Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Letter #18 - May 24, 2010

Hey,

Okay, to start off my week.

Monday,

After I wrote you my comp and I went to an innactives house because someone had a birthday and we had bought them an Alfajore. Anyways, some Jehova's Witness answered the door and was surprisingly nice at first and went and got the lady for us. However, apparently she couldn't attendend us and by the end was rather cold. Kind of interesting because I think they split the house or something and the woman whose birthday it was told us not to come by her house for that reason, haha. Also, so at night I was going to write in my journal as usual. I write the day, May 17, 2010 and go 'awwwwwwwwwwwwwwe fuuuuuu'. Yeah, your birthday. What's worse is that it was on PDay so I had to remember that morning, which I didn't... So yeah, happy birthday. After I told my comp he did a good job of making me feel like crap for forgetting your birthday, mostly joking but I still felt really bad anyways. As soon I wrote the date and looked down I remembered, crap. Anyways, so I got to feel bad for a week haha.

Tuesday,

We had district meeting as usual for Tuesday. Also at one point I mentioned to my comp how it sometimes feels like we waste too much time at members houses and not enough time working. We don't really, but we do waste a little bit and it doesn't take an hour to see if someone can come to us to a lesson. I don't have a problem with it but he always said if there was anything I thought just to tell him so I did kind of hessitantly because we get along so well. Anyways, he didn't really take it that good and the rest of the day was kind of awkward, whoops. Also there was the Peñarol and Nacional final game today. They tied but for some reason Peñarol won. We were in an innactive family's house when the news was on and it was showing the cops getting people away from the stadium. Basically a huge crowd of crazy drunk hoolagins was partying outside the stadium so a ton of cops showed up with big riot shields and battons. Once there was enough of them they just like charged the people half a block at a time and anyone who didn't run back got beat by like 5 cops with their battons. It was super crazy and awesome haha.

Wednesday,

Today my comp let me plan for the day. We had a couple really good lessons in the night but something even crazier happened right before it got dark. We were walking down this road and when I looked up I saw this woman who looked like she fell off the back of a motorbike and ate cement so hard. Anyways, she started screaming like crazy and the motor bike kept driving. It was a couple of guys who were like 20ish and they were driving towards us. I knew something was wrong so I looked back and tried to grab the license plate when the bike drove past us. I got the first three letters but not the numbers and the bike took off. I also figured out that there was no way that woman was on that bike with those two kids (too small of a bike) so I wasn't sure what happened. A bunch of people ran to her to help her since she was screaming like crazy all distraught. Anyways, turns out they were trying to rob her purse but she wouldn't let go. Someone called the police and they came and then Elder White told them the license plate letters and tried to explain the bike, which was red. Another cop guy came a little while after and we did the same for him. Anyways, after a while people dispursed and the cops left so we did too. It was just so crazy though cuz this woman fell so hard and these guys on the motorbike just kept driving. Wow. After that happened we had a couple really good lessons though in the night.

Thursday,

This morning we had a lesson with a couple girls who are getting baptized on Sunday. Anyways, at one point they were showing me all their screensavers for their camera and I was acting all amazed by technology. Anyways, Elder White ended up getting mad at me a little later in the day when other things were going wrong because I was acting childish- which I kinda was but the rest of the day was crap. We were supposed to get lunch from a family and a lady a couple hours later was gonna make us something but neither of them ended up working out. Also, we took the wrong bus to go out to an area we like never go to visit a recent convert. We weren't sure if the bus took us out there but we took the chance and wasted a couple hours as a result.

Friday,

For language study in the morning I practised contacting people on the streets for companion study which was extremely tough and I swear I was better at it in the CCM and doing proselytismo. Maybe it's because now I actually try to do it tactfully and know how much I don't know. Either way, it was tough but something I did.

Saturday,

We had lunch with some guy who lives way out in the middle of nowhere and is kind of lonely becuase his wife died not that long ago. Anyways, we had a super long lunch with him which wasted a lot of time. Also we went to go withdrawl our reimbursals and I was like 400 pesos (20 bucks) short of what I thought I was. I was pretty distraught so I made up a calender on a sheet of looseleaf and recorded everything. Turns out I don't know what happened still so I'm gonna call the offices today (Monday) to figure out why I'm so much off what I thought. The main reason I was so choked was because I budgeted so carefully the whole month not buying Alfajores or anything when I wanted them just so I could save and pay for the phone call home without having to cut into the personal money I found and then the money I was going to use to pay for the phone bill isn't in. I lived dirt poor for a whole freaking month and now that money I saved is gone. Okay, there's also Ferrias (I think that's how you spell) where basically people just all gather on predetermined streets depending on the day and sell stuff like blankets, jewelry, clothes, food, fruits and vegetables, nice stuff they found in the garbage, etc. There's all these little stands of people who sell crap. Anyways in the night we were walking past them and some guys who were packing up from a fruit and vegetable stand were throwing onions. Thankfully they didn't hit us and afterwards I laughed about it although I suppose I should be offended.

Sunday,

We had a lesson with the people who are getting baptized Sunday and we said they had to pick a Priesthood holder who is 16 years or older (Priest and up basically) and one of them said something like 'well Elder Fikus can baptize me and Elder White can baptize you'. Yes! I got chosen, yay lol. Also I'll be baptizing someone on Sunday assuming all goes to plan. Also we visit an innactiave couple and our ward mission leader on Sunday after planning just to keep the day pretty chill and we got food from both of them. Since the girls gave us food too we got lots of food, which is nice although we should space it out better since I'm hungry every other day in the night haha.

Other Stuff:

Apparently Peru has better food than Uruguay. The other two Elders in our house are from Peru and another missionary from there said the same thing. I always thought South America was all kind of the same but apparently it's just Uruguay who has really bland food.

So for a while I was pretty stoked because I was the only Canadian missionary. Pretty much everyone I met and said my name to was like 'oh, you're the Canadian right?' which made me feel pretty famous. Anyways, turns out there's another Canadian now who went through the CCM in 3 weeks because he already knew Spanish so I didn't know he'd be coming. I was pretty distraught because he's from Canada, Alberta, and Lethbridge too... so much for me being unique, I might as well be from Utah. Crap. Well anyways, my comp was talking to his comp and the other Canadian guy wanted me to to talk to him which I did and thankfully he seems pretty cool. His last name starts with a 'T' I believe and is from the South Side.

Random things about Uruguay: lots of people tuck their ears into their hats (no idea why) and play music from the speakers of their cell phone. So you'll be sitting on the bus and some random kid will have his cell phone playing super loud, crappy quality music for all to hear.

To answer your questions:

Our phone bill was so high mostly thanks to the Latinos using our phone to call cell phones, which is really expensive here. They paid for all the extra over what we can reimburse. Local calls averaged like 1 peso (5 cents) a call and cell phones are like 4 pesos per minute... all the time.

Haven't heard back about the house although we should hear really soon and I might ask when I ask why my reimbursals was so low.

I don't think I'm buying the Fifa Book.

We're teaching a fair amount of people. In the day we just go from lesson to lesson and we have about 10 people who we consider investigators, although some of them are more promising and worth our time than others.

The stores don't run during games because there's nobody in the streets haha. There's riots, but not here.

People feed us pretty good. People don't have a ton of money but enough to feed us and they give what they have.

Here's some more pictures, I'll try to send like this many every week.

Well, that's all I have time for. Hope you guys are all doing well too.

Elder Fikus

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