So Halloween does exist in Chile, but it is kind of a newer thing, so not everyone celebrates it and a lot of people are frankly scared of it. Several people asked us if it was true that Halloween is the devil's birthday and there were some religious groups hanging fliers up everywhere which warned people about the dangers of Halloween and invited them to come to church instead. What a bummer. Halloween has always been like my second-favorite holiday (Those of you viewers at home who guessed "birthday" as my favorite holiday just got TEN POINTS!), so I was just a little bummed that my Chilean friends were so wary of it. But the Primary threw "The first annual spring party of the Hualqui ward," and it was a hit.
Then the day after Halloween was Day of the Dead or "All Saint's Day" or I don't know what they really call it here because I don't have a real Chilean calendar, but it was a holiday similar to Memorial Day and the cemetery (just about a block from our house and set in a little "valley" so you can see like all of it at once) was brimming with people. And right outside the cemetery? Brilliant entrepreneuers selling churros filled with manjar (totally overpriced or I would have bought one), those water-gun looky thingies that actually make bubbles, mote con huesillo, and flowers. And baskets to put the flowers in. Seriously, they are so smart. Anyone who lived within a one-block radius had turned their house into a completo restaurant. Next Memorial Day I'm totally setting up a snow cone stand right outside the local cemetery. It's genius. I'd sell mote con huesillo but I have a feeling it wouldn't be quite as popular as snow cones back in the states.... Bummer.
One day we counted all the dogs we saw. 169. Just in case you were wondering.
And to finalize this lovely fall report (or spring if you are in Chile where the seasons are backward), today we had cambios. Guess what? I am going to be companions with yet another one of my "granddaughters!" Totally weird, but I am staying in Hualqui and going to be finishing the training of the lovely Hermana Haymond! Sad news. No more Hermana Lyons. She is going to Coihueco (super campo sector in my first zone in Chillán) to open a new sector with Hermana De Leon. How funny is it that Hermana "Lions" and Hermana "Of Lions" are going to be companions? We're totally cracking up over it. Also they are separating me from the beloved Hermana Frandsen. She got transferred back to Chillán (well, to Bulnes, but it is in the same zone as Lib so she'll see quite a bit of Chillán at any rate), is opening a sector, training, and she got made a sister training leader. She's a bit overwhelmed, but I know she'll be great. Also I will get less fat because nobody will sabotage my diet with homemade bread and Nutella cookies. This week I'll eat so many vegetables. I hear Hermana Haymond really likes them.
I am super sad to be losing two of the most awesome people in the world all in one day. But I know Hermana Haymond will be a great companion. And I love training. You get extra time to do practices in companionship study and extra language study time. I could use both of those things, and this is my fourth "hija," (Who is also my "nieta" since she was trained last cambio by Hermana Morán. That "I'm My Own Grandpa" song is finally starting to make sense to me!) so you'd think I'd have some of those things figured out a little by now, but no such luck!
Something else. When I was in the office today I saw a stack of manuals for the new missionaries coming tomorrow, but they were a different color from the "First Twelve Weeks" manual that I have been used to having, so I went over to check it out. Turns out it's called "Adjusting to Missionary Life." Wish they'd had that a year ago. Maybe I'd be a little more well-adjusted.... Hahaha. :) Also now that I have long finished my training (and trained more than once) they have finally finished the "Stress Management" portion of the online training segments and come out with a "Twelve Weeks" manual for the trainer. I am so ahead of/behind the curve on this whole new wave of missionary work thing.
Another thing. Blonde jokes don't translate that well into Spanish, at least in Chile, because anyone who doesn't have black hair is "rubia" or "blonde." It is very difficult to try to explain that when we say "rubia" in the joke, we refer to someone with hair the color of Hermana Frandsen's, not mine. And as I tried to relate a blonde joke this week while we waited for lunch to start, I may or may not have (I did.) "inadvertently" told a little Chilean boy that blondes don't have a "cerebro." Oops. Hermana Frandsen may or may not have been (she was) a little upset with me for that one.
Here is the English translation of one of my favorite Spanish jokes. Hope you haven't already heard it:
Why couldn't the Lamanites eat dinner?
Because the Nephites had the plates!!!! :D
Okay folks, that's really all I have time for for now. Love you all lots!
Your commitment this week may or may not be (it is) to keep reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY. And report back!
Have the most fantastic of weeks!