Dear Mama and Papi,
So, I'm still getting to know the area, and this week I have splits with the zone leaders, so let's see how that goes. To let you know what this area's like, it's another part of Merida. Compared from everything that I've seen of Merida, this is one of the more retired parts. We're not too far from the city center, but it's pretty different in regards to the conditions of everything. It's definitely one of the more poorer parts, but it's a pretty cool little area. Haha. It's interesting that in crossing the street over into the Hermana's area (though it's all part of the same branch) conditions change, in the aspect that you can tell that there's more money over there.
Right now, our efforts are being concentrated on coordinating the work better. The members aren't bad, but they don't really work, so right now what myself and my companion are working on is working together with our mission leader to work with the leaders and see that the members come out to work with us. It's one of those branches that's really close together, but at the same time is kinda divided. Like the other wards and branches that I've seen in the mission, they can offend easily and all that stuff, so sometimes that's a hinderence. (Makes me remember what you would always tell me from Elder Bednar's talk, that it's a choice to be offended. Why couldn't you have been their mother? Haha.) But aside from that, we have a pretty strong team within ourselves, the hermanas, and our mission leader.
Right now we're just trying to make our team grow with the rest of the members. We have a lot of work to do, but it's a good thing, because we have direction where we need to go right now. By now, Elder Sage and I have become good friends. Haha. It's been different to be with an American companion (since I've had nothing but Latinos since my training), but it's been a good time and we've been a great help for each other. He's only got about 5 months (almost 6) and I have, well, more than that. Haha. But I've helped him with just mission stuff that will help for the rest of his mission (such as just some of the technical stuff, etc.) and he's helped keep me sane during this new period as a district leader. He's helped lessen my work load and has helped me in regards to helping out our district. It's like he's co-district leader. It's been such a blessing, because he just doesn't leave me to my responsibilities. He helps me with them, so I'm grateful for the support. That's just how it should be between companions.
Sounds like all is prospering back home. That makes me happy since it'll give me something to do over the summer when I get back. Haha. I'll send pictures, but I need to take some first. I've included a picture from our baptism, so that should do for a few months. Haha. (I just don't have too much time to take pictures anymore. We have too many things to do. Haha.) I'm glad to hear of grandma's recovery! She'll be well in no time.
In regards to Elder Lopez, he finished his son's training this past transfer and this transfer, he was called to be a zone leader, so as you can imagine, the pride in this old trainer is unmatched. Haha. Well, hope you all are doing well! Love you all tons! (I'll letcha know as soon as I get my package. Thank you!)
Love, Elder Manuel Antonio Santos