Saturday, February 23, 2013
Well I am still surviving and I just got over being sick so that is good. I had a stomach virus that went through the mission. Even the President had this bug so it wasn't just me sick. I couldn't eat very much because of that which made every day harder because I didn't have any energy. I felt so bad when we couldn't go out because I was sick because every day I spend in the house is one day that I don't talk to that one person I am here to teach and find or that one day I could have helped someone.
Today we had a baptism for a new convert. His name is Jorge and he is in Entre Lagos but is in the boundaries of the sister missionaries so they got to teach him. He doesn't speak much but when he does you remember what he says.
In Entre Lagos there are 4 missionaries. Elder Vallejo and I and the two sisters. The sisters are from Argentina and Peru. Yes... One lonely gringo in a town of fully Spanish speakers. But the Spanish is coming along so much better now and I am able to understand people much better now and be able to talk to people. I have challenged 5 people to be baptized and they all have said yes. Now we just have to get them to church. We only had about sixteen people at church last week. We got a new branch president last Sunday. It was President Martinez but now it is President Santana. He owns the greatest cheese store and he drives us places when we need to go somewhere.
So it turns out that I get mail every week not just once a month and it takes about a week and a half or more to get letters. I got Dear Elders last week. I have a bunch of letters with me that I can't send yet because we didn't have district meeting on Tuesday because we had zone conference on Thursday. I will send these letters on Tuesday for sure. Zone conference was amazing. Elder Vajellos of the quorum of the 70 spoke to about 70 missionaries (3 zones) and it was great. Also President Rappleye and Hermana Rappleye spoke as well and even though all of it was in Spanish I understood a good amount of it. It was very powerful and I loved it!
My first day here in Chile they took us back to the mission house and fed us completos (Hot dogs with everything) It was interesting and I liked it. They didn't take us to McDonald's. We then had training for about 3 hours and the President took us to a hotel and from 8pm to 8am we slept. We then went to the mission home at 9am and had breakfast. Then we had more training and then we got our companions and were shipped off to where we were serving. The buses here are jam packed every day and I never get to sit down because I always offer my seat and it is a very long 1 hour bus ride here and back. It is hard being 1 hour away from Osorno because there is 2 hours of our p day that are wasted traveling. We can't write letters or read or even talk to people because the roads are very bumpy and we are packed like sardines. But all is well because we still have the rest of our day.
My apartment is very small. I took pictures of it and all of the things in it. Imagine a big man in a tiny house. That's me. I don't fit in any of the doorways in Entre lagos because the people are small. Not as small as in Peru. Our Mamita makes us lunch every day except for Tuesdays and Saturdays when we are in Osorno. I love Tuesdays and Saturdays because I can get a hamburger or pizza here in town. They don't have a McDonald's here in Osorno. The food our mamita makes is very good. I like it a lot and am not complaining. 1. She makes us soup. 2. she gives us salad and bread 3. she gives us the main meal. 4. more food and 5. dessert. Lunch here is our dinner. They eat breakfast, a huge lunch and then snack for dinner. I am definitely not used to that but eating a lot of food is easier now because every morning we have half an hour of exercises and we work it off. Well I do. My companion exercises his mind in his dreams.
Our dueña (Landlord) does our laundry for us. They iron everything here. Even our socks! She has taken the lessons but doesn't want to. Her daughter who lives in a different cabaña (Anita 31) is a member and has a son who is 15. (Jose) He is very funny and tries to speak English with me and we all laugh. Speaking of speaking English tonight at 8 I start teaching English classes for whoever wants to learn! I am so excited and I hope that lots of people show!
The stores here are... Good. They have... Food. They don't have as much as ours do and half of the store is alcohol. The only American cereal they have is Trix with yogurt. I have come to love Trix. The milk here is interesting. I eat my cereal with yogurt and I get fresh fruit from street vendors (like Hawaii) and put it in my food. We get 80 Mil every month. 80.000 pesos is the equivalence of 160.00 American. It is just double the cost is what the cost is in America. 60.000 mil is just for food every month. We don't have to buy much because the church pays for our lunch with our mamita. We email at different stores that have Internet and it is about 500 pesos an hour. 1 dollar. Oh yeah, 1 mil pesos is 2 dollars. We only have 40 minutes of email time so it's only 500 pesos. My p day is on Saturdays if you haven't figured that yet ha.
My branch has a total of maybe 30 members and is not very big. The movie baptists at our barbecue means so much more to me now and I relate, Sadly.. Our chapel is two of those storage containers welded together and it isn't very big. But it is very beautiful and I took pictures of our building.
All in all I am loving it here and the Spanish is coming along just great. I love it here and all of the people so much! Well until next time. I love you all!! Be expecting letters in 2 weeks ha!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Well now I am 100 percent fluent and everything is perfect. Well things are much better now and I´m not fluent yet ha. I wish I was but it will be a little bit longer before I am fluent. I can actually talk with people and hold an understandable conversation with someone. My companion I can talk more with now, but it is different. I don´t ever speak English because he doesn´t understand it and I have to speak a broken Spanish and half the time he doesn't understand what I´m saying. But it is slowly getting better every day and I am working on it.
Every day I am so exhausted.. We walk about 20 miles a day in the small town of Entre Lagos. I know every road and street already and how to get there. I know where they are but I don´t know all of the names of them yet but I know many of them. The branch that I am in has a total of maybe 30 members and last Sunday we had a high number of people who attended with 23 people. It is very small here and everything here is so wonderful. It may be small but the people here have a wonderful heart for God. Every person here has a religion. There are more than 10 different churches here that are all different. Yesterday we had 4 people with a baptismal date. They could fall through but they still said that they would be baptized if the Lord answered their prayers. Pg. 40 in PMG. My studies have improved so much and I am understanding so much more about the Gospel every day.
When I was in Alaska there was a lot of rain. The difference between there and here is I am not fishing and there I at least got to be under a roof some of the time. Here no one ever answers their door and are never home. We spend a lot of time in the rain.. I am so glad that I have two pairs of boots to switch every day. The streets flood almost every day because there is so much rain. I am definitely loving the rain but it makes it hard to work in for sure. I am getting an umbrella and a sleeping bag next week because today (Saturday) everything is closed.. But every Tuesday we go into Osorno for District meetings. The post office is also closed... I have a couple letters here in my hand that I can´t send until Tuesday.. But I will send them on Tuesday. I haven't read any of the emails I have gotten yet because I don´t have too much time but I printed all of them out and will respond to them next week. Like I said before it stinks that I can only send two emails. 1. to my President and 2. to my family. I wish I could respond to all of them individually but I can't.
The food here is so different but the same. On Wednesday we had lamb and it was literally just killed. They eat all of the limbs and meat. I ate tendon and it was just like octopus.. Very chewy. My mamita is the wife of the Branch President and is the greatest. She makes us so much food and for free too. She doesn´t charge us at all and she makes such good food. I have learned to eat all my food because it is rude to not eat all of it. The patriarch for Osorno lives here in Entre Lagos and is very nice. He owns a little cheese store that he makes and it is heavenly cheese.
I am doing great here. I am having a postive attitude with everything that I do and I know that everything will work out good because "I am always abounding in good works". The scripture Proverbs 3:5,6 literally takes on a new meaning for me now. I am working my hardest and letting the Lord do the rest. I wish all of you could be here and see what I am seeing. I see the most different things here. From 3 people on a bike in the rain, crazy driving, and dogs everywhere. I haven´t had a problem with fleas yet. The dogs here are very cool! I like them a lot and am always calling them over. My companion throws rocks at them but I pet them.
Well the time is now to leave. I love you all so much and will respond to your letters eventually I promise! I have a couple letters on their way to Utah and Texas!! I love you all!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
So, Elder York left early in the morning on Monday, February 4th to fly to Chile. He called us from the Salt Lake Airport and he got to talk to Sean and Madeline before they left for school. He called again a few hours later when he got to Los Angeles. He left L.A. around 12:30pm and didn't arrive in Osorno until the next day around noon. Crazy. So I hope they gave them a chance to make up for their lack of sleep!
I added a clock to the site (right now they are four hours ahead) and also a spot you can subscribe and get notices when his new emails are added.
I added a clock to the site (right now they are four hours ahead) and also a spot you can subscribe and get notices when his new emails are added.
Well, here it is - his first letter from Chile.....
Hola!! I am here in Chile and I´m alive!! I arrived around noon here and met my mission President and his wife and the AP's and what not. They all were super nice and caring. It was so different arriving here because we had no clue where to go and I'm sure we looked funny. 8 tall white boys wandering around an airport speaking some kind of language.
My companion is from Ecuador so that means that he is a Native of the language. He speaks very fluent Spanish and does literally all of the talking. I sit there and try to pick out a few different words that I know and write some of the words I don't know in the little blue and green notepad. Spanish is not easy to learn, but Chilean Spanish.... Very different and hard to understand. My companions name is Elder Vallejo and he stands up to about my chin. Oh that reminds me.. All of the doorways here are so, so short. The first day I hit my head twice really hard. I have to duck to go into houses, stores, alleys, anywhere. It is hard to try and proselyte here because no one is ever home. They all are at the lake here in town and as Missionaries we can't even go on the road near the water because of the rules. I am in a small town called Entre Lagos *In between lakes* and it is very hot. 75 degrees the other day and today it has rained all day... I am burnt, wet and frustrated because I don't understand the language but I know that I can do this and I know life will be tough, but I know that I can do hard things.
I hope all is well with you all. You can email me anytime and I can print off the emails now because we are in a store. In the MTC that is the best way to email. Find a room with a printer, print them off and then read them and then email. Everything here is so foreign to me. The food is different and interesting. We had mashed potatoes the other day at a house and I think I ate 4 plates... I live off of ramen noodles and cup o noodle because the food is so different. I love the people here though.. They are so nice and caring and even though I don't speak a lick of Spanish I can tell that they love me. I know that they feel bad for me and respect me a ton for what I am doing. They shouldn't feel bad because I am having the time of my life! What an experience!! I can't wait to get home and speak Spanish because there I won't be criticized for my bad use of the language ha ha.
But all in all, I miss you all a ton.. It has definitely been hard to be here. I will admit I do sometimes want to come home but I won't come home until my two years are up. I am trying to not focus on my self and only focus on others but it for sure hasn't been easy. I promise that I will write you all and will sent you all letters on this Tuesday. I don't know how long it will take for them to send but I know that they will get there eventually. I think that I only get mail once a month when I go to the mission home. The address I gave out is the address and is the best way to get mail or packages to me. Only use US postal service. It is free for me to pick up through them but it costs a ton of money for me to pick up a FedEx or a UPS. Thank you so much for your prayers and for all that you all do for me. I am going to continue to keep working and doing my absolute best because that is who I am and that is what I do.
We walk everywhere here. We don't have a car or bikes. We walk the equivalence of about 15-20 miles a day. The town isn't very big so I know where most of the houses and places are. The hardest part is when no one is home. We are always asking if we can assist them in any way or help them with anything but the people here just aren't that receptive. I don't know why no one wants to talk to us or why no one is really ever home but I wish that more people would be home to hear our message or for us to help them. I am giving all of my time and attention to the work and I am leaving behind all things that don't matter. I think about the work and my family and close friends. I am grateful that I have a companion that speaks the language and that can understand what the people are saying. I can understand the small conversations and all of the words I do know but other than that I have no clue what anyone is saying or doing. We have a cellphone and our district leader is from Utah somewhere and speaks English so whenever I have some big questions I ask him. We wake up at 7 in the morning and go to bed at 11. It is very different from what I am used to, the 6:30 - 10:30 at the MTC.
I love you all so much and wish more than anything I could be with you. In time I will be home and be with you. Thank you for everything!! I love you all so so much! I wrote a couple letters but I can't send them until we go into town. I think that we go into town on tuesday. The town I am in is so small that it doesn't have a mail office. Stockton is puny and it has a mail office ha. Well I love you all so much. Take care family I love you all so much!