Monday, December 28, 2009

Future Hunting Trips

Hey Curtis

It was good to talk to you. I need to know if you want me to put us in for the hunts this fall like deer and pronghorn. I will need to buy you a combination to be able to put in. Do you know where one of your old licenses are so I can take it with me to get it? I still have till February
to put in, but I don’t want to miss putting in. You are on now so I need to send it now. I Love You!

Hey, I gave all of my important papers to mom when I left. She will have them filed somewhere so ask her. She should have my license, too. I do want you to put me in for all of the hunts that you are going to put in for.

Merry Christmas!

Week 9 Portoviejo

Hey, how is it going? It was great to talk to you on Friday. I really enjoyed the conversation. I hope that all is well with you there in the United States. I am doing good here in Ecuador. Let me know what’s going on.

Elder Goode

Hey! Guess what? Everybody loves the ring that you sent me they all want me to give it to them. I don´t know why the members are like this with the missionaries. They think that we will just give them whatever they ask us for, but there is a family that wants a set of rings like mine. They even took their sizes down, too. They want four, one size 11, one size 8, one size 7 and one size 6, oh and Elder Garcia wants one size 9.5. I don´t know if you can do it, but they want them. If you can´t, don´t worry about it. You could use the money that Skyler gave you towards the rings if you want. The family did talk about paying for the rings so they would give me the money, but it all depends if you can do it or not. Don´t feel pressured at all. If you want to do it, send me how much it would cost, so that I can tell them. Oh, and Elder Garcia also wants you to look and see if you can find him a catalog where they sell lots of church affiliated stuff like the rings, ties, pants, suits, that sort of stuff. He says he is thinking about starting a company in Panama that sells church stuff when he gets back and he wants a catalog to help him get an idea of what stuff is available. Thanks so much! I love you lots!

Elder Goode

Yeah, I am still on, but I am going to be getting off soon because we are going to go to Crucita and we are trying to get everything done early, so that we have time to go and have fun. If you want, I will try to get back on a little later so that I can read the long letter that you usually send. You can tell me how weird that I sound and what everyone said about the phone call and everything. Well, I gotta go. I love you lots!


Elder Goode

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission Christmas Temple Visit

For Christmas, President and Hermana Gamboa gave the missionaries the gift of being able to go to the Ecuador Guayaquil Temple for a session. Elder Goode's Zone, the Portoviejo Zone went on Thursday, December 17, 2009 along with the Los Rios Zone, the Babahoyo Zone and the Orchideas Zone. Elder Goode is on the top row on the left side. His companion, Elder Carlos Garcia is the shorter, dark-skinned missionary just left of him.

Hunting Excitement!

Week 8 Portoviejo

Hey! It is good to hear from you. 10:00 will be good on Friday. We are out of school for Christmas. We might go duck hunting tomorrow. Skyler might take us hunting in Randolph after Christmas. Email us back.


That will be cool. Randolf is way exciting. Just think about that day you had at Ogden Bay with Todd with all of the ducks coming in. It will be like that. It is really cool up there. Well have lots of fun and I will call you on Friday. I love you lots!
Elder Goode

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet Visit to the Temple & Forgiveness

What time will you call, our time, which is two hours later than your time?

I can call whenever you want me to, except from eleven to twelve because that is lunch here. What time can Skyler be there? I think it would be better to call in the morning so that everybody is still there in the house before Michelle and Jeff leave to go home, if they come down. Talk to Skyler quickly and tell me what time. I could call at ten. I don´t know if that would be good with you, but ten would work out for me.

Which packages have you received?

I got three packages in our zone conference when we went to the temple. They had the zone stockings and the two big stockings in them. Elder Garcia fixed the name tag so it now says Elder Garcia and the card. He just put his last name after Carlos since that is his first name, so now it says, Dear Elder Carlos Garcia. So that worked out ok.

Have you given the small Christmas stockings to the missionaries in your Zone yet?

No, I will do that Wednesday in the District Meeting.

Have you received any cards or postcards?

I received five post cards now, one from Clain, one from Braxton, one from Dad, one from Shara and one from Grandma Parkinson.

Is Elder Felt still living in the same house as you? That wasn’t clear from your last email.

Yes, he is still here.

Tell us more about your new companion, Elder Carlos Garcia.

He is from Panama. He has one brother and six sisters. His mom is from Colombia and his dad from Spain. He likes to fish. We have been talking a lot about hunting and fishing, so that is kinda cool. We get along good, so things are going great.

What does he like to do?

Fishing. He lives by the ocean, so he goes spear hunting and collects sea food by hand and stuff like that. I thought that it is pretty cool.

Tell us about his family and how long he has been a member.

He was born in the church. His dad served his mission in the Central America Mission, like almost thirty years ago and he baptised his wife on his mission.

Where did Elder Carlos get transferred to?

Elder Carlos is now in Perdro Carbo. It is between here and Guayaquil.

How was your trip to the temple?

It was so good! I have forgotten so much. I can´t believe how much I had forgotten in a year. I can see now why it is so important that you go to the temple regularly, so that you can remember everything and learn more.

Where and what did you eat?

We ate in the temple in the cafeteria. It was rice with shrimp in a corn sauce thing and with a beet salad it wasn´t the best food I have ever eaten, but oh well. That is ok.

What special things happened that day?

We got presents from some of the temple workers. There was a pair of North American temple workers and a few here from Ecuador that went in together and bought all of the missionaries presents. They gave the gringos a pair of socks and a tie and a cool cover for a little hymn book. They gave the latins a shirt and a pair of socks and a tie. I thought that it was really awesome, so this Wednesday I am going to do an activity with the zone. We are all going to write as a zone, thank you notes and we are going to send them to the office to give to the temple workers. I thought that it was the least that we could do for them after the gifts that they gave us.

Did you have any baptisms this week?

No, we didn´t have any baptisms this week, but for next week we have a few planned.

How are your investigators progressing?

They are coming along. I hope we can get the permission of Luis´s parents, so that he can get baptised.

Who came to church?

We only had three investigators in the church. There is a pair of women that come just about every week, but they don´t want to get baptised yet. And we had a husband that came with his wife to church, the first time that they have come to church while I have been here. We are teaching him. She is a member, but they aren´t married and she was married before so we have a sister from Elder Felt’s ward that is a lawyer that is helping us with the divorce, so they can get married and then he can get baptised. So that is pretty cool. He is a police officer so we have a buddy in high places if we ever have problems.

Did you have a special Christmas program in church?

We had our program of carols in the church, last Saturday. That was pretty cool. We came up with a three scene play that we incorporated the carols into. The basic plot was that there was a single father that is a thief that wants to give his three sons a good Christmas, so he robs a pair of North American missionaries to sell their stuff to get money to buy his kids a good Christmas. So that is the first scene, that he robs the missionaries. (I was one of his accomplices that helped him rob the missionaries.) It starts out that a group of missionaries are singing in a park and that they sing a song and then they all start to leave and two missionaries stay to clean up. They had a little display with pamphlets and there is a pause and an old guy starts talking. The people keep moving, but without talking. He says that the guy sitting on the bench over there is him sixty years ago and that he didn´t have anything to give to his kids for Christmas and that he only wanted to give his kids a good Christmas. And that is where the action starts again and he robs the missionaries. He tries, but he was a lot smaller than the two missionaries, so he calls for help and that is where we, (me and another missionary), run out and help him to rob the missionaries. And then we run off stage and the missionaries are all sad and depressed and that ends the first scene.

The second scene is that he goes to a friend to sell the stuff and that is when he finds out that there is just books and pamphlets and nothing of "real value" so he says that he is going to burn the books and that is when the spirit or the audience prompted by script cards says Nooooooo and he pauses and says that he better find out what the book says. And that is when he opens the book and reads that Jesus will be born of Mary in Bethlehem and then all of the missionaries come out on the stage singing “The First Noel.” And then when we finish, he reads that angels speak to men and then we sang “Angels We Have Heard on High.” And then the choir left and he said that he was going to go show his kids the books, that they could change their lives. that is the end of the second act.

The third scene is in the house. The three kids are sitting on a couch in the house and the dad enters and the kids all have a negative attitude, that he just remembers that he has kids, that they don´t want to listen to him. He says that he has something that will change their lives and one says that they are thieves, that there isn´t change and that Christmas is just a material thing. The father then leaves and the kids go back to sitting and playing and then there is a knock on the door and one of the kids goes and answers the door and the missionaries enter without being asked and shake hands with the two other kids and sit down and start to teach the kids. The kids in shocked silence listen and then after about a minute of teaching, the father enters again and sees the missionaries and they all get quiet. And the father says that he wants to buy the book, because it is so good. They tell him that he can keep the book. He says thanks, but then asks them to explain more and he sits down and tells his kids that he told them that it could change their lives. That is where the play ends and the old version of the father stands up and says that that is how it all started, that he changed his life through The Book of Mormon and that everybody there could change their lives, too.

When and where did you sing the song you have been practicing? What song? Who else sang with you?

We practiced in District Meetings before and after, for three weeks and then a little bit before the activity on Saturday.

What plans do you have for Christmas day?

There is an activity in the church on Christmas, so we will go to the activity and hopefully someone will invite us to eat a Christmas dinner. If not, we will keep visiting people on Christmas.

Do you have any District or Zone activities planned this week?

No, we don´t.

Who is your new Zone Leader or Zone Leaders?

Elder Rojas and Elder Fonseca. He is from Bolivia and has a little more time in the mission than I do.

Tell us a spiritual experience you have had recently.

We are teaching a lady that is a widow. Her husband died four or five months ago. She is doing really good right now. She said at first she was depressed, but the missionaries helped her out a lot. Well the other day, one of the neighbors did something that she didn´t like, to her kid. I won´t go into details about what, it isn´t that important, but she was really mad and angry for what had happened and she doesn´t want to forgive her neighbor. Well I told her about what happened between you and (your friend) and that she still doesn´t want to accept all of the apologies and treats and things that you have tried to do to reestablish the friendship that had existed for so long. I started to cry telling her all of this. I told her how you were my hero, that all of the things that you did to repair what had happened and how even though you may have felt like you were right, you put that aside and tried to make things better. I cried. I could feel the spirit really strongly. I challenged her to try to forgive her neighbor for what had happened, that it really didn´t matter. A little incident like that shouldn´t be more important than the friendship that they had had before. She said that she would try, but she seemed to really accept what I had explained to her. I hope you aren´t mad that I used you as an example.

Has the fungus and athlete’s foot cleared up?

Yeah, it is clearing up and I am doing a lot better.

Are you healthy and happy?

Yep, I am doing great.

Do you need anything?

More jerky!

Hey Curtis. Great to hear from you. We are all home now. I will have dad get on and talk to you, too, while I am typing a reply to your email. It was great. Thanks. I am crying right now. It is fine that you used me for an example.

Will ten be ok to call on Friday?

Skyler said he could be here at 10:00, so that will work for us. We will anxiously await your call.

I am glad the name thing worked out with the Christmas stocking. I thought it was neat that your new companion's name was Elder Carlos Garcia. Is your old companion expecting to get the Christmas stocking? Hopefully he will not be too disappointed. He will be getting the set of scriptures when they arrive. You didn't open all the gifts yet, did you?

I think you are going to be short two of the little stockings for the Zone, so you and Elder Garcia will just have to go without. Sorry. It is a pain to keep the packages under four pounds.

If I planned things right, you should get a whole bunch more postcards this week in the pouch. Then a bunch more will probably trickle in over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy them.

In the photo that Hermana Gamboa sent, where is Elder Felt's companion? Is he right below him or below him to the left?

I am glad you and your companion are getting along great.

It is really cool that your companion likes hunting and fishing like you do. I am sure that makes it more interesting. You have something fun to talk about occasionally. I know Elder Carlos liked Chemistry, like you do, but that is not as exciting of a subject to talk about like hunting and fishing. Spear hunting sounds like something you would absolutely love. Maybe someday you can go visit him and get a chance to try it.

That is neat that Elder Garcia's dad met and baptized his mom while on his mission. It is interesting that he found someone in the Central America area that was from Colombia. How strange is that? It has been almost 30 years since dad was on his mission. Wow!!!

It is really cool that you got to go to the temple on Thursday. I thought about you being there, all day long. It is important to go often. We have got to do better this year. I am setting a goal to go at least once a month. I am finally past the point of remembering what I have to say at the veil, but occasionally I still mess up. I am now learning new things almost every time I go, so it is very important to us. I hope you will always have a desire to go to the temple. I have only eaten in the temple cafeteria a few times. The food has always been great. Yours sounds interesting.

That is really cool that the temple workers did something so very special for the missionaries. What a really neat service. I think it is awesome that you are going to write thank you letters to them. I think you should all write thank you cards to President and Hermana Gamboa also and maybe some to the office elders who do so much for the missionaries. Gratitude is something that everyone can work on more in their lives.

I hope your baptisms work out for this week. It would be really cool to be baptized on December 26th, a really cool Christmas gift. I am glad you are finding some new investigators. I hope you can get the divorce worked out while you are there, but those seem to take months from what I have read in other missionaries’ letters.

Your Christmas program sounds wonderful. I am glad you were able to do that. It is a fun story. I bet you will remember it all of your life. Hopefully it had an effect on someone that was there to see it.

I hope you will get a dinner invitation for Christmas. If not, find some way to serve others that day to make it special.

Thanks for sharing this very special experience with me. That is a wonderful gift to me. I hope it will help this sister to forgive her neighbor.

I am glad you are doing great. There should be a bit of jerky in your Christmas packages. Hopefully that will keep you happy for a little while.

We love you so much! Take care and talk to you soon. I love you.

P.S. When did you mail my photos?

That will work out then. Well, I love you all very much and I hope all is going well. I will talk to you all this Friday. I love you lots bye. Elder Goode

Elder Felt’s companion is the one right below him in the picture that is titled Portoviejo, Rios, Orquidias, Bobahoyo.

The elder that is all the way right and above a sister missionary from the states, is my step- brother in the mission or Elder Alcocers kid, Elder Ruiz from Costa Rica. If you look, Elder Carlos is below me in the picture. Not the one right below me, but the one below him.

Awesome Curtis. Thanks so much. I love you! Have a terrific week. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Short, but Sweet!

Week 7 Portoviejo

Did your Zone have any transfers?

Yes, I had a transfer Thursday. They called Wednesday night and told Elder Carlos that he was going, so Thursday we had to go to Guayaquil and I got a new companion, Elder Garcia. He was in Quevedo South in Primavera. His trainer is Elder Walker and now I am his second companion. Elder Felt got a transfer, too. He is now with Elder Avila from Guatamala. Elder Turley is going home, so we will have a new Zone Leader and Elder Romero left and Elder Xec is here now.

Tell us about your baptism.

We baptised Juan Pablo. It was kind of sad that Elder Carlos couldn´t be there, but I had my first baptism with Elder Garcia.

Tell us about your investigators.

We are visiting the same people still and trying to help them progress.

Have you made any progress in getting permission for Luis?

We are trying, but it just isn´t working out too well. His dad is always drunk when we go to visit.

Well let me know what else you want to know. I think I will call on the 25th because President hasn´t told us what days we can call yet, so I think he will tell us on Thursday when we can call.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lots of Great Information!

Week 6 Portoviejo with Mom

I got two packages this last week, the two Thanksgiving packages. They arrived all right, but the pie crust didn´t hold up too well. It was falling apart and the package was pretty hammered. I still managed to save enough to make the pie and it turned out all right. I did manage to get your disks in the mail, but like you, I forgot to put in the letter before I sealed it, so I will have to send it separate.

Phone Call
I haven´t thought much about the phone call, but I have been thinking a little bit about it. But this year they are having a special, I guess you could say. It is only going to cost ten cents a minute, so I will be able to call for forty minutes and it will cost me four dollars. That is pretty cheap, right? I thought that that would be the best option, so I think I will just go to a Cabina and call and pay the four dollars and talk to you guys again.

Your Apartment or House
We live in a four story building. We live on the top floor. We have a balcony with a hammock. There is the kitchen and with the kitchen is our desks to study, on the other side of the room. We have three bathrooms between four missionaries, so I have my own shower and Elder Felt uses my toilet, too, but he showers in the other bathroom, so it works out ok. We sleep in two rooms, me and my companion in one room, and Elder Felt and his companion in the other. And Elder Felt and Elder Merchan have their own room for their desks to study and plan.

More about your Companion
He is from Peru. He has been a member for his entire life. He likes to be annoying and a tease. Sometimes I really wonder if he really is 21 years old. This is his fourth change and I am his second companion, so that makes me his step-dad in the mission. So now, my kid, Elder Machuca, has a step-brother. He is really organized and he hates disorder. We are really complete opposites. Most of the elders tell me that I must have a lot of patience. Imagine, I have patience. I am surprised too! Don´t worry!

Your Investigators
We are teaching Juan Pablo. He is going to be baptised this Saturday. We need to set up the interview and then he will be set. We have a few others that are on their way, but we hit a few snags with them. Luis Vivas, he is sixteen, but his parents won´t give him permission to be baptised. We are working really hard with his parents right now, but it is hard, because his dad drinks. So he isn´t home much and when he is, he is drunk and he doesn´t listen too good when he is drunk. We tried to talk to him the other day, but he just kept talking and wouldn´t let us talk, but we are going to get this permission. I won´t give up. Saturday we were supposed to visit with Luis´s dad, but he wasn´t in his house. Luis said that he was at a friend’s house drinking, so we went with a member that was there with us and I tried to get him to leave and come visit with us, but his drunk friends wouldn´t let him and he didn´t want to anyways. So it is hard! I have never had to deal much with drunks, but now I am and it is really hard. I never thought that I would have the courage to go pull a drunk man out of a bar and take him to his house, but I tried. He just didn´t want to come. We are also teaching two of Luis´s friends. The problem with them is they didn´t come to church this Sunday because it was Stake Conference and they didn´t want to go to the Stake Center. So they can´t get baptised for this Saturday because they didn´t come, but they will get baptised next change for sure. We don´t have to worry about the permission of their parents either. I already have the papers signed by their parents. Then there is Ibet. She is the one that Brother Arana took us to. She has a baptism date for the 26th of December, but she hasn´t come to church yet, so I don´t know if she is going to progress. So we will see what happens, because she can´t get baptised if she doesn´t come to church.

Your Teaching Pool
We are meeting a lot of new people because we are knocking a lot of doors so we are seeing a lot of people come and go and come and go but we are meeting and teaching a lot of people and they are exercising their agency, so I am content with my work even though it is hard and there is a lot of rejection. But like you wrote in that book so long ago it is just like my pre-mission dating career, right? I am used to it.

Juan Pablo this Saturday.

Spiritual Experiences
I had a very spiritual experience this week. We were teaching Juan Pablo about tithing and he understood it, but not all of it. He kept asking what if he wanted to give more if he could. We told him that tithing is only ten percent and that he could give more in his fast offering if he wanted to. I kept talking and then I felt a quiet, but strong feeling to stop talking and when I stopped talking, Elder Carlos started talking and he bore a really powerful testimony about the blessing that he has received in his life just completing with this commandment, just paying ten percent and then giving a very generous fast offering and Juan Pablo understood and was very willing to pay his fast offering. The really cool thing is that yesterday in the conference, the sister of Juan Pablo, that is a member, came up to us and thanked us for teaching her brother the gospel. I felt like all of my hard work this change was worth it, just for the thanks that she expressed to us, how grateful she was that her brother was receiving the gospel. It was really, really cool!

Your Thanksgiving Day – What did you do and eat?
We worked hard and I didn´t even remember that it was Thanksgiving until a few days later, so it wasn´t anything special for me this year, but I can assure you that next year it will be really great! I am sure I will go huntin in the mornin and eat lots of turkey with the family and we will be missin the next missionary in line.

Your Health
I am doing good. I haven´t been having the headaches, because I have been drinking a ton of water. I found a new drink that I like a lot. I take three limes, the limes here are little about the size of a golf ball and I squeeze them into a liter sized cup and I put in about a quarter cup of sugar and then fill the cup with water and stir it up and drink it. I love this! Last week, I bought forty limes and they didn´t last the week. This time, I bought sixty limes and I hope that they last the week. I was thinking about your experience with cerviche and I was wondering what size of limes you used, because the limes in the states are a lot bigger than the ones here, so this could have been your problem in the cerviche is that one lime here is like two tablespoons of juice where there a lime could give you a quarter of a cup. I don´t know if that was the problem, but it could be some of it.

Your Branch
The branch is going good. It should soon be a ward. They said that they have to wait until the middle of January and then they can propose it as a ward and it should be accepted, so I could be the first missionary in the 12th of March, as a ward instead of a branch. I was the third missionary in Valencia as a ward and I was with the second, fourth, fifth and sixth missionaries of the ward. Just so you know.

More about your Sector
My sector is actually quite big and to answer your question about where my money has been going it has been going into a lot of taxis and buses. We are always taking taxis on almost a daily basis, like yesterday, we had the Stake Conference, so I had to take a taxi to get one of our invesitgators and then to the stake center ($2.50). Then we took one after the Stake Conference to our house ($1.00). Then we took another taxi to our lunch, which just happened to be by the Stake Center. A family invited us ($1.00). A taxi back to our house ($1.00). Then we took a taxi back to the Stake Center to practice the choir that we are going to be performing later in the month ($1.00). Then we took another taxi to go pick up investigators for the Christmas Devotional ($1.00) and back to the stake center ($1.00) and then a taxi to go home after the devotional ($1.00). So we are using a lot public transport so it is kinda hard with the money that they give us and they are telling us that we need to buy better food, so we are buying more and better products to eat. I now spend thirty to forty a week on food and when they only give us eighty every two weeks, it just isn´t enough with the food and the taxis and with the interchanges that is another story in itself.

How long did it take you to go to Chone?
It was two hours to go to Chone. It really kind of sucked. It reminded me a lot of my trips to Balzar after District Meetings. Chone is cool, but the house is horrendous. They are looking for a new one, because it is so bad.

Why is Elder Arana in your area teaching? Where is he from? Why is he back in the mission?
Brother Arana is from Guayaquil. He was here in my sector when he was here in the mission and he came back to visit his converts for a few days. He trained Elder Verastagui here in this sector, like two years ago.

I am thinking that I am going to do an interchange this week with Elder Baez from Argentina and with Elder Merrill. So I will go with Elder Merrill and Elder Baez will come here to my sector and I want to see how the things are going out there in their sector and how the missionaries in their house are getting along. From what we understand, they aren´t getting along very well, so I am going to see if I can figure out the problem and try to help them fix it.

Are you going to the temple for Christmas this year?
Yes, the letter from President said that we are going to go and that he wants us to pay our own passage and buy our own food so I am going to have to start setting aside money now so that I have if for later.

Hey Curtis. Thanks for the great letter and all the good information. I am glad all is well. I will put a bit more money in your account just in case you need it this month with the temple visit. Probably only $50 more. What do the elders who don't have any extra money do when they have to travel so much?

You are probably right about the Cerviche and the lime juice. I might try it again with just a little bit of juice.

That sounds okay on the phone call. What day will work for you? Think about it and let us know. We are having our party with Shara and Michelle on the 18th. Michelle and Jeff will be there on the 24th in the evening and on the 25th, hopefully all day, but at least in the morning. Are the Cabinas open on Christmas day?

Sorry about the pie crust. I squished it a bit to get it in the package. I need to find a square one that would fit easier. I hope you
liked it anyways.

Thanks for sending the photos. I will anxiously await their arrival.

Congratulations on the baptism coming up. I hope it all works out for you this time. Keep working on the rest of them. I knew the mission would change you in many ways. I hoped patience would be one blessing for you. I am glad to see you are developing some.

I love you lots,

The Cabinas are open on Christmas and just about any other day except New Year’s Day, so I will be able to call on the 25th or 24th, but I will see what day will be best. But it will also depend what President says. Last year, he said that we could call whatever day in December that would work best, but I don´t know for sure yet. I could ask about the 18th, but would everybody be there? I want to call when everybody is there if I can. Can Skyler be there? Can you see what day he could be there too? If he could be there the 24th or 25th? See what you can do I don´t think there will be many changes from what president said in his letter this week. Just the Zone Leader changes and those that will be training, so I don´t know. Let’s see what happens. I love you lots! Bye!

Elder Goode

I am glad you are able to love your companion. It is great preparation for marriage. There are times when you won't really like something your wife will do, but you will still love her and because you do, you will ignore the things that bug you and cherish the things you do love about her.

Thanks for sharing the spiritual experience. I am sure that was very special. I am happy to know you are listening to the spirit's promptings and allowing him to work through you. There is nothing that makes you feel better than true gratitude when you have helped someone. I know in my job there are many days that the thanks I get from others makes it worth continuing. Otherwise, I don't think I would still be doing this job. The gratitude makes all the pain and struggle worth going through.

That is cool that Elder Arana lives so close and is able to come and visit those he taught. It seems strange that they would send him to the same mission where he lives, but maybe he lives in the Guayaquil South boundaries. Was he disappointed to serve so close to home?

I am glad to hear your health is good. Has the fungus on your hand gotten any better? What about the Athlete's foot. I think those packages had the medicine in, didn't they?

Pray for help before you go on your exchange and I am sure the spirit will help you discern what the problems are and help you suggest ways to fix them.

Love you so much,

Okay. I will try to find out about Skyler this week so I can tell you next Monday. On the 18th everyone should be there after 6:00, but Skyler probably won't be. Shara won't be there on the 24th and 25th, but Skyler might be. Hard choice, I know!

Have a really great week son! Know that we love you very much and we are so very proud of you.
Love always and forever,