Hey! My week was pretty swell! We did a pretty awesome service project this week! On Thursday night we went to visit some less active members, and this lady I had never met before came over and said she wanted to talk to us. So we walked over, she said she was a member and all, and started to tell us this story about how her house had been destroyed by a storm a couple nights ago. (Oh yeah, it has been storming like crazy!) They rebuilt it real quick but it was done super horribly so it was already falling apart. So she asked us to go around and ask the men in the Branch to come help out the next day. So we went and got some guys, got up at 4:00 the next morning, and spent about 14 hours building the house. It is all wood and lamena (a metal sheet with ridges in it, a lot of the roofs here are made out of that.) We reused a lot of the old parts of the house and then they had some new posts to make the corners so the house would be more solid. I carried some wood and tried to help as much as a gringo without any experience can haha. I learned a lot about building a house with really limited materials! It probably won't apply in the states because our houses aren't made of sticks, but it was a good time. We completely tore down her old house and then rebuilt it, it was quite the project!
After that we went back to the church and had to build the pila for the baptism next day. It isn't too bad to set up but takes forever to fill! We didn't have water or power because of the storms, so we almost had to baptize in the river. But the water came back like four hours before the baptism, so we were blessed again.
I was able to baptize Franklin and that kid is awesome! We got him all confirmed and stuff so he is all set. I was actually pretty disappointed because his mom promised us she'd come and she didn't show. It was a bummer. But he has some buddies at church, and we will keep visiting him as well.
Needless to say I was pretty tired haha. Let's see what else...oh! With the storm we lost all our water, power, and ran out of gas to cook with for about three days. So that was a pretty good time! I felt like I was on a scout hike again. We ate some fruity bars, and we have a lady that we pay to make us lunch, so we lived off that. She makes either eggs or beans, and always tortillas. If we show up she always has food for us so it is pretty nice. With all of the rain teaching is pretty hard, the streets get very wet and nobody wants to let us in when it is storming. They just want to sleep haha. I really hope that the heavy rains just last a few weeks.
It is almost time for transfers again. We will know on Sunday who has them and where they are going so that will be exciting! I think either my companion or Elder McEntee´s companion will have a change, but I could see everything staying the same too. McEntee and his comp just one change together, me and mine a change and a half because of the emergency change. Our areas are pretty close, like 15 minutes walking, cross a river on a boat, another 10 minutes walking, then like 15 minutes in a truck. I feel like I will probably be here until September or October. I will be happy either way. There are some people that I really love here. The people in Canlun are known for being hard hearted, but we have lucked out to be in the right place at the right time with our baptisms. That is alllll the Lord. I think the next group of Kekchi speakers come from CCM in the transfer after this. That always gets crazy. September is going to be wild because everyone from the Polochic is going home. Well not everyone, but it is a big group, there are like 5 people or so that know Kekchi that are going home. This change there is a pretty good chance that Elder McEntee will be the District Leader in our district, so that will be good. I hope I train when the new guys come in!
Unfortunately with the baptism over we are kind of left with rebuilding work in our area. Most of the people are Catholic, about half go to their church and a lot don't. I would feel a lot better if they at least went to their own church instead of saying they will go and not going anywhere. There are some areas where there is no transportation, so that can be a problem, but for the most part there is always a pick up or bus to go on. I have done some pretty sketchy bus rides, where I am hanging outside a bus as it is going. It would compare to going 50 mph in our van with the slider door open, standing up and hanging on outside with my arms haha. It is a lot of fun! We do have a bunch of appointments this week, we are working with a 11 year old whose mom is baptized, so we might see a baptism with her. Our multi-zone conference is also this Friday so that should be good!
I got started on my medicine and stuff so I should be fine. You asked about mosquitos, we just kind of deal with it. For p-day today we ate some chow mein with a member here that our DL found for us. The hermana knew how to make it so we really lucked out! It was pretty good! Me, McEntee and Ellis were just talking about how we would kill for some orange chicken from Panda Express the whole time though haha. We are going to go watch Ephriam's Rescue as a District tonight. Other than that we are just writing today.
My spiritual thought this week comes on how the Lord strengthens us even when we are super tired. On the day of the service project, I didn't think that we would be able to do everything we wanted to. But with the Lord's help we were able to get everything ready for the baptism and build a house! I LOVE THE LORD! He is just so awesome!
Well, I hope you all have a good week and I love all of you!
Love, Elder Toolson
Dad, so I seem to remember that it is Fathers Day this week! I wasn't able to get a letter out like for mom but I will do my best with my email. I remember that I said in my senior presentation how much you sacrifice for us. I know you could have made a lot of more money over the years, but you wanted to be with us, and that means so much to me. I thank you for your example to me everyday. You have shown me what it means to be a father, and to be a man, and how to hold the Priesthood. You have been a perfect example to me over the years and I am so blessed to have you as my Dad. You could not have done any better as a father. I love so much!