Hi, Mom. So, this week was SUPER slow. We didn't teach too many lessons, but I suppose 5 new investigators makes up for it. We ate at some amazing member families here in Vergeles. The family we ate at last Tuesday, Familia Macias, gave us Yapingacho for lunch, which is Elder Melzer's and my favorite food they serve for lunch here. Then, last Friday, we ate at the Bishop's home, and him and his wife made us the most spectacular lasagña that we believe has ever hit our taste buds. She literally gave us each a "brick" of it, so we left feeling like we were going to explode, and die happy, hahahaha. It's been really cool taking the time to watch and converse with all of the Returned Missionaries, in addition to the Future Missionaries that this ward has. They all have super strong testimonies, especially about the Missionary Work, and it just helps me see how much I personally have grown, physically and spiritually. It hasn't been the easiest ride, but it's been one of the most fun (or as I used to say, "funnest") rides I've taken in the past 21 years. It's funny, because a lot of them (and also their families) ask Elder Melzer and I if we miss our families, too. I tell them of course I do, and I wouldn't be human if I didn't. However, we only get one shot at this, so if that means losing ourselves in The Great & Marvelous Work, and leaving behind the Family, Friends, Job, (and as much as it pains me to say this,) Food, Martial Arts, and Video Games, then the call is there. The true question is if we're willing to answer it. I can't tell you guys how many times I'm going to say this, but without a doubt I'll be coming back to Ecuador. It now holds a very special place in my heart, and it wouldn't be fair on either end (mine nor the people that I've come to know here) if I didn't. The mission has helped open my eyes to things that I couldn't even imagine or fathom before. I love you guys, and I can't thank you enough for making it possible for me to be here, and to learn the things that I have. Until next week, keep praying often, and remember how much God loves you. Take care!!!
Con Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke
PS: Perhaps, we could take a family vacation down here, some day, hahahaha! Iattached a picture of Yapingacho, Elder Melzer (my comp), and Elder Mena (my awesome buddy. We're eating at Chili's in the picture, by the way).