Sunday, December 19, 2010

Letter #47 - December 13, 2010

Hey,

I guess I'll start out by telling you about my week.

Tuesday,

After we went to the cyber together as a zone, we went inside the shopping mall that there is here. They actually have a bowling lane and a pool hall, so we went and played pool together. It was actually kinda funny because there's also this jukebox type thing that for some of the songs has a music video that plays on the TV screen. So, for some of the Michael Jackson songs (the English selection was pretty poor) there were times when like everyone was standing around this little TV screen because they took a break from playing pool to watch a music video from the 80s. I was like 'oh brother...'. Haha, but yeah, that's pretty much what happened at the end of Pday.

Wednesday,

Today we had a lesson with someone who's recently been baptized. She has a couple sons, and one of them lives with her. He's not baptized though... he's in a lot of bad stuff and they fight a lot. But anyways, she was talking about her job. She works in an orange factory, but I didn't totally get what she actually did. I think she just worked on the line doing something like the majority of the workers. Anyways, she ended up telling us how much she gets paid in an hour. Wanna know how much? The equivilent of $1.15 an hour. I was like, wow, that's a lot lower than I thought. Here, there's a lot less 'middle class' people. As people are either working for like $1.15 an hour (or less), or can afford a $60,000 car (cars are a lot more expensive down here). It's just nuts. Anyways, today something really cool happened in the night. It was like 8:30 so we had half an hour left, it was starting to get dark, and we were deciding what to do. My comp wanted to go to a member's house, I wanted to go by some investigators to set up another time to go back, but then we saw this huge pillar of dark smoke coming from not that far away. Anyways, since there's a ton of people who chill outside here in the evening, like everyone was looking at what happened from their house, or going to this huge fire to see what was burning. It was a pretty big deal. Anyways, my comp didn't really want to go because we might return back to the house after 9:00 (that's really important to him, also we can actually be up till 9:30 if we're in a lesson). But I finally convinced him to try to see what was burning. Anyways, we ended up walking to 6 blocks away from the fire, 3 north and 3 west of it, and I wanted to walk another 3 (to be able to look down the street and see what was burning) with the other people who were outside to see what was going on. However, my comp stopped, and we just watched all this smoke for like 5 minutes, and all these people were going to see what happened. I was kinda upset, as we walked all the way down to where we were just to look at smoke, which is what we were doing initially. But yeah, we watched the smoke for a little and then went back to the house so we could be inside by 9:00. As we found out later from some people, there's this super market across from our church on the corner, and apparently a new worker hooked up some gas/propane cable wrong, which caused a leak, then a fire, and then eventually a huge fire once a propane tank burned/exploded. The whole entire supermarket was in ruins for like 3 days, and everything burned and was destroyed. Nothing happened to any of the surrounding buildings I think (if so, only the immediately surrounding ones), but this one market is pretty much gone. Crazy.

Thursday,

Today we had our district meeting, and I walked into the chapel to see about 30 packages. I guess the offices was kind of saving them to give people closer to Christmas in case their parents sent them early. I ended up getting one, and I believe I got the first one, where you didn't send out a customs form haha. This is what it had in it: Canadian pens, peanut M&Ms, seasoning salt, crayons, contact solution, BBQ sauce, toffifee, floss, dill pickle seasoning, RITZ peanut butter sandwhiches, peach juice, stickers, pencil sharpener and debit card. So, I think if you resent some of the stuff because this one took forever, I might end up with a lot of BBQ sauce, dill pickle flavoring, etc. haha. Also, super good idea on the RITZ peanut butter sandwhiches, I totally had forgot about them. THANK YOU! Also, my comp got some packages, which I have to tell you about. First, his parents sent him a little Christmas tree, and then a package of 3 smaller, numbered packages. Each smaller package contains a spiritual activity, a fun activity, and a related Christmas ornament for the tree and person for a nativity scene. So, in the first one there was some scriptures to read about Mary, then there was some questions to ponder to think about it, there was stuff to make heart shaped sugar cookies, heart ornaments for the tree, and then Mary to put in the nativity. My comp's reaction was kinda funny. Okay, so it's a package, so you want to be grateful, but at the same time he was kinda frustrated that his parents would spend all this time and money on something that he didn't even really want to do, and figured it was way over the top. I thought it was a neat idea for his parents, and it's really obvious that they spent a ton of time on it. But that just kind of made him shake his head, because he had asked for stuff like trivia cards, and knew that his parents knew that he didn't even like doing stuff like the little activities haha. (You don't have to overthink my packages though- keep doing what you're doing ;) ) Also today we had our ward missionary meeting, which was right before our English class. Since it went way too long, and nobody showed up for English class, we didn't end up having it, which kinda sucked. It's super dead haha.

Friday,

Today we had week planning, which went pretty good. At the end, I talked a little with my comp about how what he had done like blew me away, but I was forgiving him. Drama. Today was also kinda a slow day too, in that we only ended up having one lesson. However, tonight we had soccer so that was good. We were in our one lesson right before, so we were going to show up really late again. Thankfully there was a relief society activity going on for whatever reason, so people were waiting inside on the field with a ball screwing around rather than waiting outside for a little and potentially leaving.

Saturday,

Today we were supposed to have lunch with our Bishop, but turns out that he had totally forgotten. He felt kinda bad though, so he dropped off food at our house, which is nice of him. It's the first time that he's forgotten, so he probably meant to write it down for a different day. Today we also had a lesson with someone who has been a member of another church for quite some time. Anyways, she has some of its teachings pretty deeply engrained in her. At our last lesson, she kinda told us that she was sitting the fence, like 50-50 with what we were teaching her. However, today she basically told us that she's firm in where she is and she's already in such and such church. She was pretty weak, so we managed to get her turned around again haha.Today we had a lesson with David and Norma also, and we brought someone who's a returned missionary in our ward. Anyways, he was super good during the lesson. Like I was really impressed. I felt that how he was teaching was how I used to teach kinda, how I want to teach, and how we should teach. Anyways, during the lesson he got a call and text from a missionary who had served where I am like 5 years ago (served from like 05-07). Anyways, he started the mission where I am, and the returned missionary was the ward mission leader at the time. Anyways, this guy had returned, so he wanted to meet up with Gonzalo (the RM). We ended the lesson and then went back to his house for a little (the night was basically over). We all kinda talked for a little, and it was super cool. He was there with his wife (been together 8 months), and they have a pretty interesting story (I found some of it out today and then more on Sunday when the came to church). Okay she's from the States, went to BYU for 2 years, graduated, and then didn't want a real job so she moved to Guatamala with someone in her extended family (uncle or cousin or something) to work. He served here, is from Idaho, and for work also went to Guatamala. Basically they met because they both knew someone and they got married. Since he served in Uruguay he speaks Spanish and she took it for two years in university (although never speaks it). Anyways, now he's a potato farmer and she was working for a newspaper reporting company. Since harvest is over, and she quit her job (going to start a new one in January), they basically just decided to take a trip all over South America, going to all sorts of countries. They're like 25ish and just decided to take this awesome trip together, so I thought that was cool. Something kinda funny is that I thought that she was pretty attractive, and I spent pretty much the whole time trying to figure out if she really was, or if I've just been down here for too long haha. I came to the conclusion it had to do with both the factors.

Sunday,

Today there was really bad weather in the morning. There was rain, and it was windy. It actually felt like we were in winter. Anyways, there was no investigators at church, and not very many members. There was nobody to play the piano, and for the first time that I've seen, there was only 2 people who passed the sacrament the numbers were so small. The guy said that when he served here like 5 years ago, there were about 150 people at church. We probably had like 40 or 50ish, although our average is probably like 70. So that kinda sucked. Also today we had a lesson with some girl, who asks a lot of questions about things that aren't really important and impossible to know, watches discovery all the time, and like is all about conspiracy theories. It was kind of an interesting lesson, especially when she talked about some of the weird stuff she's done. She's done some of these dark games (kinda like ouija boards, but different) and stuff, and it was just kinda weird. She was like 'I know I shouldn't do it, but yeah' haha.

Monday,

Today we started out by playing soccer again. Last change, there was like 4 really good players who left to other areas, and the people who replaced them aren't allstars. Compared to the people we had last change, I was decent. I think I was the second best gringo, although there was a lot of good latino players here. Anyways, this change, some of them left, and the average soccer skill has seriously dropped. I am now definitely one of the better people haha, so that's kidna awesome. I've practically become an allstar just from the average soccer ability of people here dropping, so yay me. After soccer my comp and I came to a cyber, and the rest of the zone left elsewhere (not sure).

Anyways, I guess that's it for this week. Thanks for the email and update, thanks a ton for the package(s), as well as all you do in general. Have a great week,

Love,

Elder Fikus

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