Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Letter #35 - September 20, 2010


Well, a lot has happened this past week, hopefully I'll have enough time to say everything.


Today was my last day in Cerro so we went to a couple people before I left. It was PDay too so we didn't have that much time but we went to this super sweet old couple who I think I told you about. Anyways, we visited there for a little, had a bit of a supper and then went to our ward mission leader's house. We were there for a little, they also gave us something to eat, and then I had to go home and pack because I had to be in the big bus terminal at 11:30. I had folded most of my clothes in the morning so I basically just jammed everything in my suitcases.I've definitely acquired some things, although it certainly doesn't feel like it. However, I did manage to squish everything in my suitcases, and then I took a taxi with my comp to the big bus terminal. I ended up leaving without problems although it's possible that I got on the wrong bus. They had given me and another missionary two tickets which were apparently a half hour apart. I ended up taking the ticket that said I left a half hour later but I still got on the same bus as everyone. I think had I taken the bus I should have, I would have ridden solo so it was probably better that I went with the group. I did have to change seats a few times which was kind of embarassing but everyone ended up making it safe and sound so that was fine. I travelled through the night and it was like a 6 hour bus trip through the night. I slept decently, although I dozed awake a few times.


Today I got to meet my new comp who came to the terminal a little bit after I got there with some other missionaries picking up their comps. His name is Elder Squires and I had heard really good things about him. He's a really good missionary. He's just a super humble hard working guy who does everything right and works hard without really being showy about it. He speaks Spanish well so I can ask him questions about things. He's also clean and organized and is looking forward to having a clean house haha. Also his last comp was a little difficult and didn't really want to work so I think that he feels relieved and free to be with me. He's actually told me 'thank you' a couple times. Also, he actually trained someone in my group. My area is also Salto Cerro 2. Our house is also pretty good, although we're going to clean it a bit more today. I have a bigger desk again (finally) and a washing machine which is awesome. I think there are hardly any houses in the mission with washing machines but for some reason we do so that's awesome. Also Salto is a really pretty city. There's a lot less litter all over the place like there is in Montevideo, and a lot more people here own a car it seems. My first day here we had 2 lunches, although like once a week we don't have anything. Also our neighbor is this super nice lady who every night gives us something to eat or something. So far I've gotten hot chocolate twice, rice with milk (a dessert type thing like rice pudding kinda) and raviolies. Also the people here seem to have more of the small town mentality so it's easier to talk to people. Today we went around and worked and I also got to meet some members and recent converts. A lot of people here say that I speak good Spanish so that makes me feel good too haha.


Today I had my first district meeting in Salto. Something else that's awesome about our area is that there's a bakery with donuts. I don't think I've seen donuts here yet but I have one of the few areas in the mission that has some. They're filled with dulce de leche and are topped with chocolate. They're also 6 pesos each which is 30 cents so before district meeting I bought 4 for breakfast since it's somewhat on the way. We have a really awesome zone here. Our zone leaders are super cool, the huge majority of the missionaries are good, and there's even two people from my CCM district with me- Elder Nielson and Baker, both of whom are awesome. After district meeting we went out and worked and something that's cool is we have a lot of member help here. I'm not sure if it's because in my last area we never really asked but it seems like people here are more willing to help. We also played soccer today with some kids and usually like 8 show up, but for some reason only 2 did today so that kind of sucked. The kids had to leave at 8 and since we had like 15 minutes before we had to leave for home we just played around for a bit. I managed to kick the ball over the fence and it got lost somewhere in outer darkness. It was a cheap ball so my comp wasn't too concerned. In our adventure of trying to find it, we did come across a guy who spoke English though so that was cool.


Today we did week planning in the morning so I got to go over some of the people that we're teaching. Afterwards we went out and worked and had a lot of lessons which was cool. A recent convert had agreed to come out with us so we got him later in the day. After we got him we tried to go by a bunch of people but we had absolutely no luck. Nobody was home, someone else was home, we didn't get let in or as in one case, we couldn't find the house we were looking for. It was still kinda fun though because he's a really cool guy who's only a couple years older than us.


My comp and I have been doing a lot of contacting in the street to try to get more investigators. Today I noticed that I was getting kind of pushy with people, a lot more than I used to be. I'm not sure if it's because I have more control over Spanish or if because I've moved to a new area but I don't let people's retardedness, 'I don't know' or 'no no no' slide so easy anymore. We talk to a lot of people and I sure meet a lot of backward beliefs and stubborness but lately I've not been letting those people go so easily anymore. My comp says it's good to be a little pushy but he doesn't want to fight (which is good... it drives the Spirit away). Tonight we had a FHE with Sebastian (the guy who came out with us last night) because he's going to Haiti for like 6 months or something. It was fun.


Today I had my first church here and it was pretty good. We have about the same amount of people going to this church as in my last area, although according to my last comp, attendance was really good. It's kind of funny though because all the chapels in Montevideo have at least 3 locks on every door and an alarm system where as here they only have one lock on the door and no system. Kind of different haha. My last chapel was a Stake Centre so it was a little nicer (carpet in the sacrament meeting room and nicer tiles elsewhere) but I like this one too. Afterwards we found people for pretty much the whole day, so of course we had some interesting experiences. One house had this open door and so we walked up to it and started talking to the person who gave us this notion that they were deaf. We weren't sure exactly what was going on, if they couldn't hear at all, if they could a little, or if they were just joking but I tried trick them like 'well you can read, right?' as I gave them a pamphlet. If I had known how to say 'you know what, just for your creativity I'll let you go' but I couldn't figure out how to form that sentance haha. Turns out they actually were totally deaf because later we saw them using sign language... whoops. Also we found this super cool guy who's like 22 and he thought that we were both older than him. We talked for quite a while and it was just a super chill conversation where we managed to teach a little too and it went really good. We also went to some people who we talked to in the street once who happened to be our neighbors and we had a tiny lesson with them. The husband doesn't believe in God because of all the suffering that there is in the world but I said some things to him that really had him thinking but it was just fighting. Afterwards my comp kind of turned it spiritual and then it went good from there haha. It's so much more effective to teach spiritually haha. Oh, today we also ran into a Jehovah's Witness. They think that Adam and Eve will never be forgiven for partaking of the fruit because because of them all of us sin. They think that they could have had a family and populated the earth in their innocent state (although when I asked why they didn't she couldn't answer me) because God doesn't give commandments to us that we'll break. While I do see their point, I've never heard that point or even thought of that possibility (it doesn't really make sence) so I'm going to investigate it in the Bible a little better.

Other stuff:

I change my contacts every change, or every 6 weeks. It's a little longer than the 4 weeks I'm supposed to but I always remember and this way I'll have a couple contacts after the mission. Anyways, so I put in new contacts not sure if my contacts or my eyes were the problem before and turns out it was just the contacts. It won't hurt to have a new case or visine and I definitely need more solution so the package will still help, but I can finally wear contacts again without having super bloodshot eyes haha.

I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but Elder Lloyd snored. It was anywhere from a heavy breathing to full blown 'wow I can not sleep' snore where I just waited for him to startle himself haha.

Lately I've gotten sick a bit, and my comp and I wonder if it's the house. It is pretty humid and even though it's not really dirty, there's just some like mold or something because of the humidity. He's been sick like the whole time in this house and since moving here, I turned sick too. It's not super bad and are going to clean the house like crazy today. Oh yeah, President is having interviews with us this change in our house. Usually it's done in a chapel but this time it's in the house so we're going to clean it super good.

To your email,

Montevideo has like roughly 2 million people and there's only like a little more than 3 million in Uruguay so Salto is definitely smaller. I think it's actually a little richer than where I was, although there was some parts of Montevideo that were way richer.

Since we don't have ovens, we cook brownies in the microwave. The recipe is a little different but it turns out alright haha.

I'll still get my package with no problems.The packages actually go to the offices and then they redistrube them from there depending on where the missionaries are. My address is the same and it's all the same for everyone.

That's all I have time for, this comp is a little more obedient haha. I hope you have a good week, thanks for the updates and the email. Love you,

Elder Fikus

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