Well, it´s almost Christmas here and I´m still wearing short sleeves. It is usually 70 or 80 during the day here, but in the nights and in the mornings it is pretty cold. I sleep with a pair of shorts, my long pajama bottoms, socks, two shirts and my sweater. I use 4 blankets, it gets cold because here in Mexico we don´t have heating or cooling, and the heater that we have doesn´t work very well. But we make do. To answer Cameron and Kolby´s question, I am the same weight as when I left the MTC, 145 pounds, but I am getting fatter because we don´t really have time to exercise, my gut is growing instead of my muscles. Not that I´m obese, just not as defined. My bronchitis is doing well, I´m taking my pills and I feel normal again. I knew when we had to go get it checked out when Elder Llanos got tired of not being able to sleep because I was coughing all night, also my mucus was yellow and I just didn´t feel good. Yes there are farmacies here where I can get cough drops, but I don´t buy them...the cough syrup here is 96 pesos, I know that´s not a lot in the U.S., but that is a ton here.
Ok, here is the important part, I am going to call Friday, at 7 o clock here...I don´t know what time that is there. I am soooooooo excited to call. We got an announcement today that said we could use skype, but it´s too late to try to coordinate so I will just call on the telephone instead. (Note from Peggy: ARGHH!)
I can´t wait to hear your voices. I am at the point where I can deal with not being with you, but the thought of hearing your voice is just way awesome. I will use the card.
Elder Llanos was an awesome trainer, I have heard some stories about other missionaries and their trainers that make me really grateful for Elder Llanos. My new companion is Elder Garcia Capella, he is from Tijuana. I am not training yet, Elder Garcia is the new district leader here in Teotihuacan. The truth is I really didn´t get along with him very well the first couple of days because he likes to leave large chunks of time open ¨for God to fill¨¨. I like to always have plan, but he is teaching me a lot about learning to trust the Spirit and not our own plans. I still don´t agree with him on a lot of things, but I am learning. Our styles of working are very different and it was really hard. But I am working on my humility, he was assigned by Presidente, who was inspired by God, to be my companion. I still have a lot of things to learn, I only have 5 months in the mission, and only 2 in the field, and I think part of the reason why it is hard is because I miss Elder Llanos. But Elder Garcia is a good elder, and we are going to work hard, I am going to love him and we are going to baptize. He talks really fast, and mumbles a lot so I have a hard time understanding him, but I think this is going to help me because if I can understand him I can understand anyone. I saw Jase at Transfers, he looked a little tired, I think his trainer isn´t helping much. I have never eaten cow blood, nor have I been sick from food.
This week, tomorrow actually I get to go to the temple!!!!!! I´m a little nervous because it is going to be in Spanish, but I´m not that nervous. I love the temple sooo much. I miss it, in the MTC we went 20 times, but here the work is for the living. The temple is probably my favorite place on earth besides my home. Cameron, Kolby, Melissa, you want to go there, you want to experience all the blessings available. Prepare yourselves to go there, don´t let anything or anyone get in the way. It is a little piece of eternity.
I got your package!! The first one you sent. Elder Hall told me that packages only take 2 or 3 weeks to get here, but the secretaries take forever to send them out to us the the field. Thank you so much for the razor heads, I have been shaving with just one for 3 months and it is way nice to have them. Thank you so much for the fruit snacks, they were delicious and the candy corns too. They made me think of all those times we went to the corn maze as a family, and all those Halloweens in Richland. I think I will probably get the Christmas package you sent tomorrow, but if not don´t worry. It is still kind of surreal for me that I am actually in Mexico, that I am actually serving my mission. It doesn´t really seem real, like I might go home tomorrow and see all of you in a house that has hot water, and with food that isn´t way spicy. But something I do every night is look up at the stars. The stars and beyond has always been something that captured my imagination, the cosmos and all the secrets that it holds. How deep and profound the works of God are, and how I yearn to know every detail of the creation and the secrets of the universe one day. But there is a principle in that. You and I look up at the same night sky every night, you and I are connected by that. God in the heavens is our connection, and I am serving that God. When I am tired, or depressed, or I miss you guys, I look up at the sky and wonder what you are doing, and that you are probably looking up at the same night sky. Kind of like Mufasa and Simba from the Lion King. I love you all so much. That is something I never realized before my mission, how much I love you. But that is one of the many blessings that I am experiencing. I didn´t appreciate all of you enough before my mission, and that is one of the many things I am going to change when I get home. Cameron I have told you this before, but I wasn´t always the best brother, I didn´t treat you the way I should have...but I realize now that I love you, and we are going to hang out when I get home...but there are a lot of things that you and I have to do before that happens. Dad, I don´t think I asked your advice on enough things. Most of these things, in relation to Cameron and Dad were because I was a pretty prideful person, I didn´t need advice or brothers, but now I realize how prideful I was and how many things I missed out on as a result of it. I realize that family is the most important thing, there is nothing more important to me than living, and helping all of you live in such a way that we never have to be separated. Although we are separated now, we won´t be in the eternities, that is an awesome awesome thought.
My mom and dad on the trek were the Amparans, Jeff Perry and I pulled that stinking cart the whole trek, until it was flat and on asphalt, then the others decided that they wanted to help. (Note: this story has been told MANY times)
The work here is still a little hard. I am adjusting to my companion, and we are trying to get back to where we were before Elder Llanos left. I had to spend a week outside my area, and that is really rough for investigators. But the good news is that a family of 5 that we have been teaching showed up to church Sunday!! I have faith that if we work hard and give every effort, we will be rewarded with success.
Grandma Andy I got your letter, and I loved it. Thank you for your encouragement and love. I love you and Grandpa. I know that we didn´t get to see or visit each other as much as we would have like when I was growing up, but I love you both. I always loved going to visit you two. I pray for you two, and Uncle Dave and Uncle Doug also.
Well, It´s time to go again, but I love you all sooooo much. I pray for you everyday. I loved the picture of Cameron and Harrison, it reminded me of the good old days in Richland, sleep overs on the trampoline and man parties...which were always better than parties with girls. I got Sis. Ostlers letter and I am sending my letter to Jackson, and I sending one to Casey also, but who knows when it will get there because pouch is kind of unreliable. I love you all, read your scriptures every day, as a family and personally, say your prayers every day, as a family and personally. It is a commandment 3 Nephi 27:19 (I think, I don´t have my scriptures right now), and if we want to be a forever family we have to follow all the commandments. Talk to you Friday, give Chika a belly rub please.