Tuesday, August 23, 2011

San Cristobal Zone / Madre Vieja Norte Area

Hola Familia,

          How are things back in good ole Utah?  I am now having my first experience in the sketchy little internet cafe sorta thing!  Everyone is on facebook....facebook is taking over the world!!  Anyway, as I'm sure you are now learning my P-Days are on Monday.  From now until eternity I believe.  This is why I haven't e-mailed for a while.  Sorry about that, but I had no choice.  Well, I have a lot to catch you up on.  

          Last Tuesday, we had to wake up at 4:00 to clean our room, pack, all sorts of stuff to get ready to leave the CCM.  Then we left there at 6 A.M.  It was pretty weird saying bye to all my friends there.  I had gotten really close to those people, and it kinda stunk saying goodbye.  Anyway, we drove to the capilla and threw all our luggage out and waited for our trainers to come.  My trainers name is.....drum roll......Elder Day!  From Santa Barbra California.  He has been out a year (well on the 26th of August).  He is awesome!  We get along really good, so I was really, really happy about that.  I was nervous, but we get along good, and he will be a good trainer.  

          I am serving in the San Cristobal Zone, and my area is Madre Vieja Norte.  It's about a 40 minute drive from the capital, so I can't see all the big buildings and things, and that makes me happy.  Anyway, my house is...........it's gonna take some getting used to!  I would put a little smiley face right there, but I'm on a stinking Spanish keyboard and it's all funky!  First of all, there are some bug issues, but we took care of most of them with some flammable hand sanitizer, some matches, and a heavy duty bug net to sleep in.  We have a shower, it just doesn't work, so we have a big bucket of water, and we use that to clean ourselves!  Fun, Huh?  It's a little difficult to get clean, but I get the job done.  We have electricity, from about midnight to 6:30 AM, and then from like 2 to 7.  So basically, whenever we aren't in the house, we have electricity!  Kinda frustrating because no electricity, no water.  But hey, I´m adjusting!  I won't send pictures, because well, Mom, quite frankly, you would freak out!  Anyway, the first day I went through some pretty intense 'oh crap--what am I doing?' moments.  

          The area I am working in is divided into pretty much 2 sections, Barrea Nuevo, and some other area I can't remember the name of right now.  Barrea Nuevo is a little sketchy, so we have to leave there at about 6 and go to the other area.  That makes contacting and stuff a little hard, but we make it work.  We are teaching quite a few people right now, and have a baptism set for this Saturday as long as everything goes good.  The man had to have an interview with President Rodriguez, and he had to go higher for approval, so hopefully that works out.  We had another person set to be baptized, but she didn't come to church yesterday, so we have to take care of that.  The people here are kinda flaky.  I love them, but they have a hard time making and keeping commitments.  We found some new families to teach, so hopefully all goes well with them.  Last week we contacted a lot and with some success.  
          There are a lot of really crazy churches around here like with rock music and 'praise the Lords' screaming all the time.  It's kinda funny.  We have a pretty nice capilla, and we are part of an actual ward.  The members are awesome!  They are super loving and friendly, the only problem is I have no clue what they are saying!  Out here lots of people don't have teeth, and that makes Spanish really, really hard to understand.  I´m working on that, but I know that it will come with time.  
          This nice little lady who we call Abuela cooks for us every day!  We eat bandera, rice, beans, and some sort of meat.  It's okay, and keeps me full, and that's the point, right?  She is an awesome little old lady.  Here, the only way lessons are counted is if we have a member present.  It's difficult, but Abuela is always willing to come with us!  She is awesome, I will send a picture sometime!  Speaking of which, Mom, the office called me and told me that my package got sent to Santiago for some reason, they were gonna get it, and it's gonna cost me 1300 pesos....so I would recommend sending the other way.  But thanks so much for sending me a package!  Mail seriously is the best thing in the world for missionaries.  
          Hmmm what else....let me check my list!  Hey will you take the batteries out of my Beats Headphones?  I don't want them corroding them.  Wow--talk about a random thought I had.  Hmmmm about the area, everyone lives in what we would call a shed.  Tin roofs...when it rains it's pretty much raining in the houses as well, dirt roads, tons of motorcycles, and tons of colmados  (those little stores that sell random stuff and play ridiculously loud music).  It never stops, I´m thinking I might have to take Mom's approach to sleeping with some earplugs because it is loud!!  
          Anyway, I´m alive!  Just please pray for my safety, and health, cause yeah, just that would be nice (insert smiley here).  
          Hmmm what else do you want to know?  Just ask and I´ll tell.  Sorry it's super hard to remember things to say.  Today for P-Day, we had 4 other Elders come over to our house to hang out, and we played basketball at the capilla.  We played Dominican style, which is no backcourting, and if you touch them it's a foul.  Crazy, but fun!  How are things there?  Mom, you are about to go back to teaching aren't you?  How's the summer?  What are Ash and Sven up to?  How's Keagan?  Dad have you shot a monster bull yet?  I hope you find one!  I would love some pictures of what's going on!  
          All I can say is always be grateful for what we have.  We have so much and are so blessed.  If I have learned anything so far, I have learned to be grateful.  I hope you all are doing good, staying happy, and that life is good!  Anyways, I love you all.  So much.  The church is true.  This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding as well.  I have learned so much.  I pray for you always. 


Elder Reeder

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