Monday, August 18, 2014

August 11, 2014
Hola Familia!
Hello, I hope all is well back home, its been such a great week! Very different for sure! I have definitely had a lot of culture shock here! Well Monday was crazy! We all stayed at the mission home with tons of elders! There were 10 new missionaries that were native and then all the new trainers came over so in the upstairs room we all slept there. The first night I didn't even get a pillow or anything to sleep with! I found a little bed with no sheets and just layed on it till the next morning, We didn't have enough time to get ready for bed. The next morning we had 30 min. to grab our stuff and head to down stairs where we had a lot of instruction. I didn't know anything! Haha, it was all in Spanish! After instruction I got my new companion and my new area! My new companion is Elder Muñoz! He is from Ecuador and he doesn't speak English at all! Its extremely hard to communicate! But it's also fun! We left instantly to our new area, we are in Tuxta Agilas, its not in the main city its off to the side. Wow! I've never seen a place like this before! Its so poor here! And most of the roads are all dirt rocky, and there's up and down hills everywhere! After we got to the apartment we put our stuff down and went to work. We stopped at this house and started teaching the family, I don't understand at all what people are saying and I can't even talk! But I can bare a simple testimony of what we're talking about. It's not much but it seems like its very effective. Wow! I am loving it here! It's very difficult to get used to because I am not used to this place and this kind of living. (mom and dad, thank you SO much for providing so much for me! haha!)  well on Sunday, we had one of our investigators come to church his name is D.... I hadn't seen him before cause he was taught before I came. But when he greeted me he froze and then told me " I believe in God, I'm Baptist, its hard for me to believe in Joseph Smith, but before you missionaries came to my house I had a dream with you in it, you're the missionary in my dream!" He wants to learn more and its awesome! So I sat with him during sacrament and Elder Muñoz sat with another investigator. During sacrament he pulled out his iphone and we talked though google translate and I was teaching him the entire time! It was amazing! ...One day we were eating lunch at a members house and we started to hear a lot of noise outside, I didn't understand what was going on but the members were telling me to move over to the other side of the house and stay there, afterwards they said a big fight was going on and they didn't want me to get hurt! It was crazy, Oh! and there are dogs EVERY where, they are all stray dogs and they don't touch people because they are used to humans, and if anything, the people throw rocks at them, its pretty sad. ... well the showers here are cold , and the water barley comes out of the faucet.  It's very different here! And the traffic. Wow. I feel like I'm going to die every time I get in a taxi or combi (combi is a small bus that a thousands of people all get in at once, its full!) And it seems like there is no such thing as a seat belt or traffic laws, people speed and maneuver their way through the streets as they please. The people here are way nice! And all my investigators so far really want to learn English so I try to teach them some. Most of the lessons we have I don't say much haha! And I barley understand but the people understand and help me. haha. I am seriously the biggest gringo haha! Not only are we missionaries who wear white shirts but I'm American with blonde hair, I stick out very well here. Wow! Lots have gone on and I wish I could say more but I need to hurry up.
This is so crazy here mom! I miss ya like crazy and sometimes I wish that I could come back home... but I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I have faith. I do love the people here and I love this experience. It's awesome! I'm really experiencing living poor here is such a poor house! The people here barley have anything! It's so sad, well tell the family hi for me! 
Well family I miss you tons! And I think about you all the time, Living here really makes me grateful for the house I have, the family I have, and the things I have. I am living on very little here! I love you all, stay strong and Ill talk to you all next week
Lots of love! Elder Portlock

My house

This was a huge cockroach! it was flying around the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mi casa

An average road

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