Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 2

"I", the girl we met when my bike broke down, she came to church yesterday and has lots of questions, she's obviously been prepared for her meeting us, so that's really neat. And don't get me wrong, I love personal study, but for our companion and additional study I have to do this 12 week program booklet thing, and it's really boring because it's all stuff I already do. But I guess the Mission President has asked me to do it, so I should just do it, as boring as it is. Maybe I'll learn something. It's kinda nice being a minority, I stand out, so that gives me lots of opportunities to talk to people. I don't mind, I just go with the flow all the time. Not really too stressed or worried because I know I can do it.

Yeah, we have to pay for our internet time at some internet computer place thing. It's pretty cheap though. Yeah I get along with everyone really well. It's kind of like how my whole life goes, if someone hates me, they don't hate me enough to say it my face, so I think I'm doing alright. Yeah we're part of the stake, and we get 280 american each month, which is plenty. Elder Hunt's been out a year, he's good, he's taught me a lot. We're both kind of quiet people but we get along well.

But yeah, full week down! It's been like 9 days I think, and it feels good! I've acclimated pretty quick so I don't really sweat that much, and I don't feel dehydrated all day long anymore, which is really nice. I prayed for that a lot the first few days out. I do actually think I've started to lose some weight, but it's hard to tell, I gained a little in the MTC I think, probably due to the gallons of chocolate milk I drank over those two weeks, but I honestly don't see a big change from since I left home. We drink a lot of juice here at members houses, which has a lot of sugar in it so I watch out for that. But we eat lots of rice too. At home I mostly just dip bread in peanut butter, and I eat whole tomatoes a lot too. I drink a ton of water still. I think I'm doing pretty good. The running might help, but I hate it. 

That'd be cool to get a picture from Jared. I'll just add it to the collection! That's really cool Jackson is reading it in 30 days. I'm reading 10 pages a day, so it sounds like he'll finish it before I do! That's awesome though, I've come to know 3 Nephi chapter 11, and then Alma chapters 14 to 21, we use those all the time. He should really focus for those chapters I think. Ammon cutting off the arms is in there.

Speaking of shoes there's a lot of really cool shoes for cheap out here, so I'm thinking if you want to load up some money on my bank card, I'll pull it out and buy some cool souvenirs to take home, there's some sweet watches and rings too. I don't want to use my missionary funds, I'm trying to only use it for missionary purposes. It's a big no to use the missionary allowance for things other than your missionary work. My shoes are good though, my runners are holding up, but I only wear them when we run. I'm in the slip on dress shoes all the rest of the time. They're holding up really well too, although they're a little big. The other night I was riding along the side of the road on the way to an investigators house, and a truck drove beside me and almost hit me, so I swerved off a bit and my pedal bit the curb and knocked off my shoe. So I had to run out into traffic and pick it up. That was kinda fun though. I haven't actually been in an accident or anything yet which is nice. Some of the biking through the ditches and stuff is a lot like mountain biking, riding up and down dirt hills and stuff, I really enjoy it. My butt still hurts though.

I hope Jackson's alright, it's cool he was longboarding though! exciting that was his first emergency visit. Was he using my old one or the surf board one? My old one is way better, in case you ever wanted to sell it, it's a 300 dollar board, but I bought it for 100. So you could get away with selling it for a little more I think.

It's good to hear about everything though, it sounds like life is still going well! Is it weird not having four boys in the house? It just hit me a couple days ago that I'm gonna be gone for two years, and a lot is going to change. It's weird not being able to see all of you all the time. I really miss my Jordan Jared and Jackson, which is weird. The thing I miss the most was one of the smallest parts of my life before my mission, I didn't talk to them a whole lot or spend a lot of time with them, I was busy and I liked to do my own thing, but let them know that I miss them and I hope they are doing well, and that I'm excited to hear from them over the next couple years. Sometimes it almost doesn't feel real that I'm out here. But time is going by quicker and quicker. It's really hard for me to focus sometimes and not think of home, which I think is good, because that motivates me. The more lost in my work I get, the quicker time seems to go. I just love it though, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now. But I'll still be looking forward to the day I see you all again. Tell Jordan to make sure he sets his availability to the beginning of August, that way there's a better chance that I'll see him before he leaves too if he chooses to serve a mission.

Week 2 has been good, still learning, I've gotten to know a good chunk of the ward, and I've met almost all of our investigators. We teach around 5 lessons a day. We plan to teach 8 or 9 some days but we get stood up and cancelled on frequently, and from the sounds of it, that's pretty normal for the whole mission. We usually find something to do though. We located a really cheap ice cream shop in a neighborhood called Southboro, so whenever something falls through we get ice cream and then just go street contacting. The kids are always asking us to do magic tricks for them, which is kind of weird, but I know some rubber band magic that I do for them when they ask. I still don't know the areas very well, it's not that it's big, it's just that a lot of houses aren't numbered and a lot of streets don't have signs, and a lot of people don't know their own address, so I just follow Elder Hunt. He's been in this area for three months so he knows his way around. I'll get it though. The bike is good, after that first day it's been fine. The seat is hard though. I've met a lot of other Canadian missionaries, and yeah Elder Groesbeck is sitting right next to me. We have a lot of good conversations about important subjects. I asked him this morning who he would baptize, if he could baptize anyone in history. We had a long discussion, he couldn't decide. I said Kanye West. He knew Elder Koegler really well though, and he has a picture of me with my long hair from Elder Koegler's farewell, which was kind of funny! I don't know why he has it though. Some areas of Portmore feel like a city, there's a megamart which is like a small costco, but it's pretty big I guess. Not a ton of bush where we are anyway. And I'm not really tanning or burning. I kinda burned my first day, but my arms are sorta tan, and my face is just really shiny now, which is annoying. I look like a 14 year old some days, especially because these white shirts are so baggy. But I'm not complaining. I'll check for contact solution today. My teaching pool is pretty big, we just get blown off 75 percent of the time so it's hard, especially when our backups fall through, and then our backup backups fall through. People are too laid back here for my liking, but at the same time, I quickly came to the realization that I don't need to be hard on myself for that out here. I just need to adjust to that kind of lifestyle. But we do teach a lot. I had some aki fruit, or whatever it's spelled. It's pretty gross. I had fried plantain, that was really good. I ate sugar cane this morning, also very good. I had turkey neck, which is mostly bone, but people out here eat the bones too, so that's good I guess. I gave a sister in our ward 600 dollars and she said she would buy and make me ox tail soup or something. Ox tail is pretty expensive high end meat apparently so I'm excited for that. We get two hours to email here which is really nice, because this email to you takes almost an hour, and then uploading pictures and writing the mission president would take a while too.

It's good to hear about Tyson. And it's nice that Jordan is still singing, not that I thought he would quit. His piano skills will come way in handy on a mission. I wish I could play. Elder Hunt has a ukulele, so I taught myself all the chords a couple nights ago and I learned how to play Be Still My Soul, I Need Thee Every Hour, and Lead Kindly Light. There's a lot of tone deaf people in the area I've noticed. Super nice people, but the ward choir couldn't keep a tune, which was kind of funny. I was in the ward choir though, so maybe it's my fault? But I doubt it. Something cool this week was that this sunday was the first ward conference for this ward in history, and I got to sing in the ward choir for it, and bear my testimony as a new missionary, so that was neat. The stake presidency came and everything, it was awesome. I'm just glad the power was back on this week, because last week the fans weren't working and it was a billion degrees in sacrament meeting. So yeah, that was good. The worst part of my week was probably... last night when the power went out in our apartment, so the fans turned off, and I woke up really sweaty. That was awful. I also find a lot of people out here let us teach them just so they can talk to someone and learn something different. Zero interest in their personal salvation or what we're saying, they've just never heard of the Mormon church and they think we're sweet young boys. That's really annoying. But we do have a handful of investigators that are moving along really well. "H" is being baptized this sunday which is really exciting! I think Elder Hunt is baptizing him though, which would make sense. Elder Johnson baptized a former Rasta guy on sunday, which was really cool. He wears a black and white checkered fedora and mirrored Aviator sun glasses to church every sunday, and he has wicked long dreads, but he's going to be a strong member.

I'm not sure what else to say. "G", a recent convert, feeds us like, 5 times a week. She just calls us to come over and she gives us a tupperware container of food and we take it home, so I'm never hungry, although I didn't buy enough food this week. I need more pancake mix. We have a rule set by the mission president that we can't have Ramen noodles or Kraft Dinner Mac and cheese more than once a month. Like I said before, I just eat a lot of tomatoes and grapenuts. Grape nuts are kind of gross though, but they're like.. healthy...

But yeah, my week has gone really well, as of today I think I only have 100 more P days left, which doesn't feel like that many in all honesty. I'm just taking it one day at a time though, and I know it's going to be a huge blessing in my life. I can't wait to come home, but at the same time I know it's going to be bitter sweet when the day comes. Tell everyone I love and miss them.

Kind of a funny story, last week at the megamart we doing our shopping, and I asked a guy where the sun screen was, and he didn't know. He acted like that was the weirdest question he's ever been asked! How white am I? I just don't get though, how the Nephites could be such a fair and delightsome people, and not once did they complain about sun burns and stuff. They didn't have sun screen. The Lamanites had the upper hand there.

As far as you sending me a care package or something, some other ideas would be more sun screen, aloe vera would be nice. A sharpie pen. Bike repair stuff would be great too! I bought some patches and glue, but if you could send some other tools or something that would be cool. A family picture would be nice too. I don't know, gum. Candy. Fruit drink crystals to make my water taste better. Nutella! Send me like 5 of them.

Cool, well, thanks for updating me on home life, I hope this email answers most of your questions. It's hard to think of what to write in a real letter when I say so much in here, so I"ll probably just start writing stuff down and after a couple months I'll mail you what I've written.

Let Jared know that by the time I get home I expect hard cover copies of his books, so he better get writing, because I think if he works hard he could do it in two years.

But yeah, I love and miss you all, I hope life isn't too awful without me. because I know it probably most definitely is

Love,
Elder Zeck

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