 

Just this last Thursday, we were at a member's home (we are fed by members everyday for lunch) and first she brings out a bowl of pasta. I thought "Okay, this is good." Then a big ol' omlet, with a bunch of ham and cheese stuffed in it. I then thought "Okay, that'll be enough." . Not for the hermana. Within the next 15 minutes, she brought out a salad, tomatoes, avocados, beans, jalapenos,and some mangoes. Boy I was struggling.. And they always ask you "¿quiere más? (want more?)" My compañero actually has gotten upset with me, saying that I don't eat enough.. I honestly try! But you do have to eat quite a bit, because you need to last until you head back to the casa to eat again (9 pm).

At the mall. Eating Dominos pizza.

Some other significant details about my life in Puebla are the dogs. Perros, perros, perros everywhere! 90% of the perros are strays, and the only thing you have to worry about is petting them. The thing is, the strays are so desperate for attention, they try to be all cute for you, then you just want to pet them. But they're filthy.. Mi compañero warned me immensely about that. Then there are the perros who have owners, and are owned for a reason. Protection. We will walk to someone's house and we start to hear vicious barking. Most of the time, those dogs are fenced in, so we don't have to worry about them. But there was this one dog..We wanted to visited the home of this less active member we hadn't met yet. So we were almost in front of their house, then we see this big big dog.. The biggest dog I had seen yet here. It stood up, came toward us, barking viciously. We then quickly turned around, and started walking back from which we came.

Another really cool thing is the volcano! ¡Volcán Popocatépetl! We just call it Volcán Popo for short though. The first week, we were able to see a few "eruptions" which is really cool. I would send pictures, but for whole week, there have been clouds in the way! It actually has made me quite mad. They say "eruptions" but really, it is just puffs of ash. The president said that they have found ash in their yard once! But they say we got nothing to worry about.

Probably the most significant thing for me this week was Sunday. It was my first sacrament meeting en el campo. We gathered at the stake center around 12:30 and started. It was surprisingly hard for me. Up until then, if I found myself homesick, I was missing my family, but this time, I found myself imagining where all the families sat during the sacrament meeting at home. But it was a really good experience. It was a testimony meeting. Although I could only understand bits and pieces, It was a great experience. 

I think that will be all for this week folks.Thanks for tuning in!

Here are some additional pictures shared on the 

... and of course, step counts 
(for the pedometer people ... aka "mommy")
Monday, April 6 - 11729
Tuesday, April 7 - 22165
Wednesday, April 8 - 16963
Thursday, April 9 - 15555
Friday, April 10 - 19088
Saturday, April 11 - 25716
Sunday, April 12 - 6235

*** Between Brothers ***

Dear Landon, it has been a really hot week! How is weather being with you? Guess what? We got ice cream with Aidan and Amare again! This time we went to Iceburg. I got a foot long hot dog and a small vanilla shake. I had the most intense game of Junior Jazz of my life! There was 30 seconds left, and it was 9-11 they were winning. So they came down with the ball, I stole it! I did a fast break down the court… And made it! The score was now 11-11 with 18 seconds left! I had no idea what could happen in 18 seconds… So they were dribbling down with the ball. They took a shot and missed. There were about 8 seconds left. Someone took a shot at 4 seconds and the timer rang and no one had any idea it would ring at 4 seconds. So the coaches and reffs just said “play the 4 seconds.” So as it happened the kid took a shot at 2 seconds and got blocked! But the reffs said it was a foul! The kid sank both of the foul shots. There were still 2 seconds left… I let my teammate, Collin take a BIG shot. We tried to hit a halfcourt but he airballed it… Oreo has been sleeping in his bed more often. Oreo has been sitting on the drinking fountain a LOT! He likes it when it vibrates. I don’t know why. Plus we actually went to church today! I’m going to top it off right there. I know you’re going to be an AWESOME missionary. Love, your youngest brother, Colton

Dear Landon, well I did not like going to school this week because of our Spring Break, it was hard to get up early and pack up to go there. Also, on Thursday, there was a field trip to somewhere called JA Biz Town, but I started to wimp out a couple of days before because I really did not want to go, so I ended up having homeschool that day. And Colton and I went to go get some ice cream with Amare and Aiden again to Iceberg. It was fun, but Amare was being so crazy. He was punching me as usual, and he was climbing from table to table until he got his ice cream! There was also the derby workshop yesterday, I forgot how much I hate them. I really do not like when there is that much people at our house playing with our stuff, and leaving it in places they are not supposed to go. And Keaton and I have been playing 21 a few times, and I won him the second time and third, but not first. We also played with dad once, and he that there were so many bogus rules, and he ended up loosing with about 2 points, while I won the game. I can also now dunk it on the hoop on 7 foot with a small ball, it is so much fun to do! And Oreo has been doing the usual. He has been sleeping on the computer chair, but he actually loves the drinking fountain now because when it vibrates. Anyway, I hope you are going to be a cool missionary,(which I know you are) and teach about Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father to the people of Puebla. Love, Cooper

Dear Landon, last week was the longest week ever! I don’t know why, but it was taking forever. It was a hot week too. I played almost 10 games of 21 yesterday with Cooper, Colton, and dad. I played Cooper and Colton just one on one most games, but then dad said that he’ll play me, and then Cooper wanted to play. It was the first one on one on one game that week. I crossed over dad once so bad, that he almost fell! Cooper were both on the side going, “oooooooohhhhhhh”, then dad started laughing. I also played Cal on Friday, and I beat him 21-0! And I beat him 21-0 again today, but he’s probably going to say that I didn’t. Cooper refused to play me the first time. Then, I told him how I beat Callahan. This time he played me. The derby workshop was yesterday too. All the little kids came and we played basketball, tetherball, and soccer. The cutest part was when this little kid, (probably five years old) came up to me and asked, “where’s your brother from last year?” Oh my gosh! It was so adorable! Still, I’m not that surprised that he remembered you. (wink wink) Wuv, Keaton

Dear Landon, so this Sunday I finally blessed the sacrament. It took me 2 times because I threw in an extra “and.” Keaton sucks at 21. I’ve been slamming on him like nothing. And me Ben, Mason and Daxtonn have been coming over to our house to workout everyday. I quit UBC because my old Sophomore coach told me that my coach right now is dumb so I wouldn’t get a lot of playing time. But it doesn’t really matter because I have a game with Copper Hills on Thursday. I still want to go to tournaments outside of Utah though. Sam’s UBC team won a tournament in California this weekend, so I was pretty jealous. But oh well. Anyway, hope everything is going well. Love you brother. Love, Callahan

Dear Landon, this is Travis. ¿Como estas? Es importante que hables en español. sabo este dificil leer porque no estoy bueno hablo en español. Estas bueno. Mucho amor, Travis

  • Dear Colton, The weather has been pretty normal for Puebla. It feels absolutely wonderful in the morning, then we end up sweating a bunch in the afternoon because we have been walking around for so long.. Dang! So close! Kinda a bummer, I'm sorry. But I bet you had fun right? Just wait. In your future games, it'll get a whole lot more intense! Haha silly Oreo.. I see a lot of cats here in Puebla, but none that look like Oreo! They're all tan or black, and really dirty.. Anyway, hope you are doing well! Have a great week. Le amo, mi hermano. (I love you, my brother)
  • Dear Cooper, Ah spring break.. One of the best times of the year.. Amare is sure a crazy child, but that is why I love him! You hate the derby workshops? I loved those! You are right about all the kids playing with all our stuff and leaving it everywhere.. But it is so much fun! 21.. That's a fun game.. I remember playing it with Tyler, Hayden, and Marcus the night of the Super Bowl! Estoy agracio por todo su apoyo. Le amo. (I am grateful for all your support. I love you.) 
  • Dear Keaton, 21 is such an awesome game. I love it! That's pretty funny that you were able to cross Dad over! Those derby workshops are a blast! Even though our yard is left a mess afterwards.. Haha really? Some kid asked about me? I'm glad that I was worth remembering! Anyway, tiene una semana buena! le amo. (Have a good week! I love you.)
  • Dear Callahan, Hahahaha.. Don't worry about it.. I remember that I messed up the first time I blessed the sacrament as well.. Try blessing it en español.. Yikes.. I only did it once, en el CCM. And this last Sunday I gave a blessing (only the annointing of the oil) to a member in the ward! Haha what has Mom been saying about you being at the house so often, and in HER gym, with friends?! Oh boy. Haha jota ka. Well keep working hard! I have discovered that there isn't much to do to work out as a missionary.. I basically will do a lot of push ups one day, then do abs the next. We do have an ab wheel, which is awesome! Pues, guarda haciendo buenas cosas, mi hermano. Le amo. (Well, keep doing good things, my brother. I love you.)

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