Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Letter #10 - March 31, 2010 - In Uruguay!

Hey,

Well, I have a brief little bit so I'll tell you about the last couple days.

I don't actually really remember much of what's happened to be honest.

I guess I did email on Monday so there's not that much to say. The last couple days at the CCM everyone was pretty slack and we had to pack up which kinda sucked. Everyone was writing in everyone else's journals and it was kind of sad knowing that I wouldn't be seeing these people who had basically become my best friends for a long time.

On Tuesday we got up at 5:30 and in a meeting the night before I was put in charge of the trip, everyone was my responsibility as I became the District Leader for the day. I'm not sure why President chose for me to be it but I liked the leadership position. Well, we drove quite a ways to the airport, which was a different one than we came to since it was quite a ways away and actually right by the ocean or the mouth of the river. We made it through the airport with no problems. I was pretty worried that my luggage was overweight, but I didn't have to pay anything. Neither did anyone else and from the guy that met us there who took us through from the Church said that the Church paid for it and it costed $900 - American. I felt pretty pretty bad because for the 13 people I'm pretty sure I used up more than my fair share of that 900 bucks. Anyways, we ended up having problems when our flight got cancelled because there was no pilot or something. We had one Latino Elder with us going to the same area who speaks really good English so he was able to translate for me between the people working and me, since I was in charge. We ended up getting on a plane that was a couple hours later and after a half hour flight, arived in Uruguay. It was a ridiculously stupid and complicated process to fly so short. It was also pretty crazy trying to keep 12 other people informed, calm and kept track of amoungst our problems and with the language barrier. Sorry I couldn't call. Apparently our phone doesn't accept collect calls from Argentina. I tried to use my credit card to pay but I couldn't hear the lady and was pretty busy. So, no phone call so I'm sorry. When we finally landed everyone thought I handled it well though. Well, we landed and were immediately met by President and Hermana Peterson and we went back to their house and she made us lunch and we had a short intro meeting there. After that we went through the temple. The temple, the hostel that we stayed at, the distribution centre and the president's house are all so close to each other. Anyways, going through the temple I decided to use a headset that projected it in English since it was only my second time going through I wanted to remember specifics, not get the jist of what was going on. After the temple we had dinner and another meeting at presidents. After that we went back to the hostel and packed it in after a very very long day.

Today, Wednesday, started off by doing some studying in the morning, eating breakfast, and basically meeting our trainers right off the bat. My trainer is Elder White, he's from Las Vegas, is 3 days older than me and has been on his mission for like 6 months. He's pretty sweet and seems to know what he's doing and wants to work. We spent a little bit of time talking to them and had another presentation and then we got to shop at the distribution centre and talk more before getting on a bus and going to the mission offices where the financial and secretary Elders work. From there we walked a couple blocks to a chapel where our luggage got sent earlier. At the offices and chapel we said our goodbyes which was pretty hard, but everyone was also really excited and ready to leave at the same time. Since I'm serving in the Cerro area, it's part of the Montevideo city. There's 10 areas in the Oeste (West) mission and and 7 are along the west side of the country and the other 3 are in Montevideo, which is split between the West and East missions. The map in my booklet is totally wrong. Apparently Cerro is kind of poorer compared to the other ones but it's along the beach (HAH) and has a lot of baptisms. My companion and I took a cab from the church to our house, which I'm not gonna lie is not that nice. We pulled into this driveway and I saw the house beside it and thought that it didn't look too bad - which it wasn't. However, we were in the house on the other side of the driveway, which wasn't as nice. However, the inside was even worse. You walk into the kitchen from the back which is lacking a working sink and most appliances. From the kitchen you go into a living room I suppose which basically has a table to study at and a fireplace but no furniture. At the back of that room is the two bedrooms and the bathroom. The bathroom sink is where we wash dishes and the toilet has some contraption thing that you need to work in order to get it to flush that I have yet to learn how to use. There's actually 4 Elders in the house, the other set is a pair of Latinos. Anyways, I basically unpacked and cleaned a little and then we left which brings me to where we are now. I'm at some internet cafe at a dead slow computer. My companion has lost his wallet which sucks because I just met him but I got my Church Visa that I get to use and I have no idea how much money is on it. I think we get 600 pesos a month to live on, and since one dollar is like 20 pesos that's like 130 bucks. They also pay for utilities and bus rides though, which I'm gonna need because our chunk of Cerro is so massive and spread out.

Anyways, I have to go. I'm timed and now paying by the half hour, which mark I didn't cross. My house isn't that bad I should add, well, it is but I'm getting more used to it haha.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Elder Fikus

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