Monday, May 25, 2015

First Week in Bollenar on a Bike!

Today, I am on and I am at another cyber, so I will see if I can send anything. It may just be because of a newer camera, but I will try right now. Okay, from this cyber I can send photos. 

 On your “Where is my apartment photo,” look at sectors A with B and G. The corner there has a slanted street headed northwest. We are the first house on the right on that street right at the corner of A, B and G. That should help you find it. 

The whole red sector is my area. The part south of Bollenar is Elder Brush and Elder Orozco´s sector. They have it easier, because they have all of Bollenar as their sector. The church is in either M or N, just so you know.

Awesome!  I assume this is your companion and the other two on bikes behind you are the Elders you room with.  I love you so much!

Yep. This is north of Bollenar crossing a bridge and a river toward Chorombo. It is about 3 kilometers from Bollenar. We were headed to lunch 14 kilometers from Bollenar. We have a lot to do. Anyway, we bike the entire sector and only use busses going to Melipilla.

We have had to tighten my pedals, because they loosen up daily and we have had to replace many parts that were stripped and the chain falls off often. I still need to get an air pump and replacement tubes and a lantern to mount on my bike for the evenings, because it is dark at around 6 or 7. We bike around 15 miles daily, if not more. We have a lot to do and never enough time. I have spent around 15 hours on bike maintenance this week and I have had a popped tube, flat tires, brakes that don´t work, gear changes that don´t work, and many other issues. Every day of this week my bike has had issues, so it has been challenging and exhausting, but now my muscles are used to the torture and are feeling better. Overall the week went by very quickly, anyway.

I figured the first week would feel a bit like torture.  Is there a store nearby where you can get parts for the bikes?  Is your bike the worst one of the four since you have the least seniority there?  Do you have a photo of you and your bike? 

Not yet. There are 6 bikes. The other two elders have new bikes, because members from the ward mentioned how bad the bikes are to our mission president. There were 4 before that, but those two have the new ones. There is a guy who repairs bikes in Bollenar and we have been going and working on getting him to replace some of the parts on the bikes that are bad for new ones and looking for the problems and fixing what we can. We have been buying and fixing them up. My companion has had more experience with bikes, but still he has had problems with his bike. Right now, he doesn't have brakes... We are trying to get them fixed up, so we can focus more on the work. Our leaders know that the bikes are breaking down daily and it is possible that they will get us new ones, but still we are working with what we have. We have taken parts from the other bikes, replaced anything and everything possible and now we are getting to the point where we barely have problems. We are doing what we can, little at a time and we shouldn´t have many more.

I wasn´t able to take a ton of pictures, because on a bike it is hard to take pictures and I don´t want to crash or break my camera, so I have a few. I will send but not of the new house or the bikes yet. I will look into it this week. I have a few of the landscapes and sector from when I stopped a couple times.

The church is in M right where the point of the yellow push pin is.  I already looked up the address for it online.  Here is a screen shot closer up.

You are now at 500 feet above sea level.  Your last area was about 1500 feet above sea level.  It should be easier to breathe as you are killing yourself on your bike.  15 kilometers is a lot of ground to cover, but it will be great for your health.  Always think positively!

Is your house the one on the right or the yellow one on the left?

The one on the left with the black gate. That small house in there. Also, they are doing maintenance and repairs on our house now, so it is getting better. Just so you know, just going to lunch was 14 kilometers and then we had to go back so 28 and a mile is 1600 meters, so 1.6 kilometers is a mile, so you get the math to how much we bike. I biked over 20 miles the other day....

Things are going well. We had 15 new investigators this week, but none attending and we did not have less active members attending, but we had both of our retention attending. Retention are the new members. That was really good. One of our retention is blind, so we try to stop by and help him when we can. We visited him 3 times this week and a brother in the ward picks him up in his car on the way to the church on Sundays. He is great. We are working to take both of them to the temple on the 13th of June. Things are going really well and there is a lot to do all the time.

Do you shop for groceries in Bollenar or Melipilla?  Do you carry groceries on your bike or walk to the store and back? 

I am glad you have many people to teach.  I hope you can get them all to attend their meetings.  Are any of them families?  Who are the retentions?  What are their names?  Tell me more about the people you are teaching, where they live and what they do for a living. 

Are you enjoying this area?  Where do you have your District meetings?

We have reunions in Melipilla. We do all of our selective shopping Monday in Melipilla. We can buy some things in Bollenar, but if we want more things then we have to get them in Melipilla. So far, I have gone toward Chorombo and Maria Pinto. The people we are visiting live between those two separate roads. Our retention is Carlos Delgado. He talked yesterday for the first time in church. He is 20 and we are visiting his family as well. He lives with his parents and siblings and is the only member. His mom and sister are living with other guys, so they need to get married to be baptized and aren´t attending, but we have visited them. Hernando Cruz is the blind member and lives alone.

We shop in Melipilla, and then take a bus to Bollenar and walk in to the house. There is a small shop on the street at the top of sector G where there is a little shop. We can buy things like bread, eggs, and other things there close to the house to not have to carry as much. I am out of time and will answer your other letter and then I will be off and I will send a couple more pictures quickly.

It sounds like you have been working hard and smart.  That is good.  I told Dad he should have spent more time teaching you how to repair bicycles.  I am sure you will be an expert by the time you get home.  I am glad you don’t have to spend the money to buy your own bicycle, but a new one would be less work.  Are you riding uphill, downhill or mostly flat roads?  It looks to me like it would be uphill to get to your sector and downhill to get home.

Ok on the photos.  Try to take some photos this week with you and your companion, the other Elders in your apartment, your apartment, your bikes and the people you are working with.  We would love to see who you are teaching and know how we can help them by praying specifically for their needs and your needs.  Specific prayers can make a big difference.  It will be Fast Sunday next week.  What can we fast for that will help you the most?

The sector is uphill and downhill there are rolling hills.... Generally up going out, but still with ups and downs that are tiring. I will send a few photos right now. More than anything pray that the people arrive at church. That is the hard part here. It is the distance. We are doing all that we can so that they understand why they need to do everything in the gospel. Most people give excuses and we have heard them all, so I have gotten used to it and know what people need to hear generally, but they have their agency. More than anything, pray that we encounter people prepared to be baptized and that we find our purposes here in this sector. 

Here are the pictures leaving Diego de Almagro. I have a couple more, but I don´t have time to send them all. Ask Camila and Guillermo to send you the pictures that they have? You can say "Elder Goode dijo que deben enviarme las fotos que tienen con él." They will understand that they means Elder Goode said you should send me the picutes that you have with him. They mentioned it, but I don´t know if they have sent them to you. Also, can you send Soley a message with my mission email? I forgot to have them put a . between my first and last name so if they write I won´t get it. Can you fix that for me? 

A few landscape photos to help. I am out of time once these come through. Thanks for everything and I will talk to you next week. I finished reading the New Testament yesterday and started Doctrine and Covenants yesterday, as well. I am in section 11. I am also in Alma 5. I need to study more, though. I want to get through a lot more material.

What crops do they raise?  What are in the long buildings that are everywhere?  What is in the ponds that are by the buildings?  We see these all over the area of Melipilla.  The left road is going to Chorombo and the right road is going to Maria Pinto.
I love you so much and we are all so very proud of you.  Work hard!  Be diligent and obedient!  The Lord will bless you to be successful. 
Love always and forever,

Those are barns where they store chickens and raise them to eat. Chileans are crazy about chicken....

Yes.  I will write to her today.

Thank you I appreciate it. I gave Camila and Guillermo the correct address, but I made a mistake when I was with Carlos and Soley. Thanks for everything. 

Thank you for serving and be willing to work through the tough times and the killer bike issues to serve the Lord and these wonderful people.  Imagine your life without the love of Camila, Guillermo, Carlos and Soley.  It would be lacking so much.  A mission is definitely worth every sacrifice.  Keep on keeping on.  I love you, Son.

Here are some more photos of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chapel for the Bollenar Branch.

Here are some more photos of Braxton's Pention in Bollenar.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Transfer to Bollenar 2 in Melipilla

Sorry that I wasn`t able to write yesterday. I am now in Melipilla. I am in the sector Bollenar 2, like “Voy a nar” in English for pronunciation. I am in a Whitewash, so my companion and I are both new in the sector. It has been closed for about 3 months. We are opening it back up and he served in this sector before, about 14 months ago. His name is Elder Leyva from Peru. I am really tired from yesterday bringing 6 bags all the way to our sector. Elder Leyva is the District Leader, so it will go well.

Elder Argyle also had changes. He is in Olimpo in the Los Heroes ward. He is with Elder Fernandez from Chile not the same one from Lo Espejo. They decided to put Sisters in our sector so they split up Sister Willmore and Sister Acuña and Sister Willmore is training and Sister Acuña is senior companion in my old sector with another sister that I don`t know.

Things are going fairly well I am going to be on a bike. We need to repair them a lot, because they are in bad condition.... Also our sector is very far away and it is very large. Also the bus system doesn`t run on Sunday so it is going to be very hard to have people attending. There are only around 30 some people attending right now. It is a branch. We are also living with Elder Orozco and Elder Brush. It has been a really long 3 days and I am fairly exhausted and will be for the next while. I have a lot of biking to do and I know nobody and my companion has knowledge of how things were over a year ago, so we will see how it goes and what we can do.

Sorry for worrying you. We didn`t have time to write because there isn`t a cyber in our sector. We had to go to the city of Melipilla to write. My sector is in Maria Pinto and those parts north of Bollenar. I hope that helps you to figure out the space and mapping toward the north. 

The three yellow push pins show the three locations where Braxton has served so far on his mission.  Lo Espejo 2 in the Ochagavia Zone, Diegro de Almagro 2 in the Republica Zone and Bollenar 2 in the Melipilla Zone.  There must be something about that number 2.  His first two sectors were in the city on the northeast end of the mission at about 1500 feet above sea level.  Now he is in the country, closer to the coast and at about 500 feet above sea level.  

It is good to hear from you.  Many families didn’t get email yesterday with the transfers.  I wasn’t too worried.  I knew you were in the Lord’s hands.  I messaged Elder Argyle’s mom and she forwarded Daniel’s letter to me.  So I knew where you were laying your head down to sleep last night.  I have looked on Google Earth and have an idea of where your sector is and how big it is.  Where is your apartment at?  Did you ride your bike all the way to Melipilla or did you take a bus to get there?  Did you go shopping for food yesterday or will you do that today?  How long has your companion been out?  I assume he is well into his second year if he was there 14 months ago.  Did you have to carry the bags the full way to your sector or did you go by bus most of the way?  How far out does the train go?

There was a bus to the city of Melipilla. We then had to take another bus that we had to wait an hour for. We live fairly close to the church building but my sector is to the north to the mission`s boundaries. I wasn`t able to go shopping. We are going to do that today. The street that we live on isn`t on the church`s map of the wards. I don`t even know the name of it... I don`t have pictures yet in my sector.

 This is the city of Bollenar where the church is and where Braxton's apartment is.  The yellow push pin is on the church.  He said his apartment is somewhere near there.  

He will be working in this area to the north of Bollenar and in the city of Maria Pinto.  

I am very tired it takes about 40 to 50 minutes to get to the main part of my sector on a bike. I had to walk about 15 minutes from the highway with bags so about 8 minutes walking normally. It is to the left of the highway heading north of Melipilla toward Bollenar. Elder Leyva has the same amount of time as Elder Argyle with 21 months in the mission. He is the 3rd companion from this group I have had. Elder Vasquez has 1 change less than them but Elder Correa, Argyle, and Leyva are all from a group of 30ish. It was bus most of the way but still a very long distance and I was very exhausted.

I am doing okay, but it is getting really cold now and being on a bike makes it even colder so it is going to be an interesting time. This house is a lot colder than my last one. I forgot to take pictures of the laundry room and of our apartment in Diego de Almagro but I did get a few of the outside of the building. I will send those. Or not.... I am back to computers that don`t allow me to send pictures.... It does appear like it will be a long time without pictures. I am assuming that I will be here a long time. Elder Leyva has 2 changes left so I will most likely stay with him until he finishes his mission in August and then I will get another companion after that and then leave either a change or two after that. So I am planning on another 3 or 4 changes here.

Thanks for everything and I am sadly out of time again.... Sorry things are going to be a long time here. Thanks for everything and I love you and thanks for all of the support. Sorry that I haven`t been able to say more. Thanks for everything. I love you and will talk to you next Monday. Thanks for all that you do.

I am glad you are there and can get settled.  Is the apartment nice?  I can send you some photos next week and you can give me an idea whereabouts you live.  It is interesting that you have had so many companions from this group.  So, Elder Leyva will probably finish out his mission in Bollenar, which means you won’t get to train for another two changes.  That makes me sad, but I know you are where the Lord needs you to be and you will have opportunities to serve in leadership throughout your life.  Enjoy this time.  I know you will be working hard as you ride your bike many, many miles in this area.  It will put those monster thighs to work.  I just hope they don’t grow so large you can’t fit in your pants anymore.  J  Smile and enjoy every minute.  Please try to take some photos this week.  At least one of you and your companion, one of the other elders in your apartment and I really need that special one of just you for Grandma’s chart.  Send one of your bikes as well and your apartment if you have time. 

It will be a great change for you.  They just recently made a new stake in your area.  The Talagante Stake and your branch is a part of that stake.  I know the missionaries have been working hard out here to get enough people converted to be able to make a new stake.

This is from Hermana Barreiros’ Facebook page on the 10 of May.  The attached photo is the new Stake Presidency.  I think it is exciting because they haven’t had a new stake in your area in a very long time.

Hoy dia 10 de Mayo, 2015 fue un día glorioso para la iglesia en Chile con la creacion de la estaca Talagante, Chile por Elder Jorge F. Zeballos acompañado por Elder José Batalla. La estaca Talagante empieza como una de las mas fuertes en Chile.
Presidente Loyola fue relevado como presidente del distrito y llamado para ser primer consejero de la misión Chile Santiago Oeste. El nuevo presidente de la estaca es presidente César Saez, Orlando Arancibia primer Consejero y Diego Loyola segundo consejero. Reconocemos la mano del Señor apresurando su obra.

Nowadays May 10, 2015 was a glorious day for the church in Chile with the creation of Talagante, Chile Stake by Elder Jorge F. Zeballos accompanied by Elder Joseph Battle. The stake Talagante starts as one of the strongest in Chile.  President Loyola was relieved as District President and called to be first counselor in the Chile Santiago West Mission . The new stake president is President Cesar Saez, with Orlando Arancibia as first Counselor and Diego Loyola as second counselor.  We recognize the hand of God rushing his work.

Ya I know thanks for everything. I can`t actually send you pictures.... The computers aren`t allowing me to right now..... I don`t understand why but it is like Lo Espejo again.... Bye.

I love you.  Stop worrying and enjoy your mission.  You may have to break down and mail me an SD card.  I promise to send it right back.  Have a great week.  You will love this area.  We love you so very much and we are so proud of you.

Love always and forever and ever,

Thanks I love you too. We will see how it goes thanks.

Other missionaries have been able to send lots of photos from Melipilla.  I have seen lots of that area from the past group of missionaries, so please figure out the photo thing.  It has to work somehow. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day was Great!

I got a Friend request today from Guillermo.  I accepted it and sent him back a message in English.  I also got a message today from Soley.  Hers was in Spanish, so I used a translator to see what she had written.  Then I wrote her a message and translated it to Spanish and then sent it back in Spanish.  I hope it made sense.  I think they will both understand Thank You for watching out for our missionary son, Elder Goode.

I was actually there for lunch with Camila and Guillermo when they added you. I am hoping that they will start sending a lot of the photos that they have taken over the past 4 months visiting with them. I told them that they should send them to you. I haven´t been very good about pictures here. I need to focus more on it honestly, but I will go through everything that I have and see what I can add to send home. This is an overlook from someone´s apartment we visited with and most everything that you can see is part of my sector there. The buildings almost in the background are just outside of the limits.

You also asked for my zone picture again. Here it is and this was last change so a few people have changed. I should have another one this next Wednesday.

How did your doctor appointment go today?

That is neat.  I sent a message back late last night.  I haven’t checked to see if he has replied back.  That is a lot of city.  I bet it has been a fun experience to be in a big city for a while.  Much different than what you grew up with.  Even Salt Lake is nothing like that.  I suppose San Francisco is a little bit and some of the areas we saw on our Oregon vacation and you saw some city stuff when you went to Disneyland, but it would be different to live in and amongst it day after day.

It is very different but it isn´t too large either honestly. I do get sick of the city though. I don´t like that everything takes so long and that it is usually more expensive. I haven´t taken many photos and forgot to get a good picture for you of me and I went through the pictures that I have and there aren´t really many that you haven´t seen or that are interesting so I need to make a mental note to take more pictures.... I will do my best this week to get a few more good ones here before the changes and I will get back to you about what happens with all of the changes. It was really nice to see everyone and see how everything is going. I really liked the pictures of the yard. It helps me to be able to see a lot better the details of everything at home. Thanks for that.

Here is a photo of Kelsey that she sent today.  It sounds like she is doing great.

I had seen it.  She has been sending them to me as well. I get her emails and everything. Thanks for the concern though.

Okay.  I didn’t know if she had added you to her list.  It was really fun yesterday to see all the missionary Skype photos on Facebook.  Everyone seems to be doing well.  I think Makoa may be going back out.  He was released from his calling in church yesterday and I didn’t see him with his family.  I haven’t talked to his mom for months.  I think she has been struggling with having him home and worrying about what people are saying about him and their family.  That is too bad because we should all just love each other and be grateful for the good things and help when we can with the bad things. I hope he will be successful this time.

I know what you mean. I worry about Kelton and those that go home because people judge so much and don´t have the whole picture. I have seen many people´s situations that are much more complicated than they seem and they are inactive for those reasons but they do not want to be judged by everyone for it.

It is one of the toughest things they can face and Satan uses it against them.  He makes it miserable no matter what reason they are home.  As Saints, we are not always very saintly and we ask stupid questions and say things we are sorry about later and things that offend even though we never meant them to.  I think it is hard on mothers because they always feel like people judge them based on what their children do.  I keep hoping that Kaden Christiansen will decide to go back out.  I haven’t checked on him lately to see what he is doing.  He seems like such a great kid.  I hope you are able to contact him and keep in touch after your mission.  Kelton seems to be okay and seems happy and positive.  I hope he is not hurting too badly underneath all that.
Don’t you and the other missionaries take photos at each reunion and at your Zone and District meetings?  Don’t you ever take time to be silly?  Try to take some photos this week with each of the families you visit for lunches and for lessons.  You will want to remember them.   Take some photos of your apartment also and the laundry area and the front of your building.  Have your companion take photos with you and the people in them.

I am glad we have downsized the garden.  I hope it will be easier for Dad to care for.  I want to get a sprinkling system put in some time to make watering easier for him, but every time we talk about it, we put it off because we don’t know if we are going to do a patio or deck.  I don’t want to borrow money to pay for it and we don’t really have enough to pay for it up front.  We will just have to see what happens.  Last summer, he hardly watered at all because we got a lot of rain and this summer so far it has rained every time it needs watered.  It needs mowed right now.  The riding mower quit working, so Paul Johnson’s dad came and picked it up last week.  He hasn’t called to tell us what is wrong yet.  Clain will have to use the push mower this week if it dries out enough.

That seems a little frustrating but it has happened before. I am glad that things are improving I will work on all the pictures. Thanks for the ideas and I will see what I can do about having pictures soon. We don´t really get a lot of down time or silly time. I will look into trying to be more, but things have gotten a whole lot more strict as a mission. Sometimes I feel like the army would be less strict.... I just do my best to enjoy and serve.

It is just a lawn mower.  And Heavenly Father will bless us with what we need.  Hopefully it will be something simple.  I am trusting in the Lord to bless us.  We got enough money back from taxes to pay for part of the new mattress and then we just got a refund from the Layton Hospital for an overpayment on Clain’s surgery because we had met our deductible.  Any medical costs for the rest of the year will be no charge including our prescriptions so that will be a neat blessing in a way.  The money from the refund with the tax refund was enough to pay cash for the mattress.  I think that is a wonderful Missionary Blessing.  We have needed a new mattress to help Dad and I both with back pain.  I am looking forward to sleeping on it and getting more restful sleep.  We also will have a bonus on our next check that will be about $450 each and I overpaid on the Car Lease so they will be returning $550 dollars.  That money could go towards a patio.  I want to build up our food storage in a few places we are low and update our 72 hour emergency kits. Those are all Missionary Blessings and I am grateful to you for serving and providing them.  I used your money to pay for the first six months of your mission and I have used our money to pay for the next six months of your mission.  I am not sure what I will do for the next six months.  If we have the money, I will probably use ours first and then see where we are later in the year.

You make me laugh!  You are in an army.  God’s Army!  I know it is tough when there is no down time or play time or relax time.  Just lots of hard, hard work.  You have a good attitude, just enjoy and serve and know that you are making a great difference in the lives of the people.  If you did not teach or baptize another person while you were there, you can still know that you have made a difference for Carlos and Soley and for Camila and Guillermo.  Think about their children and the impact you have made on their eternal families.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord sent you there to meet those specific families at that specific time.  What are the chances of you meeting Carlos and Soley who came from Curtis’s mission in Ecuador?  That is by God’s Grand Design, not by chance or luck.  I know you have been nurturing them and helping them build their testimonies and along the way you have planted some seeds in the hearts of many others.  You won’t get to see them produce fruit, but you still made a difference to them.

Please update me on your toe.

Yes I know. I just wish I had found more. Sometimes I end up wondering if I missed somebody..... It frustrates me because I want to complete everything the best I can, but I still lack in many areas. I just feel more stressed because simple things like Rubic´s cubes aren´t even allowed now. I end up bored in the mornings and evenings sometimes. It is rather frustrating. I know we need to be focused but sometimes it isn´t easy to be that way without down time.

Tell Grandma Goode that I hope that she had an amazing Mother´s Day and that I really appreciate hearing that she is able to read my blog and I really hope that if she needs anything she will ask for help. I know there are many people that love her a lot and are always ready to help and remind her that the families are always willing to come and help. 

Tell Grandma Parkinson that I hope she gets feeling better and that she enjoyed her Mother´s Day. I really have enjoyed the letters that she has sent letting me know how things are going. It really makes it nice, because I get a glimpse of how everything is going and I really am going to enjoy seeing them in another year. Make sure that they enjoy every moment with family. I have come to enjoy those times since they come a lot less often now.

I know you are going to email in a moment and say you are out of time for today.  It was so good to talk to you on Saturday.  It made me happy and a bit sad.  You look good and sound good and I know you are good, but it reminded me just how much I miss you and your funny laugh and smile and fabulous personality.  I know you are doing a great work, so I will not feel sorry for myself and I will keep praying each day for your success and safety.  Work hard and make us proud and make yourself and the Lord proud, for that is what matters most.  You are amazing and I love you so much.

I will tell them both.  They love you so much, too.  Even Grandpa Goode wants to know how you are doing, so you have a place in his heart and mind that he can still recall.  Take care.  Please send one more quick email and tell me how your toe is after your checkup today.

Love always and forever and ever,

It is doing really well. I had it checked at 10 this morning. It has stayed dry which is really good. She switched out the wrapping and cleaned it again and wrapped it the same way so I still have to keep it dry and go back on Friday to have it checked again and then I should be good. I am really glad that I got it taken care of.  I was really stressed last week over it and now I am feeling a whole lot better. It doesn´t hurt like it was before. Sadly I am out of time and I appreciate everything and thank you for writing. It makes a great start to each week. Thanks you for that.

You can only harvest the ones that the Lord has prepared for you to find.  It is all according to His timetable.  If we could see the whole grand scheme of things, life would be easier.  We have to trust and let him guide us.  I trust each day that He is watching over you and keeping you safe and I know He is using the angels to protect and guide you.  If your spiritual eyes could be opened, you would see angels round about you all the time.   I know and trust that they are there.  I need them to be there so that I can relax and let you serve so far away from home.  I know the Holy Ghost will guide and direct you.  Just keep seeking to have Him close to you and follow the promptings that come to you.  You will find those who are prepared.  I know there are still many more great experiences and people to come into your life in the second year of your mission.  Be diligent and obedient and work hard.  Be Goode!

Thanks. I love you and I´ll talk to you next week.

I am glad the toe is good.  Pain always makes life harder.  I see that in Dad’s life.  I wish I could take away more of his pain.  I love to start my week off with emails from you, too.  I love you and thanks for the photos and for writing so much today.  Have an awesome week.  Enjoy your last week in the City.  Try to visit a few new places you haven’t been to before as you do your work.  I love you Braxton!

I will thanks!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sore Feet & Photo of Elder Goode and Elder Argyle

I noticed that the Root Beer was a little lighter colored, but I didn´t stress. Right now Elder Argyle has some McCormick´s Root Beer Extract that his mom sent him. He got a package last Wednesday.

Things are going well. We have seen little progression this last week. Many plans fell through. We didn´t get to visit with Natalia and she didn´t come to church this week. We are doing all that we can.

Sounds like there is a lot going on at home and that everyone is doing well. I know how you feel about things. I have been fasting a lot these last couple weeks. We are doing our best and fasting that the Lord can help things along. I hope to have baptisms before I go, too, but so far we don´t have baptismal dates. We are looking hard and it was really cool yesterday because someone from our sector was able to regain his membership after nearly 4 years. We went to be supportive and we know his family really well. It was really great.

I was able to get a picture with my companion but I forgot to get one of just me for the family photos. We are still working more on the people to go this weekend. We are trying to get Carlos and Camila there but it hasn´t been easy we haven´t had contact with Carlos this week and Camila has been really busy and still hasn´t been able to have her interview so we are doing all that we can and we should be fine for 6 pm here so 3 pm in Utah.

Thank you for the picture.  You both look good, but you both look like you need to eat a little more.

I am sorry things have not gone as well for you with Natalia.  Keep praying.  Fasting does help a lot, but like you always say, the people still have their agency and Heavenly Father will not take it away from them.

Ya, that is very true. I am just doing what I can and trying to find those that are ready for the commitments necessary. It hasn´t been easy lately and has been a long time. My feet haven´t been doing so well lately and are hurting a lot but I have been trying to just keep working.

Are your shoes worn out?  Are you wearing one pair all the time or swapping them out?  Do I need to send you a new pair?  If so, which ones?

Are your socks worn out?  Do you need some Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles for your shoes?  What can I do to help you?

That is really cool that someone was able to regain his membership.  It was so awesome to watch my friend go through that forgiveness process and though she was not excommunicated it was still quite a process till she could partake of the sacrament and feel like she really belonged.  It was even more special when she got to go to the temple.  I hope you get to see that blessing with Carlos and Camilla and their families.

I am doing my best right now to help them but getting them into interviews for recommends has been a nightmare because we plan and plan and it falls through a lot.... We are trying to make things work. They know that we have it planned and we are trying to make it happen. Finding has been a little slow and we have just been trying to get into visit many people. I have been using the first pair for a long time, the Echo pair. And I have had insoles, but I need to find new ones. I am probably going to trash this pair soon. I try to use the Rockport´s on special occasions and focus on the Echo´s, because they are more comfortable and I have never used the boots.... My socks are starting to wear out but only a few. I am fairly okay in all actuality. Just that one of my big toes has gotten a little ingrown and I have been trying to get it figured out.... I have tried a few things, but nothing has been able to help me with it. My companion is grossed out by it so I have been working alone on it all and that is the main issue. I have permission to call the medic in the mission and see what they advise, but I am really stressed lately.

Yes, call the medic and go and get it treated.  Then buy some Hydrogen Peroxide to rub on it several times a day and see if you can find some Epson Salt.  They sell it in the pharmacy area.  It is bigger chunks of salt that you mix in a bucket or bowl of water and soak your toe in it.  Try to soak it every day for fifteen minutes.  When you can take your socks off and let the toe get lots of air.  Don’t pull your socks tight around that toe. 

Throw away the worn socks and use newer ones.  Do you want me to send more shoes and socks?  Can you find insoles there or do you want me to send some?

Are you getting blisters, sores, bunions, calluses or anything like that?  Do you need more moleskin to put on your feet or lotions or creams?  Tell me what you think you need to help resolve the problem.

I have plenty of moleskin and my feet are only slightly sore but I am doing fine mainly the ingrown toenail that is causing stress...

An ingrown toenail can hurt badly.  You need to get it cut out so the pain goes away and it will heal up.  Go as soon as you can and see the medic.

Do you still have one good pair of Echoes?  Start wearing them.  If one pair has lasted ten months the other one will last about that long and if you need to wear the Rockport’s a little more you can.  Switch off a little between the two pair.

What do you want me to send you to help with this problem?

I don´t know it is tender more than anything and I have been lightly bandaging it so that the black part of the sock doesn´t get in the skin because it has gotten a little worse and has cut part of the skin so it is better to keep it clean for me. I sleep without socks and I have been doing my best to keep it loose. I will try the other shoes. These ones are still working fine just that the insoles need changed again soon. I don´t know what I need. Epson Salt has not been something I have seen, but I will have to look hard. I have tried getting a cotton ball under the toenail to pull it back up, but I can´t and it hurts too much for me to deal with it on my own. I need to call the mission medic which is Sister McCain so that she can get it all figured out for me. They are serving in Republica. I tried to find her Sunday and didn´t see her, so it has been a little hard.

I am out of time. I am doing fine. I have been using the 12 pairs of socks that I have and I only have 1 hole in one of the 24 socks, so overall I am doing fine for now. Don´t worry about it for now. I just don´t know where to start fixing this.....

Okay.  Pray for help and keep trying to get hold of Sister McCain.  She will know how best to help you.  She has been trained to take care of this very thing.  It is like the most common problem with missionaries, so let her help you with it.  She will know where to find Epson Salt or something similar.  It makes me laugh that your companion is grossed out by a little sore toe.  The cotton ball under the toenail is actually a really good idea.

I love you so much.  Try to get it taken care of this week and tell me on Saturday how it is going.  I am so excited to see your face.  Thanks for the photo.  Please take more and send them to me during the week.  Surely you can think of your mother for a few minutes each week.

I love you Son.  Take care and I will pray for your toe to get better, for you to find more people to teach, for your investigators to keep their appointments and for so many, many other things for you.

Have a great time at the temple.
Love always and forever,

I know. Thanks and I will talk to you next week. I appreciate everything.

I know you do and I appreciate you.