Well, it’s official -- my best friend and the best trainer out here has gone home.Elder Anderson finished his mission last week and spent a week touring the country with his family. He is now enjoying life in the States. Good for you, man. I just want to take this opportunity to thank him for all he did for me out here. Without him, I probably would have been home months ago when I wanted to quit for the language, or after that for being depressed, or after that for punching out the AP. Ok, that one I wish he woulda let me do. But the reality is he was like my brother out here. Always let me vent and never had anything to say but agree with me. Never got on my case for how I was living my mission or the many, many problems I have with mission personnel. I don’t like to get super spiritual or to share many scriptures on the blog but I do want to share a scripture. It’s Proverbs 17: 17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” It shares my thoughts about my friend and brother out here, Elder Anderson, and all the other missionaries that are going through this challenge in their lives. Take care, man.
Well, let’s see, after that, not much else seems to really matter this week or to have made much of a difference. We had a birthday party for Elder Stopper since his birthday is in March and realistically he won’t be here any longer as changes are today. That was a good time. Some of the other elders got together with us, and we ate Elder Stopper’s favorite food -- BBQ’d pork with rice and minestra de lenteja (stewed lentils). It was pretty good, as always.
It was actually quite the week for birthdays as we celebrated another one on Saturday night. One of my favorite members is Hermana Vera. Well, her husband is always out of town working so she didn’t get a chance to celebrate her birthday with him. He came to town this last weekend, and she decided to have a BBQ for her birthday and being the super nice lady she is, she invited us. So me and Stopper bought a cake hoping to save money only to find out it’s a lot more expensive that way. Oh well, we bought and carried the cake to her house and had a great time. They really know how to do a BBQ. There were ribs and pork and sausages and some intestine thing stuffed with rice. I didn’t like that. Then, there were like 5 different kinds of salad and rice and bread and lots of drink. We ate, and ate, and ate until I thought I was gonna die. But I didn’t and instead just got even fatter. Man, the mission is killing me. Ha ha.
What else? Oh ya -- the Copa Libertadores is going on right now. It actually just started a couple weeks ago. It’s a huge tournament for soccer where they take all the top teams from the leagues in South America and they compete. Well, Guarani, one of the teams from Paraguay, played this week in Paraguay. They lost the game in Chile by a score of 1-0 but played a lot better so everyone was excited for the return game at home. And they weren’t disappointed -- well at least for the first two-thirds of the game. They came out great and were leading by a goal with not much left in the game, and should’ve scored a couple more but just couldn’t quite finish. Those came back to bite them as U de Chile went on a run late in the game and came from behind to score and score again and win the game, effectively eliminating Guarani from the competition. It is quite something to watch soccer in a restaurant with a bunch of drunk Latinos cheering for the home team. I’m really not sure I will be able to get over the lack of support in the States. The atmosphere and soccer craziness of Latin America is infectious. I love it!
Another thing that was really cool that happened this last week occurred on Sunday. So I had always been told that it is basically taboo to use props or do an object lesson from the pulpit. Now I may have been lied to since this particular talk happened with my mom when I was determined to use the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue as my prop one Sunday. Ha ha. But either way, I like them. There was a lady who used them on Sunday for her talk. She had a Ken doll all dressed up in pioneer looking clothes and like a handcart looking thing, then she gave a really good talk. She also had pictures and other things she kept using to relate her talk with things people could connect with. It was great! It was so different than most talks down here, and it even got me to look up from my awesome drawing on the back of my mission planner. I may have to outdo myself on my homecoming now to have that kind of reaction, although I still have a year to plan that.
We also got changes today. I am staying in Anahi 1 with a new comp named Elder Baus or something like that. And Elder Stopper is leaving. Changes are weird.
Love you guys. Take care.