Slowly adjusting

ok what's up everybody

we'll start out answering all the questions i got.

first i'm slowly adjusting to the area and the mission. to be honest, my opinion is that all the leaders here care about is numbers and i don't work that way. needless to say I'm pretty stubborn and i think i'll have some problems with that down the road but i am and always will do what i think is best for the people that i am in charge of. i know that they just wanna help and whatever but i was called to this area to help these people and i will do anything to fulfill that mission. my mission isn't to make my leaders happy or the president happy. I'm doing everything i can to strenghten my members here and find people to teach. but i look at it like this. if i do all the work, find people to teach and teach them and the members don't learn how to do it then all I'm doing is saying that when i leave i didn't really help them. in my sight the only way to be successful as a missionary is to make sure the members know like i do that they are missionaries too. it's my goal. i don't need a million baptisms to feel successful. my goal is that by helping the members work like missionaries, i might not get baptisms or at least a lot....but the ward will forever be a little bit stronger for my efforts to help them help others. well, lets just say that i might be the only person in bolivia santa cruz mission that thinks that way but i think it's right. it's like people always say...the right thing isn't always the easiest. to be honest the leaders are the most annoying part of the mission but i just try to focus and work.

sorry bout that

next when we got here to bolivia we flew from lima to la paz...that was interesting landing in la paz. I'm glad we didn't have to get off the plane because most people get sick from the altitude. i stayed on the plane and just stuck my head in my book so that i wouldn't get sick. but then flew to santa cruz. it took about four or five hours.

now I'm almost positive that everyone can write me. what i heard was that only family could but i heard that from one of the elders who came over with us and i think he was lying. my comp receives letters from his friends every week and the pres didn't say anything against it. and in the manual missional it says we can communicate with friends and family so i think it's ok. and to be honest I've been dying every week to get a letter from Amanda. thanks mom for you help with this but until they tell me i cant I'm gonna say go ahead and send letters.

and now on that good note. supposedly the packets take about two months to get here but they do get here. i don't know if you wanna try something but in any case remember that 7 to 1 is a pretty good exchange rate. although there are a lot of things about getting a package that just make you all smiley inside. that sounded kinda special. Amanda you're a horrible influence on me. I'm cant believe i said smiley thing you know i wont know the difference between mayo and mayonnaise. jk love.

but ya anyways. this week was good we are getting better and better each week. it's actually kinda funny in the three weeks i have here the assistance in the ward has gone up 40 people each week. the first Sunday there we 87 the second 136 and this week 183. not bad to be honest but i don't think i'll be able to keep that going. we'll see.

the area that we have is huge. there are about 500 member registered but obviously most are inactive. so since the area is so big it used to be divided in two branches. but they combined them and now we get to work in both. but one is four times bigger than the other but with less actives. so we are basically gonna divide our days in two parts. almost every morning we'll be working in palmira...which is the huge part of our area with a million inactives.... and in the afternoons in fortaleza which is the part that we'll get almost all of our baptisms and investigators. we think it makes the most sense that way.

the members here are great and are helping us a lot. i don't know why but it seems like the area is famous for the members here...but not in a good way. all the missionaries give us warnings about the members talking bad about the missionaries and what not. a bunch of Bologna if you ask me. i just tell them that when you love them they love you back. and thats the plan. the members here seem great. they haven't talked bad or said anything bout us and we are working really hard to get their support and trust and just plain out get them working.

no people don't steal the cows. they basically just spend all day eating and wlaing around like what I'm gonna do when I'm 65 years old. sorry Amanda....but you can walk with me. but ya i don't think anyone eats them either although there are some crazy homeless people that might try to cook them every once in a while. in any case the food here is good. a lot of good meat and unlike in peru not everything has rice and chicken. there is more variety here in bolivia. the food isn't better but its not bad.

so what else. i don't think there were any other questions and ya. i'll try to start writing more about the lessons and people that we're teaching. we have a decent amount of investigators...not enough for the office apparently but enough. in september we hope to have somewhere around 4 baptisms. i'll let ya know next week exactly who and how they are progressing.

ok y'all talk to you later.

First baptism in Santa Cruz

ok so what's up everyone.

this week has been interesting in all honesty. different than any other week in the mission so far. just the type and how you work here in bolivia is so different than how things work in peru. but slowly I'm adjusting. very slowly but still adjusting. in all honesty some of the things just seem to cause more problems than help but whatever that's what they want here and that's what well do.
so this week we had a baptism. jose luiz, a 15 year old kid, was baptized. he's really chill and a great convert. in the two weeks here we've gotten to know him very well and we were ooober excited for him to get baptized. my comp baptized him since last week was his birthday present and i didn't have much to give him outside of the cake. so when jose luiz said that either one of us could baptize him i said happy birthday to my comp and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

so the weather here this week went from frikin cold to amazingly hot and humid. great.... it was horrible. and then there's the wind. this month and the next are windy season here and the wind just picks up all the dust and whips it in our face. it's so strong that the dust feels like you're getting pelted with needles. it's fun... sorta. but today started the rain again. supposedly it's gonna be rainy, hot and windy, all at the same time. gotta love this jungle thing.

and ya so we've been working a lot with members. trying to get to know them and find investigators through them. we do what we can but, in all honestly, things are going pretty slow. we found some really good people but will probably progress slowly. the nice thing is that here the members take their friends to the church. we had 7 people in the church which was really nice. gives us the opportunity to teach people who are willing to go to church even before they talk to us.

o and just soes you know I'm not sure if this mission does the dear elder thing. i haven't got any so far and i haven't heard that anyone has gotten any so i would say send one or something and let's see if it gets here but don't send too many. although, if the mission does do that, it'd be the best way to write me and everyone could do that. i just can't receive emails from friends or write them by email. and in all honesty I'd send letter out by mail but there is supposedly only one post office that sends things outside of the us and it's far away from where i am and so that makes it hard. but tomorrow we have a multizona or zone conference and interviews and i'll ask the president or the assistants about all that stuff.

amanda, i'm glad you like your calling and that ur doing good. thank you for understanding all of this help me more than you could ever know.

so i'm gonna try to send pics from myldsmail we'll see if it works. i guess that if you see some then it worked. so these letter's gonna be short and sweet. thanks to everyone for all the help and support. especially mom and dad for everything you do. i'll talk to y'all later

Wow, what a first week in Bolivia

ok, so what's up everybody from Bolivia for the first time...

wow. it's kinda weird that I'm actually here. so lets' start from the beginning i guess

got here on Tuesday but stayed in a hotel for two nights. during those two days we got to meet the president. president maynes who is really cool and a nice guy. ooober oober strict but that's the best type of president i think you can have. even though i think some rules are way too extreme....I'm starting a new mission this week and so I'm gonna try my best to be 100 percent obedient. which in this mission will be really hard actually.

so then on thursday we got to our area. i'm in the sixth ring of santa cruz. inside the city but on the outskirts. in fact my area actually runs to the limit of the city. my area is called fortaleza and it's fairly big. like i said it doesn't have a limit on one of the four sides. my comp is elder titto. he's a peruvian but from cusco. he has four and a half months in the mission and is a great elder. we get along great which is gonna help us a lot. in our area the missionaries were taken out a year ago. they went nine months without any missionaries and then three months ago two missionaries came to open it. now me and elder titto are taking their place...we are both new to the area and the missionaries who left didn't leave any investigators for us, outside of one young kid who's gonna be baptized this saturday. that's nice but outside of him literally there is even the area book to work with. it's kinda sad but we'll see.

so the thing about santa cruz is that it's very unorganized. there are very little street names and the houses don't have numbers. so it makes finding anything almost impossible unless you know the area. so me and titto have been walking around just looking and struggling to find any member and then asking the direction of other members and references. it's gonna be hard but we are starting to get to know the area really good in such a short time. we're confident you could say.

so this sunday was interesting. the ward had us share our testimonies and elder titto is apparently do they say it...stage fright or shock or something like that.. .he doesn't like to be in front of a lot of people and talk. so that was fun...mine was a little more normal and trying to animate them to work with us. well, the member seem to be chill. they gave us a bunch of references and their directions by drawing a little map and so we should have a lot more to do this week, so we're even more excited.

now about bolivia. the mission here is ooober strict, like a said. the rule that i hate the most and will have to put everything i can to obey is that we can't receive letters from anyone who is not our parents, brothers and sister. basically if they're not direct family we can't read them. and we still can't write to anyone outside of those same people. in all honesty i don't know why they do that. i understand not being able to write them but not even being able to read messages from friends seem a little too much for me...but we'll see what we do. maybe y'all can send me a letter by emailing it to my ma first and then she forwards it to me but i don't exactly know. but if you send it directly to me i can't open it or read it. something ridiculous like that. but it's a rule and I'm gonna try to obey it even though i don't understand it.

now about the cool Bolivian weather. so, for those who don't know, santa cruz is like a jungle. it's very green with a lot of trees and bugs and animals in every frikin part of the city. kinda weird to be walking down the street and there is a herd of cows, on the next street a herd of chicken...then horses... then sheep... then frikin bambis...or something like that. it's just kinda funny. I'm gonna try to take fotos and send them but i don't know exactly when. santa cruz is kinda dangerous too. not like too dangerous but there are not too many lights at night so it's easy to get robbed if you're not careful. and like all jungles the weather is just strange. when we got here it was humid and hot. i was sweating like a person from Arizona. but then Friday and Saturday it got really cold. like ridiculously cold. it's windy and they say it will be for about two months fun. and the best part is when it rains it doesn't sprinkle like in Lima...we're talking like monsoon frikin type rain. you go one minute and you're drenched. it's horrible...but fun. i love the rain and the best part is that i got to use that giant trench coat thing that we got. the first time. I'm gonna have to buy boots though. o ya so the entire thing is mud and mud and wind and sweat and cold all at the same time. it's crazy. that's how you can describe the weather.

so ma, when i was in the airport i had to pay for the suitcases which was a ridiculous 214 dollar but the office is supposedly gonna give us that money back. if you noticed that's why it disappeared. i don't even think it'll be possible to use 214 dollars in Bolivia in a year. but ya I'll let you know how all that goes. but ya so when i need something it'll be a million times cheaper to buy it here then to have you send it so i will never ask for any packages or anything like that. if you wanna send something, send money....and even then remember that 20 dollars is 140 bolivianos here and a lot of money. so ya.

let's see don't know too much about the rules, the things are very different here than in Peru. so we'll see how all this goes. I'm still trying to get used to the schedule and things like that.

o on a random note, this Friday was my comp's birthday. so i bought him a cake and we had a very mini party type thing. with cake and dinner and some good old fashioned Disney music. it was kinda weird but i got some cool fotos and I'll send those out to y'all.

OK so i don't know what else to write...I'm excited to be here. it'll be fun. the people seem really chill and me and my comp are gonna work like crazy people to have some success in our area here.

ya so that's about that. bye

Bolivia, here I come

ok, everyone you're gonna have to forgive me for this letter. it's gonna be amazingly short even though maybe i have some interesting things to say. i'll try to write about them next week, but in all honesty don't think i'll remember.

so I'm going to bolivia....tomorrow. kinda got me by surprise when they called yesterday at 11:30 to tell me to be in the office on tuesday morning at 7. surprise surprise, it wasn't a joke.

so ya, basically I've got a mini freak-out thing going on. i don't know if I'm more excited or worried or just scared. in any case by wednesday i should be in bolivia. so not much more to say honestly. i cant even think of anything else.

o wait, i can. we baptized briggette crispin yauri on saturday and was confirmed yesterday. very cool and a great baptism service. ya, so that's that

sorry about it but i have a lot to do i have to get my suitcases to weigh less than 23 kilos and that's not likely to happen. in any case i'll try. so we're gonna get started on the packing and goodbyes.

I'll write more next week