7 days without water here in Negritos! Fun stuff...it´s amazing how much you miss even the sound of water coming from the faucet! I guess they have to clean the big tanks twice a year, and this was the time they picked! Everyone says we should have water by the 22nd. I really hope so! I smell so bad, and the bathroom smells even worse! We have tanks of water from our ZL´s, so we can flush the toilet about every other day, but it smells pretty bad.
Other than the water...this week has been great! We got 25 new investigators in just this week! Elder Turcios and I have been working hard. We can get into a lot of doors the first time, the trick is getting in the second! People here are working ALL the time. It´s difficult to find more than one time a week where we can teach them. We do have a few that are coming along, and we´re hoping to have some baptisms soon! There´s one girl, Paula, that we had a baptism date set for the 25th! Unfortunately, she didn´t come to church this Sunday, so we have to reschedule. They need to come to church twice in order to be baptized. I think she will come this next week though. She´s really great, and I can tell that she´s felt the spirit really strong during the lessons. The best part is that she´s living with a recent convert, and they´ve been talking about the church a lot! Our second lesson was kind of scary because at the very beginning she said Kiara-the member friend-had told her about the BOM and the Law of Chastity. Those two things really need to have good explanations for people to fully understand!! Thankfully, she had accepted both!
We also have a family we´re teaching, Dani and Jessica with their two teenage girls. We taught them on Thursday about the Restoration. I have to tell you, that was an amazing spiritual experience! Whenever I teach about the restoration, the spirit is just so strong. I love that. We´re hoping to get them to progress in the gospel, but we do have the obstacle of getting them married. They´ve been together 20 years, but never married. A lot of people are like that in Peru. If they really want to be baptized, I guess they´ll do it. I really hope they do!
In reply to your many questions mom...
1. Nope, no box yet, but they said they have quite a few, and tomorrow would be the day I get it! I really hope it comes tomorrow...but even if it doesn´t, I can have a new years Christmas! :)
2. The call home may have changed to Skype!!! We´re still working out the details, but I´m pretty sure that I´ll be able to skype with you on Sunday afternoon/evening. If that falls through, I´ll just call Dad´s cell. I guess just have both ready, and I´ll search for Jen and Derek´s name cause I know they have an account.
3. Socks...actually I was going to talk to you about them! My socks are super thin...because of that, I already have holes in the heels of most of them. They´ll be fine for a couple months, but I think we probably should have got more of the athletic kind, like the nike ones I had for basketball. Like I said I´ll be fine for a while, but maybe in a couple months you could send me a few pairs?
4. As far as anything I need...nothing really. I have NO idea what you put in that package...probably the main thing I would use are CD´s and maybe the conference addresses? Elder Foutz has the addresses, but he´s been soaking them up!
As far as the people here go, they´re really all very friendly! It´s kinda funny because they ALL stare as I walk past, this huge tall white boy in Negritos. I usually just smile and say good evening or something. It takes them a minute to respond cause they have their mouths open in shock ;) The kids are the best! They all try to speak what limited English they know, and then I reply with a full sentence and they have no idea what I´ve said! It´s a great conversation starter, but they never really want to hear the gospel.
The one thing not good about the culture here is drinking and smoking. Every Sunday and Saturday, they´re all drinking and smoking. These are really bad days to procelite. We went to a neighboring town, Caleta, this sunday because we had two promising investigators there. We knocked on their doors, but then we turned right around and came back to Negritos. Both of us could feel the absence of the spirit there, everyone was just doing bad things. I don´t know how to describe it. The other thing is that people don´t come to church! We have 200 members in our branch that don´t come to church! 200! We´re working to double our attendance from 30 to 60, but it´s a struggle. The culture just isn´t used to waking up to get to church at 9.
The language is coming fairly well. I think my biggest weakness is fear, honestly. During lessons, I do great because I have the spirit! It´s really just small talk that is difficult, because I haven´t studied that at all-only spiritual things. I´m getting better though. Thank you so much for your prayers though! That will help me a lot!
Sounds like you are keeping busy as usual! I´m really happy that I can count on your emails every week Mom and Dad. :) It´s weird being away from home for Christmas, things are way different here. Oh! That reminds me of one of the sweet traditions they have here...the 24th is really the big day. They have their nativities, but they keep baby Jesus wrapped up until midnight between the 24th/25th. Then they uncover Him and have their big celebration! I think that´s so cool!
So how are things in the states? Anything big happen? All the north american missionaries have asked about movies and music and news...haha, kinda weird, I can´t even remember! I´m glad to hear a few updates about the Utes...2-8 huh? Maybe I should play for them... :P jk! I´m sure the Jazz will probably be just as horrible as they are every season...unfortunately! You´ll have to keep me updated on Jimmer though...I want to know how he handles the NBA!
Last night was interesting...when we got back to our room, there was a huge crowd accross the street listening to some gospel music. Later in the night, they got louder and louder. Then the music stopped and this lady started preaching! Then they started reciting prayers, really loud...it was so weird! It left a really rotten feeling in my stomach too. Prayer is so much more than that. They also kept me up half the night with their chanting, which didn´t help the headache I have. I´m just so grateful we have a church that believes in communicating with our Father in Heaven.
Well I don´t have a whole lot of time left...I always feel like my letters are rambling too! I´m sorry about that, lots on my mind. Especially a week before I call you! If you want to have a list of questions or something, that would be sweet. I´ll try to answer everything as best as I can! I´m hoping everyone will be able to be there...I know right now you´re preparing for Christmas dinner! That´s always been the best time during Christmas...sharing that meal and then the family home evening together. I´m so grateful that we have such an amazing, tight family. We have so much to be grateful for! So much. I have a feeling that when I get home everything is going to be shockingly large. You can buy a house for under 100 US dollars here! Crazy...
Love you all! You´re in my prayers, and I´m excited for Sunday!