Magandang hapon po!! (Good evening!)
I hope all the pics went through. I had a bunch that I wanted to send this time. It was great to hear from you all. Thank you for all the updates and all the news!! The Harston side is growing and growing!!! Thank you Dad and Steph for all the updates. Amazing. Grandma Harston has got to be just glowing with joy. So many grandkids! So many great-grandkids!! Wow. I love it. :) I am so blessed to have the best family in the world. :)
Mom, you had lots more questions, so I have a lot more answers!
Yes, we washed clothes by hand, but guess what??? We just got a washing machine!!! Woohooo!! We're pretty excited. It's tiny and cute, but it makes washing a lot faster. We have a little back room downstairs where we hang the clothes. There are some wires strung back there. I'll have to send pics next week. As far as handwashing, we used tubs and buckets, where we would soak our clothes with soap. We have scrub brush and a couple of boards, but I find it easier just to use my hands. It's more effective, and I find it's gentler on the clothes. I've gotten to be a pro. ;)
No, we do not have an oven, just a stove. Our bathroom does not have a bathtub-that's only for the very rich (pretty uncommon), and not shower. We just have a bucket and a water scooper, and we take bucket showers. It can be cold, but it is very refreshing.
Yep, our apartment is buggy. :) We try to keep it under control, but the ants find everything very quickly. We have to store our food in the refrigerator and in sealed containers. We do have cockroaches, too. It's amazing how many cockroaches are here in the city. It is very normal to see cockroaches all over the streets at night. I've mostly just gotten used to it, but we try to keep them out of our apartment as much as possible. They are pretty gross. But we have spray and shoes, so we get rid of them pretty quickly. :)
The deaf man in the picture a couple of weeks ago, Lito, is still in our ward. When us sisters split the area, we stayed in the same ward. So I get to chat with him just about every week. He is desperate for conversation and is is very excited to be able to talk to someone. He knows ASL, but it's a bit different. There are times when I have to ask him to repeat or clarify a sign or two. No one else in the ward knows sign language, so he mostly just gestures with them, and they understand him for the most part. He's great.
I'm not sure about the humidity level, but I know it's high. :) It hasn't rained a whole lot, but we had a crazy random rainstorm the other day. It was clear in the morning, super windy and rainy, and then sunny again. I think that's pretty normal for here. We always have to be armed with our umbrella. If we don't use it for rain, we use it to shield the sun.
Christina, you sound like you are doing AMAZING over there! Keep up the hard work! Your grades are amazing! That Tech Core class sounds complicated, but like a lot of fun. I'm rooting for you for that Geometry grade! Sooo close! And congrats for the Book of Mormon reading/praying challenge. That is SO awesome. The Book of Mormon has such great power, and I'm seeing it every day.
Grandma and Grandpa Elicker sound super busy!! What a lot of work! I would love to come help out, but...maybe next year. :) Know that I'd be there if I could!
This past week has been a great one. We had the opportunity to have a devotional given by a member of the Area Presidency, Elder Ardern, and his wife. I left the devotional feeling ready to step it up another level and do better! Super inspiring.
The Escueta family is doing great, especially Sister Escueta. She is really feeling the Spirit and has accepted a baptismal date of June 1! Another couple of new investigators came to church!! I love this gospel!! I am really seeing and feeling the changes in myself and in others as we focus on Jesus Christ and focus on bringing others to Him. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that the Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other, creating the fulness of the gospel. I am so grateful for this time to be a missionary for my Heavenly Father, and give him my all. I love my companion, I love the people here, and I love this gospel! I know it's true!!
I love you all and pray for you.