19 Oct

dear mom,

montevideo is heaven. i can barely even believe i am in the same country. our first night, we went to meet the bishop in his nice, cozy, apartment with hardwood floors, wall insulation, art prints, and the smell of candles. they fed us hot grilled ham and swiss cheese sandwiches and good apples. you know, like, fresh ones. without worm holes and bruises.

the next day, one of the many american families in our ward took us out to eat at a cool vegetarian restaurant with hot pink walls, moroccan lamps, low tables, pillows to sit on, and indian music. i ate cous cous, and again, figured i had died and gone to heaven. i was so happy. i really cannot believe this is the same country.

then another american family fed us fajitas, and for the third time, i thought i had died and gone to heaven. i asked them for their torilla recipe, cuz you cant buy them here. so now i just need the taco seasoning that one cannot buy here.

but its not all super duper peachy, unfortunately. i feel like i am in heaven, and hell. hell because…

my comp is really sick, which means we spend a lot of time in the house. and i didnt think i was one of those, ´ra ra! lets go lets go!´missionaries until… well, until i couldnt go. its killing me. i just want to work. i feel like such a waste of time and space and church funds like this. we spend so much time sitting around our SICK (sick because elders lived in it right before us, and i am convinced, did not clean anything ever at all once the entire time they were there) apartment doing nothing. i can read scriptures for a couple hours running before getting too bored, but… man. we can´t go running, cuz she´s sick, … man. i am so restless.

also, the people here are faaaaar more educated, which is cool, cuz i can talk about music and art and things i love, but uncool, cuz a lot of them are super impatient with my redneck spanish i learned in the frontera. my comp is a law student from argentina and has a broad vocabulary and a distinct accent thats a lot harder for me to understand. i have, however, happily, gotten to the point that when i dont understand someone, its simply because i dont know one of the words they are using, instead of just not understanding anything. but i get really annoyed because a lot of people around here are a little more prone to assume i dont get it cuz i´m stupid, then patronize me with their english skills, which are infinitely worse than my spanish skills. but whatever. i still dont have the vocabulary to tell them otherwise, so, oh well.
but yeah, im going to have to try to stretch my vocabulary out here, cuz the rinky dink redneck spanish i must have been learning doesnt seem to be cutting it.
for example, the other night, we were talking to one of our investigators, and she was talking about the pollutants in the local water supply. i followed the conversation perfectly well, until she used the word for ´lead´, which i currently do not remember. anyway, at that point, she started to patronize me, even though i had just completely followed a conversation about environmental hazards in collegiate level spanish. whatever.

oh! and i first-hand experienced descrimination. we spent an hour with a woman the other night who talked at length, completely unapologetically, about how everybody in uruguay hates the yankees, people from the states.
man, i had no idea how that could feel. it hurt like, really bad. real bad. i surprised myself by how much i cared.
so uh, yeah. down with descrimination.

so yeah, i am in heaven and hell at the same time. i still think, right now, it is more heaven than it is hell, cuz i am going to speak reeeeeaaaallly good spanish by the end of this, and i get to hang out with gringos and eat fajitas (in fact, i havent eaten a bad thing all week, nor have i drunk that sick tang juice crap the people in the frontera love) and we all know that food is super important to me, so its worth it. also its cooler here so i can wear sweaters and my nicer clothes, and i can do my hair and its worth it and i will not get sunburned cuz of the shade of the buildings… the beach is in our area (and this is why there are hermanas here for the summer season…) its nice.

so yeah. can you ask jon to ask amanda to record herself playing a few regina spector songs on the piano so that i can die and go to heaven? i am craving some regina really bad. she doesnt have to do a good job, just a rough copy will light up my life. also, can someone send me some chips ahoy?

i am thrilled to hear that teenie is ok. and that dan is ok. tell marshall that if he does this backpacking thing to take lots of pictures. i am glad you are doing well, and i love you!

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