HOLA FROM CHILE!!!!
First things first, don´t worry about me being cold! It´s definitely cold, but nothing a coat and gloves can´t handle. It´s actually pretty similar to moscow cold. The houses aren´t heated, but almost everyone has a heater.
Second, good news everyone! I am no longer in the Concepción mission. I have been moved, by inspiration, to the Chile Rancagua mission. My new (brand new!) mission president will be Elder and Sister Warne. They are changing the mission boundries and everything north of Talca is getting moved. Also, I´m actually not IN Talca. (Okay, actually at the moment I´m in Talca, but more on that later) I´m in the Talca central area, but I´m in a town called Constitución. It´s a gorgeous little costal town where the Rio and the Pacific Ocean meet. I love it!
Anyway, Í am in Talca right now. We had a mission conference to say bye to the Humphreys. We´re staying the night in Talca and tomorrow we´ll head back to Conti (that´s the nickname for Consistución) I love Talca! It reminds me so much of the Dominican Republic.
I LOVE CHILE SO MUCH! I don´t even know where to begin. The people here are SO nice and so humble and they all love 80s music. The missionaries are awesome too. As you know my companion is Hermana Martinez from Mexico. She´s kinda crazy. I like her, but sometimes she´s a lot to handle. She knows a little bit of English and I´ve been teaching her some too. My first night here while we were on the bus, she was trying to tell me that I will recieve the gift of tounges through the Holy Ghost, but she couldn´t say Holy Ghost very well so she said Holocaust. So just know that I will be recieving the gift of tounges through the Holocaust. No big deal.
So Chileans speak really fast. Like, really fast. I thought I had a pretty good handle on understanding Spanish when I left the MTC, but then I came to Chile. I thought they were speaking a different language! My understanding level has increased though. I can actaully pick out words, but I still have a long way to go. The Lord was teasing me the other day though. He gave me the gift of interpretation of tounges for one day. I could understand about 93% of what everyone was saying. Context and all! It was wonderful and I was so excited! And then the next day I coudn´t understand a blasted thing. It´s really easy to get discouraged, but I have to have faith. A scripture came to my mind in church on Sunday. Ether 12:27 which is about the Lord making our weaknesses our strengths IF we humble ourselves. I thought I was pretty humble, but I realized that getting discouraged is not being humble. When I´m discouraged I´m not teachable at all. I have the mindset that I can´t do it and that´s not something the Lord can work with. So that´s what I´ve been working on the last couple days.
Of course, with the mission conference, I haven´t had much time to work on it. Sunday night we rode a bus to Talca. We then had to stay up to 1am (the wouldn´t let us sleep! Probably because we were with the Elders) for our bus. We then drove 4 hours to Concepción for the mission conference. I had a hard time sleeping. For whatever reason, some of the elders wanted to stay up talking and listening to music. At 3:30am (????)
Now about my actual mission. So apart from the fact that I can´t barely follow what´s going on, I love it! I love being a missionary and walking everywhere in the cold and knocking on doors and sharing the gosple with people. My first day in the field was awesome! We got 3 new investigators. Since then we´ve pìcked up a couple more! The culture here is so different. Most people actually like talking about religion and will let us in to share a message with them. We haven´t gotten any doors slammed in our faces (yet). We´ve been rejected for sure, but the people will tell us about their religious beliefs and are still really nice to us.
Saturday night we taught two couples. Juan & Jackie and Jorge & Jackie. And we taught them both the Law of Chastity. There a huge problem with the law of Chastity in Chile. I don´t know the exact details, but there´s a law in Chile that discourages people from getting married. I think it has something to do with in the event of a divorce one party gets way more than the other, but I still don´t really know. Soy Americana. Anyway, we were teaching J and J and we had a member family with us. They´re recent converts and really nice. They joke a lot about me not being able to understand them, but they also talk slowly so I can try to understand them. Anyway so they´re married and were trying to explain to J and J why marriage is so important (I least I think that´s what was happening. soy gringa. no endiendo mucho) I was doing my best to follow along, but I wasn´t apart of the conversation because I didn´t know what was going on and because so many people were talking. All of the sudden I had 5 Chileans and my companion all talking at me in rapid crazy Spanish. They were all trying to explain this Chilean law (that I still don´t really understand) they were trying to use objects as examples but I could really catch was ¿Me entiende? Finally I did an Ohhhhh! face and said Entiendo! even though I really didn´t. Hahaha it was a crazy night.
It´s been a lot of fun though. We´ve been teaching some great people. We´re teaching an 11 year old girl named K and an old woman name F. They´re both great!
Oh! and we were knocking on doors and met a woman named L. She has a family, but at the time was alone. She invited us in and we taught her a mini Restoration lesson and I had this prompting to ask if she knew about the book of mormon. So I....tried....to ask if she knew about the Book of Mormon, but she didn´t understand what I said. Luckily my companion knew what I was trying to say so she asked. It turns out that the Book of Mormon was what she was hung up on. So we explained about it and left one with her. I hope she reads it because I know it will bless her life and her family´s life as well! It was a cool experience.
So you asked about my flight. Turns out it was only 8 hours 45 minute. Not bad at all. I was sitting inbetween two elders, including an Elder in my district I´m good friends with, Elder J. We took some sleeping pills and were out until morning. It wasn´t the best night of sleep ever. I think I was stressed out the whole time because I didn´t want to end up sleeping on one of the Elders and ya know, I was on a plane. In a skirt (but I wore shorts underneath) Not the most comfortable thing ever. Also I found out in the morning that I had my legs on the other Elder at one point. Oops.
So today was the last day that I got to see the people in my MTC district. I have mixed feelings about going to Rancagua. I´m the only one from my MTC district so I won´t get to see any of them again, but at the same time I know this is where I´m supposed to be going and I´m really excited! I was able to get all of their email addresses so I´ll have to email them. I didn´t realize how much I was going to miss them. Anything familiar is really nice when you´re in the middle of a foreign country.
Also with the ipads. It is true that they´re going to be giving ipads to missionaries. and iphone5s. Mostly to the wealthier missions though. I obviously won´t be getting one. It´s a perfect way to teach, especially if everyone else has one. but that is a definite confirmation. And I talked to a ton of girls going to Spokane so there is a good chance I talked to whoever this sister is. I loved talking to the missionaries going to Spokane. I would tell them it´s the best mission in the world! Except Rancagua, sorry :)
I attached some pictures! There´s one of Conti and one of my district plus Hermano S and Hermano L (Hermano L is standing next to me and Hermano S is in the back second from the left)
I love you all much! Keep being awesome!