December 24th, 2009

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The News from Balzar

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

¡Hola familia!

So today is Monday and I will be talking to you on Friday. Uh, I never know what to say on these emails right before and right after talking to you guys. Luckily it’s a problem that I have only had to deal with twice before, and will only have again one more time. Man I’m old. Do you realize that yesterday I hit 16 months? That’s 2/3 of my mission. That scares me. I was thinking about asking for an extension but realized that with BYU starting right when I get back I may need to head out a week or two early, so that plan went down the drain. I pretty much just try to not think about it.

Oh hey guess what, we had zone conference on Friday and Elder Mitton’s zone was not there so I will never see him again in the mission field. But both Elder Elwood and Elder Frye were there so it was ok. Zone conference was a little crazy this round because we went to the temple and our bus was really late getting to Guayaquil for some reason so we got to the temple and everyone was already there and we almost didn’t make it. We walked in and President Gamboa gives me this look like, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know why you are so late,” and I felt terrible of course. Oh well, it happens. Hopefully it will keep me off the list of future assistants to the president. They cut the office staff from 6 missionaries to 4 so now there is even more incentive to avoid getting assigned to the office at all costs. I think Elder Elwood is adjusting more or less but I don’t think he is enjoying the office life. He did tell me a funny story when we were eating lunch though. He said one of the new gringos recognized him from a picture he saw on my blog. He said something like, “Hey you were on the sky gondola of death with Elder Walke,” or something like that. I guess he was asking about me and stuff. Elder Elwood said, “It’s weird that people know who I am,” and I said, “Hey dude, welcome to my world.”

So we were supposed to have a baptism on Christmas day. It was going to be awesome. Really it was. But the darn guy went and got sick. He still wants to get baptized but he is just not going to be able to do so on Friday. Just my luck. Ok so this letter is a little jumpy but back to zone conference. So I got to meet the Elders from my district. I have several guys in there that I have met before—in fact almost all of them:  Elder Hynes, Elder Luthman, Elder Casteñeda, and Elder Baum. There are a couple other missionaries in my district but I don’t know them. Elder Hynes I met back in Babahoyo in my second change so I have known him for a long time. He was Elder Mitton’s MTC companion. In other words, he will be dead this January. Elder Luthman was in my zone in manta but I don’t know him very well. Elder Casteñeda came to Ecuador the same day as me. I say “came” but he was already here; he’s an Oltavaleño. I should say he got to Guayaquil the same day as me. And Elder Baum is from Elder Muhlestein group. It’s a pretty good district. I’m looking forward to this change.

I opened the packages from mom today. Pretty awesome stuff. I’m sure the other guys from my district will enjoy the stuff too. The temple workers gave the missionaries gifts when we had zone conference so between that and the calendar and the random CD I will have 3 gifts to open for Christmas. I already pretty much know the contents of all three but its something. Oh and the Reese’s cake thing looks awesome. I’m making it for Christmas breakfast I think. The stockings for Elder Barrientos and Elder Rodriguez will not be making it to them for Christmas sadly. But hey, it’s not my fault. I already gave one pair of insoles to Elder Lopez and I will try to give the other two pairs away at district meeting on Wednesday. Elder Lopez really needed them; his insoles are literally bits of cardboard and plastic that he cut to fit his shoe so he was happy to receive the replacements. Ok I have said enough for now. I’ll talk to you guys soon!

Te quiero,
Elder Walke