Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Stop by anytime, if you ever need a glass of milk or anything"

Preparation Day with Zone on the Coast

November 4, 2013

Dear Family,

This is kind of a funny way to write home, but it was the best way I could think of to share as much as possible with you guys. Plus, it can work as my journal entry as well (Will took photos of his journal and e-mailed the photos).

Wow, so much has happened these last two weeks. It has been a little bit of a rough go. Dad wasn’t kidding when he said those first weeks in the mission field were hard.

My first day in Santa Juana I really struggled with some of the temporal things. I am living in a small two-room house. There is barely enough room for me to do push ups. The walls and ceiling are made up of unfinished sheet rock and brick. It is amazing how grateful I am for clean walls and clean carpet now. Only half the lights work here and there are wires poking out everywhere. Not a whole lot works in this house. The bathroom door handle is broken and locks you in if you close the door all the way. The shower is broken as well. We boil water with a jet boil every morning then shower using a bucket and measuring cup. There is no hot water. We have to boil all water. The toilet doesn’t flush unless you open the back and reach in to pull the plug, etc. etc.. I really struggled with the culture shock the first couple of days. Then I realized that that stuff isn’t really all that important.

Although the change has been difficult, we have had some miracles as well. There is a small branch here with about 20 fully active members. The members here are incredible. They are the happiest people I have ever met. We tract and contact all afternoon. I don’t like tracting. You can totally see everybody hiding inside. I feel like nobody likes us. I wish they would just give us a chance. One day after tracting for six hours with pretty much no success we walked up to a house and did the usual routine call over the gate. A guy poked his head out the door and started to open the gate. We were shocked. We had barely said a word and he was coming to let us in. They were a very nice family. We were told that we could stop by any time, if we ever needed a glass of milk or anything like that. The other big miracle happened last night. We had been tracting for several hours. Then we came across someone who had been reading the Book of Mormon and comparing it with the Bible. He wanted to discuss some things and he wanted to come to Church.

It is so beautiful here!

We had the first Baptism in 2 years in this area on Saturday. The Church has ground to build a pretty good-sized chapel here but we need to get new members. Right now we are meeting in a house that has been converted. I had a good idea, with all of the missionaries in the ward maybe you could ask them to not only pray for us, but also for the people we teach as well and that we can find people to teach.

I love you all very much! I know everything will all work out.  My companion Elder N is great. He is very kind and understanding. He works hard as well.

Great news! Elder Holland is speaking in our stake on Sunday. I can’t wait!

 I had a good morning today. We travelled a lot because we got to go play paintball with the zone in some old ruins by the sea side. It was a beautiful day and paintball was a ton of fun. I felt like I was in a video game with the sea and ruins as the backdrop. 

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