Wow, no puedo creer que esté in méxico!!! wait, sorry. I said that I cant believe that I am in mexico!!!!!!!!! Im sorry, Im definitely still in spanish mode. I might accidentally use a couple of spanish words, but Im not going to try to go back and fix them because all of the keyboards here are spanish. There are NO apostrophes and the shift key is way small. But anyways, this week has been brutal! Im not going to lie to you guys, I have had a really hard time this week. The first day was crazy, especially in the airport. The mission home that we stayed at wasnt what I was expecting. It was really compact, had 5 floors, and had graffiti all over and around it. It was good to meet my President, Morales, but its weird not being able to speak in english. The first day was a lot like the first day of a sports tryout, or practice. My mind was fresh and I was keeping up with the spanish pretty well, and then the next day happened; the day after the first practice when all your muscles are shot and you can barely keep up. I couldnt really follow much for the next couple days, I would get the first couple words, and then completely drown in the rest of the sentence. For a while, i was really just trying to keep my head above water.
I have never prayed more than I have this week. I have never been so sad or homesick to see my friends and family in my entire life, but I then would look to the Lord to comfort me. I can truly testify that the Lord will strengthen us, and will help us out of our trials and difficulties if we are willing to put our faith in him. I have already had moments here where I have been so scared by people, I just felt the entire spirit leave me. We have a certain investigator who scares the... nevermind. I dont really like talking about it. I might tell you guys about it someday, but not anytime really soon. It still freaks me out. but the first day was really hard. My companion, Elder Lugo, is from Tijuana, and he speaks spanish CRAZY FAST! For the first couple of days I couldnt really pick up anything of what he was saying, but I am starting to understand more. We went around to different people in the ward so I could meet people for the first day, and we gave lots of little mensajitos, como un small lesson. There are soooooooooo many menos activos in the ward its nuts. We have 40 less actives in our area, and there are 3 areas in our ward. And those 40 arent people, theyre families. We only have 1 or 2 investigators, and I havent met one of them. Michele is 14, and I feel I have really grown close to him since Ive got here. Elder Lugo is big into teaching lessons, but I have talked to michele at ward parties and stuff (yes, we have already had 2 fiestas, one of which, we were all wearing soccer jerseys over our shirts and ties with our ties out overtop of the jerseys, and we were singing "hero" by Enrique iglesias in both spanish and english at the pulpit in front of almost the entire ward, I definitely recorded it, and will show it to you guys some day) But anyways, michele is really worried about stuff, and I really think we need to stop worrying about lessons as much, and just really focus on the needs of the people here. The other weird thing... WE DO NOT TRACT!!!!!!!!!!! We are NOT ALLOWED to tract, only recieve referrals. It really kinda bugs me because I will want to talk to someone on the street, but I dont quite know enough spanish to just go up and talk, and my companion wont do it. It has been kinda hard.
The food. Ahhhh, yes. The food. 3 words: NOT MY FRIEND. Lets just say that my body wasnt designed for spice. However, we haved talked to the members, and they dont cook anything really spicy anymore, and I am slowly trying to build up to where I can eat all of the food, even if it is spicy. The other thing, we eat a HUGE 3 course meal everytime we go to the members homes. I literally am shoving down as much food as I can physically take, and then they bring out dessert. I have been having some stomach problems because we only eat at 6:30, 2, and then at 9:30. But Im surviving. You guys dont even know! Im going to come back from Mexico INDESTRUCTIBLE! I''ve had a pretty rough time so far, but it will be better! Oh, guess what?!?!? The first thing they told us when we got here "do not eat the street tacos" what did I do on the 3rd day? Ate a street taco... It didn't bug me, but I don't think that they are all that amazing. so I probably won't eat that much, even if the other elders give me A LOT OF CRAP.
We have hot water, which is nice, but we ran out of toilet paper on wednesday. PROBLEM! Mainly because thursday, we were eating lots of spicy food. Instead of a roll of toilet paper in our bathroom, we have a spiral bound notebook. yes. I think you can imagine the rest. We really need to go shopping today, both for food, and for cleaning supplies.
we have lots of incredible people in our ward, and I really think I needed to make it to sunday so that I could get out of my own head and start to really love the people. Im not a 100 percent comfortable with the language, so almost every other person asks me why im so serious all the time. Can you believe that?!?!?! ME!? SERIOUS!? So Ive decided to just dive into the deep end and act how I normally am, and if I happen to construct a response that happens to be incorrect due to my understanding, I will learn. But I realized, that if you are just going through the motions, you are developing, but you arent developing you, you are developing some person that really just makes you lame and you wont have success. Today is my first day trying it out, and so far, not too bad. It will get better.
Ok, now for the fun interesting stuff. We went to do service for Hermana Valencia. Her daughter and grandson live with her. The little boys name is "Angel". we were working out on the roof, fixing her clothes lines (they dont have dryers) and we were using nasty rusty nails and trying to hammer them into this cement building. OH, huge fact #1, this place is like build a block workshop. All these houses just have reebar sticking out, and if they want an addition, they go by the cement mix, and get to work. Its funny because we are going into houses that are literally concrete shacks with waves sheet tin for rooves, and they have an ENORMOUS stereos system, like 7500 watts (Thats huge!) and then an enormous 60" flat screen, brand new tv. I laugh each time I see it. But anyways, Angel. He's a little monster. His grandma gave him a little hammer to play with, and he was hitting everything (it was an actual metal hammer, but it was small). Finally, I was standing there holding a line while Lugo finished up, and I feel a little bit of pressure on my leg. I look down. Angel (4 years old) has got his hammer cocked clear back, and he is pressing a 3" long, rusty corroded nail lightly up against my thigh!!!!!!!!!!!! You can imagine how I responded. "ANGEL! No me pega!" Then he called me a word that he shouldnt have known. No body freak out. Im still fine. For now haha
Next cool thing. Tiangis! These things are like swap meets, only BETTER! they cut off an entire street, and they sell everything. They sell legitimate nice clothing, watches, shoes, bags, videos, EVERTHING, and it is dirt cheap! Everything is between 100 to 500 pesos. My companion has a calvin klein watch, and he bought it for 150 pesos (12 dollars). It is soo cool. I took 200 pesos today, but I didnt find anything I really wanted. But it was still really cool to be there. we go every pday. I was going to take a picture, but then I realized I didnt want to get robbed or stabbed, so I didnt. I might take a picture some day.
I have heard lots of music, most of which I cannot completely understand, but that doesnt matter. I can finally hear some music occasionally, and I LOVE IT! Its funny, cause all the spanish companions brought ipods with a buttload of american music, like songs they shouldnt have, and they will blast it, and sing along, but have no idea what they are saying!!!! haha Its funny, cause they refuse to listen to us because we are gringos :)
I pray everyday with more effort and pleading than I ever have before, and I know that the Lord is watching out for me, no matter how many problems I have have. I found one or my new FAVORITE SCRIPTURES! 2 NEFI 1:23! one word, "ARISE". I definitely use that scripture to help push me through the day. Sometimes, especially this week, I have had lots of moments where I have almost cried. And I have thought about all of you guys more than you could possibly imagine. Everyday I think about you guys, each and every one of you who is going to read this, and I just get more drive to go out there and change the lives. Sometimes life is hard, but, MOM, I want to say thank you, I had never really noticed your quote you wrote for me on the sticky note. It tells me "you can do hard things" I look at it every morning. And the pictures of you guys are all above my bed, along with the quotes I have, and a picture of the stripling warriors.
If you guys are reading this, I TRULY DO THINK ABOUT YOU EACH AND EVERYDAY, and I hope you guys know that I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO DEARLY, AND HOPE YOU ARE ALL DOING WELL. I appreciate the prayers, and I hope you know I receive great comfort from them. This truly is and incredible work, but at the same time, it is work. we have work for the things that are truly worth it, but I know that as we strive to push ourselves, and stay in that growth zone, we will be able to stand before God someday, and tell him that we truly did our best.
I LOVE YOU ALL again, and look forward to getting your emails every week. I apologize if I dont respond to all of your emails, but I dont have much time. please dont stop writing them. I love to read them. HAVE AN INCREDIFANTASTICAMAZING WEEK. (hope you could read that :))
Love, Elder Nathan Norr :)
Oh one more thing we taught this lady who is deaf, and speaks spanish sign language. Yes, there is spanish sign language too. i was asked to offer the opening prayer for our lesson, and I have the overwhelming prompt to bless her that she would again receive her hearing. I neglected to respond to that prompting, and did not pray for it. I wont avoid a prompting like that again. We receive promptings for a reason. Please dont ignore them. If we ignore them, we are possibly missing out on the opportunity to bless others, or ourselves. THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Hope you like my socks mom