Hola, familia y todos…
- It´s been raining here like cats, dogs, and who knows what else…as alluded to in my email title. (If B.J. Thomas…so if any of you didn´t know that´s who sings that song….was ever in Arequipa, he probably would have written something along the lines of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head and I Don´t Think I´ll Ever Be Dry Again and Go Away, Rain…Please?” :)) Friday, Arequipa had one of its worst rainstorms in years, and it was so bad that they´ve reported 5 deaths, and 48,000 people affected. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, thousands were damaged…yeah. It rained dang hard. We were actually planning to go up to Tres Balcones (the place that takes like 20-30 minutes to hike to that I told you about my first week here in Apurimac), but it was raining so violently that we eventually had to turn back. It was pretty frustrating…when we got back to the house, we helped our pensionista family out a bit…the water was everywhere. All our rooms escaped OK…we only had a few leaks and whatnot. With all the houses that got damaged and people without a place to sleep…I feel very grateful. That notwithstanding…I don´t think I like rain anymore. At least not as a missionary, when we usually have to go out and proselyte, and we get all wet, and my stuff gets all wet (aargh, my Spanish scriptures are a mess…they still haven´t dried out, along with a few other things)…but that´s life. And I´m learning to appreciate the sun more. Literally. 🙂 I´ll hate the sun once again when it gets hotter here (they say after the rainy season ends in about March, the sun ramps up a bit…oh, won´t that be lovely…), but for now, I´m quite happy to see that big bright thing in the sky. It means that there´s no rain. 🙂
- Fun fact: I´m actually exercising every morning. Consistently. No, aliens have not abducted the Elder Randall you know and love (at least, that´s what they told me to say right before they dropped me off from the spaceship…)…I just decided to start doing it when I started training, to be an example to my companion, and it´s working out well. Basically my pitiful but effective routine every morning is stretches, crunches, jogging in place, sometimes some jumping jacks, a few little strength exercises, and stretching again. I think between that and the crazy grades they have here, I´m losing weight and getting more in shape, which is nice.
- So, my companion. Like I said…we´re doing much better this week. We had a companionship inventory (where we talk about how our companionship is doing, things personally we each can improve, things we´re doing well, getting it all out there, etc.) I was honest with him, he was honest with me….and we both felt better afterwards. It really helped us a lot. He still drives me crazy regularly. Let´s put that out there right now. But at the same time…we´re doing well. We´re working better. A happy piece of news…for what I believe is the first time in my mission, we passed the president´s standard of excellence for contacts. It was a huge achievement for me (and for my companion)…and it´s something we did together. That feels really good. We still have a lot of work to do, but we´re improving. That´s the thing to take from this past week.
- Mom, I still would love that lasagna recipe…with love. 🙂
- Another note for you Mom…so I´ve been using the coat that Aunt Patty and Uncle Lenin got me a lot lately. It´s awesome…but it´s also been staining my white shirts when I wear it in the rain. Is there anything I can do about that? What I might start doing is wear my suit under it or something. It had never happened before, so I don´t know what´s going on.
- We went to Tres Balcones (see above) Tuesday when I was on exchanges with our district leader (it was a really great experience). It was raining, but not too bad, but there was tons of fog. It looked like Middle Earth, I swear. We found lots of great people, though, so it was worth it.
- Ariel…another email to add to the list, and one I´d love to have ASAP. My companion in Kansas, Elder Leighton…I only have his mission email, and I think it won´t work now, because he´s done with his mission. Could you get his home email maybe for me? His name is Elijah Leighton. Hopefully you can find him on FB or something? I have his home address if that might help.
OK, I´m out of time as usual. It´s been a good week, and I´m grateful for those of you who sent words of counsel and comfort. I love you all so much, and I hope you´re doing great, and that it´s not raining as much there as much as it is here, because if so, heaven help us all. :p Until next week…