Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 14 Semana Santa and an Earthquake April 21, 2014


Cambios...I was really sad about having to leave my area but I packed my bags Monday and we had our last meeting as a zone. After our meeting we celebrated by eating at a would´ve been so disappointed. I...ate...a....cheeseburger........and maybe a few fries....;) But it was a celebration! I had to do it mom!!
Saying goodbye to my district
The next morning came and we stuffed my bags and guitar into a taxi and headed to the cambios. My new companion is....(drum roll please)....Hermana Mendosa. She is from Mexico and she was the old sister training leader. She only has 6 weeks left so she'll end with me as her last´s my goal to end her mission on a good note: lots of hard work! My area....nicest area I have ever seen! Hardly any trash in the streets, 50% less drunk men following me, trees and flowers...granted, it´s not America, but I feel like I´m in paradise. I am a little disappointed knowing that I´ll have a fewer crazy stories though...haha. We live in an apartment building on the 4th floor. It´s a lot smaller than our last apartment and it has a lot of problems...sometimes we have running water, sometimes we have to carry buckets of water up from the first floor. Hot water? Let´s face it...doesn´t exist here. We get to wash our clothes in the kitchen sink and we have strung rope from wall to wall to hang dry our clothes. I have to walk around ducking the whole time...I guess that´s what I get for being a 5'10" white girl...not a problem for any of my companions...haha. Worst problem of all has been after my first night here I woke up to heat the water and noticed that my entire body was itchy. I went into the bathroom, turned on the light to find what looked like mosquito bites covering my back, legs, and arms. I showed my companion and turns out she forgot to tell me that we have bed bugs...just great....

My new apartment

My new area is nice and all but it´s a lot harder. The people have jobs, clothes and food whereas in my other area the people were lucky to have a tortilla, a shirt, and a few pesos. It´s the difference between teaching prideful people who want nothing to do with you and humble people who are searching for help...but it´s possible! Nothing´s going to stop us from working our hardest!

Next morning at 7:45 AM we left for the church to do our personal and companionship study as a district. As we were studying, one of the Elders started complaining that he was feeling sick. I too started to feel dizzy, like I had just gotten off of a roller coaster ride, I felt like I couldn´t even sit up straight. It was then that we realized that it was because the ground was literally shaking. The chandeliers were swinging, our desks sliding, and the lights flickering. We were experiencing an Earthquake! I didn´t know what to do! My first thought was to get under the desk but one of the sisters from Chile said it would be best if we made our way outside. So, we got up and slowly and carefully made our way outside. It was hard to even walk because the ground was moving so much! We probably looked like a bunch of drunks trying to walk straight. The telephone wires, trees, and buildings looked like they were sitting on a bed of jello they were swaying so much. What started out as a small sway got worse and worse until we had to sit down because we couldn´t even stand without falling. The car alarms began to sound and warning sirens were ringing. It lasted for about a minute but I could´ve sworn it lasted for an hour! Turns out it was a magnitude 7.2 earthquake! What a crazy experience! I have never felt anything like it! When we went back into the church a lot of the ceiling tiles had fallen out...nothing much. But a lot of houses fell in our area...luckily no one was hurt. Throughout the rest of the day there were 58 different aftershocks...I don´t know if it was in my head or not but the entire day I felt car sick and I couldn't tell if the ground was moving or not...ok was in my head....but CRAZY STUFF!!
Semana Santa
This week was the Semana Santa (where the Catholics celebrate the crucifixion of Christ), and since we are in Mexico, EVERYONE is Catholic! Friday we left the church to find hundreds of people walking down the streets following a group of about 20 men dressed up like Roman guards and 2 barefoot men dressed in white loin cloths carrying big heavy wooden crosses and crowned with a crown of thorns. When I looked closer I noticed that their backs were bloody and covered in welts. That's when the 20 men grabbed the two men, threw them to the ground, and began whipping and beating them. After a few minutes they would allow them to stand up and would continue to whip them as they walked. The two men represented Jesus Christ and in order to show their diligence, they are chosen to "walk the path that Jesus did". It lasts the entire day and they walk miles and miles and miles, climb a mountain, and are nailed to the cross they carried. In this area...they don´t actually kill them...but in other areas of Mexico they are literally crucified and die. LOTS of dedication...but CRAZY!!!

I witnessed a crime yesterday (as if that´s not normal haha). My comp. and I were walking out of a lesson when we saw a street taco shop completely up in flames. People were running trying to find water and help. It was actually pretty scary because through the flames I could see 2 huge propane tanks. As we were watching the taco shop go down in flames, two men walked passed us, holding a gas can and a box of matches. As they passed us, one said to the other, "I hope they learn their lesson this time" and continued to walk away. Luckily, the fire got put out before the propane tanks blew up...

Lunch yesterday was tiburón! Shark! It actually tasted super good! And...apparently it´s illegal to eat shark...oooops! Turns out the fire starter wasn´t the only one to commit a crime that day! ;)

I wasn´t left with any progressing investigators...which means I have to start from ground zero... BUT...good news is that I´m the senior comp. and I get to decide how hard we work.....HARD!!!!

That´s all for this week! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!!!

Hermana Ingram
Hailey didn't explain this one but it's clear that she towers over some of the Elders as well

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