Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter #11 11/26/12

Dear Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so happy to hear that everyone was together to celebrate! I can picture it so well in my mind that I feel like I was there :) We celebrated Thanksgiving here as well, go figure. There is a senior couple (The Hills; they actually have family in Heber, they tell me, but I don't know if they're related to the Hills in our ward...) serving in our area and they invited our district over to have Thanksgiving dinner. It was wonderful. Elder Hill gave a small talk before the dinner explaining the origins of the holiday for all the Latins, but it got a little awkward as he started talking about how the United States is the best country in the world, etc... Not that I don't feel that way too, but I keep my patriotism mostly to myself when I'm in a group of 11 Latin Americans. Elder Hill asked our Zone Leader, Elder Labrador, to offer the prayer over the food because only an American citizen could appreciate the freedom we have in the States. But the food was really good (I almost started crying when Hermana Hill brought out the pumpkin pie), and we love the Hills. We're planning to have a Noche de Hogar with them this Friday for all the single less active sisters and investigators in the ward. There are many.

I don't know if you've heard of mate, but the culture of Uruguay revolves around it. It's a kind of herbal tea, and everyone here loves it. You pour the dried herbs into a special cup, add hot water, and sip the tea from a special straw that drains the leaves. It's not against the Word of Wisdom, at least not explicitly, but missionaries aren't allowed to drink it. If it was, there would be massive apostasy in Uruguay and absolutely no one would listen to us. People literally take it everywhere. They walk down the street with mate cups and thermoses, drive scooters with it in hand, etc. It's kind of crazy. I'm a little suspicious of it, but it makes proselyting a little easier in the evening: everyone sits outside on benches and drinks mate with their friends, so it's easier to find people to talk to. It also makes up for siesta time, when there is literally NO ONE in the street.

There are a LOT of people here who suffer from mental illness. Everyone we talk to seems to know at least one person who has depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. A lot of people are under really heavy medication for all sorts of things. I'd like to know a little more about these illnesses in order to help people, but in the past my primary resource to find out would be the internet, which is unavailiable to me now. Can anyone help me out?

That's all I have time for. Love you so much! Thank you so much for raising me right and for being wonderful examples.

Siempre, su hija,
Hermana Phillips

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