Well after a lot of travelling I finally made it to my first area. I live in a town called Cauquenes which is about 3 hours away from Concepción. There are probably always at least 10 dogs in sight where ever you go, and apparently there have been missionaries to get bit so... hopefully they dont pay any attention to me. I absoluetely LOVE my new companion. Her name is Hermana Page and she is from Burley, Idaho! She has been in the mission for about 9 months now and is such a woderful trainer. She is so patient, loving, obedient, and an amazing teacher! I learn so much from her every day. I cant believe how wiling she is to help me in any way she can.
Im not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it is FREEZING here! Of course it is still winter so I guess I should have expected that, but I didnt think it would be so cold. None of the houses have heating and most of the floors are cement or tile. We live in an apartment that luckily has a little heater so we always sit close together by it to keep warm. The other night I slept with 3 sweaters, two pairs of pants, wool socks, a scarf, three wool blankets, and the heater by my head. Its quite the change coming from Mexico City!
Aside from that fact though, I am doing great! I love being out in the mission field SO much! The days already seem to be flying by. I love being a missionary!! What could be better than sharing a message of Christ with eveyone and helping them feel the same happiness the gospel has brought to me. I get to witness miracles every day! When I first arrived it was difficult for me to understand anything the people were saying, but as each day passes by I feel like I learn more, and I am now able to listen to someone and usually catch the general idea of what they are saying.
I love many things about the culture here! One of them being that whenever you say hello or goodbye to someone, you give them a big hug and kiss thier cheek. They also say chao chao much more than adios. The kids here are absolutely adorable and love to give me hugs. One little girl kept calling me Elsa from frozen and then would being singing the song. They are too cute! Soccer is a BIG deal here. Every Saturday we clean the church with the Elders then afterwards play soccer with all the kids that show up. Lunch is the ¨big¨ meal of the day for them, then they dont really eat much after that. Maybe a small snack for once or dinner. We get to eat lunch at a members house every day. Its mostly been soups, salad, bread, and noodles.
Hermana Prettyman is in my zone so I get to see her every Tuesday which is really exciting! I miss her a lot! Also another Hermana that lived in my room at the MTC is in my district, so all three of us are fairly close.
Also, we are really lucky to have a senior couple here in Cauquenes. Their names are Elder and Hermana Scholes who are from Ephraim, Utah. Elder Scholes used to be an institute teacher at Snow College and knows Jamie Coopie! What a small world. Something always seems to lead to Panguitch.They are so sweet and like a little piece from home. This morning we were able to eat breakfast with them. It was nice to be in a comfortable, warm home with familar food.
Yesterday I got in front of the small branch to introduce myself to the members. The people are so sweet, but there are a lot of inactive members. We are working on getting them to church. The language is coming, but is sometimes frustrating. I want to be able to understand perfectly so I can express myself and know how to meet the peoples needs, but I know it will come I just need to be patient. This week one lady asked me how many siblings I have and I responded 19 because I thought she was asking how old I was. I think she laughed for nearly 10 minutes afterwards.
Overall, life is great! I love my area, am getting to know the people, love my companion, and feel like time is already going quickly.
I miss you all so much and am grateful for your support, love, and prayers. I definitely feel the help of those prayers every day. Hope you all have a wonderful week I think about and pray for you all!
Con mucho amor,
p.s. sorry for the spelling errors...
Me on the street we live on