Another letter from Josh! He's still adjusting, but he has such a wonderful attitude. Enjoy! Hey fam!
How are you all?
Elder Holland's talk was awesome. He spoke about why we have Preach My Gospel, and how we can never use the Book of Mormon too much in our teachings. He told a story of a missionary in the Czech Republic and how he was able to adapt a lesson to fit the need of a sister in the 1930's, and that sister and two others kept the Church alive in the Czech Republic for almost 60 through all the communist stuff and war. Very cool. He said President Hinckley told the story, then said our problem is that our missionaries don't know the Gospel, they need to be converted first, then they'll be able to teach others. So, he said, Preach My Gospel is written to convert the missionaries. Once the missionaries are converted, it's up to them to figure out how to teach everyone else. No memorization, no recitation, strictly lessons from the heart. It was a cool experience. I have notes, maybe I'll take a picture of them and send them to you next week. He spoke for about an hour and a half. He spent most of the time talking about the Book of Mormon. We went through the first 8 chapters of Nephi, roughly 20 pages, and he demonstrated how in just a few verses, anyone can know what we believe about prophets, revelation, and the unique things that only our Church has. When I shook his hand, he said, "Hey Elder, how are you today?" and gave me a pat on the shoulder after I responded. He has eyes like some kind of mist, and he looks really old. But he's awesome. He really is an Apostle of the Lord, and I am so grateful to have heard from him. His talk really got people motivated to work harder, especially me.
We have a few new families that are preparing to be baptized, which is great, but we had a ton of appointments fall through this week. It was a tough week for me. But I'll keep walking, keep working, and will be as happy as I can be... But our lessons are good, simply we didn't have a lot of them. Please pray for some help for us. I want to teach so badly, and this week we barely even got to.
Questions you guys had. My daily routine. Wake up, exercise, shower, eat cereal, read a General Conference talk, Personal Study, Companion study, Language Study, leave the apartment at 12ish, go to a mamita for lunch until about 130, then work all day, walking up hills and hills and hills, after sunset I put on a sweater, then we get home at 9. When the sun isn't out, it's cold, so I always carry a sweater. I have to new ones, hand made just for me, costing 24 dollars. Pretty good deal.
We walk almost everywhere, sometimes we take a bus. The bus system here is really good, I'm sure Steve can tell you all about it. I have no microwave oven, no toaster, no oven, just a gas stove. I don't cook too much. I have a few snacks and cereal and yogurt, and I buy bread pretty often from a store nearby. I now know where to get the stamps I need, hopefully Thursday I can send a letter off and it'll get there in two weeks. I have only recieved a few dear elder letters so far, but that's because no one went to the office last week. Since we're in Quito, on P day someone needs to go to the office to get mail and other materials we need. This week wasn't our turn, but if anything came it'll be in my hands on Thursday. Keep sending stuff, almost everything will take two weeks. I'll print off all of your emails from today so that I can read them throughout the week, I'm glad that I can do that now.
We had a special stake conference with Elder Maynes, who came with Elder Holland, and he talked about how we can all help build up Zion. He spoke of a stake in Africa that exports funds to help others, when they really don't live all that well. They know how important it is to help other people out, and they did all they could to be charitable. There is always something that everyone can do to help build the kingdom, no matter how rich or poor. This is something we should always remember. We need to do all that we can to help others out at all times, and realize that that is a responsibility that everyone has.
Spanish is coming along well, every day gets better and better. Some people are just tough to hear and to understand, but that too gets better every day. Mom and Dad, you guys better get practicing, before you know it you'll be here! I'm gonna do a voice recording this week too for you guys, and send a letter if I can. I love you guys so much, and pray for you all the time. I'm working as hard as I can, and being as happy as I can.
PS birthday stuff, snickers, cereal, anything practical that I could use, things that I like. Anything you send will be awesome. Also, I dropped 8 bucks on peanut butter. Worth it. Love you!