I don´t think I have ever worked harder or played harder in my entire life. I completely fell in love with Mexico and its traditions and people and you could not have payed me to come home this week.
Mexico for the win.
Funny how in all of my emails this week almost ALL of you said I hope you survived Day of the Dead haha but let me tell ya, I didn´t just survive it but I lived it and partied it up...
as much as a missionary can party anything up ha
But from the beginning of the week: Halloween in Mexico is super awesome because it literally lasts for a week. Kids go trick or treating every single night for the entire week leading up to the 31st of Octoboer.
And the funniest thing?? They are all dressed up as Catrinas or Catrinos which are skeletons. So every single night this week when we would be walking around at night there were thousands of little skeletons running around with their parents who also had their faces painted like skeletons and who were wearing the traditional costumes and black veils.
It was so awesome. And remember how I can barely handle how cute these Mexican kids are? Dress them up in little skeleton outfits and I am dyinggg.
But anyways the night of Halloween we went to our chapel where they were holding a single adult dance and so we helped set up decorations and paint faces and strighten hair and help with costumes and then sadly we had to peace out and head back home.
In bed by..... thats the missionary life for ya. Party on.
Alright so that was Halloween cool cool. But Day of the Dead? Unreal. Like so so unreal.
First of all, Day of the Dead is a Catholic tradition so none of our members celebrated it but every one else in Puebla sure does. Day of the Dead is on November 1 and 2 and basically its to honor the dead, and greet their presence in your home, and give them food and things that they like.
On every corner of the street this week were huge bushels of bright orange flowers and what you do is you buy the flowers, pluck the petals off and sprinkle them in a path leading up to your front door in hopes of leading the dead to your house. Then you have a alter with candles and food and beer and anything else the dead person liked. The cemetaries were also filled with tables standing over the grave with food and music and things like that.
We got invited to a fiesta for Day of the Dead celebration from our investigator Rosario and so of course we went. She also invited her entire family which freaked us out cause we know they dont like us very much but it went super smoothly. Her entire house was decorated, we ate all of the traditional food (i literally gained back triple the weight I lost with the parasite) and the coolest thing? We played dominos and cards and other games from my childhood. And to finish off the night? Traditional singing, dancing, cake and watching the America vs. Mexico futbol game.
Seriously I was in Heaven and I felt like I was at home. We ate, relaxed and just had a great time. I might not be celebrating Thanksgiving this year with all of my family but I celebrated Day of the Dead and it was just as good.
We had to be in our house superrr early those 3 nights though. Since it is Day of the Dead, people really do call upon Spirits and as we all know, not all spirits are good spirits. We had to be in our house bywhich was good because even as early as 8 people were doing these weird chants in the streets calling upon the dead and all sorts of crazy stuff.
After all of the horror stories I have heard from members and my companion about spirits and day of the dead, I was pretty relieved to be in my little ghetto Mexican house where the Holy Ghost is the only spirit present.
Anyways this week was a party. party. party. But we also worked our butts off this week. We have a total of 12 investigators and I am in love with every single one of them.
I also got to teach about the first vision 3 times this week (which is my favorite lesson) and its cool because I always see miracles with this lesson.
The miracle of this week?
So we are in the chapel teaching a 19 year old girl Daniella. We were trying to watch the first vision movie but for some stupid reason there were constructions workers working on the plumbing and cleaning out the pipes and there were about 5 different machines going on in different parts of the chapel.
Well the movie wasn´t going to well. We couldn´t hear anything well and the noise was distracting and I just wanted soooo badly for her to feel the spirit.
And so I prayed. I told God that I didn´t need a big miracle and I didn´t need a sign to know that he was there because I already know that for a fact. But I asked him to help Daniella feel the spirit. And then I asked him to somehow stop the noise.
And do you know what happened? The second Joseph Smith knelt down in that grove to pray, one by one every single one of those machines stopped until it was completely silent when God spoke and presented his son Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith.
And then after the vision and Joseph runs back to his home every single one of those machines started back up again.
But for the most important part it was silent. And I was just trying to hold back my tears. Yes, I didn´t see God the Father or his Son like Joseph saw but the answer to my prayer wasn´t any less real than his.
And Daniella felt something different for the first time in her life.
That is why I love being a missionary. Sometimes I wish I could share what I feel with others or give my spiritual experiences to those that need it more in their lives but I guess that is just one tender mercy that God gives to his missionaries. The blessing of being able to see God actively work his miracles on a daily, minute to minute basis. The blesing of being able to feel the spirit every second throughout the day. And the blessing of laying down to bed at night and knowing without a doubt that there is a God who knows and loves us and that he has a perfect plan for each of us.
And I felt just that so many times this week. Our investigators are struggling. Some barely have enough food to eat. Others are having problems with their families. But I am lucky enough to help them receive something of greater significance with plenty of peace, comfort and joy to go around.
Gahh being a missionary is awesome. I don´t want this transfer to end. My comp is unreal. By far my favorite comp in my mission. Our elders are awesome. We had our own halloween party and it was the craziest thing I have ever seen. I got a flu shot and nothing bad happened. For p-day we played tourist and went on a tourist bus and saw the entire city. I have eaten soooo many good sweets this week. And I am just having fun and enjoying being in Mexico with these people.
Being a missionary is cool. You should all try it. ha.
Hope everyone is doing good. Love and miss you all!