Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Letter #55 - February 7, 2011

Hey Mom,

I'll start off by telling you about my week:


Well today we got back from Rivera after having the day there, so we didn't have that much time. We were going to have a meeting with him, so we went over to his house. Turns out he was kinda sick but we got to talk a little about the work here in Vichadero.


Today we had a pretty cool lesson when we clapped this one house. Some lady who my comp knew from Rivera was out visiting her family in Vichadero. She let us in, and it turns out she's someone who only got baptized a couple of years ago. She's the mother of the husband of the family (he wasn't there) and was with her daughter in law and their kids, and they're sort of part of another church. We ended up having a really cool lesson, and the woman shared her conversion story and everything. I think the daughter in law felt kind of uncomfortable because to me it seemed like she knew either that the church was true or that she should find out if it was but she didn't want to, and there's like us and the mother of her husband trying to talk about religion haha. We also had a lesson with our future baptism, Anita. It's amazing how unsupportive people are of her. She feels fantastic, but all the people that she cares about are so unsupportive. I think her daughter told her that not even God will accept her because she's been baptized so many times. She's just been trying to find the truth and be a good person, and now that she's finally content, everyone acts all childish. It kinda sucks.


Today was my first day that after being in Vichadero for two weeks that my comp and I had to cook at home. It's amazing since there's only like 25 people at church that I've managed to get fed everyday for the past two weeks or so. Anyways, tonight I was pretty sure my camera got stolen. Today we had a lesson in the house of the kid who we baptized. I took a picture in the house, and then a while later we left. As my comp and I were walking, my comp wanted to jump across this little stream that runs between two groups of houses, and so I said I would if he went first but I wanted to take a video. I reached into my pockets, and my camera was not there. This was about 20 minutes after I took the pictures in their house and I never touched it since. I knew that I left it in the house, but I felt really bad because it's a pretty poor family that doesn't have anything. The house is small, the floor is just cement, there's one couch, the kids only have a couple pairs of clothes each because the mom is a drunk, etc. Anyways, we went back, and I said how I left my camera there. The mom acted super 'it wasn't me, I didn't do it' when I didn't even accuse her so I took a quick look inside and we went back to the house. I thought about it and talked about it with Elder Smith, we prayed, and we went back to her a little while later. I knew that accusing her wasn't the right thing, and E' Smith came up with the idea of making her know that I KNEW the camera was in the house, and when she found it I'd like it back, and that I'd reward her for looking for it for me. We did that and then we left because we had soccer in the night. Tonight soccer was pretty interesting because the past two weeks it's been a complete gongshow (well, not totally but it sure felt like it), and so this week we started off by gathering everyone together and saying all the rules. No yelling, swearing, fighting, ignoring us, or taking off your shirt. Everyone seemed to be pretty accepting and it started to go better. After about half an hour or hour it started to get more competitive, and at one point it got kinda heated as people were in a bit of a disagreement about something that happened. People started yelling and I screamed at everyone to shut up. It got dead quiet, and then one kid started to say like 'but...' and I yelled at him to leave the field, and church. After that people got the idea we were serious, and there was basically no problems until later when one kid punched another kid, and I yelled at him to leave. He started taking a drink of water on this faucet thing by the field and I yanked him off and told him to leave now. So, we managed to get rid of two people, and soccer overall went a lot more smoothly. Afterwards we went back to the house and the woman was outside with her neighbor. They kinda live in like this duplex type thing, although it's basically one crappy house with a cement wall through the middle. Anyways, the neighbor explained to me how they decided to look for it and she found it between the cushions or on the floor or something. I thanked them for looking, and she told me that they took a picture but didn't know how to delete it. Anyways, I couldn't decide if she was lying or not, but at the house I got an idea. I decided to see when the picture that they took was taken. Turns out it was taken like half an hour after the one that I took in the house with them. They found it within like 20 minutes, and had it both times that I went to the house before they gave it back to me. So, they considered keeping it from me, but thankfully I got it back in the end. Also tonight it was kinda funny because we had had a lesson with someone through the day that was really good. They said how they were thinking of getting baptized a while ago but the missionaries were taken out of the area. We also had received a reference from another missionary who said they knew someone who was going to get baptized in Vichadero. He had given it to us like a week ago, but tonight was the night that we decided to call them. Sure enough, it was the same person we talked to earlier that day haha.


Today we had week planning, and it was kinda interesting this week. Okay so at one point we were a little off topic (seriously, it wasn't too bad), and one statement led to another and eventually my comp said how he saw on this one show how some celebrity had paid like $1000 for a milkshake. I was like 'So?', not really thinking it was that big of a deal since to people that rich, there is literally no difference between something worth like 1000 bucks or 2 bucks since it's all relative, and since it was what he was willing to pay in that moment, it was worth it to him so he should have done it. Well my comp totally disagreed saying how nobody has any right to do anything so stupid and that he should not have done it out of pure dignity and intelligence. Well, at that point we got waaaaaay off topic, and we ended up wasting a bit of time... oops. After all was said and done E' Smith ended up apologizing for saying some of the things he did, and we kinda said to ourselves we wouldn't get that off-topic again. Today also something really funny happened in this one member's house. So there's this member there who's like 20-25ish, and she had her cellphones out on the table beside the couch where I was sitting. At one point she got a text message, and I really obviously slowly picked up her phone, looked at it, opened it, and started reading it. She didn't clue in, so I gave it to my comp and asked him if he understood it. After about 10 seconds she clued in that my comp was reading her text, and she totally flipped out. She said how we are never, ever permited to read her cell phone, and she stormed off into her room and closed the door and didn't leave for the following 20 minutes we were there. I kinda thought she'd notice me and be like 'hey, no reading my texts haha' and then take the phone from me. Also oops. However, something good did happen today haha. We had a lesson with this woman who gives us lunch like every Saturday (baptized like a year ago), and her inactive husband (baptized slightly after her but was a little rushed), and their 14 unbaptized son. We just watched the testaments but I think it'd be super awesome if we could reactive the family and the dad could baptize his son. So, that's what we're working on.


Today we had a ton of lessons, so that was really nice. However, pretty much the only out of the ordinary thing was that we got our haircuts in the night, which made me feel super trucho but this PDay we had to go to Rivera and it wouldn't have exactly been ideal getting a haircut there. Anyways, so my comp and I got our $2.50 haircuts haha, which actually turned out decent.


Today we had church, and we had 4 people come. Anita came, and this time her daughter came to church with her (finally) for her first time there. Mario, the kid who ran away who was supposed to get baptized showed up with Bruno, since I guess he was either permanently or temporarily back at the house. Also there's this man that we're teaching called Jorge, who's this super nice old man. He can't walk well, so we paid for a taxi to come and get us and then get him and go back to the church (grand total: $2.45 haha). He has one fake leg (I don't think they both could be) because of a car accident he was in, although he can still walk slowly with constant support. He was super appreciative that we took him to church, and the ward treated him super good. I think he really enjoyed it, because everyone was so nice and he rarely leaves his house I think. Today we also had to take a bus back to Rivera, since we were gonna spend PDay and Tuesday here since we have Zone Conference. So we packed and left, this time staying at the house of the missionaries that are in central (closer to the line in between Uruguay and Brasil, the stake centre, and the bus terminal).


Today we had a zone activity in the morning where we all got together at some park and we practised singing a hymn for zone conference, and then played a little football then soccer. Afterwards we came back to Central and got lunch and then did some shopping. I got a nice backpack for myself, so that's the $50 USD item on my VISA haha. I've really wanted a nice backpack for a while, and I told myself I'd get one at Christmas. Since Rivera is awesome for selection and prices, I got one today. Oh, something else that's super funny, today I saw both my Oakleys that got stolen from me, as well as my CD deck from my car that got stolen from me. Seeing the prices now just about makes me die for getting stolen from me haha. It was just weird like 'hey, those are the Oakleys that I had until they got stolen' haha. Anyways, so we did a bit of shopping (my comp bought a camera card and USB key, I got my backpack), and now we're at a cyber. I guess that's the week.


The bus is basically like a greyhound, although without TVs. The buses that we take from Montevideo to Rivera when we do changes are a little nicer, and the ones from Vichadero to Rivera are a little poorer. Vichader to Rivera (or vice versa) is like 8 bucks, and from Montevideo to anywhere is like 25 bucks. It's all reimbursable, since it's not our fault that we're way out in Vichadero.

District meeting is once a week, and generally everyone goes all the time. There are a couple places like Vichadero with exceptions where they don't go all the time since it's a pretty big hastle.

Anyways, that's my weekly letter. Thanks so much for yours, as well as your constant support.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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