Monday, July 15, 2013

Week #20 .. I've said it before, and I'll say it again!

I love my area of Parana!!!

I´ll admit, it feels strangely repetitive to be emailing each week. So much happens, and yet writing each week is always consistent. It´s a blessing, and a rather strange deja vu at the same time :)

Well, as can be expected, life in Argentina is wonderfully crazy, crazily fantastic, and fantastically exhausting :) Say that ten times fast. I haven't got a whole lot of time (again with the deja vu, I swear I say that same thing every week, as well) so I´ll try to hammer out some details about the week! 

First off, welcome home to Brayden! I actually have had a letter with your name on it for about.. oh, 2 months now, ha ha :) Sorry man, but know that I love you, and am so excited to hear how things are going now that you are home! Also, Mom said Jameson passed you up in height - not entirely sure why, but that mental image is hilarious :)  I love you man! Also, shout out to my cousins, Mattie and Tanner, who received their mission calls! Stockholm and Ukraine?!?! What a crazy life we lead :) I´m so proud of you both, and am beyond excited to see what the Lord needs you to accomplish while in those parts of the world. You´re both rock stars! (And Tanner, I really am serious about the long boarding lessons and add guitar lessons to the list, while you´re at it.) And Mattie? I´ll start a food storage of pasta as soon as I come home, and we can swap pasta salad recipes when you return from Sweden - I´ve already learned some good ones from Argentina :) And Mim? I have to send a hilarious thank you to you for the birthday wishes and poems you sent to me a few weeks ago! Ha ha, you accidentally sent them to the Rosario mission, so they have been holding your dearelder letters for me in the mission home for about 3 months now! I loved it though - especially your poems! They made me laugh, and I´m composing a sonnet in return. Expect lots of bad rhymes and smiley faces in the mail sometime soon - unless your mailman gets wise and throws them away before they can hurt anyone :)  

Hermana Borup and I, Goucho style!

OKAY! Fun-facts list!  

1) This is extremely important, hence it´s first. In Spanish, ´taco´ has two distinct meanings: 1) the delicious Mexican food involving lots of love and refried beans, and... 2) High heels! I love Argentina even more for combining two of my favorite things into one word! Ha ha, even more reason to love it here :)  

2) Pencils are totally worthless here because the humidity makes the paper textured like plastic. Wooooorthless!  

3) I´ve been asked about the food. Well... The best way to describe Argentine food is to clue you in on a game they like to play at every meal, every day, every home, every where, (insert more ´every´words here). It´s called ´let´s see how many carbs we can fit onto one plate!´ What a joy, right? Basically, variations on meat, pasta, bread, potatoes, pasta, bread, potatoes and meat... And pasta... And bread. However, despite the fact that the last sentence sounded all sorts of ornery, I actually love the food here! I was born for a country that is obsessed with caramel and pasta. WAHOO! 

4) For those with a deep concern for my hair (and I´m sure that´s a fairly large number of you), here´s an update since arriving in Argentina: it´s crazy!! Completely crazy!! The humidity gets all sorts of creative with my scalp, and sometime by the end of the day, I feel like a Dr. Seuss character. Ah well, - that´s why missionaries have an extra burst of the Holy Ghost right? It makes it so people don't cringe when they look at us sisters struggling in the humidity, ha ha :)  

5) A lesson I learned about myself this last week: I am an awful liar! And I mean, awful. You may wonder what context could I possibly learn that about myself? Well, imagine this - I´m in a room full of people going to town on the Spanish train, and I can only understand about 15% of what they are saying!  I plaster on a smile and pretend to know what´s going on. Hence, the discovery (or reinforcement that I´ve always known - I´m an awful liar!! Hence, I´m not fooling anyone and some of the members give me rather weird looks.  

Alright! Sorry I don´t have any more time! Know that I love you all, love this mission and love the Lord! For parting thoughts, feel free to take a look-see at the book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon. I´ve been reading it through these last few days, and am amazed by the examples found within these pages. Through a spiritual tangent/scripture chase, reading this eventually led me to
1 Corinthians 13, which is a chapter all about charity. Can I take a page out of my Grandpa Demars' book (always a good thing to do - love you Grandma and Grandpa!) and talk about charity for a moment? This last week, I´ve realize something: in our lives, how often do we go through the motions of charity, outwardly performing actions that fit the mold of a charitable thing to do, and yet lack the true conviction of a loving heart? This is the challenge of conversion, this is one branch of the path toward becoming converted: having the courage to love, especially when no one else can see the difference or change in attitude besides yourself. It´s completely internal. However, it is the internal workings that change our character!  

At Catalina's baptism! Such a stellar girl!

Love you all!!  

Hermana Lake

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