Thursday, April 21, 2016

Brandon's Thirty Seventh Email! April 18th, 2016

Well first of all, something that is kind of funny is how much I have come to love "vos" form. In El Pinar I hated it because I couldn't understand it really and I kind of felt like it was disrespectful for people to say it to me, but here with all the people who I really care about speaking to me in vos it sounds caring to me now haha. Like I especially love commands in vos, because like acordarse in tu is acuèrdate if I'm not mistaken, but in vos it is acordate, with the emphasis in the second a. It doesn't stem change, and it just immediately makes me think of Uruguay now. We aren't supposed to speak in vos so we don't really unless sometimes to children because they think you are talking about somebody else if you speak to them in usted. But it's still fun to like practice in my head anyway.

Anyyyyyway, weather update: things are getting crazy here haha.
It has been raining on and off for the whole last week. Like on and off but when it's on, it's like somebody broke the faucet because it comes down at like 200%. So the river that runs all around my area is like flooding a lot of the lower houses and it's crazy. All the fields on the way to Durazno are soaked or submerged, straight up rivers where before were fields, so confusing haha. So that has been annoying trying to get clothes to dry. We have no covered part outside, so I have been running bailing wire inside the house wherever I can. But it doesn't really work, it just makes our house feel like a rain forest because it's still really humid, so it just makes it hot and humid. When it hasn't been raining, it's been like 100% humidity, so I've just been wet for the past week haha.

We found Salsa!!!!!!!!! Like Mexican salsa actually imported from the U.S. in this supermarket in Durazno!!! So we had the activity there last week, we like pretty much all got super floured with cooking flouring, and played soccer. So after we walked to this place called TATA and got the salsa. We made tortillas that night and made quesadillas and it was sooo good!!!! The salsa!!!! Stoked! Then that night we walked around this one plaza for three hours doing contacts because the people were always changing so we always had people to talk to! We met this really cool girl and later this really cool guy and gave the references to the elders and sister whose area the people lived in.

So Tuesday we had Zone Conference and that was sweet. Elder Ford got me this sick notebook thing we had seen at the supermarket but they were out of them, and Elder Ford got them later when they came back in stock. It's like a fake leather notepad thing but super sick. And after zone conference he helped this family out because their daughter like is a genius but had a breakdown in England so he is translating for them and the doctors over there. Super complicated but it was sick to see him do it! 

The Elder Mora, my zone leader from Mexico, came to Paso de los Toros with me and we had a cool 1 day!!! We met with Tatiana, the daughter of the family whose dad is coming back, and she now has a date to get baptized on the 30th of April. The family is really excited!! The 8 year old daughter will get baptized that day too, so we have been teaching her, but since she is 8 I think that is like the bishop's deal. But it should be such a fun baptism!! We are trying to work with the dad so he can baptize his girls!

We had another CRAZY week for finding people and kind of finding people in funny ways. So this week, we didn't find anyone while it was pouring because EVERYONE is inside making torta fritas (every time it rains, almost everyone does torta fritas, like little things of fried dough), so during the time it didn't rain, we found lots! We had tons of lessons this week with investigators, and some with members too! So on the intercambio with Mora, I felt the strongest impression ever to invite this guy name Juan to be baptized. Totally wasn't planning on it, he said like yes, but didn't want to commit to a date. I don't know why, but I know that I was supposed to ask him at that time. It was maybe the strongest spiritual impression of my life. Elder Mora said after he felt that too and was going to ask him when I stopped talking if I didn't ask him.

So we are kind of continuing with the same investigators from last week, but Walter went to the fields and doesn't know when he will be back. Milton didn't come to church (although it was like an hour away in Durazno), but we also have an investigator named Ramiro who Gehring and I found a while back. We decided to visit him a little more and had a really cool lesson with his mom and him. He is like 19 and super funny and respectful, and I can tell he is like a funny, well-liked kid around Paso. So we invited him and his friends and neighbors to soccer on Thursday and lots showed up!! We had like 16 or 17 people, and it was super fun! So he is really cool, he has to go to Montevideo to get surgery on his wrist because he ate it on his bike and compound fractured that baby. 

We had stake conference this weekend in Durazno! So Saturday we went to the chapel because a bus was going to leave there and Maria Noni (recent convert we baptized) brought her 12 year old son named Valentine, and he wanted to have us teach him and even said he wanted to like join the church so we were like okkkk haha rad. So we get to Durazno and had like 2 hours to wait before the meeting started, so we pulled out a few chairs and had a lesson with Valentine. Right when we started, this man named Miguel came and sat down, and I didn't recognize him at all, but he was on the bus from Paso with us, so I was like cool Miguel, so when did you get baptized? And he was like oh I'm not. And I was like well like how long have you been a member thinking that maybe he had misunderstood and he was like I'm not. So I was like sweet, well we are the missionaries and we teach people about the gospel. He had been invited by our ward mission leader (who we have no contact with), and he just came, even though the ward mission leader didn't. So we taught them about the restoration and it was going well so I asked each one if they would be baptized, and then set the date for May 7th. It was just so crazy. When he sat down, Burgess and I actually were kind of laughing a little thinking how weird it was this guy just came to stake conference an hour away and now he was a new investigator who was super cool and super interested! But they both said yes, so they are both planning on getting baptized that date, given they go to church the next two weeks and aren't being crazy with anything haha.

So that was such a miracle, and they both came the next day on Sunday also! So we had the meeting and after the Stake President's wife was like, "Elders! I brought a friend, and she isn't a member! Right now she is watching my son in the nursery, can you go talk to her?" So we went and she was this totally nice, normal, like 35 or 40 year old lady who gave us her address and then we had to run to catch the bus, but it was such a miracle!!! So crazy!!! SO we just had a crazy week with tons of blessings and it was really fun! So fun! There is like a lot I'm forgetting I think, but it's all good.

I've been reading in Alma in the Book of Mormon in spanish and I'm at the part where Pahoran doesn't get mad at Moroni even though he roasted him when he was misinformed (chapter 61). It made me think of the talk in General Conference where the man with greasy hands didn't get mad when someone made a rude comment to him, he just started washing the dishes by hand to try and clean his hands. I love the examples of humility and love in The Book of Mormon!

Christie, I'm sorry there are so many spelling mistakes! This computer has like a two minute lag from what I am typing to what I can see, so that is why it is so bad!!! (IT WAS SO BAD, haha I probably missed quite a few!)

Top Ten. 

10. I learned how to make pretzels, like the fluffy mall ones! So dank (and cheap)
9. I can make tortillas legit now! I don't like to brag, but they are just like normal good tortillas!!
8. The salsa and quesadillas and also the omelets we have been making in the mornings! (Sorry it's all food so far, I know, not very important)
7. Fun intercambio with Elder Mora, LOVE his Mexican accent, but kind of hard to understand.
6. I am loving contacts now. Just being normal and meeting cool people is fun.
5. The day goals that we have been setting, well this week we actually had two days where we met or beat all of them! So we had a lesson of each type at least once and references and everything. Super fun!
4. Stake conference was really good! I love the Stake President's messages!
3. Got a letter from Jill with the cool disposable camera pics Sheridan had taken! A fun surprise!!!
2. The baptismal dates that we have set and all the investigators progressing!
1. This week was crazy! But so satisfying because I could see a lot of people making an effort to follow Christ, which always will make us happier!
0. It's mom's birthday!!!

Alright that's all this week! I'll send some photos of the flooding and some other stuff. Love you all!! Have a great week! Read The Book of Mormon!!!

 I love english clothing here. Never makes sense... this is like 99% better than the majority, most are much worse

 So the tortillas

And one night I made tortilla chips for our salsa and it was good!!!

 Then one day when lunch bailed we made tacos!! Elder Burgess had taco seasoning, we had cooked black beans earlier in the week, and we had our salsas and I had taco bell packets for us!! 
On homemade tortillas! It was SO GOOD!

 So hot and humid!! My clothes just totally soaked! People probably think we are crazy

 The pretzels

 Pretzel with cinnamon sugar.

 Omelets!!! Cheese, ham, black beans! So good!

 I love the houses in Paso, it's like the Wild West with really tall fronts. I'll find a good example before I leave!

 My pant leg is tucked in because of the bike chain but I forgot for the photo. 

 This really cool dock with the bridge behind us that runs to Durazno! 

 The flooded campgrounds!!

  And the river!
 It is HUGE right now because it has grown so much on each side! This whole park is covered on the other side!

And there is a ton of land in front of this pic totally flooded! 
Probably like 10 feet higher than it should be!!!

 There are more from Burgess' camera! I'm just going to send these few for now!!
This is us at night messing around 

 This is the train tracks that are like inbetween our house and Centro

Also, this is Maria trying to take a photo of us... but she doesn't know how. 
It was with Burgess and Valentine, I was confused she didn't know how I guess

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