Mexico, Veracrus mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Elder Horrocks will be serving in the Mexico, Veracrus mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Thursday, September 20, 2012

¡Ay 'Chacho!

Hi again everybody!

Where to start... I guess I'll just describe my living quarters and go from there. First off, we're living with the bishop of the Cinco de Mayo ward. His name is Yeyo (I think it's a nickname) Caballero. His house is kinda like a big square with a tiny outdoor hallway kind of thing in the middle. The bishop has his wife, daughter, son, and daughter-in-law all living with him. For our room, they sectioned off a room for us. It's just one square room with a small bathroom. It's pretty tight, but it's nice. We're lucky to have our own bathroom and an air-conditioner. A lot of homes don't have air-conditioning so a "clima" is very nice to have. I added a couple pictures to this e-mail of our room. Hopefully you can see them. The skinnier guy in the pictures is my companion and the other is a ward missionary of sorts (I think) whose been working with us a bit. The shower is cold but usually it's warm enough that a cold shower is a good thing. Our room is pretty small, but it's pretty much the norm here in Veracruz. About 99% of the houses are just cement boxes. They all pretty much look the same on the outside, but some are pretty nice inside while others are pretty bad. I guess it all depends. My area is pretty urban. It's basically your average city. About half of our area is mostly homes and such while the other half is like the "downtown" with all the stores and stuff.

The food here is pretty darn good. :) We haven't been served any seafood yet, but we get a lot of "carne" (beef) and "pollo" (chicken). It's mostly pretty different, but so far I like most of it. The only thing I'm kinda bummed about is that we don't have our own stove to cook on. If we did, I'm sure I'd make some American food now and then because as good as this stuff is, I still miss my mom's home cooking. We had some eggs and tocino (Mexican bacon) for breakfast a couple days ago and that was heavenly.

Regarding the bugs and sun: Not really any problems. I've already got a pretty nice tan and I haven't gotten burned so far so the sun isn't a problem. I'm basically used to the humidity now. I just had to get used to sweating all the time. :P So far our house is basically bug free. I had one cockroach scare the heck out of me when it crawled on my foot and a dragonfly snuck in the other night, but overall they're not a problem. We don't keep much food in the room yet, but the food we do have hasn't been touched by the bugs. That's all I ask for.

Church here is interesting for me. I don't understand much of what is being said, but I've already had to bear my testimony both Sundays here in sacrament meeting. The first sunday was testimony meeting because of some other meeting that went on the week before and we both bore our testimonies. This last Sunday I bore my testimony again and Elder Duran gave a talk. Elder Duran and Paco (the chunky guy in the pictures) both said that I gave a good testimony, but I'm not so sure. It was probably good enough I guess. I get frustrated at times that I don't have the vocabulary to share the things I want to share. It's hard at times, but I know that eventually I'll be fluent.

We've already been doing the work here. The first week was mostly visiting member and less actives because there haven't been missionaries in this area for a while. The whole while we were trying to get referrals and make contacts, but this week has been better with those things. Our schedule is full with meeting with people usually. Sometimes they aren't home or can't meet with us for some other reason. In those cases we just use that time to visit other people or do some contacting on the street.

A little bit more about my companion: He's from Pueblo, Mexico and speaks veeeeery little English. He's trying to learn English though, while I'm trying to learn Spanish. Generally, we can communicate just fine, but sometimes we have times where I just don't understand. My Spanish dictionary has become my best friend. Anyway, Elder Duran has been on his mission for five months. To be perfectly honest, I get the feeling that I need to be a bit more of a leader with certain things. He's a great missionary, but at times he has trouble sticking with the missionary schedule. He's not the only one. It's been difficult to get up on time, especially when my companion turns off his alarm, rolls over, and goes back to sleep. That's been our main struggle so far is just sleeping in and getting to bed on time. I'm trying to be a better example with that so that we can hopefully improve as a companionship. I saw the blessings of obedience in the MTC and I want them to continue here. We have been improving though so I'm not too worried.

Here's a couple fun experiences. Last Monday we went to the Veracruz aquarium for our P-day. That was a lot of fun. They had some sharks and performing dolphins and stuff. Lots of fun. Now for an uncomfortable experience. We work with Elders Soto and Del Valle from the Uribe area sometimes. A couple days ago, they told us to visit a man that "had a lot of good questions and is really interested in the church". Turns out, he was EXTREMELY gay and the whole time we were talking with him, he kept trying to flirt with me. EEEEEEEEWW!!!! I wanted to die! It was probably the most uncomfortable experience I've had in my life. I wanted to kill Elder Del Valle. I'm still not sure if it was intended to be a joke, but boy it was terrible. Which leads me to explain the title of my e-mail. My teacher in the MTC used to say it and I've picked it up. It's really Ay Muchacho which basically means Aw maaaan. If you shorten the word Muchacho it means you're more frustrated. Hence chacho is worse than muchacho and chach is worse than chacho. It's mostly just what I say because I guess they don't say it in Mexico really. Anyway, I was saying it quite a bit after that experience. :P

Now I'll just answer my family's e-mails:
I'm sleeping in a bed, not a hammock. I understand about 50% of casual conversation. If the person is really young or really old or has a speech impediment it's nearly impossible for me to understand them. Basically, some people I understand really well, and others I don't understand at all. I think we got a little of the hurricane here because it rained a ton a couple days ago. It wasn't anything extreme though. The streets don't drain very well so in some places it's like a river. I need to find me some boots to wear. With big purchases like that, I'll try to buy cheap things with my card. I know how the money is interchanged now. One US dollar is about twelve pesos. So I'll be able to tell if something is cheap or not. We don't wear our suits much so I probably won't worry about the suit pants. If it becomes a problem I'll let you know. As far as Christmas goes, so far all I can think of is food. Cookies and sweets and stuff sound good because the ones here are different. You'll never go wrong with Ritz crackers or double stuff oreos! I'll let you know if I think of anything else. I guess DearElders are free here. Grandma sent me one already. It's up to you because I think they take a while to get here. I think the e-mails will be fine.

I need to finish up now. Just know that I love you all and I hope you're all doing well. You're all always in my prayers! Thanks for the info from home! The church is true!

Elder Sean Horrocks

Elder Duran and Paco in our room

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