A Note from Mom:
We got to talk to Chad tonight ..... for an hour. : o)
We are in heaven. But, now our hearts have this HUGE whole again, as we miss him so horribly. The number that he gave us last week was not correct. I knew it wasn't right. I was thinking that it was missing a number. So - earlier in the week I started trying to call the Mission Home. Finally Wednesday I got a hold of an Elder in the office and he promised that he would see what he could do to get the correct number for me. He said that he would e-mail me back. Well - as of about noon today, I had not received an e-mail - and I have to admit - I was getting pretty depressed. I had tried calling the Mission Home again, but never got an answer. I kept telling myself, "It's ok - It'll be okay to not talk to him." NOT !!! So - my phone rang - and it was that sweet elder. He gave me the exact phone number Chad did. I told him that I didn't think it was right - so he hung up and tried some more. About 10 minutes later I received another call - with another digit for the phone number. WHEW! I cannot imagine if we had not gotten to talk to him today. Here's some highlights from our conversation. And, some more pictures of Puerto Morales.
* He misses BREAD! He says that there is no bread there. Every meal they are given a huge stack of tortillas. (Good thing he likes those...) Yesterday they had (what he calls) guacamole pasta. He said it was just pasta with a bunch of sliced avocadoes in it. Hmhh! Sounds interesting.
* He is still in Playa. They went to a families house last night thinking that they were going to be fed, but they weren't. The family did send them away with a basket of bananas and fruit. So - that was their holiday meal. He went to bed early last night, and when he woke up someone had dropped off some food. He was VERY glad !!
* He loves Puerto Morales even after only being there a week. He says that it is such a small village that everyone already knows him. His companion, Elder Ortiz (who is awesome) helped him write his talk in Spanish for last week. The Americans that were on vacation couldn't believe that Chad had only been out for 6 days. He is struggling alot with the Spanish. (Of course right?????.....)
* The Xooc family that he spoke about -- the son in law, father of the 7 year old, has been investigating the church since the girl was born. But - he has not liked the way the missionaries push him. So - Chad told him that he just wanted to be his friend, didn't care if he set a baptism date, just wanted to help him and his family. The guy really likes Chad, and wants him to teach him. Chad told Elder Ortiz that they are going to have to try a different approach with him. This is perfect for him. I can't wait to see what happens.
* He is tired of eating chicken. That's what they always have. Some kind or another. There is no beef. Everyone has chickens in their yards.
* He says that everyone is very poor - and everything is so dirty. The streets, the yards, the homes. What a culture shock.
* He misses his beard !!!
* He's getting used to his hammock. He bought a pillow this week and it's much better. He asked to buy a custom made one (he says they are a bit bigger.)
* This is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. And, he is SO TIRED!! Now he understands President Merrill - you get more sleep then you have ever gotten, but you are so exhausted.
* He misses us WAY more than he thought he was going to. (Not sure what that means.... : o)
* He has struggled this week with being away from his companion and the people that he has already grown to love. His companion in Playa does not speak English, and speaks very fast. Today, he told him to slow down - and his companion said no. So - Chad told him, I guess there won't be many conversations then. And, he went and cleaned their apartment. He's so anxious to get back to his "home".
It's hard to imagine another 5 months before I get to talk to him again. I loved just hearing the sound of his voice. He sounded good - really good. __________________________________________________
Ward Christmas Party