Dec 27, 2011
Trent's email 12/21/11
Hey mom. I just got to my area this morning (although I experienced it a little yesterday, long story). I check my email once a week when I write letters. Wednesdays, now. It´s SO exciting. Its weird, cuz I don´t have a grasp on the fact that I´m in a completely new place with a complete stranger, nothing is familiar except the gospel. But, the great thing is, that´s all I need. It´ll take a few days to feel like I really have a handle on what´s going on, but for now I can totally trust my companion. Well, at least he seems like a really good guy, and I haven´t been led astray yet. It´s sweet. I agree with the sentiment, ¨Some days it seems like you just left and other days it seems like you have been gone forever." I often feel both of those.
It´s amazing how far a simple lesson goes, when you really focus on the important parts, and not the cutsie things. I´ve learned that SO well with Preach My Gospel. All we do is focus on the nitty gritty needs of the people. One girl didn´t think she´d ever see her father again. We talked about how that´s the PLAN of this WORLD, man! Of COURSE you´re gonna see him again. She was so happy. I think she believed us anyway. Really, truly, an inspired lesson. My companion´s a stud.
Espero que uds. sepan, estoy entiendo mucho el Español. Fácil. Todavia no estoy flúido, y mucho del Dominicano no hay una manera en lo cual puedo entender, pero español de los Norteños y a veces de latinos entiendo bueno. Puedo contrubir mucho a una lección. Estoy tan feliz con todo mi experiencia en el idioma. Dad, please translate :)
I bought lots of stuff today, I hope you guys are still watching my funds. I´m not carrying any cash with me anymore, cuz people get robbed here sometimes. Just as easy to use my mission fund card. I also payed like $130 for really nice custom-made leather scripture cases and a convenient little bag... you´ll probably think I´m ridiculous, but it´s one of the only practical souveneirs we can buy here and they´re fantastic.
Interesting, isn´t it mom? All these guys talking about really different subjects, but really all giving the same message? That´s so much clearer when you´re a missionary, if you understand the basics, everything falls into place. And, you study the basics every day so you understand them better ;)
Oh, I thought the mashed pringles were a joke! Mashed potatoes, you know? I was impressed with the creative touch, figured Becca insisted. No big deal.
Well, then, I guess I´m glad ambition is one of my strengths. I like my ambition :)
Yeah, grandpa probably writes me more than dad ;) Just kidding, it´s about the same. Zoe hasn´t written back for two weeks, I´m very upset with her. But, it´s fun talking to her because she´s got the same sense of humor as I do, while very few other people do...
So I´m glad Nicole´s getting settled. What about you guys, any word on if you´re going to move any time soon?
It´s good to hear that Becca´s self-motivated! I didn´t think that would EVER happen. I hope she´s enjoying it a little bit these days. Poor Kenji, I feel like getting fixed isn´t a very fun experience. I imagine Becca´s having a hay day, though, watching him stumble around the house. Bueno.
Oh, my apartment is small, laid out alright, and is pretty disastrous. I have a lot of cleaning to do... I can´t live like this. It´s okay. I actually had to buy some sheets and I´m still looking for a good blanket. We´ll see what happens.
And Christmas, I don´t know what´s happening. I think we´ll be able to Skype you guys, there are some rich members around, and President already approved some Skype chats. Tonight, we´re going to a ward Christmas party and Elder Frómeta (my trainer, from NJ, parents are Dominican and Cuban) said he´ll ask around to borrow some computers. Oh, I´m in Santiago South, so the city. Way cleaner than Santo Domingo. So many cool missionaries. Things are pretty easy to buy and stuff, so don´t worry about me having anything I need. We bought a ton of fruits and veggies today, so we´ll eat healthy. Elder Frometa said he´s gonna show me some tricks, especially with Chinola (passionfruit). And, we have lots of rice. I will not go hungry. I got the Christmas package when I got here! Maybe I wasn´t supposed to open it yet, but I did. It had some delicious things!!!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH!!! Elder Frometa was also very appreciative of everything you sent. I´ve been super spoiled up to this point, having my food (in good proportions) made for me, eating really well, air conditioning, hot showers. Now, all that´s changing. (Well, after the Ward Christmas party tonight, and the members who invited us over to eat tomorrow night :D I´m super spoiled, but i´m gonna take it as a reward from the ward because I was so diligent in studying and obeying in the MTC :) But, as long as I keep things organized and get familliar with the area more or less, everything will be okay for me, at least mentally and emotionally. Physically, I might get hit by a car. They´re merciless here, man. When I have to run across a busy street, I think of Dad, and shoot the gap bravely. That´s what he would do. And we might be walking 100 miles every week. WOO! I have a hard time not dancing when music plays, and music plays here ALWAYS. I got in a tiny little taxi with seven people in it yesterday. It was fun. The sooner that camera gets to me, the sooner pictures will get to you.
I don´t know if it helps or hurts, but there´s not much of a Christmas atmosphere around here, so I don´t really feel like I´m missing out on anything. All the snow, the Christmas songs, the smells, reds and greens everywhere, pretty nonexistent around here. A tree here and there. Spanish Christmas songs on the Radio (I heard Feliz Navidad at the grocery story today, and my new favorite from the taxi yesterday was a pop song that´s like, ´"Navidad sin ti... hace dos meses yoiupzoixnadw." I didn´t understand anything else, but it was pretty funny. Romance in English gets to me sometimes. Romance in Spanish still amuses me, probably because I don´t understand very well. Anyway, I hope y´all know i´m praying for you, and things truly are going well, and I can´t wait to start really teaching. Becca, your due date is still tonight at midnight. Dad, thanks for emailing me. I love you! And I definitely appreciate your advice. I´ve really been working on loving diligently everyone I meet, and finding the good things about them and loving them for that, and trying to learn from them. It´s been good.
Anyway, Stay safe, love you all!
Elder Trent Taylor.
Okay, so packages get here alright to the DR address. I think it´s pretty inconsistent-could take two weeks, could take four. But they get here. Florida´s much more consistent, as far as I can tell. However, please tell everyone on my blog, and facebook, that FLORIDA is the only place that´s really worth sending letters. They get here WAY faster. Thank you!