So much news from you all this week! It feels a little like the day after fast Sunday after last week’s letter. Also a warning, I’m on the computer with problems with the letter t again, so please excuse that.
First a little bit of an experience. We have been working with a family of Catholics recently, Juan and Maritza. They have been investigating for 5 months, and waiting all 5 for a copy of Maritza´s birth certificate to come through the system so they can get married. Well this Saturday will be a massive marriage and this Saturday will be a massive baptism. That means three different zones will have all of their couples married in the morning and baptized in the evening. It´s going to be really sweet to see all of the couples making this decision for their families and starting their paths to the temple. The only problem is that if you don´t have a couple to marry, you don´t attend. Maritzas certificate still hasn’t come and so it’s getting kind of close. Please pray that it arrives in time. They want to get married and are willing to live the commandments of the church it’s just that the adversary works really really hard when we start to do things right. Her older daughter (22) even made the decision on her own to attend church even though it means quitting her job she has right now. That is huge. She has really struggled with giving us time to visit because she only rests one day a week and this decision means she won’t work for a while. She also has a pretty Catholic boyfriend who she wants to move forward towards marriage with, but she knows that the temple blessings wouldn´t apply if he doesn´t join as well, and he doesn’t really have an interest. She’s showing a lot of faith right now, and Satan has been attacking the health of their extended family ever since they started to really progress.
We´ve decided to change our room to the first floor of a house that is owned by an abuela of a missionary bound for Spain. Every week in our current room, our neighbors above have one or two parties, and it always seems to fall on a day when we have to get up early to hacer tramites for Elder Arce´s visa or go collect investigators for church. It will be a little smaller, but definitely quieter (he beds are on the interior of the home) and so I’m glad for the move. It’s also like kity corner from the church, so it’s really convenient for meetings and baptisms and such. She and her husband aren’t members, so there’s also that kind of built in investigator deal. It´s been approved by the zone leaders so we will start moving in a week or two.
In answer to dad´s questions about pensionistas:
They don´t clean or cook for us, but we do give our clothes to the president of the relief society for cleaning. She doesn´t iron, but usually if I have worn the shirt for an hour of study it doesn´t need it because everything is handwashed and then hung dried. A pensionista provides breakfast and dinner, nothing more, but sometimes doubles as the sister who washes the clothes and in extreme cases (the neighboring ward) also cuts your hair for free. I’m just a touch jealous haha. Elder Arce is just 8 months older than me, more or less. He had his birthday the 2nd of May. We get plenty from the mission to cover our needs and also a churro now and then. I am using the skills you taught me about how to use money responsibly, and it comes as a surprise to the other missionaries when I have plata left at the end of the month. They all think I will be the next financial secretary, but really it’s just common budgeting with envelopes.
I don´t have to use the flea collars, but I use the bed cover. Bugs aren’t really a problem in the city, just cockroaches and cleanliness. We get a bottle of hand sanitizer every transfer and I use it constantly. The water isn’t safe to drink unless boiled, but we have big water cooler jugs in our room so we have safe water. The only time I used the bug spray was for the zoo just in case, but that wasn’t really necessary. If in three weeks I go to the jungle, then I will need to use all of it haha.
I carry my DNI everywhere, which is my ID and it can’t be stolen electronically. I carry it in my scripture bag, so no I don´t have to use the passport holder. In fact, my passport is with the office right now, I think they keep it until after my mission, which I actually prefer, it’s more secure there, and I don’t have to worry about it.
The weather does change here, like a swing of 15 or 20 degrees when it’s a cloudy day, but it’s actually refreshing to me to be honest. For air conditioning most just open a window or use a pedestal fan. For heating they buy a big can of propane and hook it up to the house. I think the sore throat I’ve developed this week is the result of air quality and the temperature change, but I really don’t know, usually it’s just in the morning so I gargle well and I am cutting sugar as best I can to get rid of it.
I would love to get some photos of the house at spring time or even of the temple. People like to know how we live and the concept of houses separated by space is a little foreign to them...yeah that’s where the phrase comes from :)
I am loving my mission, and every day is different. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but I am learning and writing so many things that will help me to be the person that I aim to become. Always have goals that you want to complete in the next month, and year. Dad I love hearing how your business is progressing, things like that didn’t interest me as much as they do now that I am further away. It’s cool to hear what’s going on with each of you in that way. I am learning that as we turn outwards, others turn to us. We had a great experience doing service for a neighboring area his week, delivering clothes for the impending cold (I write cold but really it’s still hot during the day sometimes, mostly it’s at night) to the families who live on the hills. They are all so grateful for whatever they can get to keep their kids clothed during the winter and more than willing to give us their contact information in return. The missionaries of that area will be visiting each family with a message this month and we return to parcel out the rest of the clothes on Wednesday this week.
I love you all and want to say how proud I am of your examples. The photos I have of you all have been especially useful this week in showing families how my family is in all different areas of service ion the church but that we all are happy in what we do and the lives we lead. I am out of time, but I love you all!