Week #6 – Welcome to TJ – February 23rd 2015!

Elder HernedezFront Porch

Hey Family & Friends!

This week has definitely been the toughest so far! It started off with some sad goodbyes to all of my good friends in the CCM. Although we were all stoked to get out into the field, it was hard to say goodbye. On the last day at the CCM we had some in-field orientation and a goodbye presentation and that was it! I woke up early Monday morning and flew to Tijuana! We weren’t aloud to call home, so that’s why I didn’t call you guys. There was a group of sixteen missionaries who traveled to TJ. When we arrived we got picked up at the airport by the two AP’s, the Mission President and his wife. When we were in the car driving to a Stake Center to get our companions and assigned to our first area it suddenly got real for me being out on a mission!! Driving thru TJ was pretty fun! TJ is soooooooo hilly!! There are car missions, walking missions and biking missions. TJ is none of those!! It is a hiking mission!!!

We drove to the Stake Center where I met my new best friend. ELDER HERNANDEZ!! He is from Vera Cruz Mexico and he is so awesome!! He speaks English which is good and bad. Good because we can actually communicate, and bad because I use English more than Spanish with him. But I’m getting better and we try to speak in Spanish as much as I can. He has been in the field for a year. After meeting we had a quick orientation on mission rules and then we got our new area, cell phone and were off!! My new home for probably the next four months is an area called Las Huertas!! It is knee deep in the hills of TJ and pretty close to downtown. I can see the border but I can also see the Temple!! I see it almost everyday from up on the hill. Our house is actually pretty nice, although we don’t have a dryer. So right now my white shirts are hanging up on a barbed wire fence!! We’re in a pretty sketchy part of town. This week I have definitely been the most scared I have ever been in my life. It is totally safe during the day but at night, around 7 PM, that’s when stuff starts happening. Hahaha its awesome though! I love it!

Elder Hernandez just came here from Mexicali and so we are both new to the area. We’ve had to start from scratch and so this first week we worked to make a ton of contacts and lessons! We’ve added some new investigators!! It is so awesome!! I teach about 6-10 lessons everyday!!  I should say Elder Hernandez teaches about 6-10 lessons everyday! I have NO CLUE what is going on during the lessons or in general. The Spanish got 100,000 times harder once I got out here, just like everyone says. It has been great though. I learn so much everyday!!

So obviously I can’t tell you about everything that happens because we are so busy and so much happens every day, but cool things that happened this week are:

I had the opportunity to invite someone to be baptized!! I got my contacting down, and ate some amazing food. There are street markets everywhere and taco stands everywhere. We get lunch everyday from a member and it’s always amazing food!! The Bishop, who is a super humble guy, owns and runs a taco stand!! On Fridays we go there and eat all that we want. SOOOOO good!! One  of our investigators is struggling because she doesn’t know how to read, so she can’t read the Book of Mormon. We contacted one family and made an appointment and taught them the first lesson. They are Catholic (like every person here) and I think our lesson was really powerful. Although I can barely understand what is going on in lessons I can still feel the Spirit. I try to look like I know what’s going on! I have gotten pretty good at pretending to take directions, nodding my head, and saying si or no at good times. HAHA. We contact a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they always try to give us stuff. Another unique lunch we had was with this lady in the ward who raises and lives with chickens. We went to her house and there were chickens everywhere in the house. On the table, on the ground, everywhere!! The food is always fantastic though. We have a Torta Shack by our house and usually for dinner we stop and get one…they are amazing. 

 Overall this first week has been super tough but so awesome!! I’m so happy to be here and can’t wait for the week to come. I love being here and am so happy to be serving the Lord!!! 

 Love,

Elder Woods

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