I’m writing to you from the great and spacious cyber where the kids smell like they didn’t quite finish up in the bathroom and my distaste for Counterstrike and Left 4 Dead grows a little bit more each time.
I’m wearing a sweater 'cause for all the sudden it got cold here and I love it! I'm really actually very jealous of you guys and your cold weather. There was a moment the other day when it was hot and we were under a baking tin roof hut where I said to myself "man I miss snow" and "man I'm just bleeding sweat while talking to some stranger and I don’t feel the slightest bit embarrassed/awkward. IDK if that’s the sign of rolling well with the changes of almost 16 months or if it's just always that bad.
Anyway, its been a better week. We have a mini missionary with us. His name is Elder Rolleli from San Pedro, a city in the Jujuy province. He's way chill and way tight and really loves to learn about the mission work. He's waiting for his call right now. He is a great help to us.
We had some good lunches these past few weeks. We had a traditional Bolivian soup a few days ago which heartily included mundongo and yet it really wasn’t that bad. Not great but I had 2 bowls of it. its just kinda hard sometimes to accept the fact while you're eating that you have stomach in your stomach. It's a joy! That, and we had like, I'm serious, 3 docenas (or 36 empanadas) per person this week. IDK what happened but the members went empanada crazy for the meals. It is also the time of the great carnival parades. We saw it all: Big giant Indian costumes and the ladies with the feathery things. We didn’t see quite all of the parades as we were just passing and because the costume the girlies have means no clothes at all. That and they are drunk and like to call at the missionaries to come..."teach them". So for the best and the better, we avoided that part all together. We expect the drunk people and the snake cat callers as Jujuy was plagued with them 3 fold this weekend for the fault of carnival. I believe carnival has finally past but I'm not sure. Jujuenos can keep holidays like "Dia del niño" and 9 of Julio" going on for a month. We´ll see how that goes.
We had some great lessons this week. We went to a house of a recent convert named Natalia whose mom is not a member and was super against the idea of Natalia going on a mission. We were talking with Natalia and her mom when I felt impressed to ask Natalia the question, "Why do you want to go on a mission?" She gave a sweet explanation. She said the church literally saved her life. She was walking with drugs, alcohol, stuff like that and said that the gospel is important to her. I then felt to ask her why these things are important to her? She then opened up with a sincere (the spirit was here) super strong testimony about why. She was in tears explaining why these things are so dear to her: How Jesus Christ saved and continues to save her life and strengthen her through the gospel. I then shared a scripture at the end of her testimony from D&C 4:3 "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work" (thank Shawn Rapier for making me memorize that scripture when I was 12). I then told the mom that, as she heard, Natalia has these desires to serve the Lord, to bring others this happiness. The mom said she know it's important to her daughter but it's just so hard. I then read with her John 3:16 and told her how the greatest love God has shown for us is when he gave us his only begotten Son so that others can believe on his name and be saved. I explained to her that she is letting go of her daughter, her best friend for just a short while so she can go into the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ so others can be saved through it. I told her there is no greater love you can show to your daughter, your family, and God than by letting your daughter go on a mission and allowing her have the chance to share such great news. I said how I knew it was the hardest thing to do in my life, to leave my family, friends, my life, everything. I said I couldn’t even begin to describe how hard it was for my family and friends--especially my Mom but I know and they know, its all worth it. They've seen the blessings on both sides and know the importance of such a work. I said how it's hard at times but it´s all good and it's all so worth it. Her mom, who was just minutes ago crying from sadness was now crying with joy. Her heart was really touched that night and so were ours. She later accepted a baptism date. Natalia told us later how her mom used to HATE the missionaries and wouldn’t even let them in the house to talk to her but bit by bit, missionary by missionary, she is changing. She's doing that Grinch heart thing (how many Grinch references is that in all my emails, by the way) and she is really being touched by the gospel. We are baptizing her son this weekend. The gospel is tight. 'Nuff said.
Thanks for the advice last week, it's duly noted. I'm gonna try and help him with that "turn it around " strategy to try to make the situation better and I'll try not to get down and be a bad sport. I'll work on that. The mini is helping a lot with that also--the whole “working hard” thing. It's good, dude. That’s the week, pretty chill. There’s always money in the banana stand. Now, onto the questions...
Did you hear they were opening up 58 new missions throughout the world?
FREALZ?!! That’s nutz, man! I can't believe it. I was talking to president the other week when I was in Salta and he said that when we get our newbies its possible some elders will have 2 kids--scary thought but i like it. I'm so, so, so, so beyond stoked to get a kid.
When do the new missionaries come in?
We are hoping, praying, and our whole mission is fasting this weekend that the newbies will get here on the 11th of March (I think that’s a Monday). We are expecting 72 missionaries.
I see you're wearing your old belt. Didn't the new one work out? Do you need anything?
No, no. Its all good. I'm still using the belt I had from the start so the other belt is waiting for the day I break it in. Thanks so much though. As for now, I'm pretty good on stuff. I'll get back to you on that, though.
Well fambs. Peace out and what not for this week. Have a good one. Pray it will be continuously cold here in Jewjewy and, of course, that all will be well and working in Aeroparque. I love you guys, I'm so so thankful for all your efforts, encouragement, prayers, fasts, and understanding with my newly acquired crappy English speaking and writing skills. It's much appreciated and much felt. I love you! It's all good.
p.s. There will be pics next week!