Hey mom- thanks for the advice about the milk! We just got our refridgerator again so now I can do that. I didnt even know you could have milk like that. I thought it had to be in a fridge or itd go bad. Anyway, Im happy because now I can start eating the cereal you sent with milk! Milk is a bit pricey sometimes and it goes fast for me. Because we´re on a budget, i have to be careful about the money I spend and we use the bus a lot here. anyway, I´m really excited for christmas too! We get to Skype our families at a members house so be prepared for that too! Tell everyone that contributed I said thanks a LOT! I´m so so sad I wont be there for this Christmas or the next but I know the 3rd one will be awesome. I am getting letters here and there from Kendra and Jay and the Rowlies and Uncle John but that´s mostly it. I´m happy with that though. It gives me a lot to think about for you guys. Tell Colleen I said Congratulations! I remember Danny at our party. I don´t know him that well but I´m super excited for her! How awesome! Anyway, I love you lots, Mom. I couldn´t ask for a better mother. I miss you so much!
Hey Maddy- Wow! I´m super excited to hear that. I can´t wait to read those books when I get back. Fablehaven was one of my favorite series. And the Spongebob Movie will be awesome too. Be sure to tell me how it is and all the other movies and keep a list because I want to watch them when I get back! hahah. And Pitch Perfect 2 as well. I liked the first one. I remember one time you karli and mom were watching it and you guys asked tommy and I to come watch it with you but we were playing Battleblock Theater. I wish I would´ve watched it with you guys.
That song Elder Dickman showed you guys is right. It´s hard being out here and I miss you guys soooo, soooo much. But 2 years is only 2 years and I have to make the best with the time I have here. Elder Rivera plays some music in the beginning of our day that makes me feel ´´Trunkie´´ which means it makes me want to pack my bags and go home! hahaha. His music talks about missionaries and how hard it is. It´s kind of frustrating sometimes. Anyway, love you a lot, Maddy, and I think about you every day! Hope everything goes well for you until next week!
Hey Karli- Ahhh... getting some digits huh? That´s pretty sweet, hahaha. Tell Paige I said congratulations! When does she report? And ughhh... I´m so excited for the day I get back so we can watch movies together and listen to some music, you have no idea. We have a missionary in our apartment who doesn´t completely obey the rules all the time and he listens to music and watches movies and it makes it a little worse for me. This might be a really weird request, but save ´´Frozen´´ and ´´Mulan´´ for me. Especially ´´Mulan´´. I don´t know why, but I want to see that movie again. hahaha. You are totally right about me missing being apart of you guys though. It´s hard out here, but I know it´s only for a little while. Love you lots, Karli! Until next week.
Troll number 1, how you doin, man? Still watching AVGN and YouTube Poops? hahaha. Be sure to save some of the good ones for me to watch when I get back. Anyay, not much to say on my end. I just miss you a bunch, Tommy. You really were my best friend before the mission. I can´t wait to get back and see how much you´ve grown into being a young man. Until next time, Troll Number 1. Love you!
Hey Dad- Wow, that story about Jeremiah sounds interesting. I´ll definitely read it during my personal study tomorrow. It really is true, though. I used to think of the Church and all it´s members as perfect and stuff like that but that´s not always the case nowadays and even in the Book of Mormon. It really opens your eyes a little bit. Elder Dickman sounds like a really good guy. I´m glad that you guys have such awesome missionaries. Be sure to treat them well here and there with the little things, like snacks and time for relaxing and talking about life and the gospel. I know I appreciate it here as a missionary for sure. I can´t wait to see the progress on the ´Stang. It will be legendary to come back to after my mission hahaha. Anyway, love you lots, Dad. Thanks for writing to me and telling me about what´s going on.
So, what to write about? This week has flown by. again. They always do, it´s awesome. A lot has happened since last P-day. So I decided to prewrite a few things I want to type. Last week, we decided to go to the mall because its the only place we know that has the right bank to withdraw my mission money. It was hard to be at because it was just like any mall at the States, besides the obvious language difference. They have a Burger King and a McDonalds here as well. I got a BK chocolate filled cone for like 0.75 American currency there. It was an interesting experience though because when we were trying to withdraw money, it kept rejecting my mission card. We had to try like 10 times with no luck and out of nowhere, a lady comes by who´s been investigating the church with other missionaries and sees us and warmly shook our hands. After she left, the machine immediately accepted my card. Elder Rivera and I were talking about it as he was eating his burger. Like, to us, that wasn´t a big deal, but to her, that could´ve been really important. Maybe we saw the hand of God working there because if that ATM hadn´t stalled, we wouldnt´ve met her. We´ve had a few minor experiences like that this week where an appointment wouldn´t fall through and we´d visit a member´s home nearby who usually wouldn´t be there and they´d be there and they needed us to talk to them about stuff. It´s really neat how things line up like that for us. Anyway, the mall was cool. Rivera and I took pictures with Santa there. It was really funny.
We had the opportunity to meet a few times with an investigator named Geolanda. She lives with her Mom, who´s like 70 something I think. We´ve been following up with them here and there to check their progress with the Word of Wisdom and coffee. We stopped by once to confiscate all of her coffee and replace it with a substitute. This week, her son, Felipe, had a birthday party and we were invited to stop by for cake and guarana. Rivera and I played a little soccer and kicked the ball around a little. These boys are like 7, 8, and 9 years old. We watched them do penalty kicks in the street a little, and then it was our turn to kick against them. When we went, they had all of them behind the goalie to stop the ball from going too far. When I stepped up, one of the boys chanted, ´´Skinner! Skinner!´´ hahaha. That was too awesome. I wish I would´ve had my camera.
A few more things about Salvador- Its been raining quite a bit here, like you guys already noticed. Its never a downpour, its weird. Its a very quiet rain but if you stay out long enough, you´d get soaked. People here love music. You look at cars and they have booming steroes on the roof of their car literally almost bigger than the car itself and they just blast music. A LOT of white volkswagen mini buses, like you guys said again. They´re EVERYWHERE. I don´t know what the deal is with that, hahaha. Lots of stray dogs, like I said. It´s pretty darn funny watching one go sniff out a decently clean car and just pee all over it. You see them just sleeping everywhere too. Lu Lu has no idea how good she has it back home though, I´ll tell you that much. Kids and teenagers love it when Rivera and I speak English occasionally. ´´Fale Ingles! Fale Ingles!`` It´s pretty funny. I´m the whitest person I´ve seen here besides American missionaries at our meetings. Almost everyone I see on the street gives me a good stare as we walk by. The favela near our apartment throws some loud parties on friday, saturday, and sunday nights. You can hear the music clear as day when we´re having our nightly planning. They always play remixed American music though with a big bass in the background. Same food here. Always beans. Always rice. Always Spaghetti noodles, Always Coca Cola (Heck yeah) or Guarana, and their juice. Oh my gosh, its soooo good. It´s a fruit juice that´s basically blended up pulp, sugar, and water. It´s more than juice concentrate but less than a smoothie. It´s amazing. I can´t think of much else to say at the moment about Salvador, but I´ll keep tallies on anything I think of.
I met again with my mission president. He is an awesome man. I got to talk with him a little about my mission so far and he made me feel better about things saying that it´ll get better and that I´ll return home some day. I really loved that, like yeah, the language is sooo hard right now. But I can definitely see improvement. The hardest thing above all else is thinking about you guys and how I´m going to miss out on holidays, birthdays, family dinners, family home evenings, going to church together, watching movies together, and swimming. For me, It´ll just make them that much sweeter when I get back. Anyway, I´m trying to send pictures. It´s a bit of a lengthy process so let me know if they all came well. I´ll have to do it in several emails but I´ll keep them just incase they dont come through. Love you guys so much!!!!