Wow. I have so much to say. We had a conference with the area 70 here. Elder Zepallos, really cool conference. And another 10 hours in a bus. That took forever. But Im just going to bullet point some stuff and explain either later in the letter, or you´ll have to ask me later when I get home. Entonces....
1. I am now serving in Arica. Its about as far North as you can get without being in Peru. It is pretty great, and you can see the beach from my flat. But the bus ride was 12 hours. That was not fun. My sector smells funny sometimes though, because of how poor it is, and the plumbing isnt great, and on top of that, the world is a toliet to a dog. And there are billions of dogs.
2. My new companion´s name is Hermana Nahir Scalise. She is from Argentina, shes 24 and she has been serving for 6 months. She was engaged, but broke it off completely because she decided to serve a mission. She was major engaged too. Like she had a dress, invitations, a date, decorations, the whole enchilada/empanada. But God told her to serve a mission. So she did. She is great. She sings all of the time, she loves music, she loves to show off her daughter in the mission. Her Hijita (That means little daughter in Spanish), and she is my Mamita (Little mother). I really like her. She is very sweet, very patient, and loves to work super hard. Its great.
3. My ward is awesome. The Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader are almost more excited about missionary work than the actual missionaries. We had 3 investagators at church this Sunday, and they were immedietly welcomed in with open arms.
4. Every single house here has a gate over head height. Every house. Even the poorest of the poor, the people who have cardboard houses or live in tents, have gate made of something. It is so weird. And you dont knock. You stand outside and yell ALO! Super loud. Its fun. Also awkward. But mostly fun.
5. Everything here is in varying stages of disrepair or brand new. No inbetween. The people have really nice cars, teeny dirty houses, and smart phones. Strangest comnbination that I have ever seen.
6. My standards of what is or is not a bathroom have plummeted in the most dramatic fashion.
7. The Spanish is coming along great. Seriously. Its been hard. But I had a break through yesterday. I was having a really off day. Nothing seemed great and the last straw was at the home of a member for Family Night. They make you eat the food here. And the dishes that they were serving it in, were not clean at ALL. I was scared for my life. So I was being force fed, and everyone was speaking Spanish and I just broke a little on the inside. I just wanted to cry and be alone. But that wasnt an option. So I plastered a smile on my face and bore it. And then the lady we were visiting found out that it was my birthday. So she gave me a Santa Claus doll that she had made. Its really cute. and such a sweet gesture. But I was just praying so hard. So when we left after that I just threw myself into the work. We taught two more lessons and the Spirit was just so there. And I could just talk to everyone! I even was in the street with my companion, and I could talk to them all, I didnt really struggle with anything! Its coming! The Gift of Tongues is real. It really is.
8. There are some people who really need this message. There was a lady I started talking to in the street and she invited us into her home, we had asked maybe two questions, and then she broke into tears and started bawling about how her son was murdered 2 years ago. So we responded with the plan of Salvation. Sharing with her the message that she can live with her son again. It was a beautiful message. And she responded with so much hope. We have an appointment next week!
9. Every missionary needs help from the members. From anyone. Will you all reach out and help the missionaries closest to you? Dinners, attend lessons with them, ask about their homes, their invesitagators. Its not easy to be in the field, but knowing that the members are on your side, makes a huge difference.
10. I know that I am supposed to be here. Its hard. But I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
I wish that I could say more. There is not room or time to actually explain my week. But that is some of it. I love you all, thank you for the emails and the prayers, I had a fabulous Birthday! Because today is my birthday! Woohoo!! 20!!!
I love you all! Talk to you next week!