Monday, September 15, 2014

Week #7 - CHILE

Hey Everyone,

So this week has been crazy so much has happened and  I have so much to tell you I hope I can fit it all in here.  

So my trip here was really good.  Me and another Hermana were able to have a really good conversation with someone at the Mexico airport.  I had been praying the whole week, before I left the CCM, that I the Lord would prepare someone for me to share the gospel with at the airport and that is exactly what happened.  Me and another missionary decided to go talk to this guy working on his computer.  He was so nice and we were really excited because he spoke english.  We talked to him about the plan of salvation and a lot about the Book of Mormon.  He had a lot of questions because he believes in God and has a lot of his own beliefs, but is looking because he doesn’t really have a religion he fits into.  Anyways we taught him and answered some questions he had and he really liked our message.  He wanted our emails so we could answer more, but we couldn’t give them to him, California. He was excited and we also gave him a card with a church website that he can talk to missionaries at.  I was able to pass the reference onto my mission President, which was really exciting.  It was such a cool experience, because you could see that the Lord had truly prepared this man and he was so ready to hear our message.

I was so excited to hear everyones voices when I called. It was so fun to hear from you.  The airplane we went on was huge and really nice. I was able to sleep most of the night.  I didn’t have anyone next to me, which was nice because I had the whole row to myself.  When I got to Chile, we went to a church in Rancagua because our group was too big for the mission home.

Our first day we went out contacting with a member here named Veronica, who wants to be a missionary. She comes with us a lot and we really like having her in our lessons, because she is able to add a third testimony and she is so nice.  We had lessons planned for that day as well but the all fell through, except one we had with a less active that was just a quick lesson.  I was able to share my testimony, but not much more because the language is really hard here, but I have come along way since the first day.

This week has been good we have been able to do a lot of contacting because we don’t really have any strong progressing investigators right now and the majority of our lessons fall through here.  Its really different here because everyone is so friendly and almost all of them will agree to scheduling a lesson, except for the ones that are really strong Catholics and don’t want to hear about any other religion.  The hard thing is that they don’t follow through very well and won’t be home when we go to talk to them. My companion says that this really isn’t all that normal to be stood up that much.  For example,  Sunday we had 6 people agree to come to church with us and not one of them showed up or were home when we went by.  It is kind of frustrating, but my companion always says that the Lord allows us to struggle the most right before he blesses us.  I know that this is true and that the all of hard work will pay off and we will be able to see the fruits of our labors soon.  Right now we are just really trying to find new investigators who are ready and will progress. We have some but only one of them is really progressing, because the other ones are not following through very well with their commitments and are moving really slowly.  I love the people here though, they are all so kind and loving.  Everyone here is just so friendly and kindhearted.  

My trainer is Hermana Nokes. She is from Riverton, Utah.  It is so nice having a gringa companion, because I am able to understand her. A lot of the other hermanas have been telling me stories about their trainers who are latina, and how it was really hard because they can’t really communicate.  She is so nice and I love working with her.  We get a long so well its amazing.  I definitely can see that companions are inspired, because she is the perfect companion for me to have at this time.

I have had to teach a few lessons this week but it is still really hard, because I cannot understand the peoples Spanish here, but I can always feel the spirit. It is amazing because sometimes I feel that God loves the people we are teaching and it is the most amazing feeling.

Please pray for our investigators! I can give you a few of the names, but it is hard to remember because the names our often really hard to pronounce.  Also pray for us that we will be able to find some new investigators, that are ready to hear our message, because we are working really hard and really want to find someone who is ready to hear our message.

President Warne and his wife are so kind I really liked talking to them. They are so sweet. We talked a lot about back home, since they knew that I was coming for their stake they were excited for me to come.

So our area is really fun it is in Rancagua, so I am in the north part of our mission really close to the mission home.  The people here are really nice and we have a pretty big ward here, which is 97 people.  I guess some wards are only like 15 people. The houses are really small, but they are really cute and colorful.  Every House has a gate all the way around it. It is kind of cool because instead of knocking doors, you yell at the fence a word that (I dont remember how to spell) but it sounds like aloe and it just means hello. It is only used when entering a home or answering the phone.  I am not very good at saying though because, it is hard to say it right and loud enough that they can hear it inside.  I love it though its really cool.  I also really love how everyone hugs everyone here and kisses each other on the cheek. It’s fun. I wish we did that back home, it is hard though because even the men do it and you have to be careful because they will often go in for a hug or a kiss,  and you have to quickly stop them as politely as you can and explain why you can’t.  I actually had an old man hug me the other day, because I didn’t catch onto what he was doing in time and my companion just sat there laughing.  It was funny, but they all tell me here to just wait for my first kiss from one of the men here, because it happens to everyone because it is hard to stop them fast enough.

The weather isn’t too bad here it is starting it to spring right now so it is still pretty cold.  Some days I can just wear a cardigan, but by the time night hits, I always need my winter coat because it is freezing.  It is really cold in our casa, because we only have space heaters but we can’t leave them on for very long or at night.  We have heating pads on our beds and we have tons of blankets, so I am never cold once I get in my bed I am always warm. The mornings our really cold but we do get nice hot showers, so that helps and once we get our room heated up its not bad.  Our water heater stopped working this morning so we might be taking some pretty cold showers until that gets fixed. I guess it will just wake us up, so we wont be so tired during our study time.

P-days we study, clean, come print of our emails so we can read them and then have more time later to come back and email so we don’t have to spend to much time reading our emails.  We go to the store and then we email home and email our mission president.  That’s all we are really doing today, because our p-day only lasts until 3:30 today because we lost three hours of working on the 11th. Because September 11th here is a day were some dictator killed a lot of Chileans. I guess there is sometimes rioting against the government and it is not safe for us to be out, so we had to be back in our house by 6:30. We don’t get much of p-day today, but it was fun. I got to know the other hermans in our house better and we tomar  which is what they call dinner here. It is basically just bread because they don’t really eat dinner.  They just eat a ton for lunch. The bread here is amazing, I like it.  The direct translation is take 11 don’t ask me why its called that I have no idea.

The language is so hard here. I really couldn’t understand hardly any of it at first, but I am starting to.  They have different words for a lot of things and they speak in a lot of “sayings” so is hard to understand.  Also they don’t say their  “S” and cut out a lot of letters or add different things to the end of words, so its confusing. Also they have a weird accent that sounds like a lisp and they speak really fast here. They add “ita" a lot to the end of words which just means small. It doesn’t make a lot of sense when they use, it but its funny. They add po to the end of every sentence, which is just like an exclamation point.  I definitely feel like it is a different language than I learned in the MTC, it sounds like Spanish with an Italian accent.  I like it and am starting to pick it up more and I know with time that I will get it.  

A few more things about Chile:  There are stray dogs everywhere, and I have learned to hate dogs because they can be mean.  We actually got cornered in the street last night by one. We had a mean dog follow us and we got to a dead end. We had to find some rocks, and it left us along us soon as we started to threaten to throw them.  I guess some hermanas have gotten bitten, but usually as long as you just ignore them you are fine and there are always rocks around so if you pick one up they will get scared and leave. Independance day is coming up here, so we are had a ward party the other night and are having another one this week. It is really fun because we get to bring our investigators, which is a great opportunity for us. We got to watch people dance the quaika I have no Idea how to spell it but its the national dance here and it is really fun to watch. It is so cute when the little kids do it.  The food here is amazing especially the bread and dessert.  I am going to get so fat here, because they feed you so much and everyone just keeps telling me it is inevitable.

Well I am out of time but I love you all I will finish writing next week love ya!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

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