Hi!I don't even know what to say. Many, many things have happened and are happening. I am currently in Mexico.
When we were in route, I was very happy that I managed to talk to everyone at least once. Those phones were really hard to use. But traveling with my whole MTC district was very fun. On the plane ride between Mexico City and Culiacán, I talked to a guy named Francisco in the back of the plane for the entire time. He has been learning English and I have been learning Spanish, so we were able to talk about a lot. I told him who we were as missionaries and why we were here, and he asked if we had a website where he could learn more about our church, and I gave a card, and he wanted to know more about the church so I taught him for two hours and read some scriptures and gave him a Book of Mormon. Hewas very interested and said he was going to try to find the church buildings in Culiacán and Mexico City (where he lives and works, respectively) through mormon.org. So that was really, really cool for my first teaching experience. The other Elders from the MTC were sitting in front of me, eavesdropping excitedly the whole time.President Cantú met us at the airport in Culiacán. He is great and speaks very powerfully. He talked to us a lot about how we are a baptizing mission and a couple things to be careful about while we are here. This mission is the best one, apparently. I believe it. We had dinner at the Cantús house (which was SO good) and then we slept in the house of the Elders who work in the mission office.
The next morning (after being woken up by two Elders yelling and wearing Luchador masks) we had some orientation and interviews with the president. The interview was very strong and spiritual; President Cantú explained that in my mission, I bend my will in order for the Lord's light to reflect of me and onto others. He is quite amazing.Then we started working. And it is awesome!Mexico is... so cool. People are doing stuff. I can´t even believe that people have called the police on us for playing music too loud. That´s ridiculous, because every house is just blasting banda music (of which EVERY song is the same). Lots of people are in the streets talking and being friendly. America seems really boring relatively. The culture is very religious and the people are really open, so everyone we talk to is pretty interested in our message. I committed a young man who was also 19 named Javier and a young mother named Magdalena to baptismal dates in their first lessons with us on Saturday and Sunday; those baptismal dates are the 29th of January. President Cantú spoke a lot about how people are "escogidos" or chosen, and it's amazingly true.Church was exactly the same as our home ward, except a little smaller, a little more off-key (okay, a lot more off-key (when the notes were high they really weren't that close)) and a little less air-conditioned.This morning I came to my area. I'm in Costa Rica, a ranchito close to Culiacán. My companion is Elder Davis from Bakersfield, CA who also went to BYU. He has been here a year and a half and is a Zone Leader. I've only been here a few hours so I don't know much about the area yet. I know we have bikes and we don't have hot water. Our house seems really nice, but we won´t really be there much.Spanish is really fun. The pizza here doesn´t have tomato sauce. Stoplights are suggestions. Lots of things are surprisingly similar; we just went grocery shopping and that was exactly the same, save the amount of tortillas available.I'm doing really well, and Mexico and has been super fun so far. Dad, if you have any good ideas for attaching pictures, e-mail me. Thanks!-Elder Tingey