December 29th, 2009

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Christmas in Balzar

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Hola familia!

So how was Christmas? Oh wait, I already know because I talked to you on the phone Friday. Yep, that was awesome. It was cool to hear everyone’s voices again and realize that you all sound the same. Although apparently I have a Spanish accent. I still don’t believe it. I swear when I speak English it sounds normal. But oh well, you guys are welcome to think what you want.

My Christmas went well enough. I know on the phone Christmas morning I said I didn’t have high hopes for teaching lessons that day but we had something of a Christmas miracle because we managed to teach 4 lessons. Actually we had a really good teaching week in general. We managed 35 lessons this week. I’m not sure if we had the highest numbers in the zone but we did get a lot higher than any of the Elders in my district. So that was cool. I was amazed because on Christmas Eve the entire city was up all night dancing and drinking alcohol and other such nonsense. It was a little hard for us to sleep because we live right off the main street and that is where the bulk of the action happens around here. New Year’s Eve promises to be interesting because then the party is about 100 times bigger and there is a lot of “año viejos” burning in the streets. Along with a ton of fireworks and other garbage that wont exactly help us sleep. I’m looking forward to it though because last year I didn’t get to see much of that stuff because the house wasn’t very close to the areas where the parties and burning of paper statues was going down and I was too sick to care anyway. Remember that is when I had my first Dengue experience. Speaking of which, it has now been 6 months since my last round of dengue. That means I’m about due for another! Yes! I love near death experiences! Ok maybe not near death; Dengue just makes you feel like you are near death. Good times, good times.

Hey I think it’s funny that Bishop Driggs told Nathan that missions are like a tithe on our life and that we have to give it our all for it to be a full tithe because I used the exact same line in my last district meeting. And I thought I was being creative.

I can now report that the cookies that mom sent in my package were in fact quite tasty. They were a little smashed and more dense than normal but I still really enjoyed them. Homemade cookies are the one food item that I have really been missing.

I have to say I still don’t get this hamster thing that Andrea got for Christmas. I guess it’s like when everyone was on the “lame robot dog” kick a few years ago. It helps that I still have not seen any of these robotic rats around Ecuador so I’m not really sure what the big deal with this thing is. But hey, if that’s what Andrea likes, that’s fine.

We have now reached my last email of 2009. Next time you hear from me it will be 2010. That’s weird. My “blackout year,” the one year of my mission that I spend 100% of in Ecuador, is now coming to a close. I can tell that I have been gone a long time because today all of the email I got from you guys mentioned how it was hard to say goodbye on the phone and how you miss me. I think your memory must be getting fuzzy. Remember when I left how all the talk was about how peaceful and calm the house would be without me around to cause trouble with all my usual crazy antics? Anyway, this was the last big phone call. The next one is in 4 ½ months, much shorter than this last 7 ½ month wait until the Christmas call. And after the next call I will only have a couple of months left so that call won’t be a big deal anyway.

So grandma and grandpa also might drive up with me and Kayla when we head to BYU? That’s cool. The list of people going on this road trip seems to be growing these days. Originally it was just going to be me and Kayla but now we have a whole car full. Pretty soon we will have a whole caravan heading up to send me and Kayla off to college.

I liked the story about Nathan being accidentally funny in his farewell talk Sunday. If something like that hadn’t happened, it just wouldn’t have been Nathan. Ok have a good week and I will write you guys next decade!

Te quiero,
Elder Walke