Monday, February 18, 2013

Josh's quote this week was from That Thing You Do: "Where was I? Oh! Playing songs on my guitar."  Enjoy!

Hey all,

Yesterday, we had to be in the house alllllll day. Couldn't leave for any purpose, not even to go eat with a member. It stunk. On Saturday, I thought, "Okay, what can I do tomorrow to keep me occupied?" I came up with two things: read the whole book of Alma, and eat a whole pineapple. In life, we make dumb decisions sometimes. Yesterday, I ate a whole pineapple. A big pineapple. Really big. That maybe was not the best decision that I've made in my life. By the end of the day, the acid destroyed my mouth and I felt like garbage. I felt like that about halfway through the pineapple, but by that time I had gone too far to quit. A word of caution: do not eat a whole pineapple. But, I did read pretty much all of Alma in Spanish, which was good. We also played Monopoly Deal for like 3 hours, so there was that, too. Plus, in February and March, we can't listen to music, so that added to the longness of the day. But, we survived, and here we are, with another day to rest. Monday and Tuesday, we could only leave the house if we had a set cita (for Carnaval), and Sunday we couldn't leave, so it was kind of an off week for us. We're excited to finally have a full week. This is the last week of the transfer, but I'll be here for one more change, at least.

I got a package today with the contact solution, the waffles from Holland, and the sweet journal, thanks so much for sending it. It's a really nice journal, I feel like I need a quill to write in it. I also got Dad's letter with the Alamanac stuff, and a letter from the Lowes. I can't believe that Eliza is almost a year old, and that she's already saying my name and lifting weights, what a champ. And Jack looks like a stud with his Batman pajamas. Thanks for sending letters and packages to me, I feel so loved and important, and that is always a good thing.

We have 12 people with a baptismal date in March, and 8 of those should progress well, the other 4 will be tough. We have Tomás and Ramona, Wilson and María, Santos, Estevan, Angela, Marcos and Márlon, Mauricio and Miriam, and Luzia (the lady from Africa). Luzia's dad was killed in Africa, and she came here to work and to study for hte rest of her life. Her whole family are members of the Church, and she said that she finally has the personal desires to learn more and join the Church. She talks Spanish really cool. It's like and African accent with Spanish, like a Jamaican speaking Spanish. I try to imitate her, and I think that she just thinks that I have a speaking problem. We're keeping really busy, and will have to work very hard to get everyone ready for their date.

I am so jealous that you guys are going to London. Take lots of pictures, and tell me about everything. If you go to Hogwarts, give McGonnagle a haller(? I don't remember how to spell some words), it's been a while since I graduated from there. Also, you should bring some head shots of me with my email, hand them out to everyone you meet, seeing as my wife will be from England. Also, be sure to eat lots of fish and chips. And see lots of plays. One thing that has been a testimony to me that the mission has changed me a little bit is that I have grown an actual desire to see musicals and plays, and not just because the men in the family are outnumbered and have to do what they want. Weird.

Elder Paz is great, I have so much fun with him. We walk a lot, and I push him really hard. The Gasca is literally the side of a mountain, so the days get tiring, and he's knew and all and just wants to sleep all the time. But, his body is adjusting, and he'll be fine in a week or two. He's so funny when he speaks in English. Sometimes, he doesn't know that he's saying bad things, so we gotta fix that a little bit, but he speaks really, really well. I haven't laughed so much in my whole mission, and with him, the days are flying by really quickly. I can't believe that it's almost been a month with him, crazy how fast things go when you work a lot and laugh a lot.

Thanks for sending me some stuff about Joseph Smith, Dad, I'll read it when I have time during the week.

I did divisions with Elder Nelson this week, and we stopped by the Dowling's house to drop off a letter that Elder Nelson was gonna send (I'll try to get a letter off in the next couple of weeks, sorry, I keep forgetting), and they gave us root beer and thin mints. Thin mints. So, for Valentine's Day, Elder Nelson and I had root beer, thin mints, and like four papayas. Papayas are really good right now, and I've grown kind of obsessed. Like at home, and big ol' papaya with lime juice, money. They cost 80 cents right now, so beat that!

That's too bad that all the sports teams that we like stink this year.

This week, we had our zone conference with President Ghent, which was great. Sister Ghent made us sugar cookies, which was so awesome. We talked a lot about our calling as missionaries, and how we need to do better with obedience. We also talked about a talk that Elder Bednar gave in the MTC about Listening, Asking, and Discerning, and how we need all three to be good teachers and good missionaries. We also got the assignment from President Ghent to read 2 Nephi 4, and write our own version of that scripture, so I'll be doing that quickly.

Mom--you wanted to know about my clothes. Everything is fine, shirts especially. They hold up well. Socks are doing okay, may need new ones in a few months. pants are doing okay, one pair is fading. Maybe around the year mark, I can tell you better and maybe get some new stuff. Garments are fine, I was my bedsheets every other week, and I floss daily, so no os preocupéis. Are you doing Rosetta Stone? Practicing Spanish? Also, have you cancelled the alarm system at home and the YMCA membership? If not, that would be a good way to save up some money. I'm trying to budget my money again, but it always just turns into a list of things that I spent money on, which ends up not helping at all, and I just think, "I spent 10 dollars of mangoes?" So, poco a poco, we'll get there.

Today, we went to a mall in our sector, and it was like being in America. Sbarro. Nike Store. Cinnabon. Burger King. Subway. Baskins Robbins. Wow. But, the king of the crop, Crepes and Waffles. That one's for you, Steve-o. So delicious. I had a waffles with berries, whipped cream, and ice cream, and it was super, super good. I will return one day. Also, the have a TGI Fridays and Papa Johns, which look and smell good, but are super expensive here. Elder Nelson bought a Cinnabon, and I think that I will have to do that the next time that we go there.

Someone asked about what I spoke about for 20 minutes last Sunday, and I would tell you more specifics, but I had forgotten my notes at home and made the whole thing up while I was standing there. People said it was good, so we'll take there word for it. I used a few scriptures and Preach My Gospel, but I basically just talked about how we were there to serve them and help them in the ward, and that we were willing to do whatever the asked us, and then President macheteó el barrio. It was pretty sweet.

Time to sign off. Love you all tons, talk to you in a week!

Con amor,

Elder Thomas

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