Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Missionary Idea From Moroni, True Argentine Cuisine

September 29, 2014

Dear Family,  
This week has been pretty chill.  We have been busy knocking doors, talking to people in the streets, and asking the members for references.  There was a day this month where lunch with the members completely fell through, and so we bought Papa John’s.  It was great. 

This week we put a booth outside with pamphlets and we talked to everyone who went by.  We also got a phone book and started calling people to invite them to conference.  My comp was great at it, and in about 15 calls had 2 different people committed to go to conference.  There is in our sector a very rich gated community of condominiums; we call it the Bavarian village because of the European style architecture.  Anyway, it is illegal to knock doors in gated communities here, and we think we have found a solution, fresh from the Book of Mormon -  Moroni laid siege, why can’t we?  We were going to put a table outside the gates on Saturday loaded with pamphlets, cards, and a few Book of Mormons, but it rained pretty hard.  We will do it this week for sure.  We got permission from the guard to do it, he himself being an inactive member who wants to come back to church.  Every car that wants to enter or leave will pass by our table.  We want to set as many appointments as possible, and then if we can get some solid investigators we can go into the Bavarian village whenever we want.  

Well, thanks for being who you are.  If you were anyone different, it just wouldn’t be the same.  It would be sort of different, hence, therefore, STAY AWESOME.  I love you all so very much, more than the number of birds and butterflies and whales and other animals that migrate in large groups between the north and south with the changing of seasons.  Have a great week.

With lots of love,
Elder Withers 

Dear Family,
This week had several things that are worth sharing :)  First and foremost...........it’s been a long time since I have been served anything scary, and last Monday reality played a cruel joke on us.  Sometimes I forget that Argentina is a land where the cow is essential.....and nearly every part of it is used for eating and the benefit of humans.  Until someone serves us something whacky, and then I say to myself......."oh yeah".  On Monday, Mauro and his family cooked us a deluxe steak asado (BBQ), with chicken, and ribs, and.....basically everything.  The highlight of the whole steak was a thing called "morsilla" (sp?) and everyone (except us) was anxiously awaiting it.  And they were excited for us to try it.  They cut it up, put it on our plates...........and when I looked at it I knew exactly what it was.  My whole mission I have heard about the infamous morsilla, but I never thought I would actually have to eat it.  And when I looked at it I wanted to cry and die on the inside.  Morsilla is cooked cow blood, stuffed/seasoned/and cooked inside the intestines (which are beforehand cut and cleaned).  I’m not even kidding, I’m not exaggerating, it’s the truth.  It might even have a good taste, but maybe it’s because I am a girl or because I think too much.........the concept was nearly impossible for me to comprehend.  When served, it’s like a dark purple/brown sausage.  You have to cut it open (there are yellowish white blobs of fat inside the blood to add to the effect) and then you scrape out the blood and eat it.  It has a texture of rice or something when it’s cooked, so it’s hard and maintains a shape (it’s not a liquid) ......and it is really spicy.  I was brave and ate it, but in my own sneaky way.  I started out by grabbing a big slice of bread, slicing it open.....and loading it up with mustard and chimichurri sauce.  Then I put other pieces of meat from the asado that were served, inside the bread....making a sandwich type thing (lots of people eat asado that way here) and I took a tiny little scoop of morsilla and added it to the sandwich, because everyone was watching us and excited for us to try it.  So, yes I ate it.....but once I had put my tiny little scoop into my sandwich.......when no one was watching me, I folded the thing back shut, and put it onto the reject plate with the rest of the bones and morsilla skins.  It took me 3 days to get over it and stop thinking and nearly gagging about what I had eaten.  I’m over it now, but in the moment and the few days that followed it......it was sort of a trial.  

The rest of the week went swimmingly.  We had exchanges with the sister training leaders this week, which means one of them comes to our area, and one us goes to theirs.  I was assigned to go to their area, and one of them came to stay with Hermana Gonzalez.  Before leaving, I felt very strongly that my companion needed to have $100 pesos ($15) just in case of some emergency.  Turns out in the middle of the night on Wednesday, the other sister got really really sick, and they needed to buy some antibiotics.  A member went and purchased them.....and she got better in no time.  She couldn’t travel in colectivo (bus) on Thursday, so I stayed an extra day in the other area.....and then on Friday we switched to everything back as normal.  But it was a miracle that they had the money they needed to buy the pills.  A small tender mercy, because if she hadn’t gotten better.....who knows what could have happened.  I could have been in the other area for several days, and I did not want that.  I was grateful that everything was okay and we could switch back.  I love love love my companion, she is so awesome.  And being with a different companion for 2 days was bizarre; it felt good to go back to normal!

The rest of the week was normal.  A member gave us a potato sack full of apples and oranges, and we have been loving them.  And tomorrow is the last district meeting of the transfer, and so as a district we are going to eat lunch together.  And I have been asked to cook something from the U.S.....and literally nothing has come to mind (because I am only going to do something easy) other than sloppy joes.  And I think I am going to do it.  Super super duper American, no one else here has tried them, and it’s easy (and I know how to do it, no recipe necessary!).  It should be a fun week.  This could possibly be my last week in Beltran because I have 6 months here......but we will see.  I won’t be writing until next Tuesday.  I am excited for General Conference this week!  It’s going to be great and we are going to learn lots and lots.  :)  Praying that there are no storms that block the signal this time.  

I hope you all have a good week!  I love you more than the number of power poles and satellite signals that will be used around the world to broadcast conference!

Hermana Withers    

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