To start off, thanks for the package! I finally got something to recognize that there was a Thanksgiving this year! And I really appreciate the sweets. They're super good! But I also thought of something I really miss, and that's Jolly Ranchers. So I have to make a request for those too at some point, if that's alright.
So I want to start off with a couple stories:
So Elder Olivares and I are teaching this family now. One that likes to laugh. Sometimes at us. The first time we went to teach them, they really found what we had to say funny. Not our message, but our accents. My companion is from Chile, so he talks like a bullet and doesn't pronounce the letter "s". I'm from the US and talk like a turtle with pretty poor Spanish. So sometimes the kids can't contain themselves and kinda laugh at our accents and how bipolar it is when we switch off sometimes. But we're both kinda lax and jokers at times too, so we make for a pretty interesting companionship at times. At least it's entertaining.
We've also come to use the phrase "He/She/It is SO Catholic!" We've found that the people who are really Catholic kind of have a similar attitude about life. They're all very set on tradition and not open to change. For example, we have a investigator who we've been teaching tell us that the Book of Mormon in true (he knows through prayer) and that the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Christ and God. But he won't be baptized because he feels that his tradition is more important that changing his religion to be closer to God.
This was pretty much amazing to me. I couldn't understand how someone could do that, but I guess that's just the way it is with people sometimes. So we've developed a phrase for people/things that are really stubborn or stuck in a tradition. All in good humor, of course.
Well, I think the struggles are starting to set in. The life of a missionary is quite the challenge. The Lord thankfully blesses me with many tender mercies, though. Every time I get down, the Lord reminds me why I'm here and why I work so hard to share His Gospel with the people around me.
It's really suprising how much better my Spanish has gotten in only three weeks. It's quite a difference. I still can't understand some things, but during lessons, I can understand almost all of it. So long as it's about religion, anyway. Normal conversation is over my head sometimes. But I'm excited to be learning so quickly. It's very clearly through the blessing of the Lord, though. I have no idea how I understand and remember what I do, if not by divine assistance.
I've also been learning how to teach and the lessons much better. It helps so much to apply them to real people in real situations. Three weeks in the field teaches somethings that the CCM just can't teach. I think the thing I've learned most, though, is to rely on the Lord. I had a lot of other things I could fall back on before, but now, I have to lean on Christ for a support in all that I do. I can already see this as being a blessing in my life that I can't obtain any other way.
----------Note from Dad's email
So funny story, the Taxi drivers try to charge me more because I have blond hair. They say I have money because I'm from the US. It gets really annoying, though. A lot of people try to jack the prices up. It makes things difficult sometimes, but I know better, so that's good at least.