Monday, February 29, 2016

In which Tory attends her first baptism

Dear E´rebody,

So, Floriberto was babtized! On Saturday and confirmed on Sunday and all in all, it was a very stressfull experience. It wasn´t announced the sunday before so hardly anyone knew about it and there was a wedding the same day of the daughter of the ward missionary, hermano Tirenceo  who was the one who introduced us to Floriberto and was there for ALL of floriberto´s lessons so naturally we (hna. jimenez, floriberto and I) wanted him to come but we didn´t know if he could, and half the ward was at the wedding, the other half was at a talent show for the young men young womens and the font had about six inches of water left over from the baptism earlier that day and we didn´t have keys to get into the room where the boiler was to heat up the rest of the water to fill up the font and all in all it was sort of a disaster but hey, all´s well that ends well and Floriberto was baptized!

Really Floriberto has a really good sort of spirit about him (don´t laugh Pepe, I know you´re calling me a hippie right now). He´s really humble, teachable and always talks to us with the ´usted´form of spanish. In Spanish there are two forms of ´you´. Tú and Usted. Tú is used for people younger than you or family or friends or people you´re really close to. It´s a little less formal, and sometimes I think it´s a little almost....disrespectful, depending on the context. But Floriberto, even though he´s older than us and could have used Tú and it would have been fine always uses Usted. I dunno, I just thought that was kind of cool.

Also, we use the Tú form when praying which I also like. You talk to Heavenly Father like he´s someone you´re fimiliar with, like your father. If I could just use the tú form that would be helpful....

But, anyway.

We also had a zone conference this Friday which was super cool and basically took up the whole day but it was really awesome. We learned a lot about repentance and we did a funny activity where we wrote on a slip of paper what we wanted our companions to do right now, in front of everyone, and something we wanted them to do during the week. I wrote I wanted Hermana Jimenez to say ´Johnny Cash´because seriously, it kills me, every time she does, and to practice her English with me more in the night time and in the morning.

SHE wrote she wanted me to do a mariache shout and wash all the dishes this week. Que amable..
(And I do wash the dishes a lot, just fyi)
But in the end we had to switch, and had to do what I´d written and she had to do what she´d written so HA! All I had to do was say Johnny Cash and apparently speak more English with myself. I do both of those things on a regular basis so it´s no different for me.

Today was a zone activity and we once again played footbase. But only about twenty minutes because we didn´t have a ball for footbase, just an american football football, and a basket ball, and the hermanas can´t play those with the elders (obviously) so the elders played sports and we played Ninja, then laid in the shade and I actually had the chance to draw something for the first time in practically my whole mission so I was happy as a clam. Hermana Jimenez not so much. She wanted to do something which I totally understand but I was good with only twenty minutes of footbase and then pizza afterwords. Honestly, I think I´ve eaten more little ceasers pizza on my mission than any other time in my life, including when I lived in Ephraim and there was one about five blocks from my apartment. 

That´s all I´ve got! I´m in my twelth week of training and usually this would be my final week but because the other transfer cycle was a little whacky we´ve got two more weeks apart from this one in this transfer. I´m still freaked out for transfers, and I honestly hope I don´t leave Granjas this transfer. I´m gonna miss this ward, a lot. Good ol´ Farms mexico. (also I think the apartment I´m in is one of the nicest in the mission so I also don´t want to leave that).

Con Mucho Amor

Hermana Mills 

The pictures are of me and Hermana Jimenez with our district leaders Elder Santos and Elder Muños and Floriberto, the other is with us, Floriberto and Hermana Rosi.

Monday, February 22, 2016

In which Tory is too busy to bother....

So Tory was too busy to write her weekly letter this week, so here is a few snippets of what we pieced together.

It`s going to be basically eighty degrees this whole week and sunny. And it`s only february..... I`m gonna DIE this summer. Watch, next transfer I`m gonna get sent to Tehuacan. It`s another zone and it`s crazy hot there. The next transfer is in March, but I`ll most likely stay in Granjas and hermana Jimenez will go somewhere else, but who knows. Anything is possible. I could get sent to Neantechan, which is close to the volcano and really cold and I kind of want to go but they also feed you a lot and I don`t want to get fat. But apparently Cholula and Teahuacan both have lots of farms so I kind of want to got there too. I dunno. I`m freaked out for transfers. I don`t know anything about the other areas other than here and Vallsequio is basicallyl the same as here, and that Atlixco has a lot of flowers and everyone says it`s really beautiful but hermana jimenez said it was her worst area. but more for the ward than for the area itself so.....who knows. 

I dunno. I know that we are small in numbers. The meeting with elder oaks was all the missionaries from puebla south AND north and i don`t think there were more than two hundered of us. I´d say we`re about half and half. Half latins half americans. But talking with elder oaks was freaking AWESOME. He and his wife are the cutest and we got to shake hands. I`ll have pictures I think tomorrow but AHHHHHHHHHHHH IT WAS SO FREAKING COOL.

 Floriberto is still progressing and he wants to be baptized but....seriously he just doesn`t understand a lot. I think he`s too embarrassed to pray out loud. He does, buuuuut I dunno. hard to say. It isn`t as exciting as I thought, having someone with a baptismal date. Really, missionary work is a lot like...I dunno. An actual business. We have meetings and talk about goals and we had BAR GRAPHS the other day. And I have to dress sensibly all the time. Good thing I love the gospel. Also, I NEVER want to wear sensible shoes again. 

Ah, I´m gonna cry. I wanna eat a hotdog with her [Annabeth]. Although hotdogs are strangely popular in mexico. And the only way to eat a hotdog is in the mountains over a fire after you dropped it in the dirt. There`s a little girl who isn`t technically in my ward but Hermana Rosi, who helps us out ALL THE TIME babysits her all the time, named Monsi who is four or five, I don`t remember, but basically is the same age that annabeth will be when I get back and OH MY GOSH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. If I could i would kidnap her, but I can`t even let her sit on my lap so that`s a super bummer. But she does give me a kiss everytime she sees me, so thank you mexican culture for making that normal. She reminds me a lot of Annabeth. Both little phsycos.

I was talking to an investigator of ours, Aby, she`s thirteen and she is SHORT. Seriously, she comes up to my elbow. To `saludle`or kiss her cheek like we do here, I have to bow, like seriously bow, like I`m bowing to a king or something. 

So obviously, not much of this makes scene, we just cut out useful bits of information from the letters she sent to my mom myself and Tio Pepe. But to make up for it, I have some vidios she posted last week that I held onto for a day when she neglected us. (I didn't think I'd be using them this soon). But enjoy. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In which Tory passes up the super awesome chance to buy a dried armadillo

Happy Day after Valentines day in which all the american chocolate is still sadly expensive. But all is well. I am rationing my christmas chocolate carefully, and I still have some for rainy days. But right now the weather is perfect. A little hot around high noon, but after that, perfect. Which is kind of sucky because it´s only February...... It´s gonna be so hot this summer. Bleh.

but, this week was pretty great. On Tuesday, I had ´intercambios´or companion exchanges with....drumroll please.....HERMANA OLSEN!! The two Tori/y´s taking on Puebla! At first I was really REALLY nervous to go on interchanges with her because she´s only been here for one transfer longer than me (And she´s already sister trainer leader, poor thing) and so her spanish is better than mine but she´s no native, not to mention TWO ´gueras´in the streets means two times the heckling and cat calls. Bleh.  But it was super fun. She´s really great and knows what it´s like to be homesick, to not speak the language very well and to miss little things like Target and Animal style fries from in and out (She´s from california, and she was so happy when she realized I actually knew what she was talking about when she said animal fries) AND it was in my area so I had to find everything, but we only got lost once for a few minutes and it was just going left instead of right down the big ´main road´ in my area, and once I was trying to find a different less active family but turned down the wrong street and found another so all is well that ends well. But it was really REALLY great to talk to her, and we had a ton of fun (or I did anyway) and it felt a little bit like having a sleep over on the mission. And, she knows who Mumford & Sons are. So that was also a definite plus.

We had another stake conference thing because the stake presidincy was being changed so I met another two members of the seventy, and got to listen to them speak and President Stellmon and Hermana Stellmon too which was also a highlight of my week. They´re both really great, president and hermana stellmon. And Floriberto was able to come to stake conference! Hurrah! Also, he sells CDs down at the ´marcado´ (market) and he gave me and hermana jimenez both different CDs which I won´t be able to listen to for about fifteen more months but it was a very nice gesture. Also, I´m pretty sure they´re pirated. Don´t tell Jeff Hemming. 

But, Floriberto is the only investigator we have that is progressing really. Familia Velda seemed PERFECT when we were with the assistients to the presidents but now, the dad has a new job where he works sunday mornings. And they´ve been super busy and we didn´t get to contact them basically all of this week outside of a few messages and phone calls. So that´s great. 

But, other than that, all is well in Farms Mexico. I tried my first tamale this week, and that was pretty fantástico. And Hermana Jimenez and I went to the marcador this morning and it was super cool! It´s basically a GIANT warehouse where people have stalls, little tiendas (buildings within the giant building sometimes) and sell just about everything. Food, clothes, DVDs and CDs of a queastionable legal quality, dishes, flowers, shoes EVERYTHING. And fruit. A lot of fruit. I thought we might run into Floriberto but no, we didn´t see him. I love the marcado, but you can´t make eye contact with ANYONE in the stalls or it´s ´what are you looking for guerita? how can I help you? What do you want?´ We got free watermelon shoved in our faces and everyone was like ´señoritas señoritas, do you want to try this? solo 15 pesos por kilo, señorita, solo 15 pesos!´ I also so a dead, dried out armidillo and I really hope it wasn´t for sale, but seeing as it was hanging up with a bunch of other stuff I´m gonna say yes, yes it was. But hermana Jimenez was also grossed out by this so I´m hoping that this is an oddity. 

But that´s all I got, te amo a todos ye hasta luego!!!

I felt like a super tourist taking pictures in what is essentially walmart for them, but hey, i´m only gonna be on the mission once.

Monday, February 8, 2016

In which Tory and friend make dreams come true...

Well, familia Velda wasn`t in church again this week and the assistants to the president are breathing down our necks about them, which is totally understandable because they`re the ones that found them and taught them first, and honestly they`re being really nice about it but it`s not helping my anxiety levels.

However, we FINALLY have an investigator with a babtismal date. And unlike our last one, Aby, who is a minor and therefore needs permission from her dad (which he is unwilling to give, by the way) this one is an  adult. Floriberto is his name, and to be honest I can`t really understand him most of the time. He`s from a ranchero in Huachua  (spelling still is and will always be my enemy) and I didn`t understand this until later, but Hermana Jimenez explained this to me later, but he basically has the equivelent of an elementry school level of education. Also, he speaks some dialect or something other than spanish as well. So basically, we`re one in the same, Floriberto and I.
Just kidding, obviously he speaks way better spanish than me. Backward, hick spanish is better than whatever I`ve got going on.

 Also, he said that we looked fimiliar and that he saw us in a dream about three months ago, especially the `guera` or white girl. Because that`s basically what everyone calls me. In the stores and in the streets. Well, their not wrong.

But anyway, his babtism is schedualed for the twenty seventh of february. I just hope we can teach him in a way that he can understand. He`s very willing, but sometimes I think he just says yes he understands regardless of wethere or not he actually does. But he says he feels a lot better since we`ve been talking to him and teaching him. He feels `como un joven otra vez`. He feels young again.

I really like this ward a lot. There are some really great Hermanas here. Hermana Pipis, and Rosi are both RM`s (before it was cool to serve a mission) and always willing to help us with lessons, when they can (Which sadly is not often, or when we have members, suddenly all our investigators are very busy or not there.) and Hermana Paz, bless her SOUL. She always comes with us, and she told us the other day that she has some kind of foot problem or something that makes it painful to walk `pero, adelante, Hermanas!` which basically means onward. I freaking love Hermana Paz. She has a daughter who is about seventeen I think, who wants to serve a mission, and when she told us that I got ridiculously happy. Also, Andrea, hermana paz`s daughter, likes harry potter too and wants to serve her mission in seattle because of the climate so basically we`re sisters. Also, Hermana Paz`s favorite movie is Captian America. So I think it`s safe to say that I love her. Like, a lot.

Me and Hermana Jimenez want to make little treats for all the hermanas who help us out a lot for valentines day (they do celabrate it here, but hna jiemenez always just calls it the fourteenth of february not valantines day) and we also have plans to buy tres leches cake for ourselves on valentines. Just cuz we`re missionaries doesn`t mean we can`t have valentines. On sunday we have a lunch appointment with another great hermana, hermana Yolanda who is reallly funny too, and she asked us what we`d like to eat on sunday and hermana jimenez said `what ever you`d like.`and since it`s valentines and hna. Yolanda said `well I hope for lots of kisses and hugs`and then giggled and I dunno, retelling it isn`t as funny as it was in the moment. But trust me. It was funny. We were going to buy hersheys kisses for her for valentines, and for the other hermanas too but their freaking EXPENSIVE here in mexico, almost fourty pesos! Which....I don`t know how much that is in american money but probably not a lot. But we bought some pink and white marshmallows instead and we`re going to but them in little bags and cut out red lips for her kisses instead. 

I think that`s all that went down this week. Not too eventful, but we`re still working hard. Walking a ton. And laughing a ton too and all is well.

Oh! and on the twentieth, Elder Dallin H. Oaks is visiting our mission!!!!!!! 

That`s all. 


Hermana Mills

Monday, February 1, 2016

In which Tory responds to a proposal of marriage with confusion...(Which is kind of how I always thought that would go down.)

Dear everyone,

Sorry for the lack of decent news lately, but what can I say, it seems like not a lot goes on sometimes but do I have time for anything? No. Except for walking. I always have time for walking. All missionaries with a car, count your lucky stars. Seriously, Hank wasn´t joking when he said sometimes you feel like you´re working with a rock and a chistle down here. And I´m sure Mexico is better off than Hondurez.

Actually I´m really glad we don´t have a car. If I had to drive here I´d probably cry. I barely know where anything is when I can walk slow and read the street signs (when there ARE street signs). Also, with all this walking, my calves are gonna be out of this world. As long as I don´t break my ankle or something on the uneven sidewalk because I trip at least once a day. Thankfully, I have not actually landed in the gutter again though. 

Now, for the good news. We´ve been receving a ton of references from other missionaries, but everytime we do, they end up being in some other companionship´s area, and like I said, Juan Pablo isn´t in my area, so I can´t teach him, in English or in Spanish, but on Wendsday (I think, all the days sort of run together) we were heading to try and contact an investigator who just isn´t progressing at all after a long day with not a lot of lessons, and we were both down about a lot of stuff, not very good success and what not, when we got a phone call from the assitiants to the president. When we saw that that sort of struck fear into our souls because they only call when something is gonin´ down and so hermana jimenez answered, and i can barely understand people in person so on the phone it´s just, nope. Nope. That´s the only word I´ve got for that. 

So I can´t understand a word that´s going on but Hermana Jimenez starts doing a little dance and that alone was enough to lift my spirits because, la verdad? Fue bien chistoso. (It was really funny) and when I asked what was up she said the assistents had a reference for us, a family, FAmia Velda, and they all wanted to be babtizied. The Elder Burnett and Artega had already taught them lesson one but they wanted us to be there for lesson two, so we booked it down to ´colonia patrimonia´which is seriously at the opposite end of our area, but we caught a bus and then ran to the address, which lead us to a funeral home...So we waited for the Elders to show up, looked for some adresses from a list that the Elders Quoram president gave us, and avoided the guy who asked ´what are you looking for, amoroso?´which is basically lovely, or some other word like that, but thankfully, the Elders showed up very soon after that and showed us the adress a little further ahead of the funeral home, but they have the same number. The addresses here are WHACKED. We can never find anything. But all that aside, Familia Velda is GREAT. Aaaaannnnnndd THEY ARE IN OUR AREA! FINALLY! They said they want to learn a little more about the church before they accept a date, and they weren´t in church on sunday, but the elders sad they went two times to their ward so I think they just couldn´t find it. But another of our investigators, Floriberto, was in church and I was so happy, and Hermana Jimenez even more so. I think she gets a little more stressed than I realize, but last week, we had stake conference which was really good and me and hna jimenez met the area of the seventy who spoke there, Elder Lester F. Johnson. He was with the stake president and our bishop (who is seriously the greatest) visiting less active members. Stake Conference was basically all about keeping the sabbath day holy and it was really good. And today, our other investigator, Jose, called us and asked if we could teach him today, and hna jimenez says that hardly ever happens, so who knows what´s gonna go down with that but I think we really can get him to accept a date soon. And by us, I mean the Holy Ghost. The times where I´ve felt the best about lessons are the times when I don´t even remember what I said really or what went down. But things are good here in Granjas. We have a four really promising investigators, one of which is a whole family, so here´s to hoping I don´t mess it up. 

Also, I found a mug that is painted like a cow and it says milk on it andit brings much joy to my soul. Even though there is no normal milk here. It´s all boxed up and not refrigerated and weird. But I bought some chocolate milk that basically tastes like a frosty when it´s cold, and when it´s hot, it seriously tastes like Dad´s hot chocolate. Or maybe it´s just wishful thinking, but Dad I think you need to write the company Alpura and find out how they got a hold of your secret recipie, becuase the people of mexico are enjoying Bishop Mills´s hot chocolate. Or maybe i´m the only one who heats it up. Who knows. And, me and hermana jimenez have rice bags for our freezing toes in the morning so all is well on that front. 

What else happened this week. Eye of the Tiger is playing in the internet cafe so that´s also a bonus. And an old man in the street was very interested in my marital status, and asked if I´d take a pueblano back with me to the states. I was very confused but hermana himenez just hustled me on like she does when I´m lost and confused. She´s a good trainer.

That´s all I got this week. 


Hermana Mills

No pictures this week, so here is a bonus that my mom received from the other Tori's mom. 
Tory says she is tiered of having to slouch in photos, but she is at least half a foot taller than most of the sisters in her mission.