Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!  I'm a little behind on emails because I wasn't able to write on Christmas.

 I had a really buff guy, who I'm pretty sure was drunk, ask me for money because he was hungry and wanted to buy anana (pineapple). I didn't give him any money though because a member who was working with us just pulled out a coin and handed it to him and we left.
 The people who are homeless are legitimately homeless. They live on the dirt streets, have absolutely nothing besides maybe a blanket and the one pair of clothes they're wearing, and are starving, alone, and hurting. It makes me feel terrible that there's little to nothing that I can do for them.
 Well, as for what we eat, we sometimes only eat two meals a day, which consist of bread, lemon grass tea mixed with hot chocolate powder and maybe eggs and friend bananas in the morning, and then a huge pile of rice and one piece of chicken with a mixture of vegetables, chicken powder, and tomato paste for both lunch and dinner. Yes, I'm hungry all the time. But, I've started getting used to eating less so one big meal usually will do it for me.
  Sometimes we have something called pat which is cornflour mixed with boiling water. Once thickened, you make a huge ball that can fit in two hands. You then put some kind of spicy sauce that I don't know how to make but it has spinach, fish, and really spicy peppers into a bowl. Once the meal is ready, you wash your right hand, dip it in clean water, take a piece of intensely hot pat, dip it in the sauce with a piece of fish and voilà, bon appetit.
 Thankfully we got our allowance and went grocery shopping at the super market so we don't need to worry about not having food anymore; that, and the members here feed us a ton all the time so that really helps us out. It's actually not too bad, its just towards the end of the month that sucks. But yeah, c'est pas grave, ça va allez.
  As I've been reading through the scriptures, I've been finding a ton of amazing things that help me a lot throughout the day. The only way I've been able to really learn French the best is by reading the BofM. Every time I do so, I'm more capable of hearing, understanding and speaking French.
  Thank you, by the way, for praying for me. Although, I'm having a really hard time with the language; I don't mind not being able to speak as much as I'd like, it's just not understanding what people say that's really difficult. People talk to me all the time and speak so ridiculously fast and I just have to tell them sorry, I don't know what you're saying.
  My companion expects a lot out of me and demands that I speak French all the time. Which, is really hard, because when he talks to me, I seldom understand due to his crazy-heavy African accent. During lessons, he generally has me lead it out and he has me approach people and present our message. As difficult as it is, at least I'm getting better and I'm actually able to see my progress which is extremely nice.

 Well I just wanted to let you all know that I love you and I hope everything is still running smoothly. I miss you all so very much, but don't you worry cause I'll be home sooner than you know it. It's crazy, I've already been here for two whole months. Not only that, but I'll be 19 years old in eight more days which is also pretty crazy cause honestly, I don't even really feel like a man haha.
Please pray for me that I'll be able to have more love, charity, and patience. I'm trying so hard to develop these attributes because believe me, it's been pretty dang hard.

But hey, I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

By the way, thank you so much for all that you all did for me. I wish I could take the time to write each of you a paragraph of everything you've done to make my life such a wonderful gift; however, I'm afraid I've gotta bounce.

PS -- took me two hours just to reply to two messages haha But keep sending them because I love hearing from you!!
Have a fantastic week!
Avec Amour, votre missionaire, fils et frère,
Elder Gonzales

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