Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Letter #33 - September 6, 2010


Well, to start off my week:


Today we had lunch with this really nice old lady. She was Catholic most of her life but was married to an LDS guy and eventually finally joined the church when she was pretty old. It's kind of nice to see people like that because it gives me hope for the people who are like 'I'm too old to change'. Anyways, she's just this tiny, nice old lady who is super nice and I just like going to her house because I feel like I'm at a grandparents or great grandparents. After we ate it started to rain pretty hard so she gave us a ride in her little white car to our bus stop which was nice. From that point on it continued to rain and rain and rain and rain. However, we did manage to have a couple of lessons which was cool. This one woman let us in her house and apparently she had listened to missionaries before. She basically ranted about kids are growing up in the streets because their parents are always working so they're getting into drugs and it's ruining society. It was all pretty much true what she said but it wasn't a very productive lesson haha. We also had a lesson with this one woman who I guess has some family who are LDS. She's just an awesome investigator. She's not married right now which is kind of a barrier but if she got married, she'd be an awesome member. We also went to the Stake President's house to give them clothes to wash and I played chess against one of his sons. Whenever I go out there I'm pretty much addicted to playing chess against one of them. I almost always win and it's kind of a waste of time so I only play one game each time we go out there. I'm thinking I'm gonna buy a magnetic board to play on PDay or something haha.


It was still raining pretty hard today. Today in the morning we went to this one store that's in the other missionaries side of the ward because they have a store that sells ties for 15 pesos (75 cents) each. They're second hand but I still wanted to go check it out. We went there and bought a couple ties each. My companion bought 12 and I bought 18 haha. The reason I think I'm so obsessed with having new ties is because I'm so bored of the white shirt black pant outfit that I feel fashinonably depressed and am attempting to mix up what I wear in the only way possible haha. Some of my ties are actually decent, some are kind of so-so, and some I just bought because I didn't think any tie could ever exist like it. I took a picture of all of them so I'll send it to you in an email at some point (hopefully before too long). Also today we went to this womans house who is kind of innactive thanks to her health and she got kind of upset with us for working during the weather that we had. Not only was it raining but it had such a strong wind and was so cold. She was like 'we need you guys, you can't be working in this weather because you're gonna get sick and we need you' or something haha. Neither of us got sick so it's all good.


It was still raining like crazy. Today we had a lesson with Gloria and we were just talking when she's like 'I have a question', which I figured was going to be important. She then asked us if our end goal is to baptize someone and that's all we care about or are responsable for. I think my comp was starting to tell her 'yeah kinda' but I kinda inturrupted him and basically said that our end goal is to help people find a home in the gospel, which includes at some point their baptism. She's just scared of commitment right now so I just wanted to erase the impression that all we want is to baptize people. She also had thought that after we baptized someone, we stopped visiting them. We do visit them less, but we don't stop. We told her no haha. The sad thing is I do think we're going to have to stop visiting her though. She hasn't come to church in a while, and the truth is we're not here just to go into people's homes who accept us. If she isn't 'progressing', we are supposed to 'drop her' although it's more than likely other missionaries will at some point pass by in a year or so.


It was still raining like crazy. Today we had our district meeting instead of Tuesday because the past 3 days all of the district leaders and zone leaders have been in conferences with President Arnold. As usual, nothing really that spectacular happened. Today there was going to be a ward activity so we went and got Sebastian and brought him with us to the chapel. Nobody was there. We went to the 1st Councilors house who lives close to the chapel and turns out the Bishop cancelled the activity. Since we're always in the street, he didn't have a way to contact us so we went to the activity without knowing it was cancelled. Turns out the other missionaries in our ward did the exact same thing, although about 10 minutes later (including going to the councilor's house). I think he felt kinda bad but it wasn't his fault, or really anybody's.


Today we had this lesson with this family who used to listen to the missionaries. The last two times we talked to them, there was only the mom and daugther there and not the dad. This time there was the dad too. He had a Book of Mormom from when they were listening to the missionaries before. Anyways, he was pretty much like 'I want to read the Book of Mormon, how should I study it?' I was kind of shocked at his enthusiasm and kind of excited because usually it's a pain to get people to read one chapter but he was wanting to know how to read it. I said something like 'Well, you can do it a lot of different ways. For example, sometimes I just read the Book of Mormon all the way through, in cronological order start to finish. Or, sometimes if I'm just studying a certain subject, like faith for example, I'll just read certain chapters or verses because they talk about faith while other parts don't.' He then ran and got a piece of paper and a pen and was like 'Okay, where do I read if I want to read about faith?' I was kind of shocked and initially didn't know what to tell him (It was just an example) so my comp and I looked through our Book of Mormons and we found a part for him to read. Also I believe this morning is when it finally stop raining haha. It was pretty much this super long, practically week long never ending storm. I don't know how it constantly rained for so long. Today we also had to wait for an electrician to come and change some wires that run to our house outside because they're really old and starting to crack and it was causing some problems with the rain (it would flip our breaker which happened to be a short run away from our house outisde). We had to wait for a couple hours which was a waste of time considering the guy didn't even come (gotta love this country). It actually wasn't that bad because Sebastian had his baptisimal interview and I would have just been at the church anyways. We just did short divisions where I stayed at the house with Elder Torres and Elder Lloyd left with Elder Barrera (who does the interview, my district leader) to the church. Had we not had to wait, all 4 of us would have gone to the church. Also today we went to this members house to get more specific directions of a reference we had recieved from Bishop and when we first got there, they were all watching some movie. They got a couple chairs for us and just waited for the movie to end before we talked. It was only like half an hour or 45 minutes we waited but I just could not enjoy having the movie on in front of me and just basically read through my agenda, at our plans, and at vocab I have writen there. It was weird... I just couldn't feel good about sitting there watching a movie.


Today was Sebastian's baptism. While at the interview, Elder Lloyd and Barrera asked him who he wanted to baptize him and he said Elder Lloyd, so I have yet to actually perform a baptism haha. Anyways, miraculously nothing went wrong. The program was complete, the font filled up, the water was warm, everything. It seems for some reason here that something always goes wrong haha. Something also that was pretty cool was his mom came, so it was her first time going to church. Since her and her husband have kind of stopped listening when we go to their house (since their DVD player broke), it was cool that she came. I think it took a bit of persuasion from Eloisa but she ended up coming. She also heard the end of testimony meeting so that was probably good too. Something wrong did happen today and it was kind of wierd. My comp and I went to church, and after like an hour, Eloisa and Sebastian had not yet come. My comp wanted to go look for them so we left the church. My comp left his backpack in the sacrament meeting room and we left, met them walking on the way to the church, and walked back to the church with them. We later found out from people who saw this kid hanging around the church that while we were gone, this kid had walked into the church during the classes, went into the chapel, took my comps backpack and left; all without being seen. My comp was kind of upset since in the backpack he had like 15 pesos (75 cents), some pamphlets (free) and his marked, personal scriptures which are like 75 bucks. Ouch. We spent a little bit of time in the afternoon walking around the chapel to look for his backpack (we figured the kid could have like taken it, ran a bit away, searched though the pockets to find nothing he really wanted to steal, and then ditched the backpack). We didn't find it though. That kind of sucked for him.


Today we haven't really done that much up until now. Just basically hung around the house and came to a cyber haha.

Other Stuff:

Okay, I got to tell you about the kind of music people listen to down here. It's called cumbia, and it's by far the worst music I have ever heard in my life. It has this awful ch-chch-ch-chch-ch-chch-ch percussion which makes me want to ram my head into a wall. It also usually also has some funky weird other noise and some guy like singing/talking to it. It all sounds exactly the same. I also heard that there's a couple types of cumbia, it originated in Columbia and it's not bad from what I've heard. However, there's some crap type that the poor people in Argentina kind of made up or made famous or something and now everyone down here listens to it. For more information; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbia_villera or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_cumbia. The second lists some artists which you should try to find on youtube. That is by far the most common type of music and what's worse is that a lot of people play it out of their cell phone speaker, which means I get the opportunity to listen to it everywhere. There's also reggatone, which I'm actually starting to like since it's not far off the kind of music I listened to before and by contrast is so much better. I know of one song for sure, Descontrol by Daddy Yankee. You should also try to find that on youtube. Other than that, there's occasionally random rock or english music or something, primarily being songs that don't have many words (like that song on Beverly Hills Ninja when the guy is swinging on the palm tree. (Wooh-ooooh-oooooh-ooooooh-oooh-oh-oh)) or anything that was popular anywhere from 30 years ago to the present.

This week there was this stupid car alarm that went off constantly. I swear some broke into the same car everyday. I'm not sure when or at what point but out of like like the 120 hours that are in 5 days, this stupid alarm was going off for like 70 of them, at random points (night, day, afternoon) for like 8 hours at a time. I have no idea why or what exactly was happening but it was annoying. Thankfully we live far enough away I didn't have problems sleeping or anything, I just knew it was going off.

Um, I guess that's pretty much it. I was going to send pictures today but for some reason my computer isn't really letting me. I can't wait to go back to my laptop and not have to deal with retarded computer problems I can't fix haha. Thanks for the email and everything you're doing for me.

Elder Fikus

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