Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
I'll just try and continue with my last letter that I wrote. So last week....we almost did nothing. We were sick the whole week so we were in the house resting and just kind of sitting around. We made more Play-Doh videos and that's about it lol. We did have a baptism though. His name is Richard. He's from Spain, is 16 and is awesome. He was super prepared to be baptized. He was just waiting for his baptism to come. He's also already got a lot of friends in the church. One of them actually baptized him. His name is Yeompier. He is an awesome guy who is preparing to serve a mission in Peru this spring. He's very prepared to serve a mission. A lot more than I was. So yeah, the baptism was awesome.
On sunday we had Stake Conference in Santo Domingo. The power went out though and we were sitting in the middle of the congregation. Without the speakers and my still plugged ear, I didn't hear anything lol. I got nothing out of that conference.
Also today is changes. My companion, Elder LeBaron, left to be a Zone Leader in Rio Bamba. I am now here with a pretty new elder that just finished his training. I'm also senor companion. Woot! Actually it doesn't really mean anything lol. He's from Spain (no his accent is not really strong) and he knows english, but not perfectly. I don't know him very well still but he seems cool. I guess we'll see as the weeks go by. If the trend in this sector keeps up with me, I should be leaving here the next change. But we'll see.
I really can't think of anything else that happened.....A pretty short letter. Oh yeah, the pictures. That one is what it looks like right now. It's raining really hard. Turing the streets into rivers =). There's our zone and there's the baptism we had last week.
I just have a few minutes right now. Hopefully I'll be able to write more later. I don't have much time because we have change today. My companion is leaving =(. He's going to be a Zone Leader in a zone called Rio Bamba. It was a short but awesome change. I'll be staying here in El Carmen with another new elder named Elder Lopez. He's from Spain and just finished his training in Quito. So I'll be senor companion! Woot! It doesn't really mean anything lol. Just that I've been in the mission longer basically. If you haven't already sent a package mom you could send a couple ties and a new journal. My companion just got one on his birthday (today) that is leather and says, "Called to Serve". It's super awesome. I'm going to need a new journal soon, so that would be nice. Also I got the package that you sent me. The card was in it as well. Thanks! It had so much awesome stuff in it. Although for future packages please don't send me little toy things. It's not that I don't appreciate them, but I have to take everything with me in my suitcases and I don't really have any time to use them. I'll try and get another more detailed email in today but for now this is everything.
I'm going to start this letter off with everything that went wrong with my body this week =). First off; I strained my back by throwing too much heavy things of water from on top of our house on Carnaval. Next I got what I thought was a rash on my whole body. I found out that it is a fungus! It's hot and humid here. So that's how I got that. I'll send pictures of it =) And then the cherry on the cake, an ear infection! Yeah! One night I woke up at around 2:30 because my ear was hurting. I woke up my companion and asked him to give a blessing. I went back to sleep quickly after that. So my back is a lot better now. It would be really stiff and sore in the morning from not moving around much in the night. But it's a lot better now. For the fungus I've been using an anti-fungal cream twice a day and it's going away now. For the ear infection....whew. It's really hard to find here. Almost none of the farmacists know what it is, but I finally found some today. Hopefully that will clear up now. So yeah, as far as health goes, this week wasn't so great. But I'm a lot better now =).
We did not have any baptisms this week. Sorry. We were a little low on lessons this week as well. So there's not too much to tell. One new investigator that we have is awesome. His name in Richard. He's already been to church about 3 or 4 times, has friends in the church, and wants to be baptized. He's been investigating the church for a while, but we just taught him this week. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then invited him to baptism. He accepted of course. We gave him the option of being baptized next week or the week after. He picked next week. He's so excited to get baptized. We found out the next day that that night he talked to his mom about getting baptized and got her permission. He's on fire.
Let's see...what else. Oh yeah. There were a couple of days this week that we didn't leave the house at all; monday and tuesday for Carnaval, and sunday for presidential elections. Apparently during elections some people go crazy and so stuff to North Americans because they hate the states and they get all riled up during elections or something. Needless to say we had lots of time to spend in the house. It did not go unwasted. We had so much fun. We used the Play-Doh that mom sent me with and we made "Play-Doh-Mation" videos. They're so awesome and so fun =). So that's pretty much all we did when we had to stay inside.
Overall things here are going pretty good. My companion and I are still getting along great. He told me that I was his favorite companion in the mission. So yeah, I'm awesome =). There are changes here in 1 week. This change is 2 weeks shorter because of the changes they made with the MTC's, so there is a chance that my companion will leave.....Hopefully that doesn't happen yet....A couple of quick things about our sector. We have to sleep with mosquito nets, lots of people here live in bamboo shacks with wood floors, and they eat tons of rice. So there you have it.
There's not much else to tell for this week because we were inside so much. And that picture is of our refrigerator. That is the fullest fridge that me or my companion has ever seen in the mission. We both had a lot of extra money on our cards and spent a bunch on food. See mom, they do give us enough for food =). Oh and for cereal. They hardly have anything here. And the american stuff that they do have is really expensive. Whatever you can send will be appreciated. One more thing that I just thought of that you could sent me. The Hobbit soundtrack. That would be so awesome!!! Please have mercy on me and send it.
There is always so much to say and I can't say all of it. First off, I have enough money for food mom =). We just can't go crazy. Also I had to spend a lot of money just getting here. About $10 for a taxi and another $3 for a bus pass. It adds up. And as for the hand fan. Just something that won't fall apart. It doesn't need to be able to spray water. I'll already be wet =). And for cereal....you can pretty much buy whatever you want. But in particular (The ones in bold first and the others if you are feeling charitable =)),Waffle Crisp, Honeycomb, Apple Jacks, Honey Bunches of Oats with strawberries(here a box of that is $7.00 =O),Grape Nuts, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Captain Crunch, and Life.If you noticed, all of them are in bold lol. Well in all seriousness, Waffle Crisp, Apple Jacks and Honeycomb first, and Grape Nuts are good because they're heavier and you can get more cereal out of a package. Thanks! The first cool thing that happened was that I was in an earthquake! Yeah! It was pretty cool. We were doing companionship study and then the floor started shaking. At first we thought it was a car that was driving by, because the house always vibrates when a big car goes by. But then it got stronger and our desks and stuff started shaking. Elder LeBaron was pretty scared and we didn't know what to do. He said to stand under the door jam. Yeah a good idea. Then with a panic he said,"Should we leave?". Yeah okay. So we followed the crowd of screaming people down the stairs. Well...I was standing outside in my Mario pajama pants and a garment top. I didn't think to grab a shirt. Whoops =). I covered myself up with my arms folded. After a about a minute we went back into the house and resumed our studies =) The first earthquake I have ever been in. It was my companions 3rd earthquake in the mission and he was scared lol. I was actually pretty chill. It was weird though. We were on the 3rd flowr and the house felt like jelly. Shaking everywhere. What else....oh yeah. One of the recent converts here.. had a bunch of crazy stuff happen to her. A very long story short, her daughters went crazy, burned her clothes and her scriptures, threatened to kill her, tried to poison her, beat her, told her that they never want to see the missionaries again unless we bring food or money, one of her daughters thinks that we're dogs/scum, and finally one of her daughters has sons that are recent converts. She said that if they go to church she will kick them out of the house and disown them. Whew. A lot of stuff. And that's not even all of it. But she's so awesome. In the middle of all her troubles she's still happy and giving thanks to our Heavenly Father. Also today we had her wash our clothes for us. That's what she does for a living. She was washing them for over 4 hours and she's 64 years old. I would feel bad for her but she's an animal lol. She has so much energy, more that me and my companion combined. She did a really good job though. All of our clothes are so clean. While she was washing my companion and I were dumping water on people from the 4th floor of our apartment building. Why you ask? Because it's Carnaval! They don't do anything lewd here like they do in Brazil, they just soak people with water. So we joined in =). We had a bucket that held about 20 gallons of water and we would dump that right on peoples heads. It's so hilarious! They don't expect anything and then all of a sudden they get soaked. So fun. We did that for 3 hours =). Eulaulia, the old lady who was washing our clothes, even help us get people wet. She filled up the 20 gallon bucket of water and then bear-hugged it and carried it all on her own! She's a beast. So that was way fun So our investigators this week. They're doing good. We had a few investigators in church this week. That was nice. We also found a bunch of new investigators this week. Nothing else for now I don't think.... Funny thing of the week: Eulaulia, an old lady mind you, took a bucket full of water and dumped it all over herself. While she did it she dumped it on her head saying,"Carnaval! Carnaval!". She got herself completely wet. Funny old lady.
A lot of stuff this week. First off I'll explain the pictures that I sent. the first few are of the middle of the world. Those are some spiders, a fish that swims up your you know what when you pee in a river, and a boa constrictor. All live in the Amazon. Next up is a diagram showing how they shrunk heads,step by step =). Then that little head is an actual shrunked baby head.Yeah!! I don't remember the order now so I'll just start explaining the others. That's a picture of a lizard that I caught in our apartment. Here I am all sweaty after cleaning the house! I had sweat dripping off my nose. That's my new companion, Elder LeBaron. Yeah I know it's a crappy picture, it wouldn't let me crop it....I think that's about it for the pictures.... So this week was awesome. We teach a lot of people here and we're always busy. My brain is to scattered to tell everything so I'll just give summaries. We have lots of investigators and they're all awesome.The people here are all awesome too. The only thing I don't like is the humidity. Not fun. We have a couple that we're teaching, Oscar and Anna. They're both really cool.Oscar is 20 and Anna is 24. Their problems are that they're not married (very common here), Oscar does marajuana,and his wife has a job....not going to say what it is. Their marriage has been stuggling a bit lately and me and my companion played marriage councellors for them for about 1.5 hours. Kind of weird since neither of us are married lol. But we tried to help them out anyway. Anna's mom is a recent convert of about 1.5 weeks. She's solid. She takes care of about 6 of her grandkids because her children basically abandoned them. A really solid member with a lot of faith. We also just started teaching another unwed couple, Nora and Stalin. They're both awesome. They're keeping commitments and they're interested in the church. One more thing on the investigators for now. They went to church this week! For me that is a miracle. So awesome to see investigators at church for a change. The members here are also awesome. There's about 500 members, but only 110 are active. The 110 are awesome. They gave us a ton of references this week and we have lots of promising people to start teaching. Woot! So a few things about the new area that I'm in. It's humid and pretty warm; very green with lots of tropical trees; everything gets moldy/mossy because it's so wet here. Lot's of bugs including mosquitos. Mostly in the morning and evening. I have 20 bites on my arm right now =). Yes I use repellant. Food here is good. They eat more seafood, rice and plantain here.We have lunch at someone's house everyday still. We have someone that washes our clothes but we also wash clothes by hand when we need them. And no they don't have a piano =). I don't know if I can think of anything else to say. Just a lot of random stuff. Loving it here. Super awesome. Elder LeBaron is great. He's only got 6 months left in the mission. He's a mix between Kyle Teuscher and our cousin Scott. So he's pretty spontanious and fun. We get along great. He told me that I'm one of his favorite companions (he's had 8 others). So yeah. He's good. So birthday wishlist....money for souvenirs and candy. Like Peepsters, Reese's and Snickers. Cereal too if you can. It's kind of expensive here. Also a good hand fan would be awesome. We get pretty hot and sweaty here. Nothing else =). Funny thing of the week: as missionaries we're hungry and don't have a lot of money sometimes. So we have to get creative with the food. One day for dinner I had a tortilla with raspberry jam and sourpatch kids. Now that's thinking! It was actually pretty good =). I'm actually thinking of making a recipe book for missionaries.