Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dec 17 2012

Dear Familia y amigos

Ok so right now im really tired. Transfers were today. On saturday night we got the call that both me and my companion were going to leave and that this ward was to recieve two other elders. A lot of strange movement of missionaries took place this transfer because 16 missionaries ended their mission and went home. Thats a lot in one transfer. We so me and my companion spent a whole bunch of time packing and cleaning the house for the new elders. We spoke in the ward, shared our testimony, told them how much i was going to miss them all and told them that they will have to help out these 2 new elders because they wont know anything about the area. We also went to certain members house and took pics with them, ate with them for the last time and talked with them for the last time. We went by one family imparticular. Oswaldos family. We spent a good amount of time with them yesterday and went we finally said our good byes, Emily (9yrs) got really sad and her mom said she even cried after they made the announcements in church. Well today we left for the church building in Paraiso to hear where we are going. The President said that he had to do some last minute changes this morning because some missionaries didnt get their visa and will not be making it this transfer. So when my name was finally called, he said - Elder Evans, your new companion will be Elder Perez and your sector will stay in Industrial - wow............. After doing alll that stuff and preping myself mentally to leave..... i stay. Im happy in that i will be able to be hear for Christmas but i am all mentally worn out and tired from packing, unpacking, cleaning and uncleaning. The ward still doesnt know that i will be staying here so we will see how they take it.
Well this week has been very eventfull or very busy. First off, we had the ward christmas dinner wednesday. It was really great. The food that was there was really different then the food we have at the burnsville ward dinner party. Here we had tamalis, beans, chicken, and some hot drink made from lots of fruits.
I dont have much time so sorry for lack of detail.
Well i will send you guys fotos.
And im glad to hear you enjoyed your birthday mom!
Love Elder Evans

At the ward Christmas dinner

THE BEST birthday present ever! A picture of a birthday greeting written in Spanish on a napkin and next to a half-eaten cake! He did this at the Christmas dinner.

EJ on the right, his companion on the left and a recently baptized family in the middle. The girl in the pink sweater is the one who cried. Look at how tall EJ is!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec 10 2012

Dear Family!

Voy empezar con i miss you all and i heard that its starting to look a lot like christmas over there. Thats really cool! i will something would happen here to make make it look a little more like christmas. I guess the only difference between summer and winter here is that its not as hot and it gets darker earlyier. So being my first winter without snow, it doesnt yet feel like christmas is coming. There are a few houses here that have christmas lights and a christmas tree, but its still not something that the average person here has. Oh and i got the package today! thank you all! i havent quiet gotten a good look at the contense because i had to go to the offices to pick it up and i just put everything in my backpack and left. There at the offices i asked the assistent about whether he thinks i am going or staying. He says that the other assistent did a lot of the transfers and that i am probably staying. I do love this ward that i am so it wouldnt be disappointing if i stayed but i also would like to see a new area. Im a big fan on changes.
After my stay at the offices me and my companero left and went a little further into the center of tijuana to meet up with two other missioneries and eat at a place called Pampas. Its a pretty nice meat buffet. We went there becasue its Elder Bowers last week here on the mission. Its a pretty nice place. The have the normal set up that other buffets have, where you go and fill up your plate of food. But the also have people walking around with fresh meats of all kinds or just a few different kinds of meats cooked in different ways. With those guys walking around offering meat every minute i could hardly clean my plate, and you should all now thats saying something becaue i can eat pretty fast. But... Pampas is kind of a once or twice in a mission thing and i dont think i will be going back there again soon. Here we would say "es muy fresa"
Ok well that was basically what we have done so far today. And now about this week.
Early this week one of Oswaldos kids (Eder) who got baptized last week turned 11 and me and Elder Hernandez went over to have dinner with them. That family has spent time living in the states and so eating with them is a tiny bit more americanized. Like they grilled hamburgers, ofter meat [Mother's note: I have no idea what he means by "ofter meat." Anyone have a guess?], they had american chips, american sodas, applesauce (first time eating applesauce for my companero) and other stuff. So they live in an appartment so he dosnt really have a deck or place outside to grill the he did it in his living room. The whole appartment filled up with smoke. But thats ok.
Sunday was also pretty sweet, Oswalds family got confirmed and during the sacrament meeting we got to hear from the stake youth/a little older then youth chior. It was awesome. They put together a program kind of like those of the primery. They sing a Christmas song and then talk about it and the sing another song and so on. It was really great. I will send a pic of the chior. That day we also started talking to a family that went to watch a friend of theirs sing. This family has been to church a time or two but haved ever really talked with the missionaries. We talked to them about how they liked the services and they liked it a lot. We are going to go visit them this monday. I really hope all goes well with them.
This coming week we have the ward christmas dinner. So the next letter will probably have a little of that in it! :)
Well love you all and have a great week.
Elder Evans

PS Happy Birthday Mom! I would write you this on the 12th if i could but early will have to do. [Mother's note: he remembered my birthday on his own! Jim says he didn't remind Jimmy]
EJ at Pampas


The youth choir (No, EJ is not in this picture)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 3 2012

 Dear Family and Friends

Ok well about the phone call, no i havnt heard anything yet. I am not even sure if i will be in this ward when i get to make the call so i dont know who i would do it will. So yeah, oh and skype is also an option. I guess it all just depends which is easier.
Y about the whole christmas here in mexico... they biggest change i have seen is with the store around here. A few of them have christmas music playing and are selling christmas stuff. But there is still not too big of a difference with the people. I think that could be due to the fact that a lot of people here dont have the means to decorate or do things very christmasy  around the house. I have actually seen one place here selling christmas trees but only a few people actually buy them. We will see if things change thoughtout the month.
Actually its interesting, they get more excited about soccer games then some of the holidays that have passed by already. Yesterday was the final game of some tournament here in mexico, Tijuana vs Toluca. The Tijuana Xolos won and you could here a bunch of people yelling with excitement from inside their houses. Also, a whole bunch of people drove their cars around honking horns or cheering or just driving around with the Xolos flag. It was pretty fun to see. But that night we all had to go home early because with the game there were bound to be a whole bunch of people in the streets getting drunk.
Another sweet thing that happened yesterday is that we got to baptize a family! I have talked about them before but jsut to recap. We baptized the dad about 2 months ago and now the rest of his family got baptized and it was really great! We had the baptismal service right after church and just about the whole ward went! ok so maybe not the whole ward but a lot of people went. 
Also this week i learned how to make arroz con leche! its really good! Its that white stuff that i am eating from the bowl. Its basically just rice with milk and suger and then heated up. I will be sure to make it when i get home!
ok well i really dont have too much time today but i love you all and will write back next week.
Elder Evans
Ps here is a nice 60 degress. I want snow!

[Mother's note: Apparently EJ failed to notice the several times Jim has made arroz con leche, a treat from his mission days in Argentina, here at home. Jim says he has even offered it to the kids and no one has ever shown any interest in it. Well, once EJ comes home (in 14 months) the two of them can eat jalapeno and avocado burgers and arroz con leche together]

Arroz con leche balanced on one knee. It takes talent to balance a full bowl on one's knee, while eating AND taking a self-portrait

a very applicable fortune, considering EJ's official missionary first name, "Elder"


la familia

food, glorious food and a half smile, and a titanium CTR ring on the ring finger of his fork-holding hand
Arroz con leche