Monday, October 8, 2012
First Week in Chile!
I AM HERE IN CHILE!!!!! It’s so crazy to think how far I am from home. I love it here though! My mission president is way amazing and his wife! We got to eat a sweet meal and sleep a decent amount before heading out. Chile is pretty dang different ha-ha. My trainers name is Elder Matt Gardner, he is from Highland, UT and knows some people of mine. Ha so nuts. I was the only nuevo missionary to receive a gringo trainer. I was pretty excited about that. But it got even better, He is so Awesome! We already have gotten along so great, we are super alike each other and it just makes the transition easier! We both just have so much Animo (enthusiasm) and we just want to get to work, it also does help that he knows a lot of Spanish.
I am in the area of Los Muermos! It’s in the Puerto Mont zone. I love it here! haha oh man is it different. This area is a small farmer town in the Campo (country) around us there is just tons and tons of farming land and campo. We are a branch here and we have anywhere from 35-40 people that attend. Our building is pretty dang sweet it’s a 2 story house. Ha just a little different from home huh? But yeah I am now the 2nd counselor in their branch. Elder Gardner is the first. Ha feels weird to be that when I don’t even know Spanish at all. I have to direct our meeting I think in 2 weeks; super stoked for that. Our branch was super small about a year ago only about 20 but now its rising slowly. We just gotta keep the animo to keep it going. Every day is such an adventure I love it.
We live in a house its larger than most places you can live. It’s made of wood, since it is bigger than others it just soaks up the cold. It is SOO COLD HERE! I feel like I am camping at times because we keep our house heated with a wood burning stove, so we have to chop wood and stuff to keep us warm. Most of the houses here are made of Sheet metal or wood. I’ve been hit with culture shock pretty hard. But then when I get to work I kind've forget. We wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11 here. We have a breakfast made by us, and then our mamita (who just happens to be the branch president’s wife 10 steps away from our house) makes our lunch at 1 every day. My meals usually are a hot dog with rice and eggs, or noodles, or soup. It’s always served with bread and lettuce with tons of oil on it. It’s not too bad just super different. They don’t have dinner here, so you gotta eat a TON at lunch to keep you full. Then, every now and then, there is one with members which is like a night time snack. Usually its bread with jam TONS of BREAD! It’s good too! And a hot drink called ecco. It smells like coffee kind of buts it’s not. I LOVE it ha. Oh man I’m scared I am so going to get chubby I can just sense it. Everyone that comes here gets kinda chubbier cheeks the branch members always joke with me asking if I am excited to have chubby cheeks.
Regarding the language I can’t understand about 90% of everything people say or even more haha. It is so nuts how fast Chileans talk it’s like a whole other language too, they don’t say their "s" at the end of words like gracias or vamos, and they always use a filler word , Po, after EVERYTHING they say. I talk to them though with no fear haha they sometimes will just start laughing or won’t get a word I say, often times we will be in a lesson and I will be called on it say something and have no idea what to say, I’ll just testify of the gospel, something vague and hope it’s on topic. But overall I feel if you just know why your here and stay positive you don’t get Tooooo frustrated, sometimes it is so frustrating but that’s just part of growing your faith, I have had a couple freak outs of dang this will be so hard, but then I go in a lesson with a menos activo or investigator and things get better.
Oh there are SO much dogs here just walking around the streets it is so different. They get so annoying and some will try to attack but if you reach down and act like you’re picking up a rock they run away its great. All the houses here are made of Sheet metal and wood. It’s just so different. And most people here speak a slang of Spanish even more then Chilean called camposino which is like hillbilly basically. So it’s pretty dang hard to understand them.0
I got some sweet rain pants and rain jacket from the mission home that everyone gets. It already has rained 3 times since I have been here so I just need to get used to that. Challenged my first investigator to baptism and each time we brought up baptism her baby would cry, Satan works in the craziest ways I hate it. But she confirmed to a date, we just gotta get her to stop working on Sunday so she can make the date. Another funny thing was we got into this house and they weren’t really interested just nice, but their daughter went for the Chilean culture cheek kiss and I was not expecting the approach and Elder Gardner said my face was completely afraid it was soooo funny haha, but I accidently nudged her away with my elbow which is super rude and degrading, she was super embarrassed and I felt bad but then we explained that we are missionaries and we just can’t and she then understood. Haha oh gosh I’ll have some great stories for you. Oh all members joke with you and they think I look like a movie star, which I don’t, maybe just cause I’m gringo who knows haha oh goodness.
Oh all the little kids in the streets always run over to us and say, TIO TIO!!! Tarjeta Tarjeta! which means they want a pass along card or just something free, they don’t even care what it is they just like free stuff here it’s so funny, they just go and rip it up after too. I love teaching though here, it really is important that you gain the branches trust, and they are already really liking us, it’s cool how you don’t have to speak much to get them to like you, we will do a lot of reactivation work here, but it’s such a great thing to help people get back on the track. Tracting is tough but I love it, great practice. My first time was the first day, I was pretty nervous, but I was just like sure when he told me it’s your turn, totally butchered everything and all I think I said was Hola! Somos un misioneros de la iglesia de jesucristo! and he just stared at me. haha practice makes perfect right?
LOVED CONFERENCE! GOT TO WATCH IT IN ENGLISH ONLINE! SOOOO HAPPY! I Soaked up every talk. Oh my gosh, it was like Christmas it made my life.
Oh for my address my whole mission will just be the mission home address then they send it out to all of us the address is:
Mission Chile Osorno
I only get 45 min a pday to write both you and the mission pres so sorry! I’ll try to get in as much as I can! Not gonna lie it has been a pretty unreal super tough week but I am just smiling having the time of my life! I love the mission already! Every part of it all, even the morning workout, ha-ha But I love you all at Home! Oh when the sky is clear you have a pretty sweet view of Volcano Osorno and 4 other volcanoes in the Distance! SOOOO SWEET! No flea bites yet but I am sure I’ll get some soon, it’s just kinda whatever. It’s funny the little things that are different, the birds noises and such, my pday is one Monday btw. Oh and its super crazy just the height difference. The average height here is probably 5' 2".
I barely can understand anything so far, but I know with the Lord and the trial of my faith will be good. Just got to enjoy every part of the journey not just the finish line especially here on the mission, I think that was Uchtdorf, the apostles just speak to you, it’s so great! Nothing is in English here, not even this computers search button hah. It’s just some gnarly culture differences, but the people here are super nice! Except sometimes when we contact them they are a little mean but right now I can’t understand them so I just am always smiling and when I can I will just smile! I represent Christ and will do his will sharing this amazing gospel to all! Love you all, love you especially Kristy, Blake, Dalan, and Mom and Dad. I feel your prayers!
Posted by Ron at 8:22 PM