August 4, 2014 (Week 9)

My birthday so far has been different, but I can´t complain. People haven´t paid too much attention to me, and to honest, I kind of like it. I get uncomfortable when people are fussing over me. We had one family make a big deal. They bought a VERY heavy chocolate cake and a ton of candy and a singing frog for my birthday, and they sung me happy birthday. That part was kind of funny, because the youngest one, Benjam, was doing that I-need-attention cry that 3-4 year olds do the whole time they were singing, and for some reason I thought that was hilarious. I was laughing through the whole song.

I have actually become way more conscience of what I put into my body. Part of it is the food here. We bought some food from a thing called the Fariet, which is where all the people in the community take up half the road with stalls and sell food, clothes, junk and stolen things. You would love it. We bought some eggs there for cheaper than the grocery stores. They were super fresh. Like, still got bird poop and blood on them fresh. Kind of gross, actually. I wash them with soap and limit myself to two in the mornings, along with two tortillas and some cream cheese, and some tea to kill a nagging cough.

Chileans treat food… differently here. For example, they don`t refrigerate milk in the grocery stores. Or eggs either, for that matter. Or a lot of other things that I would have thought were absolutely necessary to refrigerate. I haven´t yet died, though, so maybe they are on to something.

Also, fun note, today is my second month-a-versary in my mission! I don`t know how I feel about that, honestly. It feels kind of like I´ve been here give or take forever, and I´m VERY aware of how much more time I have out here. Of course, most of the problem is that I´m spending probably too much time thinking about how far I´ve gone and how far I´ve yet to go and not concentrating on now. That being said, you would be super proud of how good I´ve gotten at setting goals. I´m going to save my planners, and when I get home I should show you the one from this change. It´s a scribbly, well used, work of practical art. I write a lot in it, and I´ve gotten super good at making goals to keep me going.

Elder Mathewson

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