14 September 2011

Nathan's Letter 9-12-11

Elder Hales in Coquimbo, Chile

View of the Ocean (possibly from Nathan's apartment)

Elders off to work


So how´s it going? I am writing from COQUIMBO, CHILE!!! This is honestly the best area in the best country in the world!! There are so many people that are prepared and just waiting for us to find them. So far, we haven´t found them. Hahaha but that doesn´t mean that they´re not there, because I know they are! So a quick update on who we are teaching and working with, and then some cool things about Chile.

Paola got confirmed on Sunday. It is very apparent to me that there is opposition in all things, but its okay because it all worked out in the end, and Paola is doing so great! Berta is struggling a little bit, but we are still going to try to get her cheered up and into the waters of baptism! We have a lot of people who are a little wishy washy right now, and so this will be another week of cleansing and finding. But, I know that this is just a trial of faith, and that with diligence and the Lord we will be able to find those who are prepared. Whoo!

Something that the Lord taught me this week was about this. How will I be able to appreciate the success that I am going to have, without seeing what its like not to have it? I know that this is an eternal principle. We have to appreciate what its like not to have a good grade on a test in order to appreciate the good grades that we work hard for. Likewise, we must know what its like not to have the companionship of the Lord in order to realize and appreciate what its like to have Him with us always. Indeed, even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had to suffer the awful pain and terrible loneliness of losing the companionship of God. But all these things are for our benefit and our good. Because now we know!! That´s why it is so important to find the people who are ready, and they too can feel the joy that Alma the younger felt (Alma 36) as they repent and enter into baptism!!

So, Chile is not like most coicos from the states think it is. Although there are definitely some poor areas here in Coquimbo, there are also some nice houses and educated people. All of the streets here have random names like las torres, alessandria, or cauquan. And getting directions (I forgot how to say that in english) is almost impossible! Haha when I got here a couple of weeks ago it was SO HARD to understand the people. They speak very quickly here, and they have so many different dichos (sayings) that its almost impossible to put it all together. But, I am learning quickly, and I don´t think the language will be much of a problem. It is definitely still pretty tough to communicate, but with practice that will come too. To get around to places far away we use colectivos. These are tiny little black cars that pack in like 5 people and drive around like crazy following their routes. They are so much fun!!

Okay so the meals here are wayyyy different. This is a typical Chilean day for food:

Desayuno (breakfast): some pan (bread) with a little bit of milk.

Almuerzo (lunch): Start off with a huge bowl of soup, then the HUGE entree (this is where I feel like I might start throwing up), then sometimes a salad of tomatoes and a little bit of lettuce, and then a huge slice of postre (dessert). This meal takes about one and a half hours. Soda or juice is almost always served.

Once (pronounced "own-say," as in the number eleven): At random times throughout the day (mainly when the missionaries knock on your door) people decide to have once. It is just a small little supper that consists of some pan and maybe leftovers and milk. I personally have never had once, so I don´t know! As a missionary I only eat breakfast and lunch. And then a small something before bed.

Crazy huh? Tomatoes are huge here, as well as mashed potatoes and rice. Olives too!

Well, this is an amazing experience, and I learn something new almost every hour! I haven´t been here long, but I have seen this gospel change people´s lives. It’s changed mine. Love you all!

Elder Hales

No comments:

Post a Comment