Monday, January 25, 2010
I am proud of you I know that the mission is going to be hard, for me it sure has been. I have had companions that don´t want to get up in the morning. I have had companions that tell you every little thing that you are doing wrong, that just make you feel bad. It is hard, but you know it is also the most fulfilling time that I have had in my life. I am really glad that I made the decision to come on the mission. I have grown up so much since I came on the mission. I have learned many things such as why dad takes such good care of all of his things. When you don´t have much money, you try to reuse and make things last as long as they can. I know for you that is something that you are fairly good at, using a budget and making things last a long time.
You are going to be an awesome missionary!!! I know you will be good!!! Clain keep up the preparation and you will be better than me. I know it. Keep going strong. I love you lots!!!
Thank you Curtis. What a beautiful letter to Clain. And thanks for including the bits of testimony in it. This is exactly the kind of letter I have hoped you would write. I know Clain will treasure it all of his life. I can't wait to give it to him tonight. I love you so very much. Thank you!
Hey! So guess what? I am still in Portoviejo and still with Elder Garcia, so everything is going good. Elder Walke is now my new Zone Leader with Elder Fonseca. Elder Felt left and Elder Avila, his old companion is going to train, so he went today to Guayaquil and will be coming back on Wednesday with his kid. We spent the morning cleaning the house, just the two of us. I´ve kinda gotten used to living with four in the house, so it was kinda lonely with just the two of us. I also did some repairs on some toilets in the house and I am going to have to buy some parts a little later to finish all of the repairs. I need to install a new toilet seat and a new flap and flush handle on another one and a chain broke on my toilet, so I found a string and made the toilet work again. Nothing like some redneck engineering to fix things right!!!
So I want things to be good for the new elder when he gets here. I sure know how hard it was when I started and I know that someone that thinks ahead a little will be a big help. They should get here to Portoviejo at like seven or eight on Wednesday, so they should be really hungry. I am going to make sure that I buy some stuff that they can eat Wednesday night so that they don´t get there and have nothing to eat and I will leave a note telling them that they can take the food and eat it. It will be a whole lot better than when I got to our house with Elder Machuca and there was dirty plates all over the house and there wasn´t any food. That was kinda hard, but I am going to prevent that this time with this elder.
So Elder Piedra got a new companion, Elder Cruz. He is from Peru, the one that was in my zone when I first got to Valencia. Elder Piedra called me a little concerned and afraid. He was asking me what he should do this change and how he can deal with his companion. I told him to work hard and help his companion to know the sector and the members and investigators and he will help him with the other stuff, so he seemed a lot happier and things should be going good. Elder Piedra won´t be in my district this change because Elder Cruz is a district leader too. So I will probably get to be zone leader over Elder Mitchell and his new companion, but I don´t know who that will be yet.
So things are going good. This last week I have gained a testimony of the importance of working as hard as you can. Sunday, yesterday, we had three investigators in the church. We worked really, really hard for those three investigators. I know we should have more, but we worked really, really hard for the three. I know if we hadn´t have been visiting them and inviting them to come to church and then calling them to get them up and then going and picking them up for church, they wouldn´t have gone. But we did it! We helped them to get to church and they were really excited about the church after, so it was really cool. I can see a lot of changes in many of our investigators from when we first started teaching them until now. They are much happier and they say that they don´t have as many problems now as they did before. It is really cool!!! Well I am going to send this off and write President and I hope when I finish with President that you will have responded to my letter and then I can write some more. I love you lots!!!
Hey! I just remembered. I got the last package and about fifty something post cards so I am somewhere around seventy something, maybe one hundred post cards, so I should be getting a bunch more. Well I love you lots!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Hey! So how are things going this week? I have a cool story to tell you this week. We went iguana hunting last Monday and we went to a place where we thought that there would be iguanas in my sector with a few youth from the ward. We went and tried to find iguanas, but here the trees are turning green, so it is getting harder to see iguanas in the trees. So we didn´t see any iguanas and then it started to rain and we kept walking further and further up into the mountains and it kept raining and the trail that we were walking on turned to mud and well we got really dirty. Well, we ended up walking for an hour and a half until we came to another city and there we found a cyber and started to read our emails and after about ten or fifteen minutes the power went out. And I happened to be in the middle of reading your letter, so we tried to get back to Portoviejo as fast as we could and use the cyber. But we got back at like five fifteen and showered and then at five thirty we had to go buy groceries and then it was off to work. So I am sorry that I didn´t write you and I will definitely try much harder to write every week longer letters.
Well to finish my story, we didn´t get any iguanas so we were kinda bumbed, but yesterday we went to the house of one of the youth that went with us and he said that his neighbors had some land and that there were a ton of iguanas. So we went and looked at the land and asked them for permission to hunt iguanas today. They asked us why we wanted iguanas and we told them to eat. They said that we could go today to hunt iguanas. But we were leaving their house with the kid to do some visits and the neighbors called us and told us that they had an iguana if we wanted it. So we went back and got the iguana. We tied it up and put it into a sack and then we went and took a taxi to our house and dropped the iguana off so that I could skin it out and get it ready to eat today. Well we were really excited, me and my companion, and the youth, but things went terribly wrong after that.
We got back to the house after finishing off the night. We did our numbers and I started sharpening a knife to skin the iguana. That is when Elder ______ got to the house. He took care of his numbers and I was also taking down the numbers of my district and I gave them to the zone leaders and then I was ready to start on the iguana but it was still alive. So I had to cut its neck right and I didn´t want to get blood all over so I started to wash the dishes in the sink so that I could do it in the sink and not make a mess all over everything. Well, Elder ______ started to tell me that he thought that it was kinda ify what I was going to do and that I should call and ask President for permission to kill and eat the iguana. I told him no that it wasn´t a big deal, that there isn´t a rule that says that we can´t kill or eat iguana in our misionary manual or in the rule book of our mission. But he said that he had to call president anyway for something that was going on in his sector so he called president and talked to him about his problem that he was having in his sector and then he told president that I wanted to talk to him. So I then had to take the phone and explain to President Gamboa that I had an iguana and that I wanted to kill it and clean it out so that we could eat it. Well President asked me if I had done it before. I told him that I had never killed and cleaned an iguana before, but that I had killed and cleaned lots of animals before. President said that it is an iguana, that it isn´t a chicken or a duck or a cow or a pig. It is an iguana and it is different. So he told me that I couldn´t kill it and I was forbidden to eat anything that has iguana in it and that I had to let the iguana go.
I was kinda upset I was so close to being able to eat iguana and I couldn´t do it so at this time it is like nine thirty and Elder ______ told me that I had to take it and let it go, but I was kinda upset so I told him that it was late and that we couldn´t leave the house. So he called President and asked him what we should do, if we should take it right then and let it go or if we should wait until morning and President told us to wait until morning. So we slept the night with the iguana in the house and this morning we took it and let it go in a part of my sector. So I almost got to eat iguana, but not quite. So I am pretty sure that I won´t ever have the opportunity again in my life, but oh well. I am pretty sure that there will be a new rule in the mission now that we are going to be forbidden to eat iguana and turtle and a few other animals, maybe armadillo. So that is my crazy story for the week. I almost got to eat iguana, but it got away.
So besides the iguana, things are going good. We are working hard and having lots of success. We should see some baptisms soon. I sure hope so! Nely, she is the one that I told you about, that her husband died and that was mad at her neighbors, she accepted a baptismal date. So we are working on preparing her and her son for the baptism, so I am pretty happy about that. We are still working with the dad of Luis for permission and we are getting a little farther along, but progress is slow with him. But we have high hopes! Well everything is good. Let me know what else you want to know and I will try to respond. Ok. I love you lots.
Sorry about your iguana. That is too bad. I guess you will have to wait till you go back for a visit to get that opportunity in your life or maybe you will decide that it really doesn't matter much and let it go.
We thought your excuse for not writing was probably something to do with the power outages because it looked like you had started to read emails and then quit.
Tell us more about the people you are teaching and the experiences you have been having with them. Have you had any special experiences these past few weeks?
I hope you will forgive and not let the iguana incident come between you and Elder ______ or you and President Gamboa. I imagine that President Gamboa has a special love for the creatures of South America, like iguanas, because they represent something that is special to his home country. Maybe they mean as much to him as the Eagle does to us in the United States. It is true, they are not majestic to look at, like the eagle, but they are something unique to a few select countries down there. Trust his judgment and forgive him for taking away your fun. I hope you took some photos of the iguana while you had it, so you can remember this incident later. Maybe, there is a lesson in this experience that you will use later on in your life. Ponder on it and see if you can allow forgiveness to enter your heart. I can see you standing some day and using this experience as an object lesson in a talk you will give.
You also need to remember that most of the missionaries there and your mission president have probably never been hunting. They don't know of the thrill you experience as you go hunting. To them and to most of the world, hunting is barbaric. I admit it is not the most pleasant thing for me to think about, even though I have been around it all of my life. Remember that the things you hunt are God's creatures. He put them here for His purposes. It is necessary for us to eat some things, but people will argue that there is plenty of food to eat without going out and killing it. Most won't understand that man helps to keep the populations of animals in balance and that because man has encroached on the natural ranges of the animals, that we have upset the balance of nature and need to help keep it in balance by hunting. I keep thinking that maybe your calling in life has something to do with being a Conservation Officer. Anyway, don't hold grudges because your fun was spoiled. There will be plenty of other opportunities in life for you to go hunting. Now is just not the time for it.
I love you lots. Keep smiling.
I hope you are being completely obedient and relying on the Lord for help with the work. Is there any chance you will have baptisms this coming week?
Have you gotten the last package with your bible?
No, I haven´t gotten the last package. I called the office to see if they happened to know anything about it and they don´t know anything, so I don´t know. I guess we will just have to wait and see if it comes. There is nothing else that I can do for the package.
Have you gotten more post cards?
I got like three post cards last Wednesday and I got a letter from Elder Fewkes. He is in the Charolette North Carolina mission right now, so I thought that it was cool that he remembered us all here in Ecuador. He sent a card to Elder Felt, too, so I am pretty sure that he sent all of our district here in Ecuador something.
In the photos in Quevedo that you sent, there was a day when you took Zone photos by a handcart. What was the handcart for?
I am not for sure why there is a handcart there, but we took some pictures with it because we thought it would be funny. The three that were in the handcart in one of the photos were the ones that were going to go home that change, so it was like we were taking the dead missionaries to the cemetery or something like that.
Explain the photo of the elders with their hands over their crotches? What is that all about?
I have no idea what they were doing, really I don´t. I don´t see any reason why they would have done it, but they did. I will see if I can talk with some of them and ask them why they did it, but I really don´t know.
Were you able to send more photos to Elder Elwood to have him send them home with Elder Mitton or Elder Ogden?
I was getting a disk ready and I will call and ask Elder Elwood if he could help me out with that. I can send it to the office Wednesday and he can get it to Elder Ogden or Elder Mitton.
What do you want me to do about the CTR Rings?
Elder Garcia wants a ring so send him one, but the family, I know they said they would pay for them, but I am pretty sure that they won´t be able to pay when the time comes. They are a great family, but they kind of expect the missionaries to do favors for them. Don´t worry about the rings for them, just the one for Elder Garcia. If they really want the rings, I could bring them rings when I come to visit after the mission.
Thanks. Interesting answers. I am glad you were obedient to the mission president even though it spoiled your plans. Remember there is always a reason why things happen. Later, you will understand and realize that it was for the best.
That is really cool that you heard from Elder Fewkes. I was hoping he had gone back out to the mission field. You will have to go visit him after you both get home or have him come down for a visit.
I will go get another bible for you and send it in the next package and a ring for Elder Garcia. I will try to get a package sent off this week and you should get it around Valentine's Day.
We love you so much. It is so good to hear from you. I would really love to hear more about the people you are teaching and about the special experiences you are having. It would be great if you would occasionally bear your testimony and share your feelings about the blessing it is to
serve a mission. Have a really great week.
Love always and forever,
Ok, thanks. I love you lots. I hope that next week I have more time to tell you all of the details of my investigators and bear my testimony. So I will try really hard next week, I promise.
Okay. I am counting on it. However, I also know it is changes next week, so it is not likely to happen. You could send a paper letter you know. I would treasure it forever! Be Goode! I love you!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
When you make the limeade, do you peel the little limes and grind them up in your blender or do you just cut them in half and squeeze the juice out of them? I tried both ways. Those little things are hard to peel, but they made nice juice in my new juicer. It was easier to just cut them in half and squeeze them to get the juice out, but I probably didn’t get as much juice that way. We really liked the juice though. We have drank six liters of it so far. I mixed up another 3 liters tonight.
I usually take them and cut them in half and then squeeze them but I bought a special squeezer that makes it really easy to squeeze them. The other thing you can do is cut them in quarters and put them whole with the peel into the blender with water and blend them and then after just strain it and drink it fast. If you blend the peels the juice will go sour after about ten minutes so for me it is better to squeeze it and then I can put it in the fridge to let it get cold for later.
Have you gotten permission for Luis to get baptized yet?
No, we haven´t gotten the permission yet it was a hard week with it being Christmas and new year it was hard there wasn´t much time to visit and when we visited his dad was drunk so ya we don´t have permission yet.
Did you have any baptisms this week?
No, we don´t have any baptisms this week we are hoping to get permission for Luis this week though.
How are your investigators coming?
They are doing good we are working hard with them and I think that we should have success this month.
Do you spend much time proselyting at the University?
No, we don´t spend any time at the university I don´t know if we could go up on the campus to visit.
How was your visit to the Ocean and Crucita? Tell us about it.
The ocean was way cool. I am glad that I got to go and it was really cool to eat right there next to the beach.
Did you get any more post cards?
No, I didn´t get any more post cards this last week and I didn´t get the last package so I don´t know what is up.
Did you get your other package?
Have you written those thank you letters I asked you to write? Please do it soon if you have not.
No, but I will today.
Did any of the packages you received have the Plan of Salvation puzzle in it?
Yes, I did receive the plan of salvation puzzle.
Are you healthy and happy?
Yep I am.
Do you need anything?