Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012 - First few days in Chile


We arrived in Chile on Tuesday night at 11 pm because our plane to Santiago was delayed and we missed our plane to Antofagasta. Regardless, there was someone from the travel office there and he got us new tickets for a plane and we were able to get to Antofagasta without any worry.

They put us in a hotel overnight which had the nicest shower I have ever been in, which is interesting considering that this morning I was in the worst shower I have ever been in.

Met our trainers yesterday morning which was cool and then they put us on a bus to the city we are serving in. My trainer is Elder Revierego from Argentina. He is fluent in English but he is speaking only Spanish which is good. We arived in Tocopilla (pronounced toco-pee-ah) and went to the Pension to get settled in a bit and then Elder Revi and me went to meet the Branch President and one of the members, from which we were able to meet a potential investigator.

I believe that we are not supposed to say anything bad about anything here on the mission to the people at home so I'll just say that the Pension is... different than home. That being said, I am just trying to take it in stride and not get too hung up on anything so that I can focus on what I need to do. On the plus side though, my bed is really nice and I don't have to do any laundry.

After we taught those two lessons we went to the store to buy some food for the evening and the morning...I had no idea what to buy so I got some eggs, juice (really good) and milk (not the same as in Canada) and I was going to get bread but they were out so I didn't get that.

Elder Revi is really cool and I am glad to have him because he is passionate about the work and he has a sense of humor.

We are rooming with two other missionaries, Elder Christensen (6 weeks) and Elder Lopez (longer than 6 weeks) and they are really good too. Elder Lopez snores a bit, but after rooming with Elder Weeter for 9 weeks I can handle that.

I know that I am going to miss English while I am here, but just seeing how much Elder Christensen knows after 6 weeks here I have a lot of hope. I know you are going to ask so I'll let you know that I can understand about 1 in 50 words of the locals so that is good, I guess. I feel like an idiot when I talk, but the locals here are super nice so they try really hard to listen. Elder Revi made me introduce myself yesterday to the member family and they at least understood me.

President Bruce is really energetic and goal and success oriented, however he is really realistic. He was saying that before he got there, they had about 560 baptisms in a year and were the second lowest in Chile for baptisms. Then he made the push when he got here and last year they finished with more then 1000 baptisms and as the highest baptising mission in Chile. He is optimistic to do more this year.

I am super overwhelmed with this because it is not like a vacation at all. I have been dropped into a country that I know only a fraction of the language, I don't know any of the food, I don't know how to understand anyone and I am doing a job that is communication based and don't feel appropriately trained for it.

That being said...I am way too stubborn to give up, so until next week...

Love Jordan

*Oh just so you know my P-days are on Mondays so that is when you will get your E-mails from now on.

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