Archive | March, 2010

Transfers!

31 Mar

it is transfers week.

it´s going to be strange to leave pysandú. i witnessed a birth, then a death, and have watched people´s children grow. i am full gratitude for the loving care of the Lord… that he sent me here, and let me stay and learn and grow and love so much for so long. pysandú will always hold a very special place in my heart. the experiences i was blessed with here have truly changed my life.

so instead of being sad about leaving, i am grateful. and i will always treasure the wonderful experience that it was.

tonight, i´m getting on a bus to Salto. a different ward than the one i served in last time. and i´m excited to get to see so many of the wonderful people i know there at the stake center while we watch general conference. i´m excited to be able to speak to them fluidly in spanish and see how they´re doing. oh, and my new comp is another gringa.

i am also, of course, stoked for general conference!!!!!!!

other than that, my comp and i topped off our word of wisdom breaking trend of our change in our final week together, wherein—

my comp received a package from her mom with a bunch of single serving tubes of the off brand crystal light mix. what she didn´t notice was that some of them were an energy drink mix, each tube containing the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee´s worth of caffeine.

that night, she drank two tubes of the energy drink mix….

and did not get to sleep until five in the morning. i woke up to go to the bathroom at like, 3, and looked over and saw her sitting up with her eyes wide open. and it startled me.

she then spent the next few days with a crashing headache. and we both now have much stronger testimonies of the word of wisdom, and prophetic counsel against energy drinks. she was out of it for days.

so yeah. the rest of the week was spent saying goodbye to my investigators and member friends around here. i think my favorite goodbye was that of the japonese gaucho. he told me, ´you should lose a little more weight so you can find a really good husband. you´ve already lost quite a bit, but… yeah.´ haahahaha. the best part is that it was really sincere and genuine. he really wants me to have a happy married life when i get back… and that was the best piece of advice he had for me. i love these folks.

the nice old man from the familia giosa (people in the green house in the pic from last week) told me he hoped i´d meet the man i need when i get back, and that he prays that i will never lose my smile. that was really sweet. i´m sad i won´t be there for his baptism.

i love how family based the folks around here are. when they wish you well, they wish you a happy marriage and lots of healthy children. and they´re totally right. that is the best way to wish someone happiness. to live a long life surrounded by loved ones.

and to finish off, I want to share my testimony-

The Lord Jesus Christ is our loving older brother, and our savior. I know he lives and loves me, and I love him too. I know he personally directs this church through modern revelation, and that following the teachings of the prophets, we will return to live with him, and our loved ones, for eternity.

I am so grateful for all of the incredible blessings I have received. The miracles I have seen, and how much I have witnessed the Lord´s hand in my life. How he inspires us and arranges everything to help us learn and grow and find joy therein.

truly His work and His glory is to bring about the eternal life–everlasting joy–of mankind.

I want everyone who reads this to know that the Lord loves them. and that I love them too, and I pray for you all.

i love you mom and brothers and sister and dad! and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends!

happy conference, and happy Easter!

HAPPIE BIRTHDAY TEENIE!!!

oh! also! the age spot is not a real age spot. it went away, and then i found new spots on the other side of my hand. my friend olga who is a nurse, told me they are spots that show up from having too much bile in my blood from my gallbadder problems!

This is the family of the local bishop.  i love them so much.  i´m gonna miss them soooo much.

This is me in the sunset, looking sad cuz i´ma miss pysandú.

This is the bathroom in my apartment.

this is a neat bean.

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23 Mar

Note from Allison’s Mom:

Allison has a new email address, effective immediately.  I will forward it to my email contact list, but if I miss you, feel free to contact me and I will email it to you.

The first part of Allison’s letter is in response to my telling her a couple of  stories.  The first is about a missionary that she knows from our ward in Seattle.  He is serving in the Chile area and experienced the earthquakes and witnessed the tsunami.    The second is the story of the wife of one of the Chilean mission presidents who heard a voice in the middle of the night warning her that an earthquake was coming and to prepare the missionaries.    If you would like to read the story, here is the link:

http://www.ldsmag.com/churchupdate/100303chile.html

-Cari

Man, that´s so true about the chile missionaries. it doesn´t surprise me in the least that the Lord was preparing his servants in advance. he´s always got our backs. that is a way crazy story! small world! i hope not to be able to tell stories like THAT from my mission. good thing ´uruguay es un pais tranquilo´ (uruguay is a chill, or tranquil? country), like folks are always telling me. no earthquake faults. no tornados, no tsunami threats. just local drunks, which all things considered, are pretty friendly, too. it´s pretty rad. people all the time tell me, in their cement houses with moldy walls and roofs that rattle and leak when it rains, that they live in paradise. and they´re right. they appreciate what they have, so they really do live in bliss.

i developed a much stronger testimony of the relief society last week. how inspired of a program it is, in spite of the alcoholic cake. maria del carmen´s son is a brat and a jerk and is mad at her about something her ex husband said, so he won´t help her do anything while she is stuck on bed rest. in fact, he trashed the house, to boot. so we went over last week, cleaned the house for her, made her lunch, and a cake, and watched ´together forever´ and the restoration DVD with her. and while we were there, 2 other hermanas from the rs stopped by. i don´t know. it´s just… so fulfilling to help a sister out. to know that doing our part in the program of rs will help us to continue to become more like Christ and meet our eternal goals, helping our sisters do the same.
so i hereby repent for almost never doing my visiting teaching before the mission.

other than that, we got locked in our house on Wednesday night!! we were all ready to leave, had said our prayer, went to open the door, aaaaaannndd, the handle of the door lock broke off. so we called our ward mission leader who lives in the same apartment complex, and while he was busting us out, (and as we learned later, suffering a fair bit of blood loss that i had to clean up) we did a foot spa with an oatmeal bath and pedicures. and we made a microwave carrot cake. we then profusely thanked him for the sacrifice of his index finger on our part.

last night, i came home to a tragedy. in the rainstorm we had yesterday, the winds blew our window open and all of my study journals and english scriptures got soaking wet. i was really, really bummed. oh well. i guess my posterity will get to enjoy a little more worn-out charm with my relics in the years to come.

speaking of years to come, last week, i noticed that i have developed my first AGE SPOT!!! i´m oooooooooooooold!!!!! i´m going to come home an old woman!! at least it´s on my hand. i don´t even know what i would do, were it on my face. blessed be facial sunscreen.

this startling discovery really got me to thinking though. cuz i really will be an old woman before i know it. kind of like the mission will end before i know it. it makes me want to take much better advantage of today while i´m in it. cuz everything has an end, except for cool gospel things.

and…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELLEN!! i love you giiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrl!!

for your birthday, the universe freed that package you sent me in JANUARY from customs, and i received it!! thank you so much for the beautiful scarf!!!! it´s exactly what i wanted! i even almost asked my mom to ask you to go to the attic and pick out one of my pretty scarves to send me. but now i have this new beautiful one!!

i miss youª!!!!11

so yeah. i love momª! and siblings, and the mission and the gospel!

23 Mar

this is juan soza. he is an investigator, too. he thinks he is a prophet, but is generally wrong, which is kind of endearing. he talked 3 hours straight the first time we met him. and he and his wife decided to get married so he can get baptized! yay!!! and his car has do-it-yourself air conditioning!

this is our cool investigator, and his wife and his son. not wearing shirts is normal around here. this guy is cool. except that he thinks that judaism is one of the 3 heads of the beast from the book of revelation, which is not true. their other son is in the hospital with stomach cancer. it´s nice to sing them songs and teach them the gospel of hope.

this is my favorite local fruit stand! this is where i get like, 80 percent of what i eat.

23 Mar

this is the really nice cake from the relief society anniversary celebration. the best part? it had whiskey in it!!!!!  i tried alcohol the second time in my life in my mission, too.
and, uh, whiskey is gross. the rs prez. didn´t want to admit that there was alcohol in it, so she denied it and kept offering more pieces. i really like that ironic cake. apparently the place they ordered it from considers chocolate and whiskey to be the same thing.

This is the downtown of pysandú! that is a girl in the federal school uniform

this is a new investigator! she is cool. she likes to collect rocks.

she found a rock that she believes has the image of Jesus Christ on it. can you see it?

this is the family zubiarre. when i met them, she was 8 months pregnant. they are a super rad couple, and i always get really excited when i see that they’ve signed up on the calendar to give us lunch.

16 Mar

thanks dan, for the valentine! i love it. and did you cut that heart out yourself? if so, you should feel really good about your art skillz. it´s totally symmetrical! you are a great brother. it totally made my day.

so, what happened this week?
i have made a vow to take lots of pictures. cuz i only have 8 more months out here, and im realizing that it´ll be over before i know it. and i want to remember all of this uruguayan goodness forever. also, because it is a really good art outlet, and it makes wandering around the streets all day a good 30 percent funner. it also helps us to meet investigators in interesting ways. while i was taking a picture of the carpincho, we contacted the neighbors! oh, and that jw whose tree i climbed way back in salto? she got baptised with her daughters!!
so, other than that, we met a weird bug this week. this is it in the picture. it landed on my comp and then flew away, leaving on her a hot, burning red welt. it died, and the next morning i stepped on it, and it felt like someone had shoved a sewing needle through my toe. that is one poisonous bug. and they´re everywhere!!! they are called chinchas.

this is an evil bug.

uuum, there is someone power drilling 4 feet away from me… and now the kid who runs this place is listening to moby! woah!
we met a really good investigator this week. he understands the gospel and wants to get baptised. all he needs is to get married, which shouldn´t be too hard. i think we´re going to see lots of miracles in that house.
it´s weird for me to think that my time in pysandú will probably come to an end in like, 2 weeks. i have been here for six months!! it seems unreal. i can´t even imagine myself being a missionary somewhere else. i feel like i am closing up shop, and most of the investigators we´re meeting are the right people who were waiting to hear the gospel from my companion— and i´ll be meeting the new group that needs me in a couple of weeks.
ooooh, and it´s general conference soon. my comp and i read a good talk about God´s love in the may of ´09 liahona. i recommend it.
as always, i recommend to everyone i know and love that they do whatever is within their reach to draw closer to Heavenly Father. He loves us so much. and every time i get to understanding it a little more, it blows my mind. The gospel is such a beautiful, perfect thing. prepared out of SO much love. we exist because of love. we exist TO love. to lift eachother up, to acknowledge and fulfill our divine nature.
the most fulfillment i have ever found has been trusting in the will of the Lord.
i love y´all!!!!

this is maria del carmen, a less active lady who feeds us lunch every saturday. as you can see, her leg is banaged, cuz…. she suffered a common local injury. she knocked her maté hot water thermos over, and the water was so hot, it gave her second degree burns.

so we visited her. she is also cool, because she lets us play her piano. i learned how to play the right hand of ´i am a child of God´ in 4 tries!!

THIS is a carpincho. or, giant hampster. a local gaucho delicacy. as you can see, it is tied up in someones´s front yard. they are pretty mean creatures.

i practice my own book art skills in the mission. i covered that book with a map, a marker, and packaging tape. do you like my stylish gaucho pants? me too. ooh, and check out the mission shoe tan!

9 Mar

Hola!

we had the baptism of augustina this week. in the pic, that is augustina. she is adorable. totally prepared. she asked the bishop to take the lessons with us. she´s an orphan, but she lives with her less active aunt, and her aunt got her parents´ temple work done. she even came home from her vacation on a really nice beach early to get baptised sooner. she´s a real special kid.   the service was really spiritual–probably comes in second to estefania´s baptism. everybody cried. her aunt bore a beautiful testimony. i got to give the talk and i told her how excited her parents must be that she´s gotten baptised… cuz now she´s a lot closer to being ready to get sealed with her parents for eternity. it was a really beautiful experience.

other than that, we taught a LOT more of the restoration, still looking for lots of new investigators…. and…. um….

i bought a pair of gaucho shoes made of twine! i love them, and i intend to bring home about 14 pairs, to wear them as art studio shoes for the rest of my life.

aaaaannnnndddddd, my comp and i did something really silly the other day. we were in the grocery store, looking for brown rice, when a woman called us over and offered us a sample of some fancy blueberry juice. we accepted, and drank. and i thought, ´gee, this tastes really funny. it feels weird, too. huh. strong blueberries!´ then my comp, who tried alchohol in her inactive days, got a startled look on her face, and grabbed the box to read it.

so i tried my first wine cooler on my mission!!!!!!!!

hahaha. lame. only i would do that. oh well. it wasn´t even that good. at least now i know what it´s like, right?

what else? we had a big fancy conference the other day… i got to see my mtc comp, hermana vogel, second to the left in the picture, aaaaand, they gave us water filtering water bottles! so now we can drink tap water! at first the thought of having to suck all of my water through the same straw on the bottle for nine months kinda grossed me out, but it hasn´t been too unpleasant so far. up until now, we´d been drinking only bottled water. and they gave me a second filter that i wont even need for another year, so i get one more year´s use out of that baby! which makes me want to go on a wilderness adventure someday when i am not a missionary anymore.

i keep having weird dreams where i am a missionary but on mission vacation and in utah and breaking lots of rules, but not caring cuz i´m not in the place i was called to anyway. they´re weird dreams.

so yeah.

oh, i would like to make a public apology to all of the people whose birthdays i have forgotten, or who have birthdays this month, who will not receive cards in time. i just realized this week what date it really is, and it only hit me then that i had forgotten tons of birthdays.

so, to those i love, um, FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!!!!! i love you! i love you! i haven´t forgotten you!!

also, to the other non birthdayers, and some birthdayers, if you haven´t heard from me for a while, and if you still don´t hear from me sometime after this, it is the office elders´s fault. they sort the mail that goes to the states, and it appears, are being extremely negligent.

so yeah. tell marshall hi! and he should write me! tell dan hi and the same! and teenie hi and the same too!  I am glad you are doing well!

ok, so, until next week, chau!!

ps- i totally felt nothing of the earthquake in chile. and i just found out yesterday what happened in haiti. lame.

Halfway Mark!

2 Mar
it seems to be falling up (feeling like Fall) nicely around here. there is still sun, but the air is cooler, and we have been followed by nice breezes the whole week. it seems to be perfect mission weather.
audrey and marcus had another baby??? how rad! i had been wondering if any of the cousins were having more kids. tell them congrats! she is reaaaaally cute! and i really like the name they chose for her, too. i hope to get to meet her sometime soon.
the only sort of hope chest i am keeping for my future, november and onward, is a list of baby name ideas. i have found some good ones down here. and if there is anything to it, it looks like i will have pure daughters.
this last sunday was officially my 9 month halfway point, so my comp took pictures of me burning an old pair of nylons with holes in them. it was fun. burned nylons make melted plastic puddles on tile floors. but it came up nicely, and the chemical burn smell didnt linger too long, either.
it is wierd to think i am half done. and officially on the finishing end of things, instead of the beginning end of things. and that in less than nine months, i will be acting as an adult again. but i am really glad that i still have time to enjoy this!!
my comp is on the six months to sexy mission ending weightloss plan, something well known by the hermanas, and she is thrilled to death to be accompanying me on my oil free diet. we have really good culinary chemistry, and we have continued to invent cheap and healthy and delicious things out of limited uruguayan ingrediants.
today, i decided to face my fears and attempted to develop a little more love for eggplant. cuz i had always hated it before the mission, and it was a constant restaurant menu bummer. also, it is one of the only interesting things to get here, so i took it on.
i cooked it with tomatoes and lemon juice and the FRESH BASIL i found, which is like, the find of my life down here. and it was quite tasty. i ate it with rice.
so, i like eggplant now!!
other than that, the work is going well. we have continued to meet lots of prepared people, who seem to be making changes in their lives to accept the gospel and come unto christ. one of these great people, is a 65 year old man. his wife is 51. that is 14 years apart. we got on the topic of marriage, telling them the usual, missionaries are normal people and we will get married and have families when we get home…. speal, and he got very serious, and told us he had one piece of advice for us. he said, marry an older man. because women age faster than men, raising the kids and taking hair of the house and stuff, so if you are younger than him, when you start to age, he will not have wandering eyes. huh. that is something to consider, i guess. kind of a totally chauvenistic outlook, but it is something interesting to consider.
this other pic is one of my artsy successes. it actually looks kinda nice, i think. this is a sweet little member girl and my ex comp, looking at pictures in a restaurant where we ate lunch.
ooohh, and today everything is closed and there are canons going off cuz it is the inauguration day of the new president of uruguay, pepe mujica. he is a communist, and wants to get all yankees, and the church out of here cuz one time he tried to go to the montevideo temple, and they wouldnt let him in. and he is still mad. so thats exciting!!
so yeah. the church is true! everybody study the scriptures, and the teachings of the modern and living prophets. i now have a really huge book collection. i just cannot get enough doctrine. i am really enjoying this world sabbatical time to study lots of doctrine. if anybody has anything interesting to send me sometime, send it my way!!
i love you mom, and i miss you! that goes for the siblings too. and all extended family members. and friends!!
ps- taking CARE of the house. not hair. english is weird.