Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letter 12 - 5/17/10

Hi everyone!

Wow. So here I am. This is the real deal. It's absolutely crazy here. As far as the language goes I can speak fine, but I´m having a more difficult time understanding what they´re saying to me. I just kinda stare blankly and nod every now and then, hoping they only ask my companion questions. There´s normally at least one person a day who I can understand though, which is really nice. I know I have it a lot better than the other Americans that came in with me. Hooray for Mexican friends who helped teach me Spanish!

So as far as the city goes, I have a whole lot of adjusting to do. The heat is pretty bad (Saturday was the worst for sure. I can´t even describe the amount of sweat). Sanitation is.... different. You can't flush your toilet paper, and all trash goes to the middle of the big streets which gets picked up once a week, I think. So that and the heat gives us some really interesting smells during the day. Things that I hope are only unique to Ecuador. The people are nice for the most part. Nobody will say no to you, so they say they’re busy and to come back at some indefinite time (at which they will be sure not to be home). In the mornings it´s hard to contact people because they’re "making lunch". One guy was just standing on the sidewalk just staring at the ground, holding a knife. So the elder I was on an exchange with and I tried to contact him, but of course he said he was to buy to listen, so we just talked about his family. Then he saw a friend down the street and told us he had to go so he could talk to his friend. Must have been a crazy cool friend to make him forget how busy he was.

So all week people are too busy and then all weekend they party or are drunk. It´s a little frustrating. Especially when two or three appointments fall through in a row and you´re trying to find someone to teach. Because the whole city is poor (except for two houses) people don´t have much, but they almost all have these little shops/stands that they have in their house behind an iron gate. On the other side of the freeway in our sector is pretty bad. The pictures of bamboo and aluminum siding huts that you may see of the poor areas of Guayaquil is my area most likely. It´s really sad.

On Saturday I had a transfer on La Isla Trinitaria, so I went over there on Friday. My area and the island are the poorest areas, but the island is way more dangerous. Friday night as we were going back to the missionaries’ apartment Elder Solares, my exchange comp, notice this motorcycle with a cart of people turned around right after they passed us. He started walking over to this random house and I starting thinking, "Another appointment? We should've been back a while ago." He started to do a intro lesson and then whispered that there were thieves that where about to rob us and begged her to let us in. Once I realized that I started to plead too, because I only had a dollar (which for sure wouldn't be enough for them) and I didn't want to find out what happened next. Finally she let us in until they left, but I was for sure paranoid after that. Then the next night we heard gun shots. Luckily we went back early because everyone was partying/didn't want to listen, but we would've been over on that side probably if we hadn't.

On the lighter side, Friday night I went to take a shower. When I closed my eyes it looked like there was light flashing up and down over my eyes and my head was vibrating. I thought, "This doesn't make any sense. The water isn't running that hard." So I stuck my hand up and finger went numb. Then I realized my head was touching the electric heater shower head and the vibration feeling was an electric current running through my head. Yay! As far as the success of the transfer, we had two new investigators down by the ports ( super crazy poor) and I saw this family of pigs just cruising around the streets. Once lunch came no one else wanted to listen to us except one group,but I don´t know how much they were being taught.

As a whole this city wears me out, and I generally don´t like it. But that´s only until we get into the homes and start teaching. I absolutely love the teaching and it´s worth it. Especially Sundays. Being at church where everyone there wants to learn more and be edified was my sanity for the week. It´s for sure what I look forward to. Today was nice going around to another part of the city and relaxing, but church was the best. We also taught a family who´s kids are going to be baptized and the parents REALLY want to also. But they´re trying to get a divorce from their other marriages and then get married so they´re living the law of chastity. It´s redonk, a marriage is 6 dollars and it takes maybe a week, but a divorce is about 600 and takes months. They´re really struggling with this financially, but it´ll awesome to see them once they make it through. Well that´s it for now. I´ll try to send home some pictures soon. I got really good ones today with iguanas at this park.

Love you all!

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