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Monday, May 7, 2012

Here is the Lowdown

Well, we have had one of the busiest pdays ever here in the mission home. First off, Élder Comacho (Coe-mahhch--oh), a missionary from Mexico, celebrated his birthday. We woke up, did office duties until 10am, went and bought groceries, and basically just tried to get all of the routine tasks done early. With all of that finished for the week, we had the afternoon to party! We went to a buffet, making it my second restaurant trip on my mission!! Eating out felt incredibly weird, which made it even more fun than usual. We hit up a popular place we had seen earlier in Centro while working on visa papers called "Las Tinajas (Tea--nahh--haws). They have unlimited fish, Argentine food, Mexican, pastas, fruits, vegetables, a salad bar, and so much more. Yes, I ate too much :). At least Élder Benson and I have run regularly these past few weeks, trying to get rid of the extra pounds we´ve both accumulated over time. We hit 21 miles this past week. Not too bad for a missionary, eh? After eating tons of food and singing happy birthday in both Spanish and English, we drove back to the mission home to have a friendly soccer match.

We played for about an hour and had a blast. We made a small field in the backyard of the mission home and played three-on-three, just between the office elders. Elder Artunduaga is from Columbia and is the best player. He was captain of a national team and plays better than Élder Hull who made it to state in Utah. Soccer in foreign countries is just a whole other world. Anyways, we had a great game and played until we didn´t have anything left and just ended up lying on the grass. Great. Day. Great. Break.

Tonight, we will have dinner with the president. He invites us into the mission home about four or five times a year. This wil be the first time since I have entered the offices. It has been 8 weeks already! Wow, a lot of days pass rather slowly, but I have served as Historian for two months already and will probably stay until August or September. It is a lot easier (and less stressful) than in the beginning, especially since I have everything down pretty well now.

Well, since a lot of my weekly routines are the same, I´ve decided to tell you a bit about Argentina every week. I will at least donate a small paragraph. There is still so much you guys don´t know :)

Dining in Argentina. First off, at every meal, bread is placed on the table, regardless of the food or time of day. You break the bread and use a piece in your left hand to help eat your food. In other words, you use the bread to scoop up small pieces of food into your spoon instead of a knife or other eating utensil. Any other method is considered slightly rude, and newer missionaries are easily picked out by the members since they forget or look uncomfortable doing it! haha. Also, more than half of the time we have a weird dessert: Fruit. More often than not, the Argentines will place a huge bowl of fruit filled with bananas, oranges, grapes, mandarines, and everything on the table. We usually eat a lot of meat, so all of this fruit helps with digestion. Sometimes we have flan, which is a special Argentine dessert. It is kinda like a huge plate of jello that wobbles and has melted sugar on top. Whenever juice gets placed on the table, you generally should fill the cups of those around you before doing your own. They actually eat pretty formally :). And other than that, eating here is really similar to the states. These small differences do catch you off guard at first, though. Oh, and one more thing. You peel oranges with knifes here. I peeled one with my fingers in my first area, and they all made fun of me! haha.

Buying groceries. My companion and I use our allotted money and buy everything separately. Every once in a while we will plan to make something really big together and buy the ingredientes. Usually it is just an individual thing though. Also, sometimes we will just be creative in the middle of the week and make something in a group of two or three. I am still not a great cook, but I have mastered a few things: tacos, pizza, fettucinne alfredo, and some other special noodle dishes. I will be super excited to show you guys and cook every once in a while after the mission. I really appreciate and miss a lot of mom´s cooking more than ever. :)

Meeting with new missionaries. I dont interact with the greenies as much as the assistants. The assistants and president take them through meeting, workshops, and other introductory stuff. I usually have a lot to do with my duties and will be off to the side just working in the office. I still get to meet all of them, and for about an hour or so, I get together with Elder Benson, and we have them fill out some paperwork we need here in the offices. I also take their official photos and just keep them company for the last couple of hours in the night. Simply put, I do a lot of behind the scenes when they come. Since I am the main driver right now, a lot of the time president will ask me to go places and buy food for the new missionaries or to help with the setting-up of chairs and tables. Things like that. I still do get to know the new guys pretty well though. That is one thing I love about the offices. I get to meet and know almost all of the missionaries as they come in for visa renewals, interviews, etc. Sometimes I have to call a bunch of them if they don't send in their baptismal records on time. There are some misionareis who I have to call a lot. Since I also work with all of the stats of the mission in those excel files, I know who works hards, who is average, and who doesn't work as hard as they should! Hahahaha.

Alright, I have to go and start another busy week. Thanks for everything!!!!

Your missionary,
Elder Jones
El Historiador de la misión Argentina Rosario

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