Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cameron forwarded this.  These are observations from some of the missionaries...

Things that are different about Argentina

1. Milk in a plastic bag
2. Whole family on a motorcycle
3. Coke in a glass or plastic refillable bottle
4. Squeegee the floor after showering
5. More dogs than people
6. Facturas
7. Chipa
8. Kiosko on every corner
9. Sidewalk cleaning every day
10. Uniforms (aprons) for school
11. Flip flops in the shower
12. Plaza in every city
13. Street venders that sell anything you could ever desire, often announced by megaphone from the 50´s that you can´t understand
14. Clapping hands instead of knocking
15. Shaking forearms, shaking elbows
16. One room cement house, but still the best electronics in town
17. Liquid yogurt – to drink
18. Little peek doors in the middle of a big door
19. Alfajores
20. Empanadas
21. Dulce de Leche
22. Mate
23. Ñoquis
24. Liver attacks, baja presion
25. Dogs on the roof
26. Dogs so sick they don´t have hair
27. Water tanks on top of each house
28. Street names the same in every city
29. Eat the whole cow (tongue, udder, stomach, heart, intestine)
30. Police that either do nothing, or promote illegal activity
31. Houses with names
32. Any animal you can imagine, loose in the street
33. All ítems gift wrapped at pharmacy, bookstore, etc.
34. Publicity cars with huge speaker on top
35. Publicity airplanes with huge speakers
36. Limited list of possible baby names
37. No right on red
38. Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light, GO!
39. Driving without headlights at night to save battery
40. Throw used toilet paper in garbage instead of flushing it
41. Peugeot, Renault, Fiat, New Ford Falcons
42. 220 volts
43. Tiled sidewalks
44. Mud ovens
45. Candy used as currency substitutes
46. “Only good meat exists in Argentina”
47. Trash baskets on a stick
48. Broken glass on top of walls
49. Honking your horn instead of stop signs
50. Sit outside and watch TV inside
51. Cars parked and left in neutral and running
52. No carpet
53. Huge flying cockroaches
54. Four hundred year old buses and trains
55. Coughdrops used as candy
56. Women sweeping dirt streets every day
57. La ciesta – when the World closes
58. One 40 watt light bulb used to light entire house
59. People saying “ch ch ch” to get your attention
60. Stores that never have change for anything bigger than a 5 peso bill
61. One electric line with 30 other lines illegally attached to it (“enganchado”)
62. The family towel, used at the table, on the floor, in the bathroom, wherever!
63. Sidewalk polishing
64. Selling home made bread in the streets
65. Saying “viste” after every sentence…¿viste?
66. Washing clothes by hand.
67. Wagon tied to the back of a scooter going 30 mph down the road with 2 kids in the wagon
68. Riding a scooter or motorcycle with your helmet on your arm, not your head
69. It´s normal to have bugs living in your mattress
70. Anything available in original quality is also available in trucho quality
71. Smiling in pictures is not cool
72. Kids shoot birds with slingshots everyday, and often for food.
73. If you don´t want something…burn it in the street
74. Cashiers don´t know how to bag groceries
75. Roller deoderant
76. Dog footprints in every slab of cement
77. Cut down trees with a table saw
78. Instead of the government taking your money for working, they give you money for doing nothing.
79. Flush a toilet with a bucket of water
80. Burnt cars stay in the street for years
81. Insult your friend to start a conversation by using the word “Boludo”
82. Fried eggs for breakfast is crazy
83. Throw eggs and flour on your friend to tell them Happy Birthday
84. Pierce your face everywhere. It´s cool
85. If your clothes have 3 stripes, it´s cool
86. Ketchup flavored Doritos
87. Only good food are galletitas
88. Cyber – often runs off Windows 98
89. You have to filter the tap water
90. Bikes are so bad that you need bike shops on every street
91. Shave your head except for the top
92. If someone moves on your property without permission and has little children, you can´t kick them off
93. Breaking the law is ok, actually encouraged
94. Cut all the limbs off of the trees, it looks nice
95. …Then plant the cut off limbs to make new trees.
96. La Chicharra – the loudest bug in the World
97. Mailing a letter and putting so many stamps on it that they have to weigh it again and charge you extra
98. Muddy streets flooded for 3 weeks after rain storm
99. Putting a pool of oil on mashed potatoes instead of gravy, or on salad instead of dressing
100. Raw crunchy peaches
101. Packing 150 people on the bus
102. Hanging on the outside of a bus or train is safe
103. Jumping off a moving bus because it won´t stop to let you off
104. Bidet
105. Kissing everyone in the room to say hello or goodbye
106. Any flavor of tang available
107. Feriados every Monday
108. Concrete telephone poles
109. Everyone named “che”
110. Skeleton keys
111. Strips of plastic instead of a screen door
112. Half dozen eggs wrapped in newspapar
113. The Zanja
114. Dirt roads in an urban area
115. Villas
116. Cutting the grass with a machete
117. Glass, cardboard, tin collectors – collect garbage for a job
118. Diesel and electric trains
119. Fireworks on Christmas Eve
120. Cumbia
121. Ceramic tile for floors, walls, shingles, porches, etc.
122. Decorated buses
123. Graffiti political campaigning
124. Putting bottle of water on top of cars, horses, etc. if they are for sale
125. Littering is not a crime, but it´s encouraged
126. Wine and beer cheaper than water
127. “Lick-n-Stick” Bricks
128. Argentine architecture: Wood? What´s Wood?
129. Bars on windows, doors, peep-holes, etc.
130. Meat and cheese not refrigerated
131. Eight lanes of traffic on a 5-lane street
132. Asking permission before praying
133. Standing in lines that are a block long so you can pay your bills
134. “Sientensen, callensen, disculpenmen, hagansenlon”
135. Breast feed your baby anywhere, anytime
136. Trucks/cars/motorcycles dragging steel re-bar down the streets
137. Everyone is a handyman – lo atamos con alambre
138. Every house has a 6 foot high fence lined with barb-wire and glass
139. Pizza – cardboard with cheese
140. When there is grass in parks, you´re not allowed to walk on it
142. Gated windows, gated doors, gated yards, and a bienvenidos sign.
143. Put a glass of water on your head, it cools you down
144. Garlic in braids
145. No electric stoves nor ovens
146. “I´ve lived here for 30 years, and I´ve never met my neighbors.”
147. Playboy next to kids magazines
148. Porn in public
149. No fire hydrants
150. No public trash-cans
151. ATM-in-a-room
152. No receipts unless you ask
153. No sales tax
154. No painted street lines nor markers
155. Cut the lawn with a weed-wacker
156. Mayonaisse on everything
157. Privately owned sidewalks that change every 10 yards
158. Stick your arm out to stop the bus
159. Store overhangs at forehead level
160. Mufflers are an option
161. The produce guy chooses your fruit, not you.
162. Batteries sold individually
163. Puppies made in public every day
164. Dogs eat dirty diapers
165. Wooden or plastic blinds outside the window
166. Street lights run on normal city power and go off when the power goes out
167. Lingerie shop on every corner
168. Remisería on every corner
169. Lotería on every corner
170. English t-shirts with grammatical errors
171. Don´t replace the window, tape it
172. Unpitted green olives on pizza
173. Wooden playground slides
174. People weld without masks
175. Breast feed your toddler (2-5 years) when he/she asks for it
176. No air conditioning, just fans
177. Trees that are impossible to climb due to thorns
178. 3 year olds buying beer and cigarettes “for their parents”
179. Every car stereo is more expensive than the car
180. Play the radio loud and out your front door so the whole neighborhood hears it
181. 30-year payment plan for anything
182. Every person is still building their house, adding on to it, or building around it, and they never stop
183. The whole family sleeps in the same room
184. No sewer system, just dig a huge hole in the ground to store your fecal matter
185. “Juntados para siempre”
186. Sinks and showers drain into the streets
187. Buy prescription drugs without a prescription
188. Buy anything you want in the train, including medication
189. Chapa
190. Weird cheese
191. Hay pan pero no hay monedas
192. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber…Super Stars
193. Kids become neighbors of parents when they grow up
194. 15 year old girl has a baby at the same time as her mom
195. “Si Dios quiere”
197. Snows once every 50 years, if that
198. Long complicated directions to nowhere
199. Argentines always win and are always right
201. Rich or poor, no in-between
202. Argentines are experts on everything about America
203. Playboy bunny stickers and logos everywhere
204. Genie pants (poopie-pants)
205. Argentines think the Falkland Islands, digo, Las Malvinas, still belong to them
206. Prices always go up
207. More complaining than actually doing something about it
208. Los Simpsons
209. Argentine T.V. is pornography
210. Streets are empty during soccer games, rain, or ciestas.
211. All pizza and empanadas are the same no matter where you buy them
212. All guys check girls out without shame
213. Salt used for everything, Pepper – spicy
214. Use your gas stove and oven to heat your house
215. Protests for anything, and nobody stops them
216. The best worst drivers in the world
218. Manu Ginobli is a Super Hero

Friday, March 16, 2012

San Vicente AGAIN!!!!

March 12, 2012

Hey all!

So it turns out that I'll be here in San Vicente for another 6 weeks. It'll be pretty interesting. We are still seeing progress but at times the work is frustrating. Something I've noticed though is that things are good when I am happy, and when I get tired or just frustrated the progress of everything seems to slow down. So the secret is that if I am happy, things go well. Looks like I need to be happier.

This last week has been pretty normal. The only different thing would be that we had Zone Conference. We got together with about 50 other Elders and with the mission president and had a Capacitation. It was really really good. He talked alot about how obedience brings happiness and peace. It's true. We can see the difference between the happiness of those that obey the commandments and those who don't. In Mosiah 2 it talks alot about that. That obedience is the only way to be truly happy. Turns out in this life that we can choose to do whatever we want but in the end we can't choose the consequences of our actions. Those come pre-packaged as a result of what we do whether we like it or not. If I choose to be happy, I'm gonna end up seeing things better and more optimistically as a natural result of my choice to be happy.

The mission is divided up into transfers or time increments of 6 weeks. Every 6 weeks there are changes of area or companions in the mission. This last transfer has been a real challenge for me. I have learned through really difficult experiences how to be humble. Sometimes God puts us through alot so we are malleable enough and he can form us into what we can be. I've realized through all of these experiences that I, Elder Cameron Anderson, have alot of potential. That the only thing that keeps me from changing and being better is me. 

Wilford Woodruff, a modern day prophet taught alot about that. He said, "I firmly believe that every person has the potential to change." His quote was longer and more profound but I forgot it. No worries, I wrote it down....somewhere. But he talked about the idea that as we are obedient and humble God takes us through the fires of this life and molds us into the person we can truly be. That reaching our fullest potential really is rough and stinks sometimes. Made me think of my High School Cross Country Coach who always used to tell me "If you are comfortable, then you aren't running hard enough." He was right. If we truly are trying to do our best and be better everyday, then we should feel stretched a little. A little worthwhile. Turns out that these are the experiences that stick in our minds and make us who we are. I'm not sure if I´m ranting or preaching to the choir, but it is a lesson that is new and I really truly am learning it right now. Lucky for me! :)

I love you all. Hope you are healthy and happy. Don't worry Quinn, I'm
almost perfectly healthy!!!!

Love you all,

Elder Cam

Some growing experiences from this week.....

March 6, 2012


Howdy Folks. Hope you are all doing great! I'm doing just fine here in San Vicente, Buenos Aires, Argentina. I've been a little sick for about two weeks but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I think I'll be all recovered by next week.  Lately I've been passing through alot of difficult situations that have humbled me alot and I am learning a ton. Some things I have learned:

1) I hate the heat and I am so excited for winter.

2) I hate dogs. I loved them before coming to Argentina, but here there is Dog to human ratio of about 5:1 and they are all mangy and pee on your suit jackets and scriptures. And just not cool.

3) That if you don'tlike someone you can learn to like them. There is something awesome in every single chabon and cazy.

4) If your boogers are neon green and glow in the should probably see a doctor (I still haven’t gone and I'm not planning on going. Haha! Take that!)

5) Even though 100 pesos is only about 25 dollars it feels like alot....especially when you lose it and were going to buy groceries with that.

6) The grease they put on bike chains here stains white shirts really bad.

7) Being happy is a choice and the solution to everything. Sometimes you have to force a smile, but if you force it for long enough you'll actually start to feel happy and it'll become real!

Overall it's been a pretty great week. It might be my last here in San Vicente. We find out if we stay or go this Saturday. I've realized that I've worked really hard here in San Vicente and we've seen a lot of miracles and results. Our tiny branch of the church here is growing. Little by little, but it is growing! Through all the rough things that I've experienced here, the lesson I have learned is that God loves us so much and won't leave us hanging in the crappy experiences. We have to pass through but he is waiting on the other side with a smile and a hug and the classic question "What lesson have we learned here?" I love you all very much and hope you are doing awesome! I'm doing pretty darn good myself! I pray for you all and think about you often even though I shouldn't! :)

Elder Cam

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Las Fotos!!!!

Las Fotos!!!!

Hey All! Finally we got some picture action going. Turns out technology is a little behind here and some of the computers don't have that capability But finally the day has come! 

This week in San Vicente has been pretty good. Lots of heat, humidity and then heavy heavy rain with winds and just craziness. It is really awesome except for the fact that it literally destroys the houses here made out of chapa or corrugated metal. The people here are really afraid of rain for this reason. If it is going to rain they won't go or do anything. Something really foreign to me...turns out I'm in a foreign country. Makes sense don't it! I've noticed too that as my Spanish is improving my English (especially grammar and spelling) is going down the tubes. Oh well! Can't have it all!

All week long I’ve been struggling with a pretty heavy sinus infection and pneumonia. No worries though! I talked with the pharmacist and I'm gonna get all kinds of cheap Argentine drugs to cure me!  That is how it works here. You can waltz into the pharmacy and say "Hey, I’ve got a sore throat and cough up boogers the size of Texas that are green and nasty." Then they say...."mmmmm, you need this box. Take one pill every day. That'll be 40 pesos." And then you are healed! Amazing! Who needs doctors when you have a good pharmacist!  Some things are really backwards here.

We've been working really hard and found a bunch of good people to work with. We've been focusing a lot on repentance with them and have seen a lot of progress. I've realized that repentance is so important. You can see through my emails that it is kind of an ongoing theme with me. I found an Awesome scripture in Alma 19:33 that says

 And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.

I love that repentance comes when we make up our minds and change our desires. That we have no more desires to do evil but to do good continually. I'm repenting more and more everyday. I've got a long way to go still, but it is possible to change! Difficult but possible.

I love you so much and think about you often! Keep praying for missionaries! We need it! And as far as I know there were no missionaries in the train accident. We are all good here in Buenos Aires!

I love you All,

Elder Cam