Okay so first of all, this is the letter I wanted to send you last week! haha I think I was struggling a lot when I wrote it so you can take comfort knowing I am doing much better this week! The other pics are of my room and then also the place we went to eat today. My companion is from Peru so he took us to a Peruvian place to eat! I’ll send you another email in a little!
I figured I would write you and tell you some of the little stories about what happens and also my feelings here and there. I'll tell you in the email this week, but my time in the field so far has not been great. I have definitely had good times still though.
So my first day in the field after meeting with the Mission President started great! I got to the chapel where we would find out our trainers and when I saw I got a Latino from Peru, I thought it was cool because I would probably learn Spanish quicker. I'm hoping that will hold true but as of now it is very hard. It is stressful spending a whole day with someone that you can barely communicate with. It gets a little boring quick. I really am doing my best to stay positive though.
The hardest part though is in lessons. I swear the people here in Melipilla slur so much. You know how it is kind of hard to hear hill billy's because they don't pronounce all their sounds? Well imagine a hill billy speaking another language. It is so hard. It literally drives me bonkers and makes me wish I would have gone English speaking. I know once I figure it out, I will be extremely happy to be here. I'm sure it isn't true, but I feel like I am worse than I should be. Everyone keeps saying for only being here 6 weeks, I am doing fine. But I really feel like I have to guess everything that is said. I am going to write to Brennan this week to see how Spanish was for him. I hope he struggled like me. That will make me feel better about myself.
One crazy thing is that I already had fleas in my bed! SO sleeping has not been great here so far haha. I didn't realize it was fleas until about a week in. I know I'll joke about it soon enough but I was so angry at first. I was like seriously! The only time I have to relax is in bed and for 2 days I knew i had fleas and couldn't do anything but wash my sheets before I bought the spray. I have around 20 bites throughout my arms and legs. They itch but they really aren't too bad. Getting to live like this really does make my appreciation for what I have at home increase a lot! I pulled out the flea collar you sent. I think it’s all good now and I'm starting to laugh a little about it. It’s rough but I can already see progress in my mindset. I still can’t even think of what person I'll be in 2 years, but I've already made so much progress in the way I think and act.
As far as lessons go, I am starting to teach more and more. Especially the restoration and the plan of salvation. I don't know what the people say when responding to me but my companion answers their questions and then I start teaching again! :) Our Search for Happiness is a great book! And read Chap 4 of PMG. I read that this week and my prayers have been strengthened a ton! It applies to missionaries but I’m sure you can apply it to everyday life at home too. haha
So Melipilla! Melipilla is the area I am in and it is the largest section of the mission. Which means we cover the most area. Melipilla itself isn't too bad but we cover like 20 tiny farming communities around it. It is also pretty ghetto around here. Our house is decent but almost everyone else's houses are pretty bad. Everyone we have taught so far has been really poor and missing teeth. It is really weird to experience life like this. I hope I get used to it.
Okay so my last complaint, lol. My left foot and backside of my right knee have started to hurt. We walk so much and always so fast so that is the other thing I need to get used to. Luckily, yesterday, we got to go to the temple for the whole afternoon. It was a ward temple day and my companion had a recent convert going to do baptisms for the dead. So we got to go and I loved it. I was able to see some of my friends still in the CCM. I also saw my teacher that I liked. It was weird, I felt back at home there. I don't feel comfortable in Melipilla yet. But yeah, we were the 2 witnesses for a session of baptisms. We told the guy whether or not they went fully under water. Then we also got to confirm a few people. But yeah, I really needed the trip back to Santiago to get some confidence back. I also found out that all of my friends from the MTC are struggling just as much as I am so I don't feel so behind:). Oh one more thing. We can only listen to Hymns and MoTab. :( Haha. It isn't a big deal but now I won't be using my iPod for 2 years. So we also do a ton of contacting here. I didn't realize that. Our schedule is like..
During Proselyting, half of it is contacting. Lunch is always with a member and then we can have dinner after planning if we want, but I am usually too tired. Then I also think it is weird I only have a half hour to study the language!
Well darn, I haven't told you too many stories yet and I am already 2 pages in! So I'll just tell you a few..On Wednesday night, we contacted into some Haitians.They were all black and they invited us in to their house. All of them looked sketchy so I was legitly kind of scared. But after we taught them the Restoration, they agreed to come to church today. So hopefully we will see them today!
Another story was the next night, we contacted someone at 8:20 pm when we were about 20 minutes from our house. We have to be home at 9 unless we are in a lesson. Then we have till 9:30. Anyways, this lesson ends up going till 9:17 and we had to be home by 9:30 so my trainer made us run the entire way! It sucked but looking back on it, it is a funny story. It is also cool to see how obedient my trainer is. Every day we also have to take sketchy buses to areas. That is how large our area is. We take the bus like 30-40 minutes and then slowly make our way back.
So I just got home from my first Sunday and it was really good. I had to go up and introduce myself in Sacrament meeting but it wasn't bad. I didn't really understand anything but that is okay. After church, we had lunch at a member’s house. They were super cool. They cooked all kinds of meat including blood sausage! Look it up:( Then potatoes and salad and beans. One weird thing here is their salads. All salads in Chile have plain oil and then a lemon for you to squeeze on it. Super weird. Anyways, after that we had a total of 4 lessons. In the last one, I was able to get 3 people to agree to be baptized if they receive a confirmation from their prayer. So that was really cool.
I hope I don't sound too sissy in this letter. I just needed to express how I was feeling. I know these tough times will bless me so much. I think I would not have been able to get through any kind of med school without this. I have never pushed myself so hard in my life. I still have a lot to go but my confidence for post-mission life is already growing. I also know eventually I will love it here, haha! It will just take a little. I LOVE you mom! I pray for you probably 3 times a day. I hope life is treating you well! Study the scriptures every day! It really is a way to receive personal revelation. Also, please pray for me :) por favor! I will be fine but I could use the extra help. I think it is in Alma10. It talks about praying for others really does help them. You are the B-E-S-T! Yo estoy muy agradecido por tu!
LOVE ELDER WALZ