Monday, April 22, 2013

"Creed smells like death." "I know exactly what she's talking about. I sprout mung beans in my desk. Very nutricious, but they smell like death."

Happy Monday! Another week in the jungle for Josh--enjoy!

Hey all,

It continues to be hot. Very hot, and the internet is not good today, so I won't be using the full two hours, plus the other Elders and I dropped like $20 on stuff to make shakes in the house, so hay que hacerlo.

I just sweat, then I sweat, then I sweat some more. It's like I just jumped out of a swimming pool. Yesterday, we went by some investigators before church to go with them, and literally within 2 minutes of leaving the house, I was dripping with sweat. But, there is a new Yogozo flavor that came out this week, so I really can't complain. Fresacoco con leche condensada. Bad news? The price raised five cents. Injusticia. But, what can you do? You just have to buy five and move on. I drinks lots of Gatorade and lots of water, and we cook a lot at night with the other two missionaries. They live like three houses away, so it's easy. They're both from the same group, and they go home in 2 months, so they get a little trunky. They're fun, and while contacting, they found a house with a big monkey, so we're gonna stop by there later and just look at it.

The work is hard here. There are few members, and even fewer strong ones. We contact a lot, find a lot of people, but they never come to church (shocker). We're working together to see what more we can do to help out this little branch, because it is getting weaker right now, not stronger. We want to do some activities to get people into the capilla, because the Church is new here and very few people know about it. I think that if we can just help people to know our basic beliefs, and show them where the chapel is, we'll see a lot more people attending church, and see some great growth here. There are maybe 8 people who have been members for a long time, almost every else has been baptized within the last year. It's really fun to help out the little branch, but it's a slow start. But, if you think about it, the first sacrament meeting of the Church had what, 6 members there? And now there's 14 million, so we just need to teach, teach, teach and work, work, work, and the growth will come, and we can really help the Church get strong here. Any ideas of what to do to help the branch get stonger would be greatly appreciated.

Schaefers, I got the package that was dropped off in the office for me. Thanks so much, all my favorite things. I made the mistake of opening the package in front of other missionaries, and the package was almost instantly consumed. Thanks for your notes, too, that were in the package. I also got some letters from Dear Elder, and that'll probably be it as far as receiving things for the next little while.

I haven't gotten kidnapped by Columbians yet, and I don't know what more I can do to make it happen. We keep walking in darker and darker places farther and farther away, but no luck. Soon, it will happen.

I lost my umbrella. I don't know where I lost it, but I think it was when I was in divisions with missionaries in Coca, so I hope that it is in their house or something, or I need to hunt for a new one. Don't send me one, Mom, I can buy it here. The good news is that the rain isn't cold here, so if it starts pouring, I get wet, but it feels really good. The food here is pretty good. The food in Quito was good de vez en cuando, and here the food is good a menudo. The thing I hate is the soup. I don't know what they are thinking. It's like 85 degrees outside, I'm sweating profusely, and they still serve steaming hot soup with lunch. Come on, people, common sense.

We had a baptism of a little boy who just turned 8 in the branch, and we were going to go to the river to do it, but it rained hard that night and the river was overflowing. So, we did it on some tank on the roof that was like 30 cm deep. It was a very unique experience. The people that showed up, maybe 8 people, are the really faithful members that are holding the branch together. I'm not sure what they would do without the missionaries. We need to find more guys to come help out in the Church, but it's always harder to find men to teach. This Sunday, three of the four gave the talks, I played the piano, two blessed the sacrament, one taught Gospel Principles, one taught priesthood, one taught the youth, and two of us taught primary. It was a little nuts. So, we have a lot of work to do to help the little branch become more self-sufficient.

The internet is really bad, so I'm gonna call it at that and go make some shakes. Love you guys!

Con amor,

Elder Thomas

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