Food Safety and Fun in Campeche

Buenas!  Well this week I wanted to talk a little bit about life in general.  There are lots of things that are waaaaay different - but I’m going to explain just a few of them.

We take the bus everywhere.  Sometimes we take 6 buses in one day.  It’s like second nature to me now.  Hand the driver my 7 pesos and make my way to an empty seat.  At first I scrambled to look for change in my bag as I clutched onto anything that I could grab, so that I wouldn’t fall.  At first it scared me when the drivers drove crazy fast, now I’m ticked when they don’t.

Anyway, lots of people get on the bus and ask for money.  Sometimes they sing or play an instrument.  Sometimes they preach la palabra de Dios.  And sometimes they just straight up ask.  But usually they dress up as clowns and tell jokes!  Some of them are actually really funny!  I really don’t understand sometimes because they all talk in this really weird, high and super Yucatecan accent.  I always feel bad when I don’t give them money (we can’t use the money the Church give us for street performers or beggars, etc.)  But it’s super easy for me to use the excuse that I didn’t understand a word because my Spanish isn’t all that great :)

I realized the other day that I haven’t seen another gringa from the US for 6 whole weeks!  The only gringos I have seen are other Elders or European tourists.  Only French and German people come here for some reason?

Anyway, I’ve learned here that we are like way cautious with all of food in the US.  Here nothing is refrigerated haha.  Who knew eggs don’t need to be in the fridge?  I didn’t.  Also, apparently meat doesn’t need to be either, though I’m still a little skeptical about that.  Everyone buys their meat at little shops or stands.  The animals are usually just hanging on hooks.  The other day I legit just saw 1/4 of a pig.  It was sad :(  Shelbs would have cried.

I still haven’t gotten sick from the meat though... so there must be something that I don’t know???  About a week ago my comp left some yogurt outside the fridge all night, then put it in the fridge in the morning.  When we came home that night, she went to eat it, I told her, “that was out all night!” and she replied, “But it’s been in the refrigerator all day.” She didn’t get sick.  I’m starting to doubt all of the things I thought I knew.

Okay, well that’s the “life” part of this letter.  Things are going well here in Siglo!  Hermana Tenorio and I are going to be together for another cambio :)  I’m way excited.  She’s fun and our area is great!

She didn’t get a chance to finish her letter so she sent me what she wrote about Thanksgiving in her journal...  We will try to not be offended that she didn’t miss us at all haha!  

Well, today is THANKSGIVING!  And to be honest, it was probably the best that I’ve ever had!   I honestly was not sad that I wasn’t with my family.  Everything is so different here (and it’s still so hot) that it didn’t even feel like I was missing out on anything.

Today we had weekly planning and Hma Tenoria laughed at me so hard she spit her water on my face and all of the records.. It was way funny.  I really love her. 

Later, we went to eat with Gustavo and Sara.  They really are an odd couple but they sure are funny.  We ate mole.  I actually wasn’t even sad that I didn’t even eat turkey.

That night we had a correlation meeting in the Church.  It’s always a fun time with everyone, so I was excited.  But I was way excited because Elder Bejar called me and told me he had my package!  They brought it to me in the Church!  I was way happy.  Sister Bejar sent my mom pics and a video of me, so I’m sure that mom loved that.

I went home that night feeling very grateful!  This was probably the most meaningful Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.  Even though I didn’t spend it with my family, I’ve never been so grateful for them!  There’s lots of gratefulness going on here!

Hermana Keeler

Feeling like a Mom and Ron Weasley

Buenas!  Well this week was really great and also really sad.  It was sad because we had to stop teaching the family that came to church twice.  The husband didn’t want to continue investigating the church, but the wife did.  And that created problems in the family.  Hermana Mariana wanted us to keep visiting just her but we had to tell her no.  It was really sad.  We all cried.  It’s just not the right time.  She wants so badly to get baptized.  I know it will happen in the future!

But we have some really awesome investigators that are progressing!  This place is full of puros escogidos.  No puedo expresar cuan blanco es este campo.  

Bueno, I want to tell you all a little bit about my companion.  She’s way funny and knows a ton about the Gospel even though she has only been a member for 2 1/2 years.  I’ve learned a lot from her.

Every night after we plan she lays on the floor and usually falls asleep (she sleeps with her eyes slightly open it is really creepy).  So every night I tell her to brush her teeth and put on her pajamas and stuff haha.  Sometimes I feel like her mom!  Haha!  She’s always super confused when she’s tired, so I have to like tell her to do things step by step, it’s hilarious.  And when we pray at night sometimes she falls asleep on her knees haha.  Also, in her personal prayer she’ll just say random words out loud, but then the rest in her head.   She’s way fun.

This week we were talking about the typical dances of her country and she showed me one of them and its was way cool.  She asked me about the typical dances in the US and at first all I could think of was mosh pitting haha.  But them I remembered that we do have a dance this is unique to the US....Square Dancing!   So I attempted to explain it to her and taught her dosedo and aleman left and swing your partner round and round. (I’ve never actually written the words dosedo and aleman left, so I have no idea how they’re spelled haha).  She was a little confused but thought it was cool.  Yay for culture!

So we came home last night and found two HUGE spiders in our house.  We smashed them with the broom and to our horror a million tiny spiders started running out of the big spiders and it was AWFUL!  I felt like Ron Weasley.

Well!  That’s about if for this week.  I love you all!  

Hermana Keeler

I was feeling badly for Lindsay on Thanksgiving, worried that she was sad and missing home.  We went to temple square that night and I actually started crying while we were talking to the sister missionaries!  Just a few minutes later, I received this picture and a video of her from the Bejars.  They are a family from our stake who were in Merida visiting with their son who just returned from the mission!  They delivered her Christmas package in person and were able to bring some love from home.  So thankful for the tender mercies from the Lord that have helped all of us through this experience!  

From their pirate adventures last Pday.

Paying homage to their ward mission leader!!

Life is Precious!

Buenas!  So this week was really challenging!  Our investigators with the most potential disappeared from our lives... the family that we were teaching suddenly cancelled on 3 appointments 15 minutes before.  We were really sad because we had no idea what happened or what changed.  Thankfully, we’ve talked with the mom a couple of times...but something is different now.  We’re not really sure what to do now.  We were so sad because they have so much potential!  And we know that they would really benefit from the blessings of the Gospel.  We really have grown to love this family so much!  And their kids love us too.  So this was really hard on us.

Our other family with potential left on vacation for 3-4 weeks.  We don’t know when they’re coming back.  So that was hard too.  We were left without many strong investigators.  We were way sad!

And then there was an accident in Siglo.  A family that lives in the same area as 70% of the people we visit got in a car accident.  They were driving home from their daughter’s quincenera and the mom was drunk.  They crashed into a tree and one of the daughters died instantly.  The other daughter injured her spinal cord and the mom is in critical condition.  This was a realization for all of us here in Siglo, that life is so precious.  And so fragile.  And that little decisions can affect the course of our existence.  We have the freedom to choose our actions, but not to choose the consequences.  I know this principle has been shoved down your throats in every school syllable ever (there is probably a song about it at Tony Tobin Elementary ha!)  But it is so important.  We think we are invincible and that it doesn’t matter what we do, BUT THAT’S A LIE.  Make good choices, please and we will all be happier!

Anyway, that was the sad of this week.  Want to hear all the awesome things that happened?  Well, first I ate a “delicious seafood salad” on Monday.  Perks of being on the coast.  Also, we went and hung out by the ocean.  A part of Campeche reminds me of San Diego.  I felt very nostalgic.  We got to watch the sunset over the water - and a part of my heart that was empty was filled.

Tuesday and Wednesday we had a conference with all the missionaries in Campeche.  We’re way far from Merida so President and Hermana Ruiz come to us.  It was way awesome!  It’s always fun to see other missionaries!  And of course we learned a lot!

On Thursday it rained so much!  Like more than I’ve seen in my whole mission.  The streets flooded so much the streets looked like legit rivers.  The water reached all the way to the door of the bus (which was really high) so the water got in while we were driving.  Sister Tenorio and I were freaking out saying how crazy it was and people just looked at us like we were weird.

This Sunday we were on the bus heading home for the night and we realized it was just us and the driver haha.  He asked us where we were going, and he drove us right to the door of our house!  It was so nice!  We didn’t have to walk and we made it home on time.  We gave him a Book of Mormon in return :)

Today was way fun!  We visited the fortresses with Hermana Lubiano and her daughter and Hermana Fatima.  (Hermana Lubiano reminds me of Aunt Jen Cottrell a lot.  I told her that and now she calls me sobrina (neice) :)

Campeche is famous for their pirate history.  Pirates always used to attack the city so they had to build these big fortresses with cannons and moats!  The moats even had crocodiles in them, so that‘s pretty legit.  So we got a little more cultured today!

I had a great week!  Hope yours is just as great!


Hermana Keeler

A pet sheep and some pibi pollo

Buenas!  This week legit flew by... time is passing faster now.  The first 3 months felt like an eternity.  But now a month feels like a week!  I feel like we change months every other week.  Time in the mission is so weird.  The days are like weeks and the weeks are like days.

This week was AWESOME because our investigator Jenny got baptized!  It was so great!  She’s 23 and has two little kids that are so cute.  Jenny contacted the Elders when she saw them on the bus.  She asked them if they could visit her haha!  The elders started teaching her and then we got to Siglo and we took over.  It’s been way cool to see her accept the gospel.  She’s legit gold.  She understands everything perfectly.  Her conversion is the most powerful that I have ever seen!  She was so prepared to receive the gospel.  She bore her testimony today in church and it was way powerful.  I’ve been so blessed to be able to see a little bit of her progression and help her on her journey.

Siglo XXI is a field that is white and already to harvest (if you don’t understand what that means, search D&C 4 in  But lots of people are willing to learn more!!!  Campeche is way cool.

I haven’t made a list in a while, so I’m going to make a list of some pros and cons of Campeche.  I’m going to start with the good...

  1.   It’s not nearly as hot as Merida.
  2.   There are way less people in the streets.
  3.   The ward is HUGE!   
  4.   I understand the Spanish here.
  5.   I’m literally the only gringa missionary in the whole state!  What a privledge.
  6.   The people here are way chill/relaxed.
  7.   There are these delicious juices (the brand is Avia and the bottle is super cute) in     every lIttle store.  

  1. It’s way colder in the morning so the water in the shower is ICE.  It’s legit the worst part of the day.
  2. Campechan directions are worse than Yucatecan directons.  We’ve gotten lost I don’t know how many times.
  3. Almost no one speaks Maya :(
  4. Mototaxis and triciclos are almost non existent.  We only have 3 options for transportation:  bus, taxi or walking.
  5. We’re isolated from the rest of the mission.  When we have meetings with President he comes to us - we don’t go to Merida.
  6. There’s not cool graffitti to take pictures in front of :(
  7. I can’t think of another but I had to put 7 to keep the peace in my perfectionist brain.

Okay, I was really looking forward to Dia de los Muertos because I heard that people do lots of weird traditions with their ancestors and dress up and stuff but I didn’t  really see any of that.  The school kids got 3 days off!  Really people just hung out at home and ate this dish called pibi pollo.  The whole world talked about pibi pollo so I was expecting a lot.  In essence, it’s a giant tamale.  It can be made in different ways.  The traditional way is circular  It’s like a tamale but in the shape of a donut...and it’s the size of a cake.  You eat it with your hands.  The meat inside has bones so it’s best eaten with hands.  The other way that I ate it was like lasagna kind of - cooked in a dish layered with masa and wrapped in banana leaves.  I actually thoroughly enjoyed it.

So something funny happened this week.  We were walking at night and I saw a really ugly dog tied up in front of a house.   Upon second glance, I realized it was a sheep.  I was very interested so I asked the owner (who was outside) if it was his pet.  He said his dad gave it to him.  I pet it and everything.  We talked about the sheep for a little bit and then I slyly shifted the topic to the gospel and we have an appointment with his family this week!

So this week I learned a lot about how the Bible and the Book of Mormon compliment each other.  The Bible explains what happened in Jerusalem.  The Book of Mormon explains why all of that is important and how we can apply it to our lives.  It’s way cool.  You can read them side by side and understand better than if you were only reading one of the two.  Study the two books together!  You’ll learn a lot.

Read the Book of Mormon and have a great week.  ‘Til next Monday!


Hermana Keeler