Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New English Classes, Trips to Rosario

Dear Family,
How awesome that you saw the northern lights!  I wish you all the best on your end of year school projects, and packing.  

We started an English class this last Friday and we had one person show up.  I taught him how to say “son of a nutcracker!” from the movie Elf.  I found it pretty funny.  The way to say that in Spanish is “¡hijo de cascanueces!”  

There hasn’t been a whole lot of happenings here, just working hard and trying our best to find the people who are ready to hear the gospel.  Elder Sellers and I have a lot in common, he likes math, likes airplanes a lot, loves to play checkers, and likes to quote from the same movies.  The other day I said “Wow!  What a hole!”   He recognized it was from the movie “Home Alone Two”.  

Last night we found a family to start working with.  

I have come across some pretty good recipes in Chile.  One is 3 min in the microwave brownies, and the other is what I decided to call Lópèz Leche.  it is:  Sugar+chocolate amargo or fruit or whatever flavoring or fruit you want+warm water+powdered milk.  Put all that in a blender and blend it.  It is surprisingly good, and is the only delicious way I have found of consuming powdered milk.  I bet you could use real milk instead of powdered milk, but I buy powdered milk down here because it is so much cheaper.  I will try to remember to send the brownie recipe next week.  

I love you all, more than the number of Willy Wonka nerds candies it would take to make enough nerd ropes to make a bridge between the north pole and the south pole.

With lots of love,
-Elder Withers

Dear Family,
This week was soooo awesome.  Really!  Such a great week.  We had to travel to and from Rosario  twice. One was to go to the mission office for interviews with President, another was for our zone meeting.  Our interviews with President are always awesome and it’s hard to believe that president Giuliani goes home soon. When we walked into the office all the office Elders, President, and Hermana Giuliani said......"Oh Hermana Withers, Elder Hill left the office so sad because he didn’t get to see you, he had to take a missionary to the hospital"  and I said, "Oh that’s okay.....I will see him tomorrow at zone meeting!"  Hermana Giuliani felt sad about it anyway and said she wanted to film a little video of me talking so she could show it to him.  So she filmed me, and I didn’t say anything of consequence, just hey, how ya doin, see you tomorrow, and have a great day.  It was fun to do.  And it turned out that I didn’t need to make the video after all, because after she filmed me....he walked in!  It was soooo fun to see him after 6 months.  We were able to talk for about half an hour....just catching up on life, our areas, our families, the funny things about Argentina....and it was sweet.  I love being in the same mission as him.  Even more hilarious is watching everyone’s faces when people learn that we are cousins.  

We also had zone meeting....and Elder Hill had the whole zone laughing several times, cracking jokes about being here in Argentina with his "prima".  (Prima means cousin in Spanish)  After zone meeting there was a stack of dear elder letters like always :) and also a package.  I nearly cried in excitement.  When I read the customs paper to see what it said, it said candy and cosmetics.  My face soap made it!  And a bag of melted Reeses, and apparently there were Cadbury eggs but someone along the way must have opened the box and taken those out.  Its okay, the Reeses were perfect and so fun to eat.  I shared some with the other missionaries in our district while we were waiting at the bus stop.  The face soap has been a luxurious blessing for my skin, and the chocolate such a fun treat.  And it also means that there is still hope for my other packages to get here.  I have no idea how a box with candy and soap made it.....but miracles happen!

After one of the meetings we had we went to McDonalds as a district, and paid quite a price for a burger, fries, and a drink.....but it was so worth it.  It was 44 pesos (!) but in reality it was like 15 dollars.  Which is still kind of a lot for fast food.....but McDonalds is considered fine dining here because it’s more expensive and it was so fun to eat a familiar food.  No matter how greasy and unhealthy it was, it was soo good.  I’m totally keeping the receipt :)

McDonalds was delicious in comparison to what a sweet member served us for lunch the other day.  It was pretty brisk outside, so she made us a stew.  And the stew was made of broth, potatoes, some pieces of beef, and weird square chunks that were a white/grayish color.  I was able to eat everything else...but for some reason those weird square things I just couldn’t eat.  They were just too mysterious and too scary looking to try. So I left them in the bowl (there were only 2 or 3).  And after we left I asked my companion what the square chunks were, and she said pig skin.  I am so grateful for my health every single day.  There are things we are served, and I try to be careful....but it’s not always easy.  I just never look in the kitchen to see what it’s like or how clean it is, or to see if birds or cats or dogs are walking on the counter, or licking the food.  It’s just easier if I don’t know.  But I am healthy and strong!     

We are teaching a really incredible family.....Roberto and Teresa, who have 2 little boys.  They have been taught all the lessons, and are waiting for the paperwork to come in the mail so they can get married the end of this month... and of course baptized afterwards.  Sweet!  They went to church yesterday and are so awesome. They participate in the meetings, go to the activities, and are very solid.  They are fun to work with.  

Our next door neighbor is a sweet member who is also our landlord.  We rent the side of her house (something similar to the short house, with a separate door, and living quarters) and she is a hoot.  We can always tell when she wakes up because at some point when we are doing our studies we can hear her outside talking to her 5 window plants.  She talks to them like someone would talk to a cat or dog.  Except.......they are her plants.  Ha, she is kind of lonely.  

Today we went to Rosario to see all the sights (actually just the one really big famous monument).  And it was sweet.  We are actually still here, we are writing home in the internet place and will head back soon.  I took lots of photos and can’t send any home right now, but next week!  I promise for real!  We also ate lunch at a fancy restaurant, it was an all you can eat buffet which was sooo fun.  

I love my mission.  I love the blessings I have in my life.  I love being part of an eternal family and sharing with the whole world that I know the book of Mormon is true.  This country is always an adventure, and it has been fun to get lost in this big city of Rosario.  We have had to ask at least a dozen times where stuff is......because we have no idea!  

I love you all more than all the moms in the world excited to talk to their missionaries this next week!  
Hermana Withers

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