Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy 2015 from Mexico!

It was nothing short of awesome talking with Elder Martin on Christmas. We couldn't see his handsome face on skype but he could see us. He has started to have a little hint of an accent. He is doing good and getting better with the language. He didn't get a dinner appointment on Christmas Day that panned out, so he and his companion went to the district leaders appointment with them. Thankfully he got to go somewhere! (says mom)
They spent some of Christmas Eve by going out to a Chinese restaurant. On Christmas Day, he did have 1 (mom's) package to open. Nobody else's reached him before Christmas. You can see below what he did with the dollar store duct tape for his new comps stocking and how he decorated their shelf.  He expressed much gratitude for everything inside the box, even though it wasn't that much. "I would like to give an immense THANK YOU , with love for the package."  he said. ( I am so grateful he received that package!) He didn't get even one Christmas card and I know at least a dozen were sent! Where do they GO? Hopefully they are just delayed.
 Luckily, Christmas has never been about the presents for Kade. He loves all the festivities that surround it, like the true meaning regarding Christ's birth and death, and all the FAMILY parties. He was pretty strong and stoic on the phone, but I knew it was a great challenge being so far away from ENGLISH SPEAKING LOVED ONES at this time of year. And we sure missed HIM! His cousins and the Martin grandparents joined us for the big phone call. He was very grateful to see them. He advised us all to remember why we celebrate Christmas and asked us to read Luke. He told us "this is the time to study and ponder the life of Christ in this season. It is so precious, and it always brings out the best in people. I encourage everyone to do something simple this week, which is to focus on something they can give to Christ that will help develop one of His perfect attributes." He told us about a typical Mexican Christmas holiday season which is " a less amped up version of Christmas in the States, with perhaps more poinsettias.." :) "They celebrate a whole week the Virgin Gualdalupe, which is a catholic thing and shoot off cannon like fireworks which aren't pretty and sound like GUNSHOTS- which isn't very comforting. But, people are still nice." :) He talked about the hardships of the past few weeks like people not showing up for anything they commit to. He truly is, with the help of his companion very involved on Sundays with the small branch who meet in a garage. They have very few active members. His newly baptized members are coming and doing well. On any given Sunday he said that they will prepare the Sacrament, maybe give an impromptu talk in Sacrament meeting, teach a Sunday School lesson and give a prayer or two. The mission President's wife recently visited and you can see the photos she took in the previous post. He told us about the awesome devotional they had on the Friday before Christmas, how much he loved the big zone and area meetings where he can see his English speaking friends and rarely Elder Jeppesen, his first comp from the MTC. However, most big meetings don't include him. He said he is adjusted to mission life and will complete training this week! YAY! "Why is Spanish so hard?" he says? I (mom) think he's a little tough on himself! He said to tell you all he loves you.
 Above: Elders Zeledon and Martin at the Mission Christmas Devotional. Below: Soccer on P-day.
WE SURE LOOK FORWARD TO AND LOVE HEARING FROM ELDER MARTIN. He again thanked everyone for emailing him prior to hanging up the phone with him. He says he is happy to be where he is.
*** Kade receives his emails about every Monday between 4-5 pm and has to read and respond to all of them in that short time frame. He loves getting emails. Please keep them coming!
Please don't be discouraged if you don't hear from him for a couple weeks! I know him, he is methodical and is probably responding in the order they arrived to be fair, and, of course MOM is first... because.. well... there are severe consequences if she doesn't hear from him!
Check down a few posts for information about mailing packages and rules like 3 stamps for letters. There is also a pouch address for the Mexico Pachuca mission I will post next time.