Vamos a empezar con la noche del 24: Pig intestines. She fed us pig intestines, with the food still in them of coarse. But it wasn't just pig intestines, but it was pig intestine soup. What an experience. More interesting food to come...
The 25th of December was awesome! In the morning I woke up and ate a ton of snacks that I've got from members and my family from packages. We played Uno like all morning long. But it's "Mission Rules" Uno, about 1000x better than regular Uno. Ask me in 20 months and we'll play it. Then I got to talk with the fam on Skype! It was the coolest thing seeing them again for the first time since August. I'm sure I looked pretty with all the sweat dripping down my face as I was talking with them, but that's what ties are for. After that we just chilled, played games with, and watched movies in Spanish with Presidente Marco and his wife while the other Elders were talking with their families. Then we had La Cena de Navidad with them. They gave us a ton of food! If I had a mirror I could have seen the food up to my throat. Then they drove us home because the streets can be dangerous at night. That was my Christmas in the mission.
The 26th we went to Lago for a Christmas Zone meeting and had a Secret Santa gift exchange(Which I bought that morning). Elder Galvis was mine, He got me a new tie and candy. I got Elder Leong chocolate. Every missionary likes severly melted chocolate. We played Uno with them as well and then we ate at this cheap but good Chinese restaurant. They were telling us they played Uno too and Elder Hess lost like 5 times in a row so they made him chug a 3L bottle of Sprite. The video was priceless; Worth more than the Liahona, I'm sure. We had our ward Christmas/New Years party on the 27th. They had a ton of extra food(Christmas, Pt.II) and they played musically chairs & other games. We had a lot of investigators show up too so that was good.
Here's the other interesting food I promised: Mayones! They are these little orange worm things that we ate on Saturday. Look em' up. I also saw steaked, grilled Guinea Pigs for the first time. They might be adoreable while alive, but when they´re dead, grilled, and have a plank of wood jammed up their butts, not so much. I kinda wanted to try it but I didn't want to pay $20 to buy a rat with a deamon face. Look those up too! Haha.
The big news! Changes are today. Results: Elder Richimondg is leaving to Quito to be a zone leader in Ofelia, Elder Magalhaes is going to Quito as well but in Calderon to also be a zone leader. Elder Hess is leaving to be a Secretary(Dang, Right!) My new companion and the new zone leader in Coca will be Elder Black, whom is in Esmeraldes right now. He is from Utah and he has more than a year in the misson. That's all I know about my companion right now though. Elder Wright will be companions with Elder Mamani. Elder Galvis will be Elder Leong's companion and the district leader of Lago and Coca(How does that work?) and Elder Murphy will get Elder Sanchez, whom was in my group when I first got in Ecuador. Elder Richimondg and Elder Magalhaes can't leave today or tomorrow since there's like no busses right now because of New Years. So we'll party with them. Wo Hoo!!
Dang this letter was big. That was my week! I'll update you guys on the new companions next week after they get here! Everyone have a happy new year wherever you are! I'll be hinding in my appartment as roman candles and much more fly by! Feliz Año Nuevo!
How is the world doing? Joshua David Bolton is doing awesome! I love the mission!
So this week beginning on monday night Elder Richimondg gave a kid a haircut. So that was funny. The kid tried to cut his own hair while we were teaching the rest of the family about Christlike attributes and he just comes around the corner half-bald with siccors in his hands hahaha. But Elder Richimondg came to the rescue while I took pictures. Other exciting news I assisted in killing a pig. Haha, oh yeah. On Tuesday one of Hna. Jenny´s pigs was sold and they killed it right there. The guy tried to kill it by stabbing it in the heart right behind the front legs. But it took him 6 tries to hit the heart. Every stab the pig made the worst squeel you can imagine. After it died his little pigs friends gathered around him and looked all sad. Merry Christmas haha. We helped carry it and shave off the burnt bits of hair after the guy who stabbed the pig insinerated it with a flamethrower... Sounds like a party, right? This is how a Christmas letter should start.
We've had a Christmas party and our ward choir(Which is mostly made of us missionaries) carroled this week. So those were really fun and some investigators showed up and had a good time too. Another thing that helps get investigators is mine and Elder Wright's English classes that we have been having everyWednesday since two or three weeks ago. So I'll probably continue doing that until I go. Other news: since I've started my mission I've finnished the Book of Mormon again and the New Testament as well. Now I've started the D&C's. I had terrible food poisioning for only one day but now I feel totally fine. But oohhh... That one day was the worst. I woke up at like 4:00am throwing up like a snowblower. And was dizzy the rest of the day but we still made it ro all of our appointments just fine.
As far as investigators was have 6 new ones! One is a family of four and they seem really interested when we taught the Plan of Salvation. Familia Japa will have to wait a little longer for their baptisms because: They wont go to church! Oh, it's so frustrating sometimes haha. They are totally down for their baptisms but we can't do anything about it unless they go. But if they do, we should have a ton of baptisms in January. We also had a suprize baptism on Sunday! haha. She is 9 years old and she lives like 30 minutes away but she is techniqally in our zone. So her father baptized her and we made up a little baptism program right before in like 5 minutes.
That's my week! I'll talk to you guys tomorrow for real! Bros, I hope your Christmas is as White as Dirty Dan's mission right now.(Showt-out!)
So for the past two week all of what I've been eating are pineapples and grilled cheese sandwiches. I could almost live forever like that. The grilled cheese sandwichs I make have this really spicy but delicious cheese and I put salami on it too. My companion loves me for them. The pineapples that are yellow inside are hawaiian and those are the ones that I usually buy but two days ago I found one from Guayaquil and those are white inside. It was huge! I ate the whole thing in one night and my mouth felt like it was on fire!
Anyways, the members here have been awesome. We´ve still been getting a ton of referals. We got 6 just this weekend(And that doesn't include their families)... Sergio, Andres, Kelly, Hendry, Miriam, and Dara. We´ve taught just about the Savior to all of them for the first lesson since Christmas is coming down the pipe. It's really easy to teach about the atonement cause the spirit is always there. We taught Miriam and her family, Kelly, and Henry about the Restauration and Book of Mormon now. They all have a lot of potential to progress but only a few of them came to church this Sunday unfortunatly. We'll get em all next week. Kevin and Bryan(Investigators of the other Elders in Coca) will be baptized this weekend and our investigators: Familia Japa and maybe Miriam too, will be baptized on the 28th of December! Oh yeah!!
I gave a talk in church this Sunday about the savior and based on Pres. Packers talk about mercy and justice called, The Mediator, I think. It went pretty well. Better than I expected at least. It's dang hard to give a talk in Spanish though. Random notes: It's not old news but people are not afraid to honk their car horns here. I hear those and car alarms all the time. And whenever I pass by a TV, The Simpsons in Spanish is always on. We had a mini zone conference this last Thursday and I got more packages. With Candy!! Thanks Familiy! The paper christmas tree is awesome too. Elder Richimong said it was, "Full Chevere!" I finnish the new testiment now which I started about 2 weeks into the mission field. I actully like to read now, is that weird?
That basically my whole week. Family: I'll try to make a skype right now and I'll send you more info about when and other stuff... I love you all! For those of you where it is snowing, send me a package of snow, please! Nos vemos.
Saludos, de la amazonas. Pretty rock solid week. After P-day last week we planned the best TucoTuesdayever. At the time it was only Elder Magalhaes, Elder Wright & I in Coca since my dad, Elder Richimondg was in Quito with Elder Murphy for a Zone leadership meeting. However thatTuesdaymorning Elder Richimondg called us and told us to come up to Quito right now for LA CENA DE NAVIDAD!! And it was a pretty awesome trip. We started the 8 hour, 8,500ft elevation change trip by watching White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen in Spanish of coarse. What? It's in Spanish so I'm learning... Awesomely. We got there around10:00at night and stayed in San Carlos & ordered Papa Johns.
Wednesday we traveled to the church offices in Quito to buy some stuff. I needed some Spanish scriptures because they've been missing since I've arrived in Ecuador and I can't buy any in Coca unfortunatly. And the store was closed at the time so that was a bummer too haha. After that we met up with the zone from Ibarra at the president's house around 5:00 and just talked with them for a little bit while we ate chips & dip. Then 6 at a time we went up the elevator to the 7th floor(Yes, his place is heaven haha) and could smell the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fresh baked bread, banana jello, & Tres leche cake. Yes, I have a good nose when it comes to food and could smell all of those individually. It was awesome because it was like a redemption Thanksgiving. We ate, carroled in the streets, had a white elephant, and heard spiritual messages from the president, assistants, and our zone leaders. Bacancicimo.
The next day while everyone else in our zone started the journey back, Elder Richimondg and I had to meet up with the mission nurse at the hospital so Elder Richimondg could get an MRI for his shoulder that has been killing him still. The appointment for some reason took for ever though and it was too late to travel back to Coca that night so from about 4:00-9:00 we did splits with Elder Pop and Elder Cedeña in La Luz sector and then left back home that morning. I love Quito but it's good to be back in Coca. After I'm gone from my investigators for too long it just doesn't feel right.
So I didn't really have a chance to get to my investigators this whole week other than Saturday and Sunday, so there is not much new news on them. However Joel (The oldest son from la familia Japa) Made it to church this week! I found this family with contacting so I basically love them to death. The parents weren't able to make it this week but Joel did. He's missing his left arm from his elbow down. He's the coolest 13 year old and the most humble, nicest little dude ever. He's a little shy but he made it to the young mens activity too! He really wants to be baptized and cannot wait for his date.
My Spanish is coming alone pretty well but I still need a ton of improvement. I slowly notice that I can understand people a little more easily and I'm able to talk back a little more easier. When we're teaching a lesson or when church-related things are being talked about, I can understand just about all of it. It's the random conversations that we sometimes have with the members that just leave me there clueless. So after I perfect sentence structure and Gospel-related stuff, I'm going to need to work on the random stuff like animals or something haha.
And yes Dad, I'm good for the Snow-Heat trade. Just send some snow in a package with mother Mary all over it like the package I just recieved. I'll send you a bottle of sweat or something haha. I'm glad you guys survived the trip up to SLC for the Bolton family reunion... And to make it even Grandma Richins, I'll mention you two in a discussion with my favorite investigator family tomorrow. To the Bros: KEEP DOING WORK!!
Oh yeah I just remembered this! But while in Quito with Elder Richimondg after the hospital, we met some members of the church on the street and there was a really old lady that said she needed a blessing so we walked a little bit until we found a quiet park and gave her a blessing and imeadiatly after the old lady and her daughter just broke up into tears and thanked us like crazy. The spirit was higher than the altitute of Quito. I was reminded of that because I just read Dirty Dan´s miracle-packed letter. Thanks Dirts!
Tis the season. Every week here is awesome! And it keeps getting better and better! Elder Magalhaes said that the mission flies by really fast after Christmas but it already feels like it's flying by right now. I mean, it's almost Christmas! Where did the time go?
Our new investigators are doing awesome lately! We have several new additions to the one-two punch, Elder Bolton-Elder Richimondg lesson legacy. One of them is a street contact named, Indida. She has one daughter and is married. We asked inspired questions on the street and guess what she wants, an eternal family. Lesson 2 amigos, lesson 2.
Our new family of the week, Familia Japa, I´m sure will be baptized. We've only had a couple lessons with them but the family felt the spirit very strong and they're very interested. The first lesson the father wasn't there but the second lesson he was and he was questioning us like, "Want do you want from my family?" and asking a bunch more questions about religion but after we explained our purpose and everything he ended up being the coolest guy and now he's really interested. We didn't feel like we should ask them to be baptized yet but we will drop the Baptizm-bomb next time. The only two problems are that they aren't married (Like a lot of people here) and Elder Richimondg is gone right now to his Zone leader meeting in Quito with Elder Murphy. So that lesson might have to wait a little longer. I'm with the other Elders in Coca right now, Elder Magalhaes and Elder Wright. We're staying in my appartment right now because it's a ton better than theirs. And I could visit familia Japa with them but they can't this Tuesday and after that I might be in Quito for a couple more days...
Why would Elder Bolton be in Quito again might you ask? Because we might have our Christmas dinner with the mission Pres and his wife this week! That's why! It's not for sure but maybe. Since Elder RIchimondg is there right now I'd probably just bring a few more of his things up to Quito and we'd meet him there. If not this week, sometime this month. Either way I'm excited. During our zone meeting with Lago Agrio last week we planned to have a ton of baptisms for the 21st of December. Right before Christmas is the best time. White Christmas because of the baptisms, aww yeah!!
Answering questions: I'm pretty sure as far as packages go, I'll probably get it whenever I go up to Quito, which would be probably this week for Christmas. Or whenever the Zone leaders come back from their Zone leaders conferences they send the packages down with them. That's how we get our boxes of Book of Mormons and pamplets I'm pretty sure. That's how I got my Visa back as well. And the new Elders name is Ryker Wright and his mom's name is Colleen. So if ya wanna look him up, feel as free as a bird. Oh and also, It's kind of obvious but they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. So there were no special dinners haha. But that awesome you guys got to spend do time with other missionaries at our house! I hope you helped them gain wait. Because of the sweat, smaller quantites of food, running in the morning, and running in the toilet... That's a thing that I'm losing haha.
Les quiero bastante! Don't type that in google translate family, I'm sure it wont work haha. And all you bros our there, keep serving like Alma and Amulek but better! Represent around the world!