"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week Ten: Life in My Area

Hola! So excited to get to email today! So first I will answer your preguntas! Yes, I sleep in a bed.  I use the essential oils every day, and I use the pillow that you guys gave me.  I have never heard of the Dragon virus. I usually stop and get food at a chicken place that sells fried chicken, its the safest and quickest and all. Dinner for me, a good meal that actually fills me, costs about 7-9 American dollars. As far as banking we use the ATM and it spits out Limperas (the money they use here). That should be all your questions!
So this week!
Well, it started when we got on the bus right after I was done e-mailing you last week, there was a guy on the bus passed out...literally a goner, some people thought he was dead. He was so drunk and on hard drugs... he was taking up two seats so people were not happy. One person on the bus knew where he lived so they dropped him off, and his grandma came on the bus and was screaming and slapping him, nothing.... so people carried him off. Kinda scary. But that was a little different bus ride.
So this week I saw some newspapers and realized. Wow… they show everything in their newspapers, it’s kinda gruesome, The things you see are way different then back home, that is for sure. I also had kind of a funny experience. Funny but not so funny! So when I got that haircut I told you about last week that was real sharp. . well, there is a little story. So we were outside the place on the street waiting for the bus and we were talking to a bunch of vender people we know and all and they asked when I got my haircut? I said just now. Then I was like, “Is it guapo?” Well, I was talking to two ladies when I said that. Apparently, guapo here means, like do you wanna hook up? HA HA HA. So all the Hispanics were laughing... it was funny… but yea… kind of embarrassing at the same time LOL.
This past week I went on splits with the Zone Leaders. So the people that are in charge of our whole zone, I went on splits with one of them. It was pretty cool! It was good to get a different perspective from a different companion and all. It was a great day lets put it that way! The elder I went with was from Mexico so we talked about CCM and all! His name is Elder O. It was really good for me to see missionary work in a different light, or lets say a different way. Each missionary brings their own personality to the table and that is good. You try to find common ground no matter how big the gap is between the two types of people you are. That is what a companionship is all about. Before I left for my mission I knew there would be some companions that were like me, others that were not. I knew I would be with some that would have many different strengths than mine, and that I looked forward to so that I could learn from them. Like any relationship, you respect your differences and lean on each other for their strengths. At the end of the day, we both have the same goal, to bring others unto Christ.
Well, this week... the worst part was bed bugs.... I had them for about two days. I don’t have them anymore. I sprayed that stuff you gave me and all. I am good now but man for two days I was itching like a mad man. But now I am all good! No need to worry.
This past weekend was pretty crazy! We had two baptisms. It was a mom and a dad. They are brothers and sisters. It was a wonderful day and so exciting to be a part of such an incredible and sacred ordinance. So both were baptized this past Saturday. Their families were so so happy. It was the highlight of the week for sure. Seeing people change for the better is what this work is all about. It is an incredible journey to watch and be a part of. You have no idea until you are a part of it.
This past weekend was also crazy here because Saturday was Dia de los Ninos and Sunday was their Independence Day. You can only imagine how that went! It was CRAZY! There were people celebrating and partying everywhere! It was great! But, at the same time it stunk because everyone was with their families and friends and it made me a little homesick, but it was good.
I know you will be shocked to hear that the highlight of my week (next to the baptisms) was about food. Yes, food. This week a member fed us Burger King. It was the best meal of the week… HA HA…let me tell you, after not eating a burger for 9 weeks it was AMAZING!
If you wonder what a normal day looks like for me, here it is. Yes it can change but most days are like this:
Wake up, work out. Personal study, companion study and language study. We then have lunch and then go serve, teach, and find people who want to learn about Jesus Christ. Study and plan some more for the next day and bed!
That’s just an overview of my schedule so you have a little idea of what I am doing.
I miss you guys all so much. I think about you each daily.. hourly... always thinking. I wonder what my family and friends are doing right now?? I pray for you often, you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Your emails are great and keep up the good work because I read them a lot! From family and friends I read them often to keep me going when times are tougher. I am truly blessed to have great family and friends.  I love the sport updates and all. I love each of you. Thank you for your continued support of me. It makes all the difference in the world to me right now. Gi keep doing work on the football field. Knock some heads around for me :).
Other than that, just settling in. Some days are very hard, and others are great! When I have time to think it’s pretty tough. But that’s okay. I love Spanish and am learning a lot. I do always think about you guys and friends though. When you have great friends they do truly leave a huge impact on your life.
Love each of you tons! Thanks for always being there for me, the love and support is great. Always say your prayers and be thankful. You have no idea how blessed we are to live in the states.... it’s truly a blessing to say the least. WE ARE SOOOO FORTUNATE. Keep up the good work.
Have a great week! Put your best foot forward every day, and do things the right way always. Aim High in all that you do, love you guys tons!!
Elder Mariano Long

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