(I noticed that he had taken money from his home account and was wondering if he was stocking up or if there were things that he was supposed to have that we didn't get. Sounds like it was a bit of both.) We went shopping at La Sirena (Costco) this week for non-perishable, lasting stuff (like cereal, instant oatmeal and instant pancakes) where I spent 700 pesos of my 15-day apoyo (we get money every 15 days-4500 pesos, since we´re in the campo and have to take the gua-guas ("wa-was"; buses) to leave for district meetings weekly and zone mtgs twice per transfer, and they charge 50-130 pesos one-way), then spent 1500 more of my apoyo to have a ward member cook lunch for us for the next 10 days (she charges 300/day--Elder Fr**** and I split the cost), and then lost like 500 of it somehow between the colmado and the apartment 1 block away. Thus, not realizing how much I´d spent, and because last week i got used to snacking a lot since we didn't have stuff for breakfast or dinner, and we´d buy lunch, I ran a bit low on money and pulled some out. I pulled money out the first time, though, to get a bedspread set (i need one out here) and a new umbrella (because I HAVE NO IDEA HOW, but my brand-new spring-loaded umbrella of awesomeness broke after a week and a half. GRRRR!). Funny story about La Sirena: so on the way back (it´s in the capitol´s outskirts) Elder Fr**** and I each had like 4 bags of stuff on top of two packages from home for Elder Fr**** and an extra backpack on me, not to mention our pamphlet and BoM restock. We made it home without losing anything or getting robbed: a logistical miracle (keeping it together on the gua-gua) and a faith builder (I was afraid we´d be robbed, I prayed, felt peace, and nothing happened). ALSO also, if you send me packages, be aware that I´ll be carrying it on two gua-guas back from the stake center in Hainamosa, so please don´t make them too wide or long or heavy (i felt bad for Elder D***, my district leader: he had a 19 pound package as big as his torso to carry with all of his shopping goods).
Life is good out here. One can live on 250 pesos a day out here (40 pesos to a dollar--you do the math); (I did -- that is $6.25/day.) A half liter of soda is 15 pesos. 15! Good thing I´m not a heavy soda drinker: thanks mom and dad! Saved my teeth and my body from that one. The food here (if you get it fresh) is AMAZING. All of it: tostadas (ghetto Quizno´s style sandwiches), empanadas (fried dough stuffed with eggs, ham, cheese, or whatever else seems prudent), all the local rice-and-bean meals and soups. Also fresh mangos and fresh bananas and fresh lechosa (papaya?). Last night we went on splits with the 1st and second counselors of the branch, and afterward reunited for batidas (think orange julius). Into a blender we threw three bananas, half a mango, a third of a lechosa, 4 big ice cubes, and an entire can of Carnation sweet & condensed milk (they use it in every and any local beverage out here--I mean EVERYTHING. it is as much a staple as are rice, beans, and chicken), then blended it up and split it four ways. Best smoothie/shake thing I´ve ever had in my life.
The people here are all amazing. Humble, generous, inviting, open to proselyting, you name it. We talk to anyone on the street in front of their house and if they´re not leaving to go anywhere we get a lesson. We do our best to keep the Spirit with us, and the Spirit touches their hearts. The only thing that really needs to change out here, other than a little bit of new information being given, is the whole final judgment thing: the general conception seems to be that they will cry "Lord, I believe" and be saved without works. Speaking of the good word of God and personal prayer seem to be "good enough" out here, and the only thing Elder Fr**** and I are really doing is showing them the spiritual power that lies in going to church and paying tithing.
The rain here is endless. Morning sun, early afternoon death ray, evening waterfall (when it rains, it DUMPS), nightly shower. Repeat. The humidity still kills, but I´m getting more used to it. Still, I get 15 minutes a day when
I´m not covered in sweat: the 15 minutes after I shower.
I don´t know that I have much more to add. I love you all, keep on keeping on, and I can´t wait to share some more next week.