Ethan's address in Mexico

Elder Ethan Schaeffer Runyan
Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission
Calle Jazmines #210
Fracc. Los Laureles
29020 Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

Monday, November 24, 2014

Buenas Dias Amigos, Amigas, y Famillia!!!


Tuesday : WOW. What a day! Warm bucket shower and some excercize to start off, then a good breakfast and a bunch of scripture reading in all spanish which was awesome, Then we studied Tsotsil for an hour and then headed out to entrevistas or so we thought... We got there and nobody showed up to se just sat for a while and talked with the elders and then we stopped on the way back in Zanatapec and had an awesome buffet lunch for free. THen we came back and headed to the noche hogar at the church which was awesome. Then we went to victor and alejandras house to give victor for his broken ribs ( he fell off of the scaffolding in front of his house. lol "scaffolding" some sticks and a bigger stick to stand on. But long story short, we gave him the blessing and then i recieved a crazy strong testimony right in the moment about being greatful for our trials and tribulations. It was super strong so i decided to share it, and the spanish flowed better thatn it ever had, and everyone in the room was crying including me. I realized that i am in Mexico for a reason that i dont really understand but that god has a plan for me that i dont need to know. I just need to have faith in him, and let him guide me, and be thankful for everything that I have and dont have.

Wednesday : Im not gonna lie. It sucked. I didnt sleep at all for some reason, and then we went out, had a bunch of failure lessons, and my spanish was terrible. I tried to stay thankful. Then we came home and i was flipping through my music book to get my mind off of stuff and started playing stand by me, and it reminded me of Andy and Caden. If you two read this, I love you tons and miss you tons. You have always been and will always be my best friends. #ACE for life.

Thursday : Didnt sleep at all. Lopez turned off my alarm so i could sleep longer becasue he is a stud, and then the other elders came over to practice stuff from the "primera 12 semanas" book and we made french toast. It was super helpful. Then we planned for the next week, and then we went to the cyber to finish off my training stuff which never workds so i printed off, and downloaded "SHADOW" by BLEACHERS. Yes thats a shoutout to the so cal crew. I miss yall. And I miss your sweet playlists Mads. Then while heading out to our first appt we ran into a giant line of semi trucks that were pained like animals and so we went to go take a look and it was a crazy traveling circus!!! They had all sorts of animals including monkeys which i got to hold, a bengal tiger ( I miss my bengals) (That was another shoutout) and a camel which i ki¿ssed and is the pic thats there. AWESOMEEEE!!! Then we had a couple appointments which all went quite well and then we rode Hno. Victors triciclo back to our casa and played some guitar which was bien chito.

Friday : EVENTFUL DAY. Like the rest. So we had to kill a goat for Alejandras birthday. That was a little hard to do. Then we went to Hna. Florindas house to have some comida and she got some brand new perritos which were super cute, and that was fun. Then we taught another guitar class, and that is always a grand old time. Then a bunch of the kids asked if i would play and sing a song for them so I did "Hallelujah" bu Jeff Buckley and they all applauded at the end and a bunch of them kept saying I should try out for Mexico Tiene Talento which is the mexican version of americas got talent. I was falttered. maybe in 2 years. Then we went to teach The Yatziri family which is the family that speaks Tsotsil, and it went pretty decent actually. They spoke more spanish than we thought, and E. Lopez is pretty good with tsotsil. But they are going to have the ward members teach them instead becasue the language is overwhelming...

Saturday : Superb Day!
I woke up and studied for a short time becasue we had to be at the church at 9 because guess what... TODAY I BAPTIZED MY VERY FIRST CONTACTIN MY MISSION! It was Yuridia Martinez! It was awesome! SHe looked so happy when she came out of the water! I am so blessed to have had the priveledge! Then we went to Alejandras cumpleaños and ate that goat and sat around for a while. Boring. But it was still pretty fun. Then we went back to the church and practiced our presentation for tomorrow.

Sunday : Pretty swell day to be honest. Me frickin gusta sundays in Ixhuatan. They are so chill. We headed to the church early, finished up some pieces of our presentation, and then we presented and had interviews from the mission pres. Superb. I havent had one yet so it was good. He is such a cool guy. He also told me that i might be moved to San cristo becasue this area is really easy and they want to move some of the sisters who are really struggling to this area. SWEET!!! San cristo is colder. And more jungley. RThen we had a couple lessons with Braullio and then went to the church for lopez and bradshaw to do something and so elder mena and I slept for about an hour. I have been here for a month I guess... Woah. 

Thank you all so much for your emails, and prayers for us and our investigators! They mean the world! Thanks also for all the love. And for being you. You guys are the best.

Scripture of the week : D&C 50:40-46 Read it. Ponder it. Pray about it. Act upon what you discover.

 40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
 41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
 42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.
 43 And the Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you.
 44 Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.
 45 And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am.
 46 Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready. Even so. Amen.
Ill be on for a while so hmu if you can!

Querria Que Estes Aqui!!!! 

Elder Runyan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Que tal hermanos y hermanas?

 This week. Awesome. Fast and slow all in one. And some huge surprises that kinda threw me for a loop. 

Tuesday: Started off with some good ole fashioned excercise and study time before going out to teach the niños. It was awesome. We came up with this crazy new way of geting referrals. Its a game. And everyone here knows how to play it but we twisted it a lil and we getthe info after. We got 23 referrals! Then we went to lunch at a members house and it was a straight up fish. Sweet. I actually enjoyed it. Its weird having to pick it off with your fingers from the bones, and just straight up eat it. I am actually getting really used to it though. Tortilla count also hit 200 woah. Then we got a few frozen bananas with the district and played some b ball with some random kids on the street. 
The chocolate bananas only really reminded me of cali with the crew. So there is your weekly shoutout. I miss yall.

Wednesday: Started off with a little extra sleep becasue we were beat, and then we switched for district leader exchanges. I got to be with E. Bradshaw for a while!!! ENGLISH!!! we had one of our 4 appts happen and it was ok. The lady had completely changed her mond. Thats what i was picking up. Everyone was also giving us the cold shoulder because we were both gringos. POO. 

Thursday: The full day with E. Bradshaw. We woke up, and went to get some breakfast because he didnt have any food. Huevos rancheros. But for real. So good. Then we went to the cyber for a while so he could wirk on his powerpoint, and i printed off a whole ton of tabs for songs on guitar. Then i went and bough a two ring binder ( becasue they dont have 3 ring binders in mexico) and then a two hole punch to go with it. Superb. This guitar is seriously the only thing that is keeping me sane. We taught three people and one of them accepted it, and it was super neat becasue she went from not believing in religion to reading the book of mormon while we were talking to her. SUPER NEAT. Then we came back and watched the Saratov Approach with spanish subtitles of course. It was wicked cool. I teared up at the end. What...

Friday: Woke up and had a way chill jam sesh with elder bradshaw and all of his music on some thumbdrive that he bought from someone on the street that just plugs into a speaker and has a TON of music on it. It was way chill. We worked on the powerpoint again, and i printed off more music. Then we met up with E. Lopez and E. Mena and i headed back to my area. It was kinda sad, but la verdad es que me gusta nuestra área mas que la otro. We had some lessons and then had a Noche Hogar con la familia Gutierrez and Had some refreshments which means fanta and tortillas. It also got really cold. Like 40s. made me really miss home, and the snow and stuff. It was super funny though. All of the people here were bundled up and E. Lopez had a jacket on. LOL. I was the only one in ixhuatan without a jacket on that night.

Saturday: Started out with exercise and then i boiled water for my bucket showere because it was still un poco frio outside, and wow. that may have been the most intelligent thing i have ever done. Best (bucket) shower ever. Then had a crappy breakfast, studied and we were off. One of the members dads was listening while we were teaching, and came over to sit in. Turns out he has been a pentacostic pastor for almost 20 years and he agreed to read the book of mormon. WHUD... AWESOME!!! Then we taught his niece who was being a total shmuck the whole time to my companion, and we basically said if you dont want us to come back, then tell us. She said no, so we arent. Oh well. Life goes on. Then we had a sick activity in the night where i taught a bunch of kids and adults to play the guitar a little but, and E. Bradshaw taught a bunch to play the piano. What a good time!!! Well we got back and got a call from the mission prez. Apparently there is a family in Ixhuatan who only speaks Tsotsil ( pronounced suksil) and they have asked the mission president about the church and of course they are in our area, so we recieved a box of BOMs and language study stuff for Tsotsil which is apparently a Zapotec Mayan Language, and we have to learn it, and contact the family within a week. Pics of the book are included. For all of you to Not comprehend just like I did when I saw it.

Sunday: Halfway through my first transfer. Woah. Oh and I love sundays. Like a lot. WE were just chillin there in sacrament, and One of the members named braullio turns anround and asked me if i had an instagram. Of course i said yes and he gave me his phone and i looked myself up. What an experience. The touchscreen i mean. After having not used a touchscreen for 2 months, and then using it right as i used to was suuuuuuper weird. He commented on one of my pics which was superbly cool, and then liked a bunch of my pics and asked me about a ton of them. Super fun. then we went to lunch with the other elders at a members house, and had turtle eggs and armadillo. Woah. Both are actually quite good pero the huevos de tortuga are un poco bit raro. So theres that. Thats about all that happened that day. 

Ill be on for a bit, and I am going to try to upload the video of eating a turtle egg to my dropbox but it might take 18 hours... So theres the warning.

All I really want for christmas is decent internet speeds...

But also HMU!

And also huge shoutout to all the people who wrote me this week that arent even on my email list. You the real MVP.

Scripture of the week: D&C 38:30 Read it. Ponder it. Act upon what you discover.
 30 I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.

Until next week,
                  Querría que estés aquí,
            Elder Runyan

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dos semanas. Whud.

   Time is abolutely flying by here. I cant even stop to think about whats going on. I absolutely love it, pero, la verdad, eso es bien difícil. Its hot, I dont know the language (although I am slowly learning) The living conditions are no buen, and the food is mediocre at best. No me gusta mole...

So tuesday started off with no more water supply, so we had to walk 15 mins to get water in buckets to shower with, and then go back after to get drinking water. Awesome! Then studytime outside becasue its better than being inside. afterward, we were trying to teach, pero all but 3 of our 14 lessons and backup lessons fell through, so we went and walked around to random places and did street contacting most of the day, picking up 38 street contacts (which is crazy for here).
We did teach one 18 year old kid named neftali who is super cool. I have a good feeling about him. We also taught a menos activo named catarino. he is super cool, and when we went into his house, he was in a different room, we walked in and he was SCREEN PRINTING!!!! Holy what? How crazy is that. So we talked in broken spanish about screen printing and designing and all other sorts of stuff! That is nuts. Then we had "Noche Hogar" which is like a big ward activity night. Super fun games, and good food, and yes. 

Wednesday was andother bucket shower day, so theres that. Then we hopped in the back of a truck and drove 3 hours to a zone meeting in chauites. Sweet. I got to see the landscape. It is absolutely beautiful here. We sat through a bunch of meeting crap that was long and hot because the power was out, (like it always is here) and then I met elder Birk. Super chill guy. I guess he goes to north summit? he knows Racher Rydalch, and Thai, and Taylor and all of those girls. He is an awesome guy! When we came back we had a couple of lessons, one where i was able to say exactly waht i want in good sounding spanish! Elder lopez just kinda stared at me with this blank look on my face, and then asked me where i learned to speak spanish like that... 

Thursday started off right with at ton of excercize and another bucket shower. Then I guess Elder Lopez was sick so i gave him a blessing of comfort, and we continued getting ready. I laso made an ingenious wayter filter contraption that uses gravity, and filters all day. WAY nice. No more pumping that dumb msr filter for hours to fill our 5 gal Bottles. Taught some ninos and then some members cousin which was cool. Had some "hot chocolate" which is litterally just hot water with some finely chopped dark spicy chocolate ( dave you would probably like it) and some other stuff. Fun. Also, we were talking to one of the menos activos in a lesson, and they were selling a guitar so i bought it. AWESOME. I get to have my release. It isnt nice. It was 600 pesos. But whateves. 

Friday started early with a ton of service. We had to clear about half a football field of vines and weeds that were taller than me, using dull machetes. Woah. Hard. And i guess hornets live in these vines and so i ended up with 8 hornet stings on my arms and face. AWESOME. But we cleared it out and then smothered eveything with gasoline, and lit it on fire. SWEEEEET!!! Then had some egg enchaladas and pescado at Alejandra y Victors house. I was able to use elder Mcdonalds quote "A missionary is someone who leaves thier family for two years, so help others to be with thier families for eternity." I teared up. I am not gonna lie. The spirit was incredibly strong. Then we taught some more ninos and i was a demonstration of the church and its prophets for elder lopez, and it was awesome. Im sure i looked like a total idiot, but its fine. Im sure the ninos will remember that lesson.
Saturday was another bucket shower day. And then we got to go to the swap meet market. Everything pirated and super cheap, and its in mexico so its even cheaper! I didnt buy anything, but I did look around, and there were some pretty sweet deals. maybe next week. Then we headed back to the chapel in Chauhites, and sat through another super long meeting in a hot room because the power was still out. Then chatted for a long time to Elder Birk, and Elder bell, and then we headed back to our place at 6 to get there at 9. Sleep enued shortly after. 

Sunday, another 3 hour truck ride to zanatapec this time to a huge gathering place that reminded me of the salt palace in utah and made me sad because I kept thinking about going to see the Arctic monkeys with the Osborne Family. I miss you guys a ton. All of you. But as of today I only have 585 days left before I am done. Then we were cleaning up and got left behind, so we called the mission president, adn he came and picked us up and took us to one of the presidency members houses where we ate shark, and armadillo, and had cake and yum. Best meal ill have for dos anyos. Then we fell asleep in hammocks under a tree with a nice breeze while we waited for our ride back to Ixhuatan. Coolio Julio! then we got home, had a lil jam sesh, and crashed. Thats about it.

I love you all!
Ill be on for a bit, so shoot me an email or two if you get the chance!

also my actual address according to google is Libertad 78, 2da., 70175 San Francisco Ixhuatán, OAX

Con Amor
      Elder Runyan 

(just another p day switch) 
(lo siento)
After getting a whole half hour of sleep on tuesday morning before we were up and to the travel office. After that, 1 bus ride for 1 1/2 hours and we were finally at the airport. I am sorry to all my fam for not being able to call. The phones were all being used and I didnt get time to make any in Arizona either. I had 3 hours in mexico but i couldnt figure out how to use them because the operator was super quiet and all in spanish... ;(  But at least the flight into mexico city was bien cheeto! (really cool) (thats what the videos are) Then we were due for a beautiful 3 hour flight to tuxtla!!! We landed at 7 and it was totally dark but super nice feeling. 75 degrees and breezy with 85% humidity. we packed all of our stuff from 12 elders and 1 sister into a van and headed off to the mission home. We dropped our stuff off at a different appartment where 43 new elders slept. we were shoulder to shoulder sleeping. AWFUL. But before the sleeping we went to the mission presidents house to have some food and do our interviews which never happened because we ran out of time. Then off to the sleeping. 
A whole 5 hours of it. Then up at 5:00 i was the first one to shower which meant i got all 30 seconds of the hot water. then went down+stairs thatn but the same clothes back on. It wasnt a good shower either. The water was spraying everywhich way, and i was pressed against the sink and toilet. Cool beans. Then it was off to the temple and the church to get our new companions.

Mi nuevo companero es Elder Lopez! He is super cool and way chill but speaks no english. Pero esta bien. Although his english is sort of non existant, his spanish is apparently super correct and as far as I have seen he is far easier to understand than anyone else here. STOKED. The rest of the meeting consisted of little cesars and saying goodbyes. SUPER SAD. I have gotten to know those guys so well and its so hard to say goodbye. But it had to be done so I gave them the letters that i wrote to them and then we embarked on our 7 hour bus ride to Ixhuatan. I am in the Ixhuatan 2 area. So we got to our place at 11:30 and just crashed straight away.

The next morning we woke up, did a lot of prep, and study, and planning, and then headed out. The casa verde is mine and my companeros. It is super small. Two rooms with a separate structure for a bathroom which includes a shower and a toilet that doesnt flush water. AWESOME. Then we went out for our first lesson. It was to a couple with thier grandma. Alejandra y Victor. No clue what the grandmas name is. We just call her abolida which i think means grandma in spanish. I asked them to be baptized and they said yes!!! It was absolutely crazy! Then after the lesson, and saying a prayer, they fed us. What an experience. Apparently when they say fish here they mean just fish. Meaning i just got an entire fish flopped down on the table in front of me. So i followed what elder lopez was doing and just opened it up and ate it. Strange. Then we taught a couple other people including a 10 year old girl named Nelsi. That was super fun. She kept asking me to say things in english. They all get such a kick out of it! Then we had a district meeting with the other elders in the area and i didnt understand anything becasue my brain is totally fried. Side note. The houses here are all crazy. they are just concrete and cinderblock structures that look uninhabited. Literally hovels. Some dont even have roofs and some have dirt floors. Our place is one of 40 in Ixhuatan that actually has running water. 

DAY 2}

Today we got some food first thing in the morning becasue i had nothing to eat. I bought a whole basket full of food from the vendors and only spent 150 pesos. About $10 cray. We then ate and planned and then taught some investigators with a member in the neighborhood who literally lives with his family in a n alleway under a huge piece of corregated tin. He is super cool. I saw my first boobs today. People just breast feed during lessons i guess... I did 4 contacts and a couple other things, and then we just chilled at the casa for a bit becasue apparently around dia del muerte there are too many drunk people on the streets. So i looked through my photobook and played the harmonica. Made me kinda sad. But in all truthfulness, this is a really cool place with really cool people. 

DAY 3}

Started with making some good ol scrambled eggs on a tortilla. Good food is just good. Idk. I also had my first mole today. It was no bueno. The experience. I let it get too cold, and there were strange parts of the chicken in it, and i lost all desire to eat it, and so it was just a shame all around. The family was just wating for me to finish to start the lesson and i had no idea how to tell them that i was full.... We taught a couple more people with a member and then some contacts. I really stick out here. People just sit and stare because i look so different, and there is no reason other than a mission taht someone would want to come here. It makes for good oppurtunities to make contacts though. also a lot of distractions today, and my brain was fried so my spanish was awful.

Day 4}

Today was dificil. I am getting frustrated becasue i have so much to say on a subject but i cant say it because i dotn know how.... I am starting to build relationships with the members and investigators, and it is really fun. I really love the people here, and I couldnt be more happy. This is not what i thought mexico was like. I guess i didnt think a lot about mexico ever though.

DAY 5}


My first sunday in mexico was actually pretty swell! it was a fast sunday, so i was hungry all day though. I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting this morning , and it was bien cheeto. Everyone seemed like they were hanging on every word of my broken spanish. Then i bore some in english which caught the attention of the rest of the little kids. We then had lunch at the 1st counselors house, and it was bien rico! (super rich)(means its good) It was some bean stew, fish and some veggies along with some tortillas and salsa with the best tasting lemonade of all time. I shared a spiritual thought and we were outtie. We taught a few spiritual thoughts today, and theyh were all swell. E Lopez said everything is always super peaceful and swell on sundays. Superb. Me frickin gusta. As for my spanish, its getting better, but i ma still frustrated. I can understand almost every word that everyone says, but I cant speak back. I guess it will come in time. Paciencia is a virtue. 

DAY 6} 


So this morning we went to Alejandra and victors house to help them make cinderblocks. Woah. We mixed the concrete with s bunch of dirt and gravel and then used a stick to slap it into the mold. Then we had to take the mold over and carefully dump it to get the cinderblock out. Victor is adding on to the house. Literally by hand. It is incredible. Then we headed over to the church to play some soccer (I am better than  i thought, but still bad) and then we messed around on the piano for a long while. Took a good nap, and now am in the only cyber cafe sending emails. Good stuff.


BAD: It takes packages and letter s almost 2 months to get to me. They take almost a month to get to tuxtla, and then we have to wait for a conference when the zone leaders go back to tuxtla and get the mail from the mission home. So send your christmas stuff now and I might get it.

GOOD: I CAN GET A GUITAR!!! So therefore I am going to be alright. I might actually survive this ordeal.

Scripture of the week: Mosiah 2:17 Read it. Ponder it. Act upon what you discover.

I wont be able to upload all of my pics but Ill sure try. So ill upload what I can and then send a few in the email.

Querría que estés aquí! 
              Elder Runyan