Monday, October 24, 2016

Land of Heat and Mosquitos

With Elder Troche
Zone Conference

Hello everyone from Santo Tomas, the land of heat and mosquitos! Sorry for that really short email last week, but it was a pretty crazy P-day. Luckily I have a little bit more time today.
Elder Lezano is pretty great. I've gotten a little bit frustrated at times, mostly due to my disabilities. It's been difficult to "lead" the area, because I'm so new. Hopefully it'll be easier. But it's also helped to build my confidence a lot, hopefully that'll continue. Elder Lezano tells me that it's not unheard of for missionaries to finish training and immediately get called to a leadership position or trainer. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen with me, but it's good to be prepared I guess. But I've got another 6 weeks before I need to worry about that. I don't think that either of us is going to move this transfer, but we won't know until later tonight. They tell me that we usually get the call around 7 tonight, and then we get to spend the rest of the night packing. So we will see what happens. I hope that it doesn't happen, because I really don't want to repack, it would be difficult. But we will see.
As for G_____ and B_____, they're an older couple in their 70s that live close to our house (which is a small house for the two of us with one bathroom). They're very receptive, but they couldn't attend this week. We had a stake conference about 45 minutes from Santo Tomas, and they take care of both of their mothers, both of whom are 97 years old. 97 or 93, I can't remember for sure. But no, they couldn't attend. None of our investigators attended this week, which means we have no progressing investigators once again. Hopefully that will change. We need to teach them about the Book of Mormon soon. We've taught them the Word of Wisdom, and we were surprised with how receptive they were, because they both smoke and both drink coffee, but they both committed to do it without too much of a problem. We found them by talking to them. G_____ was sitting in the street reading a book, which isn't very uncommon here, and we walked up and started talking to him. At first they didn't seem really interested, they seemed pretty set in their beliefs. But about a week later we passed by and had a really great lesson, and they're doing really well. B_____ likes to talk a lot, sometimes it's difficult to actually teach. but we are working to fix that.
Also, I finally received the package from the Wolfleys, thank you all so much! Also, my zone leaders have another package for me, I don't know who it's from. There might also be letters there, I don't know. So now we know, it takes about a month for me to get a small package. But thank you all who have written to me, even if I haven't had the chance to read them yet!
It sounds like you guys had a really fun week. I'm glad that you're enjoying it and that you got to see Diane and Justin. And congratulations to Christina! And Kate, I'm sure that the ACT went well, but it's a good idea to plan to retake it, your scores will get better every time. Normally. I had to take it 3 times before my score improved.
As for how the people respond, its very different. Yes I do attract attention, being very tall and blond. Here they call blondes "mono" which means monkey. So we always get a laugh when I tell them that my last name is a type of monkey in English. It helps to start the relationship. They're usually pretty nice to me, but they don't seem to understand that they have to speak more slowly for me to understand, which is improving, but it's still difficult sometimes. But they're starting to talk to me more, which also helps my confidence. It's frustrating, when they're just talking, I don't have too hard of a time understanding them, but I feel like as soon as they direct a statement or questions at me, it seems like they don't speak as clearly, because for the life of me I can almost never understand what in the world they're saying.

Also, I may be getting my first baptism in the next week or two. There's a youth here whose baptism wasn't recorded, so we may have to rebaptize him. We've talked to him, and he says that if we have to do it, he wants me to do it. So we will see what happens there.
But yeah, everything's going pretty well. Sorry that I haven't been attaching pictures, I can't seem to find the cord for my camera. But I should be able to get one this week, so you can probably expect more pictures later. Also, could you send the contact information of the new stake presidency and bishopric? Because there was a change, I have to report it to the mission office. But I need their emails and phone numbers I think to tell them.
I think that's all for this week, if I think of anything else, Ill send out a short email before I go. I love you all, thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. You are all in mine. Have a great week!

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