Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 3, 2012

My Spanish is really coming along a lot better and I am beginning to have people ask me if I am from other Spanish speaking countries. Not a lot because I have white skin and colored eyes, but occasionally someone asks if I am from Spain.

We are starting to move into summer but you don't really notice the change too much - the difference between summer and winter is not very significant. You tend to notice it more during the night than during the day. 

If you want to get an idea of what it is like in the houses here, here is a description. They are built entirely out of concrete and don't have insulation. It is not uncommon to see large softball or melon sized holes all over the house. There is a grate in our pension here, just open to the outside, that is the size of a half sheet of plywood. So yeah, when it drops below zero, the water inside your house freezes. I was actually laughing with Elder Santos this week because the people here think I am amazing because I can walk around without a jacket, but when I get home people are going to laugh because I need a jacket.

That kind of sucks that shortly after you to painted and fixed up Blaine's room that he is going to move to a different pension, but at least it will be safer for him where there aren't stairs.

I have to say that it was really challenging learning Spanish here because the people speak horrible Spanish (Chileanized - many unique phrases, meanings, sayings) and really fast. But... I am kind of glad on the other hand because now when I hear people speaking good (textbook) Spanish, it is really easy to understand. For example, Elder Mendoza who was living in the pension with us is from Mexico and he is so easy to understand. It is the same with people from Peru, Bolivia and other countries here in South America.

There seems to be a lot of action in the wedding scene back home. I don't see much of that here. Lots of people here are just living together and the Government gives bonuses to people who live together instead of getting married, so that is annoying.

I don't think I will get too used to eating as much as I have been here. I may eat more than before (which wouldn't necesarily be a bad thing), but I actually enjoy when I get a normal sized meal instead of a huge one. I have gotten into the habit of eating breakfast though, which is good.

Oh yeah, we had a pension move the other day. We were living here in the pension as the four Elders who work in this sector, but the other two got moved into a pension in the middle of the sector so the zone leaders, who had to move out of their pension, came to live with us which is right near the border to their sector. So it is kind of interesting because we get to see a little bit of the behind the scenes action that happens.

Anyways, I don't really have that much to say, so I'll talk to you guys next week.

Love Jord

PS. 10 months in the mission yesterday.

Hey Maxine, this is Jordan writing from Alto Hospicio, Chile wanting to wish you a happy birthday. I want you to know that I am missing you and all the family here in Chile, but that I know what I am doing is worth it. I hope that this last year of your life was awesome and that the one that is coming is even better. May all your birthday wishes come true and may you have a good time celebrating this time with family and friends.

Elder Jordan McCaskill

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