Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I am glad that you also like my negative e-mails, haha. Because those happen sometimes. 

Dad, they probably just sent a crappy image because they don't have a good camera. I think I will probably never get a good picture of a zone conference or the mission because it is really hard, but I am on the right on the stage. 

Josh, I practically almost buy everything adventure time here, because I miss it so much. And yeah, that is exactly what life is like with pday and stuff, except sometimes pday isn't as fun as you thought, just like the real weekend when you don't have dates and have to sit home and do homework and you stay up late and feel sick, or at least that's how weekends were for me. I do really miss Adventure time though. And the episode where Jake turns into a car and eats Finn, if my wife doesn't love that, it is going to be hard to love her, but I will just have to be a better missionary so the Lord prepares her.

Mom, it is hot here a lot now and still dry, but it seems humid to me because I grew up in Colorado forever. Sometimes we have to open the window in the bedroom to clear the sweaty night air out. That thing about the pot there is sad and also completely predictable when you look at alcohol; but maybe it will help make the second coming happen. I got both of your pictures and they turned out well.
I don't have diarrhea very much and when I do I think that it is from stress. The bad diarrhea is from food, but I haven't really had any of that. I hope that means dad and Ben aren't fighting and that everyone else i getting along. Tell Ben I love him too and in 6 months he will appreciate not being on accuatane anymore.

This week:

We skipped language study to go eat tlayudas at a family from Oaxaca's house, so that means they are sin food. They are giant tough tortillas with grasshoppers, avocado, beans, cheese oaxaca which is pretty good, salsa, chorizo which is a blood sausage that is alright, but I don't really like much and a big piece of beef. The grasshoppers are not as good as they act like on tv, but they aren't bad either. Like Josh said, though, locust, like John the Baptist.

We also tried sopes this week, which are really good. They're like tostadas which are crunchy tortillas except they are softer and thicker then regular tortillas but you top them with re-fried beans and cheese and chicken and salsa (a lot like you do with tostadas) and I will have to make them when I get home. Also, it turns out enchiladas are better here, but a different kind of enchiladas. With salsa verde, the same kind that was on the sopes (we tried them with the daughter of the family that gave us sopes) 

But the recipe is with tomatillo, chile serrano or jalapeno, onion, cilantro and garlic and that is a really good and easy salsa here. 

I told my mission president that we could not enter homes of women alone and not offend them either, but after that I immediately offended a woman when I said that here 22 year-old son with down syndrome wasn't responsible and so I couldn't enter, (really I think just because she thinks I don't trust her she was offended, but it wasn't about that )

Elder Zuniga (who said he is going to email you when he gets back home to Chihuahua on Wednesday or maybe a little later, mom) told me the curse of obedience is that you have terrible numbers, which is partly true, because you can't enter the houses of women alone, but I don't care. I think I am going to make obedience a priority and just try not to worry about the other, because obedience should be more important, right? Our president told us if we want to see miracles, part of the formula is exact obedience, (the other parts are faith and diligence) so I will just have to trust that miracles happen.

Other food that I have tried this week:

pollo picante which is good from Bolivia and also chuno from there. I am glad I didn't go there on my mission because they eat so many potatoes and tortilla with corn are healthier I think. 

Is corn always a whole grain or can you also have it separated like wheat?

Also, I tried a fruit called nispero, which is decent, but I wouldn't buy it at the store, just eat it from a tree. It tastes exactly like you would think looking at it, which I realize doesn't make sense, but isn't something to write home about (which is why I dedicated this paragraph to write home about it).


I had another exchange with Elder Zuniga before he goes home (his flight leaves tomorrow) and I am going to nickname him my second trainer. But really I appreciate and love him a lot. He is practically our paisano (or from the same place as us) because he lived in Colorado and speaks perfect English and knows what CSAP is. Also, he likes adventure time and regular show and avatar too. But really he just helped me a lot when I felt discouraged and gave me a lot of good advice (like that sometimes things my companions do will make me want to (cocking handgun and pushing it against throat) but that as I serve them I will have more patience and love them because charity suffers long, and that is why he is still here. 
and that if I don't want to enter a house with single women and break the rules I don't have to and sometimes my companion won't support me, but light always triumphs over sin and sometimes I will have to stand alone. 
Maybe I will see him at byu or after I die. 

Anyways, I was feeling kind of depressed that my trainer was leaving and I wouldn't get advice from anyone anymore, maybe, that was really good, but I have my new companion now, and things are going to be fine, hopefully. I just need to keep being obedient and the Lord will help.

My new companion is Elder Duran from Mexico City again and he has 18 months in the mission. I don't know what he is like really yet, but I am going to serve him until I love him, or at least that is one of my priorities. 

I feel sad because I miss the missionaires that changed, but before I know it , we'll all be dead and can see each other and all our family members again.

Love you guys, eternal families. Josh, the ultimate weapon can break the damage limit..don't give me diarrhea you guys.

 Love you love you see you soon, Kaden

Pictures with some members and my old companion before he left:

Pictures of me and tlayuda (the grasshopper food) and elder zuniga (not my new companion) but one of my favorite people. I appreciate him a ton:

 Josh says:   There are bugs all up in this food. Kaden has gone John the Baptist on us, eating Locusts and such...

Written March 10, 2014

chile relleno of cheese which was awesome! 

sometiems you don't show up in the selfie you take, haha


Josh, Celia says she did really appreciate that wood splitting and yeah, a return missionary pointed it out and no one was around so I took a picture.

Thanks for the picture of Mikey's baby. it is just like all babies, which is cute and impossible to tell what it will look like. 

Mom, all the food is good. The weather seems hot and more humid, but not super humid. I can't believe Ben did the blood type kit and can't stand the drawing, but it is true that you can feel it pulling through your vessels, and the pressure throughout your arm. I might transfer next monday or get a different companion, but I have no idea, things might stay exactly the same.

Lindsay, I did receive your e-mail, so they aren't censoring anything. But we will see. I do imagine the cartoon germ thing, but I wash my hands more before I eat and I think I am healthier for that. I think that you should help the missionaries in any little way you can, but most important is to do visits with them because God sees the dumb little things we do to try and help others and I want us all to go to heaven together, but yeah, even i have money as a missionary to buy my own carrots, but alcoholics spend all their money on beer, so maybe they don't. 

Aunt Celia, I removed you from the list because I was tired of receiving emails that said your box was full. So just keep up on that and I will keep sending you everything, of course. Also, yes, exactly, force everyone to turn the cabin into a mansion, it is what they should do if they use it, and that way it will be ready for when I get back.

Dad, your foot story sounds like you're a missionary, because our feet are terrible. Thanks for working so hard for the priesthood line. It isn't that important to me anymore as a missionary, but it is interesting as a person, so thank you a lot. Don't worry about the back thing, I am going to start being a lot more crazy. 

Love you ben, too, and everyone else

The story is that we went to her house and she was talking about spirits which isn't that uncommon and then her kids started saying she was a white witch that helps the spirits and I shared helaman 5;12 and said that no matter what, if we build on Christ, we don't have to worry about spirits or anything like that and I asked them how we could build on Christ and why it was important to go to church and stuff like that and it was great, but then my companion shared the parable of the talents and said she should develop her white witch talents to help people (even though she doesn't want to, and says it scares her to invite the spirits and make luck potions and things like that) anyways, I just hope she doesn't keep inviting them and stuff. I am going to learn to say more, like the spirit is probably telling you not to develop that talent. But, either way, I am going to develop my talent for ponsy schemes.

I ran out of time last week and had to ask for more so I could send the email.

My president told me faith, work and exact obedience are the keys for miracles, but I don't believe in exact obedience, because then we would not need the atonement anymore. But it makes me feel a little bad, like I am inadequate, but more about that later on when my week improved. 

Sometimes at night when it is colder, I can see my breath, but it is getting hotter here and my sheets are always sweaty.

I realized I had slight trench foot from not drying where my pinky toe curls weirdly. But don't worry I got a prescription from the doctor.

My companion is good to me when I feel depressed and bad and cry during companionship study, so I can't fault him for too much.

I got a letter from Josh and from Grandma and Grandpa this week, which was awesome. Maybe I will ask an american how to send stuff to there.

Josh: I was also shocked about the skittles thing with green apple because I first noticed in Mexico and then I asked someone and they said it was always that way (fool). 

I also got your package, Mom, Wednesday and you utilize volume much better than other moms. I really loved all of the memories you wrote and all your letters and emails from everyone. Mom, it seemed like you listened to every candy I have ever mentioned and sent them to me. Mint oreos are good because you can't get them here. But send me less packages, because I can't afford to eat so much candy, and, like a cat, I have no self control. I am going to slow down and should be good for 5 months or something. Thanks a ton though! Also, good for shoe polish for quite a while. 

Gospel l principles has a list of like 15 things we have to do to reach exaltation, so read them so that you can improve in the ones you're weak in because I never want to be separated for the eternities (like Grandma's bread with the knife). I will also keep working.

Being a missionary is sometimes hard because you are expected to carry out somewhat inspired or perfect plans, being an imperfect person and a lot of it falls to you. I have glimpsed what it must be like being a bishop in that respect, on a small scale (except less responsibility and no job or family). All we can do is try though.

Those hot tamales remind me of mom and vacations where we would each get a bag of hot tamales (but not the hot tamales they have here of which chicken salsa verde is the best) and Lemonheads (thanks grandma/pa) and werthers remind me of dad. 

i was imagining that I can probably do terrestrial kingdom at the least and then I remembered that saying of "Shoot for the moon and at the very least you'll land among the stars"and I hope it isn't referring to the kingdoms of glory. But really I am going to go to the celestial and all of you too, so we can be together.

We ate little Caesars pizza twice this week, once we bought it and once someone bought it for us in addition to our meal (the guy in the picture that isn't a missionary). it is actually pretty good here because they don't rob you on the sauce. 

We had exchanges which were awesome and improved my week. I will return here if i have more time. I went with a zone leader that I had'nt gone with before and he lived in Colorado for awhile but is from Chihuahua and probably speaks English better than me. Anyways, he is really awesome and charitable and so I am trying to be more like him in that way, (in a step to the Salvador, the Savior) and i realized that forcing charity on your companion helps you to love them more and is like a game kind of to look for opportunities. He also said that he was feeling really inadequate and that the president's wife told him it makes God sad when we don't appreciate the gifts he has given us and I just really appreciated his sincerity. I am trying to be more like that.

Also, i am obeying the visiting single women rule and am so much happier. love you bye

I ate miso soup from a half-chinese family, so go figure.

I had some old shoes I found in the apartment that i wore when it rained really hard and I noticed that they were completely covered in mold the other day on the outside too, so I threw them away, but it was really gross.

Our presidente told a bunch of single adults at a convention that when they want to get married the girl is going to ask to see their tithing slip, but I am not fool, I know that is just a trick to see how much money you make. 

If you have question bold it (good job mom you are the most consistent in that way)

Love you family, love you eternal family, don't give me diarrhea. I love and miss you and will talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I only took one picture this week of allegedly yucatan food, tostada with refried benas an egg, lettuce, ham and cheese and salsa.

Josh, thanks for the picture you sent to all of the missionaries you know. Now I can start sending emails to all of the girls you like.

Lindsay, your presents are always good because you think about them and I don't even give anyone presents ever, so you are beating me. And yeah, damned kids of us always being ungrateful to the aunties and mom and dad and grandparents.

Dad, the email with 4 pictures was the better size. You can give everyone my blog address, but truthfully, I don't want to write anyone, because I barely have the time to write you guys, family. Also, could you give the address of the blog to Grandma, I got a letter from her and she acted like she doesn't have it. Matt says the most important rule is sleep in different bed from your companion. I don't think I have bed bugs, but time will tell. I don't think the leaders probably eat anything except some food for breakfast and dinner (which I do too) but I don't know. I'd get migraines if I didn't drink water, I don't know anymore, but I am going to try again, but not until after my mission.

Ben, congratulations on being a teacher. I hope that trust fall built unity in your quorum, haha. And welcome to church/mexico/everywhere/every other Person, sometimes what people say has no end and doesn't make any sense, but good job being smarter than everyone as usual. I don't know about internet school because you might become a recluse and be really depressed. You need to do your laundry more. Maybe it smelled like ham from not wearing deodorant or washing too many clothes at a time, I don't know anywaything.

Mom, I got your letter with genealogy this week along with a letter from Grandma. The packages are unpredictable. I'm healthy except the occasional bouts of depression or stress. I am terrible at judging distances, but it seems like more because of the hills. The shoe guarantee won't work, I don't think, because we never sent it in because we didn't have a receipt or something, you have to register the shoes. They are fine, I think, I just won't wear them in deep water (or try at the least). I basically will never improve at Spanish, but am not going to worry about it at this instant, maybe tomorrow. I'll probably have like 1 or 2 american companinos (not a spanish word just a typo).

This week:
They have a food here that is called negrito which is little blackie or little the n-word and also a politically correct version that they are starting to sell in the us called nitos that has a white kid with an afro. They are like eclairs, but crappy.

I also count badly now, because you can't count someone as a new investigator unless they have had a first lesson and a specific date to return, but a first lesson needs to have a prayer and two principles, so I just count whatever we say to a street contact as that if we have a specific appointment. but not as a lesson in the lesson category unless it was really in depth. I am also evil now.

I have heard that about the microwave; also, lindsay told me when I was little that if I stood in front of it it would make me retarded like someone she used to know. Names can't be included.

I ate corn with cheese and mayonnaise and hot sauce and butter and it was okay.

Also, mole chicken with homemade tortillas y quesadillas is pretty good.

Someone gave us coffee candy and my companion ate it but I just threw it away later, and he thought that was ridiculous. And it is true that I ate some wine candy earlier, but I wish I hadn't. The difference being though I think, that alcohol is found in fruit all the time, but coffee isn't, so I don't know. I wish I hadn't done either just for principle.

I was telling a sister that I drink water during my fast and my companion asked me in front of her if it was by prescription so I lied and said yes, but basically any doctor would give me a prescription like that if I told them about being a missionary and migraines and puking. It bugs me because I think I live the law of the fast, but I am probably going to start fasting every week just from pure peer pressure. 

He also likes really strong scriptures like one in santiago that says he who is guilty of one sin is guilty of them all, but I think it is just talking about if we didn't have Christ, even one sin would prevent us from returning to God. Why doesn't anyone ever think about the Savior when they share such crazy scriptures?

So, allegedly complaining is against the mission rules and the previous president sent missionaries home for it because all the residents and assistants read the emails we send. But the manual says just not to complain about your area, so your companion is fine. But really I think the reason is just so you have a positive attitude. But if I get sent home for something like that, oh well. I can't help that I am so negative sometimes.

Also, my companion told read me a quote that even the smallest lie is a serious sin, which sucks since I lied about the fasting thing. I don't think things like that help me, they just make me feel like giving up.

I'm kind of hypocrite, because I buy a lot of starch and sugar with my own money and then say the members don't feed us enough vegetables, but I am trying.

Have you ever heard that the 10 virigins were all going to marry the bridegroom? I always imagined them as bridesmaids, but the spanish version and my companion use the word boyfriend and it never mentions the girlfriend.

We had a snow day with all the rain this week, but it only lasted an hour which is stupid.

It has been kind of cold and rained off and on for three days. One day was really strong and the staircases all turned into rivers and the streets that are in the valleys and also the cockroaches trying to escape drowning, but only I saw a bunch on one wall. Probably not as much as I make it sound. but the sewer drainage system isn't great here.

one thing I will miss about my companion is that he isn't a slob. Sure he doesn't wash his hands after a creamy behemoth or peeing unless it gets on his hands, but the apartment is clean.

One thing that bugs me is that he taught a recent convert that she can gradually quit drinking coffee and that we don't need to be perfect, just strive, but that is something that is definitely in her power and the word of wisdom is one of the big commandments. Also, we always invite less actives to the church to take the sacrament, but they never get interviewed or anything, so hopefully we aren't responsible for them taking it unworthily.

I have a story to tell about a horrible lesson, so hopefully I have the time....
a sister was telling us she can see spirits and is a white witch,
and she helps them, and then they told us all this stuff about weird sounds and seeing dead people and she is a member the entire family in fact.  I shared helaman 5:12 and it was really good, then my companion shared the parable of the talents and said she should develop her talent.

I think I have less than 2000 bowel movements remaining in my mission. (missionary challenges)

Everyone always thinks I work in banks and post offices when we go there because of my clothes.

I was reading the genealogy stories mom sent me and I should stop complaining because I live a much better life than probably all of my ancestors, even though I am a missionary.

Eternal family love love love you guys (don't give me diarrhea)

Written February 24, 2014

I have the same companion for a long time because I am in training. I think that we will get separated in 3 weeks when the transfer ends. 

Thanks everyone for responding to my doubt; and thanks, matt, for reminding me of the most important rule that we have.

Dad, para que sepan is just which is, just so you know, which really doesn't mean anything that important. I eat oatmeal, and also tons of bread and cookies. I am trying though to eat some fruit and vegetables. A lot more than my companion.

Mom, I got my backpack and it is perfect. Hopefully it was a lie what they said about slowly phasing out backpacks in mexico. Thanks a ton! 
I already do that thing with my blessing, kind of, but there aren't that many admonitions for some reason. I usually just turn the blessings into admonitions, like it is expected that I will work until I have these blessings, and that is too much pressure...haha.

I miss all of you too (living with you, Josh, is a lot better than with a companion). Love you and eternal families.

This week:

I call my jump rope "The cursed jump Rope of discouragement'' like I'm in Adventure Time which somehow makes tripping seem a lot cooler.

Everyday is hard and we aren't baptizing anyone or helping anyone progress very well, but hey, the weeks go fast enough. And I can do it when I live from food to food.

I got a package from Grandma and Grandpa with tons of brownies and skittles and lemonheads. Thanks, grandma and grandpa! I have a problem though in that they only lasted 2 days because I am afraid other missionaries will eat them all on the exchange so I ate them in two sittings plus half a gallon of milk from costco we were gifted in one sitting. 

I think I will get twice as many packages as Josh because they can mail like I am in the US but I seem as far away, so that is cool. (being the favorite that is)

My companion is good mannered. I went with some others missionaries to a members house and I felt like we were in a restaurant. It was pretty awful.

He is also an annoying do-gooder in that if we find mail or a lost dog in the street, we spend hours trying to return it and people are never that grateful or we just give up after a while. But whatever,  he has good intentions.

McDonalds is swanky here, kind of.

I've gained like 15 or 20 pounds (I don't know because I weighed myself after eating a lot) but I think like 15 since beginning my mission. Hopefully it is mostly muscle from walking up hills.

I did an exchange in an apartment with bed bugs, but I didn't get any bites and hopefully I didn't bring any home.

I am still not comfortable with the toilet paper trash cans, so I was rolling my used toilet paper into small balls so they would flush easily, which is fine, until you get to the first piece you used and the poop squeezes out like play doh on your hands. I will be more careful next time. haha

I had to throw away those healthy drink mixes because I found out that they had less than 1% green tea, so it is more of a principle thing then anything else which is too bad because I felt really good about all the other stuff they had in them. Thanks though mom for thinking of me.

hot cakes (or pancakes) are much better here from the mix. I actually like them.

My dressier shoes already have a split across the sole, but I think they are fine, I will just have to avoid puddles (I am not even sure the water will enter). But next time I will buy some like the other pair.

Our zone leaders bought us dilly bars from DQ and they are like a dipped cone popsicle that only cost s 12 pesos. They were super good. but my companion said he prefers the other ice cream we have eaten which tastes like frozen vanilla pudding.

It is weird when random member drive by and give us $5, but I accepted it, so...

Cake is better if you put it in the freezer first or if it is tres leches, which just means they fill the spongy part with milk and evaporated and condensed milks.

singing is awful sometimes here. we did visits with a return sister missionary and we sang at every single one and my companion started laughing because my voice was cracking and sounded so bad. Ben will be an asset when  he comes on a mission.

I think that anyone should drink water during a fast in the summer, but my companion said if we can go 3 days without water then we die, nothing is going to happen in 1 day, (for himself he spoke, not me) but he will be at least 1/3 of the way to death in fact.

I was thinking and when Britain changed from imperial to metric it was probably the first time they admitted they were wrong.

According to my companion the prophets and apostles are endowed to a greater degree than us and for that reason they have to wear garments always that go to their wrists and ankles. I don't know if I believe him.

Home teaching here is easy because they just assign you two or three families and they are only less active or inactive or recent converts. They don't bother with resources on the actives.

When I am middle aged will I babble and talk forever and never be quiet. it is really hard to teach people like that here, but were they always like that?  So disorganized and talking about how the bible is clear that we are extra terrestrials and that revelations talks about space ships?

I heard if we want to experience Mexican culture and food, we should go to guanajuata, so maybe we should go there when I get back.

Why does God permit Satan to have such random powers, like control over water, but specifically the Mississippi r. and he can appear as anything except

a white dove?

Also, I know why we aren't supposed to buy clothes, because my companion spent 700 pesos of his 800 for two weeks on boots. I am never going to do it like that, max 100.

Anyways love you all and thank you for the letters and the love and everything.

love love eternal families don't fight or i will get diarrhea love you 

Written February 17, 2014


Sorry if my emails worry you, but you are the only place I can vent except my prayers and with a missionary from my district in the MTC who I know won't judge me..

i already make meaningless goals t hat are too high just so the leaders won't bug me and I never reach them almost, but oh well. I just think it is too bad that the culture makes us so much more ineffective.

We ate pigs feet in a bean, cilantro, tomato, onion, jalapeno, carrot, broth thing, which were (the other ingredients) good. The grossest part is that they still have the skin.

We were teaching a less active lady who can't go to church because she is sick and she was telling us she has trouble with the stories but that she finally learned the one of Joseph Smith...how Christ failed in fulfilling God's will so Joseph Smith had to do it, We did our best to help her understand how it really is. She also was afraid to go to the temple because she didn't want to lend her body to a dead spirit and have it enter in. Some people have very unusual misconceptions. We try to help.

A sister in our ward cleans a giant house in California. We saw pictures and my companion said it must be 50 or 100 thousand dollars at least, but it has to be more like 5 million or 15 million dollars...

There was a giant cockroach in our house that I killed. I think it was a stray, thankfully, because I haven't seen any others in our house or any other (living ones) anywhere else. I said it freaked me out and my companion pointed out it didn't even hiss or fly like some types.

Your letters always make me laugh or cry, so just like a good movie, you know they're good.

We had an outside conference with a member of the presiding bishopric and my seat was completely wet like a sponge, which was terrible. And he said that when he used to scout out lands for temples before they were announced his wife would ask where he was going, and he would say he would tell her, but then he'd have to kill her.

My companion told me to remember that only our leaders can grill us, I appreciate that sentiment.
There are 210 missionaries in my mission, para que sepan.

I fear that I haven't had true repentance for a like a year, even though we should repent everyday, because I forget about the bad things I do because they aren't so glaring and I probably always return to do them.

Banana+ milk in blender is almost as good as puffed rice balls and also gives me tons of nostalgia for banana ice cream shakes when I was little.

Apparently, knocking a certain pattern here is the f word, which I accidentally did on the door. Other missionaries confirmed it too. Oh well

I saw "Japanese peanuts"in a store. Is that a real thing?

I got a letter from grandma today addressed to the old address.  Is the new one updated on my blog? It was from Christmas though. Thanks, Grandma!

I ate menudo, which just smells really bad, but isn't tough or chewy or anything even though it is stomach. Like stomach flesh noodles.

I also had homemade tortillas which aren't better like homemade bread vs. from the store. And quesadillas are really common here with just cheese. Also, all sorts of sauces made from chilies.

There are some fruits I want to try, but I haven't seen them yet. Membrillos, dominicans (small bananas) and cirelas. I have just heard about them.

I always eat oatmeal now (thanks josh) and it is really good and I always put a banana in it and feel a lot healthier in that respect. But less so in that I eat cookies everyday to self-medicate.

This Sunday I played piano in church, and spoke (with like 10 minutes of preparation) and taught  principles of the Evangelio. So that is being a missionary.

I'm not crazy about being obedient, but I feel really bad when we waste entire days or hours not accomplishing anything and I feel bad when I don't contact people in the street and sometimes when we make visits and break that rule of visiting single or widowed sisters, which no one ever answered if they did that on their missions...Like for example, Sunday we didn't  teach any lessons to anyone, we just visited with them in their houses. Josh, did you ever break that rule of visiting homes without an adult male there?

A member gave us barbacoa, which is really good. It has broth (caldo) which tastes like a mix between french dip and pho and then tons of birria (shredded beef).

Allegedly, the previous president of this mission reprimanded with his priesthood a missionary that stood up and started swearing at him during a conference.And the missionary passed out and then the president said he was a follower of the devil who repented at the last minute, but i don't think those exist. Firstly, it kind of denies the Atonement had a lasting effect and  secondly, it gives us a reason to be jerks to others and not recognize their potential as children of God. More probably it was because that president was really strict, at least I hear so.

Happy Birthday Josh and Benjamin, this week!

Josh, i don't know what to tell you about girls except that your Valentines day experience is the reason in elementary school you have to give valentines to everyone. Basically what you described with the tricking you into listening to the women engineers with food is kind of my mission,  I just live from snack to snack and meal to meal here. 

Ben, thanks for sending me your drawings and an email and yeah, yolo, that's why I try to speak spanish and yell my stop on the bus, even though my accent is so strong and weird that everyone in the bus turns to look at me every time.

Auntie, glad to hear you enjoy these letters!

Mom and Dad, thanks for your encouragement and letters. He doesn't teach that the word of wisdom is optional, he just emphasizes agency enough with every principle that I think it is left unclear sometimes. Uncle Dave,  I will try to remember you in my prayers too.

I love you guys and miss you a lot. I am depressed when I don't do good (like wasting an entire day or not standing up more for the small rules), but really I am fine. That giant burial mound idea that josh had on his mission so we can all be resurrected together sounds like a really good idea. Love you eternal family.

Written February 10, 2014

THANKS for the letters everyone. I think I got more letters this week than any other week. So thanks, lindsay, mom, dad, aunt trudy, jessica, josh and ben

Whenever I express any sentiment like that I am afraid to die or anything, my companion acts like I don't have any faith. I was going to try to talk only good about him, because he's not bad at all, but I am a failure at that. But, for that reason, I am sad about Aunt JoLyn, but I don't want to more than tear up in front of my companion, especially since I cry during personal study (with my back to him) at least once a week, because I miss you guys or because I am a bad missionary (I know what you guys meant now when you said you were bad missionaries, but I think I'm probably worse). I think I am also probably hard to have as a companion because I don't talk.

That picture you sent me dad is of our house. To the right. We live there with like 5 other families. Also, probably not a maid or mother in law house. Probably a family of 6 lives there. But yup, that's the ward.

Turns out the flavored water has aspartame, not sugar. So that is a relief for my diabetes, except that aspartame is chemically similar to formaldehyde, which is bad in other ways. If it is homemade though, it is good. Like lemonade with other fruits, or with oats and cinnamon, I will make you some when I get home.

I bought some whole wheat tortillas, or allegedly so, but I threw the rest away because they were a lot of calories and didn't have any dietary fiber and I think they were a lie, even though they came from the supermarket. 

The peanut marzipan that is more expensive is a lot better, but it has sucralose instead of sugar for some reason. I am more fine with that.

The doctors wife told me it was unhealthy to microwave my food, especially vegetables and that it would give me cancer and remove any vitamins. But I don't have time to boil vegetables here, even though my companion acts like I do. And he said it is up to me if I get sick, but I think nowadays, they say everything gives you cancer, and I think it might be inevitable in this age. And acted like he never uses the microwave. She said I should eat them raw, but I prefer not very nutritious to e. coli from not nuking them. Does it really do anything? Scientifically, I think not.

There are also knock-off oreos that suck and taste like cake.

I bought a pound of green beans for less than 50 cents, but I think I will have to throw some of them away.

I am hoarding more food than money now, but maybe will return to the other. We will see.

At the testimony meeting there were two themes: I don't have any doubt at all about this according to a lot of people and the missionaries are angels of flesh and bones according to two people.

My companion is good in that he always lets me try his food and is generous with beggars.

i heard I can buy lychee fruit here in the correct season and some other weird fruits, but sometimes they can be expensive. I hope the lychee isn't and that I can buy kilos of it.

There is a rule that we should never be alone with women or girls unless there is also a 18 year old or older male present, which seems like a really important rule, but I have been alone with my companion with 16 year old girls and I don't know if we can keep this rule really. We wouldn't be able to keep hardly any meal appointments or visit any members and barely any investigators, not that we hardly have any. But I feel badly about breaking it, especially since the president sent an email specifically about it. Obviously, I would leave if something crazy started to happen, but I just don't know.  Did you keep this rule, Josh? Or does everyone just break it?

You can buy pre-toasted bread here, which is just stale and gross seeming.

The good sugar is cheap

Is it against the rules to wear like 10 pairs of garments?

Yeah, dad, I don't think that drink cures diarrhea, but is more like homemade gatorade.

There is scriptural evidence that 72 is the perfect age to die in 3 Nephi 28:2-3.

Those garments are fine, |Josh, I don't know if they stretched out or if I just got used to them, maybe some of each.

I am never going to learn Spanish, because we study language maybe 30 minutes every week. And it isn't very productive and there will be less when my training is over. Also, this isn't really Spanish anyways (example Spanish lima is lime and limon is lemon;in mexican lima is lemon and limon is lime). 

They have pickled carrots and jalapenos here which are good on sandwiches.

Here's a recipe, thin thin cut steak in pieces, onion, tomato, mushroom and a little chick bouillon stir fried and then corn tortillas.

Also, you can use lime juice in place of anywhere you would use salad dressing, like it is good with cucumbers salt and lime juice.

I don't know what is against the word of wisdom with regards to tea, so hopefully I am still on the straight and narrow. Especially since they call any hot drink here tea. Like is green tea the same thing as black tea or chinese tea, because that is what my companion teaches is against the rules...is chamomile alright?

He also teaches the word of wisdom in a way that I can't tell him it is wrong, but that gives people the impression that is optional. Like saying that is isn't obligatory (to less actives) and that you don't have to obey it to be a member of the church....but it really is kind of, if you want to be in good standing.

He also said that the bad church is the catholic church because it is the only one that fits the description given after I taught that it wasn't any specific church, just evil people. But I don't know how the catholic church and our church fit the description of that everyone belongs to the evil one or the bad one. Where do jehovah's witnesses and others fit in?

A sister was telling us that in her mission the president made a rule after sending home a bad missionary that if you couldn't baptize one measly soul every month, he didn't know why you were on a mission and  you got sent home and 70 missionaries got sent home. So that might happen to me. because I am a really terrible missionary and I never talk and make visits to teenage girls and old women without their spouses and I am not very spiritual and I have made less than 5 contacts my entire mission so far and I don't know how to talk to people and they point it out and I just feel like I am wasting my time (kind of) and depressed, but I don't know what else to do. But I don't think I am really helping people Also, I am antisocial and for that reason it is hard to be my companion, i think, or to coexist with the other missionaries at the conferences and I just stand alone mostly. But dad, you don't have to worry about people not being baptized, because we have hardly any investigatores...

Freeze dried peas are a good snack, you should put some of them in the kitchen, unless they're too expensive.

Sometimes I pretend I am in Japan at night, in the canyon streets or on the mountain, because unlike Mexico, Japan hasn't lost its exotic appeal. Also, if there is music playing in the street, like I am in a movie montage. And that the next scene will be months later.

I love you guys though and miss you a lot. Don't worry about me, because I will be fine and if  the new mission president in July is crazy, I will be home before you know it. 

Love you and eternal family


Written February 3, 2014

Thanks everyone for the letters (I am no longer listing names because I accidentally left ben off of one and I don't want to offend anyone).

Auntie, the milk here is either like before in mexico or like in the us. the cheaper milk is 25 or 50% vegetable oil and I think the stuff you don't have to refrigerate is rehydrated first. The milk from costco is way better. I had real whole milk at a members house and it was so amazingly better.

I am spending my money a little bit more, so I need food in my packages less. So don't worry about sending candy every week and stuff. I can buy a package of giros (the knock-off, Mexican, but more expensive and also better version of oreos) for like 20 pesos with 24 cookies and I still have money that I saved from previous weeks, even though you aren't supposed to, but I don't really know what to do with it. Maybe I will buy like 50 donuts from a bakery and candy and I think I might start buying fresh milk and frozen vegetables.

Also, yes, it has been really cold here. But soon it will be hot and ensenadad is humid with salt water showers, so I am not going to complain. Also, a sister is washing my sheets for me this week, so not too bad.

I pray for JoLyn and Aaron every time I say a personal prayer and fasted for them along with that I would be happy and talk more. I never know if fasting for too many things spreads the power of your fast out and weakens its effectiveness, but I do it anyway. Like upgrading your armor and weapon vs. just your weapon, if you know what I mean. But aunt joLyn is in my prayers, and you guys all too. (Just not always as specifically)

Ben, your letter was really funny. Your drawings seem a million times more professional to me. Also, I feel like you are now the cool one in the family and know all this hipster stuff, like pastel soft grunge spock, I only know what those mean separately....anyways, love you....

Thanks, dad for all of the pictures! Kenzie and snow are great things to get in the mail.

Still haven't gotten the backpack yet. Sometime this month.

AT first I though the used garment thing was a joke, haha, but it's not...
No, I don't care. Also, I am never going to be good at Spanish, because I don't dedicate nearly enough time or effort to it like you. I am pretty discouraged about it, but don't really know what to do. It is overwhelming and I don'treally like talking to my companion, because he never gets my jokes. it is frustrating, because I can talk very very generally about a couple of subjects, like food and family and church and that is it...

Probably the internet knows best how to make those refried beans, but I am trying to figure it out. CBB right now as a missionary though...haha

Someone said the girl was going to america and josh said Armenia..But really, what is the difference?

Happy Birthday, Jessica! Also, Ben and Josh this month. Sorry that I am not going to remember everyone's birthdays.

My week:
i tried a food called coloradito (like colorado, so it's like me) made with chiles and beef and I drank also atole, but not of chocolate, but of guava. Atole can be good and gross, because it is cream of wheat or corn that you can drink. Generally, I like it though.

You guys can see my misison in google maps if you want. Including my house. Try searching things like Canon Johnson Norte, indenpendencia, Tijuana, to cnaon johnson sur and east of that, more of less, is my ward. My house is on the dead end street that ends west of Benitez Razon. Also, pueblos or towns of hidalgo, progreso, morelos, rancho la cima, and mexico. Ex.: hidalgo, tijuana, mexico

I am learning all the names of the chiles here. Chipotle is really good and tastes like expensive barbecue sauce, but is too spicy with the seeds.
And others not worth menitiong.

My toes are ingrown, but not really. the side of the nail on my big toes, cut the skin some, but I think it isn't bad like an ingrown. I just try to avoid any walking or motion that hurts it, but I think it will be fine. I can't cut it differently though becasue it is theside part. Also, I was biting my cheek a bnuch and it bled. But it is better now. So don't worry.

Sometimes my companion really bugs me. But he is not bad. Like he will lecture me sometimes about how I need to get off the bus if he is going to pay instead of standing in the way and other stuff, but maybe that is how his parents taught him and so he teaches that way too. You guys never really lectured me though, so it kind of makes me angry. i just try to remember that he is probably trying to help. 

He also said it is not his job to take care of me, but actually it is. That's why we have companionships, but whatever. 

I think part of the reason he sometimes seems harsh to me might be the culture of Mexico or mexico city. In that he says things a lot more direct than I would. Like when the water turned off I brought our bucket into the bathroom and he said ""Why do you have water? We still have water!"? But I would've said something more like ""I think we still have water, but I am not sure, you can check if you want." Even if I knew there was water. Whatever though. 

Pre-destination is bad because it implies that people can't change which denies the need for the Savior and the Atonement. I learned that by experience with a crazy person while they were rambling about how we are either evil or good.

The ice cream here tastes like pudding, so although I have the money to buy some, I don't want to risk it. The ice cream there is much better. They also have american ketchup here, but this other kind as well that tastes like they read the ingredients and tried to make homemade ketchup. Really syrupy and vinegary, but not horrible.

We didn't have water but for 48 hours. intially they said a week, then 36 hours then 48. My companion said 36 hours was like 3 days. He is a little fried sometimes I think, and sometimes stubborn, haha. We didn't keep enough water, so i had the idea of peeing in the tank and then when we pooped we could flush it with the pee, but I don't think he knew I was serious. It was fine though and we have water again. I was most concerned about getting something from the food though, but we were fine. 

He told me a story about how some missionaries rubbed another missionary's pillowcase on the butts including him and it smelled awful and for that reason I need to be more friendly, but those missionaries are pieces of crap.

I'm runnign out of time, so eternal family eternal family. I don't skim letters, just read fast. love you 

i'm never going to write paper letters because I don't know how the post office works here and my companion isn't patient with explanations. 

Did you know cilantro and coriander are the same plant?

There is less control over food here so I have eaten: mSG (headaches right?), nitrates (headaches and heart attacks?) and lead (in tamarind, which isn't even good anyways).

That doctor's family told us pee would cure our zits, but i am more concerned about the social consequences of peeing on my face every night and morning before showering.

I have a weird tan from my shirt collar already, even though I use sunscreen.

My companion bought two trays of strawberries for $2 and let me eat one, so that was really nice. He's probably more good than I say.

Pineapples cost like a dollar here. If I had more time, I woud definitely buy one.

The sobre ruedas or collapsable markets on wheels are better on saturdays, but we can only go on mondays. They have shoes and fruit and N64 and NES games and food and meat and dry goods and stands that just sell american brands, which is funny. 

So I realized to get to the celestial kindgom we just have to do the principles and ordinances of the gopsel and the endure to the end is the most important, and everyone says it is hard (which it is) but we don't have a problem with the first 4 and justl ike shamppoo the last step is rinse and repeat as desired, so we can do it.

You guys should find the church book  '3 simple ways to have a happier family' and do one section every week as family home evening and set a goal to improve that section each week. Because when we're grown you won't be able to change how our relationships were (speaking from a sister in our ward) and ben is still home. So it is worth the effort. And then you will be a lot closer I think, even though we are all fine, but you can always improve.

Also, sorry for when I was a jerk to you Ben and Mom and others sometimes really cruel. That was messed up.

My companion told me I need to be more humble because I used those inserts in a pair of garbage shoes in the apartment when it rained so my nice shoes wouldn't get ruined by the water. But I have never heard a story about pride where the prideful character took care of the little that they had and were thrifty and wore wrecked shoes. More it would be to think I can always buy nice shoes.

My president told me to pray to have my tongue loosened. I will try

The cake is 1000 sheet, not one thousand layers, I hope to try it tonight. (at missionary party return)

I only have a  minute
 left. So love you . love you. Ben you can call me kaden