Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Episode 13: No Thanksgiving?!

Hey everybody,

Things are going so well here. I can't believe I have already been here an entire transfer. The time is going by so fast!

I am getting super excited for Christmas. It is super fun to walk around at night because there are a lot of houses with Christmas lights up and it is super awesome and I can't wait. Unfortunately we won't be having any Thanksgiving dinners here so that is a real bummer for me. But I do have another North American in my area so maybe we will have our own Thanksgiving.

So I have been asking around about the whole mail situation and I found out that it usually takes around 1-2 weeks for mail to get here, but unfortunately in the past it has taken as long as 3 months for some missionaries to receive mail from home. Also because all of the mail is sent to the office in Barranquilla and my area is very far away, the only time that we get mail is about the beginning of every month because the Zone Leaders bring it back with them when they go to Barranquilla for training. Unfortunately, that means that in order for me to get anything by Christmas, it needs to get here by the end of November, which basically means it needs to be sent as soon as possible. I'm sorry if that causes any inconveniences, but I am perfectly comfortable waiting until after Christmas to receive any packages.

As for who will be my companion, I honestly do not know. Transfers are tomorrow, but we will not receive a call until later tonight to find out if we are moving or not. It is very likely that I will stay with my current companion because I am still training, but it has occurred in the past when a missionary has had two trainers. And due to the mail system taking forever, I do not know if any mail will come within the next transfer. So if it is easier for you guys, you can just address any packages to my companion with my name and I will give it to him. And if there is a difference between my package and his, you can just put a mark on it or a note inside. Sorry, but it's rough working with mail in foreign countries.

But more about Colombia. The food, in all honesty, is pretty mediocre at best. It's just a bunch of chicken, rice, and sometimes beef. Something that is super good is called a plantain, which is just a type of banana, but here the people fry them and they are super good. Also there are lots of street venders here that sell some pretty good fried food. Very unhealthy, but very good.

The real highlight here are the juices. There are so many different fruits here and the people make great juices out of them. The most common is called Tomate de Arbol, and it's basically a tomato that grows on a tree. But the juice is super sweet and it doesn't taste like tomato at all.

The piano lessons have not started yet, but we will start this Thursday. We were supposed to have them this past Wednesday, but when we got there the guy plugged in the piano and it broke. But on Sunday when we got to church we found a piano waiting to be assembled so that is a pretty good sign.

Things are going great with the investigators. Right now we have been working a lot with an investigator named German, who is getting ready to be baptized in 2 weeks. Unfortunately what I found out yesterday is that we might not be able to baptize him because my companion thought that he was 14 but he is only 13 and kids under 14 have to be baptized with a parent. But his mom is really supportive of him so we are going to try to help her be baptized too. But he has such a strong desire to learn and he is keeping the commitments and attending church. It's pretty great.

I hope everything is going well at home. I can't wait to talk to you guys in a few weeks.

Elder Parker

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