Hey, it´s been a bit of an adventure, and I´m still waiting to get one of my suitcases so I haven´t gotten to my area yet, but I am alive!!!!
We´re staying with like 20 people in the secretaries' house, although a bunch of them left for home this morning. We missed our connection to Xalapa but our baggage didn´t so we´ve been trying to track it down real quick, but I couldn´t get out to the field yet.
My companions name is Elder Rojas and he´s a pretty cool guy, I think we´ll do well once we get out into the field but right now we´re just kind of twiddling our thumbs. There´s a lot to learn and I´m basically terrified because I´m often completely lost and don´t know what to do, whether it´s just getting from place to place or eating every day. We ate at the [mission] president's last night, but I couldn´t really talk to the other guys because my Spanish is rough and they´re hard to understand a lot! But I´m hoping I'll get there. I´m feeling less crazy overwhelmed and ridiculously exhausted. I got one of my suitcases and have about half of my clothes, but the rest is hopefully arriving at 4:30.
The plane [to Xalapa] we were supposed to be on actually couldn´t land because of the rain, and so it went back to Mexico City anyway, so the adventure we had to get here actually got us here earlier than we would have if we had made the plane. It´s kind of a ridiculous and long story, so I´m thinking I´ll probably share that in my actual email time next week, this is just a rapid notifying you kind of email. I´m terrified and realizing this is going to be legitimately insane and crazy hard, but that´s the fun I guess??
Rojas said I´m decent in Spanish and in a transfer or so I´ll be doing ok, so I´m looking forward to that.
Love you guys, I´ll read all of your emails and fill you in with all of my life and this craziness on Monday.
Ok, well actually it´s probably fair you hear about the airport.
After I called you guys [Kevin was able to call from the Atlanta airport] we waited and failed to talk to people getting on the Mexico City flight, because after thirty seconds I didn´t know what to say. We got off and had to do customs and all that, so after I messed up the forms and wasted time, we had about 30 minutes to get to our flight and when trying to get in realized that we didn´t have our boarding passes because they couldn´t print them in America. They sent us to Aeromexico to get our passes but the monitor said we needed to talk to someone so we got in line and then when time was running short asked someone if there was somewhere we could go faster, they sent us somewhere where they told us the flight was actually not on Aeromexico but it was Aeromar. By the time we found and got to Aeromar it was too late to get on the plane, and they sent us to Delta to get a different flight. We talked to a guy and the next flight was in the morning, so we decided we´d call missionary travel or the mission president and get back to him. Unfortunately we had no way to do that because the payphones were useless. They didn´t accept credit cards and only took prepaid cards that we couldn´t buy at the airport. We were totally hopeless and walking around to find someone we could borrow a phone from when a teenage (well apparently she was 20 but whatever) girl came up and asked if I was a missionary (in Spanish just like everyone else who I had been talking to trying to work all of this out mind you). I said yes and she got excited because she was there to see off a friend. She wasn´t a member, but she and two other girls were just there. We explained the situation and borrowed a phone, but none of the numbers worked, not for the mission home, not for missionary travel, nothing. They called mormon.org at one point so I talked to some random Mormon rep who couldn´t do anything to help me.
They told us to wait for a member they knew who was coming. He eventually came and took us to a Mexico City MTC guy that he had seen. After a while I had explained to this Spanish speaker what had happened and we tried to call again, to no avail. They were planning on taking us to the MTC in Mexico City for a night and we got some plane tickets, but eventually they got a hold of the mission president who said we should take a bus that night. The bus stop at the terminal wasn´t going to Xalapa though, so they sent us to another terminal that the brother drove us to. Then another brother had us get some tickets and left us at the bus stop with two random strangers who were going to Xalapa. We got to Xalapa at midnight and found the mission president a little later, after 28 hours of travel.
We got some food and were dropped off at the secretaries' house with 20 guys who were a little out of control because they all were about to leave [for home], but we got a few hours of sleep and then went to an orientation the next day at our chapel in the clothes we had been wearing for 3 days. We picked up the one bag of mine that inexplicably arrived without my other bag or either of my companion's bags (though it arrived without my 20 razors in it anymore) and then we went to a dinner and testimony meeting at the president's house. That was rough because I was just so jealous of the new missionaries who knew Spanish and what was happening. I could understand the testimonies and everything, but a lot of stuff was just really rough outside of that. We had a great meal though. Today we´re still trying to get our stuff so we can leave and start working and I can start really picking up this language. I´m excited and feeling a lot better about things today though, I have to admit I had some pretty fervent and terrified prayers last night, but now I´m just a little nervous. So grateful I´m here to do an important work and not just meet people and talk them into doing something. It´s much more than that.
Elder Rojas doesn´t speak English. There are obviously some people here who do, but he doesn´t. It´s good, but also terrifying. We´ll see how it goes.
Love you guys! Can´t wait to read your emails next week!!