Week 1 in Mexico
Holy hot dang, this week has been so awesome! Mexico is so much more ghetto than I thought it would be! And I mean that in the best kind of way... Every house is made of cement, and a two-story house is considered to be really nice. In terms of the weather, it gets super cold at night. On top of that, there's no heating/air conditioning in any of the houses, so there's no escape from the elements! We were out biking the other day, and it started thundering and pouring rain out of nowhere; I was prepared (like the Eagle Scout I am) and had my satchel cover and umbrella with me, so we were okay.
My trainer's name is Elder Hixon, and he's pretty cool. He'll be training me and then going home to California. We're both new in the area we've been assigned, so this past week was just spent trying to get to know the area. As for the language... Well, it's coming. I can speak enough to get my point accross, but I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what people are saying to me. Sometimes they just speak so fast! When that happens, I usually just turn to Elder Hixon and go, "Uhhhh..." And he either answers or translates for me real quick. I'll keep working on that as I keep listening to people. I just have to make sure I don't lose focus as people are talking; I'm not skilled enough to do that yet.
Adventure of the week: grocery shopping. We had almost no food in our apartment when we got there, so we rode our bikes to the grocery store and just started grabbing anything we thought we would need for the week. We gave absolutely no regard to the fact that we were a good 15 minute bikeride in traffic from home. When we got back out to the bikes, it was one of those moments where you're just like "well... crap..." Elder Hixon was incredibly skeptical as I started loading bags up and down my arms and my bike handlebars. We ended up with Elder Hixon having a gallon of milk, bag of groceries, and 4 rolls of toilet paper in his backpack while holding a box of cereal under his arm. I had 4 bags of groceries on my arms and handlebars with a box of cereal and packet of napkins under my arm. Nailed it. That, combined with the fact that I've eaten a week's worth of Mexican food without any indegestion problems pretty much makes me a legit Mexican now.
We've taught tons of lessons this week! The MTC did a terrible job of conveying just how much work it actually was out here in the field. I knew it would be hard, but I never knew how efficiently I could use my time... There are so many hours in the day, but it still seems like it's not enough.
Investigator of the week: Stephanie. We went contacting (tracting) around a neighborhood one day trying to find some new people and gauge the neighborhood. We knocked on her door, and she opened the window and started talking to us. Apparently the missionaries had been teaching her before, but she got busy or something, so they stopped. After talking outside for a bit, she was like, "Do you wanna come inside?" After saying yes, Elder Hixon and I looked at each other with a look that said, "BOOYA!" and then proceeded inside. She told us about how she had a Book of Mormon, and every time she read it, she just felt like everything was all right and that she was being supported in everything. We jumped on that so fast and explained the Spirit and stuff, and it was awesome! Golden investigator right there! Apparently earlier that day she'd had a ton of homework she was working on, and she was wondering why the missionaries had stopped visiting her. At that very moment, we knocked on her door. Now THAT is what I call divine intervention. We even busted out the big guns in that first lesson: Baptismal invitation! And what's even better, she said yes! Our second lesson with her is tonight, and I'm super excited. I'll be sure to tell how it goes next week.
I want to thank everyone for your messages, love, support, and prayers. I may not have time to respond to all of them, but I assure you I do read them. I love this gospel and I love the Lord. I know that this is where the Lord needs me to be. When someone rejects our message, I only become sad for them because I know that they're missing out. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have something marvelous in the palms of our hands; a fountain of living water that will never run out. We have to decide whether or not we are going to share that endless water with those around us or let it spill out into a puddle on the floor. I know what I want to do with mine. What will you do with yours?
Iré y haré
Mom's Q and A with Elder Groesbeck:
1. Do you like your companion? I thought your first companion would be Hispanic?
A: Nope. He's as white as they come, and he’s awesome. His name is Elder Hixon, and as soon as he finishes training me, he goes home. I'm trying to keep him from dying early.
2. I am interested in your training schedule, the people you are teaching, your first Sunday in Mexico. Are you adjusting?
A : My training schedule is going to follow this program called "The first twelve weeks in the mission field," but we haven't had like any time to work on it just because of all of the stuff that is going on. We've spent a lot of the past week getting to know the area because we're both new to it. I feel like I'm adjusting pretty well; I haven't had any food shoot right through me yet. I also haven't really eaten anything strange, though. However, every single meal has consisted of tortillas and some kind of meet; si no hay tortillas, no es comida.
3. What City are you in? If you are in Pachuca, what part?
A: I'm in Pachuca, the Pachuca South Stake. I think you can look up the mission blog to find the address of the mission center where all of my mail will go for the next two years.
4. Do you feel your Spanish is Okay? I know you have a lot to learn, but are you understanding and communicating with the people? Give yourself six months to a year before you start to get discouraged. Remember most missionaries can speak very little Spanish when they go out into the field so you are already steps ahead of them.
A: My Spanish is extra okay. I'm slowly but surely learning more, and I know enough to be able to teach most of the lessons. There are just some vocabulary words and verb conjugations here and there that I don't quite know yet, but the main thing I'm working on is understanding people when they talk to me.
5. Do you have electricity?
A: Yes, I have electricity, but I have to turn on a water heater every morning to get hot water for the shower.
6. Will you be washing your clothes out of a bucket?
A: There are laundromats EVERYWHERE, so no.
7. Were you able to buy bedding or are you using your blankie?
A: My bed came with blankets that are actually quite warm, so I'm good there.
8. Dad can not remember the scripture you want for your plaque in the hall, can you tell me what it is?
A: You can put Mosiah 2:17 on there, but I've decided to make my missionary motto "Ire y hare" (I will go and do) with accents over the e's; I can't figure out how to do it on these Mexican keyboards...
9. We set it up so people can send you emails or messages directly from the blog, several people have written to you this way, have you received them?
A: Yeah, it would appear the blog is working for the messages.
10. Are you washing your hands after using the restroom? (I felt like I needed 10 questions, & see if you are paying attention)
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)