Monday, December 14, 2009

It's all down hill from here

Dear Family,

My new area is pretty awesome. I have always wanted to live downtown in a big city since we lived in Boston and now I have my chance. I think this is going fill that desire and I won’t have to do it again in the future. My area is literally the center of Santiago and it has the oldest part of Santiago. The architecture is beautiful. The first few days I just walked around gawking at the buildings and saying, “I can’t believe this is my area.” We have like metro stops in our area, so as you can imagine it is a pretty big area. Plaza de Armas is in this ward and the hill Santa Lucia is in my area. I always wanted to visit that hill and now will see it every week. (Hopefully from that information you can find pictures on the web to see what my area is like) We also have tons of old cathedrals, one of them is the oldest in Santiago and Bernardo O’Higgins built it after winning a battle to give thanks to God. So yeah for a couple days I really missed Los Andes, but because this area is so BAKAN (cool in Chileno) it has helped me a lot to adjust.

It turns out that missionary work is a little bit harder here. There are a million bazillion apartments, but we can’t enter them and knock doors. We are working a lot with references, asking EVERYONE if they know someone that would be interested in meeting with us. We don’t have anyone with a baptismal date, but we were blessed to have two families and a contact from the street come to church yesterday. H. Padilla and H. McNeil opened this area last transfer, before there were only Elders, now we share the area with two elders. This is my first time sharing a ward with Elders and it is fun so far. Sometimes we eat lunch together and they are helpful when we need information about the ward or area.

Hermana McNeil is great. Her Spanish is real swell and she has done a great job helping me learn my way around the area. She has been really stressed this week. Can you imagine your trainer leaving after one transfer and having to lead a new companion around a recently opened and huge area? We are working to improve our teaching, to be able to teach with unity. This week has made me realize how much I have learned in the last 9 months and made me remember when I was in her shoes as a new missionary in Chile really far from home.

Yesterday we taught a lesson in a room that felt like a sauna. There are tons of Peruanos in this part of Santiago, that come to work and they rent small rooms. So we were teaching an Evangelical Peruano in his small room and his wife was cooking and it was really like teaching in a sauna.

Friday Ha. McNeil had training and I was on divisiones with Ha. Evans when we had a Marilyn Monroe moment. We were walking over a metro vent and the metro went by underneath us and the wind blew our skirts up. It was pretty funny. We were walking with our arms between our legs trying to keep our skirts down. I was laughing so hard. Oh the things that happen in the mission.

I am really excited for a family that we found Tuesday. They are from Peru. Jesus is an inactive member and Yona is an Adventist. They aren’t married and have two kids. Yona didn’t accept a baptismal date, but wanted to keep receiving the discussions. They came to church yesterday and last night Yona said that she wants to prepare for a baptism. Now we have to get them married!!!

The presidential elections were yesterday. It was really calm here, which I wasn’t expecting.

Dad you should look into selling in Santiago. I have heard there is a lot of money in transportation here right now.

I put Grandma’s present in your package, Mom and her candy in Matthew or Jonathan’s package. I haven’t gotten any packages yet, but they will come.

I love you all. I have been praying a lot for Andrea and Matthew to finish the semester well. And for Kerry and his family. Send Christmas love to everyone!

Oh moses smell the roses I am so excited to talk to you next week!!!!
Hermana Arnold

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