Dear friends and familia,
Well it’s Thursday. That means I’ve slacked in getting my letter started this week and it’s likely to be shorter than I want it to be. However, that’s not such a big problem because nothing majorly exciting has taken place, just day-to-day mission fun!
Monday was an interesting p-day. It involved lots of packing, shifting and making room for the missionaries that were coming in and out of Tulcan/Colombia. We had 6 missionaries coming here, 5 to fill the empty spots in Ipiales plus my old companion, Elder Miranda, and my new companion Elder Quispe. All of this was combined with the additional chore of getting the stuff still at the old apartment we used to live in (the one that got robbed) ready to move to a new apartment that we found and has finally been approved. It’s all good stuff that we have going on and the p-day flew by, seriously. Elder Quispe came in, arriving at the bus terminal at 2pm and we all went to get him. I can say that we hit if off right away, sharing some small talk over some Kroky Chicken, which is the go-to Ecuador fried chicken joint. It was a good day and I’ll include some fun facts about E. Quispe at the end of this letter.
Tuesday was the first full day I had with my new comp. We hit the streets with positive attitudes and we ended up seeing lots of miracles! We got a call out of the blue from a woman I had talked to last week saying that she needed a visit from us, and boy, she really did need a visit. We walked in and I asked her the most inspired question of my life: “why did you choose to let us come back?” and she just lost it. Sobbing through tears, she told us all of the difficulties that she has been facing in her family relationships and with her faith and we found all the right answers. It was a great experience. A little later in the day we passed by the Familia Gordon and we got to teach the older son who joined us for the very first time. He was extremely receptive which was awesome. Finally, in the evening we passed by the Familia Caliz but our visit was so milagroso that I’m gonna start a new paragraph.
Before we got to the Caliz house amazing things were already happening. We asked a member of the church to accompany us for the lesson and it was awesome because every single problem that the Caliz family faces, this member and his family has also faced and overcome. In a heavily spiritual moment, Richard and Sandra just looked at each other as it hit them that they were looking at a possible future version of themselves. They just kept looking at each other, smiling, tearing up here and there, and then started hugging, kissed and said “Let’s get married!” With their marriage, they’ll be able to get baptized and start the first steps toward becoming this awesome, unified family like the one we brought with us. It was a really joyful night.
Wednesday was average. My new comp had to go to Pasto (Colombia) to take out his Colombian cedula like I had to do a week ago. We dropped him off at the border around 8am. We bought some hot chocolate from a woman and made our way back to work in the sector of E. Castagno and Bermejo. Something that struck me interesting this day was all of the home remedies that people suggest you apply when you’re sick. I’ve been battling the gripe (flu) for the last 6 days or so and I’ve basically heard every suggestion in the book. My favorite so far is to drink panela water with lime as hot as I can stand it and then quickly cover my entire body with blankets so that I can force a good sweat. Supposedly when I pull out of my sweat I will be cured. I actually do very much enjoy the panela-lime water though. I’ll give the first person who can tell me how they make sugar cane into panela a glass of it when I get home, along with a high-five!
Anyway, I’m doing well. I miss my family and friends and I’m definitely not forgetting that but I’m doing good work out here and enjoying it a lot. Like I promised, I’m going to end the letter with some Quispe-facts.
- Elder Q is coming from Otavalo where he served as a zone leader (aka this dude is good)
- He’s 20 years old and his family lives in Juliaca, Peru. It’s on the southern border with Chile.
- He has 3 older sisters
- He comes from a family faithful in the church. However when I asked him this question at first he told me that all of his family were members except for his father who had been excommunicated for murdering the bishop. We both got quiet until he started busting up laughing. It was our first day together and, in that moment, I knew we’d get along well!
- He’s focusing on working out a lot because he only has 3 months in the mission left. He really wants to finish in Tulcan.
- He likes soccer and is a really good player
- They gave him a really bad final haircut in Otavalo (see pictures) basically taking his hairline back a full inch. Yes, he’s upset about it.
|Apparently someone in Tulcan is excited for the new Gorillaz album...|