Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 23- Slower week, but still good:)

My dear Family,
It was a good week! I love being a missionary:) 

This is me and Hermana Stephenson:) She is from Las Vegas, and she is the only other white sister in our Zone of Iguala:) She is really funny, and likes to quote movies so we get along real good. 
This is us and our mom, Sister Olguin:) She always calls us ''mis niñas hermosas'' and likes to spoil us by buying us things:) This is super expensive coconut ice cream that they make in Chalco, Mexico. And they put it right back in the coconut shell for you to eat! 
This is us and Dana, she is the Bishops daughter and really great:) Of all the young women in our ward she is the one that falls the best for me:) She is super chill and loving. 
One of the sisters in the ward couldn't feed us one day so she gave us money to buy food, so we splurged for a Dominos pizza! I love working in areas that are more rural and pueblo-y , but there are some definite perks for working in an area that is more urban, too;) 
Now... I will give you some more fun Mexican Culture facts:) 

One of our neighbors recently passed away (actually the neighbor that lives right in front of us) and so I got to witness first-hand how they have their funerals here in Guerrero. Well, obviously its really catholic, but it is pretty interesting, too. The first day after the person passes away they bring their body back to their house so that all the family can be with them. The first night after the death all of the family and friends that want to stay up all night long to stay with the body and keep it company... then the second day or at the latest the third day they bury the body. But after the body is buried they make a shrine-like thing for the person who passed away in their house with lots of candles and pictures of saints and flour on the ground in the shape of a cross. For the next 9 days they have a catholic mass service at the house of the person every night with this shrine and all the family and neighbors (we obviously didn't go though). Then after the 9 days they gather up the flour that was in the shape of the cross and all the candles and flowers and stuff and take it to the burial site. And that is the culture:) I am not sure if this picture is super disrespectful.. but Hermana Muñoz said it was okay to take it to remember, but don't go posting it on facebook;) 
The second fun fact about Mexican culture is something I have already mentioned- how they usually have a large tank of water in their house, right? But something difficult is that running water, to fill the tank, isn't always available. Or... the city only sends water out once a week or every few days. So, lots of people have something called a 'sisterna' which is just a HUGE tank of water under their house that is like the size of a normal room. I didn't even know this was a thing until recently. One time we had an investigator that had an illegal pet alligator. It was a baby at the time but I thought ''Where are they going to put it when it is bigger?'' well, now I know;) So, these next pics are of the house of one of the members who are feeding us this month:) 
Anyways, hope that was interesting for ya;) I love being in Mexico and learning about their culture. Sometimes it is hard being a missionary because I just want to participate so bad in all the culture- but not all of it is approved;) So, I will come back one day:) 
Haha, and everybody has been asking me about the new pants policy for sister missionaries but they haven't announced anything in the Spanish world about it yet, haha, so I don't know if we will do it. The zika virus and chikungunya and dengue are things that are definitely an issue here, a lot of missionaries have got it, but we will see if these changes take place!!:) 
I love you all, have a great week!
Hermana Swallow

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