I´m so glad that I finally get to email!!!! I have so much to say and I´m not really sure where to start....
First of all, quick item of business:
I will be calling Sunday night after all. It will be 7:20-8pm our time, so I believe that is 5:20-6 your time. So I do get to call on Mother´s Day :) Actually though, I don´t call, you guys do. The number is 962-620-5949 (that´s the church here). We think the country code is 01, but we´re not positive, so if you could check online that would be best. And if for some reason I don´t answer the first time, just keep calling, because I would be really sad if I missed the call haha.
Tuesday afternoons we met our companions and got assigned areas. I was the only gringo to get another gringo comp. I was really relieved by that. His name is Elder Howell, and he´s from Cali. North LA area I believe. I´ve loved working with him this week, and I´m learning a ton very quickly. We´re serving in the San Jose, Tapachula area. Our area is a maze, so I´m really glad that Elder Howell has already been here 4 transfers. It´ll take me some time to figure out. So, pretty much right after I got told where we were going, we got on a bus and left. It was about a 6 hour drive from Tuxtla to Tapachula.
So, both Tapachula and Tuxtla are not jungle. I think the only area in the mission that really is is San Cristobal and the surrounding areas. But, Chiapas is absolutely beautiful. Suffocatingly hot and humid (quite a bit more humid than South Carolina actually), but also beautiful. However, it really is a completely different world here. I really can´t explain it without sending pictures (and when I do I still don´t think they´ll do justice--also, that would be something great to have in a package, a card reader, because I don´t think I have the cord to hook up my camera to a computer), but I´ll confirm a few "rumors" real quick. We do not have hot water (that´s not really a big deal showering in the mornings though because I would not want to shower in hot water here--it´s already to hot), and yes we do wash our clothes by hand. We´ll be doing that this afternoon. Also, there are beds to sleep in, but I haven´t been too psyched to sleep in it so far. It´s not terrible, but I want to try a hammock. So that´s another item on my list of things to buy today. Also, we definitely don´t sleep with blankets. It´s sooooooo hot and humid, and we don´t have AC. Our lifeline the two fans that we have. I sleep with one right next to my face every night. All the houses here, even the nice ones, would be considered horrible by American standards. Not too many have AC, and they are really just so different. It took some adjusting, but I love it. The way of life here is really simple and relaxed (not quite so relaxed for us, we don´t really stop going :) ), and the people are so warm and friendly and always offer us drinks and food whenever we teach or just stop by.
Apparently I speak Spanish pretty well. Somebody told us earlier this week that I have a better accent than Elder Howell. I´m pretty sure that´s not true (he´s been out about 13 months), but I´m glad that I speak well. Something I´ve said a lot this week is "Lo chistoso es que hablo mejor que entiento", which means: "The funny thing is that I speak better than I understand". Because I really have a tough time understanding people here. I understand infinitely more already than I did when I got here, and I carry on a fairly normal conversation, but when two natives are talking, I catch about 50% of what they say. They say some funny stuff here I hadn´t heard before, but I´m getting used to the Spanish they speak here, and I think I´ll be pretty close to fluent by the end of the month.
We´ve been working hard this week. I have a massive blister on each foot. It´s not really too much fun, but I´m glad. It means we´re doing what we´re supposed to, and they´ll go away soon. Sorry I don´t have more time to type, I could type all day, but my hour is almost up, and I´ve got to go buy a hammock :) Also, we´re going to Walmart this afternoon, and I´ve never been so excited to go to Walmart in my life. I get to have a little taste of America again.
Oh and I´m super excited for you to take a Spanish class!!! That´s awesome. I hope it goes well!
Love you all lots and I´ll talk to you Sunday!