Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No transfers, but moving apartments in Chile and Argentina

August 25, 2014

Dear Family,
Well transfers have come, and luckily, I don’t have to go anywhere.  I will be staying as district leader in Zona Andalién. Elder Bence is going to a branch in Linares, at the northern limit of the mission, about 5 hours away by bus.  I am going to really miss him, we got along great.  My new companion is Elder Zevallos, from Rosario, Argentina.  Hello, Rosario!  

This week we have been working hard, but just not seeing any real results.  The same people keep not going to church, and this week we are going to drop anyone and everyone who doesn’t want to progress, so that we can find the people to accept and live the gospel.

We did have some cool experiences this week, one of which was when we were contacting in the street, on the way back to the house.  I was with a Columbian Elder, Elder Garrido, who is relatively new in the mission and is very timid.  He was trying to get someone to stop for a moment, and a lady didn’t want to, and tried to assertively use her extended umbrella to get her away from the gospel preaching situation.  It was raining, and I also had an extended umbrella, and I wasn’t going to make it easy on her.  I placed myself in her path, and she kept going, so I walked slowly backwards, cutting off every one of her escape attempts.  After about 10 steps, we came to a car and there she was pinned.  The entire time (less than 15 seconds of deceleration), Elder Garrido was talking to her, and she kept saying conversation ending phrases like oh that is nice, see you some other time.  She wasn’t aggressive enough, and I was so happy to have helped Elder Garrido reach his goal for contacts that day.  We later met up with the other Elders and they saw the entire thing and thought it was great, and we all had a good laugh.  
We are changing houses, and will be moving in the first of Sept, at the latest.  The new house is significantly bigger (the current one is very small) but I am not so sure we will still have a washer and dryer.   

I love you all so very much, more than the number of Lincoln logs it would take to make a Lincoln log office building 90 stories tall with 120 offices on each floor, and 2 bathrooms every other floor.  The lobby would be spacious.  I love you all more than that many Lincoln logs, and that is a lot of Lincoln logs! 

I really mean it,
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
Oh this week was awesome!  First of all transfer news...........I’m not going anywhere, and neither is my companion.  We are both staying here, and we are both pretty excited about it.  At the end of this transfer I will have 6 months in Beltran, just like La Paz.  

This week last week was SUPER HOT, with crazy humidity......just like summer.  The crazy thing, is that we are still in winter down here.....and it should still be very cold.  But nature went back to normal, and on Sunday we had to put our big winter coats back on. And these last 2 days we have had a very harsh wind.  It’s cold, and with humidity it’s bone penetrating.  But we are doing well.......and we are heading into the last of winter.  

On Saturday we had an activity with the Relief Society, there were 2 workshops and a clothes donation, it went well and was really fun!  We also had interviews with President Zanni this week, and he is so awesome.  I absolutely love him.  He is a good president, who demands a lot with very high expectations (like all presidents should) and he has been a very good change.  Everyone only has like 10 minutes in their interview with president, but I always learn new things and walk away with new things to think about.  I love it.  

On Sunday, Mauro went to church!!!  We finished teaching the lessons this last week, and yesterday he had his baptismal interview......and all is good to go!  He is getting baptized this Saturday at 3pm!!!!  He is awesome, and is a future priesthood holder and leader in the church.  A miracle really.  I am so excited for him.  

This last week we also moved back to our apartment, and it is so beautiful to be in our own space again.  The only problem, is that we still don’t completely understand how to work the new water heater. It makes the water BOILING hot....but we have gotten better at using it and have learned a few tricks.  If you leave the kitchen faucet on while showering, turning the hot water knob a tiny little bit and cold water all the way.....it’s all good.  We are in the process of figuring out who can help us turn the temperature thing down all together so that it heats the water to a normal temperature...but it’s all a process.  I have gotten good at surviving :)

The most eventful thing of the week.............we got locked out of our apartment.  But not just locked out of our apartment after a day of work, that would have been much too simple.  We got locked out when we were in the process of moving back.  We had the guy with his moving truck and all our stuff.......and no way to get into the house.  Ha....I should have been more cheerful about the situation, and I smiled through it all....but inside I wanted to smash something. Our spare key we had left with our landlord who had been coming and going with repairmen all week working on the apartment (she is almost always home, but in this moment she was of course gone for some reason)......and our keys had disappeared.  We were fairly sure that we had locked them in the house (it’s a complicated situation...that time doesn’t allow me to completely explain....but its sufficient to know that we had no way to get in and a truck full of stuff to put into our apartment).  The guy didn’t have time to wait for a locksmith, or for the landlord to come back from where ever she was.....so the whole situation looked hopeless.  The guy unloaded our stuff for us, and put it all on our front door/porch thing.  This was a day that was burning hot outside with horrible humidity  (at least it wasn’t really cold)....and we honestly had no way to get in, a porch full of stuff (luggage, mattresses, pillows, bedding), and district meeting in 2 hours.  Ha......we hopelessly just scooted our stuff together, sat on our luggage with gloomy faces.....and tried to think of a break in plan.  The windows are covered with metal bars, so that was out, but we realized that if we had a long enough stick we could poke it through the window, opening the little window on our door, and from the window on the door be able to grab the keys.  It was brilliant.  We found several large sticks, taped them all together (good thing we had tape) we put the plan to work....ha and the stick broke and fell on the other side of the window inside the house. Shoot.  We tried it again.  More sticks, more tape, and same story.....it didn’t hold up.  At this point we really gave up.  A nice old man who lives across the street came over and tried to help (trying all of his keys in case one of them worked, he was so very kind) but nothing.  And after all of that.......we honestly gave up.  There was no way to get in, except wait for the landlord to come back and let us in.  We ended up waiting outside in the heat for 1 hour, hungry and impatient.....but our landlord FINALLY came back, we were able to eat and make it to district meeting on time.  It was quite the experience, and we carried on with the rest of the day as usual. The only thing that really suffered was our pride.  Tons of cars drove by, and we were scared that someone was going to rob us again (we were very vulnerable out on our front porch with all our stuff) but nothing happened and it all ended okay.  Sorry there are no pictures.  I was too scared to take any.  

I hope you have a great week and know that I love you more than all the unique keys there are in the world!

Hermana Withers

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grateful to be a member of the same Church Christ organized, A day in the life of the Mission Secretary

August 18, 2014

Dear Family,
The person who owns the house we rent keeps raising the rent, and the mission knows that the house isn’t worth what this lady wants for it, so, we have been looking for a new place to rent.  We have found several good places that are sizeable with hot water and everything, and will be moving hopefully within the next 1-2 weeks.  I thought it was funny that Rebecca was also dealing with a house moving deal.  Funny how it works out that way.

Our zone went to a really pretty beach today with a couple other zones.  The waves were big and pretty.  I got what I would consider to be the best pictures that I have yet taken here in Chile, but on my companion’s camera.  I forgot to bring my camera, but I will have him email them to me.  The ocean here is really pretty.

We have been teaching several part member families.  One of the families is really progressing, the only catch is that they aren’t married yet.  However, they are going to get married in November, and the father will be baptized the 30th of November.  He, Patricio, knows the church is true, and shows up on the list of active people in Santa Sabina that the ward secretary gave us.  His wife is a member, and goes to church pretty frequently.  Patricio knows the church is true and has a testimony, and wants to be baptized.  They have 4 kids, all of whom minus the baby are members.  The oldest, is about 17 and he wants nothing to do with the church, but we hope he will change.  They have 2 daughters that are about 15 and 12 years old, and they participate in the church.  They also have a little daughter that is about a year and a half.  In Chile it is not uncommon to see people with very white skin and hair color that would make you think they aren’t from South America.  The wife, Claudia has red hair, Patricio has black hair, and is about 6 foot 5, and the youngest daughter has light brown hair with blue eyes.  I think she looks like baby pictures of Rebecca.  I told them, and they want me to bring pictures of what Rebecca looks like now so they can see what the baby will look like when she’s older.  Chileans are fun.  Patricio is a wealthy man, he is a manager of large construction projects, is studying towards a degree in civil engineering, and buys and sells Mercedes-Benz from his home.  He took us home in one of his Mercedes, and he really hit the gas.  It was exciting.

I invite you all to invite others to come unto Christ.  It will bring lasting joy in this life and in the next.  Something we have been sharing lately is Doctrine & Covenants  18:10, and the next 5 or so verses.  They are good and apply to missionary work.

I am really enjoying my mission.  I love thinking that every day I get the chance to be a full time missionary, to be an authorized representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and to be as Elder Holland described full time missionaries, “apostolic witnesses” of Jesus Christ.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that if we study it daily we will grow closer to God, than by studying any other book daily.  I am grateful to be a member of the same church that Jesus Christ established 2000 years ago.  

Nothing too crazy happened this past week.  I want you all to know that I love you lots.

I love you all, more than the number of blades of grass it would take to make a grass walkway 20 feet wide and that linked to Rosario and Boise and Concepción.
-Elder Withers

Dear Family,
This week the most incredible thing happened.  Mauro talked to his parents..........and.............they are okay with him getting baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a lesson with him this last Friday, and he was really nervous.  He wanted to tell his parents, but was scared.  Saturday afternoon after work he went with his fiancée to talk with them, they talked for a long time, and all is good.  They asked lots of questions, but not to be mean.....their questions were out of curiosity as to what he is doing, and why he wants to and so on.  When Mauro and Nadin told us we were over the moon excited, and the branch of Beltran is pretty excited too.  He won’t be baptized this Saturday though, because of a few complications with work (he works with his parents in a butcher shop and to keep the peace they made a schedule so Mauro can go to church, but it requires waiting one more week) and then he’s golden!  He will be baptized August 30, and I am so excited.  Hermana Gonzalez and I are the only missionaries that have ever taught him and it’s because he has progressed super fast.  He has the church apps on his smart phone and when work is slow he reads or watches Mormon messages or studies the gospel principles manual......and he asks questions that I haven’t even thought of before.  He is good.  He loves to study, is planning to take Nadin to the temple in one year, and he is another future priesthood holder that this area desperately needs.  I feel so lucky and blessed to be the missionary that got to teach him.  My only worry is that I might not be there for his baptism, because transfers are the 27th......which would be kind of a bummer, but I have gotten to be able to do all the fun part of teaching......so it will be okay.  (Incredible thing to note.......you guys fasted for us that we would have success, I was fasting Saturday afternoon too.......and that was when Mauro was talking with his parents.  Fasting is powerful).  I will make sure to send a picture of Nadin and Mauro and their family.  We love them so much, and if I am allowed to have favorites......they are it!

The rest of this week was kind of long, because we weren’t living in our own apartment.....we were sharing with the other hermanas, but it turned out to be fine.  It was fun at night, after everyone finished planning for the next day and calling in, we would all sit and talk.  Sometimes reality hits me like a brick and it is so amazing to me where I am.  Sometimes I forget that I am in Argentina, and then out of nowhere I realize it again.  Just in our temporary apartment....there are 4 countries represented.  Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the U.S.  The work really is awesome and it really is an international effort.  I will make sure to send pictures of all of us too!  We stopped by our apartment a few times, and they absolutely destroyed it.  Ha....it was a mess.  They drilled holes in the roof and in the walls, tore apart the walls, and there is dirt and dust everywhere.  This afternoon we are going to spend cleaning it all up, and tomorrow we move back.  Whoohoo!  At least we have a water heater now.  (Not that we didn’t have one before, that would have been tragic.  They are just putting in our own so that we don’t share one with the next door neighbor. )

This week we also had to go to Rosario to do visa paperwork.  It was long and extensive, and we had to do it twice.  This is what Elder Hill is in charge of, doing all the paperwork, calling the missionaries saying it’s their turn to go to Rosario to sign everything, and then send them back.  He does 7 or 8 each day, and after one day I was already tired.  My companion and I were going to do everything all together the first time, but my fingerprints came back bad, so we had to go back and do mine separately.  What Elder Hill does is seriously amazing, he has angels watching out for him and helping him.  He drives the mission car, packed to capacity.....with a special gray folder that holds all the paperwork and passports (worth more than gold.....he doesn’t like anyone touching it :) and we all go.  We went to several offices (no one really knows what all the paperwork means except him).  We stop at one place, all pile out, sign things, pile back in, go to another place, and get all the fingerprints, then go take pictures to put with the documents, and then go to immigrations.  It is a sad and stressful place, packed to capacity with angry people and missionaries.  He drives the mission car in downtown Rosario like it’s no problem.  But in Argentina, no one respects the lanes and there aren’t stop signs....whoever gets to the intersection first goes first.  It’s scary, and he does it like a champ.  It should also be noted that millions of people live in Rosario, driving in downtown Rosario is like driving in downtown Chicago or LA, and he knows how to get to all of the places without asking for directions or getting confused with the one way streets.  He takes 7 or 8 missionaries through the same process each day, doing tons.  When we went we had lots of time to talk and catch up while we waited in all the lines, and he said that the church changed the way they do visas for Argentina.  Before, the church waited until the missionary had the visa before they went....but now they send us, and we do everything here.  It works out better because then you don’t have visa waiters, but it’s a lot more work for the church.....(more like a ton more work for Elder Hill).  He talks to professional government people like it’s his first language, and they all know him by name because he is in their office every day, helping different missionaries.  More than anything I was just really impressed.  Everyone respects Elder Hill because he has work that no one else knows how to do (not even President, Elder Hill works with the church in Buenos Aires) and he does it every day.  That immigration office was something else, I don’t know how he does it every day.  It’s fun to be his cousin, and to serve with him down here.  The intense paperwork is starting to wind down, because the church is getting caught up on all the paperwork that couldn’t be done before (or in other words all the missionaries who were all visa waiters before) and soon it will be more stable.  Mine has taken so long because my paperwork got lost and Elder Hill had to do everything again, but........I’m good to go now!  

It was a great week with lots of adventures!  I hope everything works out with registering school, classes, and lockers.  I hope you all know that I love you more than all the travel fees the church pays to provide for  missionaries!
Hermana Withers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Family missionary plan, Very busy Sunday

Dear Family,
Thanks so much for taking time each week to write me.  I really do read every word of every email, and of every dear elder and letter.  I want you all to know how grateful I really am for all your prayers, letters, and packages.

Several months ago, I got a letter from a family in my home ward, explaining that the missionaries there had asked them to develop a missionary plan as a family, including regular gospel study, and also activities to help people come to church. The family sent the letter, with their plan, and I thought it was a great idea.  We are starting to help the families in this ward get excited about missionary work and every member a missionary.  This is a really neat ward, and yesterday there were 198 people in Sacrament meeting, which was amazing.  I really think it would be of great worth for you all to do something similar, to do missionary work as a family.  Something so simple as inviting another family over for a barbecue can be a great way to start.  The biggest forests in the world started out as just a few seeds.  2 Nephi 5:11 really applies here.   ¨And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.´´

I really love the mission field, and what I love most is seeing the changes that people make as they come to know their Savior Jesus Christ by living his gospel. I talked with Elder Sellers, and was delighted to hear that Amadeo stays for the 3 hours each Sunday, has received the Aaronic Priesthood, and now has a calling as a greeter Sunday mornings.  I am so happy with that.  Also, there was a less active family, the Ormeño family that we were working with.  They haven’t come to church for about 20 years, and we had found them by knocking doors.  We taught them simple and direct, asking really heartfelt questions, and they are now coming back to church so that is exciting news.  

Nothing too crazy has happened this week.  We are looking for a new house though, because the lady we are renting the house from keeps raising the rent, and the mission office isn’t interested in paying more, so we are looking for another place.  

I want you all to know how much I love being a missionary.  I really like being able to wear a plaque that says Elder Withers and La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días. I know that this is the one and only true church on the face of the earth.  It is the true cake.  (Spanish phrase for something validated.)  I know it, I have prayed about it, and I tell people every day that they need to go to the church on Sunday.  

I love you all more than the number of gold fish it would take to make a gold fish soup big enough to be lunch for a great white shark.  

Have a great week,
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
The work is marching along beautifully here.  Mauro is still progressing well, and is planning to be baptized in 2 weeks.  His biggest hurdle is his parents, he is scared to tell them about his decision to be baptized.....especially because he knows that his parents have negative feelings toward the church.  He is 23 years old though, so he doesn’t have to have permission from his parents......he is just scared that his relationship with them will become strained.  He has the family of his fiancée, who are all members and are helping him out a ton.......but it’s hard.  We are praying for him.  It isn’t easy to change, and it’s even harder when you don’t have parental support, but he can do it.  All the material things we have to sacrifice will be returned to us 100 fold if we decide to choose the Lord and be faithful.  

This week (starting today) our apartment is going under some intensive construction.  The church is putting in a water box heater thing, but it’s something that requires a week worth of work, breaking the walls, and a part of the roof......in other words we had to pack up and leave for the week.  We are staying with the Hermanas in Bermudez, the next area over from ours.  The apartment is nice, but getting to the front door is an adventure.  We will be staying with them all week, and taking a bus to our area each day.....which will make for a long week, but we will be fine.  

Yesterday was one of the craziest Sundays of my life.  We got to church and all was well with the relief society...we enjoyed a great class.  Time for gospel principles arrived, and the teacher hadn’t showed up....okay, no problem good thing we study the classes each week in case that happens :)  Then it was time for sacrament meeting.  It was the 2nd Sunday of the month, meaning the theme was missionary work......but the ward missionary leader forgot, and forgot to assign people to give talks (not sure if that is kosher or not, but here on the second Sunday, the ward missionary leader is in charge of assigning the talks).  On top of everything, the ward missionary leader was sick and couldn’t even make it to church yesterday.  Shoot.  Branch president was busy, and said, "can you two organize the sacrament meeting?  I need to interview this sister"....  (turns out she was to be interviewed to be the new Relief Society president)   We were just like, WHAT?!?!  Are you sure......we don’t know anything about organizing the program; this should have been organized at least a week ago.  So there we were.  10 minutes before church started, with an assignment to put together a program, because everyone else was sick or in a bind.....and we had no idea what to do.  We asked a few members if they would be willing to share a personal story or testimony or something, and one said yes, and everyone else said they were too nervous with so little time.  After asking a few people, we felt dumb asking so last minute.  So we bagged it, assigned ourselves the talks......a nice, super long intermediate hymn, and that was it.  It was a great meeting, we wrote the talks during the sacrament.  In the middle of the meeting, a homeless man walked in the door, asking for money.  And a little bit later another lady we didn’t know walked in crying and crying and crying.  We also had the high councilman from the stake in charge of Beltran come to visit, and also to have a meeting with us.  Once church ended, we were like......"that’s it?  Any more surprises???"    By the end of the 3 hours, I felt like I had just run a marathon.  It was crazy!  I have never had a Sunday like it before, normally everything goes wonderfully.......but yesterday everything was complicated for everyone all at the same time, and everyone looked to us to solve the problem.  We did what we could, but I really do appreciate the leaders and the members and the callings they fulfill.  We can’t do it all the time.  

It really was a great week, and I am so grateful for all of my blessings and for all of you!  Have a great week!  I love you more than all the cups of flour it would take to make a line of chocolate chip cookies from here to Boise!  

Hermana Withers              

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gospel blesses every life. Awesome investigators. Fish soup and cockroaches

August 4, 2014

Dear Family,
This past week we had some really cool experiences.  Last night, we were out contacting in the street, and we came across a house that had a really interesting motorcycle trailer in front.  We thought the trailer was so interesting that we decided to yell ``hallo`` in front of the house.  A man opened the door, we introduced who we were, and before we finished saying our names he said come in.  In D&C 18:10 it says great is the worth of souls in the sight of God.  As we came into his house, we realized that one half of his face was covered in tattoos, and the other half of his face was normal.  He had a large chin piercing, had his ears gauged, and had earrings in his ear gauges.  He looked very scary, but we didn’t feel threatened in any way.  He commented that in his 42 years of life, he has seen missionaries but they never knocked his door.  He drives his motorcycle across the country, going to big motorcycle events, and doing tattoos.  Mahori, had a rough family life, joined the Chilean navy, than got into drugs and motorcycles, than got into a serious motorcycle accident, was in a coma for 2 months.  He no longer does drugs, but he does smoke cigarettes.  He says that he felt a special peaceful feeling while we spoke with him.  We were in his house for only 10 min, but we will go back Thursday.  The gospel will really bless his life.  We hope he accepts a baptismal date.  

There are so many cool things that happen each day in the mission field, and I wish I could put everything in words and then email all the amazing testimony experiences.  

I know that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he loves us.  He wants to hear our prayers.  He sent his son Jesus Christ to teach the gospel, and to show how to live the gospel.  Jesus Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer, and it is our responsibility as members to help others come unto Christ.  I invite you all to read the first chapter of preach my gospel this week.  Read it together as a family, pray about how you can help friends and neighbors come unto Christ.  Set a missionary work plan as a family, and then follow through with it.  Establish a scripture study plan, a plan to regularly study general conference talks and other modern revelation, and also a realistic plan to study the manual Preach My Gospel.  Establish what things you will do as individuals and as a family to share the gospel.  I promise that as you set a plan and follow through with it that your testimonies will be strengthened.  You will have the Holy Ghost to help you.  You will grow closer to the Savior as you invite others to come unto him.  I testify of these things, and extend this invitation to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all.  I love you all more than the number of marshmallows it would take to fill a Goodyear blimp.  

Elder Withers

Dear Family,
Thanks for such great letters!  It is always so good to hear from you.  First things first before I forget........I have what feels like 1000 people (members) asking me for recipes from the states.  And they ask me how to cook stuff......and I have no idea.  They are always so disappointed in me saying, "you are a girl....how do you not know how to cook?"  And I always say, "Hey....easy now!  I can cook, if someone gives me the recipe.  But off the top of my head, I have nooo idea, second of all......1/2 the ingredients don’t exist here"  And they always say, "Fine......ask your mom for the recipes then"  And so that is what brings me to the question.......can you send me some recipes?  Everyone wants a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, a pie recipe (apple or cherry or peach or something), and a main dish.  And they want the easiest ones you have.  They all say, "the easiest and most delicious!"  Ha.....I swear all of the relief society sisters talked to each other about asking me, because they all attacked me with the same questions.  And I have to go through the shameful process explaining that I can’t cook without a recipe.  To end it all, I just need a few good desserts and main dishes.  Whatever you want to share....I really don’t care, but things that are easy and don’t have ingredients like peanut butter (it doesn’t exist here) and things that are super American...those are the recipes they are wanting :)  Thank you!  

This was a terrific week, really a great week.  It got super humid, and warmed up dramatically bringing the bugs and mosquitoes back.  I don’t think it will stay warm for long because it is still winter and will cool off a little bit again......but the humidity and small heat wave gave me a fresh reminder of what summer is like down here (as if I could ever even forget).  I am sooooo blessed to not have to spend another summer here.  They are scary. 

We had another lesson with Mauro (the boyfriend of the member) and he is progressing terrifically!  He went to the Buenos Aires temple with his girlfriend to see it and they both want to be sealed in the temple.  Excellent goals!  They are way ahead of their generation down here.  No one even gets married any more here, and they are planning on not only getting married, but also being sealed.  Such great examples.  He is excited to be baptized, and we are grateful to be teaching him.  

We also received a reference from a member, and the reference is amazing.  Her name is Debora and she has talked with everyone, all the churches.....and says she is still looking for the truth (she has a real chance to find it!)  We have taught her twice now, and she has some crazy hard questions....but the Spirit has helped us to answer them and she is learning quickly.  So many exciting people to teach!  

Something sad that happened this week, was on Tuesday the granddaughter of a member in our branch passed away.  She was a 5 year old little girl, and the TV fell on top of her (it was on top of a wobbly table).  They took her to the ER, and she went through some therapy....but passed away later that day.  Sooooooooo sad.  We stopped by to see what they needed from us or from the branch, and really they just need lots of prayers.  The next day when we carried on with work, teaching and contacting......the whole town of Beltran was sad.  All the strangers we met through contacts would say something like, "oh I am just so sad for the little girl who passed away"  and so on.  And it really was so sad, the news spread like wild fire and the outpouring of support that that family and household received was incredible.  The Plan of Salvation is the only thing that makes death bearable.  Knowing that we can be sealed to our families and see each other again is a great comfort to me.  I mourn for the people who don’t understand or believe in the Plan of Salvation.

A member served us a little bowl of soup the other day, and she said it was fish soup.  Sweet, no problem.  I looked at the soup...........and it was fish soup alright, but little fishes whole.  Bones, skin, and everything.  They only thing they did was cut the head off.  I nearly died.  I haven’t had a scary meal experience in a long time........I just took a big piece of bread, scooped up a little bit of soup a bite at a time and finished it.  It was more like bread with soup instead of soup with bread.  It was all cooked but the little bones still scratched my throat a little bit.  

We have also been trying to exterminate the cockroaches.....but I don’t think we will ever be able to finish.  We have killed what feels like hundreds but more keep showing up from somewhere.  Not sure how, but I am starting to lose hope.  They are seriously impossible to kill.  Almost immortal. 

If there is anything you need from me, let me know!  I am here to serve!  Have fun this week, say hi to everyone, and tell everyone they are my favorite.  

I love you more than all the messages that are sent around the world each day through the internet! 
Hermana Withers