Sorry that my letter was so short last week. I was a little bit shaken by the news that Erin had passed away, and I wasn't really sure if what I had to say would be very respectful of her memory. Don't think I'm discouraged, because I am learning a lot and things are going well. And also, I'm sorry that I haven't written very many personal letters to all of you and have kind of just been sending one big blanket letter. I will start sending some more stuff to each family member.
So, an update for this week. Life in Marianna is very much different from Valdosta, and is very different from what my expectations were of what it means to be a missionary. So for the past couple of weeks I have kind of been undergoing an adjustment of expectations. Here are the deets: we are currently teaching one person regularly and... that's kind of it. His name is Sam Hurtado, and he doesn't even actually live inside of our area, but goes to school here and has been taught by the missionaries here for a little over a month. He works at another local church as a camera man. That's kind of where we are.
I really don't have a ton to tell you all. The weeks go by pretty quickly because there does not really appear to be any work to be done. People are pretty set in their ways. We were talking with a man the other day, and we asked him, "If you were to find out that the Book of Mormon were true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, would you join the church?" And he answered, "No, simply because I'm set in my ways and don't want to change."
Last night we came back from visiting with one of the most celestial members I have ever met, Brother Van Willis, and he is just the most fantastic old man with nice big ears and a big nose. He kind of resembles Mr. Burns because he has some pretty large liver spots on the top of his head, but he's definitely less evil. We had a super spiritual conversation with him. So spiritual in fact, that when we got home afterwards, Elder Bochenek was beating on his bongo drum, shirt untucked and unbuttoned, and then tried to post off the wall and left a huge hole in the drywall. See, our kind of humdrum life gets broken up by encounters with broken walls, tadpoles, rain, frogs, snakes, and driving on dirt roads. And teasing the sister missionaries because they cry about everything.
Thank you so much for all of your letters! I really appreciate them and am glad to hear that things are going well. I love you all!
Elder Jon Hendrik Vawdrey