Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 13 in Sonsonate

David is recovering some. That's good, right?

Subject: My name is Phebus. It means "Sun God".

I got a pretty good haul of emails this week, so thank you to everyone that made that possible. I think it was a pretty good group effort, even though a few key people sent me two or three emails. But I got emails from Mom and Dad (they are the most consistant to email me), Julie, Sarah, Dave DeRurange, Lindsay, the bank, the office, President Cordon, and Brian (Oliverson, that is). I had a total of 14 emails. Not bad! But that's also why I'm emailing so late. I had to split my email time in half so I could eat pizza with a few people.

First, since everyone has clearly been on the edge of their seat for it, let me put all of your minds at ease. The situation (code-named "Shot through the heart, and Sarah's to blame. She gives love a bad name." (That could be a song! I call dibs, Bon Jovi!)) has been completely cleared up. Well, really nothing has changed as far as the actual situation, but I feel much, much better about it. I realized throughout the week that what happened happened, and now I can move on. The worst part was me thinking about all the memories and such that I felt had suddenly gone to waste, and then I realized that I will now get to relive, in a way, a lot of those moments with somebody new. And yeah, I was with Sarah for four years, but I plan on being with my future wife for a tiny bit longer than that, so eventually I will have more memories with whoever she is than I have now with Sarah. Unless by some strange happenstance that actually does end up being Sarah, which would make that last statement some kind of paradox. The point is, God has promised me some dang good things, so I'm just going to go ahead and trust that He knows what He's doing. As one of the apostles said in his talk, "God always keeps His word."

But now the part that's scary: I have to find another girl. That means I have to date girls. Girls are scary. That's going to be really weird when I get back. It's really weird now. Maybe I'll just not think about it too much until I get home. That worked so well for my career path. "Hey, Elder Arrington! What are you going to study when you get home?" "I don't know, but I've got two years before I have to worry about that!" Two years later I still have no idea.

Speaking of schooling, I have to say that it was a very interesting experience to read, "Hey, you have to start thinking about the classes you're going to sign up for." and then almost immediately afterward read, "We attached your schedule for fall semester. Looks like you've got some good classes!" That being said, I'm pretty happy with the schedule that I have. Here's a few things I noticed, though. First of all, I have to get up and get to class by 8:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dang it. I know that's not a bad thing, but still. I guess I'll get out of classes earlier, which is good. I'm not exactly sure what a couple of the classes are, but I'll trust that things will be good. But what's with Spreadsheet skills? That seems like something that would be really easy, and that I probably learned just in my time as a secretary here. I'm sure it's more interesting than that and will teach me some good stuff, though, so I'm alright with the class, but I also noticed that it's at four in the afternoon. Seems a little random to me. So I'll either have to go home and find something to do for several hours (which of course means I'll be studying and doing other responsible things), have a closeby job that doesn't mind me working three hour shifts, or I'll just have to hang around campus for five hours. Which will probably result in studying in the library, playing the piano at the hfac, or maybe scouting out a couple other classes I might be interested in. Those aren't bad things, either, of course, and would probably help me in the long run, but it's just something I noticed. Overall, good work family. The only suggestions that I would have had would have been maybe one fun class like bowling or golf, maybe a music class, and maybe one of the classes I had to withdraw from earlier (not my fault. I'll explain those later).

Yeah, and as far as my grades go, I would just like to say that the mission has changed me. I have repented. And I was planning on maybe retaking one of those classes, but the retake policy changed while I've been on my mission, so now the grade averages out with the old one, instead of replacing it. They had allowed a year on the old policy to give people a chance to retake anything they wanted to before the change, but I was on my mission during that year, so it hardly helps. Does anyone know if I will be able to retake classes as an RM during my first year back with the old retake policy? I doubt it, but it would be good to know.

Also, let's all remember that if the minimum weren't good enough, it wouldn't be the minimum. I'm just saying.

The last thing I was going to mention about school after the mission was housing. Elder Packard and I have talked a lot about rooming together after the mission, and as far as I know that's still the plan. The only problem is that I'm pretty sure he isn't going to cut his mission to make it in time for fall semester, which means that won't happen until winter semester. We were planning on rooming at Raintree, though, since he lived there before and we both know it pretty well. It's a little off campus, but the walk isn't terrible. We made it a lot while we were there. Though it might be good to invest in a bus pass, should I live there. I don't know if you have to sign me up this week, but if you do, that's what I'd decide. I did just send an email to Elder Packard, though, to see if he is still planning on rooming after the mission (we've talked about it a ton, so I doubt it would have changed in the last few weeks), and if he is actually going to come back for fall semester or winter semester. He probably has already written today, though, so he won't be able to tell me until next week, so I won't be able to tell you until next week if he is going to room with me fall semester or not. I guess you could try talking to one of his parents, though. They might know what he's planning on doing. If I have to be signed up for housing this week, though, my choice would be Raintree and a bus pass, with a space saved for Elder Packard until next Monday when we know for sure if he's going to be back for fall semester. Unless you'd have to pay to keep a spot reserved for a week.

Wow. Normally I'm supposed to email about my mission and stuff, huh? Sorry. You got me thinking about college and such. That's going to be crazy.

Back to real life, though, aka the mission, this week wasn't a fantastic one. I feel fantastic, and conference, of course, was fantastic, but the numbers sagged a bit. We only had one investigator in all of the conference sessions. Not one per session, one total. His name is Eli, and we had only taught him once and were super excited about him because within five minutes of talking to him (literally) we had put a baptismal date for April 15. However, we just found out that since he's 14 (even though he looks like he's 17 or 18) he needs 8 attendences, which means he can't get baptized until May. Lame. He had a friend, though, named Jason, that we taught with him. They both had the date for the 15, and since Jason's mom is a member (less active... for now!) he only needs 3 attendences. So we only have to change his date to the 22 (he had already told us that he couldn't go to conference this weekend, but we thought he only needed two attendences, so we had put the 15 as the date).

This week I also changed from hair gel to hair cream. I'm pretty happy with it. It doesn't hold my hair in place quite as well as gel, though it does a good enough job, but it keeps my hair soft and silky. I like it. It's better than crunchy hair. In case you were all wondering.

And before I forget, I uploaded a few pictures. They are of a few baptisms (Christopher, the twenty one year old, and Saul, the eleven year old) and some other stuff. The picture of the old guy getting baptized with a bunch of us there is a guy that got baptized after one of the Saturday sessions. We missionaries were the only ones that were there for it (and a member of Santa Emilia's bishopric), but it was a super fun service. Elder Brown did the baptizing, and the guy was really pretty clueless during the whole thing. And he had to get baptized five or six times because he wouldn't go all the way under the water. But he's awesome, and it was a great service. Honestly it was probably the funniest baptismal service I've ever been to, while still remaining spiritual. There's also a picture of me running through the streets. I was attempting a picture of me running through a flock of hundreds of pigeons, but right before my comp took the picture a bus passed by and scared most of them away. Lame. There's still like two in the picture. And the last picture is a cathedral that is here in Sonsonate. Me and my comp think that it looks exactly like the It's a Small World ride from Disneyland, so I snagged a picture. The church says "Our lady of the angels" or something like that above the door. I don't know if it's the name of the church or what, but there it is. Also, it might be referring to a lady from Los Angeles. I don't know. It would make sense, since I have yet to meet someone in this country who does not have at least one family member in the states (generally in Los Angeles, which 90% of the population believes is a state, not a city).

I am horribly out of time. My bad. I've been talking about nothing for most of this email. I hope that's a sign that I'm doing better, though, because I really am. We may have to drop a few of the investigators that we have, though, since they have stopped progressing and are making excuses. Juan Carlos, though, is still super positive. He and his wife were going to get married and he was going to get baptized, but then they decided that, since they don't even like each other anymore and Flor doesn't want to give up the US residency she's about to get, they are just going to seperate. So one day, while Juan Carlos was at work, Flor grabbed almost all of her clothes and left. And that's the last anyone has heard of her. It doesn't seem like her, but at the same time it does. What really baffled me, though, is that she left Aaron, their one year old son. It's a crazy world we live in. Juan Carlos wasn't even that hurt about it at all. And as sad as all of that was, it means that he now has absolutely nothing between him and baptism. Nothing except church attendences, that is. And since it is no longer a family that we're completing, he needs two more. So his date is now for the 15 as well.

That's all I have time for right now. Next week I'll try to stay more on topic. I hope you're all doing well, though, and that you all have a great week! I'll try to do the same here, of course!

Elder David Arrington

PS: Special thanks go out once again to Dad and Mom for their great emails, Julie for her hillarious pictures, and Dave for his completely unexpected, but very good, first email to me. It only took you 21 months! Also, Brian and Sarah sent some pretty good emails. Brian's was especially hillarious. There was evidently a mission reunion with President Lopez that he went to with a bunch of RMs from here, and I'm super super jealous.

PPS: I almost forgot! Yes, we did see Elder Archaletta (how the heck do you spell that?) in the Saturday afternoon conference. According to what President Cordon's daughters (who were watching the session in English with us) gossiped to us, he's going to a mission in Chile, but nobody knows more than that. Most of my district in the MTC went to various missions in Chile. Cool.

PPPS: I put that last PS first because this one is better. I wanted to anounce something that I doubt anyone at home caught from that same Saturday afternoon session. Alejandro Lopez, formerly known as President Lopez, Señor Lopez Mota, or "Sí, lo siento Presidente" is now Elder Lopez. He was called as an area authority. Sweet!

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