Tuesday, August 4, 2015

In the Field!

Hermanas Houghton and Chavez
Dear everyone,

First day in the Mexico City East mission
with Presidente and Hermana Anaya

Here I am.  In Mexico!  It´s really weird, but also kind-of wonderful.  I´m serving with my new companion Hermana Chavez, and our area is Bosquez, Aragon.  It´s not too far from the temple and the Mission offices, which is really nice since we will be commuting there each morning (starting next Friday) for a few weeks to help with the open house.  I learned upon arrival that there are only 8 American sisters serving in the field right now, and two of them will be going home in a week-and-a-half.  In my mission, only Americanas serve in the field, and all of the Latina hermanas serve in the Visitor´s Center at the Temple.  That´s just fine except that a giant block of about 20 Americana hermanas left over the past two months, and now ALL of the Hermanas in the field have about 3 months or less.  And 4 more are coming in 3 months, so chances are high that I could be training someone then.  Woohoo!  Fortunately, my companion, Hermana Chavez grew up in Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish and English (she moved to the States when she was 12 and her family lives in Florida), and is a great blessing to me.

On my first day (yesterday) we had Comida (the big meal of the day which we usually have aroudn 3-4), an hour of our half-P-Day to unpack, and then we hit the streets and visited and taught 3 different people.  Okay, so I mostly listened and nodded at appropriate moments, while Hermana Chavez had conversations with people.  We did help one woman named Esperanza (hope in english) make a cake, which was fun.

In other news, my last bit of time at the CCM was wonderful, but bitter-sweet because I knew I was leaving.  My former companion, Hermana Glauser, as well as one of our roommates, Hermana Gantz, are both serving here with me, and the three of us are being trained by the three Americanas who just finished being trained.  We represent all of the Hermanas in the field for our mission right now (WOW).  Fortunately, they´re calling in 80+ reinforcements for the Casa Abierta (Open House) for the temple, which starts next week.  They´re coming from the Mexico City North(east or west) and South missions.

Other fun facts/things I have learned in the past 24 hours:
1-Cross walks, speed limits, lanes in roads, and bus stops are irrelevant (sorry Dad)
2-I need to learn Spanish
3-Never walk or take a bus home from the bank. (take a safe taxi from an established area/company)
4-I need to learn Spanish
5-You need to wash all produce in sanitized water before eating
6-I need to learn Spanish
7-At the grocery store, you leave all of your belongings at the front with a desk-person, and then there are armed guards roaming around, but it´s basically like walmart, with a better bakery section.
8-Most of the music I hear is either some form of Mariachi, or American 80´s (more on this as I gather more information)
9-Pass-along cards are my new best friends
10-Figs actually taste pretty good.
11-Mexican people are NOT the same as Americans.  They´re different in many ways, some good.

Okay, I love you all and I have P-Day again on Saturday (and then I won´t have it next week because of the Open House) so I will write more then.  Shout out to my good friend Kathy for getting a card here before I even arrived!  It made my day!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

The English translation of what (I think) Hermana Chavez/ caption to her photo was:
You welcome to Mexico and Houghton Gantz sisters who are very successful wherever they are 

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