We are in an area called Santo Tomas, and neither Elder Troche nor I have ever been there. So its been a bit difficult. We have a huge area, and a lot of this week has been used to get to know the area. But the branch president is pretty great. For meals we have contracts, at least for lunch and dinner. That means that theres a member of the ward who we pay a small amount of money to each month, and they feed us lunch and dinner every day. Its a good system, and so far all of the food has been delicious. Rice every meal, but its very tasty.
There have been gringos here before, but apparently they didnt look quite as gringo as me, because I get a lot of stares from the people. They are very kind with my Spanish, which is actually getting along pretty well. Its far from perfect (far from proficient might be more honest) but I get by the people here speak pretty fast, but im getting to the point where I can understand a bit better. But yes, its difficult. But I like it here a lot. Santo Tomas is actually about an hour and a half from Barranquilla. Most of it is pretty poor, but its very safe. Thats what everyone says, and I havent felt unsafe once. There was a big party festival thing this weekend, so we were a bit more careful at night (since Im so obviously American) but we had no problems.
As for mail, it seems that if you send it to the mission home, I can get it. One of the Elders that came with us had a package waiting for him, and Ive seen others get mail. I dont know about the whole putting pictures of Jesus on it. It may help, it may not, I dont know.
Everyone here is super nice. Their doors are always open, and they love to talk to us. But when we got here, there were no progressing investigators, and in the last 2 years, there have only been about 10 investigators baptized. So we are working hard to change that.
I want you all to know that I love it here. Even though its hot and we never know where we are, its a great place to be, and Im very glad to be here. The people are super nice and the food is super good. I love you all and think of you often. Thank you all for your prayers for me. Sorry, I cant send pictures because I forgot my plug to the computer. Ill be sure to send some next week. I love you all!