Post by Julie Matesen, Ruby's mom.
A Few Notes from our family conversation with Ruby.
She could not see us. We could not see her, except for about 30 seconds - one of us got to see her, ever so briefly. Her mum. Yep. Me.
Questions to Ruby:
1. Best Mission Prep?
*Backpacking trips. Stressful and so awesome.
2. What do you eat?
*Mostly tortillas with cheese and salsa. Sometimes there is meat. I think I'm gaining weight. Lots of mangos and bananas. All different kinds of mangos and bananas. Usually fried. I see corn on a stick a lot around here. I have yet to buy one.
3. How is your health?
*Really good. It's a miracle! Most other missionaries have "gripa" or stomach problems.
4. What do you do on P-day?
*Wash clothes, clean, write our parents.
5. What are your living conditions like?
*No running water. A water truck comes with a hose. I get on the roof and put the hose into a tank. That is our water. When it is gone we go 3-5 days without water. A lady in the neighborhood sells drinking water. I bathe from a bucket. We hand wash our clothes in a cement sink in the back yard. The house is very tiny. It is very hot. Lots and lots of bugs. Mice too.
6. What is your neighborhood like?
*Broken, bumpy, and dusty streets. You have to watch where you are walking. Lots of old Catholic churches. Many people live in shacks made of aluminum walls. VERY hot inside. Tons of dogs everywhere. They bark all night. The people are very small. I feel tall.
7. What is your main source of transportation?
*Walking. We walk everywhere. My feet are sore all the time. My shoes are holding up great. We sometimes take taxis. They are small, and they pack the people inside. There are lots of moto-taxis - like a motorcycle with 2 seats on back. Tons of people to try to fit on these moto-taxis. Also, on bikes. You will see a whole family on a bicycle and the person steering the bike is holding a puppy.
8. Most important lesson so far?
*Learning to accept help
*Learning how to listen - to people and to God
*Learning to love the people. I give lots of hugs. I love the people so much, until my heart explodes.
*People here love to talk. It's easy for me to zone out. It's hot and I don't understand.
9. Most unexpected thing?
*Never thought it would be this hard. No possible way to prepare....physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually...
10. What would you like us to send? Packages? What?
*Send letters. I love letters. I live for letters!
More: (comments and quotes)
*Max, Brett, and Layton were amazed at her Spanish abilities after only 4 months out.
*She kept saying, "There are so many miracles here." "So many miracles!"
*A lady at church reminds Ruby to have good posture. Thank-you lady.
*"Everyone around here thinks I'm crazy! I talk to everybody. I have to act things out and make sound effects for them to understand me sometimes. I can't speak Spanish very well. I am the only white person." She sounds like the novelty of the town - white person with blue eyes. "Famous." People shake their heads and laugh. She said it again, "They think I'm crazy." People stare and point.
*"I'm friends with all the kids. Even the people who don't want to take the missionary lessons. I am friends with their kids."
*Only exercise is walking.
*No time for anything. Even when waiting for a taxi, the time is used to talk and teach.
*Goal: 40 lessons a week. Average: 30 lessons per week.
*Tons of people. So many people. Many problems. Hard to prioritize. It is very stressful. Ruby says, "I'm doing my best. I am giving my everything. Doing all that I can do." "Life here is different. Problems beyond our ability to help."
*"Prayers carry me. I can feel the power of your prayers!"