Monday, February 9, 2015

Building the District Back Up

Hey all!

Well, this week was a mix of good and bad. So, the usual.
On Saturday, we baptized a couple by the name of O_____ and B_______.They're a bit on the quiet side, but they have a sincere desire to follow in and learn more about the Restored Gospel.
O_______ and B________ ready for baptism with me and Elder Lawrence.





Our branch isn't doing so well. Each Sunday we have a little less people coming to church. We started with some 120 members, and now 4 months later we are down to some 70 or so. Meanwhile, we are trying our darndest to up church attendance. A lot of the members here have actually moved to the communities nearby. They're basically like small villages or towns dispersed across the countryside.

Tomorrow, Elder Lawrence and I are going to head to the nearest community to Puerto, named Kamla. It's only a few minutes' drive from the edge of our area. We're hoping to find more success over there.

Other than that, not much going on around here right now. We get power outages every day now. They used to be every third day or so. For the most part they're just really annoying, but at night it sometimes gets really creepy. Without any power at night it just gets really dark and quiet.

So, that's my story for the week. Soak up some sun and cold weather for me and please say hi to Signe!

I love you all. I love you Mom, Dad, Alex, and Bree. And Signe.

-Zach

1) Have you tried to do any recordings with your digital recorder that we sent in the package?

* I've played around a little bit with the recorder so far. I will try to send a recording and an email next week to test how it went.

2) How’s your toe? And how are your shoes holding up? Do you need us to send another pair?

* My toe's almost completely healed. I just gotta let the nail finish growing out, and it'll be good. My shoes are starting to get worn out. I'm only using one pair of the boots (I just brought both pairs of boots to Puerto), but I'll switch to the other pair when these get worn out. If you could send another pair of Ecco boots, that would be fantastic. I'm not sure how much longer this first pair will last.

3) So, what fun activities have you had a chance to do there? Hiking? Zip lining? Volcano trips?

* Haha none of those three. I wish. Actually we've been to the beach a couple of times, and we've crossed a river via climbing two trees, but nothing more exciting than that. I'll try to send some pictures the next time we cross the river.
Rice, Fried Plantains, and a Whole Fried Fish.


4) Tell us what the members are like there. Are most of them converts or are there many lifetimers?

* There is nothing but converts here. The oldest (longest baptized) converts here were baptized 20 years ago when the first LDS missionaries set foot in Puerto, but most of those "old-timers" have disappeared or long since gone inactive. There's still a few active ones left, though, and they are very strong in the church here.

5) What jobs do you do in the branches you are in? Teaching what classes? Talks?

* We actually don't have many jobs in the branch itself. Sometimes we give talks in church, and we always attend leadership meetings, but that's about it in the branch.

6) If you could turn back the clock, what would you have done differently to prepare for your mission?

* I would have honestly read through the Book of Mormon not only to read it, but to study and apply its teachings and events to my life in modern day. I would also have been more open and active with inviting my friends to church activities.

7) We will be getting ready to send another package later this week. Is there anything you need? Or want?

* Chocolate (Those kit-kat were the BOMB) and more CTR Spanish rings, please.

-Zach

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