Just before I type anything else I just wanted to send you some quick encouragement on your Spanish :) because seriously I don´t think I would have remembered how to say 0-30 after my first year of Spanish, let alone my first week. I also remember how incredibly awkward it felt trying to say the words. Of course, with Chris in my class we just made a game out of it and said it all completely wrong on purpose. But I remember being so frustrated because I knew that Ms. LaMotte and the native speakers in my class were pronouncing the words completely differently than I was, but I just didn´t know how to make my words sound like that. I definitely also see now that once I really started trying (probably not until I took my Spanish conversation class at BYU), I started improving really quickly. I´m positive that you´ll learn quickly, even if it seems ridiculously difficult and foreign. This week, for the first time in my mission, I had someone tell me that I talk like a Mexican. He basically told me, "You don´t look like us, but you talk like us." That was a huge confidence booster for me, and it´s incredibly rewarding to look back at where I started in Spanish 1 to where I am now. Just keep up the good work and rely on the Lord. :) The gift of tongues is incredibly real. I love you!
This week has been awesome! Right now I am doing great. I´m very happy and content, in spite of the fact that we´re going on 48 hours without power in our apartment (which means no fans so sleeping is not very much fun), and also we just ran our of water (we can´t turn on our pump because it´s electric), and all my chorizo went bad so now I´m just living on eggs and tortilla and it is not very tasty. But I am doing wonderfully and supposedly somebody is supposed to be going to the apartment in a little bit so hopefully we´ll have that mess sorted out soon. :) We’re doing great with our investigators right now. We have one sister who just moved here who is the little sister of the Relief Society President, and after two lessons with her this past weekend she has a baptismal date set for the 15 of September. Also, the family who came to church the last week is progressing really well. They didn´t come this week, because the mom works every other Sunday, but we´ve helped them resolve a lot of doubts this week and they´re now reading the Book of Mormon. If all continues to go well, we´ll be blessed with the opportunity to baptize all of them in this coming month.
Also, here we are in the last week of this change. Elder Alonso is going home next week, so I´ll be here with a new comp in a week. There are a ton of people leaving in this change and the next, so we´re thinking my next comp is going to be an ex zone leader or ex assistant (zone leaders and assistants in their last change get the chance just to be senior comp again). I guess we´ll see next week :)
1. Do people there work out (exercise) like they do in the U.S.? Are people fitness conscious like they are here?
People here are so not health conscious here. At all. I think in the entire time I´ve been here I´ve maybe seen a total of 10 people running or working out in some way. Also, they consume a grand amount of tortilla, rice, and beans here, with not too many vegetables, so that´s also a prevailing factor. But something that a lot of people have here that isn´t as common in the states is that almost everyone works in some type of manual labor, and they do almost all of it without machines. Also, all the housework is without machines, just a broom and a mop. Imagine washing clothes of an entire family by hand in a concrete box in Bluffton in the summer, and you have close to the right idea. Nevertheless, there are a lot of overweight people here.
2. What are the basic styles people wear? Are there certain brands that are popular (that we would know anything about)?
Basically, the style here is about the same as Provo: whatever happens to be popular in the States, just 2 or 3 years late. Almost all the brands are the same as those in the States. They wear a lot of Hollister type t-shirts with plaid cargo shorts or jeans and stuff like that. There´s a lot of different stuff too, but I don´t really know how to explain it, nor do I really remember what´s weird and what´s not anymore.
That´s pretty much all I have for this week, email me real quick if you have any other questions :) I love you very much!