|Elder Nielson, Elder Layton, President and Sr Olsen|
So we left for the airport on Monday afternoon and then flew out that night. The long plane ride was from Mexico to Chile, almost 9 hours. I was only able to sleep about two or three hours because it was kind of uncomfortable, but the view was amazing. I couldn't stop looking out the window because the stars were out, and I could still faintly see the ocean. It was truly incredible to see at around 40000 feet.
But what was even more amazing was the flight from Chile to Uruguay. Luckily, I got a window seat in both planes :). But in Chile, there was heavy fog, so much that I could barely even see the plane´s wing from out of my window. But when we broke out of the fog and over the clouds, the sun was coming out and it was all probably the most amazing view I have seen in my life. It was like an endless ocean of pure cotton that went on as far as I could see. I could even see the curvature of the earth in the clouds, the way you see on the ocean. After a little while, some mountains started peaking up over the clouds, and it really just looked fake. It was all such an incredible plane ride.
Also on that plane, I got to talk to a lady next to me, and she didnt really know anything about the gospel but she seemed uninterested. But anyways, we got to Montevideo and met the Mission President and his wife, as well as the APs and some other missionaries. They were all super cool, and I really like our President!
We had some time that day to rest up in the mission home since we traveled all night, and then we had some classes with the President. The next day, on Wednesday, we had some testing done in the morning, and then went back to the temple, which is right next to the mission home. They lined us up and we all closed our eyes while our trainers walked behind us. We sang called to serve, and when we finished, we turned around to meet our trainers. It was all so cool! I think Hermana Olsen posted the video of it on the Uruguay facebook page.
But I turned around and met Elder Nielsen, my companion for the next 3 months! He is from Centerville, Utah and has 21 months on the mission, so I will be his last companion. He is awesome and has been teaching me a lot!
My first area is in Montevideo. I am serving in a zone called Flores, more specifically in the area of Las Acacias. I love it here too! We are sharing an apartment with Elder Maxfield, whos been out 8 months and his companion who he is also training, Elder Pettit. They are all super sweet, and really easy to get along.
Our apartment is ok, but what really gets me is the bathroom. It is sooooo tiny and the shower is so small that i have to basically stand sideways, or else I am pressed against the cold sides. But it's all good :).
My first night, we went to a ward dance to drop off some refreshments and meet some of the members. It wasn't like what we are used to in the states though with the youth, but it was instead the whole ward! So it was really funny seeing all of these middle aged people dancing as hard as they could go. They dance CRAZY here and they got some serious moves! Haha.
But the next day was my first full day in my area. Both Thursday and Friday were super hot, even though it is just coming out of winter here!
On Thursday, I had my first member meal with an awesome lady named Teresa. She made some incredible food and she knows how to do it right! Actually I have really enjoyed all of the food that I have had here so far, and it has actually come in great variety. We usually have lunches with members, and that is there big meal of the day. Also, they don't even eat dinner until like 9 at night so we don't get to eat anything until we get home around that time.
One thing here that really grosses me out is that there are dumpsters on every street, and usually there are people in them too, digging around for things they could sell or use. Sometimes, we just see two legs sticking out of the top of a dumpster. it makes me sad that so many people have to live like that.
On Saturday, the weather totally flipped on us. It rained from start to finish during the whole day and it even flooded some areas. Apparently in Uruguay, when it rains, everyone cancels everything, and even skip work. That was exactly what happened. We had our whole plans for the day get wiped out. We tried visiting some less actives and contacting some others, but we had no luck on that day, and pretty much just got soaked.
But Sunday was a lot better! We went to church and I met the whole ward. The bishop invited me to come up and bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting, so that was fun :). And it was good meeting everyone afterwards too. They are all so nice and I love how I can feel the same friendship and love from people I don't even know on the totally opposite side of the world. It is really difficult learning everyone's names though because I have been meeting so many people.
Sunday night was awesome. We had a Noche de Hogar (family night) over at Gonzalo and Marina´s apartment, who are a super nice newly wed couple. Also, [....], who is a less active, currently being reactivated came. We taught a lesson about the light of Christ and watched some videos by Elder Bednar. It went well and I think [....] really enjoyed it.
Anyways, I am loving it here in Montevideo. The people are all really nice, the food is awesome, and I enjoy working with my companion, Elder Nielsen. I am so excited for my time ahead! Chau!!