Friday, November 8, 2013

"Are you two still living?" The Grinch

Hey all,

I'm a little confused at this point. I'm coming up on 17 months in the mission, and Taylor Swift hasn't written me one single time. Anyone know what's happening with that? Pretty weird...

So this last week, like I said in my little note last Tuesday, we had the leaders' council. I sent a picture to you guys on accident, I was gonna send it with this email. I wanted to send a picture of my shoes, I'll send that with this note. We got back on Wednesday night a little late, made a few visits and called it at that. The week of the council, we always lose quite a bit of work time. But, that's how it goes! Meetings are important, without them we're never bored and we never learn how to be better.

We're starting this thing in the whole mission called "Tuco Tuesday." Tuco means buff or jacked. It is something that was Lago and Elder Thomas! We figured out that if we had a really good Tuesday, new investigators, lots of lessons, stuff like that, we have a good week. A lot of missionaries are lazy on Tuesday because it is the day after P-day and they want to be lazy. Elder Burr and I invented Tuco Tuesday, and had really good Tuesdays all of our time together, and it totally changed the work in the orient. Before, it stunk, after Tuco Tuesday started, it got really good. We did divisions, and implemented it in the zone, and everyone's work got better. We talked about it with our leaders a bit, and they seemed to like it. So, now, the whole mission is going to do Tuco Tuesdays, all the zone leaders are going to do 24 hour divisions and get all the missionaries super excited to work on Tuesday. Hopefully what happened in Lago will happen in the whole mission. Yeah, Tuco Tuesdays! You guys should make your Tuesdays Tuco, as well. We also have TGI Fridays, which is basically the same thing, just keeping everyone excited to work all week long. Working hard feels really good, diga.

Our lazy companion is really funny. He's acting obedient because he is with the zone leaders, but that's okay. He had problems getting up on time, but he doesn't anymore. We're making him exercise. He's super chubby, and goes home the same change I do, and wants to get skinny, so we use that to help him get up on time and to exercise. I really like exercising, and most of the missionaries don't. You can tell because they just keep gaining weight. I still eat tons, by the way. Tons. But, I keep exercising. Talk about honoring your father and your mother. But , yeah, he's disobedient, but he's pretty funny. Latinos use a lot of mayonaise, it's really gross. Yuck.

I finished the Book of Mormon last week, and I'm starting it again this week with the same idea, marking specific things. This time, in blue I am marking scriptures about patience or remembrance, and in red any time Jesus talks. It helps to study the Book of Mormon like that, because it makes you read it with new eyes. When Elder Holland came here last year, he told us to read the Book of Mormon with new eyes, then re-read it with new eyes over and over and over. This is a great way to do that. I think President Eyring talked about doing a similar thing. Every new calling he got, he read the Book of Mormon, marking scriptures that had to do with his new calling. Great ways to read it with new eyes.

True to my "slacker goal setter" nature, I am behind in my one week old goal of memorizing all the Scripture Mastery Scriptures on the new list by the end of my mission. I'll get there, don't worry, it may just have to wait until tomorrow.

We cleaned our house good today, I tackled the bathroom. Somehow it's always me that gets the bathroom. The house hasn't been cleaned well in months, but now it's all set to go. You'd be proud, Heather.

I feel like a little kid sometimes with the snacks that I eat. I have raisins and crackers. That is what they give kids in the nursery. But, I took a dive and bought chips and salsa today, and I already ate one can of salsa pretty much. I forgot how good Mexican food is. It beats rice by a long shot. Did I mention that I'm sick of rice?

We had a good fast Sunday this week, with good blessings from our fast. I've never realized how many blessings I've gotten from fasting until I looked back in my journal the other day. I think that usually by the end of the fast, I am just thinking about what there is to eat, that I don't 100% understand the blessings that I've gotten from it. Every time that I've fasted in my mission, I've gotten the thing that I fasted for. Every time! How awesome is that? I'm glad I've kept a journal to help me to see that. Fasting works, call the news stations. We've been having down weeks in pretty much the whole zone because of disobedience. The iron fist of Black and Thomas came down, adn we were all being more obedient. So, we wanted to see the fruits of our obedience, and we fasted for that. And, the work exploded this week. We only had four days to work, and we had an awesome week, and it looks like one family that was having troubles is moving more towards marriage. Everyone has people progressing, which is great. Plus, we have completed with one of the new key indicators that we've received lately, which is "Rescued Inactives." If an inactive receives the 5 lessons from us, has an interview with the bishop, and attends church twice with us, they are "rescued," and we had our first one this week. It feels just as good as a baptism, to be honest, because really, it's the same thing that we're doing. Bringing someone to Christ, closer than they were before. We have a handful of new key indicators that help us to focus more on activating the less actives. They said it comes from the First Presidency, so I would imagine most missions will be doing the same thing soon. Inspired men doing inspired things, classic "True Church" move. So, yeah, fasting works. True it makes you hungry, but it works! We had a great week, hopefully we'll continue to see great things.

My new shoes got here. It is honestly like walking on clouds. In my other shoes, you feel every rock, every bump, and they sink as you walk. These new shoes can still support themselves. Comparing my shoes to people, my old shoes are like that old guy that sits on the corner and does nothing, and my new shoes are LeBron James. Thanks so much for sending them, even if my other shoes crash and burn, those new ones will hold out until the end, no doubt.

I had a lot of colada morada this last weekend, seeing as it was my last time probably ever drinking it. So, so good, I wish you guys could try it. It is almost entirely fruits with purple flour. Super good. Pineapple, apple, grape, mango, strawberry, blackberry, so many great fruits, in one great drink. Can I get an amen? Love it tons!

I finally managed to take some pictures. I carried my camera around all day and was super nervous, but nothing happened. I'll take it out another day to try to take pictures. When I take it with me, I take out the memory card and put it somewhere else, that way if I get robbed, they won't have my pictures. I'm always thinking one step ahead. Like a carpenter..that builds stairs.

People are putting Christmas things up. I can't wait to start decorating the house. We have changes two weeks from today, I'm gonna wait to see what happens. If I stay great, if I go, great, but wherever I am, two weeks from today, it is time to get Christmasy. It is my favorite time of the year. I love it so much! And it'll probably stink again this year, but hey, the spirit is still able to be felt. I'm looking for a Santa suit to rent out, I'll proselyte in it for a day. I love Christmas so much.

I think that that's about it for this week. If you could look into why Taylor Swift hasn't written me yet, that'd be great. Pretty weird there. I hope you all are well, and are preparing your stomachs for Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving feast will be rice and fried fish. Again. Enjoy all the time coming up that you'll be able to spend with family, those are the best and most important times of all. You guys are all the best.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

Elder Thomas

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