I’ll skip a couple of those questions and just put them in with my whole email. I can’t answer them directly :) too much stuff happened. But my bed is fine... its small. haha. I can feel 2 wires run down my back but if you sleep right in between them it’s not too bad. nah we don’t live with the pensionista, she lives about 3 minute walk from our house.. so it’s not too bad. She’s super dope. She makes us lunch every day and does our laundry. It’s like my own personal mom :) Don’t worry though... she’ll never replace you :) You Googled it?? Are you in the right place cause I don’t actually live in the city of Talara. I live about 20 minutes outside of the city.. I don’t know in what direction... but yeah its windy here so that makes it a lot cooler. The Elders said that it’s the coolest area in our mission because there’s so much wind so I got hooked up with that. But dang it’s still hot. And the worst months are still ahead of me! hahaha Air conditioning? hahahahahaha. yeahhhhh good one... nahh. The mission president is awesome, such a good guy. It helps that he’s from my area.. but super chevere.
Our branch isn’t super strong but our president, his counselors, and our relief society president are like the only ones that are good and actually show up. We run a lot of it though. well,.. we try to at least. My district is cool. There’s only 4 other missionaries - Elder Campo from Ecuador, Elder Hamblin from Arizona, Hermana Meakjfsdñj from Mexico and Hermana Garlick from Texas. She’s tight but this is her last transfer so she’s going home next month.
This week was bombski. Last week for p day we drove like 20 minutes to this different beach and it was BEAUTIFUL too. There were all these caves and cool rocks to climb on right on the shoreline. There were some killer waves that I wish I could’ve body boarded or surfed. We played soccer on the beach and I got SUNBURNED on my neck. It was horrible the next couple days cause my collar kept rubbing on it but its better now. :)
One of the members made us rice pudding and it was amazing. It’s like the only thing that somewhat reminds me of the US. The problem is here, when you eat their food really fast, they think that you want more. So they just keep bringing it, and bringing it, and bringing it and it’s rude to say no. Sooooo you just say yeah sure. It’s horrible, I probably had 5 cups of rice pudding. Note to Braeden; eat slow. It’s alright though, I’m not gaining much weight because we walk like 8 miles every day and I sweat a lot so I’m burning it off :)
On Thursday, we had a district meeting and you’ll never guess who showed up... President Rowley! haha and I was the one who had to give the spiritual thought. In Spanish!. yayy. We also have interviews with the president this Wednesday.
After our meeting, we went on intercambios. I’m sorry I don’t know what the word is in English but it’s like trading companions. So I went with Elder Hamblin up to the high part of Talara. "Talara Alta". It was sooo nice to speak English! We didn’t have much success. In fact, no success. We walked around for 8 hours and no one opened their door or listened. We knocked on this door and no one answered, and we were just about to leave until this man walked up, literally walked right in between us, opened his door, and closed it without saying a thing. We just laughed.. we thought it was pretty funny. Another house we went to, Elder Hamblin was like watch this, they’re going to say that the boy is showering. Haha So we walk up and knocked on the door and the mom answers and before we could even speak, she says sorry... he’s showering. I was trying to hold it in at the door but I couldn’t. I’m sure that left a great impression.
HALLOWEEN! Pretty good for you guys huh? All the kids came? But hey, the first holiday away from home! Didn’t feel very different, but I sure was thinking about you guys! We went to this guys house, named Franco and he has 2 little siblings. Santi is 2 and Azul is 1. They’re sooo cute. Anyways.. when we were trying to leave Santi stood in front of the door and just said NO. It was so cute, I took a picture.
Ahhh this is a good story. So we were teaching this family.. they’re a great family.. bless their hearts. Anyways we finished and they offered us dinner. They were having fish and it sounded like a great idea.. I mean, I love fish! haha Man I didn’t think they meant a literal fish. I about died…skin, fins, head, face, spine, EYES! I was counting down the time until I was done. We finished.. eventually and I felt sick after. The fish was called chula and it was big too.. like 8 inches long.
We’ve had a ton of spiritual experiences the week and even had the opportunity to give 2 blessings and they both were awesome. We have this family that we teach named the Olivares family and the mom was telling us about how her sons have a drinking problem and E Martinez promised her that if they attended church for a month, that they would see a change. I could tell that it was the spirit speaking through him. Such a cool experience. We told her that we would pick her up for church and they were ready to go at 8:35! AMAZING. It’s moments like that, that make all this hard work worth it.
Elder Martinez and I are getting along soooo well. We’re actually very similar. We have the same sense of humor and you bet we have a dang good time. Always laughing. He LOVES music! He’s the number 6 DJ in South America! Like he’s unreal. He got to play with Skrillex. Live. If you don’t know who that is, ask someone. It’s a big deal. Anyways, because of that love for music, he makes EVERYTHING he hears a dubstep or electronic song. Cars... church hymns in our appartment... SNEEZES. ahh man its hilarious.
Church yesterday was great. It’s just so different from our ward at home because people just like walk around during sacrament meeting? Like what? Sit down. Our church is very antique. The ceiling is woven palm trees. It’s dope. I’ll take a pic this coming week and try and send it. All the kids love us here.. they always ask for my signature. I feel like a dang celebrity. They call me "chewy". I dont know why...
The food is either getting a lot better or I’m just getting used to it. I forgot to mention that we eat onions and cucumbers with everything and i love it. It’s seriously like my favorite. It gives the food some flavor. I’m getting used to the culture here because dang that first week I was definitely in some culture shock. I’m getting used to being dirty :) Just accepting it now.
My Spanish is coming along well.. I get bettter every day but it’s still hard and I still don’t understand a lot, but it’s better :) It’s funny, they change their V and B sounds here. ha.
I love the members in my barrio. They’re amazing.. but always busy. All the people here are fisherman so they aren’t ever home.
We’re working really hard. Reallyyyyy hard. I’m exhausted every day but I know that this is where I’m supposed to be. I love being out here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I love and miss you guys... and have a great beginning of November :)
Happy birthday mom, and have fun! I’ll be there in spirit :)
Talk to you next week!
- Elder Harris IV