Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's winter time in Ecuador!

Sorry that this is a little late! It is officially winter in Ecuador now, and Josh talks about it a little in his latest letter. He's been sending a couple of voice recordings to us, and I'm going to try and load them soon. Also, just in case you're interested, Josh titled this email "I killed a werewolf once, but by the time I got back to it, it had turned back into my neighbor's dog." That quote is from The Office, from Dwight, who is pretty quirky. Anyways, enjoy!

Hey all,

First off, today I got letters from a bunch of friends, including Karl and Matt. That was an awesome surprise! It was so good to hear from you guys! Karl and Matt, congrats on your mission calls. You guys are going to be awesome, awesome missionaries. Be sure to give me or my family your mailing stuff so that we can keep in touch. I love you guys, and was so, so, so happy to hear from you. Karl, you made my week when you told me you're still using my family's Hulu Plus account, classic Karl. And the Ukraine? Awesome. Matt, I'm sorry you're so bored at home, but you'll be super super busy in like a month, so no worries. Have fun in New Zealand, and hunt some Orc for me. You two better write me a few more times before you report.

Christmas things are everywhere here. I think all the extra stuff that doesn't get sold at Christmastime comes here, and everyone buys it not knowing what it is. It's really funny, almost everyone uses at least one Christmas dish during meals with Santa and everything, and I'm 90% sure they have no idea who he is. I'm really excited for Christmas, it feels like it's like two weeks away instead of two months. Whatever you're doing for music, be sure to pump it up with Christmastime fun. It's gonna be weird not being at home with you guys, not watching Elf or the Grinch, but it'll still be awesome.

General Conference was indeed awesome. I can't believe about the new ages for missionaries. Immediately after the announcement, Elder Pande drew up a diagram of potential wifes when we get back since a lot more will probably serve missions now. He decided that we'll need to start attending high school proms to find our wifes before they leave on missions. It was really funny, and I think every missionary is thinking in the same way. Saturday we could only listen in Spanish, but Sunday we had it in English. I understood it all fine, but hearing the talks in English was a lot more meaningful for me. All the talks were awesome. I'd talk about my favorites, but it would take forever to write about them. I just loved them all, and it got me really excited to get working again.
Breakfast is good, I have a champion's breaksfast most days now. Cereal, oatmeal with yogurt, granola, and dried fruit, Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwhich, hot chocolate. Boom baby. I never really was a huge breakfast person, but now that I do exercise in the morning, I get hungry earlier. It's wonderful. I can't wait to come home to an American breakfast. Pancakes, sausage that won't kill me, eggs, hashbrowns, oooooh man. The food you sent is holding strong, I'm being so good with it. I haven't even opened up the box of Captain Crunch, the big one. The little one is gone, as are a lot of other things. Sun Chips, once opened lasted two days. Captain Crunch, once opened lasted 5 bowls. I have self control until the food is acutally opened, then it's game over. I also really like popcorn. I bought oil and kernels, and just pop some whenever I want a snack on the stove since we don't have a microwave.

I'm working a lot on improving my lessons and how I teach them. To me, I feel like no investigator is going to learn without something to look at while we teach to help explain things, especially the Plan of Salvation, so I'm making really bad drawings to try to help people have a visual while we teach. I think they don't look too bad, but compared to my artistic family and friends, they look like a 3 year old drew them. But if they help, they're worth it.

One thing I want to bring up is something President Eyring said. He said one of the things that happened to his son on his mission was that he learned to teach like a lion--boldly and fearlessly preaching and teaching the things that he knew to be true. I want to do better with that. We have a lot of investigators that could and should get baptized, but they are scared to or have artificial doubts about their baptism. I think that if I can be more bold, I can help them take the final step. I need to do better, I really feel super inadequate out here. I'm doing all that I can to improve and be better.

I love you all so much and am always so grateful for your love, support, and prayers. I need them every day, and without them this work wouldn't progress. Remember to always look for opportunities to help others out, service can lead to changed lives. Love everyone, serve everyone. And like Elder Russell said, if you need help with anything, ask the missionaries.

It's officially winter with rain every day. It's cold cold cold. Especially at night. Whenever there isn't sun, it is pretty cold. At night, I suit up with pajama pants, sweatpants, thermal thing you sent, green long sleeve thing, sweatshirt, wool socks. The cold is like Gotham City, and I suit up to fight it like Batman. Bring it yo, I'll beat your face in Mr. Cold. Time to go now, thanks for your love otra vez. Pray for me, send me things, and look for opportunities to serve. Sorry I couldn't write much today, but time flies by when I need to write. Love, love, love you guys.

Con amor,

Elder Thomas

Here's a picture of some of Josh's prized possessions ;)

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