Yes i am there and still alive barely.
One week ago, we flew in to San Diego and then drove across the boarder. we were greeted by the mission presidents wife and daughter. We had a little trouble at the boarder trying to get our bags across. it was quite the trip.
As soon as we crossed, i saw the biggest guns of my life, the Mexico military was at the boarder and ready for anything. i am not sure why, it was rather intense. We worked our way past the guards, bridges, checkpoints and other things. As we loaded up our luggage into the vans to head to the chapel to get our companions, we were surrounded by about 9 or 10 Taxis that blocked off all of our exits, all the drivers and people in the back seats got out and surrounded the van, one man got out his phone and took pictures of all of us and the vans. it was kind of creepy. our driver and the main taxi guy exchanged words, rather angrily and then we were given a ticket and the taxis left. I talked to the driver in a bit of Spanish to figure out what just happened, from what i understand they are undercover cops? he says they are corrupt tho, so i guess this is my first experience with the bad type of police here haha.
We drove for about 20 minutes, got to a church somewhere in TJ and all jumped out, and met some of the missionaries in our zone. Some members had prepared food for us all. I was the first to receive my companion because i would be leaving in 1 hour. yup one hour to fill out paper work, meat the president, interview, pictures, eat, and grab my gear and other paperwork and go. i didn't even really get the chance to say goodbye to Elder Anderson or the others in my district. i waved goodbye as i was loaded into a minivan haha.
My New companion is Elder Martin, he is a native from Mexico, in Guadalajara. He only speaks a tiny bit of English so you can imagine how well it is going haha. He has been out for about 6 months. I am about two and a half hours to the east of TJ, in Mexicali. This place is rather interesting. In Mexicali, we live in a gated community...well everyone does. Everyone has big gates, barbed wire, cinder block walls, pit bulls or all the above to protect their house. The hones are rather interesting, most cinder block homes, full of bugs and large spiders. When you go to the bathroom in a members house, you do not look up. The other day i was in a members house and i looked up and there were about 100 spiders haha, large ones. i about died haha you know how i feel about spiders! but believe it or not i have become very used to them, they are everywhere. Bugs are the norm haha, i had a huge cockroach in my suitcase one morning, and the other day as i was helping prepare a meal at a members house, one fell from the ceiling and into my hair...yep. bugs crawl out of our sinks well yeah haha. welcome to Mexico!
The people here are very interesting. A lot of problems. Marriage is uncommon, economical problems are very common. There is much work to be done here in Mexico. My mission no longer has bikes, missionaries were getting robbed and hit by cars, so we walk. We put in miles upon miles a day.
One fun experience i had was helping 3 little kids this week, a lady driving a car had ran over one of the little boys bike and was dragging it all around the street as she drove, the kids were chasing here and yelling, my companion wanted to keep knocking on this one particular door but i knew i had to help. i just ran other and got the lady to stop the car. i tried a few ways to get the bike out, but it was in there tight! So i just decided to go for it, i grabbed the wheel well and lifted the car as high as i could, the little boy was able to pull his bike out. I asked for a hammer and then helped the little boy straighten out his pedals and handlebars. it was a lot of fun just doing this little random act of service. It is a lot more effective than just knocking and hoping.
The language is FAST! people here in Mexicali have an accent. The accent is, in fact, speaking fast. They talk faster than any other Mexican accent. The people get mad at me for my pronunciation haha but they slur all of their words together. it is just awful. but i can understand a lot more now than i could last Wednesday. so that is good. with time, faith, and a lot of work someday i will be able to keep up in the conversation.
The church is true. I wouldn't be here if it weren't haha. This is by far the hardest thing i have ever done in my life. But hey, i have a smile on my face and am still going.