I am alive. Holy cow I don´t know where to begin. So here in Chile, we get 1.5 hours to email!!!! Today is only going to be about 45 minutes, because I want to send a few pictures, and because I took a little longer to write my weekly email to President Humphrey! I´m just going to start at the beginning :)
Monday - I left the MTC at 10:30AM and found out when I got to the airport that I´d have a layover in Georgia instead of flying straight to Santiago like I thought. I also found out that the only leg I´d be doing alone was from Santiago to Concepción. So I got to talk to my lovely familia for about an hour and a half in Georgia. I also had my last Panda for 16 months :(
Tuesday - So I probably got 1 hour of sleep on the plane. NOT FUN. But, I heard my mother telling me to be smart and pack my toiletries in my carry on and I had a 3 hour layover in Santiago, so I was able to "clean up" as best as I could before I took off for Concepción. (p.s. the computers can type in Spanish here. WHO KNEW?!) My hair had struggled the morning before I left, so I knew it was going to be a struggle anyway, but I put on some more deodorant and brushed my teeth ha ha then I bought a doughnut because I was starving. I flew straight into Concepción, and my mission President and His wife were waiting for me. I didn´t know how to carry my luggage all together and so I used my stretch band that I got for working out from the MTC and tied my two smaller suitcases together and then held onto my pillow and my other suitcase with the other one. My mission Presidents were super impressed with my intellectual abilities :) So they took me back to the mission office where I met the office couple, Elder and Sister Kimball, the AP´s, two elders that had extended for 30 days, and my new companion Hermana Oldroyd. She´s really great, a little too persistent and not aware of time, but we´re working on that :) She´s from Utah, and she´s only been here in the mission for 6 weeks longer than I have. She had almost 5 years of Spanish before coming, so we entered the MTC on the same day and she was there for 12 days and then came straight here. So, lucky for me, the Lord knows me more than I know myself and knew that I would be a wreck if I had a native companion. She´s able to translate the things I don´t know, which is basically everything. I sit in lessons. That´s it. I feel like a child sometimes because she´ll turn to me and cue me for my testimony, I´ll bear it, and then she´ll keep going. They talk so fast and they don´t talk dramatically with mouths open like Americans do, and so it´s SUPER hard to understand, but I KNOW that with time I´ll understand. But, lessons are getting better, and even if I don´t understand anything that´s going on, I´m working on listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost because he does understand. That first night I thought my head was going to explode ha ha. I literally thought, what did I just learn for 8 weeks in the CCM!!! Also, I have never fallen asleep as fast as I did that first night. I hit my pillow, and I was out cold.
It´s starting to get really cold here, and I´m super nervous for the winter.
Let me know how long letters take to get there. The post office works weird here, and we don´t buy our own stamps. We take them down to the office, they weigh them and then mark them. I haven´t gotten any letters or the package, but I know they're coming! Also, since I´m close to Concepción, I can get my mail once a week. But once I move further away from Concepción, it´s going to be longer than that. Probably mail once a month. That doesn´t mean don´t send mail, but if you need something to get to me quicker, send it via email and it´s definitely cheaper via email too. Also, tell the kids they can write me via email! Also, I need Summer´s email, and Katie´s email :) Gracias! Also, hiya summer. Your ring is gorgeous and I´m so proud of you!
Also, our mission office is changing, and we don´t know the address yet, so for now, keep sending mail there and I´ll let you know as soon as I know the new address. They´ll forward mail for a while after we move too.
So, basically living here in Chile is like living at the Cabin for 16 months. My first night here, my shower was freezing cold, so I did the put my hair under, and wash quickly! It was horrible ha ha but since then, it´s gotten better! We figured some things out and now it´s so hot. Plus it´s an electric shower, so it never gets cold :) the actual shower is like half the size of ours at home though. Our toilet is sky blue, and the distance from the lid to where the water is that you flush is like 2 feet. You can figure the rest out :) The total size of our little apartment is probably 2 and a half of Leah´s room. Our room is about a third of Leah's room, and we share our apartment with 2 other Hermanas, Hermana Daglio (a yearish in the field from Argentina) and Hermana Mendoza (8 weeks in the field from Mexico). They´re great!
This is my nightly ritual. We plan, I get in my pajamas. I wear socks, tuck my black pants into my socks, wear a long sleeve shirt, and tuck it into my pants. Then I lift up my sleeping bag, spray the bed with my anti-bug spray, spray the inside of my sleeping bag with bug spray, and pray I don´t get bitten by fleas. My companion has them in her bed and I don´t want them. Sister Humphrey read somewhere that Bounce sheets keep them away, so if you want to send a thing of those with my boots, I´d super appreciate it. Please if you could pray for no fleas or lice (and if you have ideas to keep lice away too, send them my way!) I´d appreciate it. I´m super serious that I´d rather have a dog pee on me than have fleas or lice. Speaking of dogs, I´m pretty sure that I´ve seen at least 800 different ones. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. I have decided that I will never own a dog. There is also dog popa everywhere, and when we´re walking down the street, they bark at you and I don´t like it. My first night here, we had some dogs charge at us, and I threw myself onto a huge woodpile on the side and I have never been more scared in my life. Then this guy came out and basically said hey what´s going on. So then I looked like a weirdo peeling myself off this wood pile. Sheesh... I´m sure I´ll have plenty of dog stories :)
So, Chile just had their daylight savings time, so right now we´re only 3 hours ahead of you. On Sunday, our block is at 10 ( so 7 your time) and then we have lunch at 1:30 (10:30 your time). We will probably call after that, but guess what. We get to SKYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So get ready folks! I need a skype name from you (send it in your next email), and then I´ll add you from the computer in the members home we are going to use. I´m freaking out! We´re going shopping after this, and I´m going to be so good and get lots of fruit :) BUT, speaking of food.... the food here is so freaking good. Oh my gosh. They have pancita with every meal (they don´t have dinner, so only for lunch I guess) and it´s SOOO good. It´s basically their bread here, and it totally dominates American bread. Also, their ice cream is better too. Mmm Mmm Bueno.
Bekah, you looked SO SO SO pretty at Prom! Holy snaps, I was almost crying like a child over here. I best hear all about it.
So, we had no investigators come to church this week, but we had a noche de hogar (family home evening) with some of the members last night, and two of our investigators came, Luis and Mercedes. She had to work and that´s why they didn´t come to church. We found them last week, and they don´t have a baptism date yet, but we have a cita with them tomorrow night so hopefully they´ll have one! Their son Victor was also with us when we found them so we´re hoping he´ll investigate too! Also, the other night we had a goal to find 4 new investigators. We were having NO luck, and I said let´s say a prayer. So we said one, asking Heavenly Father for help to help us find the 4, and when we were done, my companion said lets go there. So we went to the house that she pointed at, and the mom let us in, we taught her a lesson, and she wants to be baptized! She can´t come to church this weekend, so we have to push back her date (here they have to come to church 3 consecutive times before they can be baptized) but she has two boys and we´re hoping they´ll all be baptized! She was so sweet, is super active in her Catholic church and is open to change. Her name is Adriana, and we have another cita with her tonight. Ah! Also, we had another investigator Danny, but he got a hold of some anti Mormon literature, and isn´t really interested anymore. If you could PLEASE keep them all in your prayers, I´d appreciate it and I know my companion would too!
I know the church is true! I´m sorry this letter is all over the place, but this next week it´ll make more sense. Our ward is amazing, but only about 90 members attend each week and there are 600 members on record. So we´ve got some reactivation to do! Our bishop is fantastic and there are some incredible members! We eat breakfast in the mornings, have a huge lunch (I´m talking 3-4 courses each) at 1:30 each day, and then if we´re hungry, we munch when we get home. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. I love it here. It´s not easy, but I´ve been working this week on the Christlike attribute of patience and I´ve studied some great things. One scripture particularly is Alma 17:11 that says patience sets a good example. This has kind of changed my perspective on lots of things. Help the missionaries to find people! The bishops wife does our laundry each week, and I ate a banana as large as my foot today.
I didn´t know I had to bring a cord with me, but I was planning on sending pictures but it´ll have to wait until next week. LO SIENTO! I promise I´m taking them though, and there will be lots next week.
I love you all so much and appreciate your love and support!
Love Hermana Peterson
p.s. how many stairs are there in the Great Wall of China? Pretty sure I hike that many everyday. My companion said she thinks we´ve walked at least 15 miles this week... ha ha it´s so awesome! Oh and about my area (oops) I´m in Lirguen (Leer ken), which is about 30 minutes outside of Conce (Concepción). The sisters we live with and the two of us are in charge of the whole area. I don´t know how big it is across but you there in the states could look it up. Tell Brother Thorton to email me about his areas, etc! I´d love to know! I got pictures, can open them, and can print them. I don´t have time to look at Austin's blog, so if you could pass me his emails, I can print them and read them throughout the week!
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU SO MUCH! Keep safe, and enjoy the warm weather!
New Missionary Training Sessions in Concepcion
(My first companion in the field)
Hermana Oldroyd and Hermana Peterson