Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"I love Chile" - Elder Mayberry

I love Chile!
I'm so glad to be here right now preaching the gospel. It truly is an amazing experience.

  So I have a ton to write and this time I took notes of what I wanted to say to everyone haha so hopefully I´ll say everything I want to. So I think I´ll start off with random things about Chile, or life here, or whatnot, that I remembered to write down that I didn't put in the last email. I'm just gonna do a list...and its gonna be super random because it's just things I've randomly thought about during the week.
   -I'm gonna talk about Spanish again haha. It's improving. I'm actually quite pleased because I understand almost all of what is said. Speaking is much harder though, haha. But it really depends on the person that is talking, because some people you can understand clear as day when others it's near impossible. Its really fun though because you learn and grow everyday and can see it. Like when I learn a new Chilean saying or word that they use here, it's funny because I will see it used like a bajillion times that day. Fun stuff! I'm talking somewhat in the lessons, it really just depends what we´re talking about. Like if we teach lesson #1 I'll do half of that lesson, but if people are just talking about everyday things it's a little harder for me to add something haha cuz I have to think about everything being said and how to respond and all that good stuff. But I'm trying and improving, which is good. Everyone is super surprised to hear that I´ve only been here two weeks. They all say my spanish is really good. So that's a confidence booster haha.
   -On more than one occasion people have told me or assumed that I am from South America or Spain or something. Not because of my spanish but because they say that I have a face of a South American. I have NO idea where they get this from....I'm as gringo as gringo can be. Me and Elder Hastings laugh whenever someone says it cuz we both don't understand.  It's happened like 5 times over the course of 2 weeks. We have asked other people what they think too and they say nope. So I dunno. Chileans are crazy.
   -The trash system here is kinda similar to ours, except they don't have barrels. They just put grocery bags in front of their fence and the trash truck picks them up. And sometimes they have these little metal bin things to but the bags in.
  -We changed the hour last week. We went an hour forward. I thought that was interesting cuz we do the same thing back at home.
  -I feel really comfortable here too, like Ryan does. I was talking to Elder Erickson about it the other day, how on the second day it really didn't feel weird walking down the streets in a foreign country. I know that I'm supposed to be here right now and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do so.
  -Fútbol. Its huge here. Since I got here, Chile has played twice. And the people love their soccer here. We were walking down the streets and would randomly here a TON of people cheering, so we knew that chile had scored. Then after they had won tons of people would run around in the streets and be in the backs of cars honking and yelling and waving chilean flags. It's really cool to see. Both times they played they won, so this happened twice lol. Whenever they play, we basically have zero success talking to people because everyone is locked up in their homes watching the game.
  -I really like P-days here. We just study in the morning like usual, then come here and do emails, then have the rest of the day to do whatever and eat whatever. So naturally, we went to McDonalds. That was so good! I got two "cuarto de libra con queso" which is a quarter pounder with cheese. And fries and a drink of course. I think that McDonalds is better here for some reason. Oh yeah haha, to order it plain, you say "plain queso" Makes it easy for me. We´ve been twice so far, on P-day and another day when the family forgot that we had lunch with them, and I think we´re going again today after this-haha. Its ok though, I'm doing a ton of walking :)
  -Near our pension there is a carnival, just like the ones back home haha. Except I don't think I would dare to go on any of the rides becausae I'd be risking my life. It doesnt look too safe haha but there's always tons of people there having fun every night. So I guess it's ok. We can't go because it's only open at night, and our p-day ends at 7.
  -They write money amounts funny here. $1,300.50 would be 1.300,53. It's bizarre.
  -We sing a lot here. Pretty much at every lesson. And they do a weird thing here because no one can play the piano in church (I don't even think there is one). The person leading gets up there and then sings the first line for el tono (the tone), then we sing. We do that in lessons too. Pretty weird at first, but not anymore haha.
  -The weather here is super nice. On average it's been just like weather at home. Except I never know how hot it is cuz they use degrees celsius. But it has also been very random. One day it was blazing hot and the next it rained the entire day. And the rain here comes down hard and in large quantities. I had to use my big jacket for that day, and havent used it since.
   -They don't have too hard of a time pronouncing my name. They just say it and it sounds kinda funny but I just tell them that thats how they say it cuz it would take forever to try and correct them. They can't say my companions though haha, because the "ing" sound doesn't exist.
  -We dont have mamitas! I don't think they exist in this mission. So that is disappointing. I had to do laundry...
  -They have long names. This make blessings or baptisms especially hard because you have to say their full name. Their names are as follows: Their first name, a middle name, the last name of their father, last name of their mother. So they have 4 names in their full name, and they are usually hard to pronounce. So thats pretty funny.
   -Everyone LOVES to hear that I have a twin in Concepción and then I show them a picture of us and they start laughing hysterically. They say we look exactly the same.
  Oh yeah, we´re hunting for a new place to live, haha. Our current house is outside of our sector, and the Mission President wants all the sectors to have their own house. So we´re currently in the process of house hunting.
   In terms of food, things have been good. Had mashed potatoes here for the first time so that was good. But we´ve also had some stuff that wasn't too great also haha. But overall it's good here, the food. The portions are just huge. Yesterday I had what they call here a completo. Itrs a hot dog in a bun, with mayonase (which is way different here), ketchup, and onions. Didn't really like it too much but I ate it...two actually haha. I've been eating all sorts of fruit that they give me, cuz thats usually what we have for desert. So that's not too bad. Much better than vegetables....eww.
   We had a very interesting experience on saturday for lunch. Theres a part of our sector that is pretty far away, towards the mountains. So it's like a 40 minute bus ride there. But, we ended up getting lost cuz our bus driver said that it was still coming, but we had thought we had passed it. So we trusted him and eventually were in a way differnt part of Santiago haha. So we were way late and the family called us and asked where we were and we told them we were lost and the father had to come get us haha. Pretty funny. We did lots of running around that day.
   Well thats all I wrote down, so now I'll talk about my week. This week has been really good. We do a lot of lessons with people that are less active, cuz theres a ton of them here. So a lot of the work we do is re-activation. But we do have some really good investigators. I'll talk about one right now. Its the familia Rocco Perez. Theres Ximena and David, the parents, and they have 5 kids. They're an interesting case though. So Ximena, the mom, used to be a testigo de jehova (jehovahs witness). She was one for like 20 years. She was married to a man who was also a testigo. They had three kids, Maria Jose, Marcella, and Valerie. But then they got divorced and Ximena remarried to David (the current spouse). He was not a jehovahs witness so she was excommunicated for that. So shes been married to David for a while now and they have had two more kids. Thus 5 in total, 3 from the first marriage and 2 from the new one. They are a really amazing family. I got here after they had been taught for about 3 months or so, so they were very far along. Ximena has an amazing knowledge of the gospel and is super interested, as is David. They are getting baptized this Sunday! We asked them to be baptized last week in the beginning of the week, because it was obvious that they were ready. Ximena and David both said they would, but the other two kids that are old enough to be, said no. We´re now talking to them more. It was really cool though, because after they said they would, Ximena bore her testimony about how she knows that this is the Lords church. She told us about the first Missionaries that found them and how it was 10 minutes to 10 and they were headed home but decided to knock on one more house, which was this families. She told us how she knew that this was the Lords hand in their lives that the missionaries decided to knock on that one more house. So that was a super spiritually uplifting experience. So theyre getting baptized this Sunday so that will be super exciting.
  All of our other investigators are really good too. We´re working with a lot of familys that are inactive that have kids that haven't been baptized so we´re working on reactivating them and baptizing. But other than that thats the most exciting news. We´re teaching a lot though.

But yeah, that's about all for now. I'm absolutely loving the work here and I love Chile. Church is true. Til next time!

¡¡Lots of love!!
Elder Aaron Mayberry

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