Quote of the Day

Remember this motto: I will give the last penny I have, the last crumb off my plate, and the shirt off my back to help anyone in need.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Reflection. Que aprendi? What did I learn?

Mexico changed my life. It was literally the best thing for me in my life as of right now. Last summer would have been too early, and next summer would have been to late, only this summer worked. I feel I am more prepared to start school in the fall. I feel I am more prepared to conquer life's trials ahead. I feel I am more prepared to served God and Christ. I feel I am more prepared to be a better person all around. Now do not get me wrong, I would not want to live anywhere else but here in my home in America, but I know that I will always have a second home down there, and always be surrounded brothers, sisters, and friends down there. Here are my reflections about the trip.
First, I figured out that I love food. Whenever I travel I always seem to love the food the most, and this time was no exception. I am surprised I did not gain 10 pounds, but I did not, still about the same. Everything from fresh hot tortillas, enchiladas, eggs, chile rellones, churros, pastel, pozole. You name in guacamole, chips. I forgot to tell about the last night in Mexico. We all went to Chapala again, except this time we got to eat the burritos because our cars never broke down. So we went to the burrito place, I got two burritos, both very very good. Then I had to say goodbye first because my flight was a day ealier than everyone elses. I was just crying in my friends arms, or my Mexican brother. Then I was crying in my American sisters arms, well my brother in laws sister, it was difficult to say goodbye because my heart had fallen in love with the Mexican people, and culture, and town I had spend the whole summer in. I loved the homes down there. I learned that you do not need lots of money and big homes to make you happy. These following things I learned that are the true things that makes one happy, well at least me happy. I am only one opinion.
First, God. God certainly lives. He is our Father in Heaven, He holds superior knowledge than any of us do. He has a plan for us. He wants us to return to Him and we only can through His sacred ordiances in God's holy temple. Second, that Christ is. He lives. Through his tender mercies, our lives can be made clean. If we ever had a pole with a nail through it, through him and can gain a new pole. There are so many times, I wanted to choose to be sad and unhappy, but I prayed on my knees and Christ softened my heart. There were so many habits of un patient, that could only have been changed through him, and softened my heart, it was beautiful. Third I learned about love. Love is one of the most powerful words in the world. And EVERYONE deserves to be loved with all of our heart, no matter who, every one is worth the time of day and loving. Build friendships and keep them, even with other nations. Fourth. Choice. You can choose to be happy or sad. I do not care how bad or horrible your situation appears to be or actually is, throuh the gospel of Jesus Christ and through a God in Heaven one can be happy. This earth life is to find joy. I encourage all to choose happiness. Remember God wants to give us all the He has, he wants to bless us abundetly, but he only can if we keep His commandments. But remember to be grateful for what you have. Always give thanks to God every day.
Now I did not need to be in Mexico to learn all this, but it sure helped. No advice changed my life. Christ changed my life, God changed my life. His hand is reaching down to all of us. Definately one of the best summers of my life so far. Te quiero Mexico. Hasta que Espana. Until Spain. Hasta luego, and Adios.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

El Fin

Well, my Mexico trip has ended. Actually it ended on Friday, and for those who follow my blog you can tell I am about two weeks behind. So here is a quick recap of probably what happened, as I can not remember day by day specifics. I know we went to do baptisms at the temple one more time, we saw the movie inception, I am sure we got churros at least 2 more times, we went dancing at least once, And we went to Nuevo Vallarta for about 4 days! Our hotel was called Villa Valladero. It sat right on the beach. We had all you can eat buffet and drinks, do not worry without alcholal of course. We went to church there in Puerta Vallarta. I think that church was probably the smallest church I have ever been to. I think with our 13 girls we probably tripled the Relief Society, but you could tell that thier testimonies were very strong for sure. The weather was stinkin hot, tons of humidity. I just sat there on the bus, and would sweat. I also had the opportunity to go scuba diving,my friend Ashely and I went to a place called Los Arcos. It was awesome. The guides and the master scuba divers were so nice and helpful, in fact the water was soo warm that we only needed to wear our swim suit with no wet suit. We saw a puffer fish, tons of colorful fish, an octopus, an eagle ray, an eel, and big coral. More tomorrow. Good night.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chapala y Mas Simple Por Favor Y Vida es para aprender

To start of my blog today I would just like to say a few things that I have learned about México. First off. Friendship is simple. Yesterday I was talking to my friend from México, and he could not understand why Americans make friendship such a complex thing. Why we always have to choose friends, why we ruin friendships over a thing so simple and so tiny, why family are ruined over things so simple. Everyone should be friends. Friendship is simple, do not exclude anyone. In life, although it is hard for me to conceptualize, but the truth is humanos never stop learning. Just when I think I have learned everything to make a friendship better, or a marriage happier, or be more patience, just when I think I have it figured all out, I realize I know nothing, Life is about learning and becoming a little better each day, but hey it is not eay.
It has been a while since I have written in my blog. A few updates. We officially have two weeks left. Only one more week left here in Guadalaraja and then one more week in Puerto Vallarta. Last Monday for El noche de hoger, I wanted to play futbal, that was the original plan, unfortunately it down poured completely. Instead we had to stay indoors and play the human knot game or other fun games to entertain ourselves. Then of course we went for food afterwards, I can not remember but I am sure that we did. Then on Tuesday, we had service at the ancillanos home. Melissa and I were late, once again because of the down pour of the rain. Infact, because of the downpour, Melissa and I had to remain under a tree and a building till the rain cleared up and the streets were not as badly flooded. Wednesday we did baptisms for the dead in the temple, there were about 40 youth there! Then afterward we went to the cine to watch una peli. I ate popcorn, the word for popcorn in español is palomites. We bought two types of popcorn. Acarmelades y mantequilla. ( carmel and butter) Then on Thursday, we went to the centro of Guadalajara. It was very impressive. Melissa and I went to a place called San Juan De Dios, this is a building that has 4 floors of jewerly! Then there is a place right next to it that is kind of dirty it is this brick building, that had ramps all the way up the top and it was just vender and vender stores practically on top of each other. We then met up with some of the other girls in the group, and we went to this restaurant called El Gordo. After wards we went to eat Churros!!! Except they were not as good as the filling ones, filled with chocolate, cajeta, and lechera ( consensed milk). On friday, we bought more churros and we went out to eat, after wards we went into town and just talked and hung out. Earlier on in the day on Friday we went to this town called Tonala. We saw two factories. First where they made dolls, muñecas, and the second one where they made blown glass. I bought three beautiful bowls for a very good price. At the end of my trip I can upload pictures for everyone. I ought to desribe the centro a little bit. First of all, there is a theature, and churches and a gondola looking thing in the center. Imangine and court yard, several actually with tons of people, either, dancing, selling candy for money, does not matter singing, throwing something, standing next to the foutain. There are shops to eat at on every corner, as well as stores every where. All types of stuff. And also tons of different types of people from different walks of life. I have seen people selling gum, fly swatters, umbrellas, roses, little candies, people at stops lights with a water bottle in there hand who will wash your window for money, a guy who will spit gasoline and fire out of his mouth then ask people for money. One I even saw. When the light turned red there was a mom with a baby of her shoulder and when all the cars would stop she would juggle with one hand, because she was holding her baby with the other, and juggle then go through the cars and ask for money.
On Saturday we went to Chapapla. Gorgeous. Some of the girls in my group and i went on a little boat ride out to an island, then we went shopping in the town. Chapala is this huge lake, in fact I think it is the biggest lake in all of México. Except it is very dirty, you can not really swim in it. So there are venders along the lake that we went to. Then we went to a tortilla factory and got to try some fresh tortillas. After that we went to a hotel to eat lunch and swam at the hotel for a couple of hours, it was so much fun. All of our group swimming and having a good time together. The pool over looked the lake. I need to work on a paper for school. This week we have a paper about our trip due, a presentation about a Mexican state, and a paper with it too and a final examen as well. Thank you to all. Hasta Mañana. As an update on my Spanish. It is becoming better, I know know how to say most things using correct grammar, and I can pick out when people are still making mistakes in Spanish, but my accent sounds not quite on the spot yet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lenguas, Estomago, and Piramidres

Here I am sitting in the library, thinking what I should write for myblog. Did you know that this campus here in Mèxico is 1000 square acres. Last Thursday we went dancing, and before we ate hotdogs. Here one can put tons of toppings on their hot dogs, I think I put cheese, guac, chips, beans, cream, and mayo. Dancing was way way crowded, but fun.

This last weekend we went to see a circular piramide called Guancanmontes, I think that s how it is spelled. They are very old. Even B.C. There were like rocks in a circle forming up into a piramide. These ancient people were actually quite intelligent, this pyramid representated the sun and the equinoic and 52 weeks in the year. Then afterwards we went to go eat at a restaurante called El Sol. I was full enough for two meals worth of food. I ate ham, I ate chicken, I ate beans, I ate guac, carne asada, lemonada, tortillas, shrimp soup, chips.
Cultural Tip of the Day: Be aware if the busses are super crowded you may get closer to people than you would like to be.
Real quick Friday: On friday we went to our friend Nidia`s house. She is our friend here from the church. She lived way across town and we got to eat the most wonderful tasteful thing in the world. I will be adding this to one of my other listing of interesting but quite good things to eat. We ate Guac, beans, tortillas, and Tongue and Stomach ( of a cow) I have to admit not have bad, much better than pig skin, and I have something new to add to my list of things I have tried that are extremely unusal. Then once again we had churros. It will probably be better if I leave out the numer of how many. After wards we went to this place called Teatro de Degaydo to see an opera. It was beautiful people of all ages. We had to dress up formal so our frien did our hair for us after dinner, my hair was straight. Back to the opera. My favorite part was when these three young girls climbed and hung off of these strips of curtain hanging from the cealing.
Real Quick Sunday: Probably one of the most beautiful days of my life so far. We had a wonderful missionary program. We went to this plaza called Plaza de Fundadores, right behind the place where the opera was located. The government gave the missionaries permission to have this spot for three hours. So our group presented a presentation the living Christ, it was all in Spanish, and during it the missionaries were able to go out and proselyate. It was cool to sing songs of the love of Christ and bear our testimonies of him and look out in the backround and see missionary proclaiming the gospel. I got a feeling that this gospel work is about building others help and helping others find Christ and loosing our lives for the sake of others having this beautiful message.
This is from my friend Anita`s blog. She is a girl on our trip. I have official decided that others can write more creative and interesting blogs than I can and por eso I am copying some of their perfect descriptions. So this is Anita`s description of Lucha Libre, which happened almost three weeks ago. She has it pretty right on the dot. I will not be going there ever again.

Dia 25: Lucha Libre

Well... I went to a Lucha Libre and all I can say is once is good enough. It was hilarious and disturbing all at the same time. Lucha libres are essentially like WWE. There are massive men wearing spandex and masks wrestling in a ring in the middle of the room. It's obviously planned and dramatized.They were smacking each other, doing flips, begging for mercy then attacking their opponents as they turn at the right moment. Super stupid. Anyways, as a group we went to one of the lucha libres for the weekly cultural activity. The beginning of the event I laughed and was pretty entertained. I made up nicknames for the wrestlers and they did silly little tricks around the ring. But then it got weird. They started t-bagging each other, ripping off pants, girls in little clothing came out with "round two" signs and jumped around for the crowd. Everyone started yelling SUPER interesting things at each other and to the wrestlers. Let's just say I learned a lot of colorful swear words. I was laughing the whole time but it was just awkward after an hour or so. Some things just should NOT be seen. And I felt bad for the poor skinny guy who got jumped on by a 350 lb monster! Oh and everyone who sat in the front row will have bruises tomorrow from the men falling out of the ring. Pretty insane night.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Los Churros son mi amor

Seriously, I think I have fallen in love with churros. Just for a fair warning, no one be surprised when I come back and I am much 15 pounds heavier. Although that is not going to happen, en serio, the churros were amazing. I got them filled them with Cajeta ( a type of carmel) and I filled them with chocolate also. Muy rica. Muy delisiosa. After wards we went out to dinner and I thought that it would be a good idea if I toned down on the meet a bit and for this reason I got a salad with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cucumbers, and avocados. Otra Vez. Muy rica. Muy delisiosa. At school we just finished up watching a movie called El estudiante. I would recommended it to anyone. Great great message. Just real quick I wanted to tell you some important things that my friend from the Mormon church here taught me.
First, four important qualities in a young lady. First, Love God. Second. Love others. Third. Be a loving person, and a very kind and caring person. Fourth, smile at the simplest things. And all the rest will come and fall into place.
And to close up, I have to go off of my friend Natalie´s blog. I like here how they have three distict ways to say I like slash I love someone, so this way you do not have to explain, the word itself will tell you. First me gusta, is if you have a crush on someone. Te quiero is between family members and good friends or a group of friends. And Te amo is only for your sweetheart or spouse, much more romatic. Well over and out. Te quiero.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Te Extraño

This is for the few people that I hope read my blog. I will try my best to keep everyone updated. México and the United States are very different, for sure. There are things that I will miss and some things that I will not miss. Let me tell you of a typical day.
Our school starts at 9 a.m. in the morning. Does not seem early right? Well Melissa and I usually do not get in till about mid night, cause we are out with the church kids, which means we usually do not get to bed around 1 in the morning. We have to start taking showers at night because we can not get up early enough. Our goal ( originally might I add) was to get up around 6 and run then come home, shower, and eat break feast and leave by 8.20. I think that we have done that 2 times this whole trip so far. So we are bad goal setters. Now we usually wake up around 7:50. Get ready in aout 30 minutes and go eat break feast. For us break feast usually motivates us to get out of bed. Then we start on the 30 minute walk to school. We usually talk in English, although Melissa is really good at talking in Spanish. We usually talk about how much we are going to miss it here, or funny memories from friends back home, or how we got along that morning and currently better understand each other. Then we arrive at school about 1 minute late.
I sit in class, and I love our teacher, but school is school, and it is summer, although I am very grateful to be here, about after the first hour of class it is time for a break, but we do not get a break until after 2 hours. Then the last hour is a conversation class.
After class we go and check our email, usually, the time varies on how long we stay. Then we walk home again, exhausted and tired for some reason. Then we take a little siesta. Probably about 3 hours, we are always so tired. Then we eat lunch, which is always very tasteful. And next we have options, Either service at the elderly care home, soccer, movies, eat, church choir program practice, dance, or eat, or eat. I seem to love to eat here. There are so many little tacos resaurants, super cheep, and very good. In fast yesterday we went to two. The first one we were at I got a light taco. With lettuce and meat in the inside. The waitress paid for my second one on the house!
So a little bit about our trip last weekend. We went to Zacatecas. It reminds you of a very European town. Cobble stone streets, skinny streets. Colorful sqaure houses sit in on the mountain house, typical image of México. But if was nice getting out of the city. My favorite part was the fresh air and the night time sky, beautiful beautiful view. We went on a Gandala across part of the city, like a sky lift type thing, and through a mine. A beautiful mine, the most beautiful I have ever seen. Deep creveses( I know I spelt that wrong). On Friday night we went and saw a little presentation about the Legends of the town. The town had some beautiful churches and cathedrals. Then after the legends thing we went to an out door concert. Really pretty, layed back, not loud, It was older men singing, and playing the guitar and harp, very very typical romatic Méxican music.
México runs on polycramatic time, where as in the U.S. we run on monocramtic time. It certainly is taking time to get used to. For U.S. every minute in the day counts. If we have a meeting or a party to be to we be there right on time. Fine minutes after is considered a little bit late. But here 30 minutes after is considered maybe right on time. People are really important and schedules have less of an influence. Both are good. And I know that relationships in the U.S. are really important too.
I will miss every one calling there spouses, and even their kids too, mi amor, mi vida, my life, my love. It is really cool to see parents calling that to their kids. Well I need to work on homework. Over and Out. Buenas Tardes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Por Fin

Okay, so I know it has been a while since I have written on my blog, so I will update it. I will try to go as far back as I can remember.
Last Wednesday night we went to a professional fútbol game. Atlas v Americas. We were rooting for Atlas.
First of, last weekend we went to Tonala and Tlaquepaque. We probably ate at the best Méxican restaurant in the whole entire world, seriously. We had fejitas and guacamole. MMmmhhh... At Tonala, there are a whole bunch of street vendors. I bought two Méxican looking cups and two beautiful painted bowls, of which the two bowls I accidently dropped the bag, and now they are in the trash. I was so close to home too! They were very cheap though so hopefully I can go back. Melissa and I bought some cds of a really popular Méxican artists. I love canciones de amor, always asking for them.
On Monday, I turned 19 years old!! I want to thank you for everyone who made my birthday very special and said happy birthday. It was a wonderful day. For my birthday my house mom made me Chile Rellenos. MUYYY RICO. After family home evening we went to Chapala. This lake about an hour away from where we are staying. Once we got there we walked around along side the lake. It was beautiful. Kinda reminds you of San Fransisco. They had palm trees along the water with lights wrapped around them. After wards we were going to go out for the best burritos in town, however, one of the cars broke down, hence, we needed to go home to the person driving the car could drive back and pick up more people.
Tuesday morning, Melissa and I had to do a presentation about a Méxican comida. We choose ate de membrillo with manchego cheese. It is like thick fruit leather ( more flavorfuly, and juicey) with cheese. We pretended we were on a cooking show and we were the host. It went over very very well.
Yesterday, we had quite the cultural experience. We went to a lucha libre. Anyone seen Nacho libre? well yea....I will probably one go once, and just said I have been to one in México, solely only for the experience. A bit of a unique environment. After wards, me and some friends in our group and one of our Méxican friends from the church went out for tacos. I got three tacos. My friend asked if I wanted to try some of his food. It looked appetizing, so I did. Turned out it was tongue, from a cow. Also turns out, tongue is not half bad very saboroso, very flavorful. But I of course provided the entertainment for the night at dinner table. I made a bet that if I ate three Chiles, then they would have to pay for my dinner, if I didnt I would have to pay for all of theres. So I cut up one chile in four slices, ate the first slice, already my lip and tongue burnt, end of bet. Good thing I did not shake on it. I ended up paying for only my dinner ( thanks goodness).
So a quick wrap up. I am beginning to appreciate this world more and the gospel. And the knowledge that I am a child of God. I would be lost. I of course miss my family and friends back home, a little bit in that home sick stage, but I know I also have a home here. The people here really give you all they have. I am sure my roomate and I will cry when we leave, but I am grateful to be going back. Here are just a few things that I have learned. The minimum salary here is 50 pesos a day, which translates to 5 dollars a day, not an hour, but per day. Also of about the 103 million people that live in México about half of that so about 50 million live below the poverty line. My heart goes out to those who stand on the streets just selling packets of gum, or belts, or umbrellas. But the people here are amazing and giving people.
School is going well. This weekend we are going to Zacatecas, and it is an over night trip! Which should be fun. Cant wait to see everyone soon. Love you all. Hasta mañana.
Aqui es su casa.