We just had our very best Christmas gift, the chance to see and talk to Jaymes. He was able to skype with us this afternoon and we asked him all sorts of questions. His answers are in RED
How is the food? good we eat a lot of beans and rice with tortillas, some chicken, which is fresh :), some shrimp. I love the coconut milk, cantalop smoothies, but not the hot chocolate which is made with hot water poured over a stick of dark chocolate. I like the leche but miss the real milk from home. What is the strangest thing you eat? armadillo, and we had it for Christmas Eve, also Iguana is a delicacy. What is your schedule? We wake up about 6:30 and go running for 30 minutes, shower and dress and have a small breakfast. From 8-9am we have personal study time, 9-10 is comp study time/prepare/practice, 10-11 language study, I study spanish and my comp studies English. At 11-12 we watch District Training. At noon we start walking and we walk a lot! Once a week we have District planning and from 11:30-2. 2:00pm is lunch. It is a large meal and we go to someones house each day for that. They are very generous to feed us. Then we teach, make visits and walk till 8pm and head home. We are home by 9pm for journal and prep time for the next day. I'm alseep by 10pm, I'm tired after so much walking. How are the bugs? mosquitos mostly. I put on repellent each day, that helps. They are thick sometime, lots of flies and small daddy long legs. How do you get around? We walk or take the moto ped. That doesn't happen a lot because of cost, my feet are sore most nights. What is the best part of your day? I love sharing a discussion and right now when someone understands what I am saying! :) I also have really liked reading lately. How is the spanish? Well it is coming, but I wish people understood me. My companion can understand me but not always others. They talk very fast and I have to think a lot to figure out what they are saying to me. You look tan!! I haven't burned but i have a huge watch line. (he showed us and he does!) I think now that I am not so white the kids talk to me more. He told us about his quick showering... just dump and scrub, dump again. How is money works... we get 1,300 pesos a month, not a lot if you have to pay to travel but otherwise it is fine. where he does his laundry... we go to the Branch Pres. home, they have a washer and dryer. It works well. Tyler asked what he should do to prepare... read Preach My Gospel more. If you get called to a foreign speaking mission buy it in that language and read it a lot and start to memorize the discussion points. What he enjoys most...seeing the moon and stars at night, when it is cool and quiet. He gets a long with his companion and they have actually been able to talk in spanish and english together, his MTC companion is in his district and he has really enjoyed getting together with him once a week at meetings. He told of being in the Branch Pres. home and him telling the story of his baptism in '96 and told about the missionary who baptised him and showed him a picture of the missionaries wedding announcement he received a few years ago... Jaymes recognized the women in this picture as someone our families knows from Indiana. What a small world!! That made Jaymes feel so much closer to home too.
His smile melted my heart and I know he doing what he wants to do even when it is really hard. He can't wait to have the language down which will help him not feel so lost at times. Go Elder Monson. Continue praying for him and all the missionaries as they learn and grow and teach and testify!!