Monday, December 30, 2013

Moon River

So this week was very interesting.  I had been hearing all week in the letters how the Christmas in the mission is the best and how jealous people were of me.  Well my friends, I should’ve traded, cause I had the worst Christmas ever and I’m not exaggerating at all….and I’ll explain why.

Christmas Eve:

Ha oh boy it would’ve been a blast if I didn’t get straight steamrolled by sickness. I had been sick since Tuesday, throwing up, diarrhea and not being able to move.  We then went and got medicine, it’s a long walk to the pharmacy; like 10 min.   So the whole way I’m trying to keep my balance and debating if I should throw myself in front of a big bus, but with my luck I wouldn’t die. So we got the meds and then went to Hermana C’s house.  This lady is a saint and is definitely going to the Celestial kingdom.  Anyway, she made us a feast and me some chicken and rice.  So I got to watch people munch.  That was fun...........not really.

Christmas Day:

Well things got worse and worse with time. I was trying to feel better before we got to talk with the fam but that didn’t happen. Around 4 we went to Hermana X’s casa.  Lovely lady also.  She let me sleep on her daughter’s bed before I talked to the fam.  I slept for 3 hours. Around 7 I got on Skype and started talking. Felt sick the whole time and didn’t say half the things I wanted to say cause my stomach hurt so bad. And the connection (if that’s what you want to call it) was a disaster.

After Christmas:

Santa musta been really ticked off at me cause got nothing on Christmas and the day after I got something: a Moon River. (FLETCH reference). And I would’ve rather had coal.  I’ll explain. So woke up around 10 and felt like drunk hobo. So we decided to go to the hospital.   Bad decision. They hooked me up with an IV and a bed. Bed a little small, but the best blanket I have ever had at the hospitals. So 2 nurses came in.  I call them the Evil Twins. They need a sample of my doodoo and they brought with them a tube.  You can probably figure it out from there. Then after that they gave me a bunch of medicine.  I’ll tell ya, the stay at the hospital is muy bueno cuando you can watch TV. The next morning I left for the house.

So what have I learned from this you might ask? Well:

 1) Don’t eat everything you see in the street even though it smells like heaven.

2)Self-medicate or get some lifetime scars.

3)I have one more chance to have a good Christmas on the mission so let’s do it big, huh?!

4)Christmas with the family, YOUR family is 100x better.

Cars y Bikes:

They all have flat tires. It’s so weird. They just cruise with no air in the tires; and we freak out back at home when we are losing some air. Wild. Perspective.

That’s it this week folks. Pretty boring and gross and miserable. Till next time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Key is to just Work, Work, Work

Well I’m not sick right now so that’s good.  It’s a lot better when you’re not sick that’s for sure.  Well, let’s get it started huh. 


HAhahahah this guy just keeps getting better and better.  When I am waiting for him I just study or read or practice dribbling the basketball cause even though I’m on the mission, it’s still about buckets.  Just different buckets, anyway.   Our lessons are getting shorter and sweeter. 1 hour to 45 min. so that’s helpful.

I call them door hoppers. They just go from door to door and just stand and survey their "kingdom". Then there is the Center Park or the Jungle I call it. Cause there are lots of PDA couples.  It’s like high school all over again, but they are still the nicest people.   Good stuff.

This is the area I’m serving in.  It’s pretty sweet, but it’s very expensive. I was in La Paz which is like the heart of Puebla and I bought a sweet snapback for 50 pesos or 3.80 dollars.  Same kinda hat. 100 pesos in Serdan.  A little ridiculous and all the shoes that are real are like 2500 pesos.  Wildness but great food...... my goodness imma gonna be BIG MIKE big when I get back. haha chiste

It’s a lot like Seattle when Seattle is like the nicest day. Kinda like Santa Cruz in the morning;  cold but the sun is out.. Then at night it’s cold, real cold.  I got my North Face, Beanie and some gloves and it’s still a bit nippy. But overall it is very nice from 12-6.  It’s cold cause it’s the desert and it’s Diciembre.  So hopefully that will change next month. I’m getting a nice reddish face neck and arms.  I need to wear no shirt a couple days to even it out but then I couldn’t put my name tag anywhere.

You can probably tell by some of my sentences and spelling of things that I’m losing the English and getting some espanol juego in my life.  It’s getting a lot better day by day.  I can understand pretty much everything but it’s the conjugations and speaking I have trouble with. But there’s always a person I have no idea what they are saying ha-ha. That happens in America too.

We have 3 progressing, 1 with a date, January 11th. I invited her to be baptized which was pretty cool.  It was in perfect Spanish or the Spirit just helped her understand it haha.   But still waiting on divorce papers for N.  G and her daughter that had dates haven’t come to church and she lost her business and has cancer. So things are tough for here right now.  It’s sad but we try to help her out as much as possible

We had basketball today. Little Tournament. It was me, Elder H, Elder S and Elder Z, two short men and one uncoordinated.  We went 4-1. I couldn’t even run the last game.  I was so tired from rebounds, getting and 1s and steals. Basically me vs 4. But that’s the way I like it. We beat Elder J who is  6 ‘1”, Elder G who is 6’2” and Elder W and Elder S who have all played before. They complained the whole time about I was "fouling them".  I was just doing the butt stick out on rebounds and 50/50 balls. I was like. ‘you don’t wanna get hurt, don’t jump on my back or try me with those 50/50’. It was pretty funny.  It was me and Elder G and Elder J  all running for the bal.  I reached forward and go it with one hand, brought it back between my legs and then around my back and Elder J and Elder G ran into each other.  Then I went between the legs on Elder G.  Oh, how I love this game. Haha.
Anyway to sum it all up.  It’s all getting better.  The key is to just work, work, work. Tired and more tired but it’s all good.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Spirit is willing but the stomach is weak

I’m starting to have legit conversations with people.  It’s a lot more fun cause I can be myself in 2 languages.

Well let’s get it started. This email is going to be kinda weak, Cause I feel super sick and barely could walk here.

Figured I would start with this first; ate something called chicharon, usually it’s very good but for some reason it ruined me.  Made me pull a jimmy johns - ask my dad about that one.
Had a burger called the jumbo.  It’s on flattened hot dog buns:  hot dog, 2 meats, chiles, salsa, ketchup, mounds of cheese.  It was pretty good; enjoyed it immensely.   Well it’s making me sick talking about food. Next.

Lots of power outages, happen for like 5 min and then go back on. Weird; the whole street will just die.  It happened when we were walking home. pretty scary.
Then there are the venders on the streets with their food.  They will go to the fences by the schools and throw food over to them.  Then the kids pay them through the fence; pretty funny.   They love Johnny Bravo here.  My comp has a little action figure.  They all know how to do the Johnny Bravo move. 
So we were eating in the tacos al pastor rest; way good.   And there’s this singing hobo who comes and will sing (not even good) and ask for money.  So I was giving hand sanitizer to the people in my district and he was coming over by us so I say ‘Aqui’.  He sprinted towards me and I gave him some hand sanitizer.  Then he was just stunned and looked ticked and walked out ha.
One of our menos activos is a barber, L. he was giving this guy a 1 on the sides when I see the guys face do a double take and freak out haha - he had wanted a 2 haha. priceless.

We have 3 who are progressing. C who is married to R who’s the man.  Then there’s N who’s basically a member who just needs to get married.  Then Jose whose wife is a member, he’s coming but he’s all about being a Catholic.  He’s slowly starting to believe, so were are making headway.


We had Cambios this week. Our whole district is the same, which is pretty sick - love these boys.  I had intercambios with the District Leader Elder G. We had some fun times; played ball in the morning for ejercicios.  We then went throughout our day preaching and spreading the good word.  Then the next morning our cell phones weren’t working. pretty funny.  We were walking to the bus to go to el seco when we saw Elder H and Elder W with no ties and flip flops coming to talk to us about the cell phones. We decided to go to el seco and meet up with mi comp and Elder S.  They had left to come meet us, so we had fun finding them. Took us 4 hours to finally get back to the house with my comp. good times


Ahhh  I’m going to adopt one of these things by the end of mission that’s for sure. They have a street I call Ruppa Road. Has a pit bull, 2 great danes, rottweilers, doberman, black lab, and a german shepherd.  All my favs. so sick. I love walking down that road.  There are some massive mean looking pit bulls here -pretty wild.  I’ll have to get a pic of one.

That’s about it.  I’m about to throw up so have a good one. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

All about Cubetas

Here come the categories again.

Oh boy, it just keeps getting better and better; had a dish called Tinga. It’s like rice, chicken, tomatoes, chile and some other stuff.  Then you put a cream type butter on a crunchy tortilla and munch away.  So good.   Another thing is the coke down here. They love it and they force it on you for sure. They buy huge 3L and pour glasses for days. It always whacks the stomach out.  Also the best thing that ever happened to me -  LECHERA.  It’s like this condensed milk, whipped cream and ice cream type tasting stuff.  I put it on my bananas, bread, cereal;  everything pretty much. I’m 209 pounds. Lost 6 pounds since the MTC. Good Stuff Right there.

They love their Gel. I’m the only one down here that doesn’t use gel in my hair.  I don’t do anything with it but these people spend time and money for it - some crazy looking ‘dos.  The word Bueno is used like Um or ahh when you’re trying to figure something out.  When you ask them when you can come back or when they have time for a visit - you get a life story.   It starts with them telling you about the family and the stuff they are doing.  Then it goes to other people they know to studies or work, then to some random topic and then to a time and date.  It’s a quest.

Oh this guy is a character. So he was trying to help me fix me camera and accidently deleted all my pics- haha. So we went to a camera store and got them all back on. He then hands me his camera and says delete mine please hahahaha. So priceless.  I obviously didn’t do it.  I just laughed and said all good.  Then he tried to give me 80 pesos cause that’s how much it costs to fix them.  I just took 20 and said it’s all good.  Now every time he has a member or other missionary’s camera I yell CUIDADO (watch out), he likes to delete photos ha.  We are getting along much better and having a blast. He’s still slower than molasses which I’m getting used to.

We have 4 new. G, the mother of two girls. M: 14, G, 6.5. They are getting BAPTIZED on the 15 of January. Then we have R - the most powerful lesson me and my comp taught so far. The restoration.  We had tears coming from his eyes - asked him to get baptized but he wants to learn more. We had 4 less actives at church which is good.  We’ll still have a lot more to retain that’s for sure; contacting every day.  Had one guy just stare at us while we talked; another lady asked why we don’t worship Mary.  They are all about her down here.

Well it’s a small apartment, not very tall doorways. Also the bathroom drips like crazy from the sink, shower and of course the toilet.  So it’s always wet, a pain but I like to slip a little here and there.  It’s getting colder but we got good blankets. Also we got a STOVE.  Oh we are cooking like champs now.  I had spaghetti today with croutons.   So needless to say, it’s getting good.

Ruppas or Perros:
They are everywhere and I love it. Can’t wait to get me like 5 when I get home.  I pet as many as I can and always wash my hands with hand sanitizer.  Worth it for sure.

So President Johnson of the 70 came down and we had a zone meeting on Amalucan. It’s about 2 hours from where we are or more. We stayed at the zone leader’s apartment and had ourselves a little pizza party. Good times that’s for sure. Got an awesome district and zone. President J talked about speaking the language, obedience and contacting people in the streets; brought the spirit in that’s for sure.

All about Cubetas:
Played some more ball today. Love me some hoops. This hoop tho..... rather play on a nerf hoop. It’s either a layup or has to be a perfect swish or of course a dirty bank shot. We had the whole district there. It was me and my man H who’s like 5' 6 220 lbs and M who’s a member who’s around the same vs 6' 3 G, 6' 1 J, and 5'11. All have played ball before the mission, not the best, but way better than my bros. But none the less, with help from the Lord we won 3 games:   all 3;  11- 6 each time. It’s all about cubetas and that’s what we got.  Had fun as usual. G was going crazy - hit me in the head twice and tried to guard me - haha. Good stuff, that’s for sure.


That’s about it hope all is well, take it easy and remember:  if you ain’t having fun, what’s the point.
Love ya!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tardes or Noches

So I’m gonna do categories cause the day by day thing is overused.

They are the nicest people down here. They will give you the coat off their backs and the food out of their fridge to you till you wanna throw up. Very Humble people. Always say hi to ya, Buenas Dias or Tardes or Noches. It’s kinda confusing. I’ll say tardes when its noches. Noche starts at 6 y tarde starts at noon.

They love their motorcycles. They will never wear helmets, just hold them or not have them. Strange. 2 guys were going like 100 and lost control and hit a pole and died. I heard that from an investigator.

The old people will always call me and mi comp jovens which means youngin. So fresh, y saw me a Lighting Mcqueen bug - haha so goofy.  The Catholics use fireworks to scare off the birds in the bell tower - that scares me every once in a while- haha.

The speed bumps down here....... like some stuff Ricky Carmichael has in his backyard; huge and long

He is the man; takes forever though. The guy spends 20 min on his hair, I wish I could send videos.  The funniest thing is to watch him do it.

He is a great teacher and loves the people a good example to me. When we are crossing the street he is very hesitant. He always yells “TAKE CARE” if he thinks I’m in danger, so funny.

We play rock paper scissors for prayers sometimes.  He’s up 13-7, more blessings for me. haha

We have really 1 investigator who is progressing.  She’s just waiting to get her divorce papers, then she’s getting baptized.  We never knock doors down here; it’s contacts in the street, referrals and getting the less actives back on the right track. We have a guy named V who’s the barber. He just loves kicking it with us and talking in English but doesn’t want to take a step forward.  He takes a lot about his problems too, confusing dude.

We went up to Chatlixica - no idea how to spell that – me, my comp, Elder H and Elder W; good times.  It was an activity in their ward.   We had some delicious tacos y patateos and played some futbol.   Me and this 8 year old S were killing it.  I would pass it to him, he’d give it back, I’d score, vice versa.  Kinda like me and Big E on a Wednesday night. Then we taught an English class to one of the members - fun times. Played Simon Says..lot more fun with people learning Spanish.  You win more as Simon – haha - good stuff.


Oh what a place. Now I’m in Mexico and it’s pretty nice for Mexico.  I’m not complaining at all, I’m describing.  We have no stove or electric stove that works. So it’s cereal, sandwiches and avena(oatmeal).  Our bathroom is small and moldy, smells like urine.

The shower..... oh boy. We always have hot water but I think it’s the same water that heats Satan’s river. My goodness, ridiculous.  You spend 5 minutes plus getting it tolerable - haha good stuff though.  Open the door to go into the living room after, hahaha like a magic show - so much steam.

Played basketball with the whole district, they aren’t very good so I don’t try too hard. But my team owns every time.. cause YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. My District Leader asked me why I was so jacked up. I told him cause I’m playing ball and why wouldn’t I be.  He said we are here to have fun.  I asked if he was having fun; he said yes even though I’m losing –kinda weird. I said I’m not having fun unless I’m winning.  But I said I would tone it down. Then this guy comes out pushing me and trying to steal the ball from me. Haha, oh boy. I had him doing spins and stuff Michelle Kwan wishes she could do.  He’s this 6 ft 1 in 160 lb dude - love him but he shouldn’t mess around.  He would throw the ball at me when I scored on him.  I didn’t talk trash, I just played. You would have been proud momma bear.  He then tried to back me down.  I just stood still and he didn’t go anywhere haha.  Good times for sure - loving playing ball.

Oh boy. Well it’s getting better. Starting to just talk- embarrass myself sometimes, but I’m teaching more and doing contacts.  I did my first one by myself, in Spanglish, the guy spoke ingles so that was nice.

This week was way better. Learning more and more each day. Loving it for sure

Monday, November 25, 2013

Still having fun with the Language

Tuesday, Martes (November 19, 2013)

Our outlet for the heater melted so I’ve been sleeping in a sweatshirt ever since then. My comp and I taught a new investigador.  Well, he mostly did, he repeats stuff like a champ. Our progressing investigador got way trashed and had the Mexico homeland security come and take him.  We convinced them to take him to his ex-wife’s house. The other elders H y W who live 2 min from us but proselyte in Clatichua.   They are fresh, Elder H is from Mexico somewhere and Elder W is from Cali.  Elder H just randomly says my name all the time, funny dude.  I’m getting humbled for sure.

Wednesday, Miercoles (November 20, 2013)

Had our district meeting where we talk about our goals and what we need to do better. Elder G, the big tall white guy from Virgina, is our district leader. Cool guy, he helps me out a lot. He said “I love you” over the phone and I thought he asked how old I was so I said “21”-- haha.  He said “Cool but I said I love you”.  Haha good times.  I have no clue what’s going on ever in the district meetings cause they are all speaking spanish ha-ha.  Oh it’s rough for sure learning a new idioma.   I’m gonna start calling my comp John Gruden cause he is calling audibles without telling me all the time.  We were supposed to teach Plan of salvation but we taught restoration. Did it without telling me.  Whatever though.

Thursday, Jueves (November 21, 2013)

We took a bus,  well buses, to the interviews with the president.  It took us 3 hours total.  I slept most of the time…love my president and even his wife - they are awesome.  They remind me of Grandpa and Grandma Farner for sure. We got muffins from COSTCO.  We need to do a better job planning.  My comp who’s Latin, is always late.  It’s embarrassing showing up late; but every time we show up late our citas aren’t even ready.  So it’s Latin time on Latin time I guess.  Still I would like to be on time. 

Been seeing lots of ruppas and loving it.  I want to keep some of them at the apartment, but I don’t want the diseases or bugs considering I have bug bites all over my body.  It’s like chicken pox. I don’t know what they are.  They itch like crazy.  I wake up in the middle of the night itching myself.  That’s Mexico. I’m getting humbled that’s for sure.

Friday, Viernes (November 22, 2013)

We taught my man V today.  He’s a barber and speaks English.  He calls us brothers every time he sees us, it sounds more like “bruders” though.  He plays soccer every Sunday during church which is rough.  So I asked him in Spanish which is more important, God and church or soccer.  He said God and church but I gotta play some soccer.  I’m confused about him but he’s the man.

I had some food at the obispos casa…absolutely amazing.  It was this soup with corn, meat, lettuce, onions, radishes and tasted like heaven when you dipped a butter tortilla in it. Also started my ingles teaching with P and his 2 sisters. So fun. Love doing that. Their mom always gives me some sort of pastry.

Saturday, Sabado y Sunday, Domingo (November 23 and 24, 2013)

Taught P y his familia about the Plan of Salvation. I did most of the teaching and my companion did most of the talking.  Church was good; understood more and am reading in Spanish a whole lot better.  Some things I noticed over the week. Every car has some sort of an attempt at neon lighting, kinda weird.  The clothes take days to dry when being air dried. There are always worms crawling on the shower floor…gross creepy ones.  The bus drivers are crazy-- they pass like 6 cars, trucks, buses at a time.  Crazy.  Every time we go to the supermarket we have to check in our mochillas and then get them when we leave.  When it’s sunny one side of the street always has shade and the other side is blistering hot. The shady side is always crowded. And some lady asked if we were stewards on an airplane haha.

Anyway times are getting betterish…still have fun with the language and can’t wait till I can speak it fluently.  But who knows when that will be. I’m getting more comfortable with talking but I don’t know what to say cause they are speaking so fast.  It’s rough but I’m still loving it.  The highs are way better than the lows.  I pray like 6 times a day now and I always pray for you too. Thanks I need all the love I can get.

love ya and miss ya

Elder Farner

Monday, November 18, 2013

Serving in Serdan Mexico

November 18, 2013

This week has been, well no words can explain what has been going on but I will try. We are in a city called Serdan. It’s small and has a lot of people. The weather is Seattle -ish except more sun and gets way cold at night.  My companion is the man.  He’s from the Dominican Republic and speaks little to no English; so we have some fun conversations you could say.

Pretty crazy down here.  Lots of noises.  Music, lots of music.  They have trucks, bikes, and 4 wheelers that ride around with music so people know when to buy this stuff.   They have gas for the boilers, water like the big jugs they have in the offices. We hand dry our clothes. The relief society president lets us use her washing machine.

The idioma(language) is getting mejor (better).  It’s difficult cuz they speak so fast down here its half impossible to understand.  I pretty much just stay and say  que bueno, bien, bueno, si, no, no entiendo or siempre, and then bear my testimony in sketchy Spanish.  They have lots of motorcycles that are way too loud and they have ruppas for years.  They are so ragged and nasty but they is an occasional ruppa that I would take home.  Cars, lots of bugs and trucks and gotta have a sticker on it.  Nike, Jordan, Grenade.  Also Lamborghini and Ferrari stickers for years.  Lots of jackets with sports teams on them; loving it for sure.  
Never been more angry, frustrated, sad cuz I can’t contribute much or understand anything and it’s hard to feel good with that.  Also so much walking…I’ve walked more in the past week then I have in the past 2 years for sure, and stoked, happy, enjoying life because it’s amazing when people want to hear us or share their feelings with us and help us out.

The spirit works in the wildest ways. Just now a guy next to me started speaking English. 99 percent of the people here speak Spanish, but he asked about our church and when we meet and wrote down his info and called the English language the most beautiful idioma in the world and said he would see us on Sunday. pretty sweet.

We have 3 investigators with a baptismal date.  We have 16 new appointments next week.  They are all contacts.  We were trying to find a house and couldn’t find it; knocking on all sorts of doors and never found him.  But we got 6 new appointments in the meantime.  I even did the contact, well the first part on one of them.

There were 67 people at sacrament meeting. That’s about all that’s happening.  The place we stay in has the shower and toilet together, and no ac or heater, but we got a plug in one.  The members feed us every day and I have had avena (don’t remember the English word-ha) with peanut butter every morning and microwaved sandwiches before bed…nasty.  But it’s a blast and has flown by.  Got a busy week coming up for sure.... anyway till next time.

wish you could be down here
love you and miss you

Elder Farner

President and Sister Christensen with Elder Farner