Archive | December, 2009
28 Dec


hey. yeah, sorry the phone call was a little rough on the language front. by the time i talked to dad i was back in full swing again. but yeah, i would definitely prefer this problem over the other potential problem. you know, like, not being able to talk to people in the country where i am.

i failed to tell you details about what we did on christmas. it was really nice. we spent the important part, christmas eve evening with the family of our super rad bishop. His family, and the father in law stake patriarch. i asked them all to speak to me only in the less respectful forms, ´tu´, and ´vos´, to teach me how to do it. they had a great time shouting disrespectful things at the missionary, talking to me like i´m a kid, and i learned a lot. then at midnight, we went outside to watch the fuegos artificiales. fireworks. here, it is completely legal to sell fireworks that in the states, you would need to be a licenced pyrotechnician to obtain. like, stadium sized fireworks. so what happens, is that everybody here buys them and, at midnight, every single family in the whole of uruguay sets them off. it looks like a war zone. a really pretty one. it reminded me of the hare krishna festival of colors in payson, utah. except instead of throwing colored powder, they´re throwing explosives. luckily, the explosives are higher in the air. and what´s better? they do this on new years´eve, too!! and apparently they drop the prices of the fireworks after christmas, so this time there will be even MORE!! so you guys can have fun drinking martinelli´s and watching time´s square on tv. i am going to breathe  sulfuric smoke and watch and feel the show. And eat boiled rice and canned peas with salt. I know you´re jealous. But at least there will be coke. At least i will always, always have coke.

Today at lunch the member family offered me soy sauce and i died and went to heaven. Rice and peas is waaaaay better with soy sauce. But i am reaaallllyyy grateful, cuz i have been feeling waaaaaaaaaay better. And i haven´t been wandering around with a swollen belly either! I´m cute and healthy again!!!1

Next week is transfers week, and for the first time, i´m really bummed about it. My compañera is really rad. We teach, study, and live together really, really well. It´s going to be hard to get used to someone new. The chances of us staying together are slim to nothing. I want another latina comp, but i´ve already got the record for the gringa with the most time straight speaking spanish… so we´ll see what happens. This also means that next week i´ll email on Tuesday. I´m kinda hoping to train.

Uhmmm… what else? Not much. Congratulations on your recovered fish tank, and future fish parenthood, teenie! Send me pictures! I like to look at all sorts of pictures of just about anything.

I dreamed two times this week that i cut my hair really short, and then seriously regretted it. (which i would, if i did.). my hair is getting really, really long. Almost nigh unto mermaid hair. I wear it up all the time, so the only person who sees it is my comp… but i like it. Anyway, i wake up stressed out because of this.

Oh, and as a special christmas present, like i told dan, we discovered that one of our investigators who wasn´t progressing, well… we got to the bottom of her ´iceberg´. She wasn´t keeping commitments and wouldn´t say why. And i felt something weird about her, and i wasn´t sure what. Then, a few nights ago, i got a really strong, undeniable juice craving. So my comp and i went to the Little shop in our apartment complex. We bumped into our investigator at the door, and she asked us if we were going in, apprehensively. We said yes. We all went in, and then we found her at the checkout with a few bottles of alchohol. Gross, strong, cheap stuff. She looked at us with defiance and told us she´d drink in our honor. Then we went to a Little parkbench outside, to drink the juice, and we could see her sitting on her porch with her grandchildren, and watched her, personally, drink all 3 of the bottles—straight from the bottle. And my comp and i, all we could do was laugh about what a horrible christmas discovery that was. Poor lady. She now doesn´t answer phone calls anymore. What a bummer.

So yeah. Happy new years, y’all!!!!

Pictures of Christmas Eve:

me and my diet food

me and the cool family

me and my comp joking around about the appearance of evil….

21 Dec

dear mom!

it might be cheaper for you to call me with an international calling card. you can google it, just type ínternational calling card, uruguay. then it´s like, 5 bucks for a bunch of hours, so you could call me on mother´s day with it, too. call me at 5:30 pm uruguay time. The 25th. i´m excited!!!

other than that, things are alright. i´m just a little frustrated with the food thing. the members are trying their best to help out, but they just cannot seem to understand the no oil thing. i feel like i´m trying to ask them to cook for me without using water or something. poor people. they think the oil makes everything taste better, and they just don´t have the heart to give me gross, dry, oil free food. so i have to eat it cuz they cooked ´healthy´for me, and i still end up in bed afterward. also it turns out that when my gallbladder is inflamed, my stomach swells and i look like i´m pregnant. apparently i had been wandering around like that my entire mission, and i hadn´t noticed. cuz when i ate only healthy things for a week, my comp thought i had drastically lost weight. then when i ended up eating grease again, i went right back to how i had been. ughgghh. So now when i feel sick i can know that i don´t look cute, either. whatever. this is boring. i´m so bored with being sick. but that seems to be the majority of what´s been going on lately.

other than that, our investigators are all smoking and or have crazy grandchildren that run us from their houses. but!! we get to go to the temple in the next week or so. hopefully. the travel plans are starting to become a little bit of a fiasco, but we´re gonna get it figured out. cross your fingers.

and a really sweet lady from the ward came over to give us food, then invited herself in and cleaned our house for us. and gave me a pair of US flag socks she found and bought for me. i love her. she is my pysandú adopted mom.

oh, and thanks to grandma and grandpa roach for the candies, my comp absolutely loves them. i, of course, can´t enjoy them and am a little tortured by it, but at least my comp is. also, thank them for the stamps!!!! tell them i love them!

and thanks to grandma and grandpa myers for the money! it´s gonna buy my bus ticket to Montevideo to go to the temple. i love them, too!

i´ve been burning that pumpkin candle and it´s among the best things that could ever happen to me.

and, um, yeah. other than that, i´ve just been studying a lot, and learning a lot. The church is true, everybody. And i love you all, and i want everybody to know they´re really special and really worthwhile and really rad. Everybody.

And i ask that all of my friends forgive me, cuz i am looking at my third p day in a row wherin i will not have been able to write letters. Forgive me, friends!!!!! I love you, i promise!

President changed p day to Thursday this week, except for writing emails. It is christmas eve. I am sure i will not be able to write a single letter. Forgive me!! Soooo yeah. Not much else to say. Being sick is lame. But life is beautiful anyway.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! i look forward to hearing your voices, beloved family!!

this is me and 2 of my comps and my favorite elder buddy. elder almeida de rodriguez. that´s what it says on his plaque. that is a married woman type of name. he´s funny.

this is the barbie i won in the white elephant gift contest in our zone conference!!!!11

14 Dec

dear mom,

haha, i had thought about that a few times while laying around in pain.  i thought, ´heck, if i´m going to have to give up my dreams of finishing my mission for a minor maladie like this, i may as well do it in time to be home for christmas¨. but i really don´t want to come home yet. this is way, way, way, waaaaay better than anything i could be doing at home right now. the members were really good about helping me for the first week or so, but it seems like they´re starting to forget. it´s pretty much second nature for them to grab that bottle of vegetable oil and dump it all over anything edible in their path. also, turns out, there´s a pretty big group of people who seem to think i´m just a snotty gringa and the food grosses me out. i´m not going to lie, the food is gross, but i got over that a while ago, and i would much prefer to just eat gross food and not feel sick and not have to hassle people. but yeah. i think it would take shock aversion therapy to get a uruguayan to stop cooking with oil. So we´ll see what happens. yesterday, a member gave us something greasy, but we didn´t have anything else to eat, so i started to eat it anyway, thinking, ´well, i haven´t eaten anything bad all week… i should be alright, right?´ then, out of nowhere, my plate flew to the floor. i think the spirit threw the food on to the floor to protect me from myself, cuz just the little bit i had eaten left me up all night in pain. ugh. but anyway. on the bright side, i´m gonna be really skinny!!!!!!1 !

so yeah. other than that, i´m just still learning a lot and seeing lots and lots of miracles. i´m learning to listen to the spirit better, and we´ve had some wonderful lessons, thanks to that. to see that the investigator´s needs are met. it´s unbelievable the kind of help the lord will send you if you just ask with enough faith to recognize it when he comes through. it´s amazing to me how much he was watching over me and guiding me throughout my whole life, even when i didn´t recognize it. and it´s amazing to hear the stories of our investigators saying the same.

So yeah. That´s a bummer about the stamps, but at least we know where they are, and still have them. It looks like they´re cracking down on pouch rules. Lame.  If anybody is being benevolent enough to thrill me to the core by sending me pictures, do it at the mission home address. The avenida italia one. You should be able to send the stamps there, just use a Christ sticker on the envelope, just in case.

So yeah. Other than that, my comp and I are the luckiest sisters in the mission! We get to go to the temple!!! This is rare for a missionary around here. Also, we get to go to punto del este, on the fancy, richer, nicer, eastern side of Uruguay, which I hear is pretty much like an entirely different country, to eat dinner with one of my comp´s miracle converts who she accidentally contacted through means of dialing a wrong phone number. It was a real special experience, so we, and the prez and the hermana, are going to punto del este to do dinner with her. So, that should be fun. Except it means I have to buy nylons that aren´t stained with holes in them to wear in front of the hermana. It means i´m probably going to have to wear makeup, too. And not call the convert lady, ´mi amor´. Lame.

I still can´t get over how perfect that package was, mom. The smoked salmon, the mini pumpkin spice candle… perfect.

Sorry if these emails are getting boring! I just like, hit that comfortable stage, you know? Ha, and it turns out, the president didn´t know I speak Spanish. It was pretty funny. I figured he´d put me with Latinas cuz he knew I could do it. Turns out, when he asked me comp about me in her interview, and when she told him she felt like she was with a latina, his jaw hit the floor. Pretty funny, cuz most gringas see the latina companion thing as some sort of huuuuuge challenge or trial to overcome. So i´ve had some fun imagining the president, when he did my transfers, thinking, ´ANOTHER challenge for poor hermana roach. Ha. She´s gonna learn and grow so much from this´. And it´s true, I have learned a LOT of Spanish from it, but I in no way felt like the culture-shocked, scared, suffering little gringa he must´ve thought. He thought I wasn´t even able to communicate with my comp. he doesn´t know me very well. It´s pretty amazing how well I understand people now. I feel rilly blessed. It´s also amazing that I still remember, and oddly, still think in English. But I have started doing the weird thing that when I remember anything anyone´s told me, I remember it in Spanish. It´s almost like I can´t remember what it´s like to have people speaking to me in english.

Soooooo yeah. Um, it looks like you´re gonna have to call me on Christmas, if that´s ok. But I think with one of those international calling cards, it shouldn´t be too expensive. The number is, country code and all, is… (deleted). You can call me whenev. Morning works better for me, but that´s like, way early for you. So, maybe your morning, my early afternoon? Woo. I´m excited. I love you mom and family!!!!

i love this baby. this poor baby. her mom is 16. her dad is an 18 year old drug addict. she´s so cute. we´re teaching her mom.

i love this lady. this is me and my comp and a recent convert who does divisions with us all the time. she´s super rad. and so is her christmas tree.

More Pictures!

8 Dec

I did not mean to print this one but here is my shoe in the chapel

The baptism of Carlos

mmmmm peanut butter!

Spelling things wrong is cool among Uruguayan preteens too.

This is when my comp and I got down ghetto SLC style.

7 Dec

Dear mom,

I ended up receiving your wonderful packages exceptionally early this week, cuz i found myself in the misión offices in Montevideo. The packages are wonderful. How did you know i needed ponytail holders and a bath scrubby and a calender? How did you know i wanted a pumpkin candle and smoked salmon? I love that hair clip thing, too. I am wearing it right now. And of course, i also love the jody dress!!!!!!

Ha, and sorry, i opened the wrapped presents, too. I couldn´t wait. It was really a blessing to find those boxes in the offices, cuz my comp and i ended up in Montevideo under lame circumstances.

i´ve been feeling pretty sick for the past few weeks, but i didn´t say much until last week, cuz i didn´t want to stress you out. The whole time i´ve been here, the greasy food people have given me hasn´t agreed with my stomach, but in the past month or so, it´s gotten worse and worse. Like, spending the entire afternoon in bed after eating with members. The misión does not give us Money enough to pay for our own dinners, so , without many other options, i just kept eating the greasy food, walking home with my comp, and going to bed to try to sleep the abdominal pain off. It felt like the food just wouldn´t digest, and it took about 8 hours to feel better.

I´m still not entirely sure what happened on Tuesday, except i got way, way, sicker. It might have been cuz i didn´t really eat on Monday at all, except for a milanesa (breaded, fried, chicken breast) that a member offered me in an obligatory manner. It hit me HARD, and by Tuesday afternoon, i almost fainted in the street and had a low fever.

My comp helped me to arrange to visit a doctor here in pysandú, and when he poked me REALLY hard where my apendix is, of course, i said it hurt. Cuz he poked me really, really hard. He then was pretty sure i had apendicitus, and started talking a lot in spanish medical terms, something i haven´t quite yet learned. So i didn´t quite understand him. But my comp thought i did. All  i got was, ´we are going to keep you here tonight… do you have fear of the knife?´ and then i looked and saw blood all over the hallway floor, and when the nurse pulled a pain med. Iv out of my arm, she stuck it into the cot like it was a pin cushion, i said, yes, i was afraid of the knife, and would rather go home and see how i felt.

So we went back to the apartment and the mish prez called and it was all really confusing, but cuz the doctor in pysandu thought it was apendicitus, they decided to send me to Montevideo to get a second opinión. We took a bus that night, and showed up at the hospital that morning.
They drugged me and poked me some more, tested my blood, and did an ultrasound. On the bright side, it is not apendicitus.  Turns out it´s my gallbladder. I´m developing gall stones. So now i´m on a way strict colesterol free, oil free diet…. Right after i got that box of sugar cookie mix and chili and peppermint bark. Bummer.

But luckily, it turns out that at least in this Ward, all i have to say is ´vesiculo´, and people will do their best to accommadate you. So they´re cooking me fat free things, and i´m feeling better and better.

But it´s just a bummer that i had to feel that sick and hassle the whole world to figure all of this out. Also a bummer cuz if the gall stones get worse, they´ll send me home. Apparently they can´t handle the liability of an operation like that in the misión.

But the doctor said they´re Little. So i´ll most likely be okay.

And the cans of tuna and salmon are going to help me out beautifully. And i figured out i can use the knorr seasoning packets, (again, how did you know???) , with skim milk. If anybody is feeling kind, in the future, some costco canned chicken might rock my world, too.

Ugh. So anyway. At least it´s all figured out now.

On the bright side, my comp took PICTURES(!!!!!) of me in the hospital with the IV in my arm. I´ma have my comp send them to you. Cuz she didn´t lose her camera cord in an old area like i did.

So yeah. That´s pretty much what happened this week. I felt sick.

Other than that, christmas is a way, way, bigger deal in the states than it is here. It hardly feels like christmas at all. And one of our investigators has a new pet bunny that my comp and i named alison.  And the rest of our investigators are still smoking, so we´ll see what we can do about that.

Oh, and the Ward did a living nativity on Saturday night that was really nice. It had nephites and everything. And, of course, real livestock. A hyper pony that mary rode, and an adorable lamb that hung out with the wise men.

So yeah. I love you mom! And don´t worry, i´m ok. Thank you so much for the perfect christmas boxes! I can´t wait to talk to you in a couple of weeks.
And i´m still not going to say i´m jealous about the snow. 🙂

i love you and i miss you!!!!