Wednesday, July 27, 2011

June 25th, 2011

It sounds like everyone is having a great summer! I can`t believe that in a week from today August starts! I am a little excited because they say that after August it starts warming up. So good for me, not so fun for you guys.
 
I am glad to hear that Annie`s shower went well. I can`t believe that you are going to be a Mom! Wow, times chage... haha:) I`m glad that everything is going well. I am already expecting pictures of little Will in about a month and a half. Noah is getting so big! I love that he is missing his front tooth! It sounds like you are all staying busy and having fun. Everyone is getting married! I can`t believe all the announcments you have. I guess all the winter fests turn into summer weddings... lol :) Such is life!!.
 
So, my first week as a trainer was good. I really have no idea how to train but it makes me feel smart... haha:) When she asks me stuff I usually know the answer... so that is good. Oh, well first things first, Her name is Hermana Melanie Eborn. She is from Heber, Utah. She is the youngest of her family and she graduated in communications and is 21 (going to turn 22) and she is outgoing, likes to talk to people (which is good!) and her Spanish is pretty good. She was in the class for the people that already know Spanish the the MTC so that helped. She is fitting in well here in the ward. I feel like an old fart in this ward. Everyone keeps saying that Bishop might as well give me a calling. I feel like I have been here forvever (oh wait, I have) hahaha:) It`s nice to have a newbie, it spices things up a little bit. She is in awe with everything so it`s fun. I forgot what life was like outside of the Mission and the things that are different from home. So its fun and keeps life a little more interesting.
 
Things are great in the area. Glorian is excited for her baptism on Sunday so we are getting everything ready for that. Her daughter Paz said she wants to get baptized but still hasn`t accepted an exact date but we are going to keep working with her. Once her Mom gets baptized I think it will help her too. All the young women like her and she is going to all the activities, it is so amazing!
 
This week I was a little under the weather. I felt so bad for my companion because I practically lost my voice on Wed and Thursday. I could barley talk and she was nervous because the people couldn`t really understand her and so they looked at me and I could barely talk to tell them what she said. It was pretty dang funny. I figure I was just helping her learn faster :)  But I`m going back to normal and I can actually sing the hymns again!!
 
President and Sister Essig are sooo great! They are fun and down to earth. I think they are liking it. I will be going there on Friday for a training for my companion and for me. So it will be fun to see them again. Today I don`t know exactly what else we are going to do except show Hermana Eborn around town a little bit and see what happens. She wants to try a completo, which is basically a hot dog. So that is on the list but we will have to see what else comes our way. Our drain in our shower is really clogged so we have been scooping out the water with a bucket and dumping it into the sink to drain but we are a little tired of being redneck so we are determined to find something to unclogg our drain. That is about as exciting as it is getting today in Santiago Chile... haha:)
 
But I hope you all have a great week and that you enjoy getting everything ready for back to school and all the other things that are happening. Keep me updated on your lives and remember I love you and am always thinking of yall. Thanks for the letters and the support. Before we know it my time will be up and I will be a little lost lamb again, not quite knowing what to do with my life... haha:).
 
Well, have a fantabulous day and I will be chattin back next week! LOVE YOU ALL like a Chilean loves mayo (which is a lot!)
 
LES AMO!!!!!!
Steph


 

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18th, 2011

Hi all,
 
I hope that your week has been wonderful up there in the sun. It has been a little crazy here for me. I spent the whole week thinking this was my last week in this area and taking pictures with everyone and all that jazz, and then when we got the call last night (at 2 am) I found out that I am staying!!! (yes, that will make 9 months in this area and yes, that is half of my time in Chile) haha !!! I will be training a new gringa who will get here tomorrow.  I am excited, but freaking out a little bit. It will be nice to have her excitment to be here to keep me working hard in this area. I love it here though, so it will be a good next 6 weeks!
 
Story of the week,
 
We went to one of our investigators house to help with some house cleaning. We get there Friday morning and she tells us to come in. We pass and we ask how she is doing and she says horrible. We have been fighting all morning here and turns out that her son punched her in the eye and all this stuff, her daughter of 20 (the investigator) was in the back crying and the son who punched her (18) was mad and in his room and then her son who is 3 was just kind of chillin. We had no idea what to do to help?!?!?! We decided to say a prayer. So we invite everyone to join and no one wants to, so we are just praying with the Mom, and then she wants to go talk to her daughter who is crying. We are just kinda chillin out in the living room and so we start cleaning, folding clothes and stuff. Then the son comes out of his room and goes outside. So I look outside and up pulls a cop car. I was thinking... you have got to be kiding me! What the heck do we do? They come in and talk to the screaming people inside and we are just trying to blend in by looking like just the house cleaners (2 gringas makes it a little hard) and we had no idea what to do, so we just cleaned until we couldn`t find more to clean. They were going to take away the daughter and the son to talk in the prison or something, I don`t even know, but we just said `exuse me` and walked out. We haven`t been back to see what went down. But that was the fist time something like that has happened.
 
There have been lots of soccer games with Chile playing whatever country so there have been lots of screaming and partying in the streets (that is until they lost last night) but now I think it`s over so things should be a little calmer.
 
Lets see, what else happened.... Its Hermana Players birthday tomorrow so all these people were going to celebrate with us, but now she won`t be there and I won`t be there until the afternoon, so the family Urrea had us come over this morning and we had cake and breakfast together. It was fun! I am excited to be here for Glorians baptism on the 31st. On Sunday her duaghter Paz came to church for the fist time and said she wants to get baptized so we are going to see if she will do it within the next 6 weeks, so I might be here for that too. All these people that I thought I would never be here to see get baptized are going to get baptized while I`m here, it`s great!
 
To celebrate the end of the transfer, on Thur we went to McDonalds in our area for lunch...
This is the excitement of our celebration!!! 
video
 
This video is of people on the bus today on the way to write/email home. People just get on and do random things. Today it was rapping but there is anything from violin to opera singing. It is pretty fun to see who gets on the bus. I haven`t watched it to see if it`s exciting but I just recorded the last little part. Hopefully you enjoy it. At the end, they collect money (as missionaries we don`t donate) but they said that all of the money was going to a good cause to make one of the rapper guys into a woman. So that just made it all the more interesting... hahaha:) We just started laughing!!!
 
Well, we have to go clean our apt. to get everything ready, and we have to go preach the word, so all the other details of my life will have to wait until next week :) Plus, I can`t think of much more that happened this week. Life is pretty dang good here, just doin' my thang and that is pretty much it. I will send you more updates next week when I know more about what is happening. But have a great week! Mom, have a Happy Birthday!, Annie, have a happy baby shower (don`t pop too soon) and everyone else, keep doin what your doing :) and remember to be happy- I thought since I was using `happy`a lot, I might as well keep it up...
 
From your happy missionary in Chile
con MUCHO MUCHO cariño
Steph

July 11th, 2011

So, there is so much to tell you this week. I hope you don´t get to bored. But THANK YOU ALL for the birthday wishes. It was a great day. I sent a ton of pictures that I took throughout the day. We went and visited Maria in the morning and then we went to lunch at the Family Ñancupil and that was fun (see attached video). The family Urrea had told us a few days earlier that there is a lady in their complex who is going to be at their house on Sat so if we could just happen to ¨show up¨ and teach her a little about what we believe. We went over and of course it was all a lie...they had cake waiting for me. They have a tradition here where after they sing Happy Birthday they start chanting, Bite it! then you go into take a bite of the cake and they either shove the cake in your face or they push the back of your head to plant your face into the cake, so they did that, but it was really gentle and I only got a little bit dirty. It was fun. Then we went and taught some regular lessons and then we went to Glorian´s (who is going to get baptized at the end of the month). I didn´t know she knew it was my birthday but then they brought out a bunch of gifts and flowers. Her husband had bought the flowers and her daughters picked out earrings (that are really cute) and eyeshadow (which has a bunch of weird colors) Conny drew me a picture of the church, and they got me lip gloss in the shape of a strawberry, and a stuffed animal duck (that the girls named ¨duck¨ but in spanish, original I know... haha)  I have no idea what I´m going to do with it, should carry it around or what? But it was fun, then they gave us more food. But it was a great day! Everyone is so nice and kept saying, I know it´s not like  when you are at home with your family- and it wasn´t -but I figure it is the only birthday I am going to have in Chile so I might as well enjoy every minute of it. Mom and Dad, thanks for celebrating in Jackson for me.. haha:)
We had interviews with Pres Essig this week. He is super nice and when I told him that I have been in this area for 7 months he said that SLC is telling them to keep the missionaries in areas longer, so I don´t know if that means that I´m not going to get transferred next week or what but we will see what happens. Hermana Essig said she lived in the pink Murdock house that was rock on the bottom (I´m not quite sure what one that is) but her maiden name was Sorensen, her Mom was related to those Murdocks and her Dad was David Sorensen who taught at Snake River- music and history. So she thought you might know him or have heard of him. They are so cute. Sister Essig is working on her Spanish and trying not to freeze to death. It´s funny. The thing is that it´s just as cold inside the house as outside, so it doesn´t matter where you are it´s just cold. But during the day it´s not too bad.
For the 4th of July, what did you all do? Turns out that Hermana Stevens couldn´t come into town so we hung out with Hermana Moss and Hermana Hadlock again and ate some good old McDonald´s to remind us of home, that was pretty much all. Not too exciting, but it was good.
We have found some new investigators this week that are super cool! Barbara and her 7 month old baby, Felipe, live in our apt. complex and she used to live with an old Bishop (who was bad, because he wasn´t divorced and was living with her. Felipe is his son!) but that is how she got to know the church, then she wanted to get baptized but knew that they needed to get married but he wasnt doing the things the church believes, so she didn´t want to marry him. They split up and she just moved to our apts a month ago and we just started talking in the parking lot and then went to visit her on Friday. She told us this story and said she wants to get baptized as soon as possible. So we are super excited for her.
We also contacted this guy from Colombia (so he is pretty black) and he is HILARIOUS! He is a hair dresser and talks so cool. It is so funny to talk to him. We had an amazing member come with us and the lesson went really well last night. He said he is going to read about the BOM, so we will see what happens.
We have been teaching this guy, Claudio, English and he is kinda interesting. This week he was playing charades with us like we didn´t understand Spanish. It was hilarious. He was explaining to me how you make this Chilean food. and he got out all the pans and the ingredients and was putting things in the bowl and pretending to stir and taste the food and all this jazz. It was hilarious! We were just laughing the whole time.
Oh, then Jose, who just got baptized a couple weeks ago... his house is pretty interesting, with all the cats and probably hasnt been cleaned for I don´t know how long. There are spider cacoon things (where the mom lays the eggs) under his old tv that is right by the couch and well ya...BLECH!!  Hermana Player had to go to the bathroom so I told her that if she used his bathroom and took pictures I would buy her some bread. So she did it and from the pictures it looks pretty nasty, so I bought her some bread and I think she deserved every piece of it. What we don´t do as missionaries to get a little excitement haha:)
Yesterday we broke the rules because we aren´t supposed to give money to people, but we were walking to an appt and this nice lady came up and said "Sisters how are you doing?"  we started to talk to her, shes a member from another part of Santiago and came to give medications to a lady she takes care of. On the way a guy robbed her, ripped her purse and took everything. She said she only had about 20 bucks so that wasn´t a big deal but  the meds and her cell phone... that was the worst part. She asked if we had coins so she could take the subway back to her area and we said it´s against the rules to give money and she said, "Oh that is ok" I´ll figure something out. So then we walked away and we felt so bad. We thought, Jesus would have given her money. So then we turned around and went to find her. She knocked on a door and a lady gave her 20 cents and she was all excited, so we gave her a dollar and she only needed about 40 more cents to buy a subway ticket. So we felt better, even though we broke the rules.
That is pretty much all that happened this week. It sounds like things are going pretty well there. I hear Noah is rockin' it at baseball and everyone is busy busy. Have a great week and remember I love you all so much and thanks for all you do for me! Ya´ll are the best!
CON MUCHISIMO AMOR!!!!
Steph
 Cake in my face
 All of the birthday gifts I got from the people here. Family Urrea gave me a sweater. Glorian and her family gave me strawberry lip stuff, eye shadow, flowers, earrings, a stuffed duck, and Maria gave me more flowers
 Left to right Back: Paz (12 years old, is reading the BOM and is super fun) Glorian (the mom, who is going to get baptized on the 31st) then Conny and Me (Conny is 3 or 4 and talks a lot and really fast. She is so cute!) They gave me a bunch of stuff. The prettiest white roses and pink gerber daisys and a bunch of other stuff. 
 The family Urrea. Jorge (9, who just got baptized) Luis, Alma and me. They gave me a huge delicious cake and a sweater
 Maria (my first baptism in this area) and she sang to me and picked these flowers out of her garden that smell SO good! 
video
 This is the Family Ñancupil. They are awesome! They are like my family here. They had us over for lunch and she made tacos (because she knows I love them) and then she made an orange pie... this is them singing to me. Their son, Jorge, who got back from a mission a little while ago is recording and their other son is Jose, he is getting ready for his mission. The Dad, Jorge, is our mission leader, and the Mom, Alejandra, washes our clothes and takes care of us.
It was a great day!
Peace out
Steph

July 4th, 2011

Hi my American Family,
 
I hope you are all having fun on your 4th or July! When you are watching the fireworks think of me :)  I didn`t realize how much I LOVE the fireworks until I knew I`m wasn't going to see them. So, next year I will definitely be hittin' up a lot of shows. I`m glad to hear that the family reunions went well (Good work Mom and Dad) Everyone is growing up like crazy (and Annie just keeps growing out... haha) But I`m happy you are all doing good!
 
Not too much happened this week so this might be my first short email :) Brace yourself haha..
 
We had a conference to meet our new President, President Essig. He is so great! He is super calm and humble, and excited to be here. They are from North Logan and his wife said that when she was 5 they lived in the Murdock house in Thomas for a year. That was all we had time to say but if I see her this week I will ask her more, like her name. But that was cool! They have their son here for a couple weeks, but then he is going home to go to the MTC and will then be serving in Orsorno (southern Chile). Everything has been a whirl wind for them but they are awesome. It is going to be good.
 
Also, I was talking to a senior couple of missionaries, Elder and Sister Taylor. They are from Texas ( I don`t remember what part) but they worked in the Temple for a long time and said that they knew of Granny and Grandpa. So, it`s a small world. I probably won`t have time to talk to them more because they are getting shipped out to Easter Island. They have been here for almost a year.
 
Glorian is still excited for her baptism on the 31st. She is making more friends in the church so thats good. Her daughters are so cute! Paz is 12 and Constanza is 3. I wish I could just put them in my suitcase and carry them around with me. We have transfers not this Monday, but the next Monday (the 18th) so we will see what happens. I imagine, I will be leaving but only time will tell. I am ready for a change though. Since I have been here so long, it will be hard to leave the people. This week we went to visit a member, Andrea Gonzalez, and she had pancakes (which are more like crapes here) and hot chocolate waiting. It was so good! It is so fetching cold outside, and she is so sweet! Then we got talking about how we can fix all the problems in the ward. Because ward council was horrible. I am so grateful for the orginazation that we have at home and that everyone knows what they need to do and they do it. But it all comes with time I guess.
 
That is about all that happened this week. But I´ll try to spice it up for next week. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!! I am going to have a great day and will be thinking of you all! I love you and hope you have a great week and maybe even get a little sunburned for me :)
 
SIEMPRE CON MUCHO AMOR,
Steph
 This is Hermana Moss from Mapleton UT (she knows Steve Whyte) and Hermana Hadlock from Mesa AZ. I freaking love them. We get together about every p-day and it's so fun. But Hermana Moss goes home in 2 weeks so I´m going to miss her.
 Pregnant ladies parking only. I thought of Annie when I saw this and had to laugh!! :)
Last week when everything was closed we were just walking around Santiago and found this fountain so we took pictures by it. This is Hermana Player and me (just in case you couldn´t tell :)
 
LOVE YOU!