Monday, September 21, 2009

"I am in the Clouds!"

Week 25 Valencia

Hey how are things going? Guess where I am right now! I am in Duran with Elder Williams from the MTC. We are here in his sector because we have to wait until Wednesday so that we can pick up our new companions and take them to our sectors. I am training in Valencia. I stayed another change and Elder Hernandez is now in the office. He is in charge of all of the money now. I am so excited. I also am District Leader now! Elder Bartolomei went to Babahoyo and now is companion to Elder Arillano, the Zone Leader. Elder Verastagui went home today. He had to go one change early so that he could get back in time to study. Our new Zone Leader is going to be, you guessed it, Elder Bejar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited to see him. I will stay here in the sector with Elder Williams today and tomorrow and then Wednesday we go to the office to pick up our kids. Things are going really good. I am in the clouds! I hope you get this fast, so that you can write me back.

That is AWESOME NEWS!!!!!!! I am so happy for you. I was hoping so much you would get to be a trainer this time and that is a big bonus to be a District Leader, too and to have Elder Bejar as your Zone Leader. Plus you get to stay in Valencia and baptize the rest of the investigators you have been preparing. WOW!!! How lucky are you!!! I guess the Lord is really blessing you. He knows you and He loves you and is aware of your needs and desires. Make sure you offer a prayer or two of gratitude for these special opportunities.

WOW!!! I bet Elder Bejar is excited to be a grandpa now. Maybe he already is with the other elders he has trained, but there is no better thing than being a grand-parent. It is an awesome experience. I will forward your letter to dad. He will be so proud of you also. Wow!!! My heart is pounding in my chest. I am so excited for you. Congratulations son. You are so awesome!!!

Tell us about Elder Williams. What has he been up to? I haven't heard much about him since you got to Ecuador. Is your new son a gringo? I heard they were getting a big group of gringos this week. Is that true? Please take awesome photos when you get to Guayaquil to pick him up. I can't wait till next week to hear all about it.

Did you have any baptisms this week?

We didn´t have any baptisms this week, but I don´t know if I am going to be training a gringo or not, but I do know that there are going to be four gringos coming this change, so there is a chance that I could have my first gringo companion. Things with Elder Williams are going good. He was in his first sector in Quevedo South for five changes and then he came here to Duran North and he killed his first companion here and then he trained an elder from Peru and now he is training again. So for him things are going good this change. He also became District Leader, so we have to prepare the class that we are going to teach Thursday together so that we will be ready when it comes time to teach because I will get to Valencia Wednesday night and then Thursday we have to go to Quevedo for the district meeting. Elder Williams is doing good. He is living in the same house as Elder Ogden. I am sure you have heard about him. So today I get to hang out with Elder williams and Elder Ogden and his companion. Things are great here. I love you lots and hope that all is going well!

It sounds like you will have a great week then. Elder Ogden seems like a fun elder from his letters. He takes funny photos all the time. Take a few while you are there this week.

Are there other changes in your district? Which elders are you going to be over? Who is the other district leader in Quevedo North? Is Elder Bartolomei still a district leader this change? Who is Elder Bejar's companion?

Elder Bartolomei is still District Leader. It is just that now he is companion to a Zone Leader. I don´t know who will be the other District Leader in my zone and I don´t know who will be in my district yet. Elder Vargas left, so there will be a new elder that is District Leader in Buena Fe, so I don´t know what will happen. It could be that I am going to have the Republic (where Elder Bartolomei was) and the Zone Leader in my district. I think that is the most likely, but we will have to see what happens. I am excited to see.

That will be cool. So you will do training each week at the District meeting on Wednesday. What other responsibilities does a District Leader have?

Elder Bejar is going to be companion to Elder Cacuanga. He is from Otavalo. He has like four changes in the mission.

Cool. Send photos of your district and zone as soon as you can. Have you sent my photo DVD yet? Please send it soon. I miss seeing your wonderful face!

I haven´t had time to send it, but I will try and get it sent ok. I will try really hard to remember that I have to send it. I made two disks that I am going to send to you.

Awesome. I can't wait. Did you get any of our postcards in the pony? You haven't mentioned them.

I have to help my district. If there are problems, I have to help them find solutions. I have to do the baptism interviews. I have to teach and help the elders in my district and I have to do interchanges to see how the elders are doing, how they are progressing. I am now a little bit like the eyes of President Gamboa here in the field. I have to let him know what is going on and how the elders are doing. If someone is a little bit down or not excited, I have to let president know and I have to try to help them get excited about the work. It will be cool. That is for sure.

Awesome. Do you communicate the problems to President Gamboa by phone or email or to the Zone Leader first? Do you have meetings in Quevedo to attend?

I hope you don't have anything big to deal with. One of the elders in the Quevedo South mission ran away a couple of weeks back. I think they are still looking for him. Rumor is that he ran off with one of his female investigators or converts. He locked his companion in their apartment and took off one morning while his companion was in the shower.

I know you will do a great job at being a district leader. You have awesome leadership abilities. This will be a wonderful challenge for you and it will get you even more excited about the missionary work. I can't wait to hear how it goes. I am so very proud of you. I love you so very much!!!

What happens is that after District Meeting, we have a meeting, the Zone Leader with the District Leaders and they talk about what is going on, I assume. I have never been in one. And when we have an interchange, we have to report to President Gamboa in our letters each week that we send.

That will be cool. Make sure you write really great letters to the Mission President from now on. Make it a point to not just tell him about the problems. Tell him something really great about your district in each letter and give compliments to the missionaries in your district often. That will help him to know that you really do care about each and every one of the elders in your charge.

Be a really great example to each of the missionaries. Make sure you are following all of the rules and being the very best example you can be. You aren't carrying that pocket knife hanging out of your pocket every day are you? I don't think that is a great idea. Tuck it down inside the pocket if you have to carry it or put it in your bag. Please don't let it hang out there to attract attention from other elders or from criminals who would beat you up.

Tell us about the burn on your finger, please.

Oh, ya, my finger. I was in the house of a member and the husband was the only one there and he was going to cook our lunch, but he asked us to help. So I was helping him cook. I was frying the ripe platano in oil to eat and the hot oil spit really badly while I was putting the platano in the pan and it burnt my ring finger of my left hand from the knuckle above the nail to the knuckle above that knuckle. It has healed up really pretty good. Right now, it is just a different color of red than the rest of me, but I think with time it will go away.

Okay. I thought it must be not too bad because you hadn't mentioned it to us, only to President Gamboa. We could see the bandages in some of the photos, but it looked like you were having a great time painting and not in too much pain, so we haven't worried about it too much, although that is my job, to worry, isn't it?

How is your new suit? Have you had a chance to wear it anywhere yet? Does it fit good? Please take a photo and post to the email as soon as you can. I am dying to see you in it.

Are Elder Frye and Elder Shain Smith still in Quevedo North?

I will see what I can do to take a picture of me in my suit, but right now I am three hours from my house and my suit. Elder Fry is still in Buena Fe and Elder Smith hasn´t been in Quevedo North. I think you must be confusing him with someone else.

Yeah! I figured you didn't have all your stuff with you, just a few things. Take one when you can. Do you like the suit? Does it fit good? Why aren't you wearing one of your other good pair of shoes? Don't let your feet hurt in a worn out pair. Pull out a good pair and be comfortable!!! It is not like you. The poverty down there must be making you a bit more aware of just how blessed you are. Normally when something breaks or wears out, you just get a new one. You don't worry about getting it fixed to make it last longer. I guess that is a good thing. Dad and I have talked about this a couple of times since your last letter. I guess a mission does all kinds of good for young men.

You are right. I guess Elder Smith was in the Quevedo South Zone with you, not the Quevedo North. I have just been wondering about him. His parents aren't posting his emails for some reason. I have been wondering what is up with him.

Have you ever heard what happened with Elder Fewkes? Is he still serving a mission in Idaho?

Hey, I took these pictures right now with a web cam that was here with the computer. They aren´t great, but it is better than nothing.

Well I gotta go. My time is up. I will definitely tell you about this week that is going to be way awesome next week. I love you all! Bye.

I love you son. We are so very proud of you! We will pray for your success as always. Congratulations and have a marvelous week!!! Love, Mom

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