Friday, September 16, 2016

First Week in Talca, Chile

Well I made it safe to Chile, and I am assigned in Talca, Chile. Its pretty big, at least big enough that my new companion Elder Gadelha, and I need bikes. Elder Gadelha does not know any english and his native language is Portuguese. Despite not always understanding each other in language, we have a ton of fun, we prank each other a lot, tease, and laugh a ton. Having a non english speaking companion is helping me like crazy. He has been in the mission for a year and today is his 20th birthday. He is just seriously so awesome and I am incredibly blessed to have him as my trainer.

There is absolutely no spicy food here. Everything is either salty or sweet. Breakfast is small, Lunch is huge. We have 3 course meals for lunch. Usually salad or pasta, and bread. After is a huge plate of just about everything, one time I had a huge pile of rice, with french fries, a grilled chicken breast, and a heap of vegetables. Afterwards is a sort of desert, typically fruit with cream or some sort of Jello. Dinner, or here is called once (11 in spanish) is usually some sort of hot drink like Mate or Ecco, a wheat based coffee substitute, and a sandwhich or bread with a fruit spread. Nobody drinks water, its all coke and juice. If you ask for water, you look insane. The food here has made me sick all week. My body is not used to it, but no worries as its getting better.

The people here are so nice, you literally cannot leave a house without some sort of food in your hands. I feel like I don`t have to go grocery shopping because we come home everyday with a couple bags of snack from members. The people here speak very fast and use a lot of words that I have never heard of. But the members really enjoy helping and apparently I am picking up fast because I get told often that its weird that I can even have a conversation. I probably won`t have this language down until about christmas time.

My zone had an activity today, we played soccer and I picked up a nickname from it. I am now known as ¨La Machina´´ or the machine. It was a lot of fun and I scored 4 points for my team, but the natives who play are amazing. I can`t compete, but I can kick straight with a lot of force.

We have two baptisms coming up this month, and I am hoping to get one more with another members husband. His son is being baptized but he hasn`t expressed the desire, he`s had all the lessons and doesn`t challenge it, he just needs the desire and I hope that I provide that to him. His name is Hermana Hernadez. His son, Nicol├ás is awesome and his wife is very sweet. 

There are no dog catchers in Chile and the streets are flooded with dogs, I have been chased a few times but not bitten thankfully. They are hilarious when they try to hunt you down but all you have to do is look at them and they run off. 

We live in a house that runs on gas, has no heating, and is in the ghetto. Its tiny and I hit my head on members chandaleirs a lot. The houses are all connected like a duplex with 15 houses connected together. All the houses are barred and fenced off with tiny to no yards. The winter here is dry and not to cold. Summer is coming up soon and the sun here is crazy strong, I am going to get sunburned. 

Despite all of this craziness, I am really enjoying my time here, I can`t wait to see whats next and hopefully I`ll keep this positive attitude.

I love you all and I will talk to you next week. 

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