Monday, July 22, 2013

My Fondest Birthday Wish

Hey Guys!

Family times! How goes it? Good to hear things are great and rodeo-y. Meh, it would have sounded much classier if you guys had to drive to Wendover but that’s pretty cool. They have rodeos here but with the gauchos. The gauchos rodeos have two old guys playing a kind of music called La Chacarera which is essentially the same song with 2,362,289 versions.  It’s 2nd place to Cumbia in constant airplay—and annoyance. It’s a nifty type of music and I can stand maybe a few minutes of it but then it just kinda bleeds into one constant refrigerator buzz of noise and you want out. Stat! The music constantly plays while the gauchos ride horses and are thrown off and kicked in the jaw.  That and they get to wear fancy pants and berets so I guess its not all bad.

I’m glad to hear its hot there. Here, not so much. I would like to say that the phrase "bone chilling" is an exaggeration but it’s the only way to accurately describe it. There’s no escaping the humidity and the cold just seeps in through everything. I’m keeping warm and I'm chill (no pun intended...seriously) with the cold but it’s just incredible how cold it can be here.

Yes, I’m 21! It’s a grand thing and it was a chill birthday, super chill. On my birthday we had lunch at the familia B______’s house. The familia B______ is a less-active family of like, 20 years and the Hermano B_____ is, in the words of Bruce R. McConkie, "A degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure as he supposed in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stenched his breath, and profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired." Yet this familia, despite of it all, loves the missionaries and we are always trying to help them. We had a super good asado at their house that was beyond delicious. We were just about to leave when the hermano said, "Elder! You gotta see this!" We were eating under a makeshift cabana outside his house so we went inside his house thinking he was going to show us the new TV he bought. Instead, he threw two beat up old sketchy hillbilly blunderbuss-like shotguns at us and said "Elders! This next Saturday we are so going hunting!"  My comp and I just kinda looked at each other and said. "Ehhh, thanks Hermano but we want to live so we’ll pass". He wasn’t too happy about that.

It was another normal day though, we passed by houses and the likes. At the end of the day—with just my comp, Elias, his cousin, a kid we called "Chookie", and me—we had pizza and an ice cream cake. It was super chill. Elias has a video of the festivities and says he’ll upload it to day.  But that was the birthday. Nothing big but it couldn’t have been better.

My birthday wishes would have all come true if the car wash next door went away. Remember when I told you guys we live next to an abandoned car wash? Well yeah, it’s up and running again so there is a constant line of like, 19 semis and the entire PG high parking lot (or "the drag" as we called it) filling our yard and street accompanied by lots of yelling, drinking, and Cumbia. It’s pretty ridiculous but it’s a “getting used to” kind of thing.

The district is doing well. We are really putting our focus on believing and having the faith of seeing the miracle of baptizing every week! It’s possible, I know it is and, if we are working and having that faith and desire, then it’ll happen—for sures! We are all working hard and we’ll be doing the best we can. As always, during each transfer, we have divisions with the zonies. It’s not bad but I just don’t like doing divi´s in general. However, “with the joys of responsibility...”  Pray I’ll have a good day tomorrow for divis. Other than that, ?¿`s

  • What did you do for your birthday and Friend’s Day?

Just what I told you. And as for Friends Day, it mostly consists of everybody getting tanked on five peso boxed wine and singing along to the 80`s radio station they have here. You will never hear a more extreme version of "More than Words" than when you hear it from like,15 barrachos.

  • Did you get your birthday packages?

Nope, not yet. Rosano is going to Salta to do his papers this week so he’ll pick them up.

  • One last time:  Have you found the elusive sugar cane yet?

Yes. I can’t remember if I told you guys or not but the other transfer, when I did divi´s with Elder Murray, we door contacted a family and, as we were talking with them, they said they worked the sugar harvest. I told them they should totally hook me up with some sugar cane so I could try it because I've never had it before. I put it across as a "whatever" kind of comment. Then I got a call from Elder Murray the next week and he told me that they had about five gigantic sugar cane stalks at their pench from this family for me. When I did an interview there the next week I got to eat it and yeah, it’s disappointing. It’s cool but I was kinda expecting like, idk, pop rocks, cartoon food or something like that.

  • Okay Russ, the time has come: What’s the deal with you wearing that old belt?

Remember how I had the same belt all through high school?
And the same shoes too? It’s just my thing with belts and shoes. I'll wear them till they fall apart. That’s why I never ask for belts or ties or stuff like that. I've got less than 4 months left, I’ll survive.

Well, that’s about it. Oh, also, just as a cool talk to read. I was reading the other day from the gigantic pile of Liahonas in our pench and found a talk from a conference way back when by Elder Anthony Perkins.  It’s called "A Great and Wonderful Love".  Its a gem so hit that up.

Thanks for everything, guys. I hope this week is nice and Pioneer-Daylicous. Happy birthday to Molly! My computer is being wacky saying there are viruses and such and it’s being super slow so I gotta head out. Pray that we’ll have a great week this week. I love you guys so much, it’s all good!

Con Amor,


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