Greetings from Texas!!
Man, I am experiencing culture shock right now coming from the city to pure farmland and abandoned buildings. So my first area is Pampa, TX up in the panhandle. My trainer/companion is Elder Arredando from Tijuana, MX. He is still learning English, it's awesome. Monday morning I woke up at 4am at the MTC, they took us on a charter bus to the Salt Lake City airport where we flew to Denver, CO then hopped on a plane to Lubbock, TX. We were met there by President Augustin and his wife along with the AP's (assistants of the president) Elder Burns and Elder Cochran. We went to the stake center in Lubbock which happens to be in the backyard of the temple, so cool!! They took us through a lot of orientation and paperwork and we had a mini tour of the city. Texas Tech University is right across town, I saw the football team practicing.. it made me miss football! So then we went to the mission home and ate pulled pork sandwiches then all of the missionaries stayed at the AP's apartment for the night. We got up yesterday and did more orientation and also had our interviews with President Augustin. Then came the exciting part, we were assigned our areas! I saw my picture on "The Board" and what city I was going to serve in first. Our group of about 16 missionaries hopped on another charter bus to Amarillo, TX where we were picked up by our trainers and taken to our various areas. I saw nothing but farm land and dirt on the way to Pampa.. we got to our apartment late so there was no time to teach. So today we got up and studied for about 4 hours total (1 hour personal study, 2 hours companionship study then an extra hour of language study for my trainer.) ... We hit up Walmart and I bought necessary things I needed for my apartment. While there, we ran into members of the ward and they were so excited to meet me! We have a lesson at 7pm tonight already!
I will be here in Pampa for the next 3 months in training so if you would like to send me letters or packages the address is:
Elder Ricardo Rios
1601 West Somerville
Apt 714 Pampa, TX 79065
I forgot my USB cord so I'll be sending pictures on my P-Day, Monday. Can't wait to hear from you all!! Hope all is well. Much love!