Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 19 – Still in Atiquizaya

David’s email this week is quite a bit shorter, primarily due to our call with him this week.  Yep, David got to call home for Christmas.  In fact, he was allowed to Skype, so we were able to do a video call with him.  It was great to do!

As you can see from the picture, we put him up on the big screen, which was probably a little overkill, but hey, why not?

David on Skype Call 1c

Julie said she thought he looked like a helicopter pilot.  LOL. 

Here’s one that’s not full screen.  In the pic above, we can see ourselves in the upper right corner.  In the one below, we’re just below David.  Ya gotta love Skype….

David on Skype Call 2b  This next one’s pretty blurry for some reason, but it shows what it looked like when we had all six endpoints on.  There’s a window for David, of course, plus one for Julie, Emily, Stacey, Lindsay, and us, of course.  This was pretty crazy because it pretty much brought the network to its knees.  We ended up dropping people off and taking turns doing three at a time (where David and us were two of the three).David on Skype Call 4b

Anyway, we loved talking with David.  But enough about us.  Here’s his letter from this week:

Subject: “Um, What is, uh, this thing?” “An arm.” “Told you.”

Zone Conference?I can’t really think of much to tell you all that wasn’t said on the 25th. By the way, it was super awesome being able to talk to all of you with video. Sweet.

Really fast, I have to tell Stacey something. That soundtrack is kind of like you said it is, but the music kind of makes you think, I guess. It’s not some huge orchestral thing like we’re used to, but it just has a thoughtful nature about it. That’s all I can think of to explain the way I think of it.David with baptizee's family and Elder Wardlow

So on Saturday, after the call, we had an hour to get this baptism together. The only problem is that we had no baptismal clothes, the baptism form thingy was in Turin (far away), nobody knew about the service, the font wasn’t filled, there was no agenda thing, nobody to give David with new baptizeetalks, and we didn’t have permission from the parents to baptize him. And we didn’t know where he lived so we could go ask them. Kind of stressful. We managed to pull it all together, though, and actually had a really good service. I did the actual ordinance, and everything went super smooth. I’ll upload some pictures of it all. It was cool, though, because we were  wandering around town in somebody else’s area (he doesn’t live in ours) just asking random people on the street if they knew a Luis Ernesto. Nobody did. At all. Then, with something like ten minutes left, we went down some random street and went to some random house and decided to knock there and ask. It turned out to be his house. So we got the permission. Cool story, Hansel.

The only other thing we did all week was eat a lot of food. Christmas DinnerWe had three different dinner  appointments on the 24th, and one on the 25th, but the one on the 25th was with this richer family that is known for putting together a massive Christmas dinner for the Elders. I think I have pictures of that, as well. It was super good, and we were all super stuffed.

So it was good to hear that everyone is doing well. I kind of got a little bit homesick seeing the house, but I think that is a little bit normal. And it was awesome being able to see all the nieces and nephews, especially Darci for the first time. I am kind of running out of things to say.

 Elder Wardlow and DavidReally, I think this will have to do for this week. It wasn’t even really a week. It was two days. We had church. That was cool. Sorry. I promise, I’ll get a super cool email ready for next week. Until then, everyone should keep doing what they’re doing. (You’ve all seen real soldiers before, what they do!)

I love you all, and Merry Christmas! And Happy New Years, too!

Elder David Arrington

David with Sam Duzett (and someone else I don't know)Ok, back to dad for a little post script.  In the pictures David sent this week there were two that he didn’t mention that I thought were worth publishing here.  First, here’s a picture of David with Sam Duzett, who David pretty much grew up with here in the Evergreen Merry Christmas, David!ward.  They’re serving in the same mission.  Sam is on the right.  I don’t know who is on the left. Seeing them in suit coats is a pretty rare thing as well, I’m told.

Second, each year after our family opens Christmas gifts, we get out the kids blankets (each one his or her own color) and set out all the Christmas spoils in front of the tree to take a picture.  David did that with the stuff we sent, which I think is pretty fun.  Our family will get a kick out of it at least.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 18 in Atiquizaya – Countdown to the phone call…

No pictures this week, but we are looking forward to the Christmas phone call to the family.  Other than that, we must learn how to bring a ship into Turtuga.  Together, I guess.  And transfers?  Who knows….

SubjectIf we were here two hundred years ago, we’d be swimming!

So let’s tackle the biggest things first, here. The most well-known is to never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this: my phone call.

I’m pretty sure that the only important rules are these: What a man can do, and what a man can’t do. For example, I can call family. But I can’t bring this ship into Tortuga all by my onesy. Sevy? Basically we’re allowed to call family. That’s what they tell us. We do this from our house with basically no rules attached, so here’s the plan I think I’ve come up with: At 11:00am our time (I think that’s 9:00 Oregon time since we don’t have daylight savings or anything) I will call the house. This will give me a chance to talk to the family there, especially Mom, for a while. Then I will call into the conference call using the number that Dad gave me and talk to the rest of the family. The only downside to this is that I don’t know when I’ll make that second call, so the girls will all just have to be ready and waiting. It should be pretty late in the morning, though, so I don’t foresee any big problems. Any changes in this plan will have to be communicated during the first phone call, since this is the last email before it.

Congratulations on getting Michael’s stuff done so fast! That’s awesome. Michael, you’re a stud. So are you, Steven, because wrestling in beastly.

On my end, we do have changes. Normally they’re on Wednesday, but because of the Christmas multi-zone we’re having Wednesday they got moved to Tuesday. Tomorrow. And they are supposed to tell us Saturday night, or Sunday night at the latest, if we have them, but here we are almost past noon and still nobody knows anything. That means that if I leave I’m going to have a fun time packing all night. And I wouldn’t have any time to go say goodbye to the members. And I’d miss the stupidly massive amounts of Christmas dinners we’ve been offered. Lame. But I’m not completely sure I’ll have changes. We’ll see.

I don’t really know how it happened, but we ended up with two dates for this Saturday. The last weekend the baptisms can count. How? No clue. But we’ll just see what happens with those. One is a kid who has been going to church for forever, but he’s in San Salvador until the 23. The 24 we’re going to interview, and the 25 is the date. Not much room to breathe. The other is a 9 year old kid of a family we just reactivated. Super nice people. The father just went to the bishop Sunday to see if he could do the baptism, but we don’t know what happened with that. We’ll find out today. If he can’t, we might try to go ahead with it, but we’ll probably just wait. I don’t want to take that opportunity from him.

Some things have been said about the massive number of baptisms here. Here’s the real truth. We get a lot of baptisms, but the people here really don’t get converted. There are churches on every street corner, so religion really isn’t a big thing for these people. It’s just somewhere you can go and say that you worshipped God for the week. Thus, when the going gets hard in our church, they drop it. I don’t know what the stats are for my ward, but in the other ward there’s something like 600-700 members. Their attendance this week: 63. Nuff said. Remind me to say something about this in my call, by the way, because there’s more that I’m just too tight on time to write about here. Julie, I’m putting you in charge of that. That’s punishment for being so scatter-brained lately. JKBS.

I did interchanges for three days this week, and it was pretty good, but I went to an area called La Labor. Wow. I had no idea that an area could be so dead. That must be what some of you got in Europe. Our zone, apparently, is pretty tough, but my area is one of the better ones I think. La Labor doesn’t have very many houses in it, and they’re a lot richer people, so they are a little bit more, humble-less. And since there aren’t too many, they’ve all been contacted a ton. We tried contacting a few people and they weren’t too happy about it. Elder LaFrance, who I was with, said that he contacted there with the ZLs and they had people screaming at them and slamming doors in their faces. Ouch. I did, however, eat a fresh coconut. Now, normally I don’t like coconuts, but these were a way different kind. They were bright orange on the outside, and the milk was a really blandish watery thing. The inside was white, but was a lot closer to the consistency of a papaya or mango than coconut. And it was pretty good. Didn’t taste like coconut at all. Hence it tasted good.

Quick cultural note: Everybody here uses machetes for everything. Everything. Trimming trees. Cutting open coconuts. Cutting trees down. Pulling out nails. Cooking. Mowing their lawn. It’s ridiculous. But I guess that means I should get a machete.

Alright, I’ve got to go. I hope things are still sweet at home, and I’m completely stoked to call all of you!

Merry Christmas!

Elder David Arrington

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 17 in Atiquizaya – Can we hit the goals?

Great positive spin from David this week.  It sounds like they’re pretty focused on reaching their mission goals and that David and his companion will be contributing.  Can’t wait to hear more!  Oh, and we just gotta see that movie….

Subject this week was the same as last week.  Clever, but are we not paying attention?

SubjectWhat are the odds that trapdoor would lead me out here?

So I’m slightly shorter on time now than I should be, but I’ll try and get something good out. The internet was having some issues, so I couldn’t get the pictures to upload, but now I got them.

David and Elder Wardlow looking beastly We went and finished the filming for this movie, and the last scene was a big war thing. A lot of the pictures are of the location, but there’s a few in there of me and my comp looking pretty beastly. And the other Elder standing in front of the landscape is Elder Hardy.

We lost a few investigators this week, which was kind of sad, but we also found a few. The mission has really been pushing to make the 2000 baptism goal and 11000 attendance goal, and we’re really close on both. We’re really pushing to get a couple investigators baptized this month. They already have the attendances, we just need tDavid looking beastly o do it. One of them we actually found on Sunday. His name is Luis, and he’s 17 I think. He’s been going to church for the last 6 months, goes to all the youth activities, and even plays soccer with us in the mornings sometimes. We just never knew he was n’t a member until yesterday. But we’ve got a date set, and I think it’ll work.

As far as Elder Duzzett goes, their success is great. I’m a bit jealous, because I kind of want to see a little bit of that success. But it’ll come, I suppose. And if not, at least I’m helping a few people. There are some great missionaries out here who are aDavid is out standing in his fieldlmost done and only have a dozen or so baptisms. There’s also some with over 90. It’s weird, though, because a lot of the disobedient missionaries get a lot of baptisms. Like, a lot. They’re retention, though, is terrible. I know one Elder that used to be in my area. He’s kind of disobedient. He baptized some twenty or so in his time here, which was only six months, I think, but not one of them is still active. Okay, maybe one.

As far as the phone call goes, I think what everyone here does is just borrow cell phones. People here don’t have monthly cell phone plans, they do pre-pay kind of things, so apparently a lot of people have old cell phones without any more money on them. So we buy calling cards and borrow the phones and Missionaries with Chomi, the new bridecall. I think someone told me, too, that calls from the states to here are really expensive, but from here to the states is like 6 cents a minute. That’s not bad at all. So I think that’s what we’ll end up doing. I’m still not sure when we’re going to call. I’ll let you know next week so Dad can have the recording equipment set up.

It sounds like your days have been pretty crazy. Sarah tells me that Haley Bennett is now engaged, which is a bit ridiculous. Congradulate her for me. Here we had a wedding as well, as you’ll see in the pictures. The bride was an David, Elder Wardlow, and BrandonRM that we know pretty well named Chomi. It was all pretty great, and there was a lot of sweet food there. And the little kid’s name is Brandon. He’s the son of Will, one of the guys who is still in prison. The kid looked like a stud, so I took some pics. Sweet.

Alright, I’m running out of time. I hope you all keep doing amazing, and keep sending me pictures and stuff. By the way, I know it’s super expensive to send packages, so you don’t have to send the highlighter things now. But thanks in advance for the Christmas package. I’ll try not to open it until the 25. By the way, they celebrate the 24 here. Weird, huh?

I love you all!

Elder David Arrington

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Week 16 in Atiquizaya – Feeling a little “baggy.”

Same old sense of humor, and still working hard.  David appears to be having some challenging times finding investigators, but also some successes as well.  Oh, and so much for the warm showers….

This week’s subject:  “What are the odds that trapdoor would lead me out here?”

Wow. I feel tired. I have no idea why, but I feel like the last week I’ve just had no energy. It’s a little bit lame.

Hey, before I forget, I had some news to tell you all. I get to call home in nineteen days. I’m sure you weren’t counting, either...

And really fast, I must express a little surprise. I hadn’t heard at all that Sarah is engaged. She sent me a letter in the MTC that said she almost was, but that they weren’t going to for a while because of some problem. That’s lame. As the king’s brother, I should’ve been first in line! So I’m a little funned out from that. Do me a favor and have a bunch of people text her saying that she should’ve told me. A lot of people.

Adam and James being wierd - Hillsboro, OR I was thinking a little about Adam and James coming over in ninja jedi sith thing costumes, and I have to admit, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t they? Seems pretty basic logic to me. And I love that that whole group just kind of snuck into the movie at home. That kind of makes me baggy. I miss stuff like that.

So, what’s with the chimp and the bug? Can we get back to me? First, we had a few major frustrations this week. We’ve had a pretty rough time finding new investigators lately, so we’re running out of them. Being a missionary apparently means you lose a lot of people. But we were teaching this one lady named Delmis. She had met with the missionaries for years and years, but told us that she never got baptized because she got offended and stopped coming to church. So we were working with her for five, six, seven weeks trying to get her to come back so she could be baptized. Then, on Thursday, we went over and she had completely changed. She said she knew she had to come back to church, and that she had left the old stuff behind her. She even told us that a few days before we found her she had had a dream with us in it, where we came and Missionary Christmas Tree started leading us down a straight and narrow path. Cool, right? We thought so too. Until we found out she was baptized in 2004. Gah! And to top it off, she didn’t come to church yesterday. Brilliant.

We were also teaching this man named Ruban, who has been out of work for a few months because his arm got stuck in a tiling machine and broke in six places. It’s apparently rather painful. But he and his wife were sweet. He especially really wanted to learn and know if what we were telling him was true. Then, last week, we went over to talk to him and he had a friend over. The friend just kept trying to Bible bash us, but with stupid things. Like "If Joseph Smith was really a prophet, how does he fit into the parable of the great dinner?" Well, since that has absolutely nothing to do with prophets of any kind, it’s hard to answer that. But the next time we went over, this week, Ruban’s whole attitude had changed. He told us he wouldn’t pray about the Book of Mormon because only the Bible can be the word of God. And he threw out some scriptures for us, like the one in Revelations. Clearly he talked to this friend too much. But super frustrating. We’re planning a lesson right now that’s just focused on answering all these questions.

Bishop Retana's FamilyWe were supposed to have some correlations with our ward mission leader and orient all the ward missionaries so they can start into the sweet ward mission plan we have. Nobody showed up. Nobody. That’s about all there is to say about that.

On Thursday we had a meeting in San Salvador. That was pretty sweet, actually. Good times. We learned a lot, and it was fun to see a lot of these missionaries there. I’m starting to get to know a lot more of them. I didn’t see Elder Duzzett, though. It was only with half the mission. Apparently he’s far away. And I hear just after he got here he baptized a family of five. Figures.

David and Elder Wardlow with the Retana family The good, though, was that we found a new investigator this week. One. But I think he may get baptized pretty soon. This month, if we can manage it. He already had a Book of Mormon, and had kind of studied it a bit, even though he can’t read too well. And he’s in super humble circumstances. And actually half crazy. But he really has a desire to follow Christ, and has a lot of faith. We challenged him to baptism in the first lesson, and he not only accepted, he stopped the lesson so that he could pray to find out if it was right. That’s cool. And then he came to church yesterday, and he loved it. I hope he makes it. He’s a really just nice guy that’s been through too much.

So that’s my week. Sorry if it sounded sad. I didn’t write it in a sad way, that’s just what happened. I’m actually in a pretty good mood. I love being out here and working for the Lord. There’s some pretty sweet times out here. There’s a lot of not so sweet ones, but still a lot of sweet ones.

I don’t even think I have time to respond to everything you guys did this week. It sounded super busy. I realized at some point this week that everyone is getting ready for Christmas there, and that you probably already had the tree. It was kind of weird, because here the only thing that reminds me that Christmas is coming up is that people throw stupidly loud fireworks at 3am that make it impossible to sleep.Some random dogs

Hey, cool story. The showerhead I bought broke a while back, so we kept having to fix it and stuff. It was kind of ghetto, but worked. But last week it caught on fire and melted. There go our hot showers. But I’m getting used to the cold again.

As for pictures this week, I uploaded a few of our little tree. It’s a little sad, but we’re White trees missionaries, so we’re almost never home anyway. I also took a bunch of scenic pictures, and a few of a couple white trees that Elder Wardlow and I spent some time to throw rocks at one day since we were frustrated. And there’s a picture of some random dogs. And a lot of these random metal sculpture things. Random metal sculpture thing People make those a lot, and there’s a good six or seven giant metal sculptures of Christ on the cross, and they’re more creepy than anything else. I’ll get pictures of those next time.

Alright, I hope you all keep doing great. Christmas sounds like a blast, and I’m kind of baggy now, but it’s great that you’re all enjoying it. Thanks for fasting for us, too. I’ll be more than happy to get those blessings, but hopefully I can send some back your way, too. I love you all!

Elder David Arrington

Follow up: And I forgot to mention that some of the pictures are of a birthday party we  had for Bishop Retana’s wife, which was fun. And Bishop Retana is the old bishop who is now our ward mission leader. And I sent a picture of my scripture markers because they’re running out, so you could send me more of this same kind (maybe a couple) for Christmas. Just if you want to, and you haven’t sent me anything yet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week 15 in Atiquizaya – Spiders…so everyday.

This week David gets news of the BYU/Utah game.  Sometimes you don’t quite win the game.  Same is true of missionary work.  Sometimes it’s hard.  Really hard.

Subject: “You sure? Because it looks like he´s...Leaning.”

NOOOO!!! I was so stoked to hear that BYU had another sweet win over Utah, but alas, my hopes and dreams were shattered. Thanks a lot, Utah. But it sounded like an awesome game. I wish I had seen it!

Okay, I have some logistical things to mention first. I have, over the last week, pulled out forty dollars from the checking account I have, and I want to explain it. One of my goals for my mission was to go the entire two years without pulling money out of that account until I wanted to buy something expensive, like a hammock. But last week I had 94 cents to buy food this week, pay for transportation, sending letters, and whatever else I needed to buy. Not good. So I pulled out twenty bucks, but found out that my account had received a reimbursement for one of our bills. So I had fifteen dollars. Then we went to get food, and I was talking to this guy in the line, and he was super nice and stuff. We talked for a while because the lady in front of us took forever, and when I had rang up my stuff, he just paid for my food. I was like, wha?? He just said don’t worry about it, and left. Imagen 006Sweet blessings. So I still have yet to use that twenty dollars I pulled out. But then today we were all expecting to get this month’s allowance, so to speak, but we didn’t. And I only have twenty cents now. So I had to go pull out another twenty, because we couldn’t go home first. So There you go. I’m trying super hard to manage my money, but this time it just didn’t work.

Also, Steven looks really tall in the picture that Dad sent me. Is that because he’s standing in front of super-short mom, or has he grown a bit?

I am uploading more pictures, and I’ll try out that new login. This week’s theme, I think, is "Random Animals that Shouldn’t be There". I just saw a lot of random animals this week, so I took some pictures. And these animals were in random places. Imagen 011 For example, the sheep are just in the middle of the road. The goats are in front of somebody’s house in a completely non-rural area. The crab just shouldn’t be there. They don’t exist here. The gecko is normal, actually, but it’s eating a spider, so that’s cool. Imagen 009 And I didn’t get a picture of it, but there’s some people who live close by that always just have a monkey tied up outside. I don’t know why. I guess, why wouldn’t you have a monkey outside?

This  week was a hard week. I’m not going to lie, the mission is really hard. Really hard. And this last week we just had no success. Imagen 013Nobody was home, we lost investigators, our church attendance dropped by almost thirty (in a ward of only a hundred or so), and things were just rough. There was a point where we literally just sat on the curb and cried. Yeah, I’m a baby. But that’s a really sad feeling, when you’re working as hard as you can and feel like you’re failing your calling. And we just didn’t know what to do to fix it.

There was a few highlights, though. First of all, the family that I randomly contacted last week when Elder Wardlow was kind of down are sweet. We’ve taught them a few times, and the husband especially is really interested. They’ve read parts of the Book of Mormon and have been praying, and the husband and his son, Jonathan, came to church yesterday. That’s an incredible feeling. Imagen 029I really, really hope they keep progressing. I already love the family. Also, we finally found out that this one lady we were teaching hasn’t been wanting to get baptized because she doesn’t have a testimony. Well that would’ve been nice to know sooner, but now we know what we need to work on.

Last night we had Thanksgiving dinner, and there’s some pictures of it. The bishop of the other ward here sponsored it, and it was actually really good. We all got stuffed, which wasn’t hard since our stomachs have shrunk a ton, but it was super fun. And good. In the last picture I uploaded I’m on the left Imagen 035 in the back, then Elder Sutton that has one less change than me. He’s Elder Winter’s new comp in Santa Ana. They came back for this because some girl that Elder Winters had been teaching wanted him to baptize her yesterday. Sweet. Then it’s Elder Hardy, who I live with, and has the same amount of time as me. Then Elder Marroquin, from Sucre. Next row is Elder Gonzales, who is comps with Elder Hardy. Then Elder Campos, comps with Elder Marroquin, and Elder Winters. Laying across their laps is the Bishop, who we all call El Tigre. He’s super funny. The Bishop’s Mom is on the right, and Elder Wardlow is front and center.Imagen 038
Also, some other good news is that Will, Henry’s brother, is getting out of prison today! He’s sweet, and we’ve missed him ever since he got picked up by the blood red van. I want to go visit him soon to say hi. Henry apparently will take a little more time, but we still pray for him. Last I heard, Will’s wife gave them both a Book of Mormon, and they’ve been reading it. Will’s already a member of course, but it’s still great. I really want to be here when Henry gets out so he can finally get baptized!

I feel like I’m really getting used to living here. The other day I pulled out my shoes to put them on, and there was a spider and a spider web in one of them. So I pulled them out and put the shoe on. It was no big deal. And then later Elder Wardlow and I were just sitting on the couch and this spider about the size of my thumb started crawling across the room. So we watched it. And that was it. Things just feel normal now. And I’ve gotten pretty good at killing mosquitoes, by the way. There’s plenty of opportunities to practice.

Alright, time to wrap this up. I’ll throw in another little cultural thing really fast, just so you can all get a little better idea of what it’s like. The houses here are all built together. There’s no room in between, so it all kind of looks like one continuous building. When people want to start a store or something, they just do it in their own house. So, consequently, there are a ton of places where you can just walk up to someone’s door and it’s a little shop inside. You stand at the door and tell the person what you want, and they give it to you. Cool beans. And it’s sweet, because they’re everywhere, and they sell bags of chips and stuff for ten cents. And chocolate-covered bananas. And ice cold bags of water. Oh, that’s something else weird here. Everything is in bags. Salsa, milk, butter, water, everything. If you go to buy a soda, they give you the bottle unless it’s a glass bottle. Those are worth a lot, so they just pour the soda in a bag with a straw for you to drink out of. It’s kind of quirky, but fun.

Thanks again for all the updates. It sounds like the trip to the everglades was sweet, and the trip to Arizona was relaxing. The football games were a little lame, but it was still good to hear about. I’ll try to work super hard so I can have some sweet stuff to report next week. Keep doing interesting stuff and telling me about it, by the way.

I love you all!
Elder David Arrington

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 14 in Atiquizaya – All better now!

So, we’re past the Dengue—um and it’s not Malaria—it’s apparently just similar.  Think Santa Claus.

Great missionary experiences this week including a David and Goliath movie, a wonderful finding and teaching experience, and the realization that we’re really spoiled.

Subject:  Oh, right. Of course it’s always about YOU, isn’t it?

I’d be a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins if I didn’t say something about little Darci first, so here it goes. Hi, Darci. Nice to meet you. You don’t know me, and can at this point probably care less about me than chewing on your hand, so I’ll just get to know you in nineteen months. Actually, eighteen and a half. Wow the time moves fast.

Stacey and Kyle, congratulations! I’m super excited about  my new niece, and that last picture really does remind me of Tarzan. Weird. Definitely fits in your family. Not that you look like Tarzan, but you get the idea.

So let me reassure you all of something. First, I never had Malaria. I had Dengue. I said it was kind of similar to Malaria. So I guess, in a way, I’m LIKE Santa Claus. We’re both giving, we’re both jolly, and we both work really hard, one day a year. Apparently Kyle knows what Dengue is, so ask him about it. Basically all that happened was that I got super sick for a few days. But I’m better now, and have been out working for a couple days. But not very many days, because just as I was getting over it, my comp got the same thing. That’s lame.

Let me say something else kind of lame really fast. Some of the Elders here don’t act like Elders, and it’s very, very frustrating. Me and a bunch of other people are all working hard trying to serve the Lord, and some people are just here goofing around, being super disobedient, not caring about what they represent.DSCN1956 I honestly don’t trust some of these guys. A few of them have stolen things from me, including significant amounts of money and some of my belongings, which I’ve had to fight to get back. I still don’t even have them all, but I will. So that’s super sad that some people are like that out here. Also super sad: my cheap watch broke. And the watch that I couldn’t get the back on is still broken. And the other watch is one of the things that was stolen, so I don’t have a watch right now. How lame is that? And how lame is it that I can’t trust people who have been called and set apart to represent Jesus Christ? Okay, enough sad stuff.

DSCN1949 I attached some pictures of a few things, and I feel like I should explain them. First, the president wanted us to go make some videos as a zone so we can watch them at Christmas. Our zone (while I was gone) decided to make one about David and Goliath. I got a role as one of David’s brothers. So I’m in like two scenes, but that’s cool. So there’s pictures of me in costume and such. You might all get a kick out of that. But when we went to film, we were trying to go up to the top of this big hill, but there was a river that ended in a waterfall that stopped us. It was an incredible waterfall. I don’t think you can tell how far of a drop it was because of the angle, but I tried getting a video, too. But the ZLs got us out of there pretty fast, because water is controlled by the devil, and evidently being where you can see it isn’t good. That’s a little harsh, but seriously that’s why we couldn’t stay there.

So that was cool. I also had a cool experience I wanted to share. I’ve actually had a couple similar to this, but this is the first time I’ve remembered to share it. So first of all, we had interchanges with Turin, so I went and worked there for a day. When I got back the DSCN1946next morning, Elder Wardlow and I went out to work. He hadn’t really planned the day very well, so we had a gap in the evening. We decided we should go contacting, so we did. He was also feeling a little sick still, so he was just kind of following me. When we got to the end of this one street, he got kind of complainy, which is okay because he was sick, but he said that he just didn’t feel guided at all, and that we weren’t doing anything. He sat on the curb to think, and I just kind of stood there. And then I remembered a talk by Elder Bednar where he told us that a lot of times we sit and wait to be under the influence of the spirit, but really if we’re sitting and waiting we’re not under the influence of the spirit. So I just told Elder Wardlow to get up, and I just kind of started walking. I had no idea where, or what I was doing, or anything. But I was praying while I was doing it. We ended up passing this little mini cul-de-sac (It’s a French word meaning the bottom of something, but I don’t remember what) [that’d be “bottom of the bag”--editor] that we had never visited before. Technically, I’m not even sure if it’s in our area. Or anybody’s area. But I just kind of walked up to the first house I saw, and we contacted it. As it turns out, a lady lived there named Delmi, with her 8 year old son. We started talking to her, and she invited us in. Just then, her husband, Antonio, got home. We ended up teaching them both, and they were totally into the lesson. They said they’ve been going to a few churches, but none of them really felt right, so they haven’t joined one. They could easily accept the gospel, and we’re going to fight for them, because they were totally great. Isn’t the spirit fun?

Once again, thanks for all your support. The letters this week were fun, and I’m super excited for the BYU game this week. I can’t wait to hear about it! And to hear about how Darci is doing! And how the family in general is doing! I love knowing what you’re all up to. Steven, I’m glad you’re done being sick. Sick is stupid. And Michael, work is sweet, isn’t it? To all of the girls: Have your babies already! I’m really in an I-have-new-nieces-and-nephews mood right now, so get on that. Emily, your lack of pregnancy is a valid excuse, I suppose, but the rest of you... Mom, I don’t know how you do something so repetitive like those negatives. However you do it, you’re amazing. Dad, the concert sounded sweet, and I’m jealous. I want to go to another one of their concerts when I get back. And good luck on your home teaching. That’s important stuff, you know. Have fun in Arizona, I guess.

By the way, you’re all super spoiled. We’re super rich in the USA, and we forget that sometimes. I don’t think I’ve seen a house here other than ours that is bigger than our family room. Maybe with the kitchen attached. They’re like boxes. And you know how missionaries don’t want to leave their country? I don’t think I’ll have that problem. I’ll be ready to go back to spoiled. Just so you know.

Thanks again, and I love you all. Especially you, Darci!

Elder David Arrington

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 13 in Atiquizaya – Dengue strikes (Salvadoran Malaria)!

Well, there you go.  David’s been pretty sick with the Dengue/Malaria thing.  I have to admire his tenacity, though.  He’s never really been a complainer when he’s been sick, and this appears to be the case here.  He still went out to work a couple times.  Even in his letter, Dengue is the second item that he mentions.  Harry Potter is first….

So first, I have a question: Did Harry Potter 7 come out there? I’m pretty sure it’s out here, and nobody has said anything about it there, but I saw a little TV mini trailer thing about it and it looked good. I’m jealous.

Remember how I always say that there’s not much to report with the work here or anything? This week it is probably more true than at any other point in my mission.

So last Monday I was feeling sick. I mentioned I think that I felt achy or something. When I got home, I rested, but I had a fever of over 102 and my head was killing me. The next day I had sweat like a monkey and the fever had dropped to normal, but in an hour or two it was back up to 102 and I was all achy and nasty. It was pretty awful. The next day, the same thing happened, but they decided that they wanted me to go get an exam done to figure out if there was a bigger problem. They weighed me, measured me, got a urine sample, blood tests, the whole works, and just so you all know it was free because it was government healthcare. Normally I’m against that, but I guess because I’m American, or an Elder, I got rushed to the front of every line and had a personal nurse-guy walk me through everything. He also happened to be a member, so that was sweet.

So the tests came back later that day that I had Dengue, which I guess is the El Salvador equivalent of Malaria. I got my blood sucked by a mosquito that had it, so I got it. There’s not really a cure for it, but it makes you super sick and you have to wait it out for a week or so. Also, because of this thing my blood platelet count had dropped to 138,000, which is below normal and a little dangerous. So I was told I couldn’t work, and had to come in in two days, Friday, to get another test done. I would have gone Thursday, but we had to go to San Salvador so I could sign a paper and get fingerprinted and such (second time, now) so I could be here legally. Also, I forgot to mention that in addition to Dengue I apparently have a minor urinary infection. That sounds fun.

Friday the tests came back worse. My blood platelets had dropped to 106,000, and if they dropped below 100,000 I’d have to be hospitalized. That’s not fun. They told me to rest again, which I did, but I managed to sneak out one night to teach a lesson because Elder Wardlow couldn’t find someone for divisions.

By the way, the entire time this was happening our phone didn’t work, because the bill was super high and not our fault so the office said they’d pay it for us, which they didn’t do and they shut our phone off. That makes it hard to call people to do divisions with you.
Saturday I had to go to another lab since the public one was closed, and they charged me $6. My platelet count came back as 404,000, which doesn’t make any sense at all, so the mission nurse had me try a different lab. They only charged me $3, and they came back as 150,000. So there you go. If you want to be healthier, you really do just have to pay your doctors more.

DSCN1928 Since 150,000 was the low parameter of the healthy range, I was told I could work on Sunday if I felt up to it. I didn’t, but I did anyway. Absolutely nobody was there. We walked around our entire area countless times, and got nobody. Finally we stopped in for an 8:00 appointment with Jorge, this guy that is on the point of baptism. He said he wants to be baptized, but doesn’t want to set a date to pressure him. He’ll just tell us when he’s ready. That’s lame, but it was his birthday, so we ate cake. I sent pictures of it, by the way.

So there you go. I didn’t work for six days this week. And I may head over to get another exam done today because I still don’t feel good. But hey, I’m completely used to getting blood drawn, now. I used to hate that. Now it’s almost fun. But it’s painful, instead. I don’t think I should mix up those sensations.

One day, though, this lady in the Atiquizaya ward invited us over and fed us a ton, so that was sweet. And while we ate she put on the church’s version of Beauty and the Beast, which was really not very well made, but it was fun. I think I liked it because it’s the first full-length movie I’ve seen in a month. (We watched Johnny Lingo as a zone a month or so ago).

And, actually, I guess I saw almost all of National Treasure 2 on a bus to San Salvador, so that might count, too.

DSCN1909As for the customs, not much is different from what I’ve been telling you all. Or not telling you all. One thing that’s kind of weird, though, is that they have different hand signs to show you how tall something is. Or how big something is. For example, if you say that a person is yay tall, like the cat on the picture below, nobody has any idea what you mean. Instead, your hand has to be vertical with the fingers curled in, making some sort of bear claw looking thing. THAT’s how tall they are. But only people. Horizontal hand, like we do in the states, is for plants and other post-like things. Sideways hand, like you’re about to shake someone’s hand, is for how tall animals are. The picture of the hand holding the apple, minus the apple, is how you show how big fruit is. The upside down version is how big a chicken or bird is. Like I said, it’s a little much, but it’s funny.

So there’s my El Salvadoran culture tidbit for the day. I hope you all enjoyed it. And to try to answer one or two questions I remember, yeah, the other Elders are great. We get along really well, and I’ve gotten to know a lot from my zone and other zones. By the way, look up the blog of Elder Heaps, who is in this mission. Emily sent it to me or something, back before I came out. He’s a sweet guy, as it turns out, and he was in the zone next to us for a few changes. On his blog, though, there’s a picture of him and another elder with a really fat little kid and a sombrero or something. That other elder is Elder Wardlow. Crazy.

DSCN1892And yes, stupid things continue in the house. Elder Winters is gone, now, so things are more quiet with Elder Hardy, who came in the same time I did. However, before Elder Winters left he got our door jammed to the bathroom and Elder Wardlow had to climb out a really tiny window up next to the ceiling. That was super funny.

What other pictures did I send? Some of Jorge’s birthday party, and some scenic ones. Also, some from last week that I don’t think actually went up. DSCN1902That giant yellow thing is a lemon. Crazy, the fruit here.

Thanks again for all of your love and support. I still love reading your emails, and although I’m a little disappointed that I don’t get to see my niece for a week, that’ll do, Stacey. That’ll do.

I look forward to whatever else you all feel like emailing me about.

And I love you all!

Elder David Arrington

PS: My comp believes that in the Millennium, we won’t have money. There won’t be any business or competition, either. If somebody needs something, people will just go out and make it for them. Where does this guy get off? You can all tear up this topic, too. It’s a little more easy than the Satan one.

PPS: I love my comp, so don’t think I’m bashing him. But really, where does he get off?

PPPS: I got an email today saying that the president wants us to send more colorful and fun-fonted emails. Um, okay.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 12 in Atiquizaya – Not feeling well!

This email kind of surprised me in that it arrived a little earlier than most.  I think that might be related to the time change.  In fact, I was still writing a message to David, like I do most Monday mornings, when his arrived.

Sadly David is pretty sick.  Hopefully that won’t last long.  I’ve been through that as a missionary, too. It is not fun.

This email begins with the subject:  “Wow.  I guess I’m in trouble” presumably because we pressed him for some answers.  So often when we ask questions he never seems to respond to our questions.  Lots of answers this time, though! 

Honestly when I’ve been writing I’ve completely forgotten about the questions you guys ask. But before I delve into there, let me just assure you all that I had absolutely no idea whose cookies were whose, so that’s a fair win for Sarah. And Mom, I love your molasses cookies, so don’t even joke about not sending me more.

Alright. I just remembered you guys asking about my watch, so I’ll tell that story really fast. In the MTC I always wore the second watch we bought right before I left, and it was great. I love that watch. But then the battery died, and I took the back off to replace it, and the back of that thing is completely impossible to put back on. It just won’t fit how it should. So there you go. That one doesn’t work. So I was going to use the other one we got, which I did for a few days, and then a few of my district elders went out and bought these really cheap watches from the bookstore, almost as a joke. Most of them literally lasted less than a day or two. Elder Millett bought four of them and all of them broke within two days. Seriously cheap. So I bought one, and it’s lasted me half of the MTC and two changes out here. So really I’m only using it until it finally breaks.

So Mom, yeah go ahead and vote for me. I kind of forgot to say that. But the temple should be dedicated sometime next year. We don’t know when, but we just heard something about the prophet saying it needs to be bigger and better, so they have to take the angel Moroni off and put it back on later. When the prophet wants something done...

So things over here have been fairly quiet. Like I said, we had a few meetings in San Salvador last week, which we do every once in a while, which means a two hour bus ride. Not incredibly ideal, but we do it. We had one more this week. It was good. We learned a lot that we’ve been applying in our lessons, and we’ve been noticing a difference.

As far as our investigators go, things aren’t great. We haven’t been able to actually talk to the ones that we thought were positive, and we’re not making much progress with the other ones. I think more than anything we just need to find more people. We have been walking from appointment to appointment all day without talking to more than two or three people, sometimes. Just nobody is there. However, we are teaching a lady named Carmen whose entire family are members, and a man named Rafael with the same situation, and we really want to get them ready for baptism. This month our goal is two baptisms. That may sound low, but it’s more than I’ve ever gotten in a month, and that’s how many we need to reach the zone goal. We’ll do it, though, if we work hard.

By the way, changes came in last night. I’m staying here with Elder Wardlow, and Elder Gonzalez is, too. Elder Winters is heading to Santa Ana, though, and that’s really sad. He’s a great guy. Crazy, but great. It’ll be weird not having him around. Also, this probably means that I’ll get changed next time, which will stink because changes are three days before Christmas. So I’ll be in a brand new area for the holidays. That’ll be rough.

Alright, I’m running out of things to say. I am sick. Like, really sick. I probably won’t be able to go out and work today, and maybe tomorrow. Hopefully, though, I’ll get over this fever fast so I can get back to work.

Thanks again for everything. I love reading your emails and seeing pictures and stuff. Which reminds me; Michael, you’re a stud. You look good. And I mean real good. Keep it up.

And as for the rest of you, I expect you’re all looking good as well. Thanks for the notes you send me every week. They really are exciting to read. And did you guys realize that I’m less than one change away from being a fourth of the way through my mission? Crazy.

Thanks again, and I love you all!
Elder David Arrington

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week 11 – A Bit of Positive Progress

This week David quotes a couple movies, though I’m not sure why.  And apparently he says he like’s Sarah’s cookies best.  Mom will never make him cookies again….

Subject of this week’s email:  “*sigh*. How’s it goin’ tire.”

Well this week went pretty dang fast. Really, there’s one more week in this change. That’ll be my second change done, which means about three months in the field. Really, that’s fast.

First, let me say that all holidays here are completely disappointing. Halloween exists here, but it was basically two or three kids running around in masks asking everyone for candy. Seriously, only two or three kids. And for some reason everyone likes to throw fireworks all the time, so that’s what most of the kids did. Except when I say fireworks, I mean those ones that you buy and look like a tank or something and then you’re all excited to set it off and it does something stupidly small for like two seconds and you feel ripped off. That’s all the fireworks they have here. Really it’s pathetic, and it’s funny because the kids don’t believe us when we tell them that they’re small fireworks. We also do have a day called the day of the dead, but it’s on November 2, which is tomorrow. Basically everyone just goes to the cemetery to decorate graves, and since everyone goes there, people set up shops there. And since the cemetery is on the end of our street, it’s hard to get home because there’s tons of little stands set up. I’ll have to send pictures next week. I don’t have any from this week. Sorry!

“You were supposed to be a colossus. You were this great legendary thing! And yet he gains.”

I couldn’t find a good spot for that, so there it is.

Stacey said something about my English deteriorating, and I’m a little surprised. I felt kind of bad because I thought I hadn’t deteriorated at all, and you would all be mad, but maybe I’m just not noticing. Sweet. I’ve been dreaming in Spanish, though, which is cool. Actually it’s in English and Spanish. Like we switch mid sentence, which is funny because that’s what I do with the gringo elders.

By the way, the keyboard I’m using is awful, so if this is short, that’s why.

So in just about every email I got I heard about Mom scrapbooking. I guess that’s big. Congrats, Mom! It sounds like fun, and you’ll have to send me some samples so I know what you’re up to.

I also heard a bunch that my Facebook is all safe and sound, which I’ll trust you on, but it’s weird. I can’t get on Facebook, because there’s rules against that, but I had another member search for me and they couldn’t find me, and I had them look up Sarah and search her friends and I wasn’t there either, so I figured you just erased me. Weird. Maybe I’ll have to have them check again.

“Goodnight Wesley. Sleep well. Good work. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

Alright. This last week was rough again. We ended up not teaching a ton of lessons because we had some meetings in San Salvador again, which were fun. We kept losing investigators, too. Like one of them is the friend of the sister of a recent convert, and she’s been looking for a church, and she was super involved in our lessons, and we could feel the spirit, and she had been reading and everything, and at the end of our last lesson with her she was just like, “Oh, and my family has kind of forbidden me from talking to you guys again.” Oh. Okay.

On a brighter note, we have been teaching this lady named Carmen, who apparently has been talking to the missionaries for years and nothing ever happened. Her husband is one of the counselors in our bishopric and her kids are all super active in the church, but she never did anything. But on Sunday she came to church, which is sweet because we didn’t even invite her yet. We were going to wait until next week for that one. Sweet. Hopefully we’ll see some progress there and get her family ready to head to the temple.

Oh, and nothing has happened with Henry and Will. I think they had their trial, but they’re still in prison. That’s rough.

And Jorge got super sick and couldn’t be baptized last week, so we’re hoping for this week.

Mostly this last week we’ve been visiting a lot of less active members and part member families, because the President really wants us to baptize families that can go to the temple together, and part member families are perfect for that. We really need more investigators, though.

Oh! I also got a package on Wednesday, and that was sweet. Thanks everyone! I also tried and judged the cookies, and I did it honestly without knowing whose is whose. My favorite ones were the ones that were like perfectly circular and big, and they were peanut-buttery with little chips of something in them, but I don’t know what. Also, Sarah’s were my favorite, in case those weren’t hers... :) But they were all great. And I think all the Pringles are gone already, and I’ve got a massive bag of candy waiting for me when I get home. Sweet.

But just for future reference, if you send me food again, make sure it’s packaged well. There were a few dozen ants I had to kill inside the box. I told you, they’re everywhere here. In fact, I don’t know why, but if we leave the lid off our water jugs they like to climb inside and just swim around or something. Like lemmings.

That’s about all I can think of writing. This week I’ll have some more sweet experiences to tell you all about, so it’ll be good. Oh, and all of you should ask Sarah what I told her to start arguing with you about, because she failed that homework assignment. And the assignment of sending me some kind of info about how to avoid getting fat on my mission, because I think I am. Mom, I figure you’re the expert on that, so send me whatever food eating thing you have.

Alrighty, it’s that time again. Steven, I feel like you’re probably really bored now that football season is over. Oh well. That’s all I have about that. Michael, volleyball is sweet. And it sounds like dad is still keeping you busy. Keep it up. Julie and Dave, you’re getting ready and such, which of course is good, and I’m glad you got the Stacey thing on video. Stacey and Kyle, I can’t believe you’re going to have a baby that soon. That’ll come really, really fast. But be careful. I would hate for Kyle’s schedule to be interfered with. Lindsay and Mike, I hear you’re all split up and Lindsay won’t get off the computer with Mom. That’s ridiculous. But fun, too. And Emily and Dave, I’m glad Halloween was fun and you got to take the girls to that party. It sounds like they had a blast. Mom, I feel like I failed, because your present is still kind of half done. I feel like I want to do it really well, though, because I’ve only got one shot at surprising you with this. Not even Dad or the family knows what it is, so that’s sweet. Just know it’ll come when it’s ready. It may end up being a Christmas gift, though, just because I have no time to do it. Sorry in advance! I feel bad. And Dad, go buy something nice for Mom from me because I feel bad. And thanks, as always, for the updates. And the advice. I’m definitely going to try that more in my life here, and hopefully I will be more successful.

Thanks again everyone! I love you all!

Elder David Arrington

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 10 – More (unfortunate) Gang Action

The reference to Stacey below has to do with the Arrington girls all going to Arizona to surprise Stacey this last weekend.  Great surprise!  Certainly better than finding a tree spider in your apartment…. 

Sorry, Stacey. I’ve got some bad news.

They told me.

Yep. Sorry. Looks like everyone truly did plot against you. If it makes you feel any better, they only told me a couple days before, and I didn’t actually read the email until after they went to surprise you, but I still got something.

I uploaded some pictures, and I wasn’t sure if I did last time so I uploaded one or two from last week. Really fast, I want to explain them. But first, there’s a picture of Imagen 001Will Chavez and his family when we went over for his birthday party last week. He’s Henry Chavez, our infamous investigator’s brother. Will is a member that is just waiting until he can go through the temple with his wife and 3 year old son, so it’s really a great family. They’re super nice people.

Okay, I have to interject a story really fast. For a few days this week the electricity would go out for an hour or so and then come back on. Then it’d go out, then back on. Random. Or, we thought it was. Then one night we heard some loud banging and some gunshots. It turns out that the police had been killing the power so they could go arrest basically all of the gang members in the city. Or at least a lot of them. And the people who live behind us were five or six of them, so what we heard was them getting arrested. I uploaded a couple pictures of a news article describing it, in case you can read Spanish. But the really crazy thing is the picture. Imagen 025 Apparently because Will and Henry have tattoos, which here means they’re part of a gang, they got arrested, too. In the pictures, the guy closest to the camera is Henry, and then to his right is his brother, Will. I think that’s stupid because we were totally going to baptize Henry, and Will’s a great guy, and it’s just stupid. But as it turns out, it’s pretty hard to teach and baptize someone who is in prison.

Let’s see. I also uploaded a bunch of nature-ish pictures we took last Monday, so you have a little bit of a better idea of what this country is like. Also, we caught one of the spiders that are always up in the trees Imagen 020 and power lines and stuff, so there are some pictures of it climbing around on me. Seriously, I see dozens of these things a day, but they’re not poisonous, we think, so it’s okay. Also, I look weird in some of the pictures, but I was seriously cracking up the whole time because the legs tickled, and it kept spinning a web on me.

Imagen 043 Also, there’s a picture of a rock that looks like Oklahoma, so my comp freaked out and took a picture, since that’s where he’s from. So I took one too.

Imagen 006 Okay. Besides what I’ve already mentioned, there wasn’t much that happened. We found a couple new families to teach, which is sweet, but we’ve only taught them once each. I don’t know why, but it’s getting really hard to find people a second time. They’re just never around. We still haven’t baptized Jorge, either, because he really wants his grandma to be okay with it, and she’s not yet. I hope that he’ll decide soon just to do it anyway. He knows it’s true, he just doesn’t want to go against what his family says, which makes sense, but not really at the same time.

As a house, we decided this week to get back on schedule. We had been staying up late talking too much, and getting up late and missing some stImagen 002udying, so we recommitted this week. We did pretty well, actually, and it’s amazing how much more energy I have when I get up early. That doesn’t seem like it would make sense, but it works. Also, I’ve been exercising again in the mornings. Sweet.

Someone just recently told me that they’ve been trying to repress anything that is complaining, either vocal or mental, and I want to try and do that some more. I feel like there are just days here where things are really hard, and the little things my comp or other people do drive me crazy, but really I should let that go and just try and feel the spirit. So I’m going to really try and do that more this week. Just so you all know, I guess.

Oh, that reminded me. We went to go find our recent convert, Herson, and couldn’t find him, so we bought some Chocobananos, which are basically bananas covered in chocolate and nuts, which is super good. And kind of healthy. Imagen 018 But we started talking to the family that sold them, and got invited in to talk to them. I don’t know why it was different than normal, but I really felt the spirit the entire time, and I could just feel the words being put into my mouth. After, I just felt incredible. I decided that I feel really bad for people that don’t go on missions, because they have no idea what that feels like. It’s incredible. That’s what I want for every lesson. The question, then, is why is it not like that every lesson? Is it me, or the investigator? I guess I’ll just have to keep praying and doing my best to be obedient.

Alright, finishing up really fast, thanks again for everything. I think I say that every week, but still, reading your emails is basically my favorite part of the week. That and serving the Lord, of course. Emily and Dave, your week sounds crazy with all the Arizona stuff Imagen 024 and Dave sitting at home with the girls, but it sounds like fun, too. But Dave, don’t give anything away from that book. I’m reading it when I get back, of course. Lindsay and Julie, good work on the Stacey operative thingy. Wow. I need to work on my naming of things. My sentences are digressing. But seriously, sounds way fun. And Michael, I expect to see those senior pics and you looking good in my tux. Steven, keep going with football. It doesn’t surprise me at all to know that you lost the games that you didn’t play in much. You are, after all, the driving force ;) Nice! It just started raining really hard. I love it. And Mom, I know you loved the weekend as well, but I hope you’re enjoying your time at work and home just as much. Dad, thanks for the depressing emails about BYU football. And other things that aren’t sad, I guess. Really, it’s fun to hear what’s going on with everyone.

I’ll try to write down some more details about random stuff in my next email so you can all get an idea of how things really are here. Like Dad said, though, it’s all normal for me since I’m out here, so I can’t really think of anything to write that would be interesting. Oh, but I am definitely getting used to having bugs everywhere.

Thanks again, and have a good week of writing to me!

Elder David Arrington

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 9 – Hot Water Feels GOOD!

The big story this week is that David fixed the shower.  Who would have thought?  Oh, and the iPod arrived.  Now all we need is a picture!

I just really don’t know what to say about this week. Not very eventful. Oh, wait, I just remembered stuff.

First of all, I’ve been keeping my journal faithfully every day for my entire mission, and since I’m OCD about a few things, I wanted to have the same looking journals for all of my mission. So I figured out how many I’d need, and bought five in the MTC. I’m almost done with one. However, I also want to keep using the same kind of pen for the whole thing, because the ink looks a certain way, and I like it, but all six of my pens are just about dead. So the last few days I’ve had to rotate through the pens one at a time writing only a few words before the ink would run out. I need to buy myself some new pens. Sorry, that story was lame.

Here’s one that’s not, though! I HAVE HOT WATER!!! Yeah, that’s no less than THREE exclamation points. Basically, the house we live in is wired to have a hot water showerhead thingy that heats up the water, and all you have to do is flip the circuit breaker on the wall. But the showerhead we had was all rusted and disintegrated inside, so the heating coil broke. I finally decided to fix it, so I took it to a guy who told me I had to go to Ahuachapan and buy a new inside thingy for it, which would be like eight bucks. And then Elder Gonzalez threw the showerhead away when I wasn’t paying attention. So I just went to a store here and bought a new one for fifteen bucks. Hot. Water. Feels. GOOD. But here’s a riddle for you all to solve: I’ll likely get transferred to a house without this circuitry in the walls and such, so would there be a way to install this in those houses and connect the wiring to a light socket or something? Or maybe have some kind of car battery? That’s a problem you can all work on solving for me.

As for our area, not much has changed. Our investigators haven’t been progressing at all, and we really haven’t been able to find most of them to teach. But we did just find like fifteen new investigators, which is sweet. I hope they turn into something. We were supposed to have a baptism last week, but he didn’t show up for his interview, so we’re hoping for this week. Man this work can be tough. But it’s satisfying, too.

Sorry, that’s about all the interesting stuff that happened this week with our work. It’s mostly just been teaching who we can find, and walking a lot trying to find people. Wow. That sounds rather depressing. But I’m sure this week will go better. We’ve got some pretty sweet plans set up for our new investigators.

Well that’s about all I have time for, now. My ZL’s, who write with us, are pushing me to get off. Oh, really fast, though, I just remembered something rather important: I got my iPod! That was a very, very exciting time for me, let me tell you. I’ve been stoked all week. The music you all put on there was fantastic. Seriously, it’s amazing. I love it! Thank you everyone! And thanks, Dad, I guess, for putting all your Contacts on there? I guess now if I need to get a hold of Bishop Dungan, I can just look up his phone number or email?

Thanks, everyone, for your emails. As always, I loved getting them. I had heard a little about the Chile thing, by the way. A few members here were watching the news while we were over, so I got a little of the story. Crazy stuff. And I saw the football video. Steven, great work. Keep it up, and that coach will have no choice but to play you. And then you’ll get drafted. I didn’t hear much about how work is going for Michael, but I hope you’re still having fun and getting a ton of money from it. It sounds like a great job. Have fun, too. And I don’t have time to personalize something to all of the girls, but I love you all, and your emails always make me LOL out loud. It’s good to hear your lives are good and you’re all preparing for babies or moving back to Utah. And Mom and Dad, your emails are probably the highlight. I think it’s because you’re my parents, but really, they’re great to get. I love you all, and pray for you all the time!

Elder David Arrington