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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 Transfer Week

Wow, Jason is now home. I can´t believe that my friends are already coming back. Sorry that I didn´t write yesterday but that is because today is P-day! Transfers were this week and week of transfers P-day is on Tuesday. So in 6 more weeks you´ll have to wait until Tuesday to hear from me again. I´m still in Grand Bourg, and I guarantee you aren´t pronouncing it right because I still can´t pronounce it 100 percent correct. I´m also still with my trainer Elder Nelson so I don´t have to worry about getting lost in my area or trying to plan just yet (he has 6 months here). I am looking at having 6 months here too, so we´ll see what happens. He says that he has been here more months than I have been in my mission.

So I´m not going to lie, the mission is pretty hard. There are a lot of times when I feel like I´m not doing anything and wonder if I am doing the best I can and not wasting the Lord´s time. That´s probably just because I´m still new and trying to figure it out, but it´s a real test of patience to be so humbled in my knowledge when I´m used to trying to accel. It can also get discouraging when we spend 4 to 5 hours straight walking from reference to reference because nobody is home to let us sit and talk. But despite all these challenges I know that it is the work of the Lord and he didn´t send me here to fail. The best experience I have had so far was when an investigator came to church from another area because his missionaries wanted to go look for other investigators to bring to the last part of church. It was very spiritual and made all the pain worth it to see how much he was affected by the feeling of love that permeates the church during sacrament meeting. It definitely changed my outlook on Sundays at church.

Right now I am helping play the piano and sing when my companion is playing the piano for the ward choir. It is fun and nice to have a day when I can play the piano again. I really miss it and want to study it more after the mission so I can have a better idea how to adlib chords to hymns and things like that. I also have received recipes on how to make banana bread, torta de manzana (which I might try today), and ´de diez´ milanesa. De diez is a saying here that translates "of ten" and means super, excellent, awesome. Milanesa is a thin meat dipped in bread batter and is similar to country fried steak, but much better of course. Right now I am working on trying to get recipes on how to make dulce de leche and alfajor cookies. I heard dulce de leche is easy, you just have to stir it for 2 to 3 hours straight. Sooo, could you send me a recipe for how to make pancakes and what kind of toppings you can use? I promised someone to get the recipe in exchange for the recipe on how to make alfajores. So I will probably need a recipe, simple if possible, that doesn´t include using the mix because I doubt there is pancake mix down here. So from scratch in other words. And please send it during this week so I can write it down next week. Thank you!

I can´t believe Jordan is growing up so fast. He goes to college tomorrow! And he has the Melchezidec priesthood! Que rapido. I can´t believe he´s already done with high school, and then I get to thinking how far removed that makes me from high school, and it´s just weird. Right now I am repenting for all my friends that I didn´t share the gospel with or at least invite to church or activities. How could I not have learned how critical the gospel and church is to our lives on Earth before the mission? It really is something to have 2 years to focus just on the Gospel, if only to see how much I didn´t understand and how much more I have yet to learn.

You know what is also weird, when I hear english songs here. For instance, two seconds ago I just heard "I get knocked down" from someone´s game across the room. Do you know what´s weirder? When I hear English songs translated into Spanish! For example Bryan Adam´s "everything I do" en Castellano. Tell Amanda hi and good job with deciding to go to BYU, it´s kind of weird being surrounded by Mormons, but she´ll learn to love it and appreciate it.

Pues, les amo y siempre oro para ustedes para que tengan feliz y consuelo durante sus tiempo de cambio. Gracias por sus carta y nos vemos la semana que viene.

Chao con Amor, Elder Arrowchis

P.S. don´t forget to send the pancakes from scratch recipe before next Monday, muchísimas gracias!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 17, 2010 No Internet

Sorry I haven´t emailed, we haven´t had internet in Grand Bourg for the past couple weeks and so now we are using email on a non p-day. I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to find a computer that works because we go to cybers (like Howie´s) to use the internet. I can´t believe Chris and Travis are already back [from their missions]. It is still difficult for me to talk with people on the street but I have faith that the Lord will bless me with the ability and more desire to do so. Right now, my favorite part [of the mission] is when an investigator attends church. I don´t have more time, love you though :)

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 2, 2010 Argentine Cuisine

[To Jordan]

Okay, first of all it´s Buenos Aires (not Ares). Second, I can´t even remember the days when I stayed awake until 1 AM. Yes, we wake up at 6:30 everyday and are in bed by 10:30 every night. I still can´t believe that you are going to college in 3 1/2 weeks.... 25 or 26 of August? And then onto your mission a year after that, and then maybe I´ll see you sometime afterwards.

Yup, the food here is amazing. We eat a lot of similar foods that we eat in the United States, except the meat here is ten times better. For instance, I ate at a members house two days ago and we had asado, which translates to barbequed sausage links, ribs, and the best tasting steak I have ever had. Let´s just say the steak was cooked for almost 2 hours and was better than at the Brazilian steak house. We also eat a lot of pasta, which is delicious, and usually with some sort of meat. I have also eaten a dish which best resembles orange grits with chili cheese on it. I have had pizza, which is more like the Italian pizza than the American type, and it was delicious. Oh yeah, empanadas, wow. You don´t know what you are missing out on in the United States. There´s no description. And bread, lots and lots of amazing bread. It´s not like bread there, the closest I can describe it is like a French roll.... maybe. For dessert we sometimes have fruit with dulce de leche, flan, some kind of cake, pasta frola which is a pie with a layer of that membrillo jam on it, facturas which are bread with sugar and other sweet condoments, malta which is like a hot toffee drink, hot chocolate, and sometimes just fried bread with dulce de leche. Oh yeah, we eat a lot of milanese, which is very similar to country fried steak. So no, there´s not a whole lot of new and weird foods here.

My favorite missionary experience so far has been when I taught a lesson to a cousin of a boy who was being interviewed by my companion to get baptized. It was very basic and terrible (I still can hardly speak and don´t understand anybody) but the spirit was so strong that he accepted the invitation to be baptized as well in that first lesson. You could see the spirit in his eyes as he knew that the Gospel would bless his life.

That´s a bummer to hear about the Japanese classes being full, but don´t worry, if you have a Japanese speaking mission you will learn more Japanese in the first week in the MTC than probably in a semester. I learned more Spanish in 4 weeks at the MTC than in my 4 1/2 years in high school. Also, before you go make sure to go to one mission prep class with brother Greiner and pick up his list of memorized scriptures. It is front and back and everybody that has seen it on my mission has wanted a copy, because it is golden for studying the scriptures.

Good luck in school and keep writing. I don´t think I´ll be sending too many letters because there is less time to write here and it is kind of difficult to send them, so we will see. Oh yeah, congratulations on the laptop too!