Family - support even when the world is falling

hi everybody.

so thanks to everyone for all the letters these last two weeks. mom and dad you've helped me a ton and i know that i can always look to you for counsel and guidance. and for anyone else just a quick little thing that if you need help use you parents...or family. there is no doubt in my mind that God gave us families for that reason. a support even when the world is falling down over you. i didn't understand that concept b4 the mission and it's something you understand only when you find yourself suffering alone without the help of people who you know that no matter what want the best for you.

so ya, these last couple of weeks haven't been the easiest for me but I'm getting by. I'm still trying to adjust to the changes of the missions and now being a leader and all sorts of fun stuff. slowly but surely progressing.

in any case my area is good. fortaleza is getting stronger. we have been working with the members to give us more time and ref. and they have done that this week. we went from 3 ref the last week to 11 this week. it's been a good help and something we really needed because we have had few people to teach since i got here. most of the people we find have heard the missionaries b4 and are eternal investigators. but we have two people with fecha for this week. this sat. they are jhoselin and ariel zarate. two young kids who live with the president of relief society. we are trying to teach their parents but we can never seem to find them in their house. figures. but in any case they are very cool kids and it would make only their parents in that house nonmembers.

in terms of weather and food. hot and meat with rice and potatoes. not too much variety in Bolivia. in Peru is was chicken and rice, here its carne and rice. i don't know what it is about rice in south America, but it's gotten to the point where if my future wife ever cooks rice more than once a month i'll ask for a divorce.

so this week we had our zone conference and that was really great. the pres is such a motivational speaker. very well said and just knows how to help all the missionaries. very very regla, at times seems like he asks too much, but I've learned to respect him more than any of the other presidents I've had. and he's helped me a lot personally.

so not too much else to go on about. things here in santa cruz are normal. I'm sorry i don't send to many fotos, i'll try to get better.

bye to everyone and thanks agina....

peace out

and mom for the weekly letter in the blog can you put a big smiley face and tell everyone that I'm smiling always... thank you

Frozen desert

hi everybody.

just soes that all y'all knows, the weather here in Bolivia is amazingly strange. this week started hot, like Arizona hot but with humidity. then on Wednesday a cold front came in, but like Chicago cold...windy and all. it was horrible. the high went from Tuesday...33 degrees c. to Wednesday...15 degrees c. it was horrible. i was ready to die since the rules here are that we can't wear sweaters unless they are black, have no designs and are v necks. so of all the sweaters that the members have given me i can wear zero of them. it was fun. just for kicks i wore short sleeve shirts the three days that it was really cold. all the members asked aren't you cold...and i said no, where I'm from it's always a lot colder than this. so i have like forty people thinking that Arizona is a frozen desert. kinda funny.

so outside of the weather, this week was fairly normal. o this last thurs was cambios...who knew. but nothing changed with me except that i have to be district leader again. not too excited bout it but i'll do whatever the president calls me to do. all the other missionaries were surprised that i became one. when the zl announced it all the missionaries started talking to their comps. kinda funny. just that this week i had an interview with the pres and i think most of them think that in that interview i talked bad about my dl and so i got raised. the pres changed all the district and the elder who was my district leader is now co-co but still in the zone. kinda weird. but ya so i think some of the people think that that has to do with me but it doesn't so ya.

my district has the zone leaders...again...kinda a drag, but what can you do. then it has two hermanas. so all the missionaries say that even though I'm officially their leader, they'll all be leading me. its true. the hermanas are great and work oober hard and the zone leaders are two greeengos and very good guys. and my comp is a million times better than me, so in the end I'm just gonna do my best to inspire them to give just a little bit more than the great work we're already doing.

so that's that

now my area is ok. same as always. a few new investigators, a bunch of people who don't wanna hear about baptism but will listen to anything else and then a bunch of eternal investigators. we're doing everything we can to animate the members to work a little harder with us but seems to have very little results. so the plan is to basically first get them to give us more references and then get the results. it seems to be my blessing to go to a ward where the people are great...honestly great people but who don't quite understand how to work in the missionary part of being a member. although it is helping me a lot I'm sure that when i get back i'll be able to get the other members of my wards along with me to work and help the missionaries a lot.

i honestly love being a missionary. it's a lot of fun even though a lot of hard work. most of the work seems to be blood and sweat but somehow, you find a way to feel good with what you do. it's really amazing how God works sometimes.

so all that said and done. i think that's about all. thanks for everything everyone is doing to help me stay here. i understand that i get more help than i probably deserve so thank you a million everyone

in any case happy birthday Amanda. this Thursday is gonna be one of the hardest of my mission. I'm gonna hate every minute of it. but that's ok because i know that both of us know why I'm here and it's worth the sacrifice. in any case it could very well be the last birthday I'm not there with you. so happy birthday from Bolivia this time. be safe have fun and know that i love you

Normal week

Hey, what's up to everyone out there...

this week was normal...for missionaries anyways. a bunch of citas but not enough to make them happy, even though it was the most I've had in my mission. but apparently, well, never mind. in the end it was a good week because on Sunday we had four of our new investigators in the church. it helps a lot because since i got here we have had about six people every week in the church but four of the six were people who didn't want to hear anything about a baptism. this week those four people didn't go but four new investigators went which gives us a lot more work. so we're oober excited. still planning on three or four this month. but we had two people for this Saturday but they didn't go to church so we'll have to reschedule their fechas. kinda a bittersweet thing.

but we had a bunch of the families go to church who live in the bottom part of our area. it was great because normally only two families from there 8 people. this week five families went with like 22 people in total. we were excited for that because we've been working our butts off to get those people excited to go to church. we split our days in two. almost everyday we go down to that area and now we know a lot more families and to be honest we want to work there more. the members give more references and they go with us to the citas. so it helps. but in the end since we eat and sleep in the top part we need to stay there more. we might try to change rooms to move closer to the bottom part but we would still have the problem of getting the people to the church. don't know what we're gonna do about that.

lets be honest not to much to say. basically, just going about the work, one day at a time. it's hard when you have 14 months in the mission because everyday seems the same as any other day. the time passes by so fast but it's so, boring isn't the right word, but my English is getting really bad honestly. I've almost completely stopped talking in English even with the greengos.

just soes that y'all know the weather here was hot and now once again starts the wind. the wind is the worst thing about this mission. the sand hits your face so hard it hurts, and then you get it stuck to your face and arms cause you're sweaty and it stinks. i finish everyday two shades darker than when i started it.

here in Bolivia i haven't eaten anything that i haven't liked except that evil mondongo...sheep stomach. not to happy about that, but everything else has been good. the Peruvian food is better but the food here is more normal. except for some black potatoes that they give us. they look more like beans but are potatoes and they are not very good. they put them in soup and on the main course. yum yum

so ya i think that's about it. talk to y'all later.

Send me Letters

so hey everybody.

don't have to much to write i think but I'm sure i'll fill it up with something. if only because mom will get mad if i don't. but that's a good enough reason for me.

so this week we put two people with fecha for the 12 of sept. one is faustina who is about 22 years old and speaks very little spanish. understands it though which is y we can teach her. but she's living with some members and is excited. the other is a golden child. 9 years old and ready. so we should have two even though, like with bryce, the baptisms always come hard. you always gotta fight for them. but it's worth it.

so outside of them, we didn't find too many new people to teach and it's getting hard. we still are working and visiting the members and helping a lot. there were close to 4 inactive families who went to church this week on top of the 6 investigators there. but 3 of the six have told us that they don't even want us to talk about baptism. kinda funny. they go every week and most people think they are members but because the missionaries b4 us would always hound them to get baptized they have a bad idea of what it is. we are trying to be their friends more and then, hopefully, they see that we don't want them to get baptized for more numbers or anything like that but because we know that it'll really help them. in any case it'll be really fun working here

and like i said last week the leaders just don't give you a break. this week we were working a lot in the bottom part of our area which is huge. the are so many members and they want to go but have to pay between 40 and 50 bolivianos each family to go to church every week. needless to say it's hard to get them there. and then the leaders here say just teach them about sacrifice. in all honesty from my point of view the church should be able to help after the members do everything they can. it's funny cause even though almost all the members down there are inactive they give us more references and work with us more than all the members in the upper part. but that's life. we're trying to find some way to make everyone happy.

o and amanda just soes you know and this isn't just applying to amanda, but anyone when i say write me a letter you don't need to send it through my mom. you can write directly to me. or at least I'm 95 percent sure. all the other missionaries receive letters so i don't think the pres holds a special grudge against me. but thank you mom for always being willing to do that.

and just soes you know yes i have gotten dear elders. on thursday they gave me a bunch so you can send those too.

ok that's about all i think. bye