And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. ~D&C 84:88

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tastes Like Sofrito


Last week we contacted and contacted and contacted to find new investigators. Also, we went back to contacts from the week before and we have a new family to teach! Yay! 

What does and doesn't work: well, it's hard to teach someone you contact at night, but making appointments for the next couple days worked pretty well. But contacting at night is often difficult but it's hard to find other things to do at 8:00 because people are starting to close up house earlier because the electricity here in PR is got more expensive about 2 weeks ago. We prefer finding people by members and references but it's not like we can have one of those EVERY day so we have to work to find inv. 

But the members here are amazing and they feel bad that we are always walking around and they want to help us find people to teach- but it's also hard for them to find their friends or family who are actually interested or who haven't already listened and didn't accept the Gospel. 

But we do have a neat family that we're teaching who were a reference from some members! We also have 4 new investigators from last week that all came from contacting. One of them we can only teach in English so that was interesting for me!

Church yesterday was great! The Bishop's talk was pretty good- he talked about how we have a physical nutrition guide called myplate right? and he turned it into a spiritual metaphor of how our vegetables, etc are things such as faith and prayer, repentance, etc. I really liked it!

Speaking of nutrition! So the week BEFORE this past week we had a nutrition activity for RS. A nutritionist came and explained to everyone myplate and she also weighed all of us and gave us our BMI. 

She also gave us a long list of all the common Puerto Rican foods that we should avoid.... I laughed because I've eaten every single thing on that list in the past month and I usually eat two or more of those foods every day. But I'm not complaining because the members love us and they feed us and I only have a given amount of time to be here in Puerto Rico to eat all of these delicious foods.

The bad news is that I have gained almost 10 lbs (The scale showed 9 lbs more but she weighed us and didn't subtract for my clothes and my heavy walking shoes... which is all pretty heavy) but the good news is that my BMI is still very healthy! So my answer to how my health is.... I've been doing pretty well because I'm exercising every day and I try to eat healthy at home. 

Sometimes I feel like I have a bit of a cold but it comes and goes. It turns out that I am particularly allergic to garlic and it gives me really bad headaches but only if they feed me a lot of garlic. So that hasn't happened to me in a couple of weeks, and at least it's not a migraine! So in the end I am doing alright and I might be a little round in the face when I come home. :D

The differences in the food from different areas... Well here there are a couple of members who cook different things than just rice and beans! I forgot to tell you last week that I ate what was basically lasagna but instead of pasta it was layered eggplant with cheese and marinara sauce. That was interesting! I also had some fish last week but it's not very common to eat fish here because it's expensive even though we're on an island. But pretty much the food is the same as my other areas. 

All Puerto Rican food tastes almost the same because everyone uses the same GOYA seasoning and sofrito (which are things like peppers, onions, garlic, etc, all grinded up together) they use sofrito as a base for pretty much everything- rice, beans, meat, anything. 

Last week we ate a REALLY tasty sancocho- which is pretty much like a stew that had meat (it also had pigs feet but I didn't serve that to myself... I've tried it before and it's all fat and weird texture) and it had potato, platanos verdes, dumplings made of flour, corn on the cob chunks, and things like that. You serve it over a bowl of rice with lots of broth and it's quite tasty!

Also- The other day I realized that I totally eat like the Puerto Ricans. It's really uncommon to use a table knife to eat. They usually just put out forks. At the beginning I was really careful how I ate using only a fork and sometimes a knife if they gave me one. 

But the truth is that when they eat meat they use their left hand to hold the meat in place and a fork to rip it apart. or they pick up the meat with their left hand and bite out of it. It took me awhile to get used to that- but without a knife there is no other way to cut the meat because it's too difficult to do it with just a fork, so everyone uses their left hand- not all the fingers, just the thumb and pointer finger. 

I mean, not everywhere is like that, but just about! so I learned to just watch the host and copy how they eat. And almost everyone eats with two fingers on their left hand depending on the food they serve. With the sancocho stew you pick up the corn on the cob and you eat it with your hands. because there is no other way! Here we eat a lot of fried chicken... every now and then chuletas- which are essentially pork chops (I think...) but they're different from the ones mom makes because they are thinner and look a bit like a T-bone steak, and they usually cook them in a frying pan on the stove with different ingredients with sofrito. 

Also, we eat a ton of tostones which are 2 fried platanos verdes, or made out of pana- a funny round looking thing that comes from a tree and is pretty starchy. Also, there are amarillos which are fried platanos maduros. But yeah.

OH! in a couple weeks I will be cooking for a member family a typical dish from home... I am not sure what to make them. What do you think? I am thinking Mama's poppy seed chicken or something like that. Can you send me a recipe and other ideas? I will probably have to double or triple it...

Also we have Zone Conference this week and we'll be teaching, wish me luck.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Good luck to the new Bishopric and send my love to Bishop Miner and his counselors! I'm really grateful for everything they have done to help me and our family and ward.

Good luck this week with everything, I hope you feel better Mama!!

xoxo Hermana Hardy

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