Great week! (Mitchell and I were just on at the same time and we were basically chatting! Amazing!) Where to start. On Tuesday we met together as a zone. The Elder in the photo with the guitar is from South Africa. Look very carefully under the volcom sign --- aka my name! It was his last week in the mission. He was the first missionary I saw 'die' (go home) - crazy that that'll be Mitchell in 4 weeks! Ahh. All this week two of our sacerdocio (one menos activo and one who just moved in to the branch! whoo! The husband of the hermana who recently passed away...) had been calling us to have us help them build the house of the new member. Tuesday we walked 3 miles to get to their house and they weren't there! But instead of turning around and walking back, we moved 18 cemenet 'pollos' several meters. It was pouring rain and muddy. But it was fun. We got back, cleaned up - and went to the branch activity to say goodbye to Elder Cayoja. We sat in a circle and thanked Elder Cayoja for his service and bore our testimonies, etc. It was really great. The hermanas sang, it was really special. One hermana, Lidia, who was a missionary was really bored with the whole thing - I thought it was hilarious - I recorded when they were singing and she yawned at least 10 times during the song. She said that when a missionary leaves a sector, it isn't that big of a deal - no one made a fuss when she left her sectors. haha, she didn't say that part - but...con razon! We ate completos. On Wednesday - TRANSFERS. We woke up early, left for the bus station and said a much anticipated 'goodbye' to our friend, Elder Cayoja. Elder Arce was at the bus station! It was great to catch up and see an old friend. Elder Vilorio (who I gave my ctr ring) left for home too. It's weird to see missionaries leave. The rest of the week has just been me and Elder Trejo and even the heavens are happy. For the past month we've had nothing but wind and rain. but on Wednesday and adelante we've had sun and a light breeze - paradise. We've been really stressed because on Sunday we had Conferencia de Rama - which we didn't think was a big deal until all the members started calling us asking what the theme was and what did we plan on doing for recuerdos and invitations. What?! We talked to our Mamita and she showed us recuerdos from past conferencias. But little did Lago Ranco know that last minute art projects are my specialty. We got to planning and started the work. We baked over 50 no bake oatmeal cookies, wrapped and packaged them - passed by all of the members, menos activos, and our investigators - inviting them to the conference. We chose Doctrine and Covenants 24:8 for the theme. Be patient in your afflictions. I am with you until the end. It's a really great scripture. On Saturday we had an activity with the youth and leaders to make the recuerdo. Volcanic rocks from the lake (free) with a wire tree (my specialty) and colored beads hanging from the branches. and a temple pin that says 'estoy contigo' quoted from the scripture. Elder Trejo told me that I had to give a talk - which at first I was nervous, but it was really great. I talked about everything. The scripture, the tree, the temple. and how through our trials - our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are with us. The rock and tree were symbolic. If Christ is our rock - we'll be firm in the faith just as a tree is firm. And we'll bring forth good fruit (beads). I would call it a success - except that NO ONE that we invited came! Only the normal members! haha. I was bummed at first, but we'll just have to work harder next time. Everyone loved the cookies and all have asked me for the recipe. Whoo.
I love you family.
Mom for my next package can you send me two magnets (I can't find any here and I want to make my plack magnetic...I know...I'm weird), my Gryffindor tie (Elder Trejo is obsessed with Harry Potter - Deathly Hallows sign - no wonder we've gotten along so well) and I want to give it to him, and maybe another pair of pants (dress slacks). I haven't gotten Margarita's birthday present, but I'm pretty excited now!
I weighed myself the other day...and...even though I look like a fatty and have gained so much weight - I'M STILL A BOY! I weight 148 pounds! SO CLOSE, but yet so far. I told everyone about our 150 pounds is a man - they thought it was funny. I WILL come back a man.
I love you family.
Elder Maxwell Poirier
Elder Bray! YOU'RE GOING TO TRAIN!? Congratulations.