October 17, 2011

Bienvenidos a CHILE!, October 17, 2011

WOAH.  Chile is real, and it´s big!
I don´t even know where to start.  I´m in Barrio El Sauce, in Estaca Peñaflor.  It´s between the campo and the city, in a small suburb called Padre Hurtado.  almost campo, but not quite.  My Trainer is Elder Fuhriman from Oregon.  He´s Zone Leader, fun, hardworking, and has been on the mission since July of 2010. 
Just to give you guys an idea, this is what I just sent to President King:
´´I´m really loving Chile and the Chileans.  We taught a few lessons to members, and even helped a recent convert write his first talk (Which was absolutely wonderful, by the way.  We gave him some ideas, but everything that made it really really good he came up with on his own!)  I´m starting to understand the Spanish, and my speaking is already improving.  The first few days were a little rough with trying to understand people, because Chilean spanish is way different than the Mexican spanish I was hearing all summer.  But I´m getting used to it, and I can teach parts of lessons and sound semi-coherant, too!  We found this new guy, Chars, who is really awesome.  He said he wants us to come back and teach his family.  The only problem is that he works 9 days straight, then has 3 off, 9 days, 3 off.  But he`s very interested.  Claudia and Marcelo also seem to be interested.  She legitimately had questions about prophets, and wanted to know how she could listen to them!  I´m really excited. 

Here´s the low down on the ward... 56 people in the chapel this week, and Elder Fuhriman said the highest he´s ever heard of in the ward is 58.  There have been 5 baptisms in the ward in the past 24 months (pretty low for Chile).  The last baptism was Alfredo (The one who gave a talk on Sunday) in December or January.  There´s a lot of work to do here.   On Sunday the obispo had me go up and introduce myself to the ward.  So I did and kind of was like, ´´we´ll do all that we can, but we won´t be able to do anything without the members.  So we need your help.´´  hopefully they will, and they already have started being more helpful according to Elder Fuhriman.  Also, We have lunch provided by the ward every day, so don´t worry, mom.  I eat so much, that the other day I thought I was going to throw it up because they put SO MUCH on your plate.  It´s good food, but so much of it!  good thing we walk everywhere...
Chars, like I said, looks promising.  We taught him about prayer, and he had a bunch of questions.  I was able to teach and kind of understand him, too.  We left him with the Restoration folleto.  hopefully he´ll read it by our next cita which is next monday.
Alfredo and his family are really awesome.  They have the biggest house in our area--the biggest house Elder Fuhriman has seen in Chile!  it used to be a president´s house.  Alfredo, wife Yanina, and 2 kids are really cool and funny, but very very nice and loving to me.  Hopefully they´ll be sealed in the next few months!
There are 2 districts of 3 companionships each in our zone, peñaflor.  we have 6 Latins, 6 Americans.  Elder Fuhriman and I are the only companionship without a Latin, and both Hermanas are Latins.  Mindy was telling me about Elder Wilcox from her ward... he´s in my zone!  and Elder Fuhriman trained him before me!  Small world.  Today everyone but the Hermanas came over and helped us paint some walls in our pension (what the apartments are called).  Yay zone activiy!  Our Pension is alright.  We have a califant, not a water heater, which means that we don´t run out of hot water unless we run out of propane.  However, sometimes ours just shuts off while we´re in the shower.  But Elder Fuhriman taught me how to wiggle the knob to make the water hot again, so it´s all good.  Our beds are actually pretty comfy even though they´re on the floor.
GO ONLINE and watch the celebración 50 años mision chilena videos on youtube!  Santa Laura Stadium in downtown Santiago was filled!  It was sweet.  All day saturday.  And I saw Austin Prince!  It was pretty legit.
Now for randomness.  I get to go to the temple if I train later in the mission and on the last day of my mission, fyi. 
Family is the only one that can email me.  everyone else has to hand write or dearelder.com me.  For dearelder: if you submit it by... Friday(?) it will get here Tuesday, and I think I´ll get it the following Tuesday.  And then I´ll write you the following Monday and put it in the mail.  Not a lot of time to write handwritten letters btw.  I send it through the Chilean postal service, and I don´t know how long that will take.  But that´s the way to do it.  Put a date on all the hand written letters, just so I know how long ago it was.  Also, that means I don´t need US stamps.  Í´ll buy Chilean stamps here. 
Mom, can you look into foreign exchange for BYU?  E. Fuhriman and I were both wondering.  We thing BYU has a program with La Universidad Chileana, or Santiago, or Católica.  Please look?  I don´t have time to respond to specific things, but keep sending me updates!  I love to hear all about soccer and school and choir and stuff!  Yes, Santiago is HUGE.  Not so many tall buildings but it just goes on forever.  From the hill... cristóbal? I couldn´t see where green started!  Do you know Ricardo Fuentealba, Dad?  His brother is our Elders Quorum President!  He said you may have served together.
Tengo Que irme!  I love and miss you all!
Elder Cole Moffat