Since I also had the wonderous opportunity to Skype my family on the 25, I think that this letter will be significantly shorter since we already have communicated this week.
Bueno, a little more won't hurt I guess. During the call, my parents made sure to ask about the things I don't share, so I'll expound a little more. It's actually a rule to not write negative comments or remarks about the people, culture, or country. And, as luck would have it, I rather enjoy to notice and comment on this very thing. There are also things I don't share because I don't want anyone to run down here in panic. Everything is fine, despite what the stories may sound like. If I get a promise for everyone to stay tranquilo (calm) I might share some 'fun' experiences that I was going to save until after the mission. Who knows.
Anyway, we really ate a lot this week. On Tuesday we went as a mission to a buffet and literally ate everything that was prepared. EVERYTHING. Naturally, I made sure to add more than my fair share of the feasting. Then, on Christmas Eve, us 6 missionaries used our handy-dandy grill to make some steaks in celebration. The following day we ate a bunch of sausage. The members also made sure we were eating these special days.
As many already (and should) know, my birthday was also this past week. Many also know about the little celebration we had in the house of our Ward Mission Leader, where they were amazing enough to prepare a cake (which was delicious by the way). What probably is not well known is that our investigator that is (hopefully) getting baptized this Saturday also made a bunch of treats and a birthday card when we stopped by to visit. Not entirely sure how they found out it was my birthday, but I'm guessing it's because of the Facebook posts. Darned social media is everywhere.
In attempt to make these letters a little longer for my Mother (love you!) I'll try also adding a little something I learned during my studies. So, as I started to read the Doctrine and Covenants in the proper order of revelation (no, the sections are not in order) I noticed something very interesting. The vast majority of the first 20 revealed sections start the same way: about how the field is white and ready to harvest. So, probably, I'm thinking the time is right to bring all unto Christ...
***Mom Yates here - I sent a separate email this week with a couple of questions and decided to share his answers because I find them interesting.***
I've also been wondering if people pronounce your name as one syllable like we do here at home, or do they pronounce it as 2 “Yah-tes”?
About the Yates thing, it's very interesting. Some people use one syllable and some use two. It appears to depend on how much 'schooling' the person received in English and if they connect me with the US. Not entirely certain which is more common, but I think two syllables is. I always introduce myself with 2 syllables, but again, some people disregard what I say and use one syllable.
I loved the birthday cake that Sister Linares made, it looked really good. What did she put in between the layers?
The cake had peaches in the middle. I don't know what it is with Bolivia and peaches, but they are quite popular.
Here are a few pictures Sister Linares posted on Facebook of this amazing cake and the celebration they had for my missionary