Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010

Querida Família,
This week was pretty tough. But at the same time, it was really good. I learned a ton. It started out good. But then, I think on Tuesday, both Elder Dastrup and Elder da Costa got really sick. Elder da Costa is my comp.So, both went to the hospital and Elder Dastrup found out that he has Pneumonia, and Elder da Costa has swine flu. So they have been sick basically all week and were both quarantined. So I had to go out and work with Elder Barbosa, who is still greeny, and I still don't know the area all that well and I don't really know all of our investigators. It was pretty tough. I got pretty stressed. Elder Barbosa is cool, but talks a ton, and has tons of questions, and really likes to sing out loud and really out of tune while we walk. Plus, there is a lot of stuff he doesn't know, because he is still being trained. He is a way good missionary though. It was just stressful teaching all of these investigators that I still didn't really know, and not knowing exactly what they had already been taught, and what there needs were and stuff.

We just got back today from Zone Conference, so that's why the email is getting sent late. We had to fly to another island called São Miguel. I think it's the biggest out of the 9 islands. I think every transfer, they switch off which island they have Zone Conference. So this transfer, it was in São Miguel. It's a lot like Terceira, but more developed. It reminds me of sort of a mix between Lisbon and Terceira, because it has both normal houses and big apartment buildings. Terceira has just normal houses, and Lisbon has almost all just big apartment buildings. But it seems like São Miguel is sort of a mixture. They also have a different accent there. A lot of missionaries say it kind of sounds like a french accent. I didn't hear a whole lot of it, but it kind of sounded like a british accent to me. It was definitely a lot easier to understand than the accent here.

The Azores are way cool. It's mostly just grass, and cows. They have all these sort of fences made from volcanic rock and cows everywhere. I will have to send some pictures.

Zone Conference was awesome! Definitely the best Zone Conference that I have had my whole mission so far. It was just 12 missionaries. President Torgan is way awesome. He is probably the most spiritually inspired man I have ever met. Everything he says just blows me away. I learned a ton of things that I needed to hear. Plus we had our interviews which were good too and he gave me a lot of good advice.

It's really good being out here in this area. The people are tough, everyone smokes........literally, and everyone already knows the elders, but I think I am enjoying it the most out of any area so far. It's especially good being here after my last transfer. I was sort of in a rut for awhile. I have a lot more motivation now. Like I said, I think Elder Dastrup is the hardest working missionary in the mission. I am learning a ton about working a lot harder than I have.

OK, to answer some of your questions. Yes, I am liking my new companions. It was the refrigerator that was broken, which has been a pain, but we just got some money from Sister Torgan at Zone Conference, so we bought one today, and they are delivering it tomorrow. You don't need to worry about the gas thing, I don't think. None of the houses in the mission are heated. We all just use portable electric plug-in heaters. The water heaters are also manual. And every house has a gas detector. So we should be fine. If you are going to send packages, it will probably be safest just to keep sending to the mission office. They bring the mail at Zone Conferences. If you want to send letters, my new address is:

Elder Greg Walker
Rua do Hospital Nº 17
9760 Praia da Vitória
Terceira, Açores

So, everything is going awesome. I am really improving I think. It is cool speaking Portuguese all the time. It is helpful not only speaking "the gopel vocabulary," but also learning new words that are useful like "ladrar" which is to bark, or "ressonar" which means to snore, instead of "pregar" which means to preach, or "orar" which means to pray.

Elder da Costa is way awesome. It's funny, when I first got on the mission, I was told that Portuguese people don't get sarcasm. But Elder da Costa is the most sarcastic person that I know.

Anways, its good to hear from y'all. I'm outta time. I love you! Boas!

Elder Walker

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