Dear Friends and Family! It has been a rather swell week!
So, first off, let`s find out where I live! I thought that when I would be arriving here, I would be living in the deep jungle, using a machete to find investigators, battling crocodiles and learning a new native tongue. But alas, tis not so! I live in a very industrialized city-like area, full of shops, stores, buildings, and very little forestry. The nearest full-jungle area is about 15 minutes away on bus, but I will say, it does exist! So never fear, I don`t think I`ll be out wrestling pythons anytime soon, but we`ll see :) .
And as for the branch! So, turns out that the first missionaries here began about a year or so ago, and right now we have about 40 or so active members, although there are many less actives here. And the missionaries are very involved in everything the branch does, since there is very little priesthood to work with. In fact, one missionary is the branch secretary, and another is the branch`s first counselor. Yup... but who could that be? Ah yes.... ME!!!
It`s true! Only a day here and I was promoted to 1st counselor to the branch! All I can say, is I`m very humbled to have received a calling such as that, and now I just need to use my surging desire to help this branch grow and put myself to good use! Plenty of responsibility indeed.
And what else? Well, there`s more to come! We have 6 missionaries in our zone, our zone leaders live 3 hours away in another sector called `Coca` (yes, like coca-cola) And the other 4 live here in lago agrio. In fact, all 4 of us live in the same house! So it`s always a party! OUr missionaries are: Elder Tapia from Chile, Elder Plùa from Ecuador, and my companion, Elder Rosales from Guatemala. And we are just peachy to all be working together in our little branch! It`s just swell.
And lastly, it is ridiculously hot down here, it`s like being in a giant steam cooker! You always feel hot and sticky, and it`s common to shower twice a day. And ESPECIALLY since my last sector required many blankets and sweaters, this place is just the crucible of Ecuador! But then again, it`s nice to see that you have bananas and coconuts growing in your backyard, and that many juice venders sell on every corner. So i`ll just say, Jugo de Coco (this magical coconut juice) is truly nectar of the gods!
Well, that`s all for the moment, I`ll be sure to write you next week.
With a sweaty hug,
PHOTOS: Our backyard and Elder Rosales, I`ll be sure to take more when I actually remember to bring my camera with me!