April 16th, 2009

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Elder Martinez is Awesome…Cow Foot Soup, Not So Much

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

¡Hola familia!

Hey how’s it going? Things are going well here. I’m still alive…still in Babahoyo…still working. Did I mention that I’m still in Babahoyo? It’s actually not such a bad thing that I’m still here though. It would have been cool to get transferred to the beach, but I love Babahoyo. Plus my new companion Elder Martinez is cool. Elder Martinez is from Guatemala. He’s awesome. He’s about as close to perfect as you can get. He reminds me a lot of Elder Bryan and, as it turns out, Elder Bryan was Elder Martinez’s step dad so that explains a lot. Oh yeah and I’m related to him as well. My grandpa (Elder Vargas) had two sons, Elder Fuentemavida and Elder Martinez. So that makes Elder Martinez my uncle! He really does like to clean; I don’t think I can stress that point enough. The house wasn’t exactly dirty before, but it wasn’t exactly clean either. Now it’s much cleaner. Its not that I don’t like a clean house, it’s just not that high on my list of things to do. He also likes to plan, which is really awesome because before I pretty much did all of the planning and Elder Alferez would make a few minor changes. On Thursdays we have weekly planning we started working at 9 am and didn’t finish planning until 1.30 pm. It was awesome! We have our entire week completely booked until next Sunday.

We have been working ridiculously hard this week and having plenty of success. We also had a baptism this Saturday. It was another “niño de oro”; this time the kid had a reasonable excuse for not being baptized sooner—because she was waiting for her uncle to come home from his mission to baptize her. She has been coming to church for several years with her family and knows all her stuff so we met her Wednesday, had her interview Friday, and baptized her Saturday. To baptize someone so fast is almost impossible because of all the milestones they have to reach first—even when it’s just a little kid—so it was pretty cool. It’s funny because Elder Alferez never taught this girl (her name is Genesis, I don’t think I mentioned that before) but we baptized her!

Mom said that the church is having trouble getting missionary supplies and money to us; I hadn’t heard that before but it makes a lot of sense. We have been having a lot of trouble getting the mission office to send us more Book of Mormons recently and there has been a couple of times when we got our money a few days late. The money thing isn’t too big of a deal because I can just use my own to buy food until the church can get some to us, but the lack of missionary supplies has been a pretty serious problem. We only have 3 or 4 copies of the Book of Mormon left in the house and I have not gotten any of the other supplies that I order in several weeks.

I have heard rumblings that Ecuador may be switching off of the US dollar and going back to the Sucre soon as well. That could lead to some pretty serious problems for us if it ever happened. But it’s probably not going to happen so I’m not too worried. I would be pretty sad if I didn’t get that promised Easter candy though. The food here is starting to wear on me. I don’t mind the rice but they put so much oil in the soup that sometimes I almost can’t finish it.

Mom asked how my converts are doing so here’s the run down. The mom and daughter that I first baptized are moving soon. Evon is doing well; she comes to church pretty much every week and misses Elder Mitton a lot (her dad lives in Elder Mitton’s ward so they know each other pretty well). She also says that when I get transferred she is going to cry. I think she likes me but she’s harmless so it’s not a big deal. Pablo is still strong in the church. He got called to be secretary in the young men’s presidency. That was pretty cool for me to hear. Oh and we are teaching his dad and sister now. His dad came to church for the first time this week and seemed to like it. Pablo is thinking about going on a mission but he has a girlfriend and he’s kind of torn between the two right now (His girlfriend is a member as well). Yomira is still coming to church and we are still teaching her parents, but not a whole lot is happening on that front. Jonathan blessed the sacrament last week and is working towards going on a mission next year. Carlos hasn’t been to church in a couple of weeks; I think he has been sick or something. But he’s only 9 so I’m not too worried about him going inactive any time soon. Lissett is doing awesome as well. She is only 10 but she says she is reading the scriptures and praying every day, and she says she wants us to teach her mom so she can get baptized and go to heaven with her. Well that covers everyone.

I keep forgetting to mention it but I ate something very interesting a couple of weeks ago:  cow foot soup. It was even nastier than it sounds. I have a theory that walking around in [manure] all day helped season the foot because the entire soup had a very interesting taste going on. In case you are interested, cow foot has a sort of Jell-O texture to it, but hairier. If for some reason, somebody offers you cow foot soup, say no.

I was talking to Elder Frye and Elder Elwood the other day and Elder Frye was telling me how he had convinced Elder Mitton to transfer to BYU-Idaho with him. I asked him why in the world anyone would want to transfer there, and after about ten minutes, Elder Frye just about had me convinced. First off he says there is a good ski resort there that only costs $200 for the season. That’s a lot less than Brighton.  And second, Elder Frye, Elder Mitton, Elder Elwood, and me could have Ecua-parties where we turn off the AC, turn on the oven, make a lot of rice, and do all sorts off other cool stuff like that. Elder Elwood still isn’t convinced that he needs to transfer there, but he will be pretty close so he can drive up.

Well I’m out of time so I will talk to you next week.

Te quiero,
Elder Walke