Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Joys of a Mission

We just had "cambios" this week.  Hermana Davis is on the left, and this is her second day in Chile.  She told me her parents follow our blog.  I can report that she is full of enthusiasm and her Spanish is really good!  She was asked to read in our training session and she did great!  I was super impressed with her.  Her trainer is from Argentina and she is really fun and full of pep.   Right now they are living with a single sister in Lontué because the house we were planning for them, had a few problems; (no electricity and the toilet didn't work;  You are in Chile now, Hermana Davis!)  They are living in a nice, typical, Chilean home in a quiet neighborhood.  We'll take good care of her.

Out for lunch with some awesome Elders.  You have to see the size of these sandwiches!

This is the famous, "completo".  It is just a hot dog with smashed avocado, diced tomatoes, a smothering of mayonnaise and this Elder added mustard and hot sauce.  He ate two of these!  The sandwich in the background is called a Churrasco.  They are piled with meat, avocado, diced tomatoes and tons of mayo.
This is like four sandwiches.  I've seen the Hermanas eat this much food!

Some of my "favorites".  The shorter hermanas are both new.  One is from Mexico and the other is from Peru.  The trainers are from home.  This was a beautiful day in Constitución.

Hermana Fajardo is eating one of my cookies.  She is such a good missionary.  She has just been called to be a "leader of the hermanas."  We are running out of experienced trainers with all the Sisters entering the mission.  Some Hermanas who have only been here for four weeks are already training the new missionaries.  They are usually in training for twelve weeks.  There was an article in the Deseret News about the new leadership roles the sisters will have.

Russ and Silvia came to visit us last month for a few days.  It was wonderful to see them.  They are so fun to travel around with.  We got to visit Pucón with them and our mission president and his wife, (on the left).  Russ and Silvia are good friends with the Humphreys.  You can see the cool belt my brother bought.  He loves to make friends with the people and then makes them happy by buying something.

The Park Lake Hotel
President Humphrey could only spend one night and a day away from his responsibilities.  He was still on the phone most of the time.  What a great tour guide he was, knowing all the places to stop and shop.

Lake Villarrica, from our room.  The weather was warm and spectacular! 

The volcano, Villarrica, just outside Pucón.

The sun was just going down. 

The next morning, we hiked a short while at the bottom of the volcano.  Can you see the steam coming out the top?

We saw a few lizards along the way and Doug said to me, "you'll never catch it".  Ha!

Why did I get in the "talent line" entitled, "lizard catching"?

We got to travel to Santiago with Russ and Silvia and stay with them in their friends house.  This is the back yard.  It was a lovely home, full of antiques and a maid!  You just have to walk into the dining room and the dinner is there!  After you eat, and visit for a long time, you just get up and walk off.  No dishes or clean up, nada.  Gerry is the boy that lived with Russ and Silvia when he was a teenager for a year.  He still lives here with his parents.  He knows what hospitality is.  He was so helpful and polite and gave us a terrific tour of the city.  Here are a few pictures of the tour.
Gerry, his girfriend, and sister.
I love this picture-"solving world hunger."
On top of Santa Lucia, a hill where there was a lookout, watching for the Mapuchi Indians to attack

There is some interesting architecture in Santiago

The Institute of Religion.
This building is actually where Gerry's mother was raised.  There were 10 children and 8 nannies! 

Ensalada Chilena

We ended the tour with lunch, outside, and my favorite salad.
Doug and I drove home that evening.  It was so fun to be with Russ and Silvia.  I cried for the first hour after being separated from them.  That must be why missionaries aren't allowed to see family for 2 years.  It is just too hard to part.

Our mission couldn't be much better.  We are loving every minute of it.  We don't care about U.S. news, sports, TV, none of it.
Try to picture my little afternoon experience, today.  Three Hermanas had to come to Talca for a follow-up Dr. appointment.  Only one companion can go into the exam room with the sick Hermana so I told them that I would meet them at the clinic and stay with the extra missionary.  They are never supposed to be alone.  They called me when they got to the bus terminal so I would know when they would arrive.  I left our apartment and walked to my favorite, angled, tree-lined, street in Talca.  The weather was warm and the city was bustling with people.  I got to the clinic and waited on the sidewalk.  In a few minutes, 3 of the sweetest, cleanest looking, young women came around the corner. It was natural to greet them in Spanish and give them each a hug and kiss.  We went into the clinic and I visited with the "extra" missionary.  She is getting transferred tomorrow.  It was just a few minutes and the others came back out.  We all walked together to the street where all the colectivos drive by.  It was fun to wave one down by holding up 3 fingers.  We all hugged and I waited until they climbed in and were off to the bus terminal.  I walked back home through the middle of our plaza and still thought to myself, "I'm wandering around Chile, and I feel safe and comfortable!"  Life is Good!