5 Jul

VAMOARRIBA URUGUAY!!!we are totally gonna win! i would write more commonly shouted phrases, but they´re in spanish, and i think there are only two people who read this who would understand them. i absolutely love, and feel really blessed to get to be here for the first time in 40 years that urugauy has gotten this close to winning the world cup. if they beat holland tomorrow, they´ll be in the final showdown!! it´s great to see how united this place is. everyone, and i mean EVERYONE watches the games. the whole country shuts down. then, when we win, the whole country takes to the streets with their flags and their dirtbikes and sings a gaucho-folk style fight song!!! we spent the last game locked up in our apartment, cuz, really… even the dogs watch the games… and in that time, as we payed attention to the score by listening to the whole country shout and set off firecrackers as goals were scored, my comp took the time to teach me how to dance.

to…. belly dance!! she´s half lebonese, so her mom started teaching her to dance when she was like, 5 years old. and actually, it´s not dirty. the lyrics of arabic music all talk about allah, and spirituality, and the muslim religion actually has a lot of the same values as ours. (and it didn´t start out as sexist as it ended up these days). belly dancing is like, the funnest thing i think i have EVER done. of course, i will not do this in front of very many people when i get home, but it is the best, most entertaining workout i´ve ever met.  so now i´m gonna buy some mirrors to turn our apartment into a 6:30 am workout time dance studio.

but yeah. after uruguay won the last game, our tax driver buddy sent us a text message that read, ´estoy a full en la plaza!! quieren que les busque?´ this means, roughly, ´i´m dancing like a maniac in the plaza! want me to come get you??´ my comp and i laughed really hard, imagening ourselves as missionaries in a late night street party like that. and of course we then said no.

but other than the world cup and bellydancing, the rest of the week was good, too. we went around and, along with meeting lots of new investigators, got working with some recent converts who´d gone inactive too. and enrique came to church!

the meetings were really good yesterday. really spiritual. fast and testimony meeting is almost always a good one.

Enrique came to church!

oh, and i started a culinary revolution in uruguay this week. thanks to that box of wonderful spices you sent me, and a recipe book that the mission president´´s wife made for us with a taco soup recipe. and it was delicious. i made 4 delicious and healthy meals this week. i think i´m actually becoming a better cook in this food-forsaken place. and my stomach is lots better!!! i feel healthy again!!!!! vamoarriba!!!

the only bummer is that this good tasting food is spoiling me, and now when we do eat with members, i´m not used to the gross local food anymore, and i feel just like i did when i was first starting the mission again. oh well. good, healthy food is worth it. i don´t mind. i even found safe, clean chicken breasts to eat!! without skin and guts and feathers stuck to them!!

and i got to do some good meditating, too this week. i went back and read my journal from the very beginning of my mission… then got to writing in my journal about everything i have learned and seen and am now… and wow. my entire mission experience has been a miracle. a straight-up miracle. there´s no other way to describe these experiences, and what the Lord has done with me. i´m glad to still have 3 months and something left to serve Him a little more. the church is SO true, and Christ really does live and direct the church right now. He really is conscious of everything that happens to all of us in our lives, and not even a hair of our head can fall and escape Him. He is here always to understand us and take care of us with everything.  to all those whom i love, draw close to Him, trust in Him, and you´ll be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. He knows our hearts, and exactly what we really need to be happy.

i love you mom and dan and christine and marshall, and i am always praying for you. i´m glad i´ll be seeing you all relatively soon, even if leaving uruguay might kind of feel like ripping my heart out. i think the sweetness of seeing you all will outweigh the bitter of leaving this place.

this is my picture of the week of hna moreno. here she is, sticking things in her journal while i was cooking. did i mention that all of the cooking i did… which included the taco soup from DRY pinto beans, spaghetti, stir fry… i managed to make in the microwave? yeah. i am cool! it took longer, so i took this picture while she was bored and waiting.

this is how some people buy fish around here. gross, huh? they just wander around with these in the dirty city streets unrefrigerated all day… and these fish come from our lovely and contaminated rio uruguay. good thing nobody´s ever fed me that. that would do me right in with my poor beat up system.

this is our bus driver on a cigarrette break. it´s totally normal they the driver will stop the bus and hop off to run into local corner stores and run errands while the passengers sit… and wait.


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