Mon-Wed Nov 18-20 Today we left for a two year adventure to another country. Crazy. Both my bags I checked weighed 52 pounds. It is the max they allow with no extra charge. I called my family at the SLC airport. That was so nice. I sat by Elder Thacker on the first flight to Atlanta. He had never flown before. He liked it a lot. When we got there, we went to the next gate to Santiago Chile. I rode that longggg flight next to Elder Baggett and Elder Woodcock. It was actually a nice flight believe it or not. Then we flew to Montevideo. We exchanged 30 USD for pesos. I think it was like 500ish pesos. Our mission president and four other missionaries were waiting for us there. We took a bunch of pics, grabbed a bus, and left to the mission home. My first impressions of Uruguay was how beautiful it was. Everything is so green and natural. There aren´t very many paved roads at all. We had an amazing dinner at the mission home of briscut mashed potatoes, etc. We had a push up contest when we got up the next morning. The record was 104 push ups. I thought for sure that Elder Baggett would destroy that record. I ended up winning it and getting a new record of 114. WE had interviews with President Smith too. I told him that I would work hard, be obedient, and that he wouldn´t have to worry about me. He said that he has high expectations because all the missionaries from Texas are great. I told him I want to be as effective as possible, so if that requires having a latino companion, so be it. I received that latino companion that hopefully will make me very effective. His name is Elder Chalí. He is from Guatemala. He only speaks Spanish and it is really hard to communicate. They introduced us to our companions by taking us to the temple, and then having us close our eyes. Then our new companions stood behind us and sang Called to Serve in Spanish. It was pretty sweet. We are serving in Colonia, which is in the South West part of the country. Our area is called Florencio Sánchez. We have a tiny little apartment. We are right across from two Elders who are from Chile and Peru. I am the only English speaker. Just my luck. Elder Baggett is in my zone (Colonia). When I had to say goodbye to him, Elder Sanderson, and Elder Brown, I was tearing up. Uruguay is beautiful but I feel really lost. I prayed a ton today. I am scared, excited, lost, happy, freaked out, and ready.
Thurs Nov 21- Today we woke up, studied, and went to a zone meeting. The only two people I knew there were Elder Baggett and Hermana Sorenson. It was so nice to see them and share our experiences in English after I had only heard Spanish for the last day. When we got back, we visited the Villegas and Susana Rey. They were all really nice. They said my Spanish was pretty good for only one day here. That was hard to believe because I hardly understood anything. We had movie night with the branch. We watched the Bee Movie with the branch in Spanish. I didin´t understand that either. When we were going home, there was a giant party going on. Apparently it was a graduation ceremony. I had to duck going through a door today. I am one of the tallest people here, which is hard imagine. I felt much better today despite the fact that I only had pizza and popcorn all day. I was already asked which Uruguayan futbol team I like: Peñarol or Nacional. I chose Peñarol. It seems to be a good choice.
Fri Nov 22- WE woke up today and went on a run. It was nice especially because Elder Chalí isn´t in good shape. We studied for 4 hours after, and then we made some food. Rice and hot dogs. WE visited a ton of people today and then we had game night at the church. Uruguayans talk so fast. I can´t understand much of anything. They are super nice though. I had a rough night though because I kept thinking about home.
Sat Nov 23- Today we went to Matia´s house to print pictures for a party for Marisel. Marisel is a convert who is leaving on her mission to Chile on Dec 4. We spent most of the day prepping for the party. The party was pretty fun. We played games and ate some kind of sausage.
Sun Nov 24- Today we woke up and went to church. I passed the sacrament and then I was asked to share my testimony. I was freaking out and I didn´t say much. There were 17 people that came to church. It is a small little building. It isn´t a chapel really. It is just on a corner of a street. Elder Robles, the Elder from Chile, told someone I can play the piano, so I will probably end up doing that next week. We don´t have one at the church now though. When we left church, there were fire works going off. I didn´t know why until later. There was a futbol game going on. We visited the Mesa family. They want me to share something with them tomorrow because I didn´t say much today. We went to the Villegas house after. They had the futbol game on. Peñarol and Nacional were playing. They are die hard Peñarol fans. Hermana Villegas fed us well, with a bunch of bread with dulche de leche. (AMAZING STUFF) We went to Susana Rey´s house for lunch. We had pasta with spaghetti sauce. It was pretty good but I eat pasta everyday. I am already tired of it. We went to Lorena´s house after that. We came in the middle of a lesson with the other Elders. It seemed to be a pretty good lesson. We snacked and played games for a while after that.