Monday, October 15, 2012

First email from Puerto Rico Yippee!!!!

Hola Everyone!
How is everybody doing? I hope well! It is weird to not get Dear Elders anymore. It seems like it has been forever since I actually talked to you all, even though it was just a few days ago. Well I hope that school and work and everything is going well! I did get my package! they had it waiting for me when I got here. Thank you so much! That was totally awesome! I really really enjoyed it so thank you! Well it turns out that my house doesn't actually have a mailbox, so all of my mail will still have to go to the mission home. So I don't know exactly how often I will get it. So if there is something important, send it in email, and the actual mail I think I might get like once every three weeks is all.
Well I made it to Puerto Rico! It was a really long flight here from Texas but we made it haha. I was sitting between two older ladies the whole way and they were kind of funny so that was good haha. Puerto Rico is sooo much different from home! First of all, if I had only three words to describe what stands out to me the most about Puerto Rico, they would be raining, cats, and dogs. It has rained every day since I got here, and just about everyone here has two or three dogs in their yards, and there are just like packs of little dogs and cats that roam the streets. It is super weird, and it is always loud because everybody's dogs bark at us haha. It is also incredibly hot. Like crazy crazy hot here, and it is the cool season right now. I definitely am going to need a while to get acclimatized to the heat and humidity. Just about everything is in Spanish. So I really can't understand anything, because they sure do not speak Spanish like the Spanish that they taught me in the MTC. They can all understand me, but I can only understand about a quarter of them haha. So that has been pretty fun to get used to. My new companion's name is Elder Ortiz. He is from El Salvador and doesn't speak hardly any English, and he has a pretty weird accent there are a lot of times when we can't understand each other, especially the first day, but it is getting better now. He has only been here for two transfers, so as soon as he got done being trained, he started training me haha. He is a really nice guy though and we get along well so that's good! We are assigned to an area called Toa Baja, and we live in the barrio, Macun. There are two other Elders who are in our District and live with us. So far I have done everything by bike, but I think I will be getting my Puerto Rican driver's license fairly soon and then I might be able to drive but I am not really sure. The people here are pretty darn bad drivers haha so I am not really all that excited to do much driving, but it will be nice to have the option.
So a couple of fun experiences that I have had so far, my first lesson that we were going to teach was a lot of fun. We showed up to the lady's house, and she let us in and everything. And then just when we were about to start the police showed up and the whole family had to go with them. Everything was said in very rapid terrible Spanish so I didn't understand any of it, but it was awesome haha. Turns out that it wasn't actually police, it was some kind of social working or something, but they came in a police car so I thought the cops took them away haha. Then another fun thing, we went to eat at a chinese restaurant, and it turns out that Chinese food in Puerto Rico means fried chicken. So I had fried chicken, french fries, and some rice from this restaurant called Super China. It was delicious but not quite what I was expecting haha.
The food here is pretty good. It is very simple, just rice beans and chicken, but the seasonings make it really good. I have been fed by members twice already, and we have two or three more appointments set up with other members to feed us this week. The members are all really nice, and the people in general are really nice, it's just that pretty much only the members want to talk to us haha. Everybody else will offer us water or something, but not that many people want to talk to us. But even though they don't they are all very hospitable. It is definitely a foreign culture here though. I have seen only one white person who is not a missionary the whole first week that I have been here. It is super weird to be the minority haha.
So the area where we are living is supposedly not the best place to live. It is one of the few neighborhoods around here that doesn't have like bars and gates to get in. But I honestly have felt safe the whole time that I have been here. There have been missionaries living there for years, so the people are all used to them, and they are super friendly to us. It is probably not a place I would live normally, it's a little ghetto and kind of sketchy, but I really feel very welcome and safe here inspite of that. It is pretty cool how hospitable the people are to the missionaries here.
Well that's probably about all that I have right now. I am sure there were tons of other things that I was going to say but then forgot as I was writing this. If i remember them I will get them in a letter or something. Well I love you all and I miss you all. Please take care of yourselves and have a good week! Thank you for all of your support! Love you all,
Con mucho Amor,
Elder Searle
Not the greatest pic but I think he looks really happy

I think he looks like he is sweating like crazy. I think it will take some time to get used to the weather!

Wondering if this is a pic of his neighbors house or something

May or may not be his hmble new home???

Sorry, I can't figure out how to rotate this pic.  This is him with his companion, Elder Ortiz from El Salvador :)  I think they will be friends forever.  They just look like they will get along. 


  1. what an exciting time for him! i've been to puerto rico, and it's definitely different then anything us utah people are used to! haha i am excited to keep reading about all of his experiences. you guys raised a good son, tami :)

  2. Love this blog!! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so proud of him and I cant wait to hear more!