April 1, 2013
Oh boy, it's been crazy. I have so much to tell you!!!
So here in Copiapó (my area being Copayapu), I'm blonde. We all know I'm not, but they call every white person blonde. And I'm not kidding, one day three families in a row we visited, they call me Hermana Barbie, because I´m tall, white,¨blonde¨ and skinny. I tower over these people which is so weird for me since back home, I'm usually one of the shortest! So they call me Hermana Barbie, or Hermana Blanquita. I think you can figure that one out. Hahah, it's fun. The people look at me like they've never seen a white person before...which I suppose they haven't, but there's been white missionaries here before! Haha, who knows, but I'm a wonder here...and on top of that, I can't speak Spanish, so I'm suuuuper chueco (weird). It's fun.
The Chileno people here ALWAYS say ¨¿Me entiende?¨ (¨Do you understand me?¨) Always, always, always they say that. At first I thought it was just because I don't speak Spanish, but they say it all the time...even when they aren't talking to me! In church, everyone who stood at the pulpit said it at least a billion times (which, by the way, I had no idea what was going. I caught the words ¨diezmo¨ which is tithing, and ¨sacerdocio¨ which is priesthood). And even when they are talking to me, and they ask if I understand, they don't wait for me to say ¨NO I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!¨ because they speak so fast here. Chilenos are the fastest Spanish speakers ever. If you can understand them, you can understand anyone. How fast they speak is the least of my worries. They also slur and drop endings and S's all the time. ALL THE TIME. It might take me a while...hahah but that's to be expected.
Since the last time I wrote, we found 4 new investigators!!! Super cool. And one of them even came to church. Her name is Yoseline (Jocelyn), and she's 19 years old. She is soooo sweet and is really curious and respectful about the gospel. Her dad even said it was okay for her to be baptized. The other three are going nicely. One man, Jaime (pronounced Hi-may) has muchas preguntas. Muchas muchas preguntas. I have no idea what they are....hahaha but I know he has questions. We were teaching him the second lesson, the Plan of Salvation, and Hermana Garcia was listing the ¨steps¨ we need to recieve salvation (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). However, right when she said ¨faith in Jesus Christ¨ I really felt like I had to stop her. I did and I asked ¨¿Tiene fe en Jesucristo?" He paused and answered some long thing that I didn't understand, but what I got out of it was no. He's unsure about everything. So we need to go back to step one and help him develop that faith.
I haven't gotten sick yet!!! I´m super surprised. You know on that movie ¨The Errand of Angels¨ where they HAD to eat all the food? No leftovers? Well, that rule is true. We have to eat everything that is served us, or the people get super offended. They are really poor here in Chile, but they serve us all they have because they love us and want to serve us, so they give us a TON of food. It was hard the very first day to eat everything, but it hasn't been a problem since, because we don't have dinner here! Nope! We don't have it scheduled into our day, because no one here in Chile actually has dinner. They have like a midnight snack called once (own-say...which actually means 11), but that's it. So I'm always hungry. I also have no choice but to eat what they serve us whether it's washed with the water here or not. The juice made with tap water? Have to drink it unless I wanna offend someone. I was really scared at first, but Heavenly Father helped me out. Like I said, I haven't gotten sick yet. That's not to say I won't, but let's hope I never do!
So the walls here are so thin, that it sounds like a window is always open. Usually there is a window always open, but for instance, in our apartment, at night, when obviously everything is shut and locked, I can still here clearly what's going on outside. I definitely took for granted EVERYTHING back home. We have no air conditioning or heating in any building. I'm fine because I have three blankets, and sometimes I actually sweat at night, but when I get out of bed, it's so cold and the floor is freezing! It's getting into their winter here, so it gets really cool at night. The days are still hot as ever though, but you know me! I love the heat! But one morning, I woke up around 5:45 because the stray dogs outside were having a party or something. Every single dog in the world was barking. It was like in 101 Dalmations where one would bark and then another and then another...gah it was so loud and annoying! I couldn´t get back to sleep until the alarm went off (naturally). And I definitley took for granted hot showers...or showers with pressure...gah, I hate showering. I mean, I like to feel nice and clean...but the process is brutal. But that's life in Chile, and it's really humbling. To see people living in shacks and yet they are so happy...it makes me really grateful for what I have back home.
So you know how General Conference is this weekend? I was going to cry because it would be in Spanish, and I wouldn't be able to hear the prophet's voice (something I've never had to be sad about before)...but then I find that they broadcast it in English here! For all the gringo missionaries! Yay! I'm happy again...haha.
Well, that's all for now! Adios!