So ya, I got the packages! Thank you so much Mom!! I only opened the birthday one, and will wait for Christmas to open the other. I got it yesterday, right after Elder Maestrado and I parted ways. I was already a little sad because of that, and when I opened up the "Memories" book, all I could do was cry. They weren't necessarily sad tears, just "I-miss-you" tears. Thank you SO much though :) I've been really wanting pictures from home for a while. Easily the best Birthday Present anyone could've given me. Thank you!!
I don't know if I'm losing weight, but I'm definitely not gaining any. Exercising hasn't gotten any easier, and my appetite has gotten significantly smaller since I left home. I don't really feel sick, but I don't feel like the image of health either. We stayed home from work on Tuesday, because my stomach wasn't too happy with my cooking the day before. I don't know if that's really the reason, seeing as Elder Maestrado was fine, but that's the only thing I can think of.
Truly? Not sure right now. I miss Elder Maestrado, and wish I could've celebrated my birthday with him. I'm partnering up with the Zone Leader right now, which is fine and all, but his Polynesian heritage is a little loud. He is also the exact opposite of Elder Maestrado between him and me, we didn't talk a bunch at all. He just sort of left me to my thoughts, which I was fine with for the most part. I've always liked to think. Sometimes when I was up in my room at home and it was noisy downstairs for whatever reason, I would climb up on the roof and just watch the sky. Thinking about everything and nothing, all at once. It relaxed me then and it relaxes me now. Granted, being Elder Maestrado's companion could be sort of lonely at times, but I've been relatively "happy" for the last 3 Transfers. I feel like the Lord has given me two extremes. Elder Murdock at one end and Elder Maestrado at the other. I loved one and.... didn't love the other. Now I'm just waiting to find where the breaking point is. At what point in that spectrum will I not be able to handle a companion. I'm hoping it's lower rather than higher, but I'm not too sure...
Chances are I'll be staying, but both missionaries leaving in a single transfer isn't completely unheard of either; just sort of rare.
Investigators are doing alright. King was out of town yesterday, and I've yet to hear from Denmar, but neither attended church yesterday, and so won't be being baptized until January at the earliest. Mary Rose still seems to be progressing, but we'll find out for sure a little later. We found another investigator, Victor Riego, who asks good, legitimate questions, and we're able to give pretty good answers. He seems pretty interested, but wants to know more before he commits to attend church and be baptized. We'll keep working with him :)
All I know is that you're not supposed to send them through FedEx or UPS. The fee for me through them is close to $50 dollars a package, I think. Also, don't be super specific in the declaration thing. "Missionary Supplies", "Non-Perishable Food Items", "Birthday Gift", and/or "Christmas Gift" should suffice for just about anything.
I'd love some music. The only stuff I have right now is BYU Men's Chorus. If you could, my wishlist is Instrumentals (Piano Guys should have some good ones), Pentatonix (just their Christmas stuff), and MoTab. If you can think of anything else that would do me good, you can send that too :)
And now, for the rest of the happenings this week :)
On Wednesday, President Clark visited our district meeting to share a short message of encouragement. He says we're on our way to achieving our goal of 1650 by December 31st, but if it doesn't happen it doesn't mean we're all damned. We need to do our best, of course, but the Lord doesn't work in specific dates. Time is our problem, not his. If we baptize 1649 by December 31st and then 1 on January 1st, all the Lord sees is 1650 souls returning to him and our Heavenly Father.
Thursday was a birthday party for Tatay Pepe (72) and a farewell party for Elder Maestrado (22). There was cake (chocolate) and spaghetti (tomato.... I think. It could've been banana. They do that here). They also had a live karaoke machine for anybody who wanted to, and EVERYBODY wanted to. I don't know why :P
Saturday was Elder Maestrado's last day of work and we worked till the end. 10 lessons and 10 contacts. The Standard of Excellence in a week is 40 lessons and 35 contacts. It was a good day, and ended pretty well too :) We went to a Member's house for their birthday and they ended up giving us gifts. A pair of tsinelas formy birthday (19), and a pair of tsinelas for the soon departing Elder Maestrado (22). Fun fun :)
We went to Church early Sunday morning, had lunch at the Carpeso house, they dropped me off at the Gapan Stake center where Elder Maestrado and I parted ways, and I teamed up with the Zone Leader. He's my companion now until Thursday :)
That's my week! Love you all, and thanks for the letters of love and support!