Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 2, 2013

There was no letter last week because Ryan was transferring from the MTC to his first area.

Hey mom,
Wow it has been a crazy week. I am in Bolivia now, in an area called Tarija, GoogleMap and Image it! Its the poorest place I've ever seen, and the Church doesn't hold back from sending us right into the middle of it haha. My house is a tiny bedroom, a tiny, filthy bathroom, with a shower that has no curtain, and with water that turns off at night, and one more room with our closets, desks, books, at tiny stove. I eat frozen tuna and bread for breakfast. The lifestyle change has been insane, and honestly extremely scary haha. We walk everywhere, hours and hours a day. My trainer is named Elder Bahamonde, don't pronounce the H, and he is from Lima. He speaks a tiny bit of English, but I would safely assume that of all the words I speak during the day, maybe 3 percent is English. I'm starting to think in Spanish, and I'm starting to forget English! haha Its so crazy and awesome how quick it has been for me. 

We have taught some families, and had some really special experiences. The members here are so awesome, I love them so much. They had me bear my testimony in church yesterday, and I did pretty well. I made them laugh by making fun of my Spanish, and there's nothing that calms nerves more when you are speaking in public than making them laugh haha. Its been fun! I'm a little sick, but not much. Just a cough. There are a few drinks here that are amazing. One of them is Mate, which is in the US, but its better and more organic here. The other is called Jugo de Pel�n, and its just water in which the Pel�n fruit has sat rotting for three weeks hahaha, its seriously my favie drink ever. Everyone called me Alto Gringo here haha, I'm taller than almost everyone I've seen. There are some hardships and challenges, ups and downs, but that's what I signed up for when I put my papers in. I knew it wouldn't be easy. Its helps to just have a good time while doing it. 

If you send me a package at any time 1) it will probably take three months, if it gets here at all, and 2) don't do it before I tell you what songs I want you to burn on a CD for me. I miss music so much. Like SO much. 

Bolivians are awesome. Its not what I thought it would be at all. People live very humbly here, but they don't like wear rags and stuff. They wear clothes, and they're very clean. I was just being stereotypical before haha. My trainer is an amazing missionary, and I'm so blessed to have been paired with him for the next three months. He thinks I'll be a trainer as soon as I'm done being trained, and I'm gonna be totally honest, I sure hope not haha, because that means I would be in this area for 6 months straight, and I need some mobility. But I will do that which the Lord calls me to do! Again, Google the heck out of Tarija, I want everyone to see what its like here. My ward doesn't have any piano players, so I'm gonna try to find some time to practice so that I can help them out. My president is so awesome. His name is President Willard, and he served his mission in San Fernando, CA. His wife is so sweet, and it makes me feel a little more at home when I talk to her haha. There's an accent in Santa Cruz where they don't use an s if it is at the end of a word. So tres dias would sound like tre dia. Oh, and I think I drank some of the water. 

Riding in a car is a treat for me here. Alright I gotta go, if you wanna know specific details and randomness, ask! I love you all so much, and if my prayers are being answered, you are all doing wonderfully! Les amo! Mucho amor! Chao! 
Elder Wilkinson