Saturday, July 31, 2010

Received July 31, 2010

Date: 19 de julio 2010

Mi querida Jaime,

So I'm reading my family's email today and my mom says, "Natalie says if we want to hear more about your mission we should be friends with Jamie on Facebook." Apparently, you've been doing a good job at keeping everyone informed of the goings-on, and it is for that very reason that I choose to write to you so often (and also because I love you but that goes without saying, right?) I was lying here on my bed listening to the rain pelt our roof, wondering what I should do while my companion sleeps (ahhh, P-day...) and I just really felt like writing to you. So here goes!

First things first, how goes it with you? Last I heard you were working on evening out your tour for Hawaii this October, which is entirely unfair, by the way! How fun for your family though. You'll be sure to take pictures, yes? I've been told Panama is very similar to Hawaii... just probably a bit dirtier. We do have plenty of palm trees and coconuts. The funny thing is that we have pine trees right next to palm trees. Not sure if that's normal but I like it just the same!

Sounds like you and Shehan are doing pretty well and you've got nothing to worry about job-wise. Truthfully, I never worry about you, James. You've always been intelligent and self-sufficient, so I know you're going to be just fine. I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm going to do when I get back so keep your eyes open for me, ok?

I believe that in my last letter I cited some...difficulties...with my dear companion, right? Well, this transfer has been a 180* turn around. My comp is Hna. Castro from Honduras and she and I have gotten along like the best of chums. I credit much of this to the fact that we have a very efficient system of working together: she cooks all our food and I wash all the dishes. :) You know me - anyone who feeds me is a friend forever! I'm taking some good notes, too, because I plan on making all of these things for you some day. Just you wait! We're going to have tejadas, avena, patacones, gelatina con helado, juevos con tomates, arroz con pollo, chichas, batidos de galletas and much much more! I will be a cooking fiend.

I wish I could tell you we had an amazing conversion story for this transfer but truthfully we are struggling a bit to get people to keep commitments. I do, however have high hopes that we're going to see some changes in the next transfer with our investigators. It's a slow process but the journey's well worth it. The important thing is not to get discouraged because that is definitely one of Satan's greatest tools. I've had my moments where I've though to myself, "What on earth am I doing here? This is nothing at all like I imagined it would be." We have our days when we're soaked from the waist down in rain with leaky umbrellas and mud-caked shoes, walking for miles to get to a house only to find it locked up and empty. Investigators who say they'll come to church end up getting mysteriously ill between the hours of 9 and 12 every Sunday morning. Appointments are canceled. Baptismal dates fall through. All of these things have happened to me on a consistent basis. HOWEVER...I will always be grateful for that small little prod of encouragement that says, "Cheer up, Hermana Brewster! Something good's on its way." And that has always been the case. The trick is to look for the good things.

I think Sister Brewster just needs to stop worrying about Sister Brewster and then everything will be fine. :)

("She's got... hiiiiiiigh hopes! She's got... hiiiiiiigh hopes! She's got hiiigh, applie piiiiie in the skyyyy-y-y hopes!)

You asked me if there was anything I needed in your last letter, but don't worry about me - I am just fine! All I really need is an occasional line or two informing me of your well-being and that is all. (But if you happen to find some miracle makeup that doesn't melt off your face at the first sign of humidity, thus evading what I affectionately refer to as "Panama face," that would be all right.)

I'm including a few pictures to show you what I mean by "Panama face." You'll understand.

Well, dear, tengo que irme. Te quiero con todo el corazón como de costumbre y yo deseo que sabe cómo dio gracias yo soy para su amor, la amistad y el apoyo. ¡Eres mi favorito!

Hasta la próxima carta,

tu amiga,

Hermana Al

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