Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

The Chileans are pretty hardcore about their Semana Santa (Holy Week). They all got Friday off and we had an activity in the church to celebrate it. People kept asking if the Semana Santa was a big deal back home, but I really think most consider it an opportunity to have a day off and look for chocolate eggs (which I still want to do when I get back BTW). It does seem like most of the holidays here are either Catholic (not surprising because everyone is catholic here) or related to the family.

I have to say that I don't think I am going to be eating turkey for 2 years. We eat a lot of chicken here, but it is not the same. Also fish. I have had quite a bit of fish. It is really fresh and the people here generally cook really well, so right now I am really just maintaining my don't ask what it is policy and eating whatever they put in front of me. Except olives... the olives here are the most disgusting thing that I have ever tasted.

When they look at my pictures and see Austin (Jordan's cousin's 4 year old son) everyone asks if it is me and I tell them no, but that he is my little buddy and I miss him so much, so the feeling goes both ways.

I don't think I told you but our mamita here in Gabriela Mistral is the best in the whole mission. She cooks lunch for us and does our laundry like all the other mamitas, but she also gives us breakfast and once (like a small supper) of bread and Ecco which is like the fake coffee stuff you can buy in Canada, but its super popular here. I don't really like Ecco, but I found out that if you put some milk and enough sugar it starts to taste like hot chocolate so I'm really enjoying it now. Plus, I have my whole amount of money to basically buy junk food which is making me really happy.

The Earthquake a few weeks ago was in Conception which is way south and I didn't really hear much about it. I heard from Elder Revi told that it was an earthquake, but it was pretty small and one person died, but it was because he freaked out and crashed his car. But when I was in Tocopilla I felt a tremor and it was pretty cool and really weird. It was kind of like a train passing really close to your house and making everything shake a little.

That is interesting about the dump of snow you got. The weather here has been the same for 3 months...everyday...I miss seasons. All they have is summer which is hot and then winter which is like a cool summer. It's not the same.

Honestly, I am finding this sector kind of boring. This could be because the sector is small and all the places we go seem to be the same, but I think it might be a little bit of the fact that Elder Valle works pretty different than Elder Revi and I don't really like it as much, but we will see. The amount of people we are teaching is really small and I don't really feel like we have anyone solidly progressing, except for the boyfriend of the daughter of the bishop, Ishmael. He isn't really progressing, he is moreso just in a holding pattern. He gets married on the 28th, then baptized on the 29th and confirmed on the 30th.

The place where we live now is the upstairs floor of our momitas house and it is super good. It is smaller, but for 2 people we have plenty of space.

You can tell people that I am doing good. la idioma esta progressando y yo siento mucho mas mejor ahora. Tambien yo estoy trabajando mas ahora que antes para mejorar mi español. Antes yo no hice casi nada para aumentar mi habilidad de hablar pero ahora yo estudio como 1 hora el mejor parte de las dias y yo puedo ver la diferencia en mi habilidad de hablar. Pero es interesante que las cosas que estan mejorando no son las cosas que yo estoy estudiando. Tambien ésta semana dos personas me dijo que you estoy hablando muy bien si yo solamente tengo tres meses en Chile, pero you creo que eso es mas porque you practico mi pronunciacion cada dia para que las personas puedan entender las cosas que yo le digo. (Approximate translation: The language is progressing and I feel much better now. Also, I'm working more now than before to improve my Spanish. Before I didn't do much to improve my ability to speak, but now I study 1 hour a day. It's the best part of the day and I can see the difference in my ability to speak. It's interesting that the things that are improving are not the things I'm studying. This week two people told me that I am speaking very well for only being in Chile for 3 months. They think it's been longer because I practice my pronunciation every day so that people can understand the things I say.)

I have been really pitiful in taking pictures here, but will try and take more on my  next P-day so that you can have them. You should tell me any pictures that you want me to take so that I have an idea and maybe sort of a goal when I take them.

Oh I don't know if I told you this either, but Elder Wells and Elder Parker from the MTC are in my zone and Elder Parker is in my district, so P-days and zone meetings are super fun.

That's all I have for now, so till next week.