Sunday, January 9, 2011

Letter #50 - January 4, 2011

Hey Mom,

Thanks for the email. I'll start by telling you about my week:


Today after the cyber we were taking a bus back to our house. There was some sign outside that said the time and the temperature. Temperature? 40ºC. Yup, it was that hot outside. Not only that, but it's incredibly humid. It's now a week later and it's actually cooled down to a pretty comfortable level, but it has gotten quite hot here haha. Today we also had a really awesome lesson with this couple that a member gave to us as a reference. I don't remember too many specifics, but they were super receptive and everything. The lesson happened a week ago, so I don't remember too much about it, but I just remember that we had a really good lesson with this couple.


This morning one of the missionaries here in Salto called us to tell us that a Senior missionary couple was going to come to our house to do a house inspection. There's one senior couple like that, and every since the President and his wife checked out all the houses, they've since assigned this other couple the housing responsibilities. We already have a house inspection every change (6 weeks), and now we have this couple who is in charge of everything. So, I personally expect mission housing to get a lot better haha. Anyways, my comp and I cleaned the house in the morning as best that we could, and then they came and did the inspection. The house really is in decent shape for what we have to work with. Primary concerns with our house are that we're not efficient enough with our space and that we need to do a deep cleaning of some things. Apparently the lack of regular, small cleans has over time left things in a state where they shouldn't be. It's not our fault, but personally I think that's pretty normal in the mission. Missionaries are in a house for a couple months, and just keep it clean enough to get by for those few months and then bam, are in another house. Nobody wants to do a deep clean because nobody is there to see the effects of it. It's not bad, our house is actually really quite good. Something awesome is that they were gonna order us a new mattress, wardrobe, and fans. So, yay! Today at district meeting I didn't get any packages, and actually nobody got any letters. There was a fire in the terminal in Montevideo so things got a little complicated with that haha. Today we also had contact with some lady who kinda made me upset. She's the mother of a guy in our ward who's super strong (who's like 30). She isn't a member, but she decided that she wanted to get baptized, along with another son of hers (the guy in our ward's younger brother who's like 14). Anyways, today we went to our scheduled lesson and she told us that her son wasn't home and that he doesn't want to talk to us anymore and that we shouldn't come back. Well after a little bit, this son who she told us wasn't home comes out to talk to us from behind her. We ask if we can come in and he says yes. Then we're talking with him and the mom is like 'tell them that you don't want to get baptized', 'tell them that you don't want to listen anymore' etc. It was really obvious that she was being a, um, well I can't think of a nice word, and that she was totally manipulating him and trying to get him to lie to us because she didn't want to continue with us. Turns out she fought with her son over something (I don't know the situation, but based on outward observations I'd side with the son) so now she doesn't want to listen to us, or that anyone else in her family to. Ugh...


Today was a pretty decent day. We managed to have 5 lessons, so that was awesome. They were just a bunch of random ones with all sorts of people, so I don't really remember them. They were all good though, and with a bunch of our investigators. Something else that happened was we had a meeting with the guy who's kinda taking care of missionary work in our ward. It was scheduled to be at 3:00 in the chapel. We had set this time because it was a less effective time for working, and therefore better for us. Well, he didn't show up. Ugh... So, we wasted about an hour walking there, waiting, and walking back. 'Tis the mission haha. Tonight the ward had a men's activity, where they were gonna hang out at the church and cook. We were personally invited so we decided that it would be a good idea to go to support the ward, even though we had a couple of people that we could have gone to to have lessons. We got there when it was supposed to start, and quite a bit of people were there. However, they had some meeting planned, which basically included everyone. So, we went outside and played soccer with the one teenager that came while all the adults sat inside in their meeting. By the time they finished, we had to leave to head back to the house, and I'm sure it continued much later haha.


Today we had a pretty funny experience when we went to this one house to talk to the people. Okay, so they live on a corner, and we could see down the side of the house from where we were, but we didn't see out back. Anyways, we went to the gate and I kind of shook it to see if there was any dogs. Nothing happened, so we went inside and knocked on the door. I heard barking, and kind of froze, and pretty soon this huge German Sheppard ran around the corner from behind the house and started barking at us. We were kinda trapped as the way the house and fence was, and the fact that the dog was somewhat between us and the only way out. And then, another dog ran around the corner and joined the first haha. So I was kinda flipping out by my comp was sorta between me and the dogs, and we sidestepped our way slowly to the exit. After we closed the gate after we got out I pretty much burst out laughing at the situation, and I just thought how freaking funny that would have been had someone seen us. I was still laughing about it for a while, although it was super scary at the time. I thought these German Sheppards were gonna attack us. So, no more being lazy. From now on we always clap at the houses to make sure there's no dog haha. Today we also were going to work with a member in our ward who's going to serve his mission in a couple months. We planned to wait at our house for him. We waited, and waited, and waited, eventually we called him and he told us that he forgot and was way on the other side of the city. Ugh... Also, we had English class today and a couple people came, so that was cool. I taught it, as I think that it's fun to teach people. I'm pretty sure that people don't remember anything that we teach them, but it probably does help and it's a nice service thing to do inside a nice air conditioned room in the church haha.


Today we went to someone that we're teaching's house in the morning, and after she opened the door her dog started barking at us like crazy. It was a pretty little dog, and the woman had to leave to go do something quick before she could attend us. Anyways, the little dog continued to bark so my comp kicked it kinda hard. It squealed and ran inside. Something super funny is that there's this guy who speaks English who lives around that house who I saw chilling outside this one business with some other guys when we were walking to the house. He lived in the States for quite some time, although I think illegally, and by the amount of states that he's been to, I think he was kinda hunted. Anyways, when my comp kicked the dog I heard this guy yell 'what the f---?, man' I thought it was super funny because my comp didn't think that anyone saw him and this guy ends all of his sentences with the word 'man'. I told my comp that I heard this guy yell that my my comp didn't hear. Anyways, it could have been a bad idea because my comp heard the niece of the woman we were teaching say 'oh poor thing, they kicked you'. Oops. Something else that happened today was something really cool. We were looking for this one house that we couldn't find (house numbers aren't too consistent here), so we were asking the neighbors. We came to this one house, and the woman kept asking who it was. Since people usually just yell that they're busy or something if we say we're the missionaries, we just yelled 'hello?' and waited for this woman to come to the door. Turns out it was actually a member of our ward, someone who is 100% blind. Someone comes by and gives her a ride to and from church every week on his moto. She's a super solid member though, she got baptized like 10 years ago and went blind like 6 ago. She invited us in, and she basically talked with us for a bit. I imagine that she's quite lonely, as she somehow lives alone although people occasionally go by to help her. Anyways, it ended up being a super spiritual experience because she has such strong faith. Also something that she said that was really touching was how she had been praying that she would be able to do something with angles (I can't think of the exact wording anymore... something like talk, meet, see or something) and then we showed up. It was overall just a super spiritual experience. Today something that I did that was kinda fun was I tried to ride one of those two wheeled skateboards that kind of bend in the middle that if you use your hips and swing them back and forth, you can go without pushing. It's a little different than skateboarding or snowboarding, and even though I could get started, I never got the hang of the whole hip swinging deal haha. Also today we did our week planning, and because it was the 31st we had supper with our neighbor again. Once again we stayed in our house until midnight and then left again to watch all the fireworks. There wasn't as many as at Christmas, but it was still pretty cool.


Today was our PDay since it was the 1st, and also a week since our last one (Christmas). We couldn't go to the cyber though since everything is closed here on the 1st, so my emails have stayed pretty normal. Well apparently our zone leaders had called President the night before to ask permission if we could watch an appropriate movie. He said yes, and the leaders chose Madagascar 2. Well, I'm not sure what their plan was, but I think they weren't going to tell anyone about the movie or get together since there was no city buses today. They told us that there was no way we'd get the keys, and that the activity would never work. Well my comp called the Stake President himself, who told us that we could in fact get the keys. My comp and I tried arranging this zone activity last minute so that we could watch the movie together. Turns out only a few people showed up to the church, the zone leaders had to leave their lunch early and miss dessert to get the keys from the stake president, and other than us and the leaders, only 4 people showed up. The zone leaders weren't impressed, but thankfully another 4 people showed up like halfway through the movie. They told us that they didn't know about it, and that nobody called them back to confirm. So, thanks to our leaders not wanting to organize anything, they had to miss their lunch to open the church to a poorly attended zone activity. Had they let someone else get the keys from the stake president (which he said that they could), and had they properly informed everyone like they said they would, it would have been a real success. Whatever, it didn't affect me much. Anyways, so I got to watch Madagascar 2 (in Spanish... but thankfully with English subtitles) with some people. I thought it was super funny, although I'm probably more easily amused now haha. So, that was the highlight of the day.


Today we had the church, and although there was a ton of members who went this week, there unfortunately was none of our investigators. We even went by 3 houses in the morning and called another 3 with the cellphone of the sister missionaries. But nope, nobody showed up. Nothing really that special happened either, we pretty much just walked and walked and walked, to very little success. We only had a couple lessons.


Today was equally as slow of a working day. We walked and walked and walked around. We didn't go to the cyber today as we had a ton of lessons planned all though the day, and even a member who was going to go with us to them. However, I think like 4 lessons fell through in a row, so for the four hours we basically walked around and tried to see if anyone was home. Our member who was going to come with us to our lessons went with us for a little, but eventually we ran out of people to go by so he left and we went to finding people. Another really slow day.


Today we had our district meeting, and I got a couple letters, although no packages that you have sent. I also managed to get some letters sent off, so those are on their way to you. After the meeting my comp and I came to the cyber, and we have a couple lessons tonight. Hopefully they go better than the last two days haha.

Anyways, I guess that's it. I think I wrote a lot this week so I'm out of time. Thanks for the update of everything, I enjoy getting my weekly letter. Thanks for all you do,

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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