Sunday, March 16, 2014

Written January 13th 2014

Dear Family,

Good to hear that you are doing well. It was good to get letters from Aunt Trudy and \mom and dad and \josh. Thanks for sending me that backpack, that sounds like exactly what \i was thinking. I hope I get it soon. We had a zone training, but there were no packages; I don't know if it is becuase we got them at christmas or because it was the wrong kind of meeting. We'll see I guess. Sorry if I scared you Dad about spelling Mackenzie's name. I noticed that you always just write M now. Hopefully, it is just to save time.

Also, good to know that packages from amazon can be shipped to a po box. I will start being way selfish now.

Don't be fooled that I am in America, basically. Just because we have peanut butter here doesn't mean I'm much more home than Brazil, I would think.

How did you have time to study all of the words you don't know, Josh? For example, I can write all those words down, but is there time to internalize them? Language study stinks because my companion isn't motivated very much and a lot of time we spend time teaching him English, the first lesson, again and again. He probably feels the same way as me about some things like that, that I don;t even realize I'm not getting. Oh well. It isn't that I use the grammar but I think I could pass a comprehensive grammar test. We don't have future subjunctive except in archaic spanish like the bible. I do need to work on the complicated grammar strucutres like hypotheticals, so that I can get used to using them, but I at least understand them. and yeah, I can pick out a lot of mistakes that the americans make, even though they speak more fluidly than me, the ones with a lot of time here. 

We watched a stake conference broadcast and Elder Christofferson doesn't have an american accent, they told me.  He had basically no accent at all, so I am going to work on that someday. Not that it matters that much, since I have "eyes of color". 

I haven't found anything that cool, that I want to bring home as a souvenir, but we will see. Also, sorry I never take pictures, but I just am not that kind of person right now. I do want to take some landscape and scenery pictures soon though, I just feel like I never have time. 

My companion has anti-caida shampoo that helps to avoid the caida. The only other time I have seen that word is The Caida of Adam and Eve, so it must be Atonement shampoo.

I tried this green fruit called zapote and everyone else really liked it, but to me it tasted like a slightly sweet avocado infused with really sharply bitter medicine. Anyways, last night I realized that maybe it is because of that gene that you can taste bitterness in some things (PTC paper maybe) and others cant, because even the kids liked it, but one person said they weren;t ripe yet, so maybe he has it. You can find out for me. It truns out the fruit I like is called guyaba. Also, the pear juice is actually guyaba juice, I was just deceived because the picures on the front looks like a pear. It is pretty good except for all the pea sized seeds.

Enchiladas there are actually better. Just so you know. I don't actually know since I have only tried them once here. I eat eggs at night, so those are good. Scrambled with salt. Also, I mash a banana up and pour milk over it, which is pretty good. Those bananas before must have been on sale, because they cost twice as much everywhere now (posted prices too). 

Also, I tried Rosca de Reyes and it was actually really good, even though when I tried it in spanish class it was always dry and gross. It is better here. We'll have to buy some when I get back, maybe, or make it. But if you get the baby Jesus you have to buy everyone tamales in February. 

My companion from the MTC emailed me and said that he misses me and didn't appreciate me enough. I think that is almost better than liking me when we were together, but I don't think all of my companions will have the same experience; but it is a nice goal to have (that they think that afterwards) or at the least like you during. I miss a companion that speaks English though. 

I had to stop sleeping with ear plugs because I could hear the ringing in my ears and thought it was my alarm clock and I kept panicking because of it. i am sleeping better now.

I fasted to open my mouth to talk more, because I am pretty quiet all the time, but I need to keep working on it. We will see. It will be easier when my companion refuses to help, which he said he will do. We will see.

I have recipe for you guys that I have eaten twice and will try and write it if I have time, so you can at least try something I eat here.

Thanks for the candy and hot chocolate packets, they are great here. My companion doesn't like american hot chocolate that much and thinks it is weird, which is really funny.

My companion taught that 3/4 of the host followed Satan and also the patriarch and when I showed him where it said 1/3 in the guide to the scriptures, we spent like 10 minutes drawing circles and dividing them different ways to try and prove that 1/3 wasn't a majority and then he finally understood what I was saying and just said that the mission president and patriarch taught him otherwise (they can set doctrine, you know) But I don't care anymore, I guess it doesn't matter. I will not try to correct him again, I guess, unless it does (matter). I tried to do it in a really passive way; just saying I read something interesting and sharing it. Oh well. Also the patriarch told us that Mary Magdalene was Christ's wife for certain, but even though I think it is likely he had a family (because what else would be the first thing for wicked people to cut out of the bible when he teaches us everything by example), I don't believe anything is for certain until I read it or hear it in a reliable church source. 

A mission has humbled me in that I now like mango Hi-chews, potato salad and cake. haha

We can try to make cake of a thousand sheets when I get home (pastel de mil hojas). I am not sure if it is good, but everyone talks about it and it sounds good.

I tried a fruit salad I think you, mom and dad, would like. It had cooked wheat in it and nuts raisins fruit like aplple and mango and others and the cream part was kind of milky or something. 

the cereal I like has a website, 

The bishop's wife always makes us spaghetti or lasagna and salad. And I wondered why and she said it was because she wanted to make something that the americans missed from home. I though that was really nice. Also, I want to make lasagna with chicken or sausage and vegetables when I get home. It will be fun.

Breaking rules: I played mario on Wii-U for like 5 minutes while we waited for a recent converts mom to come. I guess it would have been better to share a scripture, but that controller is weird and big. Also, we frequently ride with a member.  I rode in the back of a mattress truck for a block in a really slow traffic part of town, so hopefully that never happens again. Also, I learned to used windows 8 from helping people wilth their computer problems. 

I try to wear my seat belt in cars and shuttles, but it is really hard sometimes when there are a lot of people or stuff. I usually am successful about half the time, but don't worry, I have special protection and am trying and that is all that it takes. 

I have to complete a mission for a lot of reasons, even though it is hard. But also, I heard that how you do in your mission is how you do in life (hardworking excellence) or whatever, because you habitually live that way, so I think thats true. Less than 100 emails easy though. So even though the days are slow, the weeks being fast, it will be over soon. A mission is a lot of endurance I think.

I always think every phase of life is supposed to be better, but frequently they are just harder. Like high school then college than a missino then actually going to college then having a familly. Will it actually just get harder after this? Because that would be discrouaging. I actually feel the worst in the morning usually and then best right when I go to bed, so that at least improves with time. I know life will always be hard, but does it get better? I only have couple minutes left I think, so...

I love you guys and miss all of you. I miss going to home depot to get parts 4 times on Saturdays and anytime with you dad and adventure time and cartoons and being roommates and playing board games and family time with Jang Geum and making you food and everything else I used to do with you. 
Eternal families, eternal families, though.

Also, second I really miss food and the freedom and time to make food. I didn't think that would be the one thing that gets me through the week. Haha

I don't think I have bed bugs because I can't find any evidence, but I will tell you when I know for sure. Also, you have to buy me all new stuff, if I leave everything here when I get them. Just so you are aware. 

So we have been having a lot of trouble getting referrals and something that kind of bugs me is out of area referrals don't count in our numbers at all, and for that reason, we never ask for them. Like we had one idea and my companion said last time they did it, we got 83 references but only one was in the area, and acted like it was a failure. But that seems good to me. Oh well.

I feel pretty safe here, but |I am not sure that you guys would be, if we came on vacation here. Also, there are a lot of foods that I don't get to try because they are from the street, or in restaurants and I don't eat in those places (for hepatitis) and because I don't have the money either. 

That recipe.

Blend like 1 1/2 cup of sour cream and one small can of chipotle costena brand salsa together and some water until it is sauce consistency then pan fry some pieces of chicken and mix them together and heat them. Then cook rice (you can add tomato juice for color) and refired beans and buy a bnuch of small tortialls and heat them in the microwave or for a bit on the stove and you can put the three things on your plate and push them onto your fork with the tortillas or fill the tortillas. That is authentic. Also salt to taste. Maybe a lot. The re-fried beans here are thinner too, so maybe add chicken broth. 

My companion said I wasn't very social because I didn't want to take pictures at the bowling activity we have to go to. Which I am irritated about because it is going to cost 100 pesos or 1/8 of my allowance for 15 days. I do want to take some of the hills and San Diego and stuff  though. 

Thanks for all your emails and answering my questions and sending me packages with things that I ask and praying for me. I miss you all! Mom Dad Aaron Lindsay Josh Ben and Matt and also all my extended family, but I don't want to list all your names but I love and miss you. I will see you in no time, I hope. 


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