Hola! Hey everyone!
So, today's Tuesday. (Thought I'd get that out of the way first.) The reason I'm writing today and not yesterday - well, there were transfers! I was transferred to... (it's hard to keep up suspense when your readers can skip the big long pause, so I'll just go ahead and say it):
It was pretty surprising to me. We got the information on Saturday, and Monday morning I hopped on a five-hour bus up north. I thought I was going to be staying in Tuxtla for at least another change, but guess not! So right now I'm in Villahermosa, the capital (I think) of Tabasco. Yesterday, like I said, I took the bus up here; arrived around 4 pm and met my companion and got a little settled in and stuff. My comp's name is Elder Enriquez; he's from Mexico (and the city of the same name... ha, remember that from our trip to Atacama desert, Dad?) and is almost done with his mission - he leaves in April. Our area is called Grijalva, and we're sort of opening it; for the last couple years the missionaries from the Centro also had to cover our area, but now there are enough missionaries that this ward gets their own. We took a little tour of the area last night, met some members and investigators, etc., and we're going to do the same thing tonight and start working tomorrow. We haven't met them yet, but the zone leaders say that both the bishop and the mission leader are really strong members and really excited about the work, so that should be awesome.
Man, this city is beautiful. It reminds me of Santiago as far as the modernization is concerned - definitely a step up from Tuxtla. Clean streets, nicer houses, and the like. Most people have cars here. The area looks a lot more manicured or cultivated - lots of trees and gardens and fountains and things. There's a river that cuts the city in half that's just awesome. It's supposed to be pretty hot here, but right now it's nice and cool - couldn't ask for better weather. I absolutely love being here. I'll have to take and send some pictures of what the city's like, or find out our address so that you can look it up online. It's beautiful though. I'll be able to give you more details about how the area is, the ward, and the people next week, when I've actually spent some time here. For now, I'm just really excited to work hard and enjoy the surroundings. :)
Since I didn't write much last week, I have quite a bit to catch up on. I'll do what I can for right now, and then try to send a couple pictures of the canyon. Dad: First off, they didn't give us any mail at the zone activity, so I'm still waiting on that, but we'll be having our zone conference probably next week, so I'll let you know then. Also, I forgot to answer this for a couple weeks now, but the picture mom sent came through just fine. I'm able to just open it up and check it out, though for the cost I don't know that I'll print them out. New Year's Eve/Day sounds like a lot of fun, even though the tradition was a little changed. :) The story of fixing the water thing was pretty funny and the computer a bit more typical of how things usually go. I was glad to hear that you got some of Uncle Wayne's work done; that's really exciting. I can't believe it's been so long since he passed away, but at least now his work is being done. I loved your comments on repentance and feeling the remorse for sins long after you've repented; those feelings definitely help us stay away from those mistakes and continually strive to be better disciples of Christ. Yes, I did get the Ensigns you sent; thanks for them. I love reading the conference talks over and over again; each time I gain something new from them. The scriptures you quoted in Alma (7:41 and chapter 5) are really good too; I really like Alma 5 now. Lots of great examples in those verses. I like your comments about Enos, too. (And who can forget all your movie quotes?! They always make me laugh.) Pretty much I love reading your letters every week. I learn new things, am strengthened, and enjoy the memories of home. Thanks, Dad, for all of your teachings and support. I'm glad to hear that things are still going really well at home. Your experience with prayer sounds pretty meaningful too (more on that next week). Check out Villahermosa online; it's pretty neat. Life is wonderful here and I appreciate very much the love and prayers from home. Can't wait to hear from you next week. I love you very much. Chow!
Gabs!: How many days do I have in the mission now? ha :) It sounds like you've been having a lot of fun with your ripstick. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what one is haha. I think I know, but I'm not positive. It sounds fun though. Good job on your grades from school! Just the way I raised you, huh? :) I laughed when Mom told me about you and your new sweater. I bet it's a pretty awesome one. Well, Gabs, I love you very much and am always very excited to read your letters and hear about what you've been up to! Keep having fun and being awesome! Love you! :)
Miranda: Hey hey! It sounds like you've been up to a lot of fun things lately, what with movies and books and school (fun sometimes, right?) and all the rest. How goes the snowboarding? That Avatar movie sounds pretty cool - I haven't really heard anything about it. The book you talked about, The Hunger Game, sounds pretty neat too. Yes, you should definitely read Percy Jackson and the Olympians; I liked them a lot. You asked about my most favorite and least favorite parts of the mission. My most favorite... getting the chance to interact with people every day and help them find more happiness and blessings - and being in Mexico, too. :) My least favorite part? Showering in freezing cold water. This morning it gave me a headache, it was so cold. Takes my breath away every single day. Oh well. :) Well, it sounds like you're having a really good time with everything. Keep up the good work! :) I love you very much! :)
Mom: I laughed when you mentioned riding Gabbie's bike on Christmas Eve. I remember that. It was pretty funny. I, too, like Cameron's letters - he says 'em just the way he sees them. Pretty cool. For the district present exchange, I had Elder Holbrook (from California... I think), and I bought him a cake and then spelled out his name with pieces of Oreo cookies on top. I thought it was pretty cool and I think he liked it. Those bottle caps on the window sill we were saving for something called wiwichus - it's this collectible thing you can trade in for. They have a cool story behind them, but it's a little long, so I'll save it for next week. Thanks for answering me about Sadie and Will - I wanted to know how they were doing, and I try to remember them in my prayers and pray that things will get easier for them. I bet you're glad now that everyone's back in school, huh? :) Always nice to have the house to yourself again. How goes the storage room organization? Time is slowly dwindling... :) Reagan sounds like Reagan lately... I laughed to hear that he kisses my picture and likes watching family videos and stuff. That's really cool. Mom, I'm very appreciative for everything you do for me, and I love reading your letters and hearing about what's going on at home. I'm doing great and loving where I am and the work. I love you very much!
Okay, that's about all the time I have this week. I'm going to get off a few pictures, too. I'm having a wonderful time on the mission. I'm learning a lot, having fun, and making some great memories. Thank you for all of your support and love. I hope this week is a wonderful one. I love you all very much!