Oct 28, 2013
Everything here is so different. Missionary work requires SO much patience at every turn! I really like the quote you sent, to forget about how stressed you are and think about how blessed you are. Because it would be really easy to get completely caught up in the stress of it all and just quit. But honestly, I am so, so blessed and I know that Christ solves all problems. As a missionary, it has become a million times clearer to me that problems are everywhere. And the hard part is that I don't know how to solve most of them. But I know that Christ solves problems. So what I've been thinking is that as a representative of Christ, even if I can't personally solve a problem, it is my job to guide people to Christ's light. He really can and will solve our problems when we have faith!
A couple of other new foods I have tried here are sopaipillas and completos. Sopaipillas are basically fried bread. They are so delicious and so terrible for you at the same time. :) And I never liked hot dogs before...but completos just might convert me! They are called completos because they are "complete." It's a hot dog with cheese, tomatoes, avocado, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, everything. And it is SO good. :) We'll have to make completos Chilean style when I come home. :D Meals here are usually a meat and a starch and then bread. Their salads are really simple, usually one vegetable with lemon juice, oil, and salt. So everything is really bland, but it makes it really easy to accept new foods! Also they never drink water. It's all juice and soda. Very interesting.
The spring here is like the spring anywhere else, I suppose...super bipolar! On Tuesday and Wednesday it was super cold and we had crazy rain and some hail. Then, yesterday, we had to take off our pantyhose after church because it was so hot. It's really beautiful here, too! There are so many interesting types of flowers here. Hermana Nappa says I should take some pictures to share with Nana & Grandma since they love flowers so much. I need to take some pictures and send them to you all!!
The culture here is so different. Everyone is really relaxed. This week we had three different branch activities at the chapel to help animate the members for branch conference. They ranged from 1 to 4 hours of us waiting for people to show up (like if the activity was supposed to start at 6:30, more often than not it started at 8:00). So that is something frustrating that I need to learn to deal with! :) The Easy as Cake Cookies were not easy as cake here. :) We made them in an investigator's home, and she did not have measuring cups, so I eyeballed everything. Then, her stove was a wood stove. So....they were mostly burned. But everybody really liked them, so I guess that's good! lol. Then we had a talent show on Friday. The people in our branch love my voice. I sang first, and then at the end of the activity they asked me to sing again. I also sang in a group a special musical number in branch conference!
So some of the grossest things here so far...cleaning our bathroom. We don't have normal cleaners, so we clean with straight up bleach. And we used to keep our mop outside ( I say used to because I talked my companion into moving it inside after this experience), so the bucket had dirt and grass in it...plus a snail visitor! Woo. So that was a fun experience....also missionary feet. I have sweet blisters and marks all over my feet, I'm starting to have a missionary shoe tan, and my feet have never smelled worse in my life. lol.
This week I've had a couple of different trials...I work more every day to speak more Spanish, but a lot of people laugh at me when I mess up or get stuck, and in one of our lessons, whenever I talked, our investigator turned to look at her TV show. So sometimes I feel like I'm failing as a missionary because Spanish is so hard. But my companion reminded me that my success as a missionary isn't determined by how well I speak Spanish. It is determined by how hard I am working and how much I am giving to the Lord. I read a really cool article called "The Fourth Missionary," or la cuarta misionera in español. The fourth missionary gives all she has and is therefore truly changed by what she learns. I was reminded that my personal progress as a missionary is one of the most important parts of this mission! And I know that I will learn more and grow every day, and prepare to be a better wife, mother, and everything else later in my life. My companion and I are becoming better friends, which is such a blessing.
This week I bought a backpack, rainboots, and an umbrella. So if you haven't already put the package in the mail, don't worry about the river bag. I'm putting two letters in the mail for you guys today. Let me know when you get them!
We had four investigators at church on Sunday, and Primary was totally different because I had a boy in my class (oh man, he made EVERYTHING harder...my patience was at its very end.). Thank you for your ideas! I am borrowing a Primary manual to plan lessons.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember how much I love you! Happy Halloween!
Abrazos, Hermana Latham