Monday, July 18, 2011

Letter #77 - July 11, 2011

Hey Mom,

Well, here's my week first,


Well, I made the bus, but I almost missed it haha. The taxi didn't come, etc., and the only reason that I made it was because the zone leaders didn't let the bus leave without me haha. Anyways, I travelled to P-du (new and permanent name for Paysandu) in between like 4 and 9. When I got there, E' Smith (my old comp), E' McRae (one of the zone leaders, he was in Rivera before in the house where I always stayed in), a couple other missionaries, and my comp were there to meet me. I was so accepted, it was so nice to be with my friends again haha. I don't know if I mentioned anything in my last letter, but my new companion is E' Barker. He's from Orum, Utah, but he was actually born in Canada (Calgary), and lived there for quite a while. He's pretty new in the mission (been in the field about 4 months), but speaks really good Spanish for how much time he's been out here. If I remember right, he's the fourth oldest in a family of 6. He seems a little shyer (although not really), but is pretty funny and we get along great. In the night, I went to my new house with him and Elder Smith (who's spot I'm taking) as his bus didn't leave for a couple more hours. So, I just hung out there, cleaned a little, E' Smith packed, and E' Barker just kinda did whatever. It was a fun, but late night.


Well E' Smith's bus left at 4am, and since he was slowly packing through most of the night, none of us got much sleep haha. But yeah, I'm in my new area now, P-du Estadio (stadium). It's called that because there's a big, (I'm assuming soccer) stadium in our area. I cover the southeast corner of the city. It's a really big area, and a lot bigger than Vichadero, so that's really nice. We live outside of our area, so we have to walk to it everyday (which kinda sucks), but we live closer to our chapel. The north west part of it is a little more urban, as it's closer to the centre of the city, but it slowly fades out to pretty rural on the south and east edges. Today I went by and started visiting and meeting with some of the people that are here. We also had our ward council meeting tonight, which we went to. It was really nice. There were a ton of people there who seemed like they want to work well. It's quite a nice change from Vichadero, where it was hard to get anyone to do anything.


Normally we have district meeting on Tuesday, but the first week of the change, it's always on Thursday. So, in the morning I had to prepare something that I was going to share with my district during the meeting. I enjoyed doing that. In my district, I have the zone leaders (who are actually my superiors, but they have to be in someones district haha), and another companionship that lives in the same house as them. Today for lunch I got chicken wings, which were super good. It's been at least a year and a half (or very close to it) since I've eaten them. We order lunch from this one restaurant, and that was one of the things that they had. Lately I've decided that I'm going to be less responsible with how I spend my money (yay me hahaha). I decided a while ago that I had been here for almost a year without really enjoying the food here (milanesas, chivitos (like a hamburger), grapefruit pop, snacks, etc) as over time it ends up costing a lot of money. For example, one litre of chocolate milk is like 30 pesos ($1.50), which seems expensive. I've almost gone my whole mission without buying chocolate milk, or maybe only doing so like twice. If I were in Canada, I would buy it without thinking. So, I decided to change haha, and since moving to P-du, I decided to be a lot less responsible, and basically buy whatever I want to eat haha. I enjoy it, but I may slowly draw out personal money every so often haha. I won't be super bad though, and it's certainly not for my whole mission, as near the end I need to start eating good and get better at my excersizes for when I finish haha. But for now, I'm enjoying things like chicken wings (15 of them and fries for 6 bucks- seems pretty good to me). Also, today my comp got his wallet stolen. It's a pretty long story, but basically my comp, another elder and I went to an almacen to buy something. He left his wallet in his backpack (which was wide open), just sitting on top. When we came back, it was gone. An elder had seen some guy looking at all of our stuff when we left. Since there were some guys doing work in the church, we assumed that it was one of them. However, when they came back from lunch, not one of the guys was even close to the description of the elder who saw the guys looking at the wallets. So, apparently some random guy just walked into the church, saw the backpacks, saw my comps wallet sitting on top, and took it. We spent some time walking around the church and stuff, filed a police report and everything, but it's most likely gone. Something positive did happen though. In the church, after our district meeting, there was some dance or youth activity. Well, as part of it, they had a mechanical bull. Since the activity hadn't started yet, and we were still in the church, we asked if we could ride the bull, which they let us. I wanted to do it SO BAD, so it was a lot of fun when we decided to do it. I didn't do very well though... it's like 1000 times harder than you'd think. So yeah, today I rode a mechanical bull. Today we had a couple lessons, including one with this inactive family that went really well. I actually ended up finding out more about them later in the week, but for today we had a super good lesson.


Today we had our week planning. Since I'm new to the area and don't know anything, my comp basically did all of it. What I did with him was basically organize everything and contribute, but the whole process took quite a while. Today in the evening, we also played soccer with a group of kids at our church. It was a lot of fun. The building that we use is actually shared between three wards, so the three sets of missionaries all get together there and play soccer with a bunch of kids. I had a lot of fun, and played well. I really like playing soccer haha.


Today in the morning, we went to our bishop's house. He lives a very long ways away, so it was kind of an adventure getting to his house. We made it though, and ate lunch with his family. He brought us in afterwards with his car, as he had to go to something in the city. I also miss driving, it'd be nice if we had a car haha. Today we went to this guy named Walter, who's a baptism of Elder Smith. He's this super cool guy who all of the missionaries like. He was pretty cool, I enjoyed meeting him and talking with him for a bit. I think he really misses Elder Smith though, I think he became his best friend. That's the hard thing about us as missionaries. We have to be these people's friends so that they want to listen to us, but we do leave. It's just hard like that. We also planned a ward activity that we're going to do in a couple weeks. We decided to do a dessert night, which is basically a dessert buffet where before eating, everyone shares how they made what they did. We did it in Vichadero, and it turned out really well, so we're going to give it a shot here. We planned it with our bishop's son, who's our ward mission leader. He's a super cool kid, and is actually going to serve a mission in the near future, but he's only 18 right now.


Today we had church, which also starts at 9 here. From the way our ward council went, it seemed like we'd have a lot of people at church. However, there was only like 30 or 35 or something. Still, it's more than Vichadero but for the amount of good leaders we have, it seemed like we'd have more people that they'd be leading haha. In sacrament meeting, they asked me to present myself in front of everyone, which they didn't ask me to do beforehand but was good either way. We had one investigator in church, this guy named Enrique, who we've had a lesson with pretty much every day this week as he's going to get baptized on Saturday. He's an older man who seems a little slower, but he's super nice. We also had a lesson with the lady who washes our clothes here. She's actually inactive (don't like), and she washes our clothes by hand (don't like either- I feel bad), but she's a super nice person. She told me about the inactive family that we visited on Thursday, and why they and her are inactive. It's a long story, but basically they felt that the ward forgot about them. It's pretty sad, as she's a super nice person and does a ton of service for people. We need to work with them a little bit.


Today is the start of a normal week, with our PDay on Monday. Today in the morning I finally finished unpacking (haven't had any time), did a bit of cleaning and organizing, and just hung out in the house, mostly cleaning it. We went to two bakeries that had donuts for breakfast, although neither of them are even close to the ones that we had in Salto and even further from Canadian ones. Afterwards, we just came to the cyber where I am now.

To your letter,

Pdu is a pretty decent sized city... you could probably check on Google maps. If you wanted to know where I work, look for the streets Zorrilla (western border) and Washington (north border). I've got everything south east of that.

Sure, send me the Canada pens. I don't really care too much about the size, they're not for me anyways. Send me lots (at least 20), as I'll probably slowly want to give them out the rest of my mission, and send them to people I never got to send the first bunch to.

Ooooh, can you send me a lot of Kool Aid too? I went through the last stuff super fast.

But yeah, I guess that's my weekly email. Thanks for everything.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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