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Mexico is an ethnically diverse country, with many people being descendants from both indigenous groups and European immigrants, though the southern part of the country has significantly higher levels of indigenous peoples than other areas.
The Church in Oaxaca is continually growing. There are some areas, in bigger cities, where the church is strong; however, there are some areas where there are only branches that are just starting to emerge. The people of Oaxaca are extremely humble and loving. They have a deep faith that is not rooted in materialistic objects. They love the missionaries and look up to what elders and sisters think and say. At times it can be hard to get a lot of member interaction with investigators. But, when you are able to work well with the members, their testimonies will impact your investigators greatly!
Mexican food consistently includes rice, beans, and tortillas, along with some kind of meat i.e. chicken, beef. Other interesting dishes include, “cabeza de res” (cow head), “lengua” (cow tongue), and “menudo” (cow stomach) all of which are usually put on tacos.
Chicken and rice are common in your meals along with a typical side of lettuce topped with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Oaxaca is also known for their cheese, quesillo. It tastes kind of like string cheese but much, much better. Another delicacy of Oaxaca is the tlayuda which looks something like a extremely large taco.
Desireables: Whether you looking to stock up before your mission or simply get packages including the following items. Here are a few things that other missionaries wished they had while in Mexico:
American candy (Skittles, Starbursts, chocolate, Swedish fish, etc.)
Quality American meals (lasagna, pizza, burger, etc.)
Random: In Mexico, cough drops are sold in stores as candy. And most of the other candy has chili mixed with to give it a little spice!
Missionaries in this mission do A LOT of walking. So, it is important that you have really good shoes that will last through a lot of wear and tear. There are several mini buses that have a specific route, which can be taken to facilitate travel to certain appointments; however, this is not something you will want to do too often.
Due to the location of Oaxaca, theft and car jacking are the most common problems experienced by foreigners. Although many people consider Mexico to be dangerous, the real danger lies in states that are closer to the border (where drug trafficking is more of an issue). Missionaries that refrain from carrying large amounts of money and wearing flashy jewelry rarely run into problems while out in the field.
Drink lots of water and stay away from eating food off the streets until your body has acclimated.
¿Que Tal? —– What’s up?
¿Como le va? —– How’s it going?
Más lento por favor. —— Speak slower please.
¡Provecho! —– Eat well (like bon appetit)
¡Que suave! —– How cool/That’s cool!
Suit coats are rarely if never worn during your mission. Typically suit coats are only worn on Sundays and Zone Conference.
Wear quality shoes. You will be walking everywhere. Your shoes should also be able to endure flooding during typhoon season.
Umbrellas are optional. It depends on your preference. Many missionaries just brave the rain along with the locals. Females usually use umbrellas. Umbrellas can be purchased at the local “mercado” (open market).
Light weight sheets and a pillow case is all you will need for bedding. Bring sheets that are good quality but are also very cool to sleep in.
Small hand sanitizer bottles are essential to pack and use constantly. You can find these at local drugstores in the mission.
Bring a small, lightweight proselyting bag. While proselyting, you will only be bringing small Books of Mormon and a few other items. A “fanny pack” style bag that has a shoulder strap and a waist strap is a very good option.
The best way to send letters is through the postal service. Once a missionary arrives in the field, pouch mail (Dear Elder) can take several months to arrive. However, in the MTC pouch mail is the best option.
Typically the best way to send packages is through a fixed-rate box. Packages can take a few weeks to a couple months (so send Holiday packages very early in advance).
Rumor has it that boxes with religious stickers placed on the outside often pass untouched through customs.
Huerto de los Ciruelos 101
Fracc. Trinidad de las Huertas
68120 Oaxaca, Oaxaca
Straight from the Mexico Oaxaca Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
“Corn tortillas, rice, beans, chicken and pork”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“People hate washing machines.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Mexico Oaxaca Mission?
“Be at home on time!”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“How to do my laundry by hand”
“It floods a lot.”