Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Written January 6, 2014

Hey family,

I only have 35 minutes, so hopefully I can say everything I want. I don´t know how the mail works, except we get it every month or a little bit more and you can send it to California (so you guys can send me like 10 times as much stuff as josh). But really don´t feel too obligated. 

We tried on our counter on a part where the tile was already broken off and couldn´t get the bottle open. We rent a place, the outside is really nice, but is community. Hopefully I can remember to take a picture someday.
Good job Ben. Just keep tripping the system (I assume that is new slang for tricking). Tell me when you take the ACT, because I forget everything about the SAT or PSAT. And just appreciate that you even get to watch TV or anything...hahaha.

I am writing my letter from a different place than usual, and there is mouse poop all over, so hopefully i am fine. I might have bed bugs, because I have a couple bug bites that occasionally itch, but I haven´t seen a single mosquito. I think my companion probably thinks its weird when I look at all of the lint on my sheets. The lint, mom, is from the blankets they gave me, the sheets are great, the ones I came with. I have all of my stuff with me except my passport book.

So, sometimes members give us money to go eat and I always try to spend it all, because I feel weird about being frugal and keeping part, but that is one of the few times my companion is quite frugal. But not really, he is pretty frugal. Me too, in that this week I bought the milk that is 50% oil, instead of 75% vegetable oil to save a dollar. Maybe it will stay good longer.

You can send me healthy or unhealthy or whatever you feel like. Don´t worry about it too much, I have my vitamins and I try to eat fruit and vegetables when I can. Also, unhealthy stuff is fine here, because I use it to treat that I feel trapped sometimes and can´t eat everything I want or watch tv or have time to make food. For that reason the caramels are actually great because it takes a  long time to eat them, like everlasting gobstoppers. Some of the caramels are actually really good but weird tasting because they were in a box with pumpkin cookies for a while and have a little bit of that flavor. 

I think I can get extra garments here, but the garments I have now are great. I have enough, just I will have to wear double if I have to do my laundry early for a transfer or something or maybe for a baptism while the ones dry. You can also send me a really cheap black backpack, if you want, because I don´t really want to buy one here (unless you think it would be stupid to send it from america, I can probably find one at a tiangue, i suppose it isn´t very cost effective). Ideally, I can fit it under my shirt to hide all of the gold and hundred dollar bills and sticks of butter  that Americans carry around. But really just any black backpack (15 dollars max) because I don´t know if the next president will let us use them, but for now they are fine. 

I was using the tissues you sent me as a wallet which works really well for a couple of bills, but I lost it unfortunately. It was pretty discrete though. Don´t worry there was no money in it.

I can´t bear to buy fruit at this point besides bananas (since they only cost like a dollar for 12). and because I feel kind of poor, I can´t pass that up. Sometimes members give us agave and apples or oranges though, which is nice.

A lot of people think I am angry sometimes, but it is mostly because I don´t talk, because I probably wouldn´t talk anyways, but the Spanish gives me extra fear. I had to conduct the baptism this week that we had for a girl (I forgot my camera, but my companion will send me pictures someday maybe). so it isn´t that my Spanish is completely useless, I am just shy.

I had some reservations about teaching an 11 year old girl and accountability, but I think that even if she doesn´t understand everything, she can tell right from wrong, I guess. I feel kind of bad because, like the law of chastity, for example, I tried to explain and she didn't´t understand, and so my companion told her that is was to not let anyone touch her private areas until after married and then to be faithful to her spouse, but I think the other parts like thought and modesty and pornography are important too, but I guess she has some time to learn about it in the church and doesn´t need as sound of an understanding as an older investigator. (I kind of feel like no one ever teaches the modesty part)...

What is Josh´s advice for language study? I know all of the grammar, I just don´t always use it. And I am missing a lot of vocabulary obviously, but I can see why people quit language study, because I don´t know what to do, even though I still suck at listening and talk slowly.

I thought there was a pair of shoes somewhere for josh...

Something interesting I though of was that Christ suffered for all of our problems and afflictions, including the really small stupid ones, so the atonement can apply to, for example, I left my shoes in the other room and have to walk in there to get them. I appreciate that.

I use how much tp I want, but I try to be conservative, since I have to buy it.

I am kind of a cheapskate for fast offerings, but they don´t give us very much and cereal and an egg and a banana for dinner and breakfast probably costs less than 5 pesos, and I think more like 10 or 15, but that is only like a dollar, so maybe I am just selfish....

We saw one sister wash her shredded lettuce with iodine, so I have complete confidence in eating at her house everything. Unfortunately, I ate lettuce at a different house and had bad diarrhea (before it hasn´t been much of a problem really) for a day. But I am fine now. So don´t worry. My companion told me that is the reason he doesn´t eat vegetables sometimes, (but really he just doesn´t like them). I think the rule he said is basically if everything else seems clean, don´t worry about the vegetables. I worry most about lettuce, but it is okay. There is scriptural evidence that the lettuce didn´t cause it, but rather the diarrhea itself. See Mark 7:15 (14After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16"If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."…)

Rebuttal to Joshs scripture about how Abraham lied and god told him to, Genesis 20:10-12, he didn't lie.

10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

I got a haircut for 30 pesos and it actually was pretty good.

more Spanglish words, mital (middle) and chanza or chanzita )chance).

I saw Seth Stewart and Michael Cook in a video I had to watch about genealogy.

I used to think that we would have to suffer sometime in the eternities to truly understand mortality, kind of like the atonement, but then I realized the atonement probably has power to do that because it is infinite, and I found a scripture about it. Alma 7,12-13. So the spirit will help us I think. 

12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.
 13 Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
intersesting scriptures about coveting and judgement... D&C 19:26
26 And again, I command thee that thou shalt not acovet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the btruth and the word of God

D&C 88:32. 
32 And they who remain shall also be aquickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are bwilling to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

I want to tell you about the food here, but I am running out of time, so I love you eternal family, eternal family. Love and I miss you. I was a little depressed today, but I always feel better after emailing. Don't worry though. 


Sangria soda, a weird but good soda they have here

fresh agave (I think) are pretty good and sweet, but they have a lot pea sized seeds that I just eat.

tamales, I had ones of cheese that weren't very good but also chicken ones with green sauce stuff and pork ones that were really good, which made me think of mom.

posole, which is a soup with weird corn and meat and you put lettuce and oregano and onion and radish  and chili and maybe tostado on it. It is really good. I think dad would like it. I ate some bones out of it, but they were gross, like really chalky, so we don´t have to eat that part when we eat it when I get home.

They have those gross orange wheel chip things here and they spray sour ketchup on them and it is awful, but real.

Oh, I had the question of if you'd still love me if I was fat when I got home? Just wondering.

They have ponche here for the holidays (like the posole and tamales) and it is so good. We will drink it when I get home. It can have alcohol, hopefully we can find it without, or we'll just make it.

they have buñuelos here which are fried tortillas covered in sugar. The ones in a package are actually really good, but I don't have money to buy them. Oh well.

For the new year, there was a mariachi band and fireworks and everything for all night, and some kids broke a public phone. Good thing I have ear plugs.

most areas don't have bikes, so hopefully I won´t have to buy one. But yes Mexicali and Ensenada do, in some areas.

My trainers trainer was kinda crazy. 

I have some other stuff, but maybe next week. Love you, Kaden 
Take care and be happy and I will talk to you soon.

Written December 30, 2013


It was good to talk to you on Christmas. 

The address you should send any mail to is:

Elder Kaden MacRae Powell
Mexico Tijuana Mission
PMB 157, P.O. Box 439056
San Ysidro, CA 92143-9056

I think. You can also send packages. Also, I won't bar you on sending anything in packages anymore. You can even send gross stuff you don't like like riesens and caramels and puffed rice balls. But mostly just kidding (since those are good). Just don't send anything fresh (like a pomegranate). But if you don't have time to make something and want to send me oreos or whatever from the store, then alright. I will appreciate it.

One of the ward members here said my president looks like the oompa loompa from the new movie, that is true.

My companion counted our call home and our P-day as one lesson each; I asked him about that and he said that it was because we were at a members house or had members with us, but really it's just whenever he feels like it. I asked him why he was counting a lesson with 7 people as 7 lessons (preach my gospel says explicitly not to do that) and it turns out the Spanish preach my gospel doesn't have that part, but we're not doing that anymore, so our numbers will start to suck a little more (not that we have ever had lessons with 7 people). I don't care though really, and I guess I can't blame him.

He also has a bunch of made-up rules, like if we're in the church with an investigator and one of us needs to go to the bathroom, one can stay with the investigator and the other can go, but they only have 15 minutes to do so, and only because the church is holy ground. I don't care though, I don't mind following people to the bathroom.

One member's toilet said in English (made in China?) "It can reach more than 100,000 times if you push the butt plate down with force."  I can't figure out how to flush them, and I can't always find a bucket of water so oh well. A couple people have the used toilet paper bin, but not us and not the church. I haven't used a bathroom like that because I am afraid I will put my toilet paper in there and it will turn out that it is just a trash can. We will see.

I was thinking about it and I know the exact maximum amount of time that any mission related challenge will last (exluding parasites); most people don't have that luxury. But really I have a hard time. Most of the time it isn't that bad, but I worry a lot about logistical stuff, like will I run out of money and how will I get here and there and things like that. I was washing my sheets every week (because that is the rule) and yes I have two blankets which you are supposed to wash every two weeks, but I can't anymore, because my companion told me they are too heavy, so I will wash one of the two every two weeks (all cleaned in a month) and never my blankets (which I am fine with). There are a lot of rules that we can't follow really, I wanted to wash my sheets frequently, but I think I just need to accept that things will never be as clean here. I will wash my garments every week though, because that is the real protection; the only clean thing that you are wearing and that's why you have to wear it day and night, because your towel and garments and exercise clothes (my companion never washes his informal clothes) are all dirty-ish at the best. Anyways, sometimes I feel like crying about dumb stuff like that, but it is okay. I suppose it really isn't that important.

Also, if I ever want to go home, I can see San Diego from a lot of places in my area, but it is pretty far. 

The bishop gave us some Martinelli's and it just made me wonder if Martinelli's knows how much pain it causes to people without bottle openers every year, because I swear I struggle with their apple juice for like 2 days every year and then don't drink any.

Does soda really dehydrate youj? If I am trying to stay hydrated, would it actualy be worse to drink lots of soda at meals vs an obligatory amount? What about other things like punch that are heavily saturated?

There are words here that are stupid, but I still don't understand spanish; for example, it took me forever to learn that raite means ride (spaniglish) and lunche means lunch. I don't really understand anything, so usually I feel kind of dumb, but I just won't worry about it.

We are supposed to write our president for 15 minutes and then you for 45 minutes, I write him like one sentence and then send it, because that one sentence would take a long time in Spanish. Actually more like 3. I don't even know if he reads everyone's letters.

Oh, also my blankets are the perfect color for someone who is paranoid of bed bugs, little red and black and white lint balls in my sheets. Also, I will at least wash my pillowcase every week, and my socks. Those are the important things I think. 

The assistant to the president used to be in my area and one member said he was so obedient that you could tell him red was blue and he'd believe you, because he was an obedient person. But firstly, it is impossible to be completely obedient, like for example with the laundry. Or I keep finding rules like that because night is dangerous, we should be home at the latest by 9 (according to our mission specific book), but everyone says 9:30 if we're teaching a lesson.

Anyways, now it's time to tell you a story about yesterday. But first I love you guys a lot and miss you all the time. Eternal family. My email is the best part of my week and I like reading all of yours, but forgive me that I have to just skim them before writing back. If something is really important, than bold it so that I answer it or see it. Also, if you count until I get home, I am already 1/12 done because you go home a little bit before you left. So I will see you in less than 22 months.

Anyways, yesterday we were at a members house and the parent's were there and their daughter-in-law and her daughter and their other grandson. Anyways, firstly, they gave us coke, which we're not supposed to drink (mission rule) and they kind of stressed it, anyways my comp just drank it, but I asked for water and it was fine. He sometimes acts really obedient, but this is significant because it means that I cannot obey that pretend fasting rule, because it is more important to obey real rules than pretend ones (that we have to fast every week) that our zone leaders make up. (Especially if they directly contradict the white handbook, because every week fasting seems a little more than the occasional extra fast it mentions; 24 fasts vs 104 in a mission). I will fast next week though. 

Anyways, here is what drinking coke does. He shared a scripture when we were done and the daughter-in-law started bawling and told us she hasn't been able to sleep and how it really touched her and how she gave a really touching thing on testimony in the primary and that's what someone else told us too. And then she started to feel better and we were just talking and she ran over to the dad and started crying on his shoulder and then started yelling "No" over and over and all this other stuff and banging her hands on the table and saying it (i don't know what) was the mom's fault. Anyways, so we give her an emergency blessing (I don't do anything because I can't speak Spanish under pressure). Long story short, she was doing weird stuff and then felt better at the end, but my companion thinks she has an evil spirit, which is completely possible, but I don't know if you can really get them unless you specifically invite them (explicitly). I mean you can invite them around you by sinning and stuff, but into your body I think you would have to do more in my opinion. Anyways, then after she asked us to go with her to take her daughter home and so I just followed everyone around after my companion said yes and we got in the car with the dad and drove out of our area, and gave her husband and daughter a blessing and then went back.

I don't really know about possession, because I beleive in it, but I also firmly beleive in mental illness, so who knows? But I asked my companion if he was going to tell the president we went out of the area and he said no, because it was an emergency so that she didn't hurt the dad, but if it isn't bad why not mention it in passing in his letter? I wash my hands of it though. Anyways the dad and our bishop (I thought this would have been a good opportunity for her ward to fellowship her some, but I guess not) went to her house in the middle of the night and she was refusing blessings and then finally got one. Also, her daughter called her a demon. 

But my companion thanked heavenly Father for it in our companionship prayer, which is weird. I am grateful we have the Priesthood on this earth so that we can receive blessings and help and comfort from the things that ail us, but I thought it was traumatic and would never be grateful for it.

Sorry to talk about it though, I think that is half the power these things receive, but I always talk about them. it doesn't matter though, because Christ overcame everything and we will be fine if we trust in him, so don't worry.

Things are okay here.  On my mission now, I can't imagine that Josh would want to go back, but I will probably feel a little different when I get over being a spoiled brat and realize that I am going to get fleas and not have clean sheets or dishes or towels. I am glad Aunt JoLyn is doing a little bit better. 

I have ten minutes left, so I will try to send you some pictures now.

Love Love love Eternal family,


Monday, January 6, 2014

Written December 23rd 2013

Merry Christmas (for real this time almost),

I have an hour each week for e-mail to you and the president.

I am in the area Hidalgo in Tijuana.

We slept on Monday in our area.

My companion is Elder Guadarrama from Mexico City. He doesn't speak very much English, so I am lucky that I have some background. Everyone says I am lucky and that not everyone got as good of a  trainer. Because there were so many missionaries, I think they had to not have the most excellent missionaries train. All the sisters are the first american sisters here, so they all have native companions, which would be really hard without any Spanish. He is pretty patient and good though.

As expected, there are lots of dogs here; they look like cows because they are always having litters, but, mostly they just bark and fight at night and make us cross the street to avoid them.

It is actually cold here (I didn't think so the first few days) but the houses don't have any heating, so I am frequently a little cold at night; even though during the day is way warmer than at home. The people sometimes wear heavy winter coats (so all that winter stuff was for this mission, not the mtc). I'm usually fine with a sweater, but sometimes it isn't enough. I wore those boots the other day because it rained a lot, and I was really grateful for them; one elder who had this as his first area told me that it isn't cold, but you just can't escape the cold, which is true. So you go inside and its still cold and your shower ranges anywhere from freezing to barely warm, but it isn't really enough. Some days I am hot and sweaty until the night, though.

I'm sorry if I've ever been an ingrate, especially about your package. the truth is for the first few days, I was completely homesick for every comfort you have ever provided me. My companion said if they don't do the re-imbursements for gas quickly enough, sometimes we don't eat except lunch (that is the big meal we go to people's houses for here). And that freaked me out, because everyday would be like fasting, so I was immensely grateful for the candy and stuff you sent me. Everything you've ever given me is great, so thanks. Also, people here aren't as impoverished as you would think, but I am grateful for all the dumb little things we can enjoy. Mostly their homes are just small and humble, but I think they have enough food (mostly). A lot of the kids though and some families you can tell don't have enough and wear mostly secondhand clothes). It isn't as bad as some people might think though.

As far as the food, I haven't eaten anything that wasn't really good. Which made me think that I wanted to share all the good things with you completely so that you could experience them in their fullness, but also just a little bit of the bad things so that you could understand, just a glimpse. Then I realized that is kind of what God tries to do with us, which is I think is good.

Anyways, the bread (at least if it's not like the kind from the supermarket) is so good here. We had sandwiches and also some members gave us some pan dulce that was hot and fresh and it was great.

One sister made us banana and milk blended together (probably some sugar too) and it was really good, it reminded me of at home when we would make the banana shakes. 

The milk we bought (I was reading it) and it is only 73% milk, which means like a quarter of every glass is vegetable oil and some other stuff; but I refuse to be picky for the rest of my mission, because it tastes fine and the first day I though everyday would be like fasting.

Speaking of which, as a zone or district or something, we fast every Saturday, but with everyone feeding us and such, we haven't done it yet (I tried to this morning but a sister fed us breakfast when we were doing laundry at her house). But, I decided I don't care; if my companion wants to (I won't fast from water) then I will, but I won't go out of my way to do more than the monthly fast, because the handbook says that that is sufficient generally and so I don't think we should fast from meal to meal once a week.

I am learning to use a tortilla as a utensil, so that is happening. Also, I try to wash my hands before  I eat always, but sometimes I forget if the member gives us a snack or something.

One sister fed us hamburgers, which were good (the fries were way better than at home) but the ketchup is different, kind of transparent and viscous like sweet and sour sauce, but it is fine.

The members feed us really well, always offering us second plates and occasionally they give us snacks (maybe they think of feeding us as feeding Christ, but hopefully I can strive towards that expectation). So we will be fine.

We bought some "milk" and cereal and bananas for 100 pesos at the store, but it is pretty far, so we have to plan well. The cereal is awesome; it was like one of the cheapest and is puffed wheat with vanilla flavoring, but it doesn't even have that much sugar, but tastes really good. Maybe they have it at the Mexican market there. 

I saw an owl fly by, so that is cool. I also saw mice in two people's kitchen in a row, but that is common, so I don't care as long as it is not into the food.

One sister gave us poncha twice, which is really good cider like stuff with fruit boiled in it; I will miss winter without it when I get home. Also atole, which is really thick cinnamon (a little) hot chocolate). 

We get ägua" at every meal almost, but really it is not water but rather water with drink mix, so we eat a lot of sugar here. Sugar and starch, which is fine; I have the vitamins mom bought me. I saw a vitamin commercial that said 7 out of 10 Mexicans have poor nutrition, but don't worry.

I was thinking about that scripture about looking back from the plow or are you serving the Lord or are you serving time (what people say) and I don't think it disqualifies you to want to go home when things get hard or to have doubts; I really don't know what that stuff is about. Of course I am going to look backwards and forwards towards home, especially when I am taking a cold shower. I won't worry about it though. Not everyone else gets to leave cold showers either; so I will be grateful.

I hand washed some under garments (very, very poorly), because I didn't have enough for the week (I am one short of what I would have ideally, but I will just wear my s
Sunday ones for two days; unless they're extra sweaty or hand wash some). I washed them days ahead of time and they weren't drying, but by the time I needed them, they had dried; miracles are real!

We have to wear suits on Sunday to church; even if we're in Mexicali in the summer, so hopefully I can dodge that bullet.

I don't really understand Spanish, but usually enough to where I can have my companion explain something. And sometimes I just guess and it makes enough sense.

My companion said the dove is a symbol of the holy ghost because it is the only animal that the devil can't take the form of, but I don't think so. He also said cats are the only animal that are neutral, not good or evil. I don't bother correcting him (he said to investigators) because there is not point. it isn't a big thing of doctrine either.

I was going to tell you that I haven't had any diarrhea yet, but then this morning happened. I think it was from some salad we had, which was completely soaked in water; but who knows. I prefer that to unwashed (feces vs. diluted feces)

I was considering drinking a glass of tap water to see if it really is bad (I probably get an 8th of a cup on vegetables and dishes anyways) but a big jug of water only costs 29 pesos ($2.22), so for now I won't.

I played piano in sacrament meeting, which was good, I guess. I think piano lessons are a very distant luxury for even the wealthy people here; but I am happy if I can help, since they treat us so well (feeding us randomly and having patience with me and my bad Spanish). 

I have a fear of running out of toiletries all at once; if that happens I guess I'll prioritize tooth paste, soap, shaving cream, then shampoo then deodorant then mouthwash then lotion and hair gel.

I am sick, which is lame, but I desecrated a pair of exercise underwear to make a handkerchief so that is fine.

Ben, I saw a mural of Ice King on a wall around a school that some kids painted.!

In the internet cafes are also video games that you can play per hour. My companion asked what call of duty meant and I told him and he said that that is what we are doing as missionaries. Haha.

Also, we had a baptism, but it was like dads where I just came in and it happened basically. I have pictures though.

I love you guys and miss you all. I am doing okay, so don't worry. Love you; eternal families;eternal families I guess I will plan on talking to you according to what I sent you yesterday.

Written December 15, 2013

Hey, I still have 14 minutes left over from my e-mail last night. So I will just tell you some other stuff. 

Firstly, Sister Olsten sent me an e-mail, but my reply didn't work for some reason. So, I just want her to know that I received it and appreciated it and I'm sorry my reply didn't work. I will try again later if I have time.

I forgot to tell you that I am happy this week, although pretty tired. Just to assure you that  I am fine.

We are singing a song in Sacrament Meeting before we leave, my district wanted to sing it a'capella, which is ridiculous, since I can play the piano, but whatever, they are all a lot better than me. It should be fun. I found a lot of songs I really like here, like All Creatures of our God and King is a really good song that  I never paid attention to.

We are teaching a lesson on the Atonement in District Meeting today and I was thinking about how faith and the Atonement are related and I thought it was interesting to notice how Christ is central to the Gospel of course, and the Atonement is central to His role as Savior. And then that plays a huge part in every part of the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, enduring to the end), but maybe that was obvious.

I didn't sign anyone's journals last week when a lot of the sisters we were good friends with left, because I didn't have anything meaningful to say. And this week I gave in and wrote in everyone's, which was dumb, because I just wrote basically the same things. I don't feel that sad, because I am confident that every time I leave someone, I will see them soon, when we are dead. Which isn't a morbid thought, but rather a hopeful one. Elder Hesterman said it is like the Gospel that I didn't accept writing in journals with the first missionaries, but then I did with later sets, so that was funny.

Love you all still. I'll call tomorrow, Mom and Dad. Also, sorry if  I didn't explain that Spanish thing correctly, (do you know what is funny?, sometimes I just start writing in Spanish, but that is the only automatic Spanish thing I will ever do). Anyways, love you bye.

Written December 14, 2013

Only a couple days until I am in Mexico.

Look for a call (on Christmas Day) between 8:30 and 10 probably depending on how long the drive takes and how long it takes to check baggage and get through security. You have to answer the first phone calls if you can, because I have $5 on my call, and every attempt removes 1.29 from my card.

I gave my first blessing this week, which was also incidentally in Spanish. So it probably could have been a lot better. Everyone acted like the words just came to them and they didn't think about what to say, but I did, which might have been partly because it was in Spanish, but I didn't really feel like that was the case.

I was pretending to be an investigator and during the prayer of one companion, the other farted and then after the prayer, ran out of the room and said he couldn't do this anymore because everyone was laughing. So that happened.

There is also an irritating thing that happened this week, but I just won't talk about it, because it's over and it's just not a big deal I guess. But it's just that I try to be reasonable and practical, and sometimes that seems to contradict perfect obedience.

Thanks for the package. I don't ever know what you mean since you said it was a small package and it had tons of stuff in it. I like that some of them are healthy, but I don't know how many I'll be able to take because of the baggage weight limit (be careful with the coconut for example because it has like 30g of sugar, don't quote me, per serving. I already ate it all thought). Also, I like both ties a lot. One is my favorite colors and the other is colors that I don't have.

I already opened all of the packages (wrapped Christmas gifts) in case there was anything that I didn't want to take and didn't want to ship all over the world. and the only thing was the shoe shining things, which are pretty light, so I'll carry them around for a while. But those don't actually re stain scuffed areas, I think it is just grease to make them look shiny for a minute. So they aren't actually shoe polish.

Yeah, I thought the Sundance snow looked really great, so Colorado snow must just suck. (Or be really bad, I mean; I learned the hard way that you aren't supposed to say that, especially in spanish with the informal you pronoun...darn other missionaries get me in the darndest bad habits)

My companion just dropped me off to catch the bus, but there were 10 other missionaries, so it didn't matter.

The tie clip I threw in the trash was a paper clip, not an actual tie clip. I was just using it to hold my tie together and didn't want to bring any tie clips, so now I have the one that you sent me. But if it was real, I wouldn't have done it.

I got my pants fixed (the hem stitch just ripped out) and I decided to only fix the leg that was broken and not have the other reinforced, because I heard that sewing is muy cheap in Mexico.

The cookies are also good from Jessica. Is molasses better than sugar for you? Also, if you decide to send packages in the future, don't send caramels or the like, because I really like them, but they're kind of time consuming to eat. So I have a lot with the Riesens, caramels and werthers I got. Thanks though, I just can't really talk or brush my teeth with them in my mouth, so like maybe, if I'm lucky, one a day on average.

I was thinking about practicality and I decided that God must be very practical, otherwise the church wouldn't be run like a business. Also every apostle seems pretty reasonable and practical to me. Thus, I think ethical practicality in a lot of senses is spirituality (the Spirit would encourage you to do that I think). Like Mom is always saying, about God hitting two birds with one stone.

I always tell the truth in these letters (I think) unless I'm being sarcastic. So, if I'm happy, I'll tell you and if I'm depressed I will too.

So did Matt's pomegranate trick work pretty well then?

Also, as for the coconut that I ate all of, I wonder if I can find it without sugar somewhere in Mexico.

Ben, I am glad that you're looking at the bright side of me not being able to tell you to brush your teeth. Love you, too. Also good luck on your finals, you too, Josh.

I hope I am up to the challenges, Dad. I guess time will tell.

We were talking about why people obey commandments and our teacher said the three main ones were fear or love of God and wanting to receive the blessings. So I was thinking why I try to do them, and I came to the realization that just like serving others is like serving God, loving others is like serving God. So, if we do something because we want to be courteous to others or recognize the effects of doing what is right for them or wrong, then that is like loving God. Just something to think about.

As for going to Mexico on Monday: "Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing who holds the future."

Right now I am listening to health training while I do e-mail, because otherwise I won't have time to e-mail you at all. He keeps saying how we should not eat any raw fish or vendor food and always wash our hands after all these things (animals, meetings and bathroom and carry soap around with you) and make sure our meat is cooked through. And we can get shocked by wires that they wrap around the shower head to warm the water and die because of carbon monoxide poisoning and how we have to do everything with pure water (but not even bottled water is guaranteed to be anything besides tap water at all). Anyways, there is tons of other stuff. He also said some other stuff that I liked, like that no one is perfect, so try to get plenty of sleep and try to follow the rules (but I think he is saying that health comes first, so Josh's rule about WebMD must be right). Other stuff too, like don't eat raspberries or other fruit that you can't wash and you have to wash all fruit in a bleach solution. And I just know that I can't live all of those rules. So I don't know what to do about that. Because I think in practicality that very few missionaries live even half of these rules. So I will try, but I just don't know. So pray por favor. He also said that it is important because our body is a temple and it will be more difficult for the spirit to dwell in it if we don't take care of it. So I just don't know. Also, other stuff about how in some countries they don't throw away used toilet paper in the toilet, and you keep it in a bin that you should wash every 48 hours. I just am not sure how I can do all that, but  I will try. It just seems unlikely. (Don't worry especially Mom).

I told Elder Hesterman who is also going to Tijuana that there is a reason that diariamente (I think) looks so close to diarrhea (I think that is the spanish word) (diarrhoea (I guess that is how they spell it in England, according to our Oxford Dictionary)).

Also, the guy on the health video had a missionary nametag that said Doctor, so you should try and get one of those Dad.

Anyways, I will leave now. I love you guys and love you and stuff like that. Eternal family and everything else. I am nervous about going to my mission, but I am sure that everything will be fine. Faith and fear cannot coexist. Anyways, love you again and I will talk to you soon, I hope (don't forget to answer the phone because I will use all of my minutes up).

Diariamente Means DAILY, so that's why Kaden says it is appropriately similar to the word diarrhea in the language spoken in Mexico