Monday, July 8, 2013
Week Eight - I'm Homesick!
it's soo good to hear from you! I feel so bad for Toby! The 4th was surprisingly dead here, we did not come across a single party. Most people I think go to Dallas or Arlington or something to watch big shows. So we didn't do anything that night, just ride around, get a few contacts, it was really slow. But I did here a few fireworks and every time I did I cringed for Toby! But he'll survive. Sounds like all is well and I miss you like crazy! I'm glad to hear that you are all doing stuff and staying busy, cuz i'm sure it is quite boring at home now without me! just kidding, un chiste! Rain sounds nice right about now. Sounds like some crazy weather! it's just solid sun and heat here.
This week was slightly easier, estoy mas acostumbrado a la obra ahora, pero solo un poco mas. It's still hard, but my butt is now used to the bike seat, which was probably the hardest part about the first week haha. My legs are still sore but I am more used to that as well as the heat and sweating. I'd say we bike 20-30 miles a day. My companion has an odometer thingy on his bike and the average he says is a little over 20 a day. But the last two days I know have been more than that.
The language barrier is killing me! I can't be myself in Spanish. I feel like I am just a robot elder that can only ask how are you, where are you from, and bear a short simple testimony. Alright I can do a little more than that, but it is still hard to understand. I do a lot of fake laughing, nodding my head, and saying "si" when people are talking to me. I guess it's kinda one of those fake it 'til you make it kind of deals. But I feel like I am not speaking enough Spanish. it is too easy to speak English here! Too many non Hispanics, and even the Hispanics speak English, and sometimes even prefer English! But I need need need more Spanish if I am going to fulfill my purpose here. So I want some general conference talks in Spanish, or the book of Mormon on tape in Spanish, just something that I could listen to to tune my hearing. You should talk to Nancy and see what she did for Drew. Drew said he did something like that that helped him a lot. Or just talk to Drew directly. Once I can be myself in Spanish and English, I think this work will really take off for me.
So this week we just did a lot of biking. A lot. GP is pretty flat, but there are hills. And every hill is a big hill when your on a bike. We stayed busy. There is couple that has been meeting with the missionaries for years, and the only thing holding them back from being baptized is marriage. So this week we went to the Dallas Temple with them to go on a tour and inspire them to get married. The temple is about a half hour drive. It worked better than expected. We had a short lesson in the waiting room in the temple. Man that is like a golden ticket right there! The spirit is so strong in the temple, especially for someone that is not a member. I wish we could do that with all our investigators. It would seal the deal every time! So we did get a commitment from them to get married and baptized. It wasn't very solid, but I could tell they were in deep thought about it all and a temple marriage is something they want. So we will see!
We had a zone meeting on Tuesday where I got to see Elder Powell and Adams and a few others from the mtc. I felt like I hadn't seen them in months! It was awesome to see them and hear about their areas. I'm the only one on a bike, but Elder Powell sounds like he's got it pretty rough right now. He is in a really dead area with a not very motivated companion. Makes me grateful to be where I am!
So my first Sunday here we were told we were going to be speaking in sacrament meeting, in Spanish. But the other speakers ended up taking all the time, so we got out of that one. Phew. But this week we got asked to teach eq, in Spanish. Didn't get out of that one. That was rough, but Elder Sheffer helped me out a lot.
We spend a ton of our time in a certain apartment complex. Densely Hispanic with lots of kids. The kids always ask to see my muscles and want to arm wrestle me. It is difficult to explain to them humility. But they like me and I like them. Sorry if I said that last week, I can't remember. We eat with a member 4-5 times a week. The other times we either eat at home or go to subway, bc Elder Sheffer loves subway. No rio here, and I haven't had any good bbq yet. Just Mexican. We could use gift cards I guess, I just don't know what restaurants. There are tons of fast food places here, but idk what restaurants there are at the moment. So ask me about restaurants next time!
We do laundry at our apartment complex laundry room. It's like 2 bucks per load to wash and dry. It's not bad. The Hermanas in our area have to put all their stuff in a shopping kart and walk down the street a ways to a laundromat. haha!
Oh, a giant shower cap is a fitted sheet, you guessed it!
Congrats Ryan! I'm happy for you!
That's the only pic I can send today. Sorry, I've been trying but it is just really slow. I don't have a lot of pics from here in Texas. My companion isn't much of a picture guy. The only time he takes pictures is at baptisms, which is loco right?! But I feel bad asking him to take pictures and slowing us down for pictures, so I don't take much. But, i'm in Grand Prairie, Texas. There isn't much to take pictures of any way.
Andy Feller emailed me, I told him to text you his email address so he could be added to the forward list. fyi.
Also, if possible, I would like you to try to get Zach Harwood's email for me. My roommate. Just ask him if he would like to be added to the forward list and let him know I would love to hear from him! You could get his number through my phone or just do it through facebook. I would really appreciate that!
Sorry, I am asking for a lot. I'll try to cut back on my requests.
But hey! I love and miss you all more than you will ever know and more than I ever thought I would. I love you with all my heart, but I've never been one to get homesick. I'm homesick. But the only relief to that is hard work under the blazing sun, and that's what I do every day! Stay safe and follow Christ's example in all you do. Adios!