Monday, October 1, 2012
Dear all, I made it to Chile! The flights were long, but I had some pretty interesting people next to me on the flights so it wasn't too bad. haha. President Kahnlein picked me up at the airport and then we picked up the assistants from the temple in Santiago (they got a special exception to go because one is leaving at the beginning of next week) and then headed to the mission home where I proceeded to eat lunch with the Kahnlein family! Haha- it was really funny because I've never had a mission president with children. It's pretty fun. Then my comp came and picked me up. His name is Elder Rivera and he is from Guatemala. He is super cool guy! Another missionary (From Ecuador) and I arrived randomly this past week so they actually just put us both with the zone leaders here in Vina del Mar and we split the area until transfers in 3 weeks. Splitting the area didn't go very well for us just because it is all mountainous!!! My legs are really sore and I've got a couple gnarly blisters, but I'll be fine. haha. We're back to the good ole days of being late and running to the apartment. I'm sure I'll lose plenty of weight. I'll try and get some pictures of the giant hills we climb soon. They say it is worse in Valparaiso... haha... I'm sure I'll get used to it. The members seem to be super cool... I'll go ahead and answer dad's questions now. 1. What does the language sound like in Chile? They sound like Argentines but with no sh sounds. They use a lot of different words though, but most are for slang things. Other than that basically the same vocabulary as Argentina. Elder Rivera always laughs at my Mexican spanish because it is pretty much the same as Guatemala. 2. Any strange foods yet? Nope, I've only had 2 meals up until this point. One at the mission home which was cheese burgers and another with a member yesterday that was like a 4 course meal (they live in a really nice area)/ 3. Any signs of mountains or is it all flat like Texas? As I said, it's like all mountains. Or super big hills... whichever you prefer. But then you can definitely see the beach and everything. It's super pretty. Definitely a lot better looking place to go on a reunion visit than Buenos Aires... haha. Definitely nothing like the landscape of Texas. 4. What was your first Sunday like? It was good. They had me share my testimony- it went well. There are 10 missionaries in the ward right now actually with us 2 newcomers.. haha... so in that aspect this ward reminds me of texas, but other than here there are generally 2 elders in each ward. We just have 4 office elders, the assistants, and us 4. 5. Have you used any of the words you got from Elder Cañas yet? Haha, yup, I impressed many Chileans with my chilean vocabulary. All of them are very confused about how I speak Spanish so well. haha, I just say I lived on the Mexican border to make things simple. 6. What about all those ties, did customs let them in without a tax? hahahaha, yep. My roommates were bewildered when I took them all out. So funny. Mom- I forgot you put those dried mangos and nuts in my bag! I just hurried and ate them all on the flight to make it simple and not have any problems. haha. What else? I forgot how ghetto the housing for missionaries is down here. They say ours is one of the best. haha. I've successfully impressed many people with my Spanish. President Kahnlein gave me a "10." haha. The work is quite a bit different here, and they've been struggling. On average they've been baptizing about 60-70 a month. When I left Buenos Aires we were baptizing 130-140 a month and in McAllen about 70 as well. Soo, the mission needs some help and I'm happy to be here to be able to help out! In other news- i just realized I forgot my big coats and my winter boots... haha.... but it should be warm the whole time I'm here. Right now it is kind of chilly in Chile. haha... sorry... so we wear sweaters (stupid call packet...), but I'm just wearing short sleeves because it feels so great coming from texas. haha. I don't really know what else to say! I love you all! Hopefully I can send some letters out soon to the friends and everything, but it might take me a couple weeks to get settled and find the post office and all, and then I'll probably be transferred... haha. I appreciate all the letters, even though it seems mom and dad are the only ones who love me this week! haha, j/k, i just talked to most of you anyways. Love you all! Take care and thanks for your support!