It´s always so hard trying to think of which experiences to write about every time. Maybe I should start bringing my journal with me to this little convinience store. Last Wednesday I went on divisions again. This time so that my companion could go on divisions with the District Leader, so I spent the day in their area with my district leader´s companion. He is super cool and he´s from Chile! He knows English pretty well because missionaries from the US taught it to him in Chile. I don´t know what it was but for some reason with him (Elder Castros), in that area, that day, my spanish was better by five fold. Maybe because he is also fairly young in the mission and it was his first time leading another person (me) so we both had to step it up. The lessons and words I taught and said that day we´re pretty fluid in the language. Not perfect of course.
I just had my first transfer conference today! It was a blast having the chance to talk to my old companions from the MTC again. It was interesting seeing who would get paired up with who and who would be sent to new areas and whatnot. I still have a few months in this area so nothing is going to happen to me soon. But my trainer has been here a while so next transfer he has to go and I´ll get a new companion. The train was a nightmare again. Also in the morning, the trains heading in the direction of the capital are crammed with people. So much so that we couldn´t even get on the first one that stopped at the station. You have to be aggressive if you want to get anywhere on the trains at this time of the day. Fortunately we waited for the next one which had room for us.
It rained again yesterday. The rain here is always heavy. I can never tell if it´s water or sweat dripping down my forehead because it´s even hot when it rains. The humidity really makes things different. There´s no wood houses, or carpet. All the houses are made of cement and have tile floors. I don´t know if it´s only the style or because of the humidity also. I fortified my good pair of shoes in the MTC for just this situation. Unfortunately a couple weeks ago, after having my shoes for only a month, I already started to get a hole in my right foot. When it rains my left foot is cozy and snug but my right foot is waterlogged and miserable. I´m experimenting with ways to help lighten this burden. The hole isn´t big at all. It takes a few puddles to start getting my foot wet. I tried shoving part of a plastic bag in the hole to prevent water from getting in. Pretty savage but missionaries don´t have time to use their heads. It did help, but only for a little bit. Next time I´m probably just going to put some paper towels or a washcloth in my shoe to absorb the water.
I got another chance to do some more service this week. This old lady (who is a member) can´t really keep care of her house. She has a big sort of vine tree on the wall infront of her house, maybe 15 feet high. Our task was to trim the branches that grew long and made it look really sloppy. The problem is that there isn´t really any place to prop the ladder to climb up and cut the branches. Another problem from that is there wasn´t really any ladder that wouldn´t collapse or fall apart after stepping on it. It didn´t help that she didn´t own any shears. Our weapons of choice were limited to a pair of scissors and a rusty saw with dulled blades for trimming her vine trees. Somehow we got my companion on the roof so he could get one side of the grove and I had to take one of the somewhat decent ladders and prop it against the very branches I was cutting to get up there. Trimming vines with an old hand saw was definitely a new experience. It was also a little nerve racking that sometimes my ladder would start to give when I cut a branch. To keep the bottom from sliding out we propped another ladder against the house and it´s bottom. The only thing keeping myself and the ladder upright were the thin vines I was cutting. Eventually we had to have my companion stand on the bottom to keep the ladder from sliding out from underneath. When the branches under me started to crack and I would drop suddenly a few inches, I had to end my work. Somehow it worked out and we were able to make her crazy vine tree thing look a little better. Then we put back on our ties and white shirts and resumed our walking about finding people to teach.
Those are the biggest highlights of the week I can think about. I love every moment and every whacky experience I get to have here. I´m working on figuring out how to send some pictures. I keep forgetting my camera and the cables. Thanks for all your support and love!
-Elder Trevor Jones