Hola, familia y amigos! Two days from today marks my entire first month, down here in Ecuador! Woo, I haven't died yet! Only 21 more to go!
(1) The mail I get here will only take a minimum of two weeks, not three. But, it will still take longer to get here, if it's been addressed to Mexico City, seeing as I am not there anymore. (2) The Spanish here, despite it being a combination of fairly fast Spanish with an Italian accent twist to it, has been surprisingly easy for me to be picking up, so far. I mean, I still need plenty of work, but my Spanish here is not as extremely awful as I think it is, haha. (3) English is not as scarce and futile here as I initially thought. Granted, (Ecuadorian) Spanish is obviously the primary language used here, the kids and some of the people in my ward like to test my abilities to translate and teach them Inglés. Which I find extremely fun, and makes me glad that I know English, hahahaha. (4) The people here are SO humble, in my opinion, because they are willing to cook for us, do our laundry, and put up with my mediocre Spanish skills. Also, the strangers here are a lot more welcoming in the fact that they say "Good morning (Buenos Días)" back to us when we do it. Try doing that in the US, hahahaha! But jokes aside, these are people that live in Cement Floor, Tin Roofed, and non-air-conditioned houses, when it can get as hot as 115 degrees here, despite the rain coming in the future. I salute these people for their hospitality.
I couldn't be more grateful for my companion/trainer, and for the love and support that he has shown me.
I love you all, and can't wait to report on what more this fantastic calling and opportunity has given me the chance to experience. Until then, God be with all of you!
Elder Conner Duane Parke