Para todos ustedes:
Well, this is me, ¡En México! It´s been a great experience so far. My mission president, Presidente Fuentes speaks very little English. When he first walked in to welcome us new elders, he apologized because his English wasn´t good, but was quick to add that our Spanish wasn´t too hot either. He laughed and promised us that if we were faithful that Spanish would come.
My trainer is Elder Javier, from Southern Mexico. I can´t remember exactly what city he´s from because he talks way too fast when I ask him. The name of the city is pretty long, but it has Azul and Cruz in the name... (anyone want to send me a dearelder to help me?) I met him late Friday night, and he has apparently been waiting for a companion as long as I had been waiting on my visa.
Anyway, so the Spanish I learned in the MTC amounts to very little more than just a small background here in the field. You pick up about half the words they say and you end up getting about half of the meaning that was intended. It is getting better, though. I´ve already been blessed to see the gift of tongues working in my life. First of all, people seem to understand me when I do start talking in Spanish, and in Church yesterday, I actually understood a lot of the talks that were given.
That being said, I still need your prayers because I can barely teach a thing in the language, and whenever I ask a question and they answer....I´m not even sure what they just said. Things are a little difficult right now, since Elder Javier and I are reopening an area called Plateros that had no missionaries in it since last transfer about two months ago, so we kind of have to start over from scratch. Yesterday we went through the entire area book and picked out a few investigators to begin teaching again. So we´ll start trying to contact those people.
I did teach a couple lessons on Saturday while on a split with the Zone Leader in his area. I was not able to teach much, but it felt good talking about the gospel...which is the only thing in Spanish that I feel remotely confident in speaking.
We also had dinner at the home of the Ward Mission leader of the Plateros Ward. His name is Hermano Zepeda and he served in Veracruz Mexico on his mission. It was great to hear that. I then asked him if he knew an Elder Jensen that served there. (Hermano Jensen is a teacher in the MTC that really helped our district the last week in the MTC.) I knew it was a long shot, since I had no idea how long it had been since either one of them served missions. So I was pleasantly surprised when Hermano Zepeda brightened and went on a stream of rapid Spanish about how good of an Elder he was (and that is about all I was able to pick out). So I felt pretty happy that I had been part of the conversation during dinner, and even happier that I was able to make that connection on my first meeting with the Ward Mission Leader in my first area.
Anyway, everything is cool here. The city is HUGE. It was a little daunting when I first saw it from the window of the airplane, but it´s all good. I like it, there are a lot of people to talk to....as soon as I can talk to them, that is. I was going to attach some photos of the MTC and also some of the city, but the USB cord isn´t working and the memory card isn´t registering on this computer, but I´ll probably get it to work on another computer next week, since I just helped Elder Javier do the same thing on his computer, and it worked fine there. But look forward to getting a whole bunch of MTC and DF pics next week!
Love you all and I´m so thankful for your prayers, they really have helped.
I've got to go now to a Zone meeting (which will include playing a little soccer!), so I guess I better go and start speaking Spanish, which will be all the harder now that I´ve been thinking solely in English this last half'-an-hour.
Elder Thomas Blackham