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.

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