Thursday, May 14, 2009

The back of my convert, Julia's house

Anti-government graffiti in Jona. It says, "This is how the government treats the pueblo".

My first alacran I killed in the apartment. Alacran is just the name
of a scorpion that is pretty common in Mexico.

That phone call last night was nice, but it was kind of hard to hear everyone. I'm in Cuautla right now waiting for my new companion to arrive. I am currently on splits with two other gringos. The large mass of middle school girls getting out of school had fun seeing that. But everyone is pretty certain that my new companion will be a Mexican. It will definitely be a learning experience.
This week we found a family that just moved back to Mexico after living in Saint George, Utah for thirteen years. Their four kids are US citizens and the two oldest speak better English than Spanish. The mom joined the church a while a ago, but none of the kids or her husband joined. The whole family is way cool, and we hope to get them to come to church this Sunday.
I felt like I didn't get to answer some of the questions very well last night. So, you asked what are some of the main differences I notice. One thing, almost nobody owns a car, but almost everything you need is within walking distance. There is a little shop like every block, and a bigger stores in every neighborhood. And if you need to go farther to get something there is a bus or van or taxi that passes every 30 seconds. Another thing, there are animals everywhere. Almost every home owns a couple chickens or turkeys or a pig. Of course there are lots of dogs too, but I haven't ever had problems with the dogs here. Also, public drinking is something that just isn't seen too much in the states. Being a white guy, I can usually just pretend I don't understand and they will go away. Another thing I have noticed is that every single person here claims to be religious. The same guy that is passed out on the corner one day will claim to be the most devout christian when we knock on his door. If I think of more I will write later.Or if you have more questions I will try to remember to answer them.
I really enjoyed Clint's letter. It might have even been better than Dad's pirate story. Sorry, I don't have much else to say this week. It was a pretty typical week.But here are a couple photos.The first one is the back of my convert Julia's house. The other is anti-government graffiti in Jona. It says This is how the government treats the pueblo. The last one is my first alacran I killed in the apartment. Alacran is just the name of a scorpion that is pretty common in Mexico.Ok well I will be sure to write all about my new companion next week, and this time I won't have to be nervous that he's reading it because he won't understand it anyway.
Take care and good luck with the house and stuff.
Elder Hansen

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu May 4 2009

Elder Hansen's sick companion - it's the flu, but not swine flu

cbre bocas or mouth covers

Quarantined and a little stir crazy

Last week I didn't know much about the influenza thing, but that is all anyone talks about now. My companion has been sick for a while, and he was very sick just in time for the peak of paranoia here. Our landlords are also doctors and own a pharmacy. My companion went to the pharmacy to buy some medicine and was coughing a lot. Later in the night one of the doctors knocked on our door wearing a surgical mask. He started questioning my companion about his symptoms and then made him promise that he would go get checked at the health clinic. The next day we went to the clinic, and the doctor said he has the flu but not the swine flu. But because he was sick he would be more susceptible to the influenza thing. He ordered him to stay in the house for several days until he got better. The mission president then called him and said to stay in for two days. Two days later we went back out to work, but my companion was still really sick. We went to some member's house for something and she got way mad at us for being outside. We continued to work, but every person chastised us for working while sick. The mission president then called and said we should probably stay inside until he gets better. So, this week was pretty boring. I stayed inside almost the whole time. One can only read Jesus the Christ for so long before loosing it. For me, it was after about 20 pages. But I read every Liahona in the apartment. This includes the October conference issue. I read every talk including General Relief Society. After reading for several hours one day I was kind of going insane, and I built a fort in the bedroom. It was pretty sweet, but my companion is lame and wouldn't go in.

On Saturday I got to go on splits and actually work. It was great until I got back to the apartment and realized I didn't have my wallet. I have searched every inch of the apartment at least 50 times, but it's gone. I'm pretty sure I must have left it on the bus. Well, I lost my church credit card, but I didn't lose my personal card. The church card had zero money on it and has a very small credit limit. But in total I lost my driver's license, my temple recommend, 100 pesos, a pizza hut gift card, and a target gift card. I was pretty mad about losing all that, but oh well life goes on.
There have been some interesting theories being spread about this influenza. Some people think that it doesn't really exist and it's just made up by the politicians. Others believe Obama brought it when he came to Mexico. Some think it's a sign of the apocalypse.Sorry, I don't have too much to say. This week was boring. We are being careful about washing our hands and being clean and stuff.
I'm glad to hear people like the letters, but it would be nice to get some in return. This week it was only Dad. But last week I got five, so I guess it's ok. Also, some kids have been asking if I have any female cousins or friends. If Amanda or Allie want to practice their Spanish or help a Mexican kid learn English send me some email addresses.

Included is a picture of me and my companion with our cubre bocas (mouth covers), my diseased companion, and me doing Dad's napkin trick with a tortilla.

Next Sunday is Mother's Day and this is the number you can call to reach me 01-735-355-1054. Don't hang up if you hear someone talk in Spanish. It is the number of our neighbor's phone. Just say something and she will realize it's for one of the gringos. I will write later in the week to see what time you should call. You should buy a calling card so it's not so expensive. Ok well, take care and I will talk to you soon.

Elder Hansen