Dearest friends and family,
Today was a good day and tonight is a good night. There is a woman that sells avocados in a little fruit store five minutes from our house, 800 pesos (US 30 cents) each and Elder Soto and I have started the bad habit of bringing 2 back with us on our way home every night. It’s bad because we also buy a loaf of bread for 2,900 pesos ($1.10) and a pack of cocoa mix for 500 pesos (19 cents) and eat everything late at night in the apartment. Mom, is it bad to eat a half-loaf of bread with a spread of avocado every night? It’s so delicious with a little salt…ohhhh. I loved avocado before I left and now I obsess over it.
Speaking of food, let me tell you about Colombian breakfast: the keyword is caldo (bullion). Caldo though is a simple, brothy soup with potatoes and a meat. Caldo de castilla is the most popular and comes with beef ribs. I really enjoy it even though it is odd eating soup at breakfast. It’s usually served with eggs on the side, an arepa, and chorizo. What an awesome culture! Colombia definitely doesn’t need any help with its food. Oh ya – Allie: I hope you saw the picture of the Ramen from the USA that I bought from Alcosta this week. I ate it on your birthday in remembrance of you. Happy 17th! (By the way that’s weird to say out loud.)
It’s been a great week. I am growing close with the six missionaries in my district and loving my weekly Tuesday meeting with these guys. Elder Welch always thinks of awesome activities because he’s an awesome guy. We did some service this week and I’ve found what surely must be the “heaviest object in the world’ – a 6-shelf bread oven. “You know, the kind you would use to bake bread, chicken, turkeys…whatever you happen to want a lot of” to quote President Villota who we were helping to move houses. His washing machine got really banged up and trashed by some random truck driver guy but he really kept his cool – proof I have a long way to go yet in being more Christlike because I would have lost it had it been my washing machine. I had another moment being jammed in the cab of the tiny car with a ridiculous amount of people - it reminded me of that day we went to pick up a mattress in Esmereldas five months ago. I say reminded me of that day but this was nowhere as bad as that day. Nothing could be worse than that day.
So my greatest fear out here turns out to be “uneros” (in-grown toe nails). Long story short, the mission is really hard on feet and shoes – we walk like 18-20 km everyday. Some missionaries have videos of their entire toenail being removed because of this medical issue. To be honest, my fear may mainly come from the third-world removal process. Well, now I have a video and it’s the worst thing ever. Elder Soto’s toe has been hurting him and it looks the early stages of an in-grown toenail and hearing his pain really makes me second-guess my foot care - I’m always looking at and guarding my feet, it’s terrible.
We are really helping a lot of people and I feel great about it. We are teaching one family that has a sensitive problem I will not share about but it’s been a huge blessing to me to witness how apology and forgiveness. I promise it’s never too late to repent and correct your course and that there aren’t problems so big that you can’t find peace from them.
One adventure this week was no power in the entire city the entire day Wednesday. It made morning study real hard without lights since there aren’t any windows in our little cave. And electricity is actually really important because we have an electric stove and electric heating shower. It’s really the little things out here that make the difference between having the happiest of days and a day where I have to step back and remember to breathe, smile, and just laugh at whatever comes my way. Little things like electricity in the house, a Colombian haircut, lots of empanadas, or receiving an email of encouragement from someone I haven’t heard from in a while. Or even a woman from a different ward stopping us in the street and giving us a little cake because she saw us and thought of her son who is currently serving as a missionary in Uruguay. I’m very happy and have learned to find joy in the little things. It’s quite a blessing.
Have an amazing week my friends and family. With all my love, EE
- We had a baptism on Saturday. It was great.
- We helped two people move this week and it really tired me out. They were both from 4th floors to 3rd and 2nd floors and I found myself physically exhausted. But it was really good - I love helping and serving people in different ways to mix it up a bit.
- Cycling is a big sport in Colombia - lots of people are watching it on TV
- I taught Elder Soto how to make tacos this week and they came out great
- Dad - I met someone from the other ward who served their mission in Neuquen (Argentina). We only talked for 2 minutes but it was a cool little moment for me feeling connected to you.