¡Hola back!

Hi guys,
Since I haven't updated in a few days, I wanted to catch everyone up on how things are going. It is hot here, but it's dry, so when there's a breeze it's generally bearable. Hydration is an endless pursuit; I'm fairly certain that liquid is escaping my body (even now!) faster than I can really take it in. I'm hoping that my body adapts to this over time. I finally experienced my first nosebleed this morning.  Simply no escaping that, but I did bring myself a ton of sinus-related stuff that will hopefully help.

Isn't she the cutest?
Getting here was crazy, but actually a good thing. My flight on Monday was cancelled (apparently they shut down the Houston airport?), so I ended up flying out Tuesday evening instead. What that meant was that I got to eat another dinner at home with my parents, which is irreplaceable, and I got to go to downtown Memphis with my mom. She had never been to Beale Street, so we went there after riding the trolley around. We ate barbecue together and heard some really fun live music. That time with my mom was priceless, and I'm glad we got to do it.

My parents and I prayed on the way to the airport for divine appointments, and, because many people on the plane had seen each other the previous day, we had a kind of camaraderie. The guy sitting next to me on the plane was really curious about what I was doing, and he immediately asked a lot of questions about culture, plans, etc. Then he asked me about what happens to the people who have never heard. I wish I had had some kind of clever answer, but I told him about Noah and about Rahab, and then he put his headphones on. I don't think he was looking for a real answer. I did want to ask him why, in a world full of endless questions, he had picked that one. Maybe next time. The girl next to me, however, was a Christian from California, and we had a great conversation. Near the end of it, she asked me if she could pray for me, so we ended up praying for each other. It was really neat. On my second flight the lady next to me didn't speak any English, so we spent the whole two hours talking in Spanish. It was tremendously encouraging to remember grammar and vocabulary, and she was very patient with me. Gave me her email address, so we're going to get in touch. She lives probably an hour and a half to two hours away from Leon.

I'm really glad to be here with my friend. We've started praying together and walking together. Yesterday we rode the oruga, the big caterpillar bus, down to the Centro. She's helping me to learn how to get around and become independent here. She's tremendously patient and gracious, which I really appreciate because I've mostly felt physically bad and have been pretty emotional since I arrived. I haven't really hung out with anyone yet, but we did have a family over for dinner on Wednesday night. It was nice to see them and their kids, and I got to meet the wife's mother, who is a short story author and a poet, and she gave me a book of short stories with which to practice my Spanish reading. She's not a believer, so please pray for her. We can call her E.

Prayer requests
  • Physical strength--dealing with dehydration and the high altitude; also getting a good sleep pattern
  • Wisdom about how to structure my time here. Wisdom about how to deal with language learning, and which parts of my friend's ministry to participate in directly, and which not to
  • Emotional strength--once I got here, I immediately felt pretty cut off from the rest of the world. I will also need to develop outlets for dealing with times I feel stressed or down. One is washing the dishes, which I actually enjoy, but I need creative outlets--maybe a project or something--and I need to find things to do here that are just fun
  • Language learning--'nuff said
  • Good connections with people--to reconnect with friends and to make some good friends
  • I was finally able to finish the mural in the youth room at IBC
  • After all that drama, my luggage came through perfectly fine, and travel was totally without a hiccup. I didn't even have my stuff opened at Customs, which was a direct answer to prayer
  • Once again, I know more Spanish than I have any business knowing, which is wonderful
  • The neat conversations on both my flights
  • Sweet time spent with my friend
  • The ability to FaceTime people in the States
Thank you guys for praying for me!

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