Friday, May 6, 2011

Letter #67 - May 2, 2011

Hey Mom,

This is what happened this week,


Today after our PDay we were here in Rivera, and my district leader, Elder Crandell wanted to work with us. So, my companion and I worked with him and his companion in some random area here in Rivera. I worked with this guy named Elder Navarro, who's from Chile. He's super hard to understand for some reason, I think because he talks super fast or something. Anyways, it was a lot of fun working with him, it seems wierd knowing that I can just go with anyone now who's from somewhere like Chile who speaks Spanish and just like talk with them. Like it happens all the time but it's kind of crazy how strong language barriers really are and how weird it is to be able to not have them anymore.


Last night we had still stayed at the zone leader's house for the night, and our two zone leaders are Elder Desmullier (from Uruguay) and Elder Inostroza (from Chile). Anyways, so I've always known that I talk in my sleep sometimes, although it's usually just something somewhat understandable and then fades off into total jiberish. We just through all our mattresses in one room and went to bed for the night. After we had gotten up for the morning, Elder Inostroza said that Elder Desmullier was talking in his sleep (he does that too) and that I had responded to him and we had like this conversation haha. It was pretty exciting that I could keep up a conversation in Spanish without having to even be conscience haha. I understood, talked, listened, responded. He said the conversation was like half fluid and half stupidity, but it was a conversation, non-the-less. All while asleep. Woohoo! haha.


Today we had scheduled to have this family home evening with a woman in the ward who has elephantitis from like her knees down who's super old and can't walk well so she doesn't come to church anymore. She's super nice to us and she really likes missionaries. Anyways, us (the missionaries) remembered, but our branch president had to work (he didn't realize that he'd have to), and so it was pretty unorganized and nobody was informed. Well, it turns out that we had to postpone it a day. My comp and I went to her house to tell her, and I felt super bad. She had everything all ready, all the chairs in a circle, she was dressed up, she had plates and glasses ready for crackers and pop that she bought. You could tell that she was just waiting for us. She was still happy that we came though, and we scheduled to have it the next day with her.


Today we had the family home evening that we had to postpone the day before with Zulma. Once again, everything was all ready, although this time we had members there. It was good, because there was a fair amount of people and it was full, but not everyone came to the point that she had no space. A bunch of members brought food, my companion and I prepared a message (Elder Bednar's talk from two conferences ago called 'Recieve the Holy Ghost'), and afterwards people just like talked and stuff. It was really good, I think that she was really appreciative, despite having to wait an extra day.


Today we got word of some news that blew my mind. Okay so update on Jorge up to this point, he had to be rushed to the hospital the week before. We didn't have super good contact with anyone who knew, but Eli (the woman who works in his house) had told us a little earlier in the week that he was getting better. This night I got a text message from our branch president telling us that Jorge had passed away. It totally blew my mind as I tried to just think about what happened. It was kind of weird too because a lot of people in the ward were always trying to figure out why and how this random guy from Montevideo ended up in the small town of Vichadero. He had kids, although he had gotten a divorce from his wife. Also, Vichadero is the kind of town that's slowly getting smaller it would seem as people grow up and leave to a city to study, without a lot of people moving in (kind of reminds me of Vauxhall haha). Anyways, for whatever reason, this guy said that he wanted a place where he could just relax and live a calm life. I remembered one of my lessons with Elder Smith where he said that thousands of missionaries had knocked his door, and for whatever reason, he accepted us. He listened, got baptized, got confirmed, kept going to church, and then two months and two days after his baptism passed away. It's pretty obvious that he came to Vichadero just to learn about the gospel and got baptized. Shortly after, he had completed his purpose and moved on. It really made me think about how everything is just so guided in this work.


Today we had a pretty short and uneventful day, as this week was stake conference. Since we can't watch it in Vichadero, everyone had to come into Rivera. Since the ward only rented this small bus that seated 12, and there was 10 people who had confirmed seats (and there was a bunch of people that hadn't confirmed), my comp and I were wondering if we should come in with the ward or by ourselves today. Since I kind of wanted to come in this night, we did, even though at the time that I bought the tickets, it wasn't certain if other people from the ward would fill up the seats. We spent a portion of the day trying to figure out who was coming in and stuff, and then had to leave in the evening.


Today we had Stake Conference. We didn't get to it very early, so our seats were kinda bad. It was alright though, what I could hear and concentrate on I understood, although being in the back, that sadly wasn't often. It was impressive though, because a lot of our wards in Uruguay are quite small, and I've been in a small one especially for a while. It was cool seeing so many members here together. After the conference, the Elders who we were staying with had a lunch appointment, and the guy who they were supposed to eat with (happened to be the first councilor) invited us over for lunch to. It was nice, so we accepted and ate lunch with their family, who was really cool. Afterwards, we took the opportunity to work again with Elder Crandell and his companion, although this time I worked with Elder Crandell, and we went out to his area. It was a lot of fun working with him, as he and I get along really well. We had a lot of fun, including getting a lot of food haha.


Today was our PDay, and we just had it here in Rivera. There was no zone activity, as the zone leaders wanted us to all clean our houses (didn't happen on our part), so we had a lot of free time today. We spent most of the morning in the house of the missionaries who we always stay with, cleaning, talking, and studying. Afterwards we left, and then looked at some stores on the line until we went to lunch with a bunch of other missionaries at a buffet place. Afterwards we went to some more stores, looking at a lot of stuff. One of the Elder's we stayed with and my comp each wanted shoes, so we were primarily looking for those, although this Elder's companion and I like looking at clothes, so we mostly did that. I'm super surprised about how expensive some of the clothes are here. Like they're not more than up there, but I don't know of anyone who can afford it. There was a bunch of Dolce and Gabana stuff we found this time, with like $300 shirts, $500 long sleeve shirts, a $900 skirt, and even a $983 suit jacket. We couldn't resist trying on the suit jacket. It was SUPER NICE haha, and it even fit me better than my fitted suit jacket I bought before the mission. We were joking around about like how would shouldn't move in case we were to tear it, how we probably seriously devalued the jacket, how we probably weren't even supposed to try it on, etc. It was super fun, and I had the other missionary take a picture of me in it when nobody was looking. After they bought shoes and stuff, we came to the cyber.

Thanks for the email and update on everyone. It was super weird seeing the pictures of everyone. I really appreciate it though, along with everything you do.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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