Una pluma de pluma

It was transfer day for Hermana Keeler and she is being sent to Vergel, an area of Merida.  So she’s a city girl now!  But she described it as the nice part of the crappy part of Merida.  I’m thinking her letters may not feature animals quite as prominently which actually makes me sad!  She is with a companion that speaks only Spanish, so it will be all Spanish all the time.  We are thinking the language will definitely improve for her.  I guess we will have to wait for more details next week.  She will definitely be missed in Oxkutzcab though she made so many great friends there!  Enjoy this last letter from Ox complete with animal shenanigans

So a few funny things happened this week.  Saturday we found a puppy outside our house.  We were about to go eat lunch with the Branch President’s family and so I flagged down a moto taxi (because they live really far away) and I got in and then Hermana Romero gets in with the puppy!  I was like, “what the heck are we going to do with the puppy?”  And she said, “I don’t know, give it to Familia Villareal?”  And so we went and brought them a puppy and they were like “yeah, we want it!” haha!  I was so certain they were going to say “why did you bring us a puppy?”  But no!  So now they have a new pet!  She really is cute though, she would be pretty hard to turn down.  We named her Boo.

We found an incredible thrift store with clothes from JCrew, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters!  I got a dress and a shirt for 160 pesos (like 10 bucks).  So that was really cool.  I actually saw a shirt from Urban that I used to have, I felt like I was in a different world, haha, it didn’t feel like Oxkutzcab!

Also we found a stuffed animal tigre and we bought it for Tigre.  He was so happy!  He loved it.  He cried a little bit....

So Hermana Romero found a turkey feather and made a pen out of it and it’s way awesome.  So, naturally, I wanted one too.  We visited a sister named Elena who has a turkey (almost everyone has one - they’re actually the worst though because they attack people) so we looked for feathers outside her house.  We couldn’t find any so Elena’s little sister just ran over to the turkey and picked it up and said “here, take one...” and so I started to pull on the feather and it wouldn’t come out, so I pulled harder with both hands haha and it still wouldn’t come out.  Eventually I just had to stop because I was probably hurting the turkey.  It was quite disappointing.  But l ended up finding a feather on the side of the road.  So now I have una pluma de pluma.  Pluma in Spanish is pen and feather.  Haha! 

We went to a funeral for the grandma of a few branch members on Saturday morning.  Funerals here are so awful because they are so sad.  There is absolutely no hope.  It’s so tragic.  Many people think that this life is it.  And once you die, you’re done.  But that’s not how it works!  There is life after death.  Jesus Christ was resurrected 3 days after He died.  He walked the streets of Jerusalem and ministered to the apostles again.  And I know that He lives today!  Because Christ lives we can live again too. In Him we can find hope, peace and tranquility.  We can find comfort in the knowledge that our Spirits are eternal.  And that this life is only a tiny grain of sand on the beach of eternity! :)  Death is never the end.  Never has been, never will be.

I love you all!

Love, Hermana Keeler

 A tiger for Tigre!

And a new puppy for Familia Villarreal

I'm calling this viejita in hammock (she didn't say who she is)

Soy Feliz!


So this week was really good!  We went to Merida Monday night for a conference.  It’s this thing called 8 principes.  Pretty much it is 2 days of learning how to apply different principles (there are 8 if you didn’t know :)  to our teaching skills.  We learn for like an hour and then do practices for an hour.  I was really nervous because I HATE PRACTICES!  They’re really awkward and I get super nervous and self conscious.  But actually it turned out really well.  I felt relatively comfortable, even though I had never talked to most of these missionaries, I understood a lot!  Not all of it obviously but enough to feel like I was actually practicing and learning, not just watching haha.

So in Merida we stayed with some hermanas.   They’re in an area called Brisas.  We don’t know Merida..so we got lost trying to find their house haha.  We took a bus and thought we would be able to recognize the area (we took a taxi to their house the night before) but turns out we were on the bus for like 15 minutes past where we were supposed to get off.  We had to ask people and figure out where we were because we had no idea!  Eventually we made it back to their house!

The BUSES... The buses are literally crazy.  The bus drivers just yell at everybody and the people just yell when they want to get off and boom he pulls over to the curb so fast.  The buses only stop at the stops for enough time for the people to step in the doorway.  Usually they start going again and take the money and print the receipts while driving.  Each stop is probably an average of 12 seconds.  I’m not kidding AND THEY DRIVE SO FAST!  And they’re so crowded.  I think I was most reminded that I’m not in America anymore during that bus ride.

The hermanas that we stayed with have a BED in their house and I got to sleep in it!   I was soooo excited!  But honestly, I couldn’t sleep!  I was so uncomfortable.  I missed my hammock a lot  I was super happy to come back to Ox and sleep in my hammock on Wednesday night!

We have cambios next week.  Honestly I do not want to leave Ox!  It’s so great!  But I feel like I’m going to be changed!  So this week I’m just going to take it all in.  I’m going to learn as much Maya as possible, I’m going to make the most of every opportunity I have to teach!  I’m going to kiss every old lady I see.  And I’m going to eat frijol con puerco for every meal!

Okay, well maybe not the last two.  But really I love Ox!  The people here are so great and I’ve made so many great memories.  All the old people talk to you like you’ve been best friends forever.  The lady who works in the panadeleria (bakery) by our house expects us around at least 3 times a week.  The way to start any conversation: “Hay muchisimo calor hoy, verdad?” (It’s super hot today, right?)  The drunks that try to speak English with me and call me guerra (white girl).  The people that give us 20 mangos when we already have 50 in our fridge.  

But in all seriousness, Ox is not a nice city by any means, but I love it!  Like, I would never live here, but I’m happy living here in my little two room house that never has running water.  It’s because I’m a missionary!  I really am happy as a missionary!  I’m legit so tired all the time, always covered in sweat, and constantly fighting off mosquitos, but in spite of everything, Soy Feliz!!!

It’s because I know that the message we share is true.  I know that it can change lives.  And most importantly I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior!

I love you all!

Hermana Keeler

These cute boys attend church every week by themselves!  
She says they are stronger than most of the adults in the branch!

Visiting the tomb of their investigator that died the day after Lindsay got to the mission. 

Animal Control and Buckets Rule

Buenas!  So nothing crazy happened this week, which is actually crazy!  We barely had any water in our house this week.  I haven’t taken a real shower in over a week.  Buckets for dayzzzz.  But actually I kind of like bucket showers more because I fill up the bucket at night at it warms up the temperature of the air by the morning.  The shower in the morning is soooo cold.  So buckets rule.

It hasn’t rained all that much.  Just yesterday for like 2 minutes but really, really hard.  It’s so bizarre, seriously there’s more rain in 2 minutes then Temecula gets in 2 months. IT’S SO HOT.  I literally sweat so much it’s ridiculous.

So there’s a food truck right next to our house and sometimes we get tortas (sandwiches with beans, carne asada, tomatoes and green salsa) before we go inside for the night.  The lady that works there is our friend and gives us a discount :)  Anyway, we went the other night and the whole family of our friend was outside.  When Hermana Romero and I walked up to the truck everyone was just silent and staring at me haha (I’m used to it by now being the only guerrita in Oxkutzcab).  But then they started asking me where I’m from, why I’m here, how I learned Spanish etc.  And one of them asked me jokingly if I knew Maya, and I said “mishbah” which is the Mayan word for “nothing”.  And everyone went legit CRAZY laughing and yelling haha.  I’m quite the spectacle!

We had a lesson with los ninos that got baptized last week and it was way fun.  They have tons of animals, at least 6 dogs, 3 cats, 5 kittens, 5 puppies, lots of ducks, a few turkeys, 2 birds, lots of chickens, a turtle, fish and a crocodile!  There are just animals everywhere.  We were sitting down to have our lesson when they brought out the kittens and then one of the kids wanted to bring out the baby chicks and that’s when everything went wild.  All the chicks escaped, so the kids were running around trying to get them. I’m holding 3 kittens simultaneously trying to get the chicks too.  And one of the kids had my camera so I was trying to protect that as well haha.  The two year old ended up catching 3 of them haha it was actually hillarious.  We just look over and she’s holding 3 chicks (laughing, crying emoji).  But we got everything figured out and all the animals back in their places and had our lesson :)

We’ve been teaching this old lady and her daughter, who are both members.  The viejita Cancionla is preparing to enter the temple so we’ve been teaching them the lessons.  Cancionla is HILARIOUS!  She always says outrageous things and laughs so loud.  When we taught her about how in heaven we’re going to be resurrected but our bodies will be perfect, she said, “Good, because I have no teeth!”.  She only has 2 on the right side of her mouth lol.  Anyway, the other day she cried because she is so excited to go to the temple! 

 Temples are such a blessing!  In these holy houses we make covenants or promises with God.  And these promises last for eternity!  Because we have temples we can make covenants that allow us to live with our families forever!  God knows that the family is central to our happiness, and for that we have this chance to seal our family bonds forever!   The phrase “til death do ye part” is actually really depressing if you think about it!  Why should marriages end in this life?  Are families not important enough to last forever? NO!  I know that families can be together forever!  I’m so glad that I have an eternal family!  With this knowledge that families are eternal we can have peace in this life.  And also have a “perfect brightness of hope” for the things our Father in heaven has in store for us.

I love all of you!


Hermana Keeler

Her first Baptisms! And more about water

This week was straight up crazy!  But...we had three baptisms!!  The ninos that have the crocodile were baptized!  They’re so great!  They have so many bad influences in their lives and never were taught how to be good kids!  They used to steal and lie and all of them have seen porn, but now they pray together every night and read the scriptures!  They don’t steal or say bad words or do any of the things they used to do before.  I really love them.  They have made huge changes in their lives and are so excited to be members of the Church!

The baptism was so great!  I cried a little bit!  I sang at the baptism haha, without music and in Spanish “I like to look for rainbows”.  It was a little rough haha but ni modos (whatever)!  Their whole family came and were totally excited for the kids!  Slowly we’re going to bring all of them to the Church!

 Okay so the baptism was super great but it took so much work to put together haha.  The baptismal font doesn’t drain all the way and spiders and lizards and stuff always fall in the water.  So when we went to clean it we had to take out all the water with buckets and pour it down the toliet.  It took a really long time and we were sweating like crazy.  We did that and cleaned it and everything, then we just had to fill it.

But there was no water in the Church...none.  Only a little stream coming from the street to fill the huge tank that holds it all.  So we started to fill up the font with buckets but it wasn’t doing anything.  So we went to the Presidencia (city hall) and asked if they had anyone that could bring us water and the guy wasn’t working so they said no, haha.  So we had to go all the way to the President, well ex-President of Oxkutzcab.   He sells water so we went to his house to ask if he could help us.  It just so happened that the mototaxista that took us there is friends with their family so he talked to them and hooked us up!  So we went back to the church and they sent a HUGE truck to fill up the tank with water and we were able to fill the font.  It took like 4 hours to figure eveything out  and cost us 300 pesos but really we would have done so much more!  To see Brenda, Luis y Angela be baptized was truly priceless!  

We went to Merida this week!  We were in intercambios (where we trade companions for a day or two) and our zone leaders called us were like “You have to be in Merida by 10AM tomorrow” and it was already like 4:00.  So we had to very quickly make plans and figure everything out.  We took the bus at 5:15AM and took a taxi to the church.  The conference was so worth it though because we met our new president!  Presidente y Hermana Ruiz.  They are so loving!  There are probably going to be lots of changes in the mission too.  It’s too soon to know, so we are waiting to see.

So today is the 4th of July.  I’ve never felt so patriotic in my whole life.  Like I love the U.S. a million times more now that I live in Mexico.  We are so so so blessed in the U.S.  Things that we consider necessities in the United States are luxuries here.  The thing I took most for granted is that we have running water all the time, and it’s CLEAN!  So everyone go take a drink of water from your faucet and say a little prayer of gratitude.  Because if I drink from my faucet I will die.

But I’m also really glad I’m not a missionary in the U.S. right now because that would stink if no one wanted to talk to us.  

This week was crazy but really good.  I’m exhausted but happy!  I hope you all have a great 4th of July.  Do something very American for me :)  Eat a hamburger in my memory!  I love you all!

Love,  Hermana Keeler