Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trains, Lions and Pig's Hooves

(Elder Fox and other missionaries at one of his favorite places to eat ...
a Brazilian Barbecue.)
Dear Family,

How’s everyone doing?  I hope you’re all doing good.  I’m writing this now but won’t be able to send it out until Friday.  I don’t have any cash on me and all of our cards are shut down.  I guess too much money was accidentally put on them … like seriously lots … so they blocked all of our cards to get it sorted out.  They aren’t unblocking them until Friday because that’s the day our cards get recharged normally.  Luckily, we’re set on food and all.  The only problem we had was toilet paper.  We were all out and tried to buy more and couldn’t.  I won't explain how we improvised ... I'll just leave it up to your imagination.  But imagine if someone was out of food, deodorant, or soap for showers.  That would bite!!

So about that Elder that lost his leg ... I didn’t know him but I knew his companion from the MTC.  They were trying to hitch a ride on a train, and it didn’t end up so well.  They were running next to it and tried to jump on.  The companion of the Elder I knew, fell and his leg got run over by the train.  It took 40 minutes for the ambulance to get there.  The whole time, the one I knew, was holding his companion while he was screaming in pain.  I guess he’s a little traumatized now and is getting transferred to a new area.  The guy who got ran over, lost his leg at the middle of the thigh but they have to amputate the rest of it.  And he only has three months left on his mission.  There’s also a missionary my Zone Leader knows serving in Peru (I think) that was at the zoo on a P-Day and lost his arm from a lion that reached out of his gate and attacked him.  So note to self … stay away from trains and lions.

(Also when I heard that story about the lion, the first thing I thought about was Anchor Man when the bear steals that guys arm at the end.  Haha  Side note for Kassie.)

So Mom, in your email you asked about the food.  Basically it’s beans and rice everyday … every meal (except when we make our food).  There's usually salad but no dressing … just lettuce, tomatoes, sometimes onions, and that’s it.  Sometimes people add oil, vinegar, or salt (salty lettuce is not my favorite).  That’s another thing though, my taste buds have changed so much.  I like tomatoes now! Just straight up tomatoes and lettuce.  I also had some kind of fish and it was good too.  But besides the beans, rice and salad ... there’s usually other stuff like meat but I hardly ever know what I’m eating.  I’ve learned the worst thing to ask is, “What is this?”  No.  Just eat.

“What’s my favorite thing I’ve eaten?”  Pizza / Brazilian Barbecue.  Brazilian pizza is way good!  These places that are like Tucanos are super good too!  At members houses we’ve had barbecues and those are really good.  Our Bishop barbecued some lamb for us which was delicious.  The worst thing I’ve eaten … well once we had some beans (usually in the beans there are bits of meat) and the meat inside still had hair.  I’ve also eaten a bit of pigs hooves.  When they cook them, they get all soft … so ya … that was interesting.  The worst though would have to be some chicken we had.  This guy fried some up for us and when I bit into it, the skin and maybe a centimeter of meat was cooked.  The rest was completely raw.  So we put it back into the oil.  Once it was all cooked I ate a bit more and it was done.  No worries.  I decided to double check to make sure it was cooked all the way through ... which it was.  However, there was one problem.  When I cut into the chicken leg it started pouring out blood.  Like lots and lots.  Everyone was like, “Oh it’s okay, go ahead and eat it.”  I had a tiny bit more that was blood free, said I was full, and stopped.

Soda is the general drink.  Everyone who knows me from before my mission knows that soda is not my first choice.  However, there is this soda that’s way good!  It’s called Guarana.  It’s made out of a fruit that’s only in Brazil.  The Guarana fruit.  Haha  An Elder from St. George said you can buy it in the States too, but only at the health stores because I guess it’s a healthy soda.  Well, as healthy as soda can get.

Also, you guys asked if my mission was tracting or referrals and less actives.  Technically we are suppose to switch to just referrals and less actives, but we still go door to door or stop people in the road.  Tracting isn't usually very productive ... especially street contacts.  People make up addresses and it takes time away from other people we could be seeing.  One thing they have us do is when we receive a false address, or a referral that doesn’t exist, they tell us to tract that area.  Like ... we’ll get a referral from the internet and someone puts a real street but a number that isn’t on that street.  We’ll get to the street and the house doesn’t exist.  So what they want us to do now, is start tracting that street when it happens.  We had a training meeting with a leader from the Quorum of the Seventy and he said, “When you get a false address it’s not in vain.  You went to that street for a reason so go and find it.”  I think that's the best way to look at it.  Instead of being frustrated ... we need to find the reason we are there.  Actually, my favorite investigator that we have ... we met the family knocking doors awhile ago and they have baptismal dates set up.  So it’s not always in vain.

Well, I have to get going.  I love you guys!!!  I hope you are all doing well!  I’m doing great here and working hard.

Love,
Tavin

PS - Peter asked if there’s any sports I want updates on … well the World Cup of Rugby is going on and I want to know how that is going.  Let me know who’s in the lead and all that jazz.

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