Monday, January 26, 2009

2009_01_26 Week 14 Balzar Questions from Mom

Mom wrote on Mon, 26 Jan 2009 00:43:14 -0700
Subject: Re: 2009_01_25 Questions

I know this list is long, but answer what you can for us please.

What is your companion's first name?

(Elder Christian Alcocer)

Where in Peru is he from?

Lima about 45 minutes from where Elder Bejar is from.

Has he been a member his whole life or is he a convert?

He joined the church when he was 9 years old with his dad. Now his whole family are members. His younger brother has finished his mission and is getting married in February. His parents were recently sealed in the temple.

Tell us about his family and his schooling.

He worked before the mission fixing things, irons, blenders, washing machines, microwaves and toasters. I don´t think he studied in a college.

Was he going to college to learn the electronics?

No, I don´t think so.

What have you found out about the rash?

That we are healthy and normal and that it is the heat and humidity that is causing the problem. They gave us a cream to use if it stings, but we are good, no problems.

How is the rain situation?

It is raining a lot. I think that today I am going to buy boots. There are places that sell them here. The problem is to find them in my size, but we will find them. Don´t worry.

Are your feet wet, cracked, dry or sore?

My feet are fine. They are a little dry, but they don´t hurt at all, so I am fine.

Are they better or worse than when you left home?

About the same. They don´t bug me so I don´t bug them.

What are you reading in the Book of Mormon? Are you reading from beginning to end or studying by topics?

I have been studying by topic a lot. I study the things that we are going to be teaching that day so that I will know what to teach in the lessons.

How is your Spanish coming? Can you understand more now?

My Spanish is great. I can understand just about everything that people are saying if I am paying attention. I can talk to the people, but I am still lacking a lot to become really good.

How is your Space Pen working? Did Elder Bejar like his pen?

My pen is great. It works great. Elder Bejar did like his pen a lot. He thought it was cool.

Is there anything you need or want?

Send me an American flag about the same size as the one I have of Ecuador and one smaller too. Jerky! Lots of jerky! They don´t have it here in Ecuador. I haven´t found a pocket knife yet so if you want to send me one that would be fine.

Did you ever check on Contact Solution? How much does it cost there? Do you need me to send you some?

Ya, I checked. It is 15 dollars for one bottle. It isn’t too bad, so I will buy it here if I need it.

Do you need Allergy Medicine? Vitamins?

No I can buy vitamins here and I haven´t been taking allergy medicine so I don´t need any right now.

Have you had any stomach problems? Diarrhea? Vomiting? Cramps?

Diarrhea, but that is normal and it is a one time thing and it is done, so don´t worry. It is a lot better now that I am not eating wheat bran in my cereal like we are supposed to.

Are you eating healthy and a variety of foods?

Yep! Everything that the mamita feeds me. I drink about two gallons of milk every week, lots of rice and vegetables and I drink juice every day, real juice made from fresh fruit. It is good.

Is there any food item you would like that you can’t find there?

More jerky!!!

What is your favorite Ecuadorian food?

Arroz con menestra y con pollo orno. This is rice with a type of beans that is good. It is similar to the beans that Shara makes but different and it is with chicken that has been cooked in the oven in Coca Cola. It is so good.

What is the most interesting food you have eaten there?

Chicken feet in a soup that was interesting and I think I have eaten cow udder twice now, too.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you so far?

(no answer)

What is the very best experience you have had so far?

(no answer)

Are you sleeping good?

Yeah I am sleeping just fine.

Have you lost weight?

I think so, but I don´t know how much. The mamita says that I have lost a lot of weight.

Are your clothes holding up okay?

Yeah, my clothes are fine. The mamita is a little hard on my garment bottoms, but now I am washing them in our house, so it is ok. No problems.

What kind of camera did you buy? How much did it cost? Where did you buy it at?

I bought my camera in Guayaquil the day we went for transfers. It is a Panasonic Lumix. It cost 200 dollars with a 2 gig memory card. It can take movies too. How is my other camera?

Please tell us the story of the Baptism of your camera. Details, please.

We took pictures of the baptism and then I put the camera in my pocket and we had the talks and then we went to the baptism font. Elder Bejar emptied his pockets and gave the contents to me. I went into another room with a table and put his stuff on the table and then emptied my pocket, but missed the camera. I only had my plaque and my pen in my shirt pocket and then Elder Bejar baptized Maria and I baptized Ricardo and then Carlos. After we changed and ended the baptism and then I wanted to look at the photos. This is the moment that I remembered that my camera was in my pocket. I hurried to where my pants were and removed my camera. We hurried to the house with our stuff and then we went to the house of a member that works with cell phones and had a small screwdriver. We borrowed the screwdriver and I took my camera apart so that we could get all of the water out. In the process of taking the camera apart, I got shocked four different times. The next day was Sunday. In the evening, when we were in the house, I tried to put the camera back together, but couldn´t so I packed it up Monday and sent it to you Wednesday.

Can you send us more photos and videos? Can you attach a photo of your companion to this email?

I will work on the photos today but I don´t have my camera here to send you a foto right now sorry.

Do you have any baptisms lined up? Who? When? Tell us about the people.

No we don´t have anyone to baptize right now. We have some possibilities, but no baptisms.

Who are your investigators? Are they coming to church?

(no answer)

How are the people doing that you have baptized since you have been there? Are they still coming out to church?

Antonia only comes to church about once a month. Allison moved to Palestina and hasn´t been coming to church. Carlos de Barco started classes again in Guayaquil so he hasn´t been coming to church and Ricardo and Maria are doing good. They are coming to church. Maria drank coffee again, but we taught her the repentance process and she is working on repenting now.

Are you eating at more mamitas houses now or still at the same two? Some of the missionaries are eating at a different home each day.

We are still with our mamitas. They haven´t changed this in Balzar, but maybe they will I don´t know.

Have you read any of that book I sent you? Did it help at all?

No I haven’t had a chance to read that book yet.

What advice do you have for your brothers?

Learn to cook with fresh vegetables and fruit because that is most of what is here and I am struggling to cook here with fresh things.

What can dad and I be doing better to help prepare them to serve a mission?

You are doing great. Just keep it up.

Do you ever go with your district or zone on Pday to go sight-seeing or do other things? Where? When?

No there isn´t much in our zone to see. In Guayaquil and in other places there are things to see, but here no.

What physical exercise are you doing besides the daily walking?

In the morning, I exercise for a half hour; pushups sit-ups, jump rope, stretches. We have a weight that we use, too.

Did your district and zone change a lot at the last transfers? Are there any more gringos in your area?

Our zone changed a lot. There are two new missionaries in our zone, too.

How come you don’t seem to have a lot of time to write your emails? Other missionaries are writing a lot longer letters than you are.

I have had some problems with our cyber dropping the internet part way through our session and not getting the internet back for a day or more this has happened three or
four times.

Do you like to answer the questions I send you or would you rather just write?

The questions are fine.

Love you lots,

P.S. I am attaching a photo I promised dad I would send to you. And I wanted to let you know that Sister King was at church today. She was in Relief Society for the first time in a very long time. Last week, she fell, but she didn't break anything, which was good. She seemed happy and full of life. It was so good to have her back out to church.

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