Archive | August, 2009
24 Aug

oh boy,

this was a long week. a loooooonng week. lots of things went wrong. we had a lot of problems in the ward with people offending eachother over petty things like the wearing of skirts, which is hard for a lot of new members and invests to do cuz the culture here, women dont really own skirts, nor do they have the funds to buy them.

then we finally, finally, finally had our baptism of hernan. that kid is rad. i am not going to send pictures because in this lifestyle and in these clothes, i look horrible, horrible, horrible in all but five pictures people have taken of me, and therefore nobody is going to see them. but anyway, we had like a million things go wrong and the family was running late to get there and he almost missed his baptism, but now he is baptised, so its all good. good and over.

the hermanas in salto had a run in with a naked man gesturing at him with his special parts last week, and the senior companion, mostly cuz she was fed up, maced him in the face.

the best part? one of the girls is my comp from the mtc, and theyre being transferred here to share our ward with us. i am reaaaaallly excited to go on splits. and wander around deep in the campo, cuz our area changed a bit and it now includes places mostly inhabited by cows.

we ran out of money cuz we had to pay to fix our shower and i got a cough and had to buy medicine for it. i wasnt sick, its just that people burn their trash all over the place here and the air quality is so bad i cant breathe super well, and it got bad enough that i was coughing a lot. but dont worry, my landlord immediately recognized what was going on, and ordered my medicine for me. apparently they know the air here is terrible and sell cough syrup for it. and the cough syrup tastes better than most of the food here.

we had a family home evening with a cool less active family last week, and i accidentally smashed my finger reaaaaally hard between the seat of my chair and another part of it. i then had to try to explain in spanish why i had screamed, and what i had done. the nail is purple now. they rubbed weird medicine all over it, mostly cuz i didnt know how to ask them what they were doing, or tell them to stop.

last week, my comp and i were crossing the street to go to a meeting. we noticed there was a parade of police officers coming, so she yelled at me to run. i ran, and at the curb i tripped and fell on my face in front of the entire parade. then i laid there for a moment, cuz i fell like, super hard, and a couple of old men ran toward me yelling, elder! elder! are you alright? here is my hand. i have to help you up. i must help you up.

falling down is one of the steps to becoming a real missionary in this mission. i have become a real missionary of legendary proportions.

other than that, i feel like i have become a garbage disposal. people just throw gross food at me, and take joy in watching me eat it. i take no pleasure in consumption anymore, excluding the torta of one family, the empanadas de tina, coke, and oatmeal. and certain varieties of dulce de leche.

and yeah. tranfers are next week so who knows where i will be when you hear from me next.

i am glad to hear teenie is doing better, that dan is the coolest kid in town, and that marshall is keeping busy on dads new house in seattle. and of course i am glad to hear you are well too.

ps, its a little early to talk about this yet, but i come home december tenth of next year. so mark your calendar and postpone thanksgiving next year. i love you and i miss you a lot, mom. i miss your food too. hell, i miss food.

you know those water bottle advertisements with the silhouettes of bodies with the diagram of the amount of water your body is? like, your body is seventy percent water things, where the body is filled with water 70 percent like a cup of water?

i feel like my personal diagram has 50 percent water and 20 percent vegetable oil floating on top.

oh, and i can finally tell the difference when people are speaking portugese at me instead of spanish!

17 Aug

Today i am writing my letter in Word, and will cut and paste it for you, just to be sure. But this Spanish word is changing all of my spellings for me.

Among my latest 2nd world pleasures I have enjoyed,
The lady who washes our laundry washed my clothing in what must have been vinegar, so I am smelling divine, and our scary electric shower head started smoking and almost burst into flame while I was in it, and now, out of fear, we are showering every morning in ice cold water. Which is ok, after day 4. we have a Califone to install, but we are never home enough to get it done. So I just sing songs, and think about all the when I was a kid stories ill have to guilt trip my grandchildren.

Also, I was pleasured with the opportunity to enjoy two heaping helpings of lukewarm pig stomach at a members house. I feel so bad… I doubt I am that good at not revealing my thoughts on my face. My thoughts being… ´oh man, I cannot believe I am eating this… stop thinking about it, oh man, I cant wait to write home… this is PIG STOMACH… am I going to die? Stop thinking, stop thinking, oh crap, smile at the hostess, ….seconds? no, I can´t… oh, no isn’t the right answer… yes please. Su comida is ricissimo, gracias´.
Man. My top ten most hated foods list has been drastically revised in my short 4 something weeks in Uruguay.

So, my comp is pretty creative, and her mom sent her clay. We used it in a lesson with a young family. The game was to make something from the gospel and we all had to guess what it was. Before I knew it, I had spaced out and made a horrifying abstract blue and red berry thing that looked like a human heart. My companions face went white and said, ´hermana! What is that?´harshly under her breath. Oops. I tried to play it off in broken Spanish. It was a lesson fail.

Oh, and we had my first baptism! Her name is leidy. And she is sixteen, and super cool. The baptism service was really nice. And weve met some super cool investigators, which is hard to do, cuz we spend most of our time teaching less actives. I think 80 percent of the population here was baptized at some point. Our ward has 600 less actives.

Oh, and it did warm up. I am officially not a fan of Uruguayan weather. It goes from freezing to hot, sometimes in the same day. Theres no comfortable, except from 9 to 10 in the morning on hot days, which is actually quite pleasant. We open the window to our room and study and I almost feel like I am on vacation. Just kicking back with bare feet and reading the liahona.
But yeah. I am going to die here this summer. Its reaaaaaaaaallllyyy unpleasant when its hot. The sun just soaks all of the energy out of you. I hope you sent me a jody dress. I wish I could just go out in my underwear.

Thanks for sending the package though! Just fyi, everything for my whole mission should be sent to the mission home.

On the topic of mail, I should love to clarify a few things, and make a desperate plea to all of my friends-
Um, ok. So all mail, including gmails, goes to the mission home first. I receive things on Tuesdays, but am unable to write back until the following Monday, and unable to send things til the Tuesday thereafter. So it’s a super slow turnaround. to speak to me within a week, gmail is best. To send me cards and such, the pouch is best, and to send me heavier letters with lots of pictures or whatever, normal mail to mission home is best.

And now my plea- please just write me anything, anything, anything in a gmail. Copy and paste things from websites. I don’t even care. I am limited to English speaking social contact with one person every day of the week except for mondays. Please help a sister out. I miss you all a lot, and would love to hear how things are shaking. I promise to respond! But please don’t just wait for a response. I want rapid fire nonsense, if possible. I wish I had time to talk to everybody a lot.

So yeah. I have no more pride. Uruguay has relieved me of that. I cant talk, I look feo in mission clothes and sweat… it’s a great life.

But I do like it here a lot sometimes. People here paint their houses cool colors, and there are chickens in peoples kitchens and super illegal fireworks and cows in peoples front yards.

And, of course, the south American sky is still beautiful.

To siblings,

I love you and I will write back soon!

To mom,

I love you more!

To grandparents, happy birthday grandma and I love you guys!

Technical Difficulties

10 Aug

shooot! i accidentally deleted my email! and i have 4 minutes!

send the package by a usps flat rate. my comps mom does it all the time. please cover it in catholic pictures. if you dont, it wont show up. also send me anythig that can be microwaved, and face wash.

please tell my friends that things take super long to get here and get back and to please gmail me anything, anything, anything. even if they havent heard back yet. i will always respond, it just takes forever. but i would love to read some english and know whats up.

tell marsh i will get back next week!

i love you and miss you and i like uruguay better now as i wrote in my email that i accidentally deleted! crap!

i love youa nd i miss you and i will write more next week. bye!

3 Aug

i love you, and i miss you. tell marshall he hasnt written me at all and i know it and i want an email from him. 

im beginning to feel comfortable in artigas. we went to a different area of town last week, and it was made clear to me that my section of artigas is faaaarrr more trashy than the rest of artigas. and artigas is the trashiest town in uruguay.

the people here are funny. in releif society this week, as i tried to pay attention to the lesson, i thought i had heard, ´we have an activity. write the name of someone you hate, then do a service for them.´the icing on the cake was, a sister asiked shortly thereafter, ´does it have to be someone in this ward´. i looked to my companion and we nearly died silent laughing.

but yeah, it is a really great ward. kind of reminds me of our old ward in seattle, but dirtier and poorer.

oh, and dont worry about the sweaters, just send the skirt and a jody dress, i dont care what color, something plain, or outrageous, both are fine, and neutrogena combination skin face lotion, multivitamins, q tips, and a tiny travel spanish english dictionary. oh how my priorities are changing.

living in this dirty hole has caused me to revel in the chance i get to clean every p day. i now love cleaning. i get to seperate myself from the dirty streets as much as possible.

and i am not really getting used to the food, but we were offered real fresh avocado, and i dont recall any seriously new looking meat byproducts fried in grease this week. but i actually, so far, am losing weight. cuz i walk and run and the food is gross so i only eat when it will offend someone if i dont. on my own time, i just eat bananas and oranges. maybe if you could send me some space food, that might be nice.

people here talk about me like i either cant hear them or dont care how i look. they will say things like, gee, you are really tall for a girl. or, ´how are you white and not blonde´the only mean one so far has been, ýour teeth arent as white as your companions. which is ok. she has blue white dentist dad teeth.

uh, what else? i dont like night time here. it is dark, gangs of young guys beat dogs up, and at 4 in the morning we can hear the local brazilian voodoo religion sacraficing chickens and drumming and its way scary. i wish we could go in before 9. my comp has pepper spray, which is a little comfort.

we walk a lot, but our area is huge, so we take a lot of taxis, too. i will send pictures sometime. maybe next week. it takes 20 minutes to send 3, and i only get half an hour on the computer.

please post on my blog that i should love to have any and all of my friends and acquaintances send me pictures of themselves and everything else. art,… whatever. just pictures. i miss looking at stuff. and the people i love. this can be done, in moderation, through the pouch mail, which is definitely the safest route.

my spanish is coming. the best way i can describe it is that its like a bad radio signal. sometimes i understand everything, then it fades into static, and back again. i need to try to talk more.. but i dont like taking shots in the dark when i dont know what people are saying. i figured out how to use my mouth like a latina, and i can be understood now, but it gets real tiring and feels kind of weird. they move their mouths totally differently.

one of the cool things about the second world is that young people can get away with drinking alchohol while managing dirtbikes downtown, in broad daylight. i got to witness such a lad pop a wheelie on his bike for 60 feet before he wiped out and got up laughing.

also we met a crazy man who has monkies and a vineyard and is looking to start a cult. he tried to give us a blessing cuz he liked our vibes.

i also have a hard time talking here cuz people talk about dumb things for small talk which leaves me little to say. like, ´how are you doing with this cold? last week it wasnt even cold anymore. and people here like to sit and chill in their cement fridge houses allllllll day and sleep and not go anywhere to try and stay warm, when if they would go out, they wouldnt freeze. so usually at that question, i say, …uh, bien. si. friiisimo. i need to learn to love small talk.

uh, so yeah. i am doing real good here. the work is going well. we have 2 baptisms this sunday and some good invests. we met one lady last week who told us we had shown up at her door right after she prayed to find the true church, which was super rad. there are so many great people here. tell both grandparents thanks for their letters, and sorry i have no time to write back! I love you grandma and grandpa and grandma and grandpa.