Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Letter #52 - January 18, 2011

Hey Mom,

Okay, I'll start off by telling you about my week again,


Okay, today we finally went back to the black market feria thing that they have here. This time I brought a bunch of money with me, so I could buy some stuff. Something kinda sucky is I brought both my cards to an ATM that seems like it should have worked (since it had the PLUS logo), but for some reason it wouldn't accept either of my cards. Hmm... Anyways, my comp and I went to this feria and I bought a bunch of stuff. I bought 5 shirts, 2 CDs of Uruguayan World Cup music, and a DVD that has all the highlights from Uruguay in the last world cup. My shirts were a lacoste polo, and an adidas, two that were DC, and one GAP. So I got 5 shirts, a DVD and 2 CDs. Grand total? Like $60 haha. Afterwards my comp and I were coming back to the house, and we got off the bus. Pretty much as soon as the bus started driving away, my comp got the feeling he didn't have his wallet. He started frantically looking, but didn't have it. Since we were like a block away from the house, we ran there and dropped off our stuff and then ran to a bus stop like 10 blocks away that the bus we got off was going to pass by. Buses here aren't as effective as in Montevideo because it's a smaller city so they kinda do all these unnecessary loops and circles. But anyways, we sprinted down to this bus stop after dropping off all our purchases, waited there, and then when the bus came we started to look for it. Nope. Lost. I think that someone noticed it and slipped it into their pocket to loot later, and wasn't willing to be like 'um yeah, I took it' when my comp got back on the bus and everyone was helping him by looking under their seat. So, that kinda sucked for him. Thanks to that disaster, we didn't start working until later than we should, but it was kinda important haha.


Today... I finally got that package that you sent from Canada. Woot :D. I think it also had everything inside. I'll try to remember everything... 24 packs of Kool-Aid, peach juice, the chocolate calender, the Ensign, those mints, polysporin eye drops, beef jerky, visine, and I think that's it. So, I've got everything that you sent I think =). I'm definitely set for a long time haha. Thank you! Today was also a pretty sick day because we had these two awesome lessons. The first was with this girl named Celia who had gone to our church before and always wanted to get baptized, but for some reason she never did. I actually think that today might have been our first lesson with her, I can't remember, it was too long ago haha. Anyways, so now she's going to get baptized this time around. Woohoo. The second was with a girl named Agustina, who I've definitely mentioned. Anyways, she read both the things that we gave her to read, and at the end of the lesson was like 'Don't you have anything else to read?' We had already been there for a while, and we spent the majority of the time answering questions, or we definitely would have given her a Book of Mormon haha. But yeah, today I got my package and we had two awesome lessons, so that was really cool.


Today we ate lunch with our neighbors, and they cook super good. We eat with them every week and it's always good, but this week we got tacos, which were delicious. They didn't have taco seasoning, but she had some other spices in the meat that tasted pretty good. So that was pretty awesome. Today there was also a doctor who came from I'm not even sure where to look at a bunch of people's ingrown toenails. Apparently it's somewhat common amongst missionaries, so this doctor who's actually a senior missionary with his wife I'm pretty sure, came and looked at a bunch of people's toes. They serve over a decent portion of South America I believe. The cool thing is that he somehow knew I was from Canada, and he asked me from where. 'Alberta' 'Yeah but where?' 'Well I grew up in Vauxhall, after I graduated went to Edmonton to work, and then went back to Lethbride where my family moved to leave on my mission from there'. He's from Cardston, and knows uncle Marvyn and Aunt LaVeeda because he worked in the temple with them. Their last name is Hollingsworth. I just thought that it was cool that he and his wife knew them. I asked if he knew them after he said he was from Cardston, which he did. Anyways, if your toe is bad enough, they'll send you to Montevideo to get it operated on on PDay, and I've kinda had some ingrown toenails off and on pretty much the whole mission but never wanted to go to 'Deo. However, since he was coming here, I asked to see him. Anyways, he operated on my toe, which was super nasty and really quick, and after he froze my toe (that was kinda painful), it was smooth sailing. Today for one of our lessons we went to this family where the mom and some of her kids are members (inactive), who has some kids who aren't baptized. So today we had a lesson with them in which we talked about how the people felt about the church, who wanted to get baptized, etc. Anyways, one of the girls who was 8 years old was like 'I don't want to get baptized' and then later was like 'why can't you drink wine? God drank wine, why don't you guys? I like wine, why don't you drink it'. I basically connected the dots and realized that someone probably told her that if she got baptized she couldn't drink wine. Well I was like blown away. You don't have to be Mormon to know that giving your 8 year old kid wine is bad, that's just straight up trashy. It's like a mom with 10 kids, seems kinda lazy and non-committal, and lets her 8 year old kid drink wine. I just didn't even know what to say. I could have corrected the kid and could have for starters told her it was Jesus and not God she was referring to, or explained the translation of the Bible, the concept of revelation, etc. Or I could have basically dropped the cane on the mom for being a trash parent. But, we kinda just left and figured it wasn't worth it. I never thought I'd have to deal with an 8 year old not wanting to get baptized because she'd have to give up drinking. Wow.


Today not that much happened. We had another lesson with Agustina, and we gave her a Book of Mormon this time, which of course she said she'd read. She also visited, because she saw it on the back of the folleto we gave her. I think that's probably the first person that I've ever taught who's gone to that site, which I think is kinda aimed at teaching non-members about the church. I visited it last week (I think) in the cyber, and I think it's actually a pretty impressive site. So yeah, I thought that was cool. Also today we had our English class, although nobody showed up... again. Haha, it's definitely dying.


Today we were going to do divisions with two kids in our ward. I would have gone with one of them, and my comp with the other. That way, we get twice as much work done =). Haha. However, one of them called us a little before and bailed on us, since he said he had a dentist appointment or something. So, the one kid just went with both of us instead. It was alright, although I didn't really like it overall. Both kids are like 18 or 19 and preparing to serve a mission. The reason that I didn't really like it is because I didn't really like the way that we taught, and I don't feel like we set a very good example of teaching for this future missionary. I let my comp lead, and I just kinda followed, and I just don't think it worked out too well. Today we also had soccer, although thanks to me letting my comp lead, we sat in a lesson far too long as he let this woman talk. That lead us being like half an hour late for soccer. Well even if some kids had showed up, they definitely left by the time we got there, and since we didn't have a ball, nobody would hear us playing. So, my comp played the piano inside and I just decided to try to let people into the church to show them around. Apparently it's a pretty effective way of helping people know the church and getting investigators. The church is on a pretty busy corner, but I only talked to people who walked right by. I didn't have any luck, unfortunately, although at least I tried to do something.


Today was also a pretty uneventful day. We were supposed to eat lunch with the Bishop and his family, although they forgot. We got to the house, his wife answered the door and was like 'hey guys, just go back to your house and we'll drop off the food in like an hour'. She acted pretty smooth about it, but it was obvious she forgot. Today we also did planning in the afternoon, and then we went out to work with one of the councilors in the Bishopric. It was pretty much an epic failure, as we went by all these houses and did a ton of walking, going to like everyone we could possibly think of, and like nobody was home. It kinda sucked as I felt bad for him. We even had quite a few lessons scheduled, but they fell through.


Today I was pretty sure was going to be my last Sunday in Salto, as this week is changes. It was a pretty good turnout, although there was no investigators of ours... again. However, this one woman in our ward has a granddaughter who wants to get baptized, so we set up a lesson at church and had that afterwards. Also today in church we got a new ward mission leader, who seems like he'll be super good. That'll be exciting for the ward to have, I think things will go good. So, even though I'm leaving, this area should have some baptisms after I leave. We also had a lesson today with the guy named Ivan, who's the super smart one. I had written out a bunch of scriptures from the Bible to answer some of his previous questions, and this time he came at us with more. He gave me some more homework to do haha. I just love teaching him, as he's incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable about the Bible and he knows what he believes. Anyways, I also think it's a great thing that I have that reference book and the Day of Defence, as those make it a whole lot easier haha. That was pretty much it for today.


Since this week is changes, PDay is Tuesday. Today was what I assumed my last working day in Salto, but we did pretty much regular work. I went by a couple people to say bye, but other than that it was normal. Okay, so in the night I got my change, and it just about blew me away. I had considered this possibility, although I never thought it'd actually happen. I am going to some tiny little town off the side of the bigger city Rivera to be proselyting companions with Elder Smith... my CCM comp. We're going to be comps AGAIN. As proselyting comps, there isn't one junior and one senior comp, both of us will be equal. It's going to be so much fun, and I know we're going to bust our butts off, as neither of us with let the other slack in the tiniest way. It'll also be super weird being together since because we both know Spanish now. I can see some potential problems in that there could be a bit of a power struggle, as he's pretty dominating, and I've learned to become pretty independent and the leader. However, I think it'll be a lot of fun, and I know it'll be a really good change. I just can't even believe it though... I'm going back with Elder Smith... Wow. Anyways, since today was my last day in Salto, my comp and I ordered food in the night to kinda celebrate. Anyways, my new area is going to be quite small, which I'm not a huge fan of. It also only has like 20 people in church each week, so that'll be different. However, it has a huge (and nice) house, has new furniture, we get lunch almost everyday from members, there's a good cyber, we play soccer every Thursday, we'll have a ton of lessons, they have baptisms lined up. Also, I'm two hours away from Rivera, and I'm part of that stake and zone. Since we probably will have basically nothing to do most PDays, I should be able to catch up on letters (Hallelujah), although when we go into Rivera, it's supposedly pretty sick. Okay so this city, Rivera, is literally on the boarder between Uruguay and Brasil, on both sides of the streets there is a ton of stores, of everything. Everything is also super super cheap there. You can find a TON of fake soccer Jerseys, etc. etc. It's where a lot of missionaries buy jerseys, souvenirs, etc. In Rivera there's also some Tax 'Free Shops', which are basically huge stores of imported stuff that the government doesn't tax. Uruguayans can't shop at them though haha, but there's a ton of good stuff. Since stuff like electronics are super expensive here, they're like where most missionaries go if their camera get's stolen, etc. Apparently there's some hard to find stuff there too, and I imagine I'll end up buying myself a backpack at one. Anyways, I'm pretty stoked about it.


Today has been a pretty short day thus far. We went and played soccer in the morning for an hour with the zone (despite my healing-from-surgery toe haha), and then we came to a cyber. Today I want to do a couple more loads of laundry so it's all clean when I get to my new area, as I'm taking advantage of the washing machine while I have it haha. After that, I'll probably go back to the house, start packing, and my bus leaves at 11:00 tonight. I have a two hour bus ride to another terminal, so I'll get there at 1:00am, then leave at 4:00 and then arrive in Rivera sometime around 7:00 I'm assuming. I doubt I'll get much sleep.

I guess that's pretty much it again. Thanks so much for keeping me updated on everything. I tried to write a decent amount this week, as I'm not sure how much time I'll have next week. Thanks for the letter and package that I received. Have a good week,

Love ya,

Elder Fikus

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