I'm not sure what to say in this e-mail because things haven't really changed much here. I'm still learning a ton of Spanish every day and it's coming. I just barely heard a native talk in the hall just now and boy do they speak quickly! It was all I could do just to catch a few verbs here and there. I had the chance to speak with one of the workers here that served his mission in Veracruz. He was from Mexico so it wasn't too different for him, but he said that it's a beautiful place and that it's very hot. He said that in one half of the mission it's really easy to baptize people, but it's harder to keep them active in the church. With the other half it's harder to baptize but easier to keep them active. He told me that when he was serving they were having an average of 500 baptisms a month! That's insane! I keep hearing that because the church is growing so rapidly there, we will be mostly working with referrals rather than knocking on random doors. That's cool because referrals are usually at least semi-interested in the message.
Anyway, I think the thing that's going to be the toughest for me when it comes to Spanish is all the grammar. Remembering the words and stuff isn't too much of a challenge, but you have to conjugate them for each specific situation. This is how Spanish is different than English: In English we just have a ton of little words that we change the order of in order to convey our message. In Spanish, you have a bunch of bigger words that you change slightly depending on the situation. Every verb has an infinitive form, for example, correr. (to run). You take that word and change it in order to use it in past tense, or future or about half a dozen other forms. It also depends on who is doing the verb or action. Just in present tense you can have corro, corres, corre, corremos, correis, and corren. (Don't quote me on these. I probably spelled them wrong.) Basically, it's a ton of different endings to the verb that you have to remember. It's just hard for me to know what to use in a given situation. Well, that's enough of my little language lesson. Needless to say, it's a little confusing.
So there's an interesting story that happened yesterday. I've had a monster cold for the past three or four days and my nose has basically been either filled with cement or running like a faucet. (As I started typing this it began to run :P) So I'm blowing my nose and my right ear pops. It popped really hard and I got dizzy for a few seconds. For those of you who don't know, I ruptured an eardrum once and that's pretty much what it felt like. I thought I had ruptured another eardrum. So we head over to the health clinic, but it was closed. We ended up taking a shuttle over to the Intermountain Instacare Center. The doctor checked my ear and it hadn't ruptured but I had popped it pretty bad. Normally your ear is bent in towards your head, but I had popped it out the other direction. It also turned out that I have an ear infection in that same ear. So the doc wrote me up some prescriptions and we picked them up at Walgreens. Both for the doctor and at Walgreens we were waiting in line for quite a while. This whole ordeal took about two hours. When we finally got back, we had about an hour of class left. All the other elders were jealous that we got to get out of the MTC for a while. It was pretty funny. :) So anyway, now I'm still dying from this cold and I have to take some antibiotics for the ear infection.
I don't think I mentioned another funny story that happened last week. If I did, then my mom can edit this part out and let me know that I'm a retard. Anyway, Elders Dean and Watson and I were all in the shower. Our other roommate was already dressed and stuff. When we come back, he's standing outside our door looking guilty. He said someone shut our door and he doesn't have his key. Having just come from the shower, none of us have our keys either of course. So here we are, three elders standing out in the hall in nothing but our towels. When the other elders on the floor hear what's going on they all get their cameras and take pictures! I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty funny. We started posing for them and stuff. :P So once they're all done taking pictures, Elder Robertson reveals that he had a key the whole time! He pulled a fast one on us! It was all in good fun, but he's going to have to watch his back now. ;) It's getting hard for me to remember what I've written in e-mails and what I've written to my family so I'm sorry if I'm repeating things that I've said.
This week I had the opportunity to read my scriptures a ton. Before coming here I wasn't a huge scripture buff, but I love them so much now! I'm trying to read the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon all at the same time. It's really fun. I just realized that tomorrow is the first day of August... it's weird that I've already been gone almost a whole month. It feels like it's been only a few days, but at the same time it feels like it's been forever. It makes sense if you don't think about it. I'm enjoying my time here, but I can't wait to leave. I'm trying my best to stay focused and do all that I can to learn the doctrine and the language. It's going to take a lot of work, but I know with the Lord's help I can do it. I love you all and I want you to know you're always in my prayers! The time we're apart will only be but a small moment. I'm already 1/24th of the way done! I just need to make the best of the time that I still have ahead of me. This church is true. If it wasn't, I'd have come home by now. I've never worked this hard in my life and I know that it's all for my benefit and the benefit of those I will teach.
Sorry this e-mail was a little rambly. Just know that I love you and that I'm doing well.
Elder Sean Horrocks