Monday, April 25, 2011

25 April 2011

Whole and transversely-cut fruit

Solanum quitoense, known as naranjilla (Spanish pronunciation: [naɾaŋˈxiʎa], "little orange") in Ecuador and as lulo ([ˈlulo], from Quechua) in Colombia, is a subtropical perennial plant from northwestern South America. The specific name for this species of nightshade means "from Quito."

The naranjilla plant is attractive, with large heart-shaped leaves up to 45 cm in length. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in short purple hairs. Naranjilla are delicate plants and must be protected from strong winds and direct sunlight. They grow best in partial shade.

The fruit has a citrus flavour, sometimes described as a combination of rhubarb and lime. The juice of the naranjilla is green and is often used as a drink.

holaaa !!

We´re working hard and teaching a lot, and a few of our investigators are progressing. Mostly the references...Contacting seems a lot ´cooler´, for want of a better word, but it´s just not that effective. Lots of people here like to éscuchar la palabra´, but few are willing to keep commitments of any kind and fewer will actually come to church. Still, we have found several really awesome families through just talking to people in the street, so it´s not like it´s pointless.
My companion and I are getting along well, and I´m learning how to direct. My Spanish gets in the way sometimes, but it´s getting easier to understand people.
José, the drunk guy in the street, is awesome. He and his not-quite-spouse are trying to quit drinking and are doing well. They didn't come to church this week because they were out of town, but the have a real desire to change and we have high hopes for them. They´re really just awesome people.
No new jugos this week...I had mango a couple times and maracuyá, and I made guanabana con leche in the house. Oh! I made jugo de lulo as well. I guess it´s kinda like a lemon, but I didn´t know that so I made the jugo with milk. Bad didn´t curdle the milk like a lemon would have, but it tasted like limonade made with milk, and was probably a waste of good lulo pulp. I don´t even know what a lulo looks like, I just bought a bag of pulp to try.
Other food stories...I ate probably the nastiest thing I've eaten in my life this week. They said it was some kind of candy made from papaya...basically it was like eating a big bowl of hot, chunky jelly. I felt terrible afterwards but I didn't throw up. I hope I never have to eat it was my companion's first time eating it so maybe I'll be lucky.
Things are going well. I´m not totally comfortable yet, but I´m starting to enjoy missionary work a lot more and I feel like I´m improving. Life as a missionary is strange, but not bad. Felicidades to Garrett on the proposal...crazy! It's weird to think of him being married, and for a year and a half by the time that I get back. I'm the last one left.... o.O

Elder Coffman

This fruit is sometimes referred to as Cherimoya, Custard Apple, or Sweetsop. It is thought to have been introduced to South East Asia by the Spaniards, and is now cultivated in the West Indies, Bali, the Philippines, and tropical South America.

At time of harvest, the guanabana skin is deep green in color, with small, soft spines covering the surface, along with geometric scallop grooves. When ripe, the fruit turns greenish yellow and becomes much softer. Small brown seeds sprinkled throughout the white juicy flesh, combine to provide a somewhat cottony texture and highly aromatic vanilla like flavor. This fruit is growing increasingly popular, as trends in the tropical arena are now discovering the easy blending advantages of Guanabana.

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Widely used in juice drinks, beverages, baked goods, cereals, yogurt and ice cream

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday , April 18, 2011
This was a good week. I´m contributing a lot more to the lessons and we found a lot of good investigators this week. Unfortunately none of them went to church, but several seemed very interested. That´s one of the things about working here, very few of the people owill reject us outright, they´re just too nice. So it´s important to find out if they are really interested or just humoring us so that we don´t waste time. One of our inverstigators, Jose, we found drunk in the street one day while walking to an appointment. He yelled at us from across the street, then invited us over to his house. Later, when we were in the neighborhood we decided to go visit him. It was different from what we expected, he was not drunk and very friendly and told us about how he had been visiting lots of different churches but had never found one that seemed right to him. He also told us a story about when he was in the army, a random person gave him a new testament on his birthday, and that was the only present he got from anybody. There are definitely people who are prepared to hear the Gospel here, and our lessons with him have gone really well. Jaime and his sister essentially told us not to come back. We think it´s because of their mother, who visits them a lot and is very Catholic. That was a real bummer of an appointment when they told us they didn´t want to listem any more. I´m learning a lot about teaching and about being comfortable around people. I still have a long way to go but at least I feel like I´m progressing. Tomorrow I´ll have been in Colombia for a month. The time is going by quickly, much more quickly than in the MTC. I´m pretty sure it´s because we´re working all the time. It´s hard to know if we´re being successful or not, sometimes missionary work is very self-directed. that is, the effort we put in may or may not be related to the success we have, and sometimes that´s discouraging. But this week was good. jugos...this week I had mango con leche and maracuya (???, not sure how it´s spelled), and I made some more of my own of mango in the house. Soooo good. Ben

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ben 11 April 2011

Familia y Amigos,

This was a good week, we worked with members a lot and contacted a lot of references. It´s definitely true that contacting references is much more effective than knocking doors. Every once in a while though, we find somebody that progresses from just fishing.

There were 3 baptisms in the ward this week, two kids turning 8 and one woman, Ruth Elizabeth, Serna Cortez, that we and the previous missionaries taught. One of the kids, Jesus David, was my first ever baptism and Ruth was my second. I did them both right the first time, which was nice. My companion and others from the ward did the confirmations.

Spanish is coming. That´s about all I can say, I´m not sure when I´ll be able to hold a conversation without saying ¨Que¨?¨every other time somebody says something. I´m trying to learn some vocab every day, and I can say things more easily than last week.

I usually teach a small part of each lesson, but I realize now how much better I could have used my study time in the MTC. It´s not that I wasted time, it´s just that I couldn´t understand what real lessons in the field were like. I have a lot to learn still, about the lessons and about how to teach in general. My training is 1-4 over, so I need to learn quickly.

Yesterday I made jugo de mango. It was good, but I felt a little nauseous after drinking it. Today I made jugo do guanabana, but when I left it in the fridge to cool somebody knocked the glass over...gah! But I´ll have lots more opportunities here, I suppose. I need to buy more guanabana pulp.

I have a long way to go yet, but it´s nice to be involved in the work even as much as I am. If nothing else, my trainer couldn´t be here working without a companion, so I´m contributing something. Oh, he is a gringo, he´s been here for 18 months, in the mission for 20. He´s a hard worker and a good teacher, and I´m learning a lot from him.

I enjoyed cinnamon´s letter, lots of the things I didn´t understand during conference because we watched half of it in Spanish. Maybe when the Liahona gets here I´ll be able to study and figure things out.

Other things...Not many people are writing me, but I don´t really have time to respond to them if they did, so I guess so long as they realize that.

My brain has stopped functioning...I hope everybody is doing well!

Elder Coffman

Monday, April 4, 2011

photo from ben

More from Ben(Elder Coffman)

Querido Familia,

It´s been a good week. I´m learning a lot and we met a few new investigators that seem really promising. Jaime is studying to be a lawyer and lives in a house with his sister. He´s 24, single, and very receptive and interested when we teach. He´s the kind of person the church needs here, I think, and like him.

In addition, we´re doing lots of reactivation, especially with prospective missionaries and that has been going well. There was a baptism this week, a girl the previous missionaries taught, and that was neat. I played the piano for the baptismal service, and though it was just a fairly cheap electric keyboard, it was fun to play the piano again.

There are perks to being in of the big ones is the panaderias. Fresh-made bread all the time, and kinds that you can´t find in the US. The tiendas on every corner are nice as well.

Speaking of meals...we eat at members´houses for lunch every day. I couldn´t eat everything my first day here, but after that I have been working on growing my stomach and I have been able to eat everything I have been given. I couldn´t have eaten so much in one sitting a month ago. If I had known it would be like this I would have practiced in the MTC. My companion, on the other hand...he looks about the same size as me but he weighs 40 pounds more and he always finishes his food in half the time that it takes me, even when I eat as fast as possible. I don´t know how he does it. In general I have liked what we have been eating. The meat here is the only thing that´s difficult to get down, it´s so fatty and gristly. There´s always some kind of rice, usually fried plantains, and if we´re lucky a jugo of some sort. Jugos! That´s one thing I´m going to bring back with me. Basically they´re blended fruit and water and sugar, or sometimes milk. It´s always hot here, so they are way nice. The strangest thing Ive eaten here is probably a mixture of fried beets and onions and I think peppers. I mixed it up with my rice and it was pretty good actually. There are mango trees all over the place here and they are just starting to be ripe. I´m going to make jugo de mango at home soon I think. I shared a mango with my companion a few days ago and it was delicious.

Spanish is coming. It´s not there yet, but it´s becoming easier to understand what people are saying. I´m not exactly comfortable when I´m speaking it but I can usually communicate what I want to.

I´m still healthy, which is nice, although a pasta from yesterday gave me diarrhea for a few hours this morning. I´m glad nothing more serious has happened.

Elder Coffman