Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Planning Christmas Skype and living with insects!!

December 9, 2013

Dear Family,
Extremely short on time today, about 15 min to write and read.

Yes, we have Skype.  We have an hour and a half to Skype on Christmas day.  3 way Skypes are possible, so I can see Rebecca too.  I can coordinate it to work any hour Christmas day.  Jorge, a recent convert, is a computer whiz, with all the Skype know how, and jet fast internet.  
I love  you all.  I will print your letters and read them.
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
This week was full of all sorts of exciting things....and normally in my letters I try to have some sort of logical thought process to write everything out, but today I feel like a this letter is probably just going to be a list of random things that happened and that I need to tell you.  

First and foremost before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS SUNDAY CHAD!!!!!  You are my favorite missionary serving in all of Chile, I hope you have a wonderful birthday.  Your miracle with the taxi was a cool story.  

Christmas is on a Wednesday this year, and president has changed our P day to just be all of Christmas.  We have been asking around this week to see who doesn’t have 12 thousand people scheduled to come to their house for Christmas, and we have found our top investigator, who is getting baptized in January, as soon as she gets married the beginning of January.  She has a big laptop with a webcam, internet, and a calm house… and I am so excited to see all of you!  

This last week Chad and I passed our 5 month mark!!! So crazy!  

My district leader, Elder Higginson was in the same district as’s so fun to meet people Thomas knows and have the same mission friends.  For district meeting, the Elders made a pizza during P day and then brought it to share.....and the toppings they used were lunch meat ham, tomato sauce, cheese, pizza seasoning, and sliced apples.   And it was surprisingly good, everything but the apples were normal for pizza here....and the apples just made it interesting!

It is sooooooo hot and humid here in La Paz.  We are the most northern zone (so north we don’t even have anyone from the mission presidency EVER come up here....and so small that we don’t have a box for mail in the office....we just have our stuff on the floor, in corners, and where ever.....pray hard that my package not only gets to Argentina, but from the mission office into my hands!)  My body is slowly adjusting little by little to the heat, but the humidity is impossible to escape or adapt to,  I feel like I am always in the shower.  

We tried dulce de leche with bananas, apples, french toast, tortas fritas, and crackers.....I reccomend it for all of them!

One of our recent converts who was 73 years old and baptized in September passed away from a heart attack....sad.  He didn’t have any family still living, and he was able to find the gospel in this he is definitely happy on the other side.

With all the heat, uninvited guests try to come into our pension (apartment)....and its awful.  We have killed a cockroach, several spiders, and a scorpion.  Yes, a scorpion.  For some reason most doors don’t go all the way to the floor here, so whatever wants to crawl in, can.  Hermana Giuliani sent us a paper of tips, tricks, warnings, and advice, and my language study yesterday was translating all of the words I didn’t know because it was sort of important to me to know what she had to say.  I might be a little more precautious than necessary. I spray the door and windows every night with our bug killing raid like stuff, shove a towel rug thing in the crack of the door each time we leave and it’s always there, never walk barefoot, cover the shower drain always, and pray often for the safety of our pension.  Sometimes I feel like I am living in a jungle with all the humidity, rain storms, and creatures....but we take it all in stride and count our blessings that we aren’t living with a dirt floor.

Yesterday at church we had a three minute warning to teach the lesson in Sunday School. I don’t know what chapter we were suppose to teach out of, but the one president wanted us to teach was the law of chastity.  No problem, it’s just the 3 minute warning thing isn’t so cool.  It was all fine, and they all participated and we had a great discussion.

I make sure we stay full and hydrated.  More than anything I am praying we can find Gatorade or PowerAde powder....or something similar to it for the summer.  We sweat so much and I want to make sure we stay hydrated with electrolytes.  

The Christmas party for the northern part of the mission is this Wednesday in Santa Fe...and I am so excited!  Its going to be all day, with lots of missionaries (but not Thomas - sad) but I am so excited.  We leave tomorrow in the evening!

There was a power outage last night, and we have learned that in the summer those apparently are common.  About 1 -2 times per week the power will go out if there is a storm coming or if it gets really hot.  Sweet.  Bring it on summer!  We are ready for ya!

And you made it to the end of the letter!  Sorry it’s so random and unorganized this time....actually they are probably like that all the time.  (:  I love you all lots and hope you are enjoying the snow.  Sometimes when we are walking down a road and the humidity is beating us up, I start to wonder what it would feel like to roll around in snow right then.  I won’t be lying when I say I am scared out of my mind for this summer.  It’s already so hot and it’s not even officially summer.  January and February will be a test of mental and physical strength, but I draw a lot of strength from the fact that I only have to experience one whole summer here.  Only one, I can do it. 

Thanks for your emails from everyone, for being awesome, and making me laugh with your stories from Minnesota.

I love you more than the number of bugs I am going to kill this summer!  (if I see it, its dead.)
Hermana Withers

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