Response to Dad:
South America is great. Food is great, American money is worth more here, and the people are cool when I can understand them. When it rains here it pours. Like you're drenched in seconds. The thunder here is the loudest I've ever heard. It was so loud once, it sounded like it was right outside the window and I jumped across the room. I Miss you too. It's cool [studying the Gospel full-time] but I myself am primarily studying the language. I read the Preach My Gospel lesson and read the Book of Mormon in Spanish, but there isn't ever a ton of time to just read scriptures for yourself. If you're reading scriptures you're generally preparing a lesson for an investigator. I have one companion and his name is Elder Tidball. He's way cool. He's the biggest dude in the CCM but he's a teddybear. He's from Edmonton, Canada and played hockey, football and I think some basketball. The rest of my district is super cool as well. There's 4 Canadians and 4 Americans, which is cool. 4 girls and 4 guys, so an even split all around. All the Latinos here are obsessed with the American sisters, which is kind of funny. Like if the Latino Elders actually came to America, they would probably think they died and went to heaven if they saw all the American women... Actually I've only played soccer here one day- the second day I was here. Elder Rodrigues who is from Brazil and was our room coordinator tripped and twisted his ankle. So he was told to not play soccer anymore, so all of us would play basketball, volleyball or frisbee instead. Plus it isn't like a soccer field here, it's a mini basketball court that has tiny goals on each end. Our district leader is Elder Glen. He's from Canada and he's the oldest of us guys. 5 are going to my same mission but 3 of the Canadians are going to different places. Elder Tidball is going to Cordoba Argentina, Elder Glen is going to Buenos Aires South, and Hermana Toone is going to Comodora Rivedaria. I wake up at 6:20 and go to bed at 10:30. Between that is just a bunch of random classes and teaching sessions. This Saturday, I get to proselyte in the streets for 6 hours. Yeah the [temple] session was in Spanish, and I went today again and felt like I know more than last time which is a nice sign of improvement. No, I don't think there is anything that I need right now that I don't have. I might want to buy rain boots eventually but I shouldn't need those until Uruguay. The jacket you guys got me worked nice to propel water, so that shouldn't be a concern. I just wanted any picture I could show my district of my family. Some other people brought whole photo albums. However I just want a photo to show people our family so thanks for that. If I run out of time, I'll only send one [weekly email] but so far I haven't been swamped so I have enough time to email everybody. Money is good. I have like 90 US dollars and 150ish pesos. American money is worth like 8 or 9 pesos for every US dollar. [Regarding the ups and downs of missionary life] I haven't broken down yet. I mean everyone in the CCM is super supportive, so I haven't gotten too frustrated but the actual mission might be completely different. I just take each day one day at a time and just focus on learning as much Spanish as possible in the CCM. Yeah, the grandparents told me Destiny knows how to take off and put back on her clothes now which is cool I guess. They did say that D and Abby are getting along better during play time which sounds encouraging. Miss everyone at home, and am sending love your way. I appreciate the questions because it helps guide my email. I honestly don't know what I would write about without questions because so much happens here. Anyways, love you all and I'll report again in one week.
Response to Mom:
Yeah, my Spanish I think is improving. I went through the temple today for the second time in Spanish and I felt like I knew about 25 to 30% of what was happening. Well good to know I'm not forgotten yet. You can let Phil know when I get back from my mission I'll pick him up from school on any day he wants me to. My tooth is better but it doesn't feel 100%. Sometimes if I bite a certain way it hurts a decent amount. I don't think it's a major problem and I am just making sure I take care of my other teeth. I floss, mouthwash and brush every night and I generally brush 1 or 2 others times during the day. I think the dentist helped some but definitely didn't fix the entire problem. I suppose they could have ground more of my tooth off but its hard to tell how my teeth are hitting in the dentist office. I don't want to say they suck at their job but I feel like they could have ground off more and it would be better. Yeah sounds like you and the girls could use a beach day. I'm sure D will love it because no pants. Well I'm happy to know I didn't steal all the athletic genes in the womb and that he [Josh] got some of that Sappington tenacity in him. I love you so much mom and I miss you guys at home, but I'm happy to be where I am right now. It's great here. You could move here and probably never get cold. Anyway I want to see if I can upload pictures now so we'll talk more next week.