I didn´t plan on writing this late, but I guess that’s how it goes. The bishop´s family in the ward is going through some difficulties. We had a family night with them tonight and we ended a little late, but we helped them come closer as a family, which is really really important in a ward. If the bishop is distracted, the work can get complicated and that’s not something that we want here. The bishop is a key player, and if he´s on the bench, well you have to enter sports rehab and get him off the bench, things just don´t work as they should without him!
How are your glasses? are you rotating pairs or using the damaged ones? Would you recommend Kolby bring contacts or not?
Well, my other glasses fit my face really small, and I would probably only use them if my glasses that I do use outright broke...like in half. I still use my glasses. I wondered at first if it would give me a headache to have a little spot in front of my left eye all day, but it’s amazing that when Heavenly Father designed our bodies, He designed them to adapt to uncomfortable things. I hardly notice the spot anymore. There are a couple missionaries in the mission that use contacts, and they use a daily disposable kind and receive a package every 3 months with 90 pairs. It seems like it would be a little tedious, and really I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about cleanliness like that, just have to polish the lenses every day because of all the dust. I recommend glasses, even though it’s a pain at first.
Who are the missionaries pictures playing Jenga?
Going back and looking at the pictures, the skinny one in the checkered shirt sitting on the couch is Elder Guzman, he´s from Honduras and has about 3 months, the other in the checkered shirt is Elder Valenzuela, he was in Comas with me and is also from Honduras. The one in the blue shirt (who lost) is Elder Rosales, he´s from Piura, and he just got to the mission when I got here to Collique. Squatting over the tower in red is Elder Gutierrez, boliviano he was serving in Venezuela, but got here in lima a month and a half ago because of the political unrest there, he will likely finish the mission here, along with the other 20 or so missionaries that were reassigned here. The one in glasses is Elder Oliva, he wears glasses only sometimes, because he´s a little like Braden, doesn’t require them for everything like some of us, how blessed :)
Do you like Mole?
It was good, we made it a little bitter because we used a little too much tomato, and in Guatemala, they put it on fried bananas, but Elder Oliva told me they put it on chicken in Mexico. The sweetness of the bananas was really a plus, on chicken I’m not sure I would like it. It´s a chocolate based sauce, basically a dessert.
Do you use the flea collars I sent and should I send some with Kolby?
I never used them, I think they are still somewhere in my suitcase. The thing was that the time I had bed bugs, I was sleeping on a mattress on the ground because we were in a trio, so they wouldn´t have done much good. What did work was the repellant that I brought. I put it on every night and every three days I sprayed down my sheets, and didn’t have too many bites. I´m not exactly sure what his mission climate is like for that kind of thing, missions vary a ton! Here is the email of an elder that will return soon to what will be Kolby´s mission, you should recognize the name, he was my second companion Elder Gaibor. You can send him a note to see if he will continue talking to you from his home email. He finishes in May, but he´s a great worker and will no doubt be an asset to his home ward if Kolby ever gets there. He speaks pretty good English, so don´t worry about translating your letters :) he can use the practice for the end of mission English exam.
Well, about out of time, but just wanted to say that Gustavo, Reyna, and Daniel all got married and baptized this weekend, being baptized in a massive baptism ceremony with 10 other new converts from the stake. The activities have really been animating the members in the stake to participate in the mission work, and we had a spectacular turnout of 186 for the baptism. I went first baptizing hermano Gustavo, but when I finished, i stayed in the passway helping direct the flow of people getting baptized and mopping up the font water so people wouldn´t slip. I should have been freezing cold because (same as my own baptism - I guess it’s a weird memory thing) here they don´t heat the water for the baptisms. In fact, they don´t even have the capability to do so in the majority of the mission’s chapels. I felt absolutely happy, just deep down inside I felt good. Members were telling me to go change saying I was going to die of a cold, (that’s a pretty common thing, it’s 65 degrees outside and they say I’ll die of a cold ha :)) but I felt warm and just joyful, knowing that after such a long struggle, these three people were able to be baptized!
Well that’s it for time, I love you all and will send baptism/marriage fotos next week!
Earlier in the day he wrote:
I am replying to this letter first, but the full reply to the main letter will come in the afternoon, when I have my time to really write. I don´t remember any specific lecture or speech to be honest, I think that’s also something that parents and leaders think of. They remember things much more vividly than those who are their responsibility. What I do remember is that I was terrible, and very very prideful, and to be honest it’s something that I still work on quelling. I don´t have all the patience in the world, and I get frustrated quickly, but I am learning how to manage it and how to blow off steam without letting it affect the other activities I have.
Leadership teaches a lot of things, and I have been profoundly grateful to have the opportunity. I still don´t feel necessarily like I am the best fit for it, but I do my best, and the things turn out well. I´m still shy haha, but that’s something that I don´t think will change. It takes me awhile to let people into that inner circle, and now that I think about it, I think I created that circle and then tried to push my family out of it when I was younger, and that's where all the conflict came from. Now I realize that that’s the last thing I should have done, and that the best decision I ever made, I made in a car ride with Braden, I decided that I would call each of you every single week, once minimum to my siblings, and obviously more for you and dad. It changed everything, and I feel like during those 4 or 5 months, I got closer to each of you than I ever have been. It´s a type of repentance, I recognized that my family relationships weren't where they should have been, Braden helped with that part, and then I started to ask forgiveness, or better put, rectify the wrong. I´m beyond grateful for that decision, and for the family relations that I have now. Families are eternal, but if we don´t choose to be a team that doesn´t ever split up, you can end up losing what should matter most in our mortal experience.
Well, times ups for the morning. I love you all, and I hope that you find joy in your daily decisions, it´s really what we are here for anyway right?