Let me first start with explaining how I "finally" got a "haircut". So, for the past 2 months, I haven't yet had the pleasure of asking for a haircut in Spanish, nor while I've been here in Ecuador. I've honestly felt a bit scared to, because I was afraid that I might end up with a bald head, or mohawk, or something, haha! In other words, this morning was the very first time that I got the chance to ask for a haircut here in Ecuador, and in Spanish. Normally, when I go to cut my hair, I ask for number 2 on the sides and back, and short enough for me to still be able to comb it on the top. Well, I kinda messed up my instructions for the hairdresser, and ended up still asking for number 2... For my entire HEAD. >.< According to my companion and fellow missionaries, it looks great, but to me, it's INSANELY short, especially after not getting a haircut for 2 months like I didn't mean to do, but did. For the record, it feels surprisingly cool, but at the same time, my head feels almost as naked as if I would've accidentally asked for my head to be COMPLETELY shaved, hahahahaha! I'm WAY too embarrassed to send any pictures (sorry!), but at least now I'm able to feel the breeze flow through my hair... Or at least, what's left of it, hahahahahahaha!
So, because this is the month of January/Enero, it's also rainy season here in Ecuador. Recently, in addition to getting adequately soaked in both sweat and rain, I've also had the wonderful opportunity of, at night, the streets and streetlamps SWARMING (literally, I kid you not) with Crickets. These little buggers, when they're up and about at night, swarm the streets in search of food (tiny insects), light (streetlamps, the fronts of pharmacies and stores), and even a dark, snug place to call either temporary or permanent home (cracks, holes, and yes, this does include the cracks and other spots in our home, especially because we have lights... Obviously). Last night, I had the opportunity to find easily a dozen crickets in our house, and even a few more the very next morning that have slipped through the cracks under our doors and window screens. Now, obviously these little guys don't bite or hurt anyone, but they're still insects, vermin, and are not welcome... Especially because they LOVE to hide in spots like your shoes and keep you company in bed at night. EW.
So, when we're not proselyting, or contacting, or looking for opportunities to serve others, the four of us (Elder Tingey, Elder Martinez, Elder Pagoada and Yours Truly) have some VERY unique ways of spending our free time with each other in the mornings and on our P-Days. We crack some jokes, mess with each other, and my personal favorite, locking each other in our bathrooms while we're either taking a shower, or anything else that has our bathroom doors closed. So, what we do is take some rope that we have lying around, tie that around the doorknob, tie the rest of it to a wooden rod that we also have lying around, and with a little know-how, they're locked in until they ask pretty please with a cherry on top if they can come out, hahahahaha! This was actually something we did a few days ago to both Elder Tingey and Elder Pagoada, because they were both taking far too long in the showers one morning. So Elder Martinez and I thought we'd have a little fun with them for about 20 minutes. Did I feel bad about it? A little, but I also ended up laughing hysterically until my chest hurt and I hasped for breath, haha! But in the end, we're all friends, and exchange man-hugs and share a good laugh afterwards.
Before I go, I would extremely like to give a shout-out to my family, and for the limitless love and support that they have for me and my serving on my mission. Without a doubt, if it wasn't for them and for how much they've helped me learn and grow, and with time, decide whether or not I truly wish to serve a mission, then I wouldn't be here, bringing others closer to Christ, and having the absolute toughest, hardworking, challenging, greatest time of my life for the next 20 months.
May the Spirit of God be with all of you to provide you with the comfort, strength, and love that some of you, if not, all of you might be in need of (more or less) at this time. Until next week, thank you all for the love and support and the presence of the Spirit that I'm able to feel while I'm serving, thanks to so many of you guys! I love you all, and take care!
Elder Conner Duane Parke