I have officially had the weirdest week in the history of ever! I have arrived in Uruguay, gotten a new companion, been in a Uruguayan Emergency Room three times, given tours in Spanish, and eaten Mondongo.
I should probably address the Emergency room one first, don´t worry Mom, it wasn´t me. It was my companion. My companion has some thyroid problems and some allergies. She had to go to the hospital because of an allergic reaction. It wasn´t too bad, the hospital was private and so it was actually pretty nice. And now the moment you have all been waiting for...my companion.........
My companion is Hermana Camacho! She is from Colombia and cannot speak a single word of English! It has been kinda hard because I really understand very little of what is being said to me, but I know that I have been blessed by the Lord. Now I am going to have to learn Spanish and fast. I think that I have already learned a couple hundred words in the past few days! The good news is that although Hermana Camacho and I cannot talk very much, my acting ability has grown exponentially. Whenever I don´t know the word for something I act it out! That has led to some very interesting demonstrations... Here is an example- I wanted to try and explain what a sleeping bag is, I have no idea why..., so I demonstrated setting up a tent, and crawling inside, unzipping my sleeping bag, and rezipping myself inside! At the end she had no idea what I was talking about,but I think she got a good laugh from it!
One of the Elders from my District in the CCM is named Elder Huntsman. He was one of my favorite people in the CCM! He tried so hard to learn Spanish, but he is one of those people who just couldn't seem to learn the language. His pronunciations were terrible and his vocabulary was super limited. After I got my companion, I saw that he also had a companion who did not know a single word of English. As I walked out of the Mission Home past him, I heard him say to himself, "I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here!" I laughed a little to myself, but I have kind of taken that as my motto as well. All the experiences I have here are to better me and to make me a better servant of the Lord. On a happy note, He and I are in the same district [which is strange because there are a ton of districts in the mission].
I have eaten Mondongo, officially! On Thursday I went to a ward party. I walked up and I tried to get the chicken, but some well meaning member grabbed my bowl and filled it for me. I tried to tell him I only wanted the chicken, but since we really don't speak the same language, I don't think he understood me. So I sat down and as a stared at it thinking "if I eat the chickpeas, no one will even notice if I spread it all around". Nope I was very wrong. I was sitting at the end of the table and since I am the new missionary all the members would stop and ask me if I liked the food. So I took the cow stomach, put it in my mouth, and swallowed. It is officially the grossest thing I have ever eaten. After I had eaten about half, my companion took pity on me and ate it for me [probably because I was a light green color].
I got to go and help teach a lesson for the first time yesterday with an investigator. I have not been able to understand much, but at that lesson I understood almost everything! I felt the Spirit so strongly and I know that there is no way that I could have known what was going on or what to bear my testimony about, if the Spirit had not been there. I know that the gift of the Holy Ghost is real and that when we keep the commandments God will bless us!
I am serving in the heart of Montevideo and it is super cold. My ward is in a place called Flores and I am in the 3rd ward!
I don't have time, and you guys probably don't have the patience to hear about the CVCs [or tours] so I will write about those next week!