Okay, so my new ward of Orama Gonzalez is definitely not what I had in mind of what it would be like (SUPER dusty), and to be perfectly honest... Elder Obeso hardly talks to me. I'm highly certain it's because he didn't feel ready at all for his companion before me to get transferred, but at the same time, I need him to know that I'm 100% willing to work alongside him, especially because he's neck-deep in pressure both from the necessary work and adjustments in our ward, in addition to him being District Leader. The last thing I want to do is "trunky out", and then feel like I wasted the last 3 months of my mission like a lot of other missionaries by doing things like sleeping in, not studying, and above all, not helping my companion. I love my companions (no matter how they treat me), and I find a little bit of symbolism in it; that no matter what trials and tribulations may fall upon my family - my parents, my siblings, and even my future wife and children - I just want them to never forget how much I love them, and I can't say how grateful I am to have them in my life. It sure hasn't been the easiest mission, but the things that I've learned here are truly unforgettable, and they've filled me with too much light and love to not want to share them with those around me. If there's two things I could say to absolutely anyone and everyone I possibly humanly can, it's (1) I'm sorry. For whatever it could possibly be, that's up to you to decide, but I just want to you that I'm truly, sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart. Also (2) I love you. Again, for whatsoever reason it may be, I want you to figure it out for yourself (or yourselves, rather), but just know that I want to say I love you, and thank you. Life, I learned, is too short to make enemies as opposed to friends, which is why I'm beyond grateful for the love and the charity that the people here in Ecuador and on my mission have shown me. I honestly feel like I don't deserve it, especially for the mistakes that I've made. However, I love my Father in Heaven, and my Savior Jesus Christ specifically because of how merciful and loving they are... To all of us. To share that with others is a blessing, because it's become such a prominent part of my own personal testimony. My title for this week's entry is beyond cliche, I know, but I just wish to let everyone know: Can you guess how much I love you? ... I love you to the Moon (or in my case, the Mission) and back. Until next week, I want to thank everyone for all of the prayers and support, especially to help me come this far already. Take care!!!
Con Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke