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,