Monday, February 3, 2014

Chad's new area in the city, Rebecca is staying in La Paz

Dear family,
I love you so very much.  I would send you pictures of the ocean view we have from our 4th story apartment, but the virus security is questionable on these computers, so I don’t want to hook my camera up. I will try to use better computers next week.  My companion is really cool.  We live with 2 other North Americans, so it is harder to learn Spanish.  Living with Latinos was a huge help for my Spanish.  

Amazing news,  Elder Vàsquez sent me an email saying that, after 8 or so years of missionaries on and off, Adolfo finally accepted a baptismal date, the 22 of February.  He was the guy that took us fishing.  I will make sure that Elder Vásquez sends me the pictures of the baptism.  Adolfo always reads the assigned chapter of Principles of the Gospel Class, and takes brilliant notes.  He prepares for Sunday School class more than the teacher does.  I am so happy that he is getting baptized.  

That is great that the Seahawks won.  Being in Concepción, I am now a fan of ocean birds.  Yea Seattle!

I love you all so much, and hope that you always remember that Heavenly Father loves us more than we can possibly imagine.  I love you all more than the number of times it says in the scriptures ´´Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you.´´

Con mucho amor,
Elder Chad Withers

Dear Family,
 Today marks 7 months in my mission......!!!!!!!  So crazy.  I have a lot of time left to serve still, but these last few months have flown.  

As for the transfer update.....I am staying another transfer in La Paz with Hermana Sainsbury.  People are starting to make jokes that she has been here so long and will have to finish her mission here, but we are excited to have another transfer together.  We have a smooth rhythm in the way we teach and contact....we can go back and forth in talking really easy because we have been doing it for so long together....we can only improve and get better from here!  

My birthday was fun.....but in all honesty felt like any other day.  My companion made me French toast with dulce de leche, and served it with a nice cold glass of peach juice (the fruit juices here are out of this world delicious), and we went to get ice cream from the shop a block away from our apartment.  You walk in and no one is there....and then this tall lanky man will come towards the front from this dark hallway that is in the back and stare at you, not asking you anything....just expecting you to start telling him what flavors you want) least his ice cream is good!  

While we were waiting for a colectivo earlier this week, it was clear and sunny skies, then in a matter of seconds clouds came from nowhere and seconds after that it started to rain, HARD.  We ran from the stop....bagging the idea of catching the bus right then and ran to the closet thing that could cover us....which ended up being a Catholic chapel (ironic right?!)  It only rained for a couple of minutes and then stopped, so we went back to life as usual.  It was just the most random storm ever.  

And the other day while we were walking home, we were walking past a part where the sidewalk turns into this wide open gravel patch that leads to a couple of different roads.  We walk on the side of it in case people turn in from the main road to turn to the other side roads.  Anyway....we were walking past this part (on the left hand side) and a white car going kind of fast turns in.  We keep walking and it turns towards us and speeds up.  We look at each other.....freak out and run to the right side of the road......the car speeds up and also turns to the right side of the road.  We tried to escape the car and run to anywhere with protection but there really wasn’t anywhere to go.  It was a big open gravel patch of nothing with no trees or buildings to run towards....and before we knew it the car was inches away from us.  The car really couldn’t have gotten any closer without touching us when it slammed on the brakes.  We thought we were about to turn into road kill at the hands of some dumb kids or something....when one of the families we are teaching piles out of the car laughing their heads off.  They were deep belly laughing so hard at the faces we were apparently making - and they thought it was so funny.  Once we knew who it was we were laughing too, but in the moment they really scared us. Which is what the dad was going for when he was driving I think.....quite the prank!  They really are a great family though.  The parents are married (which is unusual!) they have six kids, and are very kind to us (except for the car prank thing....that was lame!)  They are very Catholic but also have an admirable relish to learn more about the LDS church.  We just barely started working with them, so we will see what happens and how they progress!  

Yesterday at church I think was the first Sunday that we didn’t sing Secret Prayer and Who’s on the Lords side Who.  We sing at least one of those hymns every Sunday just because everyone seems to like them and they don’t know that many songs, so if they know one they like to sing it lots.  I never really sang those hymns before my mission......but I am pretty sure they are always going to make me think of this Branch in La Paz.  

We have new investigator named Florencia who is living with a menos activo.  He wants to come back to church and she wants to get baptized.  We are teaching them together, and hoping that we can have a wedding this transfer and a baptism right after! 

I am doing well and excited for another transfer here in La Paz...there is lots of work to do.  Holy just started to rain torrential down pour outside.  Good thing we live a block away from the member whose computers we use, because we totally didn’t bring our umbrellas!  We should be having zone meeting this next week which means I get to see what made it in the mail from America all the way down here in Argentina!  (:  

I love you all lots....more than all the people who are shocked when they learn that mate doesn’t exist in the States.....and more than all the people who pronounce Google "gugley"  it’s my favorite (:  

Have a great week!
Hermana Withers

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