Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011 — Short, But Sweet

Greetings from the "long, skinny country." I am doing very well, working hard and loving life.

Yo creo que mi español esta mejorándose. [I think my Spanish is improving.] I work really hard to learn all I can about Spanish. Many
missionaries took Spanish in high school, so I have to make up for taking Latin and Japanese. The Latin has helped me a little, but I still fill like I have had to catch up to a lot of the missionaries. I do not want to speak average "missionary Spanish." However, having Elder Jimenez as my companion has helped me so much with my Spanish. Poor Elder Jimenez gets asked probably a hundred questions a day, like, ``How do you say this? What does this word mean? Why did you say it this way?´´ We do not have trouble understanding each other at all. The Lord has really helped me and blessed me with the gift of tongues. We walk and talk the whole day and I can now speak fairly fluidly.

Elder Jimenez and I cannot believe that this is the last week of this transfer. Our time together has flown by. We have worked hard, had fun, and learned a lot together. He and I have shared some pretty powerful experiences together and have become good friends.

Daniel had his baptismal interview on Saturday. While he was being interviewed by Elder Blake (one of the Zone Leaders), Elder Jimenez, Elder Blake´s companion and I waited in the chapel. When they came in, Elder Blake had a sad look on his face. Following Elder Blake was Daniel, trying to fake a sad face, but couldn´t help smiling. Elder Blake told us that Daniel "drank tea the night before and would need some more time." However, Daniel cannot lie and his smiling face told us the truth. He passed! Daniel will be baptized this Sunday!

He is very prepared for his baptism and already is a powerful missionary. He began this week to go with us to visit other investigators (he has been wanting to help for a couple weeks). In the lessons, he always bears powerful testimonies and invites the Spirit with his words.

This week I tried a Chilean dish called pastel de choclo or "corn pie." I had previously tried potato pie, but not corn. Both dishes are the same with the exception of mashed potatoes and "mashed corn" (they somehow mash and cook the corn so that it has the consistency of mashed potatoes). To make the dish they fry hamburger meat and onions with spices (like taco spice). They then place this in a glass pan. On top of the onion/meat they scatter olives and grapes and then finish off by spreading the mashed potatoes or corn on top. They then put this in the oven to add a little crisp to the top. I still have not grown to enjoy the olives, but other than that I love pastel de choclo. Another food that we eat here a lot is called "fake eggs." They put half a canned peach in a bowl with some of the juice/syrup from the can and then in the middle of the peach they place cream. Simple yet delicious.

. . . I love my mission!

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