Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 40 - Spinal-Tapa


Well, another good week this week.  This Thursday we had a meeting with our Mission President which was pretty awesome. He´s a funny funny dude.  Dad, I saw Elder Peterson in the conference, he is serving in Ciudad Higaldo, the southernmost city in Mexico.  He seems to be doing well.  Be sure to tell his dad that we met.

Well, I don´t have too much exciting stuff to report.  Unfortunately Iveth didn´t get baptized this week, but she´s got a date for this Saturday, and her sister is working on getting married so she can get baptized too.  Good stuff. 

I´ve got a new homework assignment for you guys.  I´m about 99.999 percent certain there won´t be a street view, but look up Lumijá on Google Maps.  Its my favorite part of the area.  Its seriously soo poor.  We don´t even ask for water there, because they just have no money.  Its awesome haha! 

There actually is a labor day here, its May 1st.  Basically everybody just blocks all the streets and complains that they don´t make enough money.  Its good fun :) haha. 

Mom - You gotta love the last minute sacrament special musical numbers haha.  I can assure you that if you were to perform it here the people would be in shock and awe.  Good music doesn´t exist here.  My companion and I were asked to teach in elder´s quorum about the temple with a solid 16 seconds of notice.  It went pretty well I think, but who knows!  My birthday is indeed coming up, but I don´t really need anything. ummm, well, beef jerky is really good, and they don´t have it here.  But other than that nothing.  ohh! wait!  Peanut butter too! haha.  I love you mom!  Have a killer week and enjoy your anniversary!

Dad - It´s good to hear you haven´t sold the M5 haha.  Your sentence, ´´Not entirely sure I did not break anything, we shall see´´ made me crack up.  haha.  I also laughed out loud when you said you were going to teach Andee the legend of Arrowhet haha.  Don´t forget about the tail of the dragon. There are relatively few things I miss as a missionary, but one of them is Williamson Brothers BBQ.  Be sure to live it up.  How are the Braves doing?

Tell us about your strategy for the sweat rag.

haha I have many.  Our freezer is relatively worthless, but produces an impressive amount of frost so sometimes I cover it with frost and then wipe my face.  Sometimes I soak it in water so it cools me off a bit more.  And sometimes I forget it in the house and use my sleeve instead haha. 

How often do you speak your Mother Tongue?

Almost never.  I help my companion learn English in the morning, and other than that its purely Spanish.   Ohh and sometimes I talk to drunk people in English just to mess with them haha. 

What kind of stuff do you talk to your companion about, other than Missionary stuff?
haha, I´m glad you asked because I have a funny story.  My companion had a recent convert in his last ward that says the funniest stuff ever. (things that Roy would call dodgy doctrine - but if we´re honest its just straight up apostasy haha)  For example, he said since Jesus Christ is both the father and the son that makes God the Father his grandpa, and that faith is a substance that flows between people, and he also complained that the bishop still hasn´t paid him for his service as ward secretary haha.  So pretty much we just talk about him between lessons.  Haha well not always.  We talk about sports, school, English, Spanish, pretty much everything.

What is the best thing you have done on P-day in the last two transfers?

Our Pdays are pretty boring to be honest because we take about 4 hours washing clothes.  I never want to hand wash clothes again in my life!  haha. Its all good though.  Seriously though all we do is write our family, buy food, wash clothes, and then we run out of time. 

What is the store OXXO?  I am guessing a drug store type of thing?

OXXO is a c-store.  There are more of them than there are Mormon chapels in Utah.  Its ridiculous.  My companion said its because the owner of the store is the son of a former president of Mexico, and there was some shady business that got it to be so big.

Have a great week dad, I love you!

Kel - I love you - thanks for the email, unfortunately I can´t write you back. But I´m going to send you a few letters next week I think. I hope you have a great week!

Well,I guess thats all for this week. I love you guys. Talk to you later


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week 39 - :) Hey Fam

Life is better than ever here in Tapachula.  Its always a joy to read your emails and hear from you guys.  Thanks.  This week was totally fantastic! We have so many great investigators and I´m just loving life.  We are hoping to baptize a young woman named Iveth this week but we'll need a bit of luck...haha she´s already 8.75 months pregnant.  We are going to try to baptize her tomorrow and beat the baby to the punch.  We´ll see how it goes :)

Dad asked for a story from one of our investigators, so here we go.  About 2 months ago the Bishop introduced us to a part member family.  The mom and dad are named Irma and Joaquín, and they have 4 kids.  2 of the kids are already baptized, one is 6 years old, and the other has some addiction problems.  The parents aren´t baptized because Joaquín was married but never divorced, and Irma is from Guatemala  (Pretty much the hardest situation ever - divorce yourself from a woman you haven´t seen in 20 years that lives in Baja, California, and get married to a foreigner).  Anyway, we went to visit them, got them excited, and reactivated the family.  They are working on finding a solution so they can get married, and they gave us a referral - the Sitalán Family.  The Sitalán family has been listening to us and progressing like crazy.  (Iveth is one of the children) and we will hopefully be able to baptize Iveth, Karla, her husband, the two parents, another daughter named Ivon, and her boyfriend, and his brother...Brethren, pray for us!  :)  Life is awesome!

Well I´ll get on to responding to your emails :)

Dad : Your comment about infuriating mom had me lshidmtamsfo. In case you're not familiar with that abbreviation it means: laughing so hard I dropped my taco and my sombrero fell off. (Haha thanks for that one Roy).  I´m looking forward to seeing The Great Gatsby in the not too distant but still pretty far away future (as Mikele would call it).  For some reason I thought about ´´Out Where the Buses Don´t Run´´ this morning.  Funny that you would mention Miami Vice.  What an awesome show.  Be sure to bask in the glory of Bushido for me haha.  

Here is something you may get a kick out of. I watched a 15 minute video on YouTube of a camera on a car's dashboard filming a drive around downtown Tapachula. Not real exciting, but I saw some Collectivos. White vans that say a bunch of stuff on them, but say Collectivo on the bottom of the back hatch. Right?

That is exactly how the combi´s are. The ones in Tuxtla are a tiny bit funnier because they have stuff written all over the windshield and you can hardly see anything.  Its kinda like Talladega Nights when Ricky Bobby puts the Fig Newtons sponsor on his windshield haha. 

"This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient, but I do love Fig Newtons"
Ricky Bobby
1.  How do you pay for Collectivos?  Cash? Card?
We pay for collectivos with cash and coin.  Its six pesos per person.  And the drivers get really ticked when you hand them a 200 peso bill to pay haha.  One of these days I´ll see what happens when you hand them a 500 peso bill haha. 
2.  What is your status with ties?  Trading with other missionaries?  Got enough?
As for ties, I´m all set.  I´ve only traded one, its hard for me to let mine go.  I also got 2 ties as a gift from a returned missionary in my ward. 

3.  I was at a Priesthood social tonight and one of the speakers talked about managing his money while on his mission but also getting some favorite food, his was this chocolate tart type of thing in Spain. Do you have anything like that in Chiapas?  Any treats? 
I´m pretty cheap, but occasionally I´ll buy myself a piece of sweet bread, or a package of cookies.  I don´t really have a favorite thing though, but that's probably due to the rule that we can´t buy food in the street.  

4.  Do you ever get to downtown Tapachula?  I have watched some YouTube videos. It looks sort of interesting.
Today I´ll go downtown (we go about every other Monday).  Its really pretty cool.  I´ve changed a bit in that respect.  I think I would really enjoy St. George Street or Key West after having been here.  I really enjoy interacting with people and the weirder the better haha.  

5.  What is your address?
I don´t think I have an address.  haha.  If you're willing to search a bit on Google Maps, look up the church building for Vista Hermosa, Tapachula. Go 3 blocks along the 20 De Noviembre Street, turn left, and my house is the pink one to the right of the intersection on the far side.  (Probably doesn´t make sense, but if you pray hard you might find it haha).  Thanks for your update. Hope that all goes well with Quest (though to be honest I´m not really sure what that is) and have a great week!

Roy - Keep on rocking on 2.5 hours of sleep.  Good to hear that you are enjoying  (for the most part) the MCL.  I´ve found that economics explains the condition of my surroundings perfectly.  Its pretty cool.  Haha and sometimes I realize that I´m only serving a mission because I have nothing better to do (its the lowest cost), but then again, there is nothing better in all the world than the best 2 years :)

Mom -  (I hope you’re wondering about the title of my email.  Yesterday in relief society Emily Lee’s mom taught the lesson.  She was talking about her son Niles, and how he is a really funny kid.  Apparently there are a lot of made up words in the Lee household, and Niles is responsible for many of them.  So he tells her he has a great idea for something for him to do.  She thinks about it, and decides it ISN'T a great idea, and he won’t be doing it.  He says, “Mom, stop speculacizing me”  She tells him that isn't a word.  He says she is speculating and criticizing him.   And thus we see the creation of a fabulous new word...Speculacizing.  Feel free to use this word....JUST DON’T DO IT.)
Haha its always good to make up words. I find myself doing that from time to time while teaching lessons haha.  Unfortunately, I only saw the Sunday morning session of the conference and they haven´t given us the Liahona yet, so I´m still pretty ignorant with regards to this conference (and with regard to most things for that matter haha)  But I really liked Elder Perry´s talk - Obedience to the Law is Freedom.  I got a stack of 11 dear elders haha.  Everyone in my zone was pretty jealous.  haha.  Thanks for sending me Kel´s emails!  Love you mom!

Andee! - you are the best.  I cracked up when I read the Nacho Libre quote. haha - its just so accurate!  hahaha.  Thanks for the awesome quote. In Spanish its 6 words that launched it all, 
´´Éste es mi hijo amado, ¡Escúchalo!´´
(This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him!)
 I know we will be blessed if we do exactly what our Heaven Father told us to do, 
´´hear him´´.

Mikele - Hope things are rocking on in Chile.  You´ll have a letter coming your way soon.  I love you! 

When I signed on today, I found out Francis Monson died.  Be sure to pray for President  Monson...the world's hardest job just got a lot harder.

Welp, that about wraps it up.  I hope you all have a fantastic week! fI all else fails, listen to the wise words from Señor Ramon in Nacho Libre´´Orphans, smile and be happy´´ haha.  Love you all.

Hasta Lunes,

Elder Roth

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week 38 - My life be like ooh ahh, ooh

Its was great to talk to you guys on Saturday, its good to see that the world isn´t so different back in the US of A: Dad still says ridiculously funny stuff without cracking a smile, Mom still makes it look easy to carry out 7000 different assignments, Roy is still a Delk, and for some reason still unknown to me Andee loves him.  haha  Life is good.
Things are fantastic here in Tapachula.  I am glad to hear you enjoy my commentary on my surroundings, but I hope you know how much I love this place.  Its my holy land.  Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I was serving in the England London South Mission.  Certainly different, but in every meaningful way, exactly the same.  There is just nothing like being a missionary.  I just can´t explain to you how happy I am to be here.
As always I appreciate your emails, I always look forward to hearing from you guys.
Dad - I can´t believe Boo didn´t win! Who´s this Tiger guy anyway haha.  I´m disappointed but not surprised to hear that Lance Armstrong used steroids.   What a shame.  hahaha - typical experiences with stray dogs... Most of them just bark at me, but sometimes they start to attack.  I usually walk with a rock in my hand to peg them if if they attack.  I probably don´t follow Cesar´s guidelines, but I haven´t been bitten yet, and if it ain´t broke don´t fix it. 
Yeah, I have enough money.  They give us 1300 pesos every month and I usually finish it off in the last week.  Stuff here is pretty cheap so its not hard to get by.
haha I can´t say that I feel particularly safe in a combi, but I don´t really worry about it.  I would be pretty terrified to drive here.  They are so crazy haha.  But I don´t have to worry about that anytime soon haha.

a Collectivo - AKA a Combi
Language goals...umm well I want to develop my accent a bit more.  There will always be some words I´m not familiar with, so I write them down and try to learn them.  I read general conference talks in Spanish to get an idea of how to really dominate the language.  And other than that, I try to talk with everyone as if Spanish was my first language.
Congratulations to Joey Tanner!  And of course I read The Great Gatsby -  that book rocks! I´ve learned some great lessons here.  One of them is that money has nothing to do with happiness.  And you hit the nail of the head.  Life is different here, but people are exactly the same.
Mom - Haha I could have told you that Florida doesn´t have the best weather 11 years ago haha.  Luckily though you have air conditioning. :)  As for scripture study epiphanies...well i read something cool yesterday.  Its from a talk that Gordon B Hinckley gave to missionaries in England in 1995.  He said, "You may ask yourself at the end of each day what you have accomplished".  He went on to explain that when he served his mission in England there were no stakes and no wards just 16 districts with a bunch of tiny branches.  At the time he gave his talk there were several missions and countless wards.  Obviously the missionaries had accomplished something even though at the end of each day they might have seen no difference. That's life for you.  I also love his father´s quote.   
Forget yourself and go to work.  
Its taped to the wall next to my desk.  I try to live that quote to its fullest meaning everyday.
You heard the Mexican in my voice!? really!?  Thats awesome!  There are definitely a few good phrases I´ll be taking home with me.  A su mecha, eso, etc.
Steph - Tyler turns 4 this week!!!  What???  No way!!  How long have I been here?  haha.  I´m loving that picture of him with the skates on, it has a striking resemblance to a picture of me taken long ago.  good times haha. 
PS. the X5 is brilliant!
Andee - Good luck with the Spanish!  If you work hard we can watch telenovelas together when I come home haha.  Keep on rocking!  PS I have some homework for you: send me the quote from Nacho Libre when the monk is introducing the new sister.  The ladies´ sisters ... mountain of Guadalupe haha.  It cracks me up, but I can´t remember everything he said.
Well have a splendid week.  I´ll be sure to do the same.  Happy Birthdays to Roy and Tyler.  Be sure to share the gospel, its fun!  hahaha  I´m not sure if I already wrote this but one time in a lesson I was tempted to used a line from Roy´s Macro econ teacher, ¨[being a missionary] is fun, its easy, and it can be romantic¨ hahaha.  Luckily I found the strength to withstand.
Welp, have fun, be good, read your scriptures, remember who you are, wear your armor, catch the spirit, be excellent to each other, and party on dude!
Con Amor,
Elder Clark Roth :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 37 - Sed De Buen Animo (Be Of Good Cheer)

Well another fantastic week in Mexico has come to its close.  To fill you in on the transfer calls from last week, my new companion is named Elder Salgado.  He is from Guerrero Mexico and before he came to this area he was in Panteló, speaking Tzo Tzil.  He is so awesome!  Far and away my favorite companion so far.  We are living the good life.

I´m really excited to get to talk to you guys this week.  We are planning to call Saturday evening around 7 o'clock our time.  We should be able to Skype, but be prepared for anything.  haha.  I´m seriously loving life and can´t wait to tell you guys how awesome it is being in the best mission in the world.  Also be sure to ask for an impersonation of my Bishop's voice because it is hilarious. haha.

Congratulations to Tanner and thanks for the picture of the Orlando temple.  I have fond memories of the Thursdays I spent there.  Its a bummer to hear that BYU volleyball lost, but the inner Samoan in me is thrilled to hear that BYU rugby has once again dominated the world of college rugby.  Words cannot describe my love for BYU sports...
Welp, to get on to answering your emails:
Dad - I don´t think I know Elder Peterson yet, but I´ll be sure to keep an eye out.  If he is in ciudad Higaldo then he is in the other stake of Tapachula, and I should see him if we have a mission conference this transfer cycle.  

Questions, there are always questions:1.  Are you still drinking bottled water?  Any bags?  What about all the crazy Mexican sodas that we see here at the tienda's?  Do you get those too?
-I´m certainly still drinking bottled water.  In the new house we moved into we use water from a well, and the owner said you can drink it, but he seems a bit shady to me (haha just kidding, but I still don´t trust him).  Every once in a while I buy a bag of water haha.  It still makes me chuckle every time I see them.  As for the crazy Mexican sodas, I don´t really know.  People here drink a ridiculous amount of Coke and Fanta, but there isn´t anything too weird.
2.  I really enjoyed the pictures you sent of the fish dinner. What was the story behind that dinner?
 -There isn´t a great story behind the fish lunch to be honest.  haha. Its perfectly normal here to eat fish like that.  As for the comment I made about the gills being a bit gritty - its true I tried them.  But I don´t think its normal to eat them.  But I thought, ¨when else will I have a chance like this?¨ and gave it a try.
3.  I mentioned the Tree of Life Stella in your area to the Spackman's and they knew about it. But they did say the theory has been pretty well debunked.  However, does being in real BOM land come up in your teaching very often?
-To be honest I was never too convinced about the Tree of Life stella either, but I thought it was cool that its here in Tapachula.  We always talk about the Book of Mormon being a record of the people in the Americas, but since we don´t really know where Lehi landed, etc., we try to avoid speculation.  That said there are some people here that seem to fit the Lamanite description perfectly - run around in loin clothes, bloodthirsty, and when converted, the most devoted Latter-day Saint there could ever be.  Its pretty cool!
4.  The TPC golf tournament is this week, so Ponte Vedra Beach is heating up for the national media. Who do you pick?   
-My money is definitely on Boo Weekly (that's his name right?) haha.

5.  What have you been told of the rainy season there? Pretty wet?  
-The rainy season is supposed to start in May but not a drop has fallen so far. It is sooo hot and humid, I seriously am dying.  From what I have heard the rainy season is pretty intense.  Bring it on baby!

Mom - I miss American style tacos. (don´t tell any Mexicans, but they are better!)  haha.  I have been quite healthy here in Tapachula.  The air is much cleaner and its really a nicer place to be.  I´m totally down for the Dear Elder idea.  I´m excited to talk to you this week and wish you a happy Mothers Day in advance!  I love you!

RAD  - sorry to combine my repsonse to you two, but I´m running low on time and I´m too cheap to spend an extra 2 pesos for 15 more minutes haha. jokes...kinda.  Have a rocking Spring Term!  I´m thrilled to hear that you watched Nacho Libre.  When I come home we will have to arrange a night to watch it so I can explain just how true it is.  haha.  I´m glad to hear you got a bike Andee, I´m so jealous.  I would kill for a bike here.  YESSS! I´m so glad to hear Tbird is going on a mission and from very early on I´ve been thinking about how funny it would be to hear him speak Spanish  haha!  In the words of Jason Mraz, Life is Wonderful.  Keep on rocking!

Before I forget I´ve gotta tell you something funny.  We live on the second floor of a small house.  The owner of the house lives downstairs and spends his nights watching soccer.  Literally every night our planning session is interrupted by the world famous
It cracks me up!  My life just gets funnier and funnier everyday.  Ohh and a solid 40% of the people we pass in the street have a machete in their hands.  It kinda freaks me out haha.  If I´m lucky maybe one of my converts will give me his grandmothers lucky machete.  haha.

I love you all.  Be good! have a smashing semana.  I can´t wait to talk to you on Saturday!
Elder Roth