16 Nov

hi mom!

thanks for the package, mom! i love it! the chili and the candy and the children´s hymnal, and even better, the cd´s of children´s hymns. i have really surprised myself with how much i have thoroughly enjoyed those. i´m beginning wonder if i will take this musical taste home with me into my real life. i´ve imagined myself a few times listening to spanish kids hymns in my car, with my friends. my friends would still like me anyway, right? even with a lame quirk like that??

also, the local kids are going to LOVE these hlj (ctr) rings.

and a word of warning for anybody who´d like to be so rad as to send me stuff…

ellen, i got your package! and i love the breath mints and the hymnal and the newspaper!!! …but that´s all i got. yeah. we freaking got robbed.
i´m guessing my bumble and bumble was in there? apparently it´s a really hot black market item down here, and those postal thieves who purposely break into gringo boxes snatched it.

so, for future reference, ( if you wanna try again with the bumble and bumble i will love you forever, but if you don´t wanna take the leap of faith, i will understand) sticking pictures of Christ on the outside of the box is IMPERATIVE. also, writing something like, ´gracias por ser misiónera y triar almas a jesucristo´on the outside really makes ´em feel guilty, too. yes, these south american postal thieves are a bunch of idiots. third, just in case, put the shampoo in other bottles, without labels, so it is unsellable. and maybe do a collage of catholic art in the place of the label instead, so they can think it is holy water or something.

so yeah. lame. i won´t even mentioned how often taxi drivers like to rip the gringa off either.

um, in other news, for my Christmas box, i would love a new journal, softer cover preferred, and a scripture case. my poor english scriptures have a rough time travelling in a grocery bag during transfers. also, solid white albacore tuna, in water. i would really enjoy a couple of cans of that. oh! and a box of blueberry morning cereal would rock my world, too.

oh! and us stamps!! lots of them!

thanks for sending me stuff, ´yall. it really is like, the best thing ever to get your packages. i really, really, really appreciate it. like, a lot.

um, what else? i can´t believe i´m hitting my six month mark this week. i absolutely love it out here now, and i know it was no mistake that i was sent to serve here, and not only so i could learn that i´m capable of surviving without my fancy organic food that i so dearly miss. and love.

the people here are really humble and loving. it weirded me out at first, when everybody i met told me they loved me and thought i was a wonderful person within a couple of days of knowing me.

but now i´ve started doing it, and i like it a lot. it´s amazing how happy you can make someone by saying nice things like that. i hope to carry this habit with me back to the states, and into the rest of my life. i love telling people i love them. even better, i love knowing that i mean it.

we baptised a really great 14 year old named carlos, or tico, on sunday. poor guy grew up in a really rough neighborhood, but he´s got a really great spirit about him. we´ve started teaching the whole family, and the mom is really, really excited that we´re here to help her quit smoking. i´m pretty sure they´re all going to get baptised, and i hope i´m still in pysandu to see it. to see them start their new lives and be all happy in the gospel and all that. i hope you don´t mind mom, but i´m giving him that little spanish hymnal you sent me. he´s going to love it.

other than that, i met a japonese-uruguayan genuine gaucho last week. his name is aparecio. like many gauchos, he cannot understand a word i say because of my accent. but we have a grand time eating asado together just the same.

so yeah. guachos are real. there are men who actually wear those weird pants and the boots and the silk scarves and the hats and carry matés around. i have met many. but this is my first japonese one, and therefore, my favorite.

oh! and my comp and i did something 600 south downtown salt lake style the other day! we bought 8 five liter bottles of safe drinking water, then realized we could not possibly carry them ourselves a mile to our apartment. so we asked one of the people at the store if we could borrow a shopping cart. she genially said yes, like it was a completely normal request. we got to our neighborhood, and noticed that everyone who passed by was gawking at us. people on their dirtbikes were rubbernecking to get a good look.
so we laughed really hard, and i realized that the sight of two nuns ( or missionaries) pushing a shopping cart down my street might be something i would remember to tell my friends.

uh, what else? we met a really weird kid in the street who started hassling me to give him a drink from my water bottle. i did not want to, and my companion was a genius and thought to tell him i didn´t speak spanish. i then gratefully followed her lead and acted along. it was really interesting to have someone talking to you like you don´t understand them when you do, and it was really hard not to laugh. especially when my companion told him that these north americans are like a bunch of untrained animals and there was no way she could communicate to me to get me to give him my water without startling me.

i quite like this trick. i have used it 2 more times since then to get myself out of sticky situations.

so yeah. what´s teenie´s mailing address? i wanna send her some love.
i love you and i miss you and i pray for you and the other kids a lot. thanks for everything!

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