Wow! Thank you ALL SO MUCH for your letters! I feel so blessed and totally spoiled to have such spiritual bombs awaiting me in my inbox- to have such support and examples in my family... you all inspire me to find MORE FAMILIES to enjoy the blessings that we are relishing.
Kyle Brown- thank you for writing me! Your letter made me ever so weepy... and I`m SO THRILLED to hear about your joy and successes. I`m still going to do it this saturday and I invite you to join me. I am so happy for you. Please let me know what you submit your papers. I still don`t have my new address... and I don`t think I`ll be getting letters very frequently in Belize... but please keep me posted on EVERYTHING. :)
Tae- I am SO glad you`re almost out of there! I hate it when you`re at war. Please keep me posted too... especially on the mission thing. GET OUT HERE! Let me know when you have an address for me.
Josh- I keep starting to write you. I haven`t forgotten you. You`ll get a letter from Belize soon. Tell me everything.
I feel like I`m a little more emotionally stable today than the last time I wrote. This week has been... so bittersweet. We didn`t have water for 8 days... and that got pretty old. I will NEVER take running water for granted again- I guess I didn`t really value it sufficiently... the role it plays in washing dishes, clothes, ME, mopping, flushing toilets.... EVERYTHING. We found ourselves hunting down tanks around San Salvador in the truck of the neighbors with buckets on our laps... just praying to get some dropps of water to shower. We got super creative... and just learned to laugh even more this week... but just as our creativity was about out.... the water came on. Happy day!
I think it`s better to find out about changes the night before... totally blindsighted... and just go. It`s been so hard to know that I`m leaving El Salvador... the culture and people that I have come to embrace and love so dearly. The Familia Diaz who have been cooking lunch for us... made it a ¨tipical El Salvadoranian food week!!¨... so every day... Hermano Diaz.. a professional cook... planned and worked so hard and with so much love... such WONDERFUL food. I haven't enjoyed the food here like that until just now... and it kinda just made me sadder to leave. Not because his food is so good... but because of the love we shared in that house. My darling Andrea is still progressing and just doing awesome. I know she`ll get baptized. I think she`s reading this... but I don`t feel weird saying it... because she knows she`s getting baptized too. :) I love her so much. As I was saying goodbye to her yesterday... I was overwhelmed with emotion when it hit me... that I knew her before this life.... and that I have always loved her.
A cool story.... earlier this month... Hermana Coleman and I were... as usual... lost. We found ourselves pouring over a map... when a man passed by and said, ¨hey, I know you guys walk a lot... can I give you something to drink?¨... we of course accepted the chance to talk to someone... so we went. But... it was really weird. He get giving us more and more food and drinks... and I kind of wanted to vomit... and he told us he had talked to like, 4 different sets of missionaries... but didn`t get baptized. I started to think it was a classic black hole that missionaries fall into... that he lures them in with cookies... but wants nothing more than friendship. He was really funny.. and laughed a lot... especially when we tried to talk about SALVATION! SO... we left... I did not really plan to come back. Then... almost 3 weeks later... we passed by... and we both at the same time... felt like we should visit him. We had a beautiful lesson... and made a baptismal date for this week. He has been pouring over the Book of Mormon since then... came to church... and is totally looking forward to his baptism. I guess it was finally just his time. As I was saying goodbye yesterday... he got emotional... and thanked me for coming back. When he prayed... he thanked the Lord for another chance... and promised to truly take it this time. It gave me so much hope for so many people that we have talked to... that I have loved... but have not yet been willing or ready to make this covenant with God. I`m putting a picture of Jim in this letter. He`s really great.
I keep wishing that we had baptized more this change... but I just take comfort in knowing that we have been obedient and worked HARD. President told me of a sister that had 8 months in this area and had ONE baptism. I know that we are not limited by past records or limits... and I have come to love the Palmeras SO MUCH and there is SO MUCH potential... and we have people, and 2 families that are on the brink of baptism. Whether I`m here or not... I feel so blessed to have knocked their doors... and watch the light enter their eyes and lives.
Everyone has been telling me things about Belize- the outrageous heat and humidity, the HUGE areas, that there are only branches- not one ward in the whole country, that there is only junk food there (yikes! What do I do!??), and that the president only visits every 3.5 months... but really... I am more and more excited to go. I know there are people, families, there waiting for me. It seriously does not matter what country or area I am. I don`t even want to waste time packing... I just wanna get on the plane and GO! :)
Please keeping telling about all the beauitful miracles that are happening there. Hearing about Joe and Lexi in the temple left me sobbing. I am so happy.
Love you all!!
P.S.- mom, don`t worry about sending packages or anything. I really don`t think I`ll be able to get anything- because the only mail that gets in is with the president when he visits.. and he takes all the mission materials with him, so I doubt there`s weight available on the plane. I`m totally good with everything, I need nothing but your love and prayers. Thank you!!