Mar 12, 2012

Email home 3/7/12

Wow.  I´m such an idiot.  I just lost my whole email, which took me 30
minutes to write.  Stupid google mail, where´s the automatic save??
What year is this, 1992?  Lousy world.
Okay, so, here´s the jist.
Dad, thank you for the political updates!  I wish I could participate,
but I should live in a different state if I want to make a difference.
Mom, the ward has about 100 people, maybe a little more, with quite a
few kids.  It´s actually pretty big by ward standards.  There are
quite a few branches, though, so not everything´s the same.  Elder
Jenks y Elder Lowe, from Rafey, are serving in a branch.  We´re only
in one ward, which we actually share with the ¨office elders.¨  It´s a
large area.  Elder Hale recently went home, so I´ve become, by
default, the ward pianist.  We have a small, dinky keyboard, in quite
a large chapel, so I´m not heard very well.  Thankfully.  Still
haven´t mastered sight reading.
Next transfer, Elder Frometa should be gone, and I should get a
different companion.  That happens next Wednesday, so I´ll be writing
you with a new companion.
Or, maybe, I´ll be writing you from a different country.
On February 16th, Elder Bednar dedicated Cuba to be open for
missionary work.  It sounds like a few missionaries will be being sent
there next transfer.  He said, however, it would be the hardest
working, most diligent.  My comp actually thinks no Americans will go,
and he knows quite a bit about Cuba because his dad´s cuban.  I don´t
feel like I´ve done much, so I doubt I´ll get sent there.  It would be
cool, but I´d be happy to stay here.
In other news, our new mission President´s name is President Douglass.
Yeah, he´s white.  I think he served his mission in Ecuador, so he
speaks really good spanish.  That´ll happen in about 4 months.
Yeah, pdays are always on Wednesdays, but things could change when the
new president gets here.
Okay, I neglected to mention, until now, that the entire month of
February is called ¨carnaval,¨ which is a big party.  The mellower
dominicans say that it´s just another excuse to party, because they
always have one.  Carnaval consists of lots of drinking, parades,
confetti, and something called ¨Lechones¨ every Sunday.  A lechón is a
person who dresses up in an extremely colorful jumpsuit that has lots
of bells and mirrors sewed onto it, walks around wearing a sparkley,
colorful mask with horns that are four feet long and a nose that is
two feet long, cracking a whip.  Kids pulled out the whips in the
middle of January to start practicing, and I think they´ve all been
put away now, but it´s amazing how strong they can crack those things,
even some of the short little ones.  I tried, I looked pathetic, and
didn´t even get a little crack.  But, that´s okay.  Anyway, I don´t
know the story behind the lechones, but they´re cool.  Oh, they also
carry around inflated cow stomachs and whack people with them.
Someone should look that up.
Thank you to everyone who sent me a letter this week!  I got lots, so
I´ll try to respond as soon as possible.  I´m already way behind.
Today we played basketball, and I did terribly, but it was fun.  My
spanish is coming really well, I´m happy.  My biggest problem is still
budgeting, I somehow ended up spending most my money last week and I
still have two more weeks to go on this transfer.  I think it might
have to do with the packages I´m getting, or maybe I just need to eat
less cereal and milk.  I bought a ton of oatmeal, so that should help
out.  Also, I haven´t been buying any junk food.
I learned ALL KINDS of stuff this week, like the importance of
following the Holy Ghost, how much Heavenly Father loves us, what a
real missionary spends his time doing, how to love people, when to not
argue with people and just let it go.  I´m learning so much.  My
trainer says I´m way different than when I arrived, and I guess I can
feel it.  I´m excited to start with a new companion and learn
different things.  I think it´s just a rule that people start to get
on your nerves after three months, 24-7.  Still love him, but excited
for a change.
Also, I´m still working on humility.  That´s such a hard thing, I
think for everyone, but maybe especially for me.  I have to keep
reminding myself to ¨look up,¨ like Carl B. Cook said in Conference,
and how it said in the January ensign.  Read that stuff, by the way,
it´s fantastic!
Love you all, take care, and thanks for all your support!  I
definitely feel your prayers.
Elder Taylor!

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