Monday, June 22, 2015

Third Quarterly Update: 18 Months and Counting

Well hello friends and family, Here we are with a much more significant update than perhaps ever before-

18 month mark quarterly update

So, three days ago- 19.6.2015- I passed 18 months in Argentina, in the mission. A year and a half. Three quarters of my mission. A pretty big milestone that I passed in a pretty quiet evening in the apartment writing in my journal, Thinking about how things have changed- mostly me- since I started the mission what seems like not so long ago.

Long reminiscey paragraph go:

I remember the first day of my mission, Getting off the plane 28ish hours after leaving Edmonton, hitting the wall of heat and humidity that was Buenos Aires. I remember some of the MTC, vaguely the mental struggle of trying to grasp Spanish, the frustration and also satisfaction that I felt as I made menial, insignificant progress. I remember the day that I came to Mendoza, and rio plata changed to Andes and humidity to dust. The heat stayed basically the same. I wish I had a picture of the day that I stepped out of the airport with president Avila- the vista of the mountains, the cap of clouds that lay over the city letting through a few stray beams of sunlight onto the city and the foothills, an incredible blend of subtle greens and browns. I remember that I slept on the bus to San Juan. Here and there I remember some of the hottest most miserable days some of the more funny butchered conversations in my first transfer. I remember the service projects. I remember that time seemed to speed up every day. Suddenly I was with my second companion, then my third and fourth. From San Juan to San Martin, from San Martin to San Luis, from San Luis to Mendoza, back to that grey-brown vista of the clouds becoming the mountains. I remember that at some point the Mendoza bus terminal started to feel like home to me. I remember a lot of different people, stories, lives that I sort of peeked into for an instant before moving on. I remember a whole bunch of different proselyting techniques, to try to find more investigators- And I also remember that ironically it never seemed to be by the way I tried to find people to teach that we found people to teach, but they did show up. And now I'm here, another Monday, another weekly letter, time is still flying by.

Alright, long reminiscey paragraph behind us, let's talk business.

First- How is Elder Backstrom of health? he had bronchitis and was in the offices for 8 days. we're very very worried.

I'm fine. My lungs are responding well to the medication that I'm taking right now, the bacterial infection part of the illness is long dead, and I am working again. The doctor said there will be no residual effects in my lungs; I will be able to work normally regardless of location; and that I need to stop being macho-Canada man and put on clothes when it's cold. even if I don't feel it, because I'm dis-accustomed to the cold and will get sick, regardless of the fact that I don't feel it. :P

Second- How is elder Backstrom looking?

Way Good. According to this artists impression,

​Elder Backstrom is very good at keeping his face very still for long periods of time. Gracias to Elder Moita for the drawing.

Third- How does Elder Backstrom sound?

mp3 attached.

No attached MP3 because blogger does not allow me to upload sound bites, but the recording is goofy Dallin saying, "this is how I sound now" you can use your imagination!

Alrighty, let's make some lists.

Who has been my companion?

Elder Spice (trainer) (California)
Elder Veintimilla (Spain/Ecuador)
Elder Ortez (Honduras)
Elder Fernandez (Peru)
Elder Inca (Peru)
Elder Enriquez (Peru)
Elder Saavedra (Chile)
Elder Paz (Uraguay)

>Fun Fact: every one of these elders except Elder Paz and Elder Inca are currently finished their missions.

What foods have I learned to cook?

Ñoquis (potato pastas)
Chori-pan (german sausage on bread)
Asado (Beef smoked over coals)
Pizza (Argentina style)
Milanesa Napolitana (Like shnitzel)
Ensalada rusa (a salad with eggs and potatoes and things)
Ensalada de tomate y cebolla (Tomato and onion salad. good with asado.)

>Since we have little time to cook and eat, the majority of the things that I actually end up cooking are sort of just quick-n-easy inventos, so as to have time to eat them.

What crazy things have I done in missionary efforts?

Building houses for free
Washing car windsheilds at a stop light
Making food-based prizes for those who keep their comitments to come to church
uno tournaments
surveying people
Handing out pass-along cards in buses
English classes (failed)

>Funny how the most normal seeming technique that I have listed here, English classes, has honestly been the hardest to realize. I have tried it many times. 

Important things that have happened:

  1. I no longer have the chubby face that I gained in San Luis
  2. I have achieved humor in Spanish. I can make people laugh! it's really quite important for me. Well, I mean, I can't make everyone laugh. but at least some poeple
  3. I speak like a combination of porteño argentina BA accent and centro-americano papa-en-la-boca butchered pronunciation (this will mean nothing to you if you do not speak Spanish)
  4. My beard grows faster now due to what I presume to be a gillette conspiracy to put growth hormones in shaving cream.

Well, I think that's about it.

Honestly, in these last six months the most notable thing that has happened to me is a significant increase in my personal understanding of the role that faith plays in every moment of my life. Through a collage of small spiritual experiences I have had questions resolved and have come to feel more happiness due to the influence of the spirit. I have also come up with a new moto to wake up to every day, o sea, I thought a lot about what I need to be achieving as a missionary and realized that really, I need to, more than anything else, be allowing the master to shape me into what he wants me to be. I will go where he wants me to go and say what he wants me to say in order to allow him to make of me what he, and, ultimately, I, want me to be.

I only have until the end of the year to enjoy this precious experience. I only hope that I can take full advantage of the time I have left. I feel tranquil and prepared. It'll be good.

We'll see each other,
Take care of yourselves in these next six months,
Don't run with scizors,
Apologies for the bad spelling and all,

Elder Backstrom

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post! Good to see that Elder Backstrom is doing well, and still has his sense of humour. :)