¡Buenos dias familia! Aug.12, 2013

(When Tyler refers to Jared looking for a new house, it is because this past week, Jared, Ty’s 16 year old brother, got onto Google Earth and found Tyler’s actual apartment building! It was really neat. So right now we know EXACTLY where he is and what is all around him…. gotta love Google Earth Street View 🙂  )
¡Buenos dias familia!

I hope that everything is going well at home.
First things first… I did not get transfered this last week so I am still in the same area.  No need to look for a new house Jared.  Elder Zamodio (the visa waiter) was picked up by President Anaya and the assistants Tuesday and was taken off to… who knows where in the mission.  Elder Bernal is now in the area of Tenoshtitlan which is just on the other side of the metro Ciudad Azteca/other side of the Avenue Central.
My new companion is Elder Ramirez from the city of Puebla.  He has been out on his mission for 8 months, and along with being my new companion he is also a new district leader.  Our previous district leader was in the area of Aguilas, but he was transfered when his companion was sent home due to illness.  I am not sure why, but Aguilas is now closed… so Elder Ramirez is District Leader for our district.
It has been interesting this week to be the one showing my companion around the area.  Elder Ramirez has caught on pretty quick though and he is quickly getting to know our families and investigators.
Now, to answer one of mom’s questions that she has been asking for a couple of weeks:
What are some of the teaching opportunities that you are having. I would love to put names with stories.
Well, lately, we have been teaching mostly less-active families.  There are many less-active and inactive families in our area.  We were visiting with the Familia ******* this last week (one of our less-active families), and the Hermana **** made an interesting comment.  She said that she felt that Elder Bernal and I were some of the best missionaries yet in our area because we knew how to serve and teach them as a family.  There was one lesson that we had with them where Elder Bernal asked them if they wanted to be together forever as a family.  The mother and some of the daughters (they have 3 daughters) answered no, which caught us a little off-guard, but from her comment this last week, it sounds like Elder Bernal and I addressed their needs well through our responses to the feelings that they expressed.
 
I know that I mashed the experience a little, so I hope you understand what I am trying to say.
 
Tomorrow, we have a lesson with one of our investigators in the house of our Ward Mission Leader (who actually just got released and sustained as 2nd counselor to the Bishop).  We expect that the lesson will go well with her, as she has already attended some church activities.
 
About the pictures attached, the first is of me with a group of Elders that I ate tacos with this morning.  The other picture is a picture of my companion, Elder Ramirez, on top of Elder Ika (who is one of the Zone Leaders of the zone where Elder Bernal is now) and of course, myself.
Well, just about time for me to wrap up.  Have a great week!
Con amor,
Elder Tyler Gardner
DSC00711 DSC00714
PS. Some answers to more of mom’s questions…
I noticed in the pictures you have sent of your bedrooms that your companions all have had a light blanket on their bed, but all you have are the sheets that we sent you. Do you need a light weight blanket sent to you?
There were blankets in the house when I arrived.  I didn’t use a blanket the first few weeks because it has been slightly warm in our room, but I am now using one of the blankets because it is now slightly cool in our room (we oppened more windows in the house).
Are shoulder bags required instead of backpacks now? There is still some confusion. Also, did your shoulder back have some sort of a wrap thing that goes over it to keep rain out?
Shoulder bags are now required instead of backpacks according to the LDS missionary website… but I don’t know when that will fully take effect here.  I know that they talked about it right before I left SLC, so I am sure that it is in effect/taking effect in the states, but I am not sure about here.  The shoulder bag that we bought has a rain cover that stuffs into a pocket on the bottom (similar to my backpacking backpack in the storage room).
 
How are you water resistant shoes working for you? Are they actually resisting water? What brands did we get you and are they comfortable/holding up well? Also, how about your socks??
My shoes have been doing fine with the water.  We bought Johnston & Murphey’s (Mr Mac) and the B brand (Men’s Warehouse).  The brand name has worn off the inside of the shoes, so I am not sure what brand the B brand is… anyway, I can say that I do prefer the J&M’s over my other shoes.  The B brand have worn down on the heel faster and are not as comfortable for a full day of walking, but they are holding up well.  I’ll send some pics of how my shoes are doing next week.  My socks are great!
 
Would you have wanted anything different for you luggage? Are they working well for you?
My luggage is great.  The ful carry on that we bought turned out to be too big for a carry on, but I am still glad we bought it as well.
 
Some moms were asking about boots/galoshes for rain. Would you prefer or desire some?
Boots… nah, my shoes are fine in the rain.  It tends only to rain in the afternoon/evening once and then is done raining for the day.  Most of the streets drain well and so I haven´t had too much problem with walking around after it rains or even while it is raining.
 
What is there that you really wish we had packed for you that you don’t have/ what was unnecessary that you have found you really don’t need?
We packed fairly well, so there hasn’t been anything that I need or that has been unnecessary.  I will say however that the microfiber towels are a MUST!  I also prefer my CTR Clothing towels that we got over my towel from Missionary Mall.  It is quite handy to have the washcloth, hand towel, and shower towel that came in the CTR pack.
 
Is the time that you have at the internet cafe very expensive? Are you allowed one hour? Is that hour split between you and your companion (so that you really only each get 30 minutes)?     (People have asked whether the limited time makes is more appropriate to send letters via snail mail…. they don’t want to take up your family letter time 😉  )
I am just fine with email time now.  The first week or two was a bit troublesome because I hadn’t figured out how to manage my time.  We also have to write our weekly letter to our Mission President and report numbers durring email time too because we send them online through the church missionary website, so I have figured out that I do that first and then the rest of the time I dedicate to email.
Current rate for where we are going every week for email: 6 pesos/hour.  The official timelimit for email has also been relaxed as of a few months back, so we can actually use a little more than an hour for email time.
 
Did you receive the PDF of the first part of our family trip with the pictures I sent or do I need to print it out for you?
I got the PDF, but I didn’t bother to download it last week.  It is easier for me if you print them out or stick them directly in an email.
 
**Can you take your camera along with you on Pdays so we can see the internet cafes, places you go for laundry, soccer games, etc. ?
Sure, I will do that next week.

 

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