Buenos dias mi familia and mis amigos
I would like to start this e-mail with a funny that I experienced on Saturday. My companion and I were driving home to our apartment and were passing a car on the right side and saw something that I have never seen before in my life: A man driving and eating corn on the cob simultaneously. Who knew this was even possible! I was both shocked and amazing, and proceeded to life for several minutes and almost stopped breathing. This might be one of those, "You had to have been there," experiences, but I was grateful for the friendly reminder that I am back in Texas. Another interesting thing happened Saturday. So, the Elders love soccer, or futbol as we Hispanics call it, and we have started playing soccer every morning before studies. You all probably know that I am horrible at sports, but I play along and pretty much just laugh and be silly. All morning Elder Porter was urging me to "Go chase after the ball Hermana Taets," and "Try and get the ball from Elder so-and-so Hermana Taets," and so as soon as he got the ball I decided to play a little more aggressively. I ran over to him and may or may not have given him a little shove, because apparently that is how the game of soccer is played, and then we got in a tangle of feet as we fought for the ball. I cannot be sure of what happened but something definitely happened and my ankle got really mad at me and I went to go sit out. The Elders wouldn't let me sit down, but rather made me walk around on it so it wouldn't swell, which worked to my surprise. After that I thought I was fine but later in the day it hurt like nobody's business and I was limping around all day long. Once we got to our dinner appointment with the Patino family it was pretty bad, and they all noticed, so once again I was forced to endure Mexican VooDoo healing. This time wasn't nearly as bad but it sure hurt. Hermano Patino did some massage therapy on my foot, and I definitely shouted a couple times, poor Hermana Lillywhite felt so bad for me, but it really wasn't all that bad. I was skeptical at first, and really just wanted to tell Hermano to call it quits and let me be, but the next day I walked normal! My foot is still slightly tender but overall I almost feel back to normal. I guess in some circumstances the voodoo works in your favor.
Everything else is going so well and it feels so good to be back in Texas! This first week back was slightly awkward at times, just because a lot of the other missionaries didn't know how to deal with me and just were weird, but I think that is over with because they see that I am acting rather close to my normal self. I got a lot of pity, I mean sympathy cards this week from others missionaries, which was very sweet and thoughtful. Some of them truly testified to me of the awkwardness that is Elder. One of the comments from a missionary in my zone began, "bummer about your dad." I am glad to have learned that "bummer" has become a word that holds sympathetic meaning. Truth be told, all of the missionaries have been amazing to me and really have helped me to feel at home here in Texas. I have been telling them all of the crazy/funny stories about Dad and they usually respond that they have to meet him in the next life because he is probably one of the coolest people ever. Which is definitely true, my Papa Bear is one of the coolest, male version of me and Alli put together, that I know.
The work is going well, Elva told us this week that she finally quit smoking! Woo! I was so excited I pretty much jumped off of the couch and hugged her. She is so sweet! I asked her how she did it and she said, "Everytime I felt the need to smoke I would just go read the Book of Mormon!" Can you say amazing woman? I just love her and her family to bits and pieces and cannot wait for the day they are baptized! Her and her son may just get baptized first, because the husband works on sundays and they don't want to wait much longer, so we will see what happens. the Arzates are doing really well, while I was out of the mission the dad told my companion and the temporary sisters that he received an answer through prayer that the Book of Mormon is true, which was like the best news ever! They are also the cutest family ever and are still on track to be baptized the 11th of July. I love this work so much! I have never felt to strong in my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father, and know that he will continue to bless me with trials and struggles so that I may grow and become more like the Savior. I know that He is preparing me for the great challenge that lies before me, that I may find strength in Jesus Christ and His atonement.
Con Amor y Paz,