Alright, I have even less time this week than usual because of the intense tennis match that took place this morning. :) I´ll just go ahead and start since I only have 45 min left of Pday!
1) Tennis Match. Best. Pday. of. the. mission. so. far. Seriously, I will have to tell you guys all of the details. So Elder Benson currently works as the secretary to the mission president and manages all of the visas/governmental work, and he is my current companion. We both have a lot in common, like boating, tennis, running, and snow skiing. Since the beginning, we have always had a bunch to talk about, especially in the streets in between appointments. Even in the offices, every once in a while we find a quick time gap in which we all just reminisce a bit about the past and get to know each other a bit better. Then it´s back to work and helping the president out! Almost every day, Elder Benson and I end up talking about boating, tennis, or college. We had each talked some smack about tennis, you know, just because it´s fun. Then one day while contacting about two miles away from the mission home, we found a house with two clay tennis courts in the back yard. Score! Of course, we went up and talked to the owners, asking about the schedule and trying to figure out when we could play in the near future. With a little bit of luck, we reserved a court for 10:30am on Pday morning. The owner is really cool, and actually kinda looks like Nadal haha. He offered us a great deal: 50 pesos (about $12) an hour for a clay court, all equipment included. He had some nice rackets too! So we went there this morning, all pumped to actually have the opportunity to play on the mission. Most places don´t have courts unless you go to centro, and there they usually restrict all playing to club members and nobody else. I can´t describe how nice the courts appeared as we approached the house this morning. For those of you who don´t know, I have never played on clay before, making this quite the experience for me. We ended up playing for an hour and a half, and it was THE BEST. Elder Benson had talked quite a bit of smack, but it wasn´t until today that the whole truth came out of the bag haha. He had been rather humble the past few weeks. Guess what? He was number eight in all of the state of Utah and ranked nationally. He plans to play college tennis at the U or BYU Hawaii after the mission (he has three months left). People have already tried to recruit him, and he will let me know which college he ends up picking. One year in high school, he went completely undefeated until the state finals. Crazy, huh? I actually felt quite satisfied with the results of our match after hearing of his history. We played three sets, and he won 6-1, 6-0, 6-2. But hey, I still beat him three times!!! hahaha. It was just a great experience for me, and he had a great time too. He had only been able to play two other times during the mission, and both times the other people didn´t really know how to play very well at all. I´m not that great, but good enough to get those three games, which kinda pumped me up. He was a litte rusty, and I obviously was too, considering that neither of us had played for like eight months :). But his first serve is about 110-120 mph, and his second serve is like 70-80 mph with ridiculous amounts of spin. All around, he plays like a total beast, and I respect him a lot. He never brags, and most missionaries don´t know of his abilities. I found out all this today after asking becuase he had obviously played elite or something. I could tell during the match pretty quickly, as you might have asked :). He played eight hours a day over the summer at tennis acadamies, and it´s basically just his favorite sport. His backhand is better than my forehand, and his forehand just dominates. The three games I won consisted of a bit of luck, with me serving as hard as possible and getting them in somehow, and a few unenforced errors on his part. We just ralleyed for like 20 minutes too, just to warm up a bit and get the old muscle memory pumping again. We are going to try and play every pday until he leaves. He will serve as secretary for about four more weeks. The president will have to send him out into the field pretty soon since he has almost completed his mission, and the president never wants someone to have their last transfer in the office. So he will go out into the field for his last six weeks or so, probably to work with a recently new missionary. So that´s about it, and we had a great time. I have huge blisters on my hand from gripping the racket, and my shoulder is SUPER SORE. haha. It reminds me of pitching with you in the backyard, dad :).
And then there is just all of the small stuff that has happened this past week. I will have to include everything in next week´s email since we don´t have very much time left. Elder Benson and I have to leave and go out to work in like 15 minutes. The president just called a new financial clerk, and we have some old missionaries coming in to do a bunch of government paperwork tomorrow. In other words, everything is pretty busy here in the mission home. Things are going great though, and I will write a lot next week. Just to give you a quick lowdown of the missionary work, we have some baptisms coming up here pretty soon! About five people came to church yesterday, which just made us feel great. We have worked with these people since I got here--about 5 weeks!
And that´s about it for now. I get dearelders every Friday now, and it is great to read about everything that you guys have done up there in the states. Many of you are in my prayers, and I hope you have a great week. Y tengo que irme ahora, así que vamos a tener que hablar más en la semana que viene. Muchas gracias por todo lo que hacen Uds. en cuanto a la obra misional. Ya puedo ver su fe, y su apoyo me ayuda cada día. Que tengan una buena semana. ¡Nos vemos el Lunes!