Wowzers this week was something that I'll never forget. New area, new comp, new experiences and no sleep!
Tuesday I had to get up at 5am to go to Caguas, then to Pontezuela, and then to Bayamon, and then to Vega Baja. So it was a long day. We didn't get to the Vega Baja house until like 8:30pm. And that first night the mosquitos ate me like crazy! My feet are covered in red dots and I really need to buy some bug spray but I keep forgetting. So yeah Tuesday was straight up driving and moving.
Wednesday we went shopping for food and I got a little tiny itsy bitsy tour of part of one of the 7 cities that my area covers. It was more or less just a "meet people and let people know that you're here now" kind of day. Our ward mission leader is super nice and really really helpful so that's really cool. Like we had a missionary correlation meeting with him and after the meeting he took all 4 of us elders to get chicken and biscuits and stuff. I was stuffed dude.
Thursday we went out and visited some members, a lot of less active members. The area is really confusing. It's really interesting to come into a new area and have to rely on somebody else for direction and help and all that. But then at like 6 we went to the church and had a Book of Mormon class which is led by one of the missionaries each week. After the class Hermano Laureano (ward mission leader) had some bread and chicken and we all made sandwiches and stuff and it was a dandy old time.
Friday we went to a couple less active members houses and that was pretty interesting. One house has a daughter that's super into her own church, which is really cool and is super respectable, but she was giving us assignments and telling us that she hopes we don't get lost. Basically trying to imply that she has the truth which is interesting because she always wants us to come back to teach her. So idk about that family. Then we went and got to know one of the families in the ward who is super cool. They have a son who just got home from a mission in Guatemala and is super involved with us. Then they have another "son" who served in Puerto Rico and is the only member in his family and they kinda kicked him out so he's here living with this family and studying and stuff. Super cool people. Then we tried to go to some other potential investigators but didn't have a lot of success doing that. So we went and visited a recent convert couple who are like 75 years old and honestly kind of crazy, but they're really cool and fun to talk to. His name is Rafi and he has a really good friend in the ward named Fransisco and they're like the same age and are such jokers! It's sooooo funny. Anytime you try to shake Fransisco's hand he pulls away and goes "psych!" and it's super funny, you can't understand a word he says when he talks though hahaha.
Saturday was the Caribbean Day of Service. So at like 8am we went to this old people home (honestly I have no idea how to say it in English anymore) and we cleaned the yard and pressure washed the roof. It took until like 2 and then it started to DOWNPOUR. Like it was the hardest rain I've ever seen. Maybe harder than the tropical storm we had in Arroyo. Crazy stuff. So then we stayed in until like 6:30 when we went to a less active's house and talked with them. They're mom left Sunday morning to go serve in Kuwait in the Army. And she's like 5' 4" hahaha. It was really an interesting night because my companion, Elder Brinkerhoff, has depression and had a little depression attack while we were there. But other than that it was a good day. Apparently he just forgot to take his pill.
Sunday we had a really good day at church. The ward had about 65 people there but Brinkerhoff says that they usually have about 80. But everybody is super nice and it was cool because there were 3 young men that got the Priesthood at church that day. One was a less active guy and the other two are recent converts from a family of 5 in the ward. The rest of church was good I think, I'm super tired so I can't really remember. Then we came home from church and went out and tried to work but things just weren’t really happening for us. So we went home after talking with some less actives and making a few appointments with people who didn't have the time to talk with us. When we got home some stuff kinda went down and Elder Brinkerhoff went into another depression attack but this one was way worse. So much worse. It took us until like midnight to get him calmed down and stuff so that he could go to bed. Then I called President Boucher and we talked quite a bit about it and I stayed up until 4:30am to make sure that nothing else happened while we were sleeping.
Then today (Monday) we went to Bayamon to the mission offices so that President Boucher could talk with both of us. I woke up at 6:30am and had to drive. It was my first time driving in the mission so I was even more a little on edge. We got to the office at like 11am and did our interviews and basically Elder Brinkerhoff has to have a psych exam and then we'll see what happens from there. I'm super tired and stressed out and it's just been a super long week.
So yeah that was my week. Some stuff about my area:
My area covers 7 cities: Barceloneta, Morovis, Cialis, Vega Baja, Vega Alta, Florida, and Manati. It has the nicest beaches on the island and in Barceloneta is a TON of huge Outlet Malls. And apparently you can get stuff for super cheap so I need money so I can buy stuff. I wanna go to the Outlets really bad. Our house is actually really big. It has a big kitchen and front room, but man it has so many leaks. The roof leaks, the toilets leak. It's kinda a mess. And the mosquitos man they're killing me! My first night I got so many bites on my feet,they're covered in red dots! Each day is hard with the mosquitos trying to study and stuff. I mean while I'm trying to study hahahaha the mosquitos don't study. I don't think they do.
Oh another funny story is that our landlord called about the leaking roof and in Spanish he said "eh su techo, su techo todavia esta leakiando?" LEAKIANDO HOW MUCH MORE SPANGLISH CAN YOU GET! I died when I hear that. Oh by the way that sentence means "is your roof still leaking?" But man, leakiando that's not a word hahahaha anyways....
I love the area. It's huge. Oh another funny story! We hitch hike. It's a super good way of contacting. The chapel is on top of a really big hill so we hitch hike at the bottom and get a ride to the top and talk to the people that give us rides. It's pretty fun. Once we went up and down like 3 times just to contact. Kinda mixes things up a little. I was so freaked out when we first did it though, my goodness I was like man are you crazy?? But yeah. Kinda crazy.
Ummmm, I really don't know what else to say about the area. My comp is Elder Brinkerhoff and the other two elders in the house are Elder Amaro (from Mexico and is training and District Leader) and the other is Elder Morales from Guatemala. They're super cool and I love talking with them even though I can't understand a lot of what they say hahaha. It's fun. Elder Amaro has been in Vega Baja for 2 transfers already and has a little less than 6 months left. He's trained 3 times now. Super cool. There are also 2 Sisters in Vega Baja and they're Sister Trainer leaders.
I don't think I have much more to say since I've talked so much in this email. I'm gonna get carpal tunnel. I know that this church is true. I know that the principles and doctrine are the things that we need in our lives in this day and age. I know that I'm here in the mission for whatever things my Heavenly Father has planned for me. One thing I've learned is that trials come and trials go but your faith, if true faith, will always be there with you. The Sunday before I left Arroyo, President Ramos gave a talk about how life was never promised to be easy. Things were never meant to be handed to us. But through all the trials we always have Christ and our faith in Him. I love my mission and I wouldn't change any of it for the world.
Love you all!
Zack/ Elder Nelson
Me and Elder Brinkerhoff on a hill above the beach.