Blisters on my toes, cockroaches and hard work increasing inner happiness.
Week of 18 Mayo, 2015
Pues, I survived my first week in the field. So far, it’s a lot more hard work than the CCM, which felt more like a summer camp. This is the real world. My trainer (a gringo with 9 months in the field) and I have been assigned to an open area, so we arrived on Tuesday night with no references, or investigator sheets, or anything. We’ve basically had to start from scratch. But the work here so far is rewarding. Saltillo is an interesting city, and we’ve walked all around our large area several times contacting and trying to get to know the gente here. I have blisters on my toes and my Florsheims have really taken a beating! But I got some new shoes today that I’ll use to walk the bumpy streets of the barrios. And for whatever reason, it’s decided to rain on us every day this past week. Like I thought I was going to a desert mission. Lol.
In reality, my first week has been pretty difficult. I never enjoy feeling like I know nothing, and I truly know nothing here! I feel like a little kid in the room who can’t understand what the adults are saying to each other. And the church members don’t like us using too much English because they think we’re talking about them. English isn’t the Lingua Franca that I thought it was. I think my companion and I are the only white people for miles. Everyone stares at us like that’s the case haha. Or maybe it’s the white shirts and ties.
We didn’t have electricity or hot water for the first several days, so that was an adventure haha. I would shiver under the cold trickle of a shower and think about how sweaty and dusty I’d get later the same day. But we had a ward member help us figure out the utilities situation. When the lights did come on, we realized just how many cockroaches were calling our house theirs! But I really can’t complain too much, because we have a pretty nice house and we have food and clothes on our backs.
I used to naively think that by the time I came on a mission, I’d suddenly have a superhuman desire to get work done. Now that I’m here, I realize how incorrect that is. I still feel like myself, just put in a new situation. Although I have enjoyed a greater attention span than I thought possible in myself. I now relax by reading the Book of Mormon, instead of seeing that as work.
The culture shock is very real–both the mission culture and the Mexican culture. But I enjoy both. I especially love listening to all the music on the streets. There is no lack of Gentile music in the Saltillo mission; the people here blast ranchera, pop, and mariachi from their houses and trucks. I really do enjoy walking around. Oh and the carne asada…
So while this week has been a challenge, I’ve been able to see God’s blessings in my life more clearly than ever before. I’ve always wondered why it is that doing hard work and turning outward increase one’s inward happiness. It’s certainly the case here in Saltillo, Mexico.
Oh yeah and packages are a go now. Obviously just for special occasions. But an elder could always appreciate a pretty new tie or something like that.