Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So sorry for being the worst--I've been out of town and didn't get to a computer to post Josh's last letter. But I have good news for everyone! You, yes you, can email Josh anytime  you'd like, and he can email you back! His email is:


Pretty exciting, huh? I'll post his letter from last week on this post and his latest letter on the next. Enjoy!

Title:"What's your dentist's name?" "...Krentist" (from The Office)

Hey all,

Guess who got to eat with a gringo family again? This guy! We had an awesome BBQ, and I ate a TON. Nailed it. The highlight? They have Ghost Chili sauce. That's right, hottest sauce in the world. Totally had like 10 drops of it, almost died. But it was a really fun night. The family has lived in Greece and other parts of Europe for like their whole lives. Only one of their kids was born in the US. Pretty cool. I hope that this Thursday I get another gringo dinner during divisions. I forgot that in the US, for meals we put all of the food on the table and you just take what you want. I wish that it was like that here. People would be like, "You can choose whatever you want to eat here, we have gross cow leg soup or pizza. Take what you want!" If only...

We had an awesome week this week. Esteban and the Condor family all got baptized this week. They're very excited and are progressing well. I've never seen so many people come to a baptism before. Honestly, pretty much the whole ward was there. It was a very cool experience, and everyone felt a lot of support from the people that were there. So that was a great experience. After the baptism, the little brother of a member came up to us and asked to be baptized. He's listened to the missionaries before and attended church, but he never wanted to get baptized. He had his interview the next day and is getting baptized on Saturday. That was a cool miracle for us. Then, the Sunday miracle. Usually Sundays stink, because all week you find people and they all say that they will come to church, and no one does, and when they don't come to church, they don't progress. So, this Sunday, we were just hoping the people who got baptized would show up, at the very best. They did, and then like 5 minutes into the meeting, 8 more people showed up. The family of the Condor family and two teenagers that we're teaching. It was such a surprise and we were super, super happy. One lady that came, Jenny, who hasn't progressed for like 2 months, and she showed up with her husband. She's always complaining about how she doesn't go to church with her, and this was his first time going with her to church, so I think that they'll progress now. The father of the whole Condor family told us, "I attend another church, but my daughter invited me to come today. This church is a lot better! You guys teach way better than my church!" Golden. So we ended the week very happy, and we're going to work very hard this week to help the people who came to church to continue to progress.

What else happened this week? Elder Oaks' article from February (maybe March, I don't remember) is bomb. Dude knows what he's talking about. He was talking about truth and tolerance, and I just loved his article. I love listening to him and reading his talks because he just makes so much sense with everything that he says. I read that article probably 3 times, just awesome. There was also a talk on integrity that I really liked, and I think that that's an article that our mission needs to read. People try to hide their mistakes too often, when admiting them would help so much more. There was a quote in the article by C.S. Lewis that went something like, "Whenever I start off a sum wrong, the sooner I admit my mistake and go back to fix it, the sooner I can move forward." I loved that quote. It's so true. Too often after making a mistake we try to keep going, and then we just mess up even more. If we just have the courage to admit to our mistakes, we can progress much faster and much happier. So, I must confess. Mom, I wasted a lot of money on Sun Chips at BYU. Wow, I feel so much better. See? It works.

I'm glad to hear that everything is going well for everyone in the United States. Everyone that is working, good work. Everyone who is studying, good studying... I was thinking back on where I was a year ago, and I think we had like a month of school left, and I already had my mission call. It's crazy how fast the time goes by, it honestly feels like just yesterday. I have nine months in the mission! That's a baby for Pete's sake!

I feel like I don't have a lot to write this week, we just focused on the baptisms pretty much the whole time. What else do I have to say.... last night we went to the Elder's Quorum President to have a family home evening with him and his wife. They're awesome, I want to live with them. We talked about the Atonement with them, and it was a great lesson. We watched a few videos about the life of Christ, and talked about what the Atonement means to us personally. I talked about hematidrosis, the medical condition where you sweat blood, and how it makes your skin very sensitive to even the lightest touch. After Christ bled from every pour, the things He went through the next day would have hurt badly normally, but would have hurt Him even more from the added sensitivity to His skin. As hard as I try, I'll never be able to comprehend the pain that He went through, but I can do all that I can to make His suffering worthwhile. I'm so glad that I have this time to be a missionary of Jesus Christ and to teach the things that He taught, and to help people to understand the Atonement better for themselves. I've seen this message bless so many lives, and I am very excited to continue doing it. It's made me so happy, and I've learned so many important things in my life. I've seen drunk people give up alcohol and become a new person, I've seen people build their faith from nothing, and I've seen poor people have all the happiness in the world, all because they have gotten to know their Savior better. Seeing that process in others has helped me personally to increase my faith and appreciation for Christ, especially with Easter coming up. I really feel so priviledged to have this awesome time in my life.

What else? I have found a new dog that I want to kill, more on that later, hopefully accompanied by a photo of me with the dog's head on a spear, to serve as a warning for all other dogs.

Dash is 8! How crazy is that. Probably to Mom it seems like a lot more time than that, but that time seems to have passed by super fast for me. How long will he live for? 12ish years or something like that?

I'm gonna finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish again this week, and probably the New Testament in about two. The Bible is a lot harder to read in Spanish than the Book of Mormon, but I'm making progress poco a poco. I really love speaking Spanish. I'm studying a lot of phrases and sayings in Spanish right now. I like using them, but Elder Paz tells me that I sound like a grandpa when I use them. A otro perro con este hueso.

Well, I'm gonna sign off for now. Sorry I didn't have any cool stories to tell. Hopefully I'll get robbed or mugged sometime soon to spice things up, right, Mom? Love you tons, we'll have some good stories to tell the next week. Dad, Mom, Erica, Andrew, Eliza, Nat, Alex, Jack, Heather, Trevor, Nikki, Amber, Dash, extended family, friends, and Jack Black, love you guys! Have an excellent week, and I'll try to do the same!

Con amor,

Elder Thomas

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