Monday, January 20, 2014

On the Streets of Juarez

Hello everyone! This week have been a good week. I have had lots of great experiences. I will tell you a little bit of how it goes here. So my companion's name is Elder Ayala. He is a good companion. Juarez is different in a lot of ways but it's the same. For instance...houses are different. Streets - some are dirt. Anyways, the area I am in is more safe a little bit and a little bit nicer. There is another area more nice but it's fine here. I love our place and the people. Their are a lot of crazy people. Like, when driving I fear for my life. They are crazy drivers, no joke. The buses are insane. They barely stop and its annoying. Money is fine now. I get how to use Mexican money. (its colorful) There are lots of police and soldiers. The police are crazy. They literally have like turrets on the back of police cars. Or they hold big guns. They always travel in at least 5 pairs. Its crazy. Their are a LOT A LOT of dogs - wild dogs in the street and its scary and ok. So for instance - We saw this gang of dogs tear up this tiny little dog. it was horrible. I won't show you the picture. Some times we will be walking and there will be a street full of dogs and then they all look at us and we stand still and then I'm like elder.....RUN!!! Then we run and they chase us. Its funny cause you can just imagine me running down the street - AYUDAME!!! Help me!!! and yea, it's scary sometimes. But some dogs are like sooooooo vicious. They don't bark, they like do what a wolf does, like the growling but its like ten times scarier! They will run up and literally try to like kill you. Most of the time if you ignore them they won't bug you. But my companion likes to stare them in the eye and I say "don't do that" and the dog gets mad and then chases us and I'm like ELDER WHY!!! POR QUE!! So that's some crazy stuff that happens. 

My Spanish is getting better everyday. I have to teach my companion English. So my English is good still. Also I will say I am quite a ladies man if you ask me. All the girls like missionaries from Utah because to them it's like the promised land. So they're always like "how do you say car or sky or house in English?" and yea its funny. Elder Ayala is jealous, I know it. HAhahaha.  It's fine, I'm not like "ahhhhh I have to come back and marry one of them". I'm like "ah, whatever. Just go to church!!" hahaha. So the work is great. Just barely found a new person to teach tomorrow. The people have so much Faith! Like they're so religious. Sundays are sooo crazy! It's insane. But yea, there are lots of Catholics and Christian people. It's kinda hard to find people cause some people are like crazy strong in the Catholic church. It's competition because there are Jehovah's Witnesses that go around to like every door and its weird but the way we approach is better. And the Jehovah Witnesses are older people and just to see 2 young men doing what we do and being nice and serving the people they respect us a lot. Most of them want to hear what we have to say. Plus we know our Bible and Book of Mormon. Those are my two babies here on my mission. The Bible and Book of Mormon. I am mastering my Bible! I am unstoppable! People say "Well, Jesus and Jehovah are different" or "Jesus and Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit are one."  I'm like "well, lets look in the Bible BOOM!!!" Then I use my Bible power and they're like "wow, I wanna get baptized!" Anyway, if you don't know your Bible the people here won't listen and their gonna Bible bash you. I know the Book of Mormon really well. The Bible is my backup. Well, anyway, I don't have much time.  We have to pay to use the computer and I am about out of time. I am doing grand and having fun. I am getting stronger and stronger spiritually and physically everyday and my Spanish is increasing. I love you ALL!! Have a grand week!!!

This is a cathedral.

And me. This is how we knock on the "doors" - you have to get like change and hit on the gate that they have. Or yell buenas tardes!!

This is night time in the streets. A little creepy sometimes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

In Juarez at Last

We finally got word from Gabe that he has arrived in Juarez.  Here is what he said:

Hey, so that guy at the airport was from Alpine and he got me lunch.  (Editor's note:  This was the guy who sent us the picture of Gabe at the airport in the previous post.) My trip was fun and guess who I met and gave a passalong card to?! Darrell from "The OFFICE"! The black guy that works in the basement. Tell Graham. He's cool and nice. I haven't seen Elder Vital's mom. Juarez is nice. It's way different. Sometimes its scary. At night it's creepy but we're fine and in a nicer area. The place I live is awesome. My companion is awesome. His name is elder Ayala.  He is from Mexico City.  You can send mail to 700 N. Zaragosa- North 188, El Paso, Texas 79907.  It's safer and better. I'll get everything. Our president goes once a week to El Paso to get the mail. I don't have much time.  Also I have to pay to use the computer and I don't have much with me now so I'll email you guys next week first thing, and bring more pesos. I love it here. It's awesome. Different but awesome. I'm safe and great. I'm with my elders from the MTC. They are doing ok. I got to go but I'll email you next week and send more pictures next week as well. Have a great week. Bye.
Elder Castleton

Gabe also sent a few pictures from his first few days in Juarez.

My apartment

This is my companion. He calls the broom his Nimbus 2000 from Harry Potter haha. He is funny.

A Church

There are lots of dogs everywhere on the streets and even on top of the houses. Some are mean and some aren't.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On His Way

Got this pic and note from Gabe on Monday.  Must have had someone in an airport along the way take a cell phone pic of him and IM it to us to let us know he was OK.  It came from a cell number we didn't know. We had hoped to talk to him on the phone from the airport, but it didn't work out.

I'm on my way to Mexico!

We also got a Facebook message from the mother of Elder Vital, Gabe's companion in Salt Lake. She lives in Juarez and said she was ready to help with anything he needed.  So good to know there is someone there to look out for him!