First off, i want to thank ALL of you guys for writing me. Even though I really enjoy being here now, I still cry a little when I get all of your emails and I get to hear about how you are all doing. You guys are all such incredible people, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to know you guys! I truly do love you all, and think about you often, but not too often, cause I'm busy with stuff :P haha
but this week truly has been a lot of fun! I am getting to know the people a lot, and I don't even care if i can't understand some of the stuff they say. I just walk up and say "hola! Soy Gringo Norr", and usually they are nice enough to repeat themselves if I don't catch everything they say. Here's an interesting fact. WE DO NOT PLAY SOCCER. WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY SOCCER. but we still play every saturday with investigators and less actives because its the best way to fellowship them. The language is growing, but i have a really hard time understanding when people get really excited, especially my companion elder Lugo, because we will just go off, rambling at who knows how many mexican words per minute, but I truly do love the people, and look forward to seeing them everyday.
Tried my first street taco from one of our less active members Roberto (but we call him Hermano Mike) no idea why though. I had 2 tacos de some time of sausage (I think, I'm not really quite sure), and then I had one taco of, mom prepare yourself, COW INTESTINE!!! Oh Yeah! what do you know about that life?! Whats even better is that I got a really fatty part that was practically unchewable, so I was practically swallowing 3 inch long chunks of fatty cow intestine. It was good, but i think I like the "sausage". Also, while we were hanging out with Roberto, a HUGE group of probably 50 people walked by us, and a bunch of them were talking about robbing us... but they didn't. Then another guy walked by, and I swear he was going to rob us, but he didn't, he just flipped us off and walked away. It was really funny though because Roberto's taco shack (the REAL roberto's tacos) is in the middle of the casitas. It is a super dangerous part of our area that is ran by a drug cartel... but they like us too so we're good! But roberto was telling us that if that huge group of people had tried to rob or mug us, all he would have to do was whistle and we would see what would really go down. haha we have some CRAZY PEOPLE that we know, but Roberto is super chill, and gives us free tacos, so he's cool.
That ENORMOUS piece of pan that I have in my hand is a concha. It is practically a giant sweetbread thing with some type of sugar deliciousness all over it, and what's better... IT COST 10 PESOS (for those of you who don't know, that's approximately 80 cents in american money) They sell them out of a super sketch store that looks empty, and they run them out in waves and put them in a car to sell, and then run back inside; when they are all in the car, they dip (leave really quickly)! it's funny because we think it's illegal, but we don't care because they give us awesome bread for dirt cheap! :)
Oh, you guys probably want to know some information. It has rained EVERYDAY since I have been here, the temperature is never above 90 degrees, Im pretty sure my skin is almost darker than my companions, and sometimes the water is so deep, you can't even see the sidewalks. The deepest water I've stepped in was about a foot! it was practically a lake in the street, and I did't know how deep it was. We walk a lot, and Im not gonna lie, my legs are looking pretty good :D haha We also get around by these things called micros; they are literally stop, get on with 5 pesos, ring the bell to get off farther down the road, the driver won't stop all the way so you gotta make sure your feet are going, and gotta watch out for parked cars and mail things that you might jump into. Also, they have a BILLION bicitaxis. They are motorcycles with makeship carts attached to the back by little more than a large, unfastened screw, and they cruise. I have riden them a couple of times, but not too often.
From what I hear, I can get mail in about 2-3 weeks here, and about a month for packages. But, they do have to have international stamps. Also, just to make sure that no one at the post office decides to see what my lovely friends and family are sending me, it is also a good idea to draw or put pictures of a couple crosses, or a st. mary on the packages or letters.
Yes, we do have a ward, and it is in a chapel, and, again, Mom, you were right... Just a little fun fact. The people here cannot sing. I sang the bass part in a song the first week, and about everyone in the congregation gave me a look. So, I have now become the ward pianist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's actually really cool. I love being able to help out in a way that the people can always understand me. I have never wanted to play the piano SOOOOO BADLY in my entire life. It felt so amazing to sit down on the seat and play again.
This week, although lots of fun, has also had some upsets. We have had a lot of people that haven't been home when we stopped by to teach, and I want to help them sooo badly. Sometimes I'm not sure why they can't just be home, including members. I'll send a picture of the tacos I ate last night next week because Elder Walker has the picture on his camera.
It seems like the big thing I am hearing from people is that they are struggling; struggling to read especially and to find time to grow closer to God. The only advice I can give you guys... is read. pray. I know with all of my heart that you will be blessed, and even though sometimes it seems IMPOSSIBLE to read, especially when you are tired, read at least one verse. I promised our investigator michael, that if he would be willing to read one verse, ONE VERSE each night and pray, that he would be able to see his life changing, and I make the same promise to all of you. Please, don't starve yourselves of the blessings. I get this question a lot. Why tithing? I need that extra bit of money. Here's the answer. Can you do more with 90 percent of your money in addition to the blessings of God, or can you do more with 100 percent of your money. It's the exact same way for time. You will see yourself accomplishing SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more if you are willing to give a little bit of that time to God each day to read, to pray. I definitely know this church is true, and I know the blessings that we can receive are far great than any of us can possibly imagine. I love the joy that this Gospel brings to us and the people we know. We will always have challenges, temptations, but if we are focused on the right things, we will always, ALWAYS be able to overcome them and press on in this life.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH, AND I HOPE THE BEST FOR YOU! I've already had some struggles, but you will all be glad to know that we bought more toilet paper this week, and I think I'm getting fat! :) Hope you all have a great week! I look forward to your emails each week, and again. I'm sorry if I can't respond to most of them. I really do try!
Love Elder Norr (really, please do :)