March 1, 2010 - Hey Family,
How’s everything going? Wow. I feel great to be here in the jungle of Pucallpa. It is so hot. We got here on Wednesday and it was raining like crazy. It is amazing how much it rains here in the jungle. We got to our house with mud on our suitcases, but everything is okay. I live in a comfortable house. We have a tile floor, a roof over our heads, mosquito nets, and we even have crown molding in our house. It is a comfy home. The only thing I get really nervous about when "changes" happen, is how my new house is going to be. So I feel good knowing that my house is kept up and nice. Thursday the sun shined all day, and Friday, Saturday, and yesterday as well. I think the sun is much closer here becuase it heats the day up. Everyday is a scorcher, but I absolutely love it. I honestly feel so happy to be here, and I don’t think there is a single moment that I don’t have a smile on my face. I am so happy to be back in the jungle. The poeple are so much happier here and life is much more fun. We get to travel in Motos, which are the motorcycle taxis. I love just hopping in a Moto and getting taken wherever I need to be. I am back to cold showers again. I had to get used to it again because I had seven-and-a-half months in Lima with a warm shower everyday. I can tell you guys again that cold showers are survivable. We already got served my favorite food...alligator. it was delicious and I am so excited to be able to eat even more. :) My new companion is Elder Padilla from Jalapa, Guatemala. He is a lot of fun and kind of reminds me of a mix between Diddy Kong and the squirrel from Ice Age that is always chasing the acorn. He is a fun kid. He has three months in the Mission and is an excellent Missionary. Remember when I had three months? Oh man, how long ago was that? I now have 16 Months!!! Can you belive it? Every month that goes by still amazes me. This month of March is March of Records. Every companionship is working towards beating the record that their area had in the last year. My area is Vista Alegre and the record in one month last year was 13 Baptisms. Our goal is to have 14 Baptisms, but we would like to have 20 in the month of March. Right now, we have 9 Baptismal Dates set for the month of March, so we are getting there. With a little more faith and more work, we are going to surpass 13. Fun and exciting news: We are teaching a wonderful family of 5. It is a dad, mom, and their 3 boys...just like our family. They are all planning to get baptized on March 13th. The mom and dad just got married a week ago to prepare for their baptism. I am so excited to be teaching a family. Please pray for them, that they may always have strength to overcome their challenges so that they can be baptized on the 13th. It is so wonderful to be teaching a family just like the one I have...boyzrus. :)
I feel like all the work and stress of being Personal Secretary has been taken off of my shoulders and put on someone else’s. I absolutely loved my work and I loved being there, but the Field is awesome as well. You always get to be around other Missionaries helping them progress, and always encouraging them to be happy and have success. Don’t worry about me at all. I have grown up now. I think the Offices helped me realize that the Mission is totally possible. All I have to do is work, be obedient, and have fun in the Work, and the Mission will pass by like nothing. I know that it is completely possible. So, please don’t worry about me. I am more than fine. I am happy and can’t express the joy that I have being here with the people of Pucallpa. It is so nice. My District is awesome. I have great Elders in my District. They are always happy, and we all want to work hard and break our Records. Pray for me to have strength as District Leader, to be able to encourage and help the other Elders out and serve them at all times, and to love them. I want them to be able to enjoy the Mission as much as I have. Spiritual experiences are what make a Missionary happy so I want to help them have many baptisms and bring many of God’s children to the truth. Please keep me in your prayers. I need your strength...
There was an earthquake in Chile??? Just kidding. I knew that a huge earthquake took place in Chile, but where I am, we didn’t feel a thing. We didn’t even know it had happened until the members that next day had watched the news and informed us that an earthquake had taken place. Everything is going fine here in Pucallpa. We are enjoying the warm weather and the sunshine. Just so you know, there are not many mosquitos here. I put on sunscreen and bug repellent in the morning, the afternoon, and before going to bed, and then I also sleep with a mosquito net, so don’t worry about me getting dengue. I am totally fine, plus I am a Missionary. What is a little mosquito going to do? God doesn’t want us stuck in bed, sick and doing nothing. He wants us out preaching His Gospel. So if I follow the rules and put repellent on everyday, I don’t have anything to worry about. :)
Dallis, good luck with your lesson next week. Studying the Scriptures is a great topic. Just remember that you should always start and end your study with a prayer asking God to help you read and understand the Scriptures clearly, that you may receive personal revelation, and that you may be able to apply what you learn to your life. I love reading the Scriptures. It makes the day go by so much better if I am able to get in a good study of the Scriptures in the morning. They give me strength, and I love learning about the stories, cultures, and people that are in the Scriptures, and especially those that are in the Book of Mormon. Read them daily. It’s a Commandment. Take ten minutes out of watching TV and playing Nintendo to read the Scriptures. God will bless you tons for doing it. I love you Dallis. That’s right Bud, only 8 Fast Sundays left... Keep the lists going... I love you.
Chase, have so much fun in school, and keep up your grades, and don’t stress out. Just enjoy life and school. Life is meant to be enjoyed even when we have a million things to do. That’s why I am always happy. I love life. I love every day that God gives me. I am so happy to just be living and I am even more happy knowing that I have such a special family. Good Luck with MDT and keep me updated with the results of BYU MDT. I really hope you make it so that we can do it together. I love you Bud.
Mom and Dad, I love you so much. This is moving month right? Keep working hard on the house. It is going to be absolutely beautiful. I am so excited to move into a new house when I get home. I don’t deserve it. And I don’t deserve you two. Mom and Dad, you are the two most special people in my life. Know that I love you beyond what words can express and that this Mission is only possible because I have you. I love you so much and still cannot get over the amount of blessings that Heavenly Father has given me by letting me be a part of your lives. I love you two so much. Never forget that. And never forget, that your good-looking little Coco is down here in Pucallpa, Peru enjoying the Mission, and is totally fine. I love you so much. Take care until next week.