October 14, 2013
Mom, Dad, and Family,
This is a kinda “real” letter. I’m doing a journal thing again, too much happened!
Day 42-3 (Monday – Tuesday)
OK, the last two days have been a bit of a blur. Had a really good last class, managed to pack and leave by 8:00. Left a little late because Johnson didn't wake up till 7:00 and I couldn't pack while he was sleeping. Left breakfast and headed to class where we had personal study for a little longer than usual because Hermano Smith was a little late. But after that we talked a little about Daniel and had a Q and A until 12:00. Had a good rest of the day. Played one last game of Ping-Pong in which I finally beat our District champ (Johnson). Left for the airport afterwards. Got there in time to buy calling cards but our bus was stuck for like thirty minutes because our driver got lost... kinda funny! We also got stuck watching everyone’s bags for an hour and a half while they found something to eat. So I was starving, but I got to call, and that’s what was important! Got on the flight and got to sit by/preach to this awesome girl from Reno, who was going to Chile for a 3 month excursion into Patagonia and then a 2 month vacation to Brisbane Australia. She was way nice and a history buff so we got a long really well. I talked about the church for quite a bit and she was very familiar with it and had read most of the Book of Mormon but just wasn't seeking religion right now. She liked how understanding and accepting I was and told me that I would do well, because I wasn't narrow minded or too pushy but I just talked about and explained my religion and beliefs without condemning her own. Got to Santiago, hauled butt to immigration, then baggage claim, then back through security where they confiscated my umbrellas…still kind of mad about that. Still made my flight. Sat next to another group of elders from the Santiago MTC on Peruvian named Elder Santisteban and a Chilean from Vino del Mar named Elder Rivera. We all made jokes and had quite a few laughs about my gringo Spanish... but they told me my accent was really good. First glance over the mission was breath taking I've never seen anything as beautiful! At first we could only see what I thought were entire mountains coming out of the bottoms of clouds. Turns out they were only the top quarters. Then we got to see the gorgeous lakes and rivers that go all over the countryside. We headed over to baggage claim and the first people we saw were the the President, his wife, and the APs who had driven 2 hours just to meet us and get our bags, how awesome! Me, Johnson, Elder Crautzer and the sisters were lucky enough to get into the car with the President and his wife so we had about two hours to talk with them and that was awesome. They are so nice and funny. The countryside is so beautiful here! The grass is truly greener on the other side... of the world and it even mows itself! …or at least the cows take care of it! Went to the mission home had a 3 course lunch of an awesome salad, lasagna, and then brownies and ice cream. I then had an interview with the President where I found out that I'm being sent to Villarrica, an awesome touristy town and that my compañero is Elder Renshaw! Everyone’s been telling me how awesome and hilarious my companion is and that he’s addicted to juice. We had completos afterwards, which were fantastic! And that was probably my favorite part of the day!
Day 44 (Wednesday)
Didn't have time to write too much about yesterday so I'm doing it now. Just woke up in a hilariously sketchy or “tueco” hotel but it wasn't horrible. Went to immigration and had a hilarious conversation with the Peruvian and Chilean who I flew in with about man eating sirens and mermaids in Chiloe, ghosts in the hotel last night, and the lisps of Warner Brothers and Lucus films actors. Apparently they speak with a theta. Got the passport stamped and understood the joke that the other Elder Johnson (a hilarious office missionary who like me was also “born” in Villarica ) was trying to play on me so I told him that I had memorized the necessary phrases. He was sadly disappointed. Here’s some “need to know” lingo so my letters make sense.
1 born: where you started your mission
2 father: your trainer
3 mother: your second compañero
4 grandmother/father: your father's or mother's, father or mother (I met both of mine but they died my first day, how sad!)
5 brother: your trainers other son (I'm his first so I don't have any yet)
6 uncle: trainer’s brother
7 died/death: ended mission
8 killer or murderer: last companion of the deceased.
Took a bus to Villarrica, got home at 7ish. Took a little time to meet the Branch President, talked with an inactive, and then ate some delicious chorizo and headed to bed.
Day 45 (Thursday)
Day two on the mission, woke up and froze my butt off! During personal study kept going back to the clothes room for gloves, a coat, another pair of socks, until finally I just took the largest blanket off of my bed! Studied till 12:30 and then we went to the mamitas to pick up lunch. She was nice but didn't talk much. Her daughter was hilarious! She called Renshaw a nudist liar and shot him with a fake gun! After 4:00 we went knocking and hit up a couple of amazing rich homes, but didn't teach anyone. Had a couple close encounters with some of the dogs but nothing too bad. Got to see how beautiful this area is. The volcano smoking in the background, green everything, a huge lake with a beautiful island in the center, and simply fast gorgeous water everywhere. Met our ward mission leader at 7:00. The man is hilarious. I've never heard anyone talk that fast. I tried to listen but eventually just spaced out. Everyone talks fast here but not nearly that fast or as fast as our papito who is simply ridiculous! I'm still not sure if he's actually saying something... headed home went to bed.
Day 46 (Friday)
Got my first door slammed on me today, he was 6 so I think I'll cut him some slack...
The people here are so nice I don't think anyone slams doors. Took the dog dazer out to day, more fun than effective. Shuts the barking ones up but if they want to come up and bite they will, (*note: I see a dog every second of every day!) also it didn't work on a really scary bulldog which rushed us, creepily silent. Some rocks kept it at bay though. Went up to an insanely rich house trying to get a good picture of the volcano (I did) and ended up bumping into a really mean looking German Shepard and her owner, who we thought was with security (her name was pepper and her owner was just as friendly and a little more receptive to the gospel...) So we talked to him about the gospel and he was really interesting. We'll hit him up this week. Talked to some nice people in the apartments but everyone was busy watching the Chile game. Everyone’s been pretty happy this week because they won... Threw a rock at this black dog with a messed up eye which always tries to bite us and totally nailed him right between the eyes! He hasn't even barked at us since. Finally taught a lesson. This woman's father was in a wheel chair and her daughter had downs-syndrome. She was really receptive and was reading the Book of Mormon. Afterwards, we went to a woman named Negali's house where we taught her English, which I thought was ironic. Went to bed.
Day 47 (Saturday)
Service day today. Not to mess with Auston… but I AM the lumber jack! Took a bus into the countryside and then walked a couple of miles to this old run down shack of a house, where we were given chainsaws, axes, and machetes and told to cut some trees down for wood. SOOOO COOL!! I have pictures and more to tell but I'm out of time. So next Monday I'll finish. Sorry!
I love you guys so much and can't wait to hear back from you! I'm loving it here! I love my companion, I'm starting to figure out the language and love everything about my mission! Talk to you soon.