Wow, I can`t believe this is the first email I`m writing you at the old age of 23. I feel antigua, vieja, mayor...all of the above is what I feel. I feel one year older and wiser too, but also more rickity, more dèbil. Just kidding, I feel the same as 22. I just don`t like the ring of 23 as much as 22. Besides the fact that over the past few years, 22 has become one of my favorite numbers. (And not because Taylor Swift wrote a song about being 22. I never even heard that song while I was 22. Kinda weird.) But now I have 23 years, and you just gotta put your behind in your past, as they say.
And now, Dad, I want to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope it`s the best birthday ever!! The ripe, old age of 53. I can smell the wiseness. Thanks for always helping me to learn each year. Thanks for helping me get to the point I am now. Thanks for you and mom making me do those Summerbridge books when I was little even though I didn`t want to. It was all so we could be one year older and wiser. Keep ponièndose las pilas.
One thing that was weird for me to read in your last email was that you mentioned if there would ever be a need for flip flops or shorts ever again. I was appaled that thought could cross anyone`s mind! How could anyone ever feel cold ever?? I was thinking the exact opposite...would there ever be a need for jackets or sweat pants ever again in my life? What is this strange thing used to make people hotter than they already are? Why would they want to suffer through that? The only real cold I ever feel is when they have the AC on at church. Brrrrrrr. I hope you can all get out of this cold wave fast and heat up like I do every day.
This week has been a great one. One of the focuses of missionary work is teaching families! Something that is pretty hard to find down here in Ecuador. There are a lot of strange, untypical families. If there are a mom and dad, they`re usually not married. Asì que, it`s been hard for us to help these families live the restored gospel, but this week, we found quite a few families! None of them were able to go to church, but we`re excited to teach them this week and help them accept the commitment to be baptized so that one day they can seal themselves and be a family for eternity!
On Thursday, we were looking for a menos activo who hasn`t been visited for quite some time now. We went to his house to find that he doesn`t live there anymore. So we decided to talk to the neighbors to try and find the address of where he lives now so his records can be transferred to his current ward and he can be reactivated. While calling upon his neighbors, 3 kids came out and started talking to us in English! It was so great! They had recently moved from the United States and will be living here now. Their three kids are all above the age of 8, and they parents are married. They live with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and after talking to the kids, they were excited to come to church with us. The mom will be coming here in a few weeks, so we`ll see if they can be a future eternal family!
Here in Ecuador, during the summer there are places that do something called a Vacacional....aka where kids go during vacation to keep learning/doing stuff. They have swim lessons, English classes, dance, etc. Our ward decided to do a free vacacional that all kids could go to. It started on the best day of the year, and will happen three days a week for the next month. It has been a great way for kids to get to know the church, and to receive lots of references. This week, we`re going to visit all the families of the kids who have been going to the vacacional so their families can learn a little bit more about que trata la iglesia and how they can receive the blessings of the restored gospel! In the Vacacional at the church, they`re teaching dance, self defense, painting, drawing, music, guitar, basketball, etc. I want to be part of it, but it`s right during our study time in the morning. An idea that maybe we could do in the future in our ward? Just an idea.
Remember Giovanna who got baptized last week? When we visited her on Saturday, she told us that she had her first post baptism temptation. At her work, they gave everyone beer for free, and she refused and gave it to her boss! She said that she felt the Spirit helping her to make the right choice. She`s so great! Then we taught her about temples, and she got so excited to do her family history! She`s really great and I love how the Gospel changes lives. Keep letting it change yours.
I love you all so, so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :]
P.S. 1 Nefi 19:9