I realized I might have broken a rule and I debated sending myself home but I decided it’s better to just fix it. I’m not supposed to write anything negative about my areas and I realized that I might have made my area sound bad but it’s super awesome. There are some poorer areas but there are way more nice houses and areas than poor. A lot of the houses have painted walls too. I’ve been asked about my daily routine a lot even though I already told you guys (preach the good word) so I’ll expand. It takes me about 15 minutes to gain consciousness and put my shoes on then I have 15 minutes to make myself tired again (exercise) then I have 30 minutes to scratch my hairs off with tiny knives and stand under a tiny waterfall, then 30 minutes to pick which tie I want to wear, eat a sandwich and drink milk from a bag. Then we either have weekly planning, a meeting of some sort, church, or 4 hours of studying sacred texts and other materials (espanish). Then we go eat some rice and weird juice with a member family and then we preach the good word for about 8 hours. It’s pretty rad. Oh, I forgot to say I’m super good at rope jumping now. I jump rope every day, so I’m practically a professional boxer except I’m not jacked and I don’t punch people in the face. We do a lot of walking. A lot. It’s cool though because it gives us time to practice our beat boxing. We’ve gotten a lot closer in the last week or two which makes everything more fun. It’s awesome because his English is good enough that we can make jokes in public without other people knowing. Things are really good between us. He hasn’t been making me tie his shoes or do his laundry the last few days so I’d say we’re pretty solid. Even though everything here is super bomb, there is one big problem. No one is married. Like no one. We have a bunch of investigators that are progressing super well but live in a “free union” which is against the law of chastity. I’m thinking about hiring a priest to come to lessons with us and marry everyone. Two problems actually. July, who was progressing really well and had a baptism date for the 30th of August, was looking for work and found it. Yeah, woohoo, good job July! Supporting your family as a single mom of three, you go girl!... What…? You work in a bar and work during church? NOOOOOOoooooooo! Aaand so we have that minor problem but we’re working and praying for a miracle, yes miracles exist. I have them all the time because I have tons of faith. Time for the weekly update on my Spanish… *news reporter* “This just in, Derek is still getting destroyed by Spanish” *guy in business meeting pointing at a graph* “And from this graph we can see that Derek’s Spanish is increasing, but has not yet broken the threshold of destruction.” *safari guide with accent* “On the right you can see a family of wild Colombian Spanish feasting on a carcass of a northern white American!” haha I’m still getting destroyed but I’m doing a lot better, we visited a family I hadn’t seen since my first week and they said I used to talk way worse and I looked like I couldn’t understand anything which is very true. Now I can understand enough to fake it. It depends a lot on the person speaking actually. There are a lot of people that I can’t understand a word from, and others that I understand most. Usually it’s in between. Something kind of funny is that all the guys here wear a ton of Hollister, Aeropostale, and Abercrombie and Fitch. It’s kinda weird I definitely wouldn’t have thought that before. There are some funny phrases I want to share with you guys too. To say you’re tired you can say “I have dream” and to say I’m hungry you say “I have hunger” and you can replace these phrases perfectly with the start of the hymn “there is sunshine in my soul today” and so whenever I want to complain I sing hymns. We sing a lot of hymns, but usually not complaining. We also pray a ton. I’ve calculated that I pray out loud about 50 times a week. And if you add all the weeks together that’s like a billion prayers or something. Praying is awesome though I love praying. You guys should pray more. And read the scriptures. Mosiah 2:22 is super bomb. All of Mosiah 2 actually, straight up if you keep the commandments God will bless you and prosper you. Also, Matthew 10:35 which says you shouldn’t like your mother in law. But yeah everything over here is pretty good. I couldn’t tell you if it was bad but you’ll just have to take my word that it’s good because it really is. It’s super hard and super awesome. I’ve seen people’s lives change from night to day in a matter of weeks. There are a lot of failures, you get rejected in the streets, your investigators don’t keep their commitments, members aren’t coming to church, but the successes make it all worth it. All we can do is give people the option, then it’s up to them. And sometimes they choose to come unto Christ and receive the blessings that come from living the gospel. Being a missionary is rad. Alright let me see if I have any more miscellaneous comments… one of our investigators came home super drunk when we were teaching the other members of his family and he yelled “Americano!” like 50 times then passed out on the floor. That was fun. There was a huge parade here for Independence Day and the founding of Giron and we got to see the lame part which was fun (we missed the big artillery). I’ve decided the people here aren’t Latino. Most don’t look like Mexicans or other Latinos but it’s like they’re 1/3 Latino, 1/3 Asian, and 1/3 white. Whenever a pretty girl tries to talk to me and tell me how exotic I am, I just pretend I don’t speak Spanish. It’s really easy because I don’t speak Spanish. Love and miss you guys. Don’t forget to write me about cool stuff and boring stuff too.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.