July 21, 2014

Veggies and Drugs

Something strange has happened. But I'll have to start from the beginning to explain myself:

Everyone here cooks with oil. all the time. with any food. They fry everything, and even if it isn't fried, lots of times they'll just pour a little bit of oil on top of the food just because they like to do that. Also, nobody eats vegetables- as in ever. They're a bit expensive. So, I have gotten to the point where I am actually craving vegetables. That's right. My companion and I search diligently for the best deals at the supermarket to find broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc... We come home at night and instead of wanting chocolate we boil ourselves some broccoli. How weird is that??? It's almost as if a crucial part of my personality has been corrupted into a health nut. But I think I'll survive.

Moral of the story: Eat your vegetables! And enjoy them! Because there are grease-sick missionaries in Argentina who would spend an hour on preparation day discussing how awesome it was to eat a full plate of vegetables for lunch. haha

Apparently speaking full-time Spanish and trying to think in English doesn't work. My companion and I try to speak Spanish at all times, so sometimes when we actually want to speak in English, Spanish words and phrases will just come out without us even trying. I feel like if anyone else heard our conversations that we have in the apartment, they wouldn’t be able to understand our strange mix of American accented spanish and occasional English phrases or Spanish expressions.

We've been teaching classes of piano Saturday nights. This is always fun to see everyone coming together to try and understand music. Something that is so foreign to them, but seems so fundamental to me. Sometimes I forget that the culture here really is very different from that of the United States, at least when it comes to music. People don't have the time or the money to just take classes of piano. I'm glad Hna Gunter and I have been able to help out a bit. I am also playing piano for the Primary on Sundays. I love it because I get to practice my Spanish with all the little children, who I don't feel will judge me, and they have no problem trying to help me improve my pronunciation and vocabulary!

We have been meeting with a young man named Jorge. He is 22 years old, but drinking and drugs have messed up his life. He is so dependent on them, and a few years ago he had to go to a hospital, and now he takes medications for his mind because he is semi-mentally handicapped. I have always known that "drugs are bad" and "drinking is dangerous" but I never really REALIZED that drugs are AWFUL and drinking RUINS LIVES until I got here in Argentina. It is so sad to see so many people (especially the youth!!!) already addicted to these substances and just being dragged down paths that lead to destruction and disaster. Luckily Jorge is willing and wanting to change, so Hna Gunter and I have been trying to help him. We bought him a toothbrush and toothpaste (since he can’t afford them) and some gum to help him clean out his mouth and give him something to do when he gets the urge to smoke. We also took away his package of cigarettes last night. We told him he couldn't smoke anymore yesterday, and he had to wait until we came back before he could smoke again. Hopefully with time he can decrease the amount he smokes down to zero.
Doctrine and Covenants 89! Read it! When we don't take care of our bodies, we can't function, much less feel the influence of the Spirit.

I love you all!
Hermana Simmons 

ps- Mom if you ever send me a package, it would be cool if you could send me a bunch of gallon and quart size ziplock bags. They don't have ziplock or even anything like it here. Also, they don't really have gum. If you could send me a package (or a whole Costco bunch) that would be fantastic.

Also, I have had to use my own personal debit card quite a bit this month due to the flooding. When we were in Virasoro we didn’t have access to our money, and also we had to buy more clothing since we were there for a whole week, and i haven't received reimbursements from the mission office yet. So that's why i have been using my card a lot lately.

Nope, we haven’t met with Estevan again. ugh. We’re fairly certain he’s always home, he just has been hiding from us. Unfortunately that is fairly routine here. We have a super spiritual lesson, and the person agrees and really wants to change. But then we leave and Satan begins to attack them and the person realizes that they really SHOULD change, but they are afraid to because they know it will be hard. We’re going to pass by his house a few more times to try and see if he is home, but if not we are going to have to move on. That is always super discouraging.

haha and i have the same problem with goals! I start the day well, but by lunchtime I'm completely focused in cualquier otra cosa and don’t do so great cumpliendo con mis metas.
sorry i just realized i have random spanish words mixed in. it’s kind of confusing at veces because I’m so used to speaking it ALL THE TIME (even with my american companion) that some phrases are just easier to say and i don’t realize that I’m doing it until i reread what i wrote.
That’s so exciting for Shaylee! Russia would be a way cool mission (haha pun not intended)!
And yes, Taylia finally wrote me a real letter!!!! Woohoo! That was exciting. But I have yet to hear from Alair about que tal su college tours!

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