Dear Family and Friends,
Shout Out- Christy. Its your Birthday! Wow. Way to go! You are getting older! I love you tons. Have a great day.
Well. No pictures this week. I forgot my camera. So I will give a great discription and I hope I don´t scare mom, but I am going to say some things I should probably save for after the mission. So mom. I am safe, but if you get queezy then stop reading... NOW.
I am in Pasaje. My companion is Elder Benavides. He speaks perfect english and spanish. He is from Columbia but has lived in the States with his Dad. He is a citizen of both countries. He rocks.
I hope you can count some of the ways I have changed in the last week in the following area:
I live in a small apartment with 3 other elders. The other two speak no english but know american songs perfectly. So they trick me by saying things perfect but then they have no clue what they said. They are really funny. I drink milk from a bag... or a box. It is really rich here. I only drink it with cerial. I get my water from bottles. We buy 4 giant bottles every week. about 20 gallons. Trust me... it is no fun to run out of water for 24 hours...
Ants. They are the only insect I ever see. They live on my counter. I am there friend. I leave them food sometimes. But I have found that if I pour natural water on them they die.... maybe I should take this to mean that I should not drink the water here.
A spider lives above me where I sleep. Actualy, a couple of spiders do. They are my friends. But I think one of them bites me every night. I need to train him.
I am always dirty. Everyone here lives in cement houses with Tin roofs, or wood roofs. They are really poor, have no windows, and are really dirty. The jungle is on the outskirts of town. it is really beautiful. I come home filthy and tired everynight. I have never been so tired. But I shower ever morning and often feel that I don´t get enough sleep.
I love the people. I have eaten some weird foods. Pineapple is not a common fruit here. But a member grows it. Day one we were stopped by a member and he pulled out a pineapple and a macheti. I thought I was going to puke. He cut it, talked to us, and then offered us some... I had to take it... ah!... It was really good. I mean it was fantastic! I had some extra slices. I have then since eaten almost an entire pineapple by myself. I swear that I have been blessed with different tastebuds for my mission. I hated pineapple before my mission. Oh! I have also now eaten cow guts. I thought it was weird, but I told myself I had to eat... until my companion confirmed my suspicions. Then I took a few more bites so the members could see that it did not bother me and then pronounced that I was full. I have also had toungue. Wow. that is just week one!
Pasaje is actually kinda dangerous. Mom, if you have not stopped reading then stop NOW. I am safe. I think. I feel safe. However we are slowly learning where we can and cannot go when night comes. We know of a drug house next to a members home. Have you heard of Latin Kings? it is a gang here. Aparently they kill people. Oh. So an old guy invited us into his home the other day. I was excited. No one had invited us in before. I did not know what he was saying. But my companion told me that he said that he had killed 2 people. He was old. What could the problem be right? I did not understand the conversation but this is what my companion told me afterward. We went in his house, my companion intentionally left the door open. I had the thought ´´I think other people are here...´´ my companion had the same thought. we sat down. the old man got up and shut the door. he then told us that he usually kills people in his house if they have money. My companion explained that we had none. He told us where he killed the other two people and dumped their bodies. In a river. He said that he has to kill someone else. He asked us to give him money. My companion explained again that we had none. He told us where his guns were. I had a bad feeling. The conversation went on for 5 more minutes. He asked for our names. He wanted us to write them down. My companion scribbled them illegibly on a paper and gave it to him. We lied and said we had another appointment. We left in a hurry...
We don´t know if someone else was in the house... and he is really old and small. But me and my companion had a very bad feeling about him.
Since then we have walked past people at night with loaded guns, multiple times have had the feeling to move, and walked past a man with a bloody face who looked really angry. Welcome to Pasaje. I love this town.
It looks like I will be here for 6 months. I love it. It is cloudy every morning until 1ish. then it it really hot, then it cools down at 5, then it is really cool. But usually it is clowdy. The mountains are close. The jungle is awesome, I will get a picture of it this week. We will be working on the mountain this week. Me an my companion are opening this area. We love it. He goes home in 3 months though, so when he goes I will train the next person on the area- this is probably why I will be here for 6 months.
I love it here. I am blessed. I feel safe (but every night I wake up to some animal screeming...) I sleep with no sheet and the windows open. Dogs are everywhere. We have to be really careful when we shop. Can´t buy to much in the presence of people. I live with the Zone Leaders.
Oh! I have my first baptism this week. Betty. She rocks. If we play our cards right we will have 9 more within 6 weeks. Following the spirit rocks. We found an amazing family on accident. We don´t even know how we got there. That is just how the spirit works. Pasaje is an awesome place, it is cooler than Guayaquil, and for the most part safer. Don´t worry about me.
The Elder who makes friends with the Insects.
Mom- Did you read this letter? Shame.
Ruth- Hey, I don´t know how letters are going to work yet. I will answer your questions in this part of the email when you ask me stuff. I will also pose my questions here.
Anyone else- Did I forget something?