Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 15 2009

It is kind of sad to hear that you are officially out of Sugar Land, but Wisconsin sounds pretty nice. I could go for some Wisconsin weather right about now.
Today we had transfers, but nothing changed here. I am still in the same area with the same companion. I was a little disappointed. I was pretty positive that I was leaving, and I even started packing my bags on Wednesday. It is a pretty unusual situation. Apparently, President Gardner doesn't normally keep missionaries in one area for a long time, and he usually doesn't keep two missionaries together for more than one transfer. But I think he is testing me. Thursday we had interviews, and president gave me a lot of praise and said he saw great things in me. I was kind of surprised. He proceeded to give me a blessing and promised me many great things. I think he feels that this second change will show if I've got what it takes.
At first I was kind of kind of depressed to be in the same area again with the same difficult companion. But I've realized that my life here isn't too bad, and I have a lot to be grateful for. My apartment is way nice even though right now we can't afford to pay for gas to heat the shower. But I've become pretty used to the cold water. President says it is the nicest house in the mission. We don't have to wash our clothes by hand, and our neighbors give us gelatin almost every night. We get food every day, and I still haven't received anything too gross. The food is usually pretty good. Also, I get to spend the majority of the summer in a place where it isn't too hot and only rains at night time. Ok, it is really hot, but at least it's not humid. I will try to remain positive throughout this change and not allow my standards to fall.
This week I spent two days on divisions with another Elder. It was a great experience. We worked way hard and I learned a lot.
I don't have much else to say so I will answer some of Dad's questions from last week.
The town I live in isn't very big. The highway runs down the middle of it, and it maybe has a thousand people. Our area includes the main town of Jonacatapec and four other pueblos. One pueblo is within walking distance and the other three we have to hitch hike or take public transportation to get to them. We usually work in the main town, because we have found that it is very difficult to get people to church that live in distant pueblos and don't have cars. But we still have to travel out there to eat three days a week.
The town is pretty quiet and relaxed. I couldn't imagine being a kid here. There is absolutley no forms of entertainment other than a couple soccer fields. If anyone wants to do anything they go into the city 40 minutes away.
I'm not sure if there really is a nice or bad part of town. The nice houses are put right next to the little run down shacks. But if have a nice house that means you usually have a 20 foot wall surrounding the house. Usually the wall has barbed wire or broken glass bottles on top. We live in the only apartments in town. There are only six of them, and they are right along the highway which is really convenient.
There are dogs on the streets, but I've never had trouble with them. Occasionaly at people's houses dogs can get territorial, but if you pick up a rock they run away.
The food we receive is usually pretty good. I don't really like the candies with chili on them, but maybe in time I will. I do like the pork rind chips with chili and lemon. I also really love apple soda. I'm not sure why apple soda doesn't exist in the US. Also, there is so much fruit here. Mangos are delicious, but I still can't eat them with chili powder.
I don't think tourists come to Jona. Most people that live somewhat near the church are familiar with it, but it is kind of hidden. The church is just over a year old and is way nice. It is definitely the nicest building in town. The Catholic churches are hundreds of years old, but I bet their jealous of our soccer/basketball court and air conditioned building.
I received Clint and Grandma Hansen's letters. I always enjoy a good river story, and I am working on learning that scripture for you Grandma. And happy birthday to Clint.
I'm not sure if you can send cd's across the border, but it would be nice to have some more music. If you could make a copy of the best two years cd and maybe a kenneth cope or something would be nice.
I included pictures of me and President and Sister Gardner, our district in which I am the only white guy, and Esteban and Arnulfa's wedding/baptism party.
Take care.
Elder Hansen

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