I guess I'll begin with mate. Mate is a tea that they commonly drink in South America (especially Argentina). It's very bitter and it has caffeine, but it is sanctioned by the church. My companion likes it a lot, but I haven't drank it much for a few reasons. I don't know enough about it for one thing. It's also more of a communal drink. You drink it with a special straw with a filter called a bombillo out of a cup called a mateo and pass it around. That doesn't really appeal to me, but people drink it alone too.
Dogs. There are dogs everywhere out here. Cualquier dog. I don't know a good translation for cualquier. The dictionary says "any" and I guess that's the best translation but it's not really what the word means. Literally, every where you look in the streets, there will be at least one dog. Most of them are pretty nice looking dogs and they're almost all friendly. They don't appear to emphasize spaying and neutering here which is probably why they have the problem. They also don't have any kind of dog shelter as far as I understand.
My companion and I received callings this week. In the LDS Church, every member has a calling- teachers, leaders, clerks, secretaries, etc. Right now my primary calling is as a missionary, but I now have the secondary calling of counselor to the young men's program. I am in charge of the teachers (14-15 years old) and my companion, the deacons (12-13). I'm really excited to work with the young men.
My companion and I are in what's called a whitewash. It means we are both new to the area. That means we spend most of our time walking, because we don't have many people to teach. We did find a mother and her son one day though and they became our first investigators of the church. We taught them the first lesson, about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, and when I shared the first vision, she cried. The room was filled with a wonderful feeling. I won't be surprised if she and her son are the first people I baptize. They make all the hard work worth it. I have more to share, but I'm out of time for the week. Until next week, Éxito!
No pictures again, we were looking forward to seeing the shower. Maybe next week.... Ben will be able to Skype with us on Christmas and we are really looking forward to that. He also shared with us that members of the church usually feed them lunch, which is the big meal there, and it usually consists of pasta with meat sauce or chicken and rice. He says they eat a lot of tomatoes and avocadoes, neither of which he really liked here but they are growing on him.