Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 4, 2014

I want to fly home with all the missionaries from my group and we can return a little later. I did wash a cat. There was a couple walking in the street and that little cat was following them but he wasn´t theirs, so they saw us and said, "Do you want this cat? He isn´t ours!." And I said, "Absolutely!!", so we put him in my companions backpack so people wouldn´t hear him screaming all the way home, and when we got there, he was covered in poop, so we gave him a bath, which he didn´t like. But I liked it. I loved it, in fact. I have a lot of videos to show you guys when I go home, most of which involve cats.... And yes, it is custom to burn a shirt at your one year mark. I did get transfered. I am in the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission, and after one long (but short) year, I have finally been put in the actual city of Santa Cruz. My companion is Elder Hammond from Sandy Utah, he has 21 months in his mission. It´s my first time being junior companion since my training. He is way funny, and just one week before the transfer, a friend of mine, Elder Jones, said to me, "You should be companions with Elder Hammond! You guys are like the same person!" We´re both blond and tall and goofy, we get along great. I´m learning a lot from him, and I feel a special power when we teach lessons.
- Dad, I never wished you a happy birthday. I knew it was your birthday that day, I even wrote it in my agenda, but I didn´t say anything. Happy birthday! I love you
- I got to my new area in Santa Cruz this week, and since I´m a gringo, me and my companion decided to pull a joke on some people in the ward. When I met them, I pretended not to be able to speak Spanish very well. I met the ward mission leader, and my companion told him I was new, and I just pretended to be really confused and struggling. He said to me, "I know you´ll be able to speak real soon Elder, don´t worry too much," which I pretended to not understand. Then, during our meeting with him, the Bishop and the other missionaries, me and my companion started to give a report of the work for the week, and I began to speak totally normally about all the people that we had visited those last few days, and we acted as if nothing was wrong and everything was normal. He was so confused, it was hilarious.
- I am no longer a fan of casual clothes. I prefer to wear a shirt and tie than a t shirt and shorts. I´ve just gotten so used to it that that is what I´m comfortable in.
- In my new house here in Santa Cruz, I saw in the corner a bunch of binders with titles that said, "Libro de Mormón, Parte 1" and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5, with thick pages of white paper. I knew instantly that that was the Book of Mormon in Spanish in Braille. I have a picture, but I´ll send it later!
- My Bishop told us to tell our parents hi for him, and that he´s very thankful that you have sent a pair of missionaries who are willing to work hard for his ward.
- If there was one thing I regret in regards to my mission, it would be that I didn´t pay for it. My advice is that you would see if that would be a good idea for Lane. That will make his experience even more special for him.
- In the same way that Mormon couldn´t write a hundredth part of all the plates that he was to abridge, I can´t tell you guys even a small fraction of the amazing things I see and feel every day, but know that I´m having an amazing experience in my faith and testimony of the Gospel. The mission turns mere faith into a testimomy, and perhaps a mere testimony into the beginnings of a conversion.
- At my setting apart, dad said that the one thing he loves more than raising his little kiddies and making memories with them is seeing them become adults. I realized while we were teaching a lesson, while we were talking about how much God loves us, that Heavenly Father feels the same way for us! We were little kids, and what he wanted, and wants, is that we become like Him. That we "grow up", that we go away and learn for ourselves through experience. It's cool to see that parallel between my two fathers.
I love you mom!
Elder Wilkinson
p.s. My wish list is: a photo album of you guys full of photos that you see fit to include, like memories of us, family vacations, and other memories, a Super Nova frisbee (and I´m serious about the brand, go big or go home), a TON of sour patch kids, Young Coconut, girl scouts Samoas cookies, and a little bitta luuuv :))))))

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