Saturday, September 4, 2010

Letter #32 - August 30, 2010

Hey,

Okay, I'll start off my week again,

Monday,

After we went to the cyber, my comp and I went and got haircuts again. It was well needed and only 50 pesos again. Haha, I could get used to paying that (like 2.50). Not much else happened.

Tuesday,

Today we had district meeting in the morning but nothing spectacular happened again. Afterwards we had a lesson with the guy named Adrian that we found and it went really good. We explained the Book of Mormon and stuff again and he seems really sincere. I can't believe that we've found someone so good just clapping doors, it blows my mind. He like wants everything good like a family and to avoid all the crap of the world and he'd be such a good member. This night while walking to a lesson I managed to see my first shooting star of the mission haha. Probably shouldn't be that exciting but just something kind of random that happened. Also something kind of sucky is the woman named Gloria who we've been teaching and I said we gave her a baptisimal invitation has been slipping ever since we have that lesson. We've managed to help her a ton, she appreciates the help, she likes the church and what she feels there but as soon as we invited her to get baptized she's been distancing herself. Ugh... We had a lesson planned for tonight but she was leaving the house and we also invited her to President Arnold tomorrow but she said she couldn't go, even though she had told me earlier that she could.

Wednesday,

Today we managed to run into this old member of the church who has since joined another church. We were actually looking for a reference of the bishop of some woman who's gone innactive and in the process found this woman. It's not very often that you find people who leave our church to go to others but apparently it does happen. I'm not going to mention what church she has since joined but needless to say we had a bit of a 'discussion' with her in which we clearly proved every stupid thing she had to say wrong. It's so gratifying having the truth... and in the case of this woman it was particularily easy to have her say 'I don't know' and feel stupid. I feel so good when I can stump people in a language that I don't even really speak yet. Also tonight was a fireside of President Arnold. He is the new President of the South America South Area. He's in the first quorum of the 70 and above all of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. We brought Eloisa and Sebastian to him and he talked. It was really good. He was there with his wife, our mission president was there with his wife, and the temple president of the Uruguay Temple was there as well. Also the assistants to the presidents and office elders and everyone was there. It was really good. Something kind of funny was that our mission president at the start of the meeting asked all the missionaries who came without an investigator to leave and the missionaries who were in a choir we made needed to leave after they sang if they didn't have anyone either. So, ca-ching, we got to stay and listen to all of it.

Thursday,

Today we had zone conference where the three zones in Montevideo as well as the closest one got together and President Arnold came and we listened to him, his wife, our mission president and his wife. All in all there was about 80 missionaries there. Oh yeah, I also got to see my CCM comp, Elder Smith so that was really really awesome. They also fed us delicious food for lunch. President Arnold talked about all these things that he wants us to start doing differently. Well, it's not so much differently as just better or things we haven't really done that well that we need to fix. Some things include not staying in a lesson for more than 45 minutes no what, presenting the book of mormon better, etc. He also cracked down on our leaders pretty hard (since I'm not one I didn't hear it, I just heard about it). He seems like such a great guy. At one point we had watched a short video and he was asking different missionaries things that we had learned (we actually did this quite a bit). I was pretty sure that he was going to ask me a question soon since he had started glancing at me before a little and I was really hoping he wouldn't ask me a question on this particular video because I didn't really have an answer. Of course he did, so I stood up, said a bit 'ummmmmmmmmm' and then managed to come up with an answer which I believe was gramatically correct but not really original and sit down. Actually I asked another Elder later in the week if what I said was correct and he was like 'yeah I think so, you just seemed really nervous', which was credited to me not really knowing what to say beforehand haha. Something that kind of sucked though was my one eye has not been liking my contacts the past week or so and was practically straight red from being bloodshot and it was at times hard to keep my eye open or see. Anyways, it was like that last night too so a couple times I had to like cover my one eye with my hand or look down and close my eyes for a bit. At the conference, Sabastian actually thought I was tired which I hope nobody important thought as well at either thing.

Friday,

Today our companionship did divisions with our district leader and his comp. It was easy since they live in the same house as us. I went to the other half of the area that's still part of our area with the junior comp Elder Torres and my comp stayed in our area with our district leader. It was actually kind of cool because I really had no problems talking in Spanish with E' Torres. At times I had to use a verb that wasn't exactly what I wanted to say and sometimes I had to stop and change the sentance around but we got along pretty good. I also learned some new words and grammar so that helped and was good. I remember doing divisions in my first two changes with Latinos and not being able to say hardly anything. So it was nice to see that I'd survive with a Latino comp practically without problems.

Saturday,

Today in the morning we had to go to the church and set up for a primary activity. We basically just filled up balloons and hung them up, so personally I thought it was a bit of a waste of time but we got to help the ward I guess. We also had some lessons (as always) but I don't really remember anything specific from any of them.

Sunday,

Today we had church and only one person came, Sebastian. I was expecting to have at least a couple more, but he was the only one who came. People told us they were going to come, I believe they actually had intented to, but seriously the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Ugh. Anyways, we're most likely going to baptize Sebastian next week so that's pretty cool. Something funny was we went to this one woman's house to have a lesson with her who we've gone by quite a bit but she's always not home even though she said she would or she doesn't let us in. Anyways, before we got to the door my comp and I were talking about how we probably weren't going to get in and I said the chances are like 10:1 and my comp said less than that so I said 25:1 which he figured was about our chances of getting in. Anyways, I said that I should bet him like 10 bucks for a 25:1 chance of getting 250, which he probably would have agreed to (although none of us would probably have actually paid up). Anyways, she let us in haha and we had a lesson with her. Also since it was Sunday we got fed a bunch so that was good as always.

Monday,

Today I had heard that all the missionaries in Montevideo were going to get together at a field and play soccer on a big field, which I was really looking forward to doing. I also had heard that I might have to 'sign my papers' today, which means I would have to go to some building with some lawyer from the church with my whole CCM district and we'd basically sign something which gave us our VISA or something (nobody really asks questions, we just do what we're told). Anyways, I went to bed with both plans unconfirmed. This morning at like 6:35 our zone leaders called and told me that both were happening. While I was really excited to hook up with my district again, I was really hoping to play soccer too. The signing paper thing I actually had to do though so I went and met up with my whole CCM district (my comp left with a comp of a guy in my district) and we hung out, went and signed papers and then went to Burger King. It was so sweet seeing everyone again. I had just seen Elder Smith earlier in the week or I would have been most excited to see him again but it was still awesome seeing everyone. At Burger King I managed to spend 200 pesos (like 10 bucks american. How much did that come out to on my VISA? Am I paying rediculous international fees on all these purchases? Like should I just pull a ton of money at an ATM and just use that haha?) on probably the most delicious food that has ever touched my tonge (I can not spell in stupid English anymore). Like I've had McDonalds, and BK twice before but McD just doesn't taste as good (American) as BK down here and it's been so long since I had it last. Like don't get me wrong, food is good here. However, BK is seriously on a different scale. After BK I went and got my comp with the guy from my district my comp was with. The soccer field was only a few blocks from BK so it was convenient. I played for about 2 minutes but then we finished which was kind of disappointing but I had just been with my CCM district and ate BK so I got over it quick enough. Well my comp was hungry so we went back to BK so he could get lunch. I must admit I got another 200 pesos worth of food, although I paid with it with mission money (I budgeted well this month haha). I got another burger and a large chocolate shake. So I spent like 20 bucks on fast food in about 30 minutes haha. Like 4 hours later I'm still pretty full haha. Afterwards my comp and I went to Tienda Inglesa where I bought like 10 bags of microwave popcorn (they're only like 12 pesos each bag, which is like 60 cents) since I had bought some a couple pdays ago and its really good and seems cheap. After that we came to a cyber where I now am.

So yeah, it was a flipping sweet week. I got to listen to and shake a 70's hand twice, see my president twice, saw my CCM district, ate BK, going to have a baptism next week, etc. Oh yeah, I haven't hardly been wearing my contacts at all incase you've been wondering haha.

Other,

It's funny how culturly we're so dependant on cars and most people down here don't even have one...

I feel really bad and careless with my money when I buy BK on my VISA, buy 6 bucks worth of crap at Tienda Inglesa, etc. However, I read what you guys do through the week and it blows my mind how much money you spend. It's amazing to see the differences in culture. I remember what I was like before the mission, but it's a lot easier to spend money when you're earning 150 bucks in one day than in one month haha. Really it's no different if I buy one fast food meal during the mission and one after or two after the mission but buying one during just feels so much more wasteful. I'm not sure if it's because I've adjusted to pesos, I'm surounded by people with much lower income, or that a lot of the missionaries don't even have personal money to buy things that I have. Hm. I still just treat myself every now and then but I've definitely got a different perspective. It's no wonder people get in debt so easily in our culture I've decided.

Since I have a little time, I've been wanting to tell you how people speak Spanish down here. They speak in what's called 'vos' and it's spoken in Argentina, Uruguay and maybe a couple other places. How to speak 'vos'.

You don't say 'tu' when speaking to someone, you say 'vos'

Everything is pretty much the same except speaking in present to someone, you drop the 'r' off the end of the verb, add an 's' and then accent the last sylable. For example you'd say 'podès', 'tenès', 'hablàs' 'entendès' vs 'puedes' 'tienes' 'hablas' and 'entiendes'. Future, past, etc is all the same. The only irregular verb is ser, which turns into 'sos' (not eres). For example 'de donde sos' vs 'de donde eres'. Also to command in vos, you just drop the r and then accent the last vowel 'venì' 'escuchàme' 'callète' 'tomà' vs 'ven' 'escùchame' 'càllate' and 'toma'. The last two sound especially harsh. CallAHte or tomAAH (tomà is fun to yell in sports). Also since in spanish people drop the last 's' a lot it pretty much sounds like 'vo' (or bo) for 'you'. So basically it's lazy and stupid spanish haha. It's really not that different but I think you didn't know that here the people speak like that. Also we make an 'sh' sound for y and ll which I actually like better. But tu is a lot better sounding spanish than vos. I'm curious how exactly I'm going to speak after the mission. I'm still used to speaking in usted, vos is ugly, and I never use tu. But yeah, something I thought of that I wanted to tell you.

Um, well I guess that's pretty much it. Yeah, I had an awesome week and I'm glad you guys are doing good too. I didn't send any pictures this week because I had to save the ones from last week on my USB key. I'm currently saving all my pictures on it that I take or recieve in email. Oh yeah, I think I need you to send me a package. (Haha, good wording). Reason being is that I need more contact solution and my comp (wears contacts) says it's super expensive down here and I doubt they even have the kind that I use with my case. So yeah, I need like another big bottle or something, and probably a new case too. Also since my contacts have been giving me such problems I've been using a lot of those polysporin eye drops and only have a little left haha. Also some Visine would be nice since I think I'm putting in those eyedrops even though I don't have pink eye. So yeah, I need eye care stuff haha. Contact solution, new case, more polysporin eyedrops, and visine. I'm pretty sure there's different types of visine for different things but I don't know what's wrong with my eyes. They're just really bloodshot when I wear my contacts. Also if you could send me some floss that'd be nice too. One of my comps bought some and it was like pure yarn that just got stuck in his teeth haha, so I need some good floss. Oh yeah, and if those Canada pens still exist, it'd be nice to have a couple more =)

Anyways, thanks for the letter. This week got to be kind of long so I got to catch up on a lot of things haha. Hope you're doing well. Enjoy your new car =) Love ya,

Elder Fikus

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