Wow this week was full of a ton of learning experiences and I felt like I have progressed so much, especially with my Spanish, but in other areas too. It all started with contacting in the metro station. I know there are a lot of non-missionaries that read this, so I will explain what contacting is. Contacting is when we talk to people that we have never met before. That is the most simple way to put it. For me, it is really hard because I am still working on my Spanish, but hey it is super super good practice. This week we contacted in the train station which was super interesting. We stood on the bridge and talked to people about their life, where they were going, how many people are in their family, simple stuff like that, and then we share a short happy message with them. It is pretty simple. Elder Gularte has been trying to give me a lot of opportunities to talk and work on my Spanish and in the moment it is frustrating, but it helps me so much so I am grateful. Elder Gularte and I walk up to people and without warning Elder Gularte looks at me, and tells me to do this one. Goodness it is scary, but I love it so much.
MORE INTERESTING THINGS THIS WEEK - SCARY!
There is a type of spider called a Rincon here. This spider is super scary and if it bites you, you die. So the other day, I was walking down the street with Elder Gularte after an appointment, and I noticed a bug bite on my arm. I didn't know about the rincon spider at this point, so I assumed it was nothing and we just kept going. Later that night, in another appointment, a member that was with us asked me what happened to my arm and points out my bug bite. I told him I had no idea, and he pulls out this gigantic book and shows us all this stuff about rincon bites and how they are super dangerous. He drew a circle around the bite, and told me if it got any bigger I needed to go to the hospital. So here I am thinking I am gonna die and freaking out. I gave it another few hours and nothing happened, so I don't think I am going to die, but still scary.
INDEPENDENCIA DAY IN CHILE
September 18th is the dia de independencia in Chile and everyone throws huge parties with food and all kinds of fun. We were invited to one of my favorite family’s houses, and they served us a huge lunch…all the traditional Chilean food which was really interesting to eat. Empanadas, Churri pan, Mote con huesillo, and a huge cake. I just about passed out. I love Chile, but that was too much food. Also, that day there was a parade of the air force…huge planes and jets flew over us the whole day and it was so fun to see.
They have this thing called a fardo here. It is almost like a surprise present. it is a ginourmous bag full of random clothes. You can buy it, but you can't look at the clothes before you buy it, so it is like a surprise. Today we bought one of those, but for ties. Inside this bag there are thousands and thousands of ties. It weighs 50 pounds. We had to carry it all the way from downtown Santiago to our house in one of the more southern parts of the city. I will be sure to put a picture so you guys can see how big it is. Totally worth it though because now I have a bunch of sweet ties.
I am sad about Pres Shanklin’s passing. I think the best way to get through this is by realizing that Heavenly Father has a special plan for every single one of us on this Earth, so what President Shanklin is doing right now is part of God´s plan for him. Another thing we can get from this is remembering how blessed we are to have temples. We get to live with our families forever! That is so so so so great. I cannot think of anything better. Thinking about it makes me smile. I always pictured that he would be the one to release me at the end of my mission, and now it feels weird to know things won't be that way. Since I left on my mission recently, I spent a lot of time with him and all that Dad said about him is totally true. That guy is a great guy! He is easy to relate to, and to me is as much a real friend as he is my stake president, and that is what I love the most about him. We don't know why he is gone, but Heavenly Father does. That is what gives me comfort about this situation. Heavenly Father always has a plan and he has one for every single person on this earth. I know that whatever President Shanklin is doing right now is what Heavenly Father wants. His influence on me won't change even though my time to return from my mission and report to him has been delayed.
Anyway, this week has been super happy, and I say that every single week, but I promise you guys all of them really are super happy. Sharing my favorite thing with people makes me happy. I know that we can are happier in this life the closer we get to Christ and his example. Yeah, other things will make us happy too, but nothing can give us real, lasting happiness like the gospel.
Life is good. Love you guys mucho!