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Monday, November 14, 2011

Tons of Information

Hello! Wow, I have a TON to say. We´ve had some pretty incredible experiences during these last 10 days. I´m gonna talk about the most interesting ones in the next couple of paragraphs, along with some other random information. Just to brief ya´ll, I´m gonna talk about mail, crazy foods of the week, the heat, investigators, and more :)

1) Mail. Guys, I finally got mail again, and it was great to hear from all of you. Camille, it sounds like you had a great homecoming. I can totally understand why you guys didn´t go to the dance cuz they are usually pretty lame at the schools. It sounds like Spencer definitely was a gentleman haha. That stud. Congrats, and hopefully you´ll have a great prom too. That was my favorite one :). Mom, thanks for all of the work you've put into the photo album! Zach, it sounds like football has made you a beast. If you don´t play next year, that´s alright. You know you´ve always been able to hit hard, though. So think about it at least. You might be taller and stronger than me when I come home haha. And thanks for the picture. Dad, I can´t believe those two guys left your team. They were kinda lame anyway. Tell Zeljko (I have no idea how to spell his name haha) hi for me! Hopefully you´ll still dominate with the numbers on that chart that you showed me that one day when I met everyone and got my teeth cleaned. A lot of the lunches we have hear are for just five dollars. We have rice, pasta, and crazy types of meat. Also, all of you BYU buddies send awesome mail too! I would write a short clip to everyone, but that would take forever. Hopefully we will get to the post office for a second time soon, so I can send some more letters. I have your bday letter ready mom, and I think we are going to send it tomorrow if possible. I hope it gets there in time. Anyways, so we get mail about once every 2 1/2 weeks seems to be about average. It is one of my favorite things to read here in good old Argentina :). O, and Aunt Karen, we have about 25 sister missionaries in the field right now out of about 200. I haven´t met any of them because I¨m in one of the sketchier areas where sister missionaries don´t serve, just for extra precautions.

2) Heat. For those of you living in plush america, you better appreciate your ac haha. We don´t have any, but we use huge fans. They sound like airplanes and blow all the papers off you desk when you try to study. haha. They feel absolutely amazing, especially after a hard day of work. Guess what? My companion has a thermometer on his clock, and it has gotten to 87 degrees inside our apartment! Crazy. I felt like I was gonna die that day. I sat in a lawn chair outside to study cuz it was cooler with the breeze haha. Oh, and I don´t think I ever gave you guys that many details, but my pench is kinda like Glenda´s place in Colorado. It´s more run down, and the kitchen is about half the size. But I think that´s still a pretty good comparison. We live in one of the nicest complexes in my area, but it´s still pretty rough when you compare it to the states. I thought that MTC was kinda rundown, but this is pretty worse haha. I still love it though. We only spend a little time in the pench, so it doesn´t really matter. It´s too bad we don´t go fishing on pdays like we do when we are in Glenda´s place haha.

3) Rabbit. So we were eating at a members home, and I´m pretty accustomed to the usual stuff here, but every once in a while we get something extraordinarily weird. They brought out this chicken thing on pasta, but the chicken looked kinda weird. It smells a little different than normal meat too. Guess what it was? Rabbit! haha. It was so good. I felt kinda weird eating it, but it tasted like a soft and juicier piece of turkey/chicken combo. I actually really liked it, and they are probably going to make it for us again. Birky liked it too.

4) Cow platter. I know, right? two really weird foods in one week. That´s pretty random, but it happens. Alright, let me explain for you guys. Here in argentina they have ¨"asado," whick is a spanish word that describes a method of cooking specific to argentina. It is kinda like a bbq. They cook meet on a metal rock over a cement oven type thing filled with coals. It always tastes so good. We have had asado a bunch, but usually is just chicken or steak cooked over the coals. Yummy. Anyways, now for the story. Not last saturday, but the saturday before we were at a members house for lunch, talking about the missionary work and just a bunch of random stuff. They had told us, ¨"vamos a almorzar con comida del asado hoy (we are going to eat food from the asado today)." So we were pumped since we both like asado. The member then brought out a HUGE PLATTER. It´s a special type of dish here in argentina that includes almost every part of the cow. It´s kinda like a huge appetizer dish with one or two pieces of everything for everyone. The dish is so big that it is the main course of the meal. I tried a ton of stuff. Here is the list with quick description of each piece. Yes, I tried all of them. The member thought we were cool cuz most missionaries don´t try all of it. I just had to do it.
- Cow heart. This was my favorite one on the platter. It tasted like really chewy meat with less flavor. It was kinda like a soft pice of beef jerky. Elder Birky and I split a whole cow heart! Yum Yum Yum haha.
- Cow stomach. We had already had this cold one other time. It tasted a lot better when cooked bbq style. It was like chewing slim jims kinda. It´s hard to describe.
- Cow kidney. Yuck. This was probably my least favorite. You can´t really cut them very well cuz they are just too darn juicy. So, being the big confident missionary I am, I stuffed a whole one into my mouth while the whole family watched me. The whole family loved this entertainment by the way. They all eat this stuff once a week and have for their whole life. Anyways, it tasted like a huge gusher full of a really weird juice. I don´t even want to talk about it more. I barely got it down haha.
- Cow intestine. It took like five minutes to chew, but actually was better than I thought. I just had to pretend it was beef jerky while I chomped on an intestine. They kinda looked like flat french fries, but o yeah, they definitely weren´t french fries haha.
- Blood sausage. If you have a weak stomach, you might not want to read this. My companion would tell me what it was until after i ate it, or else I wouldn´t have tried it. Here´s the summary. When a person kills a cow, they collect all of the blood in huge jugs. They then put this bood in a machine where they mix it with all of the excess fat from the cow, forming a weird kind of past. Then the take cow intestines and stuff this fat/hardened blood mixture until it looks like a sausage. Kinda like a roll of sushi too, to give you guys another idea of what it looked like. It was GNASTY! I can´t believe I ate that. Elder Birky says that every missionary has to try it once, and the new guys never get told what it is before they try it because otherwise they get scared away haha. The adventures of mission life. I LOVE argentina.

Seriously, the heart was actually pretty good. I still think bunny is my favorite, though. Okay, I still like normal chicken and steak the best. Some of these other parts are bettre than you think though :).

5) Soccer Conversation at an investigator´s house. Guess what, dad? They started talking about a game that had been played the day before. We knew the teams, but then I started talking a little bit about the point system and leagues. I didn´t get all of the spanish right, but they still understood me and were like, "whoa, how do you know that?" haha. They think i´m pretty good for a yankee. They call us yankees here if you´re from america haha. Thanks for the info, dad. It made me look good :)

6) Investigators/baptisms. Life is great here. It´s busy but so good at the same time. We got one of our investigators to come to church with us last sunday (yesterday). Her name is juana, and she is about 60 years old. She is a sweetheart. She started crying during sacrament meeting, and afterwards told us that she had been to so many catholic meetings and even some other churches for her whole life but had never felt a comfort and peace like this before. It was SO powerful, and the talks were given on obedience and the opportunities of service we have in our lives. She plans to come to some of the activities during the week, and she has told us that she wants to come next sunday too! We have about 8 people who are taking the discussions from us right now, and the work is good. The two baptisms we were supposed to have yesterday got pushed back two weeks because José and Pedro wanted to study a little bit more and try to get their dad to come to church with them first. :) We have so much stuff going on everyday, but that´s what makes it great. We never get bored. We talk to people, help them out, do service for others occasionally, and just offer a hand to others in whatever way possible. That´s why I´m here in argentina for the next 20 months. We invite people to come unto Christ, and it´s amazing to see the difference in their lives as they become active members and friends in the church. We might have 5 baptisms before Christmas, but a lot of them aren´t quite final yet. We´ll just have to see. They people here are so great, and the language is coming around nicely.

Thanks for all of your support and everything. You guys mean a lot to me, even though you live like 1800 miles away right now. Sometimes I forget I´m in Argentina speaking a different language and eating different foods. I´m pretty used to it. I´ll be sure to talk to you guys next week too!

O, and there are a few more things.

- Nobody got transfered from my pench. My district got split, though. We have four people now instead of eight. A few missionaries in my district did get sent to other areas in the mission. One of them went to pergamino, i think. That´s somewhere in north buenos aires. I still don´t have all of the areas down. In 5 more weeks I might get transfered. We´ll just have to see.
- I´m gonna try to send photos again. A missionary gave me some tips :)

I guess that´s it for now. Hopefully I´ll get mail again soon. Everything is from like 3 weeks ago when I read it, which makes it kinda funny.

Alright, Im gonna use the last 15 minutes or so to write to the president and try to send photos. Love ya

Nos vemos en la semana que viene

Elder Jones.

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