On Tuesday, we went and did some service. We pressure washed an RV trailer that had been sitting around for a few years. The front of that thing was pretty nasty.
On Thursday, we had a lesson with the Castillo family, the people who we did service for on Tuesday.
Usually missionaries are on the receiving end of food. Matthew was given so much this week that he needs to find other people to give it to!
On Saturday, we did some service for another family. When we were done, instead of feeding us lunch like she said she would, she gave us a ton of groceries instead. They filled up the backseat of the truck. Then later in the day, she called us back, and gave us another load of groceries. Now our pantry is very full. Oh - on the way to that service, someone waved us down and loaded some produce, milk, and butter into the back of our truck. So now we have 25 lbs of potatoes, 6 lbs of butter, three gallons of milk, three heads of cabbage, and some other items from those people who waves us down. Not to mention the two backseats of groceries that the people who we did service for gave us.
What not to do to your mission truck:
Also on Saturday, we decided to go up to Rockland. I've never been there, so we decided to see if we could find some people in the dozen or so houses there. We drove up, but Google Maps took us down this dirt road, that very quickly turned into a muddy road (Elder Cabiness was driving). We splashed and fishtailed through each of the mud puddles, until we got to THE PUDDLE. That bog was around 100' long, and split up into quarters. The easiest way I can describe it is referring to each of the sections as quadrants on the Cartesian plane. The first quadrant looked pretty firm and dry. The second quadrant had deep tire trenches where people had driven through, obviously very soft and something we would want to avoid. The third quadrant was a puddle. It was a drivable puddle; didn't look too deep. The fourth quadrant was a much larger puddle, and looked much deeper. So, Elder Cabiness decided that the best way to get through was to get a running start, go through the third quadrant, and steer over so that we would go through the first quadrant. That was a great plan, and it would have worked, except for one thing. The steering part. If you have any experience driving on a slippery surface, you know that if you are going quickly, and suddenly steer hard in one direction, the vehicle will keep going straight. Which is exactly what happened. The truck drove right into the second quadrant with the deep mud trenches. And stopped. So, we were kind of stuck. Elder Cabiness called several people, and got a couple of the members of the branch to come and pull us out. But for them to be able to get to us without getting stuck in that massive mud puddle (about 30' long and 6" deep at the deepest part), I realized that we would have to drain the puddle. So, I took a 2x4 that was in the massive pile of litter nearby, and dug a trench from the puddle towards the side of the road so that the puddle would drain. That worked suprisingly well, and the puddle successfully drained. Sometime in all of this, a guy came by on a 4-wheeler. He went ahead a short ways, and said that there was a worse puddle ahead of us. So the only way for us to leave was to go back the way we came. The branch members got there shortly before the puddle drained, scoped out the situation, and then successfully pulled us out. Forwards, because that was the only way the tow strap would reach. So both of us had to go back through the bog. We both managed to get through, and one the way back, our rescue truck (in front of us) drove through an invisible hole a bit too fast and the entire back end of the truck bounced into the air. Elder Cabiness and I decided it would be better to take a slightly different route, so that our truck wouldn't bounce like that (Elder Cabiness already got two aggressives on that road). Then our rescue truck (two wheel drive) almost got stuck going up a muddy hill, but barely managed to not. We made it back onto pavement, and instead of going up to Rockland like we originally planned, we went back to Woodville, got our truck washed, and got ourselves cleaned up. My shoes were quite muddy.
And...the thermostat wars. His comp likes it warm, Matthew likes it cool. If only apartments had split settings like their truck does! And an interesting note about his acclimation:
A lot of people get soft (less tolerant of cold) when they come here, but I think that I have had the opposite happen to me. I can tolerate the cold better now more than I could before. In short sleeves, it has to be below 40 before I get goosebumps, and well below freezing before I get cold at all. Miriana, the cold here is wet, so it feels a lot colder than the cold in Rexburg.
He closed this week's letter by noting that he practices on his piano nearly every day.