Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Así es la vida.  Well famfam, I had a shocking realization of the life I now live.  I have sunk deep into the life of a missionary. One of the elders in my zone quoted the District Movies... I could not help but be overcome with a deep sense of sadness (Christopher and Carson will understand). Ah!  The life of a missionary is a beautiful but strange thing.  I feel that this week I have had a few of those moments where I thought, "yep, this is one of those moments that will turn into a story."  
I had my first meal where I was dry heaving the whole time.  I am really not sure what it was.  It was like mushed up lumps of corn (moldy corn) that was deep fried.  It was super mushy and everything kind of had a flavor of black licorice.  Yep.  Nasty. One of the elders was having a seriously difficult time eating it and everyone was finished but him and when the Hermana had her back turned he wrapped his last lump of corn in a napkin and stored it away in his pocket!  Clever fella.  I hope I never have to eat that again. Yuck.  
So with the upcoming transfer they have been making a lot of changes.  There are now 2 zones here in Martinez and they have finally sent two more Hermanas to us!!! Yay! We finally have friends out here among all the elders!!  One of them is even a gringa straight from the MTC!!  I was so freaking pumped when I found out there was another American girl I went over and gave her a big hug!! She is wonderful!  So the new focus out here is numbers, numbers, numbers. When we come home at night and we don't have very good numbers I feel like Buddy from Elf.  I am a cotton headed ninny muggins!! Oh well, I am scared that I can't keep up with all these numbers! Agh!! Oh well!  
Okay, time for another story. We were going around to visit our investigators and we took one of the young women in the ward with us. One thing you need to know about Mexicans is that they are very very loving.  They always greet and farewell with a kiss on the cheek. As a missionary this presents a problem because the men do this as well! Before I knew what was happening our investigator gave me a kiss on the cheek! Ah! No touchy!  I had no idea what to do.  And then I got reprimanded by the YW from my ward.  Oh man.  Needless to say the next time I saw him I gave him only a nice firm handshake. 
It has been great though, yesterday we got 5 of our investigators to come to church!  The tender mercies of the Lord are amazing, because last week we didn't have any! Also one amazing tactic to missionary work is taking your investigators to a baptism.  It really gets them excited and it puts them at ease when they see how it is done!  We are going to be baptizing this next week!  (keep your fingers crossed)  I will let you know how it goes. The church is true! Preach it!


Hermana Chandler 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mexicans don't sugar coat anything.. Not even their candy.

Hello family!! I have learned something since being here in Mexico.  These people are very honest.  Very honest.  They tell it exactly how it is.  If you are fat, they will say it.  And in my case everyday delgadita.. also they think that I can't understand them, but I can and it is uncomfortable when they talk about me in front of me!  Thanks?  Anyway, life has been good.  Can you believe that January is already halfway gone?  Wow!  Time flies!  This week we had a multizone conference in Tezuitlan which is about a 2 hour bus ride.  And you would not believe how cold it was there!  I needed my big coat and a scarf to stay warm!  This is Mexico what the heck? Anyway this conference was super cool, Hermana Manzueta and I were the only hermanas in both zones but don't worry I believe there are more hermanas coming this next cambio.  While at this conference President Lopez so lovingly announced to everyone that in 6 weeks I am going to be a trainer! AAAAHH!!!!! NO!!!!  To say the least I am very nervous!  But also very excited!  It will make me learn a whole lot faster.  I am going to be a Madre!  Woohoo!! Whilst at this conference we also talked about goals that we have set as a mission.  The goal this year for baptisms is 1500!  So that means every companionship has to baptize every week! Ah!  The work is hastening, and I sure hope that I can keep up!  

There are a whole lot of new things coming up and I am excited to meet the challenges so this means that I am going to need a lot of prayers!  That is about it for now!  I love you all to bits!  Be safe! 
Hermana Chandler 
ps. I met Elder Dunn at the conference

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This week was awesome!  I had my first baptisms.  It was a family of four.  They are so awesome.  They were married and baptized on the same day!  Needless to say it was one beautiful day!! It was amazing to see the changes in their lives.  They are so much happier and confident in their prayers and such.  Gloria (the mom)  even requested to get up during sacrament meeting to share her testimony.  It really was so awesome.  The Church is true, people.  It is true.  It is awesome to be involved in this work.  
  On Monday I had to take a road trip down to Xalapa to take care of some stuff for my VISA and one amazing surprise for me was that I got to stay with my dear friend Hermana Johnson.  Oh how I have missed her and missed speaking english!! It was wonderful.  The next day we went down to the offices and to my surprise all of my district from the MTC was there!! You would think that we have all been friends for our whole lives!! It was wonderful to get to see them! I was glad to hear that they are going through basically the exact same things as me.  Other than that things here have been pretty normal.  Lots of food, lots of walking, and lots of Spanish.  
Today!!  Agh!! I WENT TO A BEACH IN MEXICO!! Oh man!  It was awesome!  This is my life, I live in Mexico!! How crazy is that??  The beach was beautiful!  We went with some of the missionaries in the zone, it was awesome!  I ate food and played in the water up to my ankles! Man, this is the life! That is about it for now!  I love you with all my heart!  Be safe!
Hermana Chandler

Me with little Emily
The baptism!

My apostasy calendar

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mexico: The place where blowing up old people is a normal thing...

It is the new year and I am pumped.  I believe I will call this year, The year of the Mission. (super clever right?)  Life is good, the baptism fell through because we were unable to get them married in time but dont you worry!  They are getting married this friday and will be baptized on Sunday! I am really excited about that.  So they have this tradition here in Mexico where every new year they make this mannequin of an old person and stuff it with explosives!  Then at midnight, BOOM!  The old people are dust!  All night long we could hear the oldies exploding in the street!  It is amazing!  We went to President Morales home again for a party and I was able to assist in blowing up an old man.  It is so crazily awesome here!   We got back to our house that night and realized that we had left the door to our apartment open.  ALL DAY.  Wide open.  So we investigated and found that everything was in its place.  Oh goodness can you imagine how bad that could have been??  The Lord loves his missionaries. 
So things here are more different than you might think.  It is cold and rainy more often than not.  I have to sleep in a hoodie every night and every morning I wake up to the sounds of Mexico  Such as men and women walking down the street selling products.. TORTILLAS!! TORTILLAS!  Then there is this crazy rooster.. cada mañana (every morning), then every other day the garbage men come around ringing their bells singing LA BASURA!! LA BASURA (the garbage)!!!  It really is so funny!  I am just trying to soak it all up because it is definitely not America!  Tomorrow I am going up to Xalapa to confirm some stuff with my VISA and I get to see Hna Johnson!! Yay!  I am so pumped!  Another American girl.  I made a discovery, I am honestly the only American girl within at least 500 miles.  I guess they mean it when they say we are a peculiar people because I get the stares every day. Life is good and I love you all! Be safe!! 

Love, Hermana Chandler

Spanish phrase of the day: ¿A poco? meaning oh really? 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pictures from Xalapa!

Finally in Xalapa
The view from my window
Me in my rain boots, the head of a viejito, and Galilea Morales
Elders from my ward at Christmas
 Viejito for Año Nuevo

More viejitos!