Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015-5-25 More Q & A

Dad asked, "What's the best and worst meal you've eaten there with members?"

The best and the worst meal...that's a hard one.  I think the one that stuck out the most to me in a good way was really simple... A fifteen-year-old member that runs his own hot dog stand in Cuidad Mendoza made us pork tacos one time when his mom invited us to eat with them.  I don't know what he did, but they were DELICIOUS.  Just meat, pico de gallo, lime juice, and green salsa.  But amazing.

The worst meal... It's not that it was bad or anything, but it was the most difficult meal, definitely, also in Ciudad Mendoza. I've never been a huge fan of Jell-O, but I can enjoy it on occasion. In small quantities. And here, it's super popular, both water- and milk-based. But one time, after eating a large meal, this sister practically wheels in this gigantic cake of Jell-O with fruit chunks. She then proceeds to carve off a slice practically the size of my head (Ok, not THAT big, but literally about the size of both my fists put together) and slaps it down in front of us. AFTER I'm already stuffed. I had some trouble there, I'll freely admit. But I finished it!

Oh, ok, other experience, on New Year's Day, when a family invited us to eat "recalentados" from the night before. The leftovers of New Year's are a big deal here. They served us something they called "romeritos" which has a really strong flavor, like mole ("MOL-ay" a traditional Mexican dish with a similarly strong flavor), and as I mentioned, I think, I was a couple of days in recovering from a stomach virus. That probably ruined that dish for me forever, and I had to politely decline from finishing.

Other favorite foods... We eat everything they give us, so a lot of my taste buds have been converted to the Gospel of Avocado, something they always said they would never do.  Seriously, though, I love it now.  One time a family here made us paella, that was super good, even though it's not exactly a native dish.  I think I mentioned before, I've tried gringas al pastor, even if it was only one time, and they were super good... Every once in a while, they'll give us carrot soup.  It's like a cream broth, and it's delicious!  What else... Stuffed jalapeño peppers... they scoop out the innards and add in a meat/vegetable combination.  Mmmm...

Matthew wants to know about your fave foods as well.  And he wants to know if everyone there wears sombreros, and if the radio plays Mexican music (insert his vocal imitation of a mariachi band here.)

Well, Matthew, unfortunately not everyone wears sombreros.  But there are a few!  And even more in other areas where it gets even hotter, and the sun even stronger.  As for the radio, yes.  Haha, not that I would really  know, because we can't listen to the radio, but there are often people blasting music in their homes, or from their cars, or walking around with their phone and speakers.  there's one house we pass by often (we've already contacted there) and almost every day, in the evening, they're blasting music inside, cumbia, bachata, reggetón, and there are about six kids, most under the age of seven, out dancing on the sidewalk.  It's super funny, and really cute.  Mariachi actually is more popular than I thought, even though we don't hear it often in the street if it's not live.

More experiences to come next week! Stay safe, stay strong, stay spiritual. 

Con amor,

Élder Rob Weatherford

2015-5-18 Q and A

So, as we said last week, Rob thought a little Q and A would be good to send for writing his weekly posts.  Here's the first one!

Q:  What’s up with Edgar and Mary?  (We still pray for them each night during family prayer!)
A:   Edgar and Mari... Well, more or less, to be honest. Mari is doing well. She's been sick recently, so she hasn't been able to come to church, but she seems to have a strong desire to come back (less active member for a long time, had problems with her ex-husband and left the church a while ago). Edgar, her boyfriend, has been working a lot recently, so we haven't been able to see him recently. I think he'll get baptized one day, but I don't think it'll be while I'm here. Thank you for your prayers! It means a lot, and it also helps a lot. We actually heard that he got injured at work, not anything serious, but it might mean that he'll be let go. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but his work's been a large impediment to our teaching him, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Much more likely would be a woman named Ángel. Please pray for her to feel that desire to get baptized! She's progressing, but slowly. And that Itzel can have the means to get married. It's super difficult here to get married, and so many couples are living in "uniones libres." That is to say, living together, often with kids (even grandkids) and aren't married.

Q:  Are you learning any Nahuatl? Did I even spell that right?
A:   Náhuatl... A few phrases/words, but not a whole lot. Here in the port there's not many people to practice with. I'll have to wait till I get sent to the "pueblitos" (small towns, villages).

Q:  Have you been staying healthy?  Getting used to the heat? (Somebody else was talking about how their missionary was someplace very hot and humid, and felt like they weren’t taking it very well.)
A:  Yeah, I've been pretty healthy, although I do sweat a lot (although not as much as my companion although he's from a place even hotter than here).  And, I drink a lot of water, and use a lot of sunscreen...most days...I wonder, every so often, what it'll be like to return to Washington (and then Utah) in the fall and winter.  Different.  It'll be different.  It's over ninety degrees right now, and like I told you on Mother's Day, it's gotten up around 105 a few days.  And it's going to get worse.  But we've started to take a vitamin/supplement thing called "complejo B," and it also is supposed to be good for keeping away the mosquitos, so they've been bothering me less.  Almost not t all, actually, so I can't complain.  But no, the heat's fine.  I actually thought it would be a lot worse/more difficult than it is, haha.  We just always ask for water when we enter a house, and we carry around little towels/washcloths for the sweat.

Q:  Did you try David’s suggestion of a sail and a bike when El Nortes blow through on p-day? (kidding. J )
A:  No answer from Rob

Q:   Are you getting any chance at all to use  your piano and vocal gifts? 
A:   Piano and vocal "gifts..." Not so much, actually. Not at all, actually. I've touched a piano fewer than five times since I came here, I think. That's probably one of the things I miss the most, actually. In fact, just yesterday after the church service we were in the sacrament hall and I sat down at the piano and played a snatch of a hymn, but then I stopped, closed the piano, and left. I notice how much I miss it when I play, and it's actually easier not to play at all than only have a couple of minutes once in a while. I like having sheet music, though. I can "play" the songs in my head and hear them, and feel them, without having to be at a piano. And, I'm sure that in the future I'll be in an area where they need piano players and have a piano, and I'll get to play a little.

Please keep sending photos.  We LOVE them!!

Q:  Did you know you are a very awesome missionary? 
A:  No answer from Rob.

2015-5-10 Mother's Day...

This is from Rob and Rob's mom:  We spoke with Rob on Mother's Day,  It was great, but I got frustrated because we weren't able to get a video Skype going as usual.  I whined a little after seeing 6 or 8 of my friends with missionaries in the field posting photos of their guys on the computer screen, but I'm still glad we got to talk to him!  Here's what he said in answer to me: 

While talking to you was wonderful, seeing all my friends with their Skype screen shots of smiling missionaries on FB made me…well…jealous.  (I know.  Not a particularly Christ-like emotion, but there it is.) 
I know, I think it's the same emotion I feel when I hear that my friends are getting iPads, or taking Norwegian cruises on their P-days :)

I know, sorry, I tried to find a member with a computer, but the combination of Skype, a computer, and a webcam escaped me. But for Christmas I'll verify better before. Plus, I assume you'll all be together for Christmas, so it's ok.
(I was in Memphis for Rob's Great-Grandmother's 100th Birthday and his Dad and siblings were still here in Washington)

He also said it might be easier for him to write sometimes if we sent him questions we were wondering about.  You are ALL welcome to join that endeavor if you like!  Just write to him at robert.weatherford@myldsmail.net  He'd love that!

2015-5-4: Pictures

The zone and then the district with our t-shirts they made for us after an activity "One day in the life of a missionary." They did everything--the missionaries held "mini-MTCs" where we taught how a missionary acts, how to contact, all that kind of stuff, and where the kids wrote their testimonies in Books of Mormon, and then the whole zone (each missionary with their assigned primary leader, youth preparing for the mission, and group of kids went out street and house contacting. Good times!

A little friend I found on my suitcase one night.