Mexico is pretty dang awesome. I can't even handle it sometimes. I probably shouldn't be saying this for the sake of my mother's sanity, but I've become oddly comfortable with cars passing by me at about 40 mph the other way and coming within a foot of my bike pedal. It just seems like the day is incomplete without one of those moments. They're driving, while utterly terrifying, is technically not unsafe...
My companion and I have also started to play the banana game with the cars that pass (every yellow car is a banana, bugs are 5, hummers are 10, and nice cars are 20; whoever has the most bananas at the end of the day wins). I've won every day so far. Maybe one day he can rise to my professional level of banana spotting, but we'll see.
Adventure of the week: Taco joint Friday. The family we were supposed to eat with on Friday forgot about us, so they gave us some money and we went searching. We found this little taco joint not too far from home and decided to try it. Holy flip, those were some good tacos! We noticed on the table a wide variety of sauces, one of which was the legendary jabanero sauce. I figured I needed to start my entrenemiento picante (spicy training), so I put a few drops on a taco. My mouth screamed in protest at the first bite, but I had to keep eating, despite the burning sensation deep within the bowels of my tongue. Eventually, the burn started fading away... And I was ready for round two. I loaded that taco with about twice as much jabanero sauce and started on it. I swear to crap, Satan flippin' sat his butt down on my tongue and farted fire into my mouth. I apologize for the vivid imagery, but it really can't be described any other way. My nose started running, and tears formed in my eyes, but I would not let them fall! I started licking limes afterwards to try to quell the tentacle of red hot rage that was my tongue. Ugh. Best taco ever. We're going back tomorrow for more action.
Investigator of the week: Mayte Arellano. Her family members are all really awesome investigators, but her mom has to work out some stuff with divorcing her husband and marrying/separating from her boyfriend (very common here in Mexico) before she can get baptised, and then the rest of her family will as well. Mayte, however, didn't want to wait for that. We've been working with her for the past few weeks (and the previous missionaries as well), and she was baptized this past Saturday, exactly on my one-month mark in the mission! And guess who she asked to do it. That's right, this guero right here. Aubrie will probably post the pictures I send of it as well.
Speaking of which, I'd like to give a shout out to Aubrie for making my blog look top-notch and ship-shape, or as the Mexicans say, "bien padre".
Not only are my Spanish skills growing every day, but my testimony is as well. One of my favorite lessons to teach (other than the Joseph Smith story) is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Chapter 3 Lesson 3 of Preach My Gospel). It lists the 5 steps we need to do to achieve eternal life as faith, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I prefer to think of it as 4 steps with enduring to the end as the repetition of those four. We always need to build upon our faith by reading the scriptures and praying and going to church and all that good stuff. We will always need to repent because it's unfortunately part of life to sin. Every week we are baptized again when we take the sacrament. And we must always rely on the power and promptings of the Holy Ghost in our life to be directed where to go. The constant and diligent repetition of these steps equates to enduring to the end. Sometimes it's not easy to do all of it, and the task can seem daunting or overwhelming, but these are the times when we must press forward. These are the times when it is most important to continue to endure to the end, and Christ is always there for us to lean on. If you can't do it alone on your feet, get on your knees, and you can do it with Christ. I love this gospel, I love this work, and above all, I love the Lord. I testify of it every single day out here, and I will never get tired of it.
Iré y haré
Q&A with Elder groesbeck
1. Did you take the picture at the MTC by the MAP while pointing to where you were serving? Aubrie would love a picture to post on your blog.
A: No, I didn't... dang, I totally should've done that...
2. Which ward are you in? How big is it? Are they friendly?Do they support the missionaries?
A: I'm in the Valle Dorado ward of the Pachuca South Stake.
3. Describe your apartment.
A: It's nice and cozy. We have a big living room at the door with our tables for studying and stuff and a kitchen attached. Then we have a little hallway with a set of unused bunk beds and two doors at either side. One is our bedroom and the other is a closet-ish looking room. I'll take pictures next week and send them to you.
4. What are some of the interesting foods you have been eating?
A: I haven't actually eaten anything crazy/weird yet... I'm getting worried...
5. What’s your favorite meal so far?
A: I absolutely love the tacos here; my companion and I found this taco joint the other day, which I'll explain more about in my blog email.
6. Do you have to do much cooking?
A: I cook breakfast and dinner every night; Lunch is the big meal of the day, and it's always at like 2 in the afternoon; it holds me over until 9:30 or so when we get to eat dinner.
7. What Spanish words have you learned this week that you have never heard before?
A: I'm constantly learning Spanish words; I can't keep track of all of them. One that I've been using is chido, which basically means cool.
8. Have you had the opportunity to play the piano?
A: Yeah, I got to play for a little bit of prelude yesterday.
9. Do the members feed the missionaries? What kind of food do members serve?
A: Yes; we get fed lunch every day, and it's awesome.
10. Have you heard much about the Temple reconstruction?
A: About when they think it will be finished? I'm gonna ask my mission president about the temple when we all have interviews with him this week or next week.
11. Have you learned the words to the song “La Cucaracha”? It’s a popular folk song in Mexico.
A: No. No I have not.
12. Do you play soccer with little kids in the street? .
A: I haven't played any soccer yet; I can't play soccer to save my life anyway.
13. If you could improve one thing about yourself as a missionary, what would it be?
A: Definitely my Spanish skills right now; still working out some of those bugs.
14. What do the locals call Americans living in Mexico?
A: They call us Gueros. What does Gueros mean? Gueros means white guys; there's supposed to be the two little dots above the u, but I don't know how to do that on this computer. Well, you are a white guy. Is it meant as an insult? No, it's not an insult; it's mostly the members that call us that to be funny.
15. Where do you use the internet?
A: I go to an internet café.
16. Is it expensive to use the internet?
A: It hardly costs anything at all; like a dollar for the hour and a half.
17. Does your mission have iPads?
A: Please, you think our mission is rich enough to get iPads and not have them stolen? IDK, I am not familiar with the area. Do the members or people in the area have cell phones or any electronics? Haha, Mom, this isn't the middle of Africa. Cell reception is a little spotty, but yes, everyone has a cell phone.
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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 :)