Monday, January 13, 2014

Meet My Great-Granddaughter

Last Monday it just so happened that Hermana Lyons and Hermana Johnston (her trainee) had to be in Conce for a doctor's appointment, and Hermana Morán had to be in Conce for consejo, so we decided to take advantage of the only chance we had to take a four-generation photo.  Hemana Lyons had the genius idea that we should act out which generation we were.  So that's what we did.  It was awesome.  I am the great-grandma, Hermana Morán the grandma (though she looks more like a teenager in the picture I have, but that's just Hermana Morán for you), Hermana Lyons is the mom, and Hermana Johnston the baby.

And since all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were in Conce for consejo I also got to see Hermana Frandsen and Hermana Chavez for what might be one of the last times before we go home (since they are stinking far away in my beloved Chillán).  So we took pictures too.  I love them lots.

Tuesday night was New Year's Eve, of course.  It was kind of a slow night for us since everyone was having family parties.  And then we went home and planned and took pictures in our New Year's garb that some members had gifted to Hermana Martinez and Hermana Gamboa and then we were in bed at 11:30.  I think I was still awake when the New Year came in, but I didn't hear too much noisy partying so I can't be sure.  Apparently in Chile you are supposed to go out in the street at midnight and hug everyone you see or something like that.  But we didn't do that either, of course.

Wednesday morning Hermana Gamboa and I went out to run in the morning and that was quite a humorous experience, because there were still lots of leftover beach party-ers (how do you spell that word?) straggling through the streets.  One group of young adults that we passed started whooping when they saw us and even followed us for a bit, while a drunk man leaning against the wall next to the church cat-called for about two minutes straight.  And there were still several people left on the beach (and lots of champagne corks) after the all-night revelry.  It was kind of humorous.  But I ask myself why it is so attractive to celebrate the coming of the New Year in that manner?  Maybe it's fun until midnight, but stumbling home hung-over and disheveled and covered in sand at 7:30 in the morning just doesn't seem like a very positive start to a new year to me....

One thing we did to start the new year out right was we rearranged the furniture in our apartment.  We had the two bunk beds in one bedroom, the Hermanas study room in the other, and our study space out in the living room, which just wasn't very functional.  So with the help of a set of little L-shaped Allen wrench things that we bought for a buck at a ferreteria, a pair of pliers borrowed from the neighbors across the hall, and a little brute force (we had to turn one bed upside down and jump on it to get it to disassemble) we were able to get the house rearranged.  Now all four beds are in the living room and the other bedroom is our study space.  It isn't as pretty, with a living room full of beds, but it's a lot more functional.  We also have a little closet room which had mostly been serving as a storage space for Hermana Martinez's dirty clothes, but we tidied that up too (we bought her a little collapsible cube with a cute cow on it for her to put her diry laundry in) and hung some laundry line in there so that we would have a place to dry any clothes we washed by hand.  In the bathroom it took days and this little room is real sunny, so we have been pleased with those results as well.  It was a great New Year's project.

This week I did a
mini cambio one day with Hermana Suarez.  I hadn't really worked much with her before, but she was also in Hualqui and she is going home just a little before me, so we have a lot of our mission in common.  We know all the same people (For example, there are very few hermanas left - four, if I am not mistaken - who ever knew my trainer.), even taught some of the same investigators, and are in the same phase of our mission, so it was interesting to spend a day with her.  She was one of the missionaries who found and baptized Aracely, that awesome recent convert from Hualqui who was always accompanying us.  Hermana Suarez is from Argentina and she was introduced to the Church through the people who owned the gym where she trained (she was like a professional weight-lifter or something like that), which is a neat story.

And this morning we had a zone activity.  We went on like a little hike (though it was pretty much flat and therefore nothing compared to the hills we climb up every day) to an old tunnel which was super dark and even though you could usually see light from one end or the other, you couldn't see right in front of you or where you were putting your feet or anything like that.  It was cool and pretty and then afterwards we ate Churrascos.  Much better zone activity than going to the church and playing soccer, if you ask me.  Thanks Elder Rhodes and Elder Klepinger!

Anyways, it's a little boring but that was my week.  Not too many crazy adventures and we haven't run out of matches so we aren't in any danger of burning the place down.  Though, on a lack of matches side note, Hermana Snyder told me that in their house they have to even light the calefont with matches in order to get hot water and that one very desperate Saturday night they resorted to putting metal in the microwave in order to generate a flame for lighting the calefont.  A little dangerous, but they took precautions (a bowl full of water standing nearby) and it was effective in the end.  So I guess being a missionary is never too boring.

And how are we all doing with our Book of Mormon reading?  I have read every day this year so far - except for today, the zone activity threw off my study schedule, but I promise to read when we get back to the house.  I invite you all to keep on reading EVERY DAY.

Also, another commitment:  write to a missionary!  It doesn't have to be me, I was just thinking about how awesome it is when we get mail and/or emails and I thought it would be a great thing for you all to do this week - brighten a missionary's day!

Well, love you all and hope you have a g-reat week!



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