August 26th, 2009 browsing by day


Celebrating The One-Year Mark

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

¡Hola familia!

I’m old. It hit me this week. I kept having moments like, “all my life I wondered what it would be like to be a missionary, and now I’m half way done with it.” And I have been thinking a lot about what I was doing in the MTC a year ago. It’s funny how well I remember the MTC. We did eat pizza on Thursday to celebrate my year mark. We sat around for a long time eating and talking about mission stuff. Then the next day the four of us had a service project where we moved dirt—lots and lots of dirt. You know those giant work trucks that the construction people use to haul large quantities of dirt? Yeah we moved two of those. The rest of the day I was pretty tired as we walked up and down hills in the quite hot Ecuadorian sun. Then the next day I almost couldn’t get out of bed. But I still had to wake up at 6:30 am and walk all day. I was pretty sore, I can tell you.

Advice from Elder Walke

But we did have another baptism this week. Once again it was someone that Elder Frye and Elder Hall knew. Her name is Alexandra Loja and she is 20ish. I think Elder Frye baptized her mom, and her brother Carlos was baptized just after Elder Hall left. Anyway it was a good baptism; her brother baptized her so that was cool. I have really been cleaning up all of those guys’ teaching pools. This Saturday we will be having another baptism. Once again someone that Elder Frye and Elder Hall should remember. Her name is Locricia. It’s funny because I really have not had to teach these people anything; I just sort of help with the final small push that they need to get to the font.

All in all things have been going pretty well thus far down here in the land of rice and mosquitoes. It’s still a whole lot of stress, that’s for sure. Every time I think I’m getting a handle on things President Gamboa throws something new at me. Working with a new missionary has been a difficult experience. I still have hope that I’m going to get a gringo baby this change or the next one, but now I’m kind of scared because I realize just how much work it will be with someone who hardly knows Spanish. I think the best thing that a new missionary could do in the MTC to prepare to teach in Spanish would be to learn how to give a short testimony over each of the principles in the lesson because I think that would help them become the more effective faster.

To answer mom’s questions, the food system here is like what we had in Babahoyo. We have a different house to eat at every week and the houses we eat at changes every two weeks or so. Living with four missionaries is a lot more fun. This week we have had a sort of “war” going on. It all started when Elder Vega set up some containers of water over some of the doors in the house and I got soaked. After that there has been a lot of back and forth going on, and a couple of them were filmed. I will have to send you the videos some time—although you won’t understand them because they are all in Spanish—but I’m sure it will still be entertaining for you guys to see me get soaked no matter what language it’s in.

I still have not gotten that package mom sent, so that was sad, but it will come soon I’m sure. I got the letter from Nathan; it was pretty funny. Every line made me laugh. One of the best was when he said, “I swear the older I get the dumber girls seem to be.  I must be getting more intelligent”. Yep, same old Nathan. Although he must be growing up a bit because he didn’t mention his muscles once in the entire letter. I was expecting something like, “You should see how big my muscles have gotten in the last year,” but it never happened. Maybe he just forgot to mention it. I also got a letter from a random stranger. That was entertaining. Someone named Sarah from Canada wrote me and told me how awesome my letters are. And then she told me about how her husband got dengue in Jamaica on his mission. I didn’t know they had dengue in Jamaica. Anyway it made me laugh because I always wondered if there were any random strangers reading my blog seeing as how it’s public and all. Now I know that there is at least one—awesome.

Te quiero,
Elder Walke