Wow. What a week it has been. There is so much to say and not enough time to say it! A few basics: I am serving in O. My companion is Hermana Llaguarima from Ecuador. She will be 27 in August, has been in the mission for about 4 months, and is truly an angel sent to be my first companion in the field. When I left the capilla (chapel) that first Monday night, Hermana Stutznegger gave me a hug and told me that my companion knows probably the least English of the Hermanas who have been here for a few months. By the way, I love, love the Stutzneggers. It has been so great though. My companion is hard working, obedient, fun, and very patient with me. I am very grateful for this time I have to serve with her. She is a certified physical therapist and worked in a hospital for awhile before serving a mission. She has also taken to correcting me on how I walk; she had me practice walking back and forth over and over again haha :)
Elder Juarez is my district leader (such an awesome guy) and Elder Miller is his companion. Hermana Wolferts, Hermana Wong, Hermana Lambert, and Hermana Villalobos are also in my district. We have a great time and I see them every day :)
Quick note regarding the food and the eating aspect of my life thus far. I have been told a few times that I will lose weight here. Honestly, I think I already have. We eat breakfast in our apartment a little before 8:00 every morning, maybe a snack during study time, a big lunch at the home of a member of our Church at 2:00 p.m. each day, and then whatever we want for dinner that night. I tried some street tacos the other day though with some grilled onions and cactus and it was AMAZING. If I keep up the exercise every morning when I wake up, walking all over kingdom come, and this pattern of eating, the Hermana Jones who comes back will be a few pounds lighter haha. I have really enjoyed the food here. Yesterday for lunch they served us the best guacamole I have ever had...I thought of you Mom :) I would love to bring the fam back here someday and have you try the food and the pan (sweet bread...so stinking good).
I have had some wonderful experiences this week! I can’t understand very much but I am able to speak pretty well. When I tell people that I have been in the field for a week, their eyes get huge and they tell me that my Spanish is muy claro. I have asked a few of the members what I need to fix in my pronunciation and they said I don’t need to change anything. I have truly felt blessed in my ability to speak and want to recognize the Lord’s hand in those tender mercies and blessings.
Ahhhh I am running out of time! I am glad that you can see the Facebook pics posted by President and Sister Stutznegger. Again, I cannot say enough good about them. They are wonderful. Matt, have fun at EFY. Jackson, thank you for the email! I love reading what you write to me. I am sorry for not writing this week but I enjoyed all of the pictures you sent. I belly laughed when I saw the poster, oh my goodness that was sssssoooo funny!
I promise to share more spiritual experiences (there are many) and pics next week. I am seeing blessings each day. I am including a couple of my CCM District departure pics that they show everyone Sunday night before we leave. Real quick, I taught my first English class on Saturday...now that was a fun adventure :) I hope this gives you a good summary with my limited time to do so. I love you so much. Thank you for all you do, Mom and Dad. I am so grateful to be here even though it is difficult at times. Just know that I am doing just fine and you don’t need to worry about anything :)