Excerpts from his email)
Q: So, how is the new companion, where is he from, how are things going?
A: my new companion is cool i like him a lot and we get along really well. it’s a little difficult to change and transition from one to another but its going good. i have a little harder time talking with him cuz he talks a little different. just like in the states and English each place has their little tweaks and what not but were good. he’s from Guanajuato Mexico. the same place as our bishop so that’s pretty cool.
M: So how long has your companion been out? What is his name? Are you the senior or junior companion? I get what you mean about the languages, I would guess it's like speaking pidgin English and then southern etc. By the time you leave you will have probably spoken many different dialects of Spanish, that's kind of cool. It seems that the local missionaries are good for you; they probably think you are more local than haole! So you have three companionships in your district again?
EP: he has 14 months in the mission and his name is elder Martinez. he’s senior companion and district leader but i have been doing a lot of the planning and talking to members and stuff cuz he’s new here and doesn’t know the area yet. Yes so like a lot of the words are different and sometimes i have like a hard time understanding him but i think were good, i feel good with him. haha ya when we first got paired up he said he thought i was Mexican cuz i talk pretty good Spanish but weird. he said he thought i was from like Yucatán because apparently they talk weird, but that’s where elder Hernandez is from so i probably picked up some stuff from him. yes the three of us again i have a picture of all of us i will try to send.
Hermana Schaumkel, Hermana Brioso, Hermana Gomez and Hermana Defranco.
Elder Park and Elder Martinez
Q: How are the lessons and things going?
A: well this week we didn’t have as many lessons as normal only like 30 or so but i feel really good. every Friday there’s mutual in the chapel and the young men play soccer and stuff so we invite people to that. we invited three kids to come and they had a really good time. ones name is Eric but he had a soccer jersey on so we called him Messi. he’s super cool and after we played we showed all three of them the baptismal font and stuff and he said he wants to get baptized this week. we gotta talk to his parents and see what we can do but he was super excited and stuff. the sucky part is he didn’t wake up to come to church with us, but we are hopeful that maybe in April we can baptize him. also two girls came to church with the bishop’s daughter and their dad is an inactive member. they loved the church and we will be teaching them to also hopefully baptize them soon. so i am definitely hopeful for the upcoming weeks here.
M: Why do you call him Messi?
EP: Messi is like one of the best soccer players in the world he just broke the goal record or something in Europe.
EP: So we went with the bishop Monday night so my companion could say bye. they took us out for tacos i ate pastor (dog), Cabeza (head or brain i think i don’t know), and Lengua (tongue).
M: Those are really nice pictures. I love the one with the Bishops family, they are really good people. You will have some eternal friends when you leave that area! It must have been a little difficult for Elder Hernandez after being there for so long. But such is missionary life. I would love to one day go and meet them, maybe one day.
I guess you are getting use to eating the food there, I don't know that I could eat it if I knew what I was putting in my mouth. Pretty interesting!
EP: haha i was with their kids in the back of the truck going to the chapel and Reyna the younger daughter and Kenya her cousin said i should talk to president to ask him to keep me here for my whole mission haha. ya he (elder Hernandez) said it was hard cuz they really were awesome to us and they still are. i told them to come to Hawaii after but they said i have to come back and visit them cause they cant afford to all go to Hawaii. but yes i would love to come back one day.
Yeah the food is good haha the tongue was pretty weird but just because he literally had the whole tongue there. he peeled off all the crap and then started cutting it up thin for the tacos. it was a little gross watching that but the taco was good.
M: I am pretty sure President won't let that happen, but Keapo is still in Labasa, so who knows! They are good people, please thank them again for me. We will plan to go one day! For now, we will send mac nuts in every box!
That's gross son! I cannot believe you could eat it after watching them prepare it! But, like uncle Shon said, try everything. I hope they cooked it somehow. My stomach is still crawling, yuck.
Well son, I am glad that you are experiencing all that there is to experience. I am very grateful that you have been surrounded by good people. But I am more excited that you have found a joy and happiness in what you are doing. I know that you have had some rough spots and they will come and go, but it is good that there is excitement to teach the gospel, keep that with you no matter what and you will be good. We love you and we are so proud of you. Know that always.
EP: Love you guys!