Monday, April 20, 2009

The Bus

Hi there. So here I am. I´m with Hna. Muñoz and we´re staying here in Machalí. I will be here for one change more and then me voy. I am really excited to be comps with her because she is excellent. I´ve already learned a lot from her. I think will see good things this change. There aren´t any significant updates with the investigators right now, just that as of lately we´re really having a hard time bringing them to church. I can´t count how many times we´ve passed by early Sunday mornings to bring them and they don´t answer or are not home, or how many people would promise to us with their life and first born child that we are going to see them in the church, but never make it. Sometimes that gets a little old. But like I said, I´m pretty certain good things will happen this change. I thought that with Hna. Alvarenga we walked a pretty good pace, but Hna. Muñoz flies. This will be good to get to where we´ve gotta go, and I´ll burn some more calories while I´m at it. She´s been on the mission for a while and doesn´t seem a bit tired of the week. I´m really excited.

But this past week has been interesting with the changes. I was with Hna.Cluff for about a week and a half before she left for her home today. I really enjoyed being gringas together. It was a different experience all around, but I learned a lot from her and had a lot of fun. We had a few interesting experiences with the buses. One time we were running a little late for our lunch appointment and the bus that passes for where we were going only passes 1 time an hour (because it is really far away). We were about half a block away from the bus stop and we see a bus that looked just like the one that we needed to take turning the corner. The panic rushed through us and without checking the number on the front Hna. Cluff motioned for it to stop for us. So it did, but you could tell the driver was very hesitant to stop for us, but we booked it anyway. When we arrived at the door out of breath and sweating the bus driver informed us that he is just a school bus driver, but would give us a lift anyway because he was headed in that direction. So we climbed the stairs of the bus only to see about 20 little 8 and 9 year olds silently sitting there, looking at us like we just crashed their party. Hna, Cluff and I bashfully made our way in the back and giggled all the way there about how goofy we must have looked to the bus driver… two white gringas flag him down and then charge after him when all he´s trying to do is take the kids to their homes. He must have felt bad for our effort. That was fun.

The other notable experience with the buses wasn´t quite as fun, but a little more embarrassing. So there we were, headed to an appointment on a hot crowded bus when the driver takes a sharp turn. I play ¨corners¨ with Hna. Cluff and squish her a little bit against the window as the bus makes the turn. Ha ha, funny right? A good 3 or 4 minutes passes, I´m lost in my thoughts, not paying much attention when the bus makes a relatively sharp turn again, but the other way. Hna. Cluff hadn´t forgotten what I did to her and in fact wanted to play the game too. It all happened so fast, I honestly don´t remember how it happened but before I knew it I was on the dirty aisle floor of the bus, shocked and even more shocked at what had happened. I think I yelped a little bit so every head turned in time to see me awkwardly sitting on the floor. Yes, Hna. Cluff did shove me off the seat onto the floor. Though she promises that she didn´t think I was actually going to fall off the seat, and I probably wouldn´t have if I had been prepared. It was just the unexpectedness of the whole push that caught me off guard enough to actually fall. Don´t worry, I´m not so pesada that I didn´t have a good laugh too. After the matter.

I haven´t been snapping as many pictures lately for the ug dog contest. Ithink the uglies have become more normal to me. I´ll keep my eyes pealed. I know I need to print more pictures, it seems like there is little time on P-day to get everything done, especially when everything is in Rancagua. I´ll try to get it done in the next couple weeks.

It hasn´t rained yet… Turns out the good weather we´ve been having is super unusual in this time of year. Somehow they figure by the weather and the way the ants have been scurrying around the winter is going to be a harsh one. We´ll see. I put an extra blanket on my bed last night. The nights are getting cool.

Thanks mom and dad for your constant e-mails. I don´t know if you know but to read the supporting words means so much to me. I can see your love for the family, for me, and for the Lord. It´s incredible this chance we get on the earth to live and do good things. Thanks cal for your e-mail! And thanks to friends when I get an e-mail here and there. I really feel like the luckiest gal around. I´m learning about a lot about stuff…like life, and Jesus Christ and what makes a good person.

Mom, you asked for the play by play of my day. I´ll give you a quick run down, since I´m running out of time.

6:30am - I try to wake up early and study language. It happens about 60 percent of the days. 7:00 - Comp prayer, make bed, stomach crunches
7:30 -Breakfast, get ready for the day
8:30 - Personal study
9:30 - Comp study
10:30 – Embrace the world and work
1:30pm – Lunch, travelling to and from
3:30 – Leave to work again
9:30 or 10:00 – Enter the house and plan
10:30 - Eat food, prep for bed
11:00 – Sleep.

Okay, time. Family, I love you so much. Thanks for being you. Remember to say your prayers. LOVESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is Jon. He's the one that reminded me of Erik when he was little. Jeremy is the one in the back that would only close one of his eyes during the prayer. Cute little guys!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Juan Carlos Part 2.. "Fuerte! Fuerte!"

Okay, I´m going to start with Juan Carlos. He didn´t get baptized. I know, He´s killing me. Turns out he went to a party with his buddies when Chile played Peru and got drunk. All that fun stuff. It was pretty disappointing. Because they have to be clean two weeks before baptism, we´ll be waiting a little longer. But the good news is, he´s definitely growing. Yesterday in church was fast and testimony meeting. Juan Carlos told us that he wanted to go up there and bear his testimony and have Hna. Alvarenga translate for him. He was soooo nervous. But he kept pointing to his muscles and gesturing that he is ¨fuerte! fuerte!¨ (which means strong). So he did it. It was pretty incredible. It put all the old ladies in tears. In the following classes everyone was talking about Juan Carlos, and how he´s a great example to them of faith. That even though he doesn´t hear or talk, it doesn´t matter to him. He´s doing this, he´s trying to follow Christ. I really think he helped the ward out. Right now we´re trying to get down to the bottom of it all. He´s been so close so many times and something keeps happening. We´re trying to figure out if there´s something bigger impeding him, but at times it can be a little challenging the communication. But good things are happening.

We have taught this kid named Francisco 2wice now. He is a cute smart 17 year old boy that has incredible desires to learn and do good things. His dad doesn´t like the mormons, so we´re teaching him in the house of one of the members. This kid is pretty awesome…it´s really cool to me to see a 17 year old teen with this kind of interest in the gospel when all his buddies are out doing not so good stuff. We´re really excited about him.

The other day we had a couple hours to knock doors and found ourselves in this pretty little farmland area. The sun was just setting and it had a handful of homes scattered here and there with big fields as property. It was an older area so there were a lot of trees that were taller and as it is autumn here there were leaves all over the ground. As we walked along knocking doors I could hear all the leaves crunch under me, it was a fresh cool outside and I could smell APPLES. Fresh apples. My companion and I weren´t talking much, just walking and looking and listening to our surroundings. To me it was the essence of fall, and it made me excited for the cool weather. But more than that everything just felt good. I always know that I am loved, but in that moment I felt a little more than usual the love that Heavenly Father has for me, and that he loves all of his children. And we´re blessed enough to have this beautiful marvelous world to enjoy. It was just nice.

And yes, the results for the changes have come. They are doing some pretty funky divisions this week to get everyone settled, but when all is said and done, this coming Monday I will be staying here in Machalí with my new companion Hermana. Muñoz. She is a native CHILEANA. This is good. Because she is good. She seems like an incredible missionary and is very nice. Among all the nervousness and the bit of stressfulness of joining the two huge sectors, I´m really excited for the change. Hna. Muñoz will help Machalí a lot. Hopefully together we can do a lot.


Grr… so much I could say.

Know that I love you so much. Dad, the Pastel de Choclo is definitelya staple chileano food. With corn and beef and eggs and potatoes and about whatever else they want to throw in. It sure is tasty. I love you mom, I love you dad. And Cali and Geoff and Erik and Danielle. I wish I had more time to do some more responding… I´ll talk to you later!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Conference Weekend


Conference weekend passed…I absolutely loved it. I always like conference, but it was about 100 times cooler being here in Chile and listening to it (Jessie, I saw your mom and thought about you!!!). First of all, it was cool because in the stake center they had set apart a "gringo room¨ where all the gringo missionaries ate candy, talked in English, and watched conference in English. But the coolest part was that 3 of our investigators came with us to watch :)This is happy because it´s about an hours travel to the stake center. That was very exciting. Recently we´ve set a baptismal date for a girl named Camilla. She is 13 years old, but seems like she is a lot older. She has a good mind and is a very noble person, with really good values. She´s wonderful, and has a great desire to learn. She is living here in Machalí with her Aunt for various reasons, but she hasn´t gotten permission from her parents yet. Juan Carlos should be getting baptized this weekend. I think I will burst with happiness and excitement to see him take this step! He is very excited, and it´s incredible to see him and his testimony of Jesus Christ grow. I really love our investigators. A lot of time I wish I could express my feelings of admiration for them and what they are doing and my love for the Savior better. My Spanish skills and ability to do just that are growing, but I still have such a long way to go!

My companion and I are learning a lot from each other, about the missionary work, and about being a good person in general. I´m really grateful to be with my companion. Turns out that this change 5 sisters are leaving home and we´re only getting 2 more, so they will be taking out one of the Machalí sectors. This means that there will only be two sisters in Machalí as of 2 more weeks. We will be combining the investigators in one sector. This is….not the best news in the world, but I think it´ll be good. We´ll be doing a lot of divisions this week so that we can all get to know one another's investigators. Nobody (like always) knows what´s going to happen, who´s going to leave….but by process of elimination, we´ve figured out either Hna. Olson (my companion from the MTC) or I will be the ones staying in Machalí holding down the fort with a new companion. I don´t know why, but I´m already nervous!

Mom, Yes, they are still shoving greasy stuffs down me. We get fed for lunch by the members and it´s a lot of food. I don´t have any recipes written down. Mostly all I need to do to make Chileano food is to cook a bunch of stuff like fried meat and rice and noodles and tomatoes and throw it all together on a plate and put spaghetti sauce and olive oil on top. There. That´s about what the food is like. Oh, and lots of bread. Though it can be tasty. I´m not ungrateful.

I think the flea and lice problem of our companion has been taken care of. They have good shampoo for that stuff here.

Thanks for sending me a package! I´m excited. I hope the vitamins wont be a problem. Did you find out if it would be okay to send them? Oh, so ya know…because of daylight savings time and because I´m on the other hemisphere of the world, now we´re only two hours difference…just so ya know.

I love you so much, I´ll talk to you later. Time. Up.