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Sun, 27 Apr 2014

The rest of the photos


Most of these didn't have captions, so I guess they're self-explanatory.





La Venta, Tabasco





posted at: 21:31 |

Still more photos




The breakwater




A frigatebird








posted at: 21:22 |

More photos

Our bishop's birthday.


 My companion's birthday.


New Year's Day.



  Pemex at night.

thumb.P1020076.JPG posted at: 21:10 |

Photos christmas 2013

 Bryan didn't put labels on all of the pictures, but this appears to be Christmas obviously.



The second largest petroleum processing plant in the world as seen from my area (the largest and the as-yet-unfinished new largest are also in my area, but  further out)




posted at: 21:00 |

Photos end of 2013


This is my house in Allende. It's big because four missionaries live here.


My Thanksgiving dinner.


Elder García, my companion, in the bus station right before going home.


This is actually a better picture of my Thanksgiving dinner together with Elder Nisbet (resident of Elko).


 Me, Elder Smiley, Elder Soler (my companion), and Elder Hernández (our district leader). This is right after the transfers.


posted at: 20:50 |

April 21, 2014

 Que bueno que aprovechaste tus vacaciones. Supongo que le cayó un rayo a la computadora y por ésto no me volviste a escribir. Espero que la compongan pronto. Siete horas es aproximadamente el tiempo que se requiere para atravesar esta misión. ¿Cuanto tiempo es de Las Vegas a San Diego? ¿a El Paso? Pues no pasaron muchas cosas en la semana aunque tuvimos un bautismo y estuvo muy bien tenerlo. Os voy a mandar algunas fotos dado que no he mandado nada recientemente. Espero que os guste verme en lo que me ha pasado estos últimos meses.


Jan's note: Bryan told us awhile back that he couldn't send pictures from his other area for some reason so he finally sent several pictures now that he's been transferred. He says above that "I hope that you enjoy seeing me and what has happened to me these last months."

So next I'll post the pictures he's sent.

posted at: 20:03 |

April 14, 2014

This week was really not very good. My companion got sick, then I got sick, then none of our investigators came to church…Friday was a high point because we had another zone conference. The zone leaders gave me a new card (which surprised me, because these things usually take longer than that), and the missionary who had stuck my Preach my Gospel in his bag at the last zone conference returned it; that gave a certain upturn to the week. Next week we're going to baptize at the beach, so that'll be a mission highlight.

I'm sorry that you won't have company for vacations. Mexican children get two weeks off school for Easter. Which is interesting when we consider that there isn't even a word in Spanish for Easter (they call it Passover. Isn't that interesting? ) Actually a lot of the people here don't even celebrate it. The Catholics have a whole week of drinking and partying, and we always do something for Easter Sunday, but the Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Seventh Day Adventists (the other major religions here) for one reason or another, don't celebrate Easter.

 About needing anything. My shirts are wearing out, but they'll last until November. Same goes for everything else. Extra spending money is pointless; there's nothing to spend it on (and actually they just increased our missionary allowance from 1400 pesos a month to 2200 pesos a month):there is absolutely nothing in my area. I suppose I could buy more food, but I already eat enough. But getting real letters and things in the mail is really special.



posted at: 19:57 |

March 31, 2014
I love you. This week was transfers. I'm going to a place called La Venta. It has pyramids and other ruins. Also, according to the divisions of things, it is still part of the city of Coatzacoalcos. So I won't be going far. And it's the last of the three zones in the city that I haven't been yet. I think it's probable that I will spend the majority of my mission here in this city. But it's nice here, so that's okay. And I'm not here for sight-seeing anyway. 

We haven't started daylight savings time yet. I think it's the weekend of general conference. 

Truthfully, it's been a little difficult here. We haven't seen baptisms for a variety of reasons. Mainly because parents of our investigators aren't willing to give permission to their children to get baptized. And one emergency surgery. But a new area has new challenges and opportunities. We'll see what happens. 

I hope you enjoy your last few weeks of school. I'll be getting back about ten weeks into the next school year. It really is amazing how fast the time goes. I feel like I'm so close to the end of my mission, it's hard to believe. Where does the time go? I read a book once about that. All I remember is that at the end someone stuck a flute in some sort of inter-wordly portal and all our time was being sucked away. I don't think that's really what's happening, but it makes a good story. Actually, I don't even remember if I liked the story or not. Anyway, hope you have a good week. I love you lots, too.
posted at: 19:37 |

April 7, 2014

I'm glad your party turned out a success. And the show, too. Also that Dad has a job. What will he be doing: dealing blackjack? Or managing machines that electronically steal your money (a Mexican ATM ate my mission debit card last week; it made me think of Las Vegas). 

Here in Mexico, a major method of construction is filling PVC pipe with concrete. I'm glad Dad is keeping up with the times. I didn't even know the hot tub was broken. But that makes me glad, too. 

I haven't had any desire to sit in a hot tub as we've been at forty degrees (celsius) these last couple weeks with the promise of higher temperatures in the near future.

Conference here was a disaster. Nobody from the branch presidency showed up on Saturday to open the building; as a result, we, the missionaries, ran around a whole bunch under the burning sun looking for keys only to, in the end, not find anything and not be able to see the morning session. The afternoon session was slightly better, but nobody showed up to see it except us. The priesthood session was excellent. Sunday, again, nobody came to see conference. I'm looking forward to reading it in the Liahona (if it ever gets here; we still haven't got our Liahona from the last conference). 

Also, I seem to have lost my Preach my Gospel at our zone conference last week. I've already asked the zone leaders to check in the building for it, but, seeing as our zone hardly ever gets together, even if they find it, I won't see it for another month. It wasn't really a very good week. I hope that next week is better. 

Te amo y espero que Dios te bendiga.
posted at: 19:34 |

March 24, 2014
My new area is a lot like my first area, just a lot smaller. There aren't that many members, but they fill the house of worship (probably because it's pretty small too). We need to be careful not to baptize too many because there's just not space for them. My new companion is a Poblano named Elder Rivera. He's been on his mission the same time as I have. He's not that into working, but we'll get things done anyway. I've only had enchiladas once on my mission. The food they call enchiladas here is actually called 'enmoladas' (and we eat those from time to time), but actual enchiladas are pretty rare. We do eat quite a bit of rice, but it's just plain white rice. The most common dish they give us is chicken in broth with white rice on the side. And tortillas. In any given week we'll eat that three or four times. Tacos we don't eat very often. These people generally don't make tacos at home, and we don't eat out much. 

I'm glad spring has been treating you well. Spring doesn't exist here. We're well into the hot season here. In fact, in this new area we don't have fans. The last few nights have been unbearable. The mission secretaries finally sent us money to buy fans, so we'll buy them today, and sleep better in this next week. I don't remember complaining that our observation of brassica arapa was boring, just that the format was poorly done and pointless. I hope you and your class enjoy your gardening experience and that there are no sudden plagues to spoil your fun (like there has been here; a plague struck the Mexican lime crop and limes, which they serve with everything here, have become extremely expensive).

We put in very few service hours here. People generally tell us no when we ask if we can help them, and often get offended. We still offer, but it's really difficult to find things to do.
posted at: 19:32 |

March 10, 2014
I never said that I wouldn't write this week: just that I wasn't sure if I would have time or not so that you wouldn't worry if you didn't hear from me. But here I am. We did travel in bus to the mission office, and from there to immigration. It's about a three and a half hour bus ride. The buses are pretty comfortable, even if it gets a bit boring traveling for so long. On the trip out, it stretched out a bit because the bus arrived to pick us up an hour and a half late, and returning it did the same because the bus driver got lost. Which isn't something you generally expect from a major bus line, but that's what happened. And it's just fingerprints and a signature. Nothing too fancy.

We've been hearing a lot about improving our teaching skills here, too. They say that if we want to see different results, we need to do things differently. This is the mission with the greatest number of missionaries in all of Mexico, and also the lowest baptizing. So . . . hope you can change things up at your school. 

Haven't seen any hummingbirds in Mexico. Or much of anything alive. It's mostly concrete and sand. And coconut trees. And stray dogs. And more sand. 

We don't change our clocks until April (if it's a nasty habit in the U.S., imagine what it's like in the tropics).
posted at: 19:29 |

March 3, 2014
I did sprain my ankle, and last Monday it hurt plenty; the doctoor told me I would be out of things for two days. But, I woke up on Tuesday and it didn't hurt anymore, and it never did swell or change colors or anything, so I just lost a couple hours Monday evening. We hardly ever play soccer because there's really not time to do it. Mondays are our busiest days. In fact, it's possible that I won't be able to write you next week because I'm going to travel to renew my visa (they've never done it on Monday before, but there was a new announcement that that's how it's going to be from here on) and I have no idea if I'll get back in time to write (and while I will probably be able to write the next week, it's the week of transfers and there exists a remote chance that I won't be able to then either).


 I'm looking forward to getting back to first world problems. Second and third world problems are depressing and worse when you're in the middle of them.

Pretty much the only birds here are pigeons, pelicans and seagulls. I've seen a few terns and once I saw a frigate bird. That's it. They don't sing, though. And the pelicans have the nasty habit of dropping fish bombs that stink to high heaven. 

This week we received a visit from Elder Valenzuela of the first quorum of the seventy, and he gave us some instructions and corrections about things. It's been really hot. That's about it. 

posted at: 19:26 |

February 24, 2014

I didn't write much because I felt a little pressed for time, and I wasn't feeling too great. I did read your blog, though. Thank you for writing me. Everything was pretty good until I sprained my ankle playing soccer this morning. The doctor says to stay off it for two days, and then it should be fine. But those are two days of work lost this week. Oh, well. 

We had lots of investigators at church yesterday, and that's always a good thing. You know that two-thirds of my mission have already passed? The time really flies. I love you lots.
posted at: 19:22 |

February 17, 2014
Estoy muy excelente, si con un poco (mucho) de calor. Estamos a 35 grados. Y a penas se está empezando la temporada de calor. Te quiero muchísimo. He pasado una semana sin mucho de acontecimientos. Pero me siento bien.
posted at: 19:19 |

February 10, 2014
I had a good week with a few minor setbacks. One of our investigators disappeared and another ended up in the hospital, but in the whole, everything went well. We had seven investigators at sacrament meeting, which made me happy.
posted at: 19:17 |

Bryan Elliot Hall St. Peters, Missouri 

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Page modified: 09 December 2017

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