|The view that welcomes us every single morning.|
Companion: Hermana Peterson
First of all, thanks so much for making talking last night a wonderful experiences. I loved being able to talk to you guys. That hour and a half went by WAAAAAAAY too fast. There was so much more that I wanted to share with you guys and ask you ... but I am so grateful for the time that we had!! I LOVE YOU! YOU GUYS ARE MY INSPIRATION.
Something that I didn't really get to say yesterday was HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM!! Oh my goodness, am I ever grateful for you! I am so grateful for everything that you have done for me in my life. For cleaning up my throw-up and changing diapers and being my psychologist and my match-maker. I LOVE YOU MOMMY! :) I hope your day was magnificent!!
So, since I pretty much said my letter to you all last night, I thought that I would fill you guys in a little bit more about the Chilean experience. I feel like it is so hard to describe Chile and give it justice ... It is SUCH a beautiful country with so many little details that are difficult to point out. There are some things that I can just point out and say, "Dang, that is Chilean." I hope that you guys will be able to come to Chile some day. I am pretty sure that that is the only way to really understand why I love it so much.
THE FIVE SENSES OF CHILE
1. Sights -- We talked a little bit last night about the sights of Chile. Tomé is such a beautiful area. The hills are grassy and the weather is temperate ... and a mile away is the sea. It is GORGEOUS (see picture attached). There are sidewalks everywhere (we never actually walk on them) and they are lined with wild flowers and dogs taking afternoon naps. A lot of the little old Chilean ladies take walks in the morning, wrapped in shawls and their warmest, natural-wool hats. There are certain corners where the drunk men flock and chat about their lives. The houses are really, really poor ... like, trailer trash poor, but the people are so humble and they work really hard to make their living conditions nice. Even though the houses aren't like, American pretty, they have their own little charm and are ALWAYS painted in some ridiculous color ... like bright orange. I LOVE THESE VIEWS.
2. Sounds -- I think my favorite sound that I have heard in Chile is the Evangelical music. It is so pretty and it just floats over the hills. I could sit and listen to it all day. The worldly Spanish music on the busses isn't too bad either. I have a few that I am particularly fond of (they make the hour long bus rides to Concé pleasant). There are dogs barking (always), birds chirping, and cicadas making whatever noise they make. The men make these weird kissing noises at us (we just laugh and walk away). The Spanish language is something that I love listening to as well. We are often teaching in houses with a TON of people, and I just love listening to them tell their stories and talk to each other. I LOVE SPANISH. Sometimes we go far out in the campo and hear absolutely nothing ... which is another beautiful sound.
3. Tastes -- Ahhhhhhh, the Chilean food. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Chilean food. I promised you that I would write a couple of awesome dishes so that you guys can be delivered from eating completos every week (although why you would ever want that ... I don't know) ... and I am here to deliver. Cazuela is something that I think is very doable in the United States. It is the soup that I was talking about with potatos and noodles and meat. They eat a TON of mashed potatoes here. Actually, they prepare potatoes in pretty much every way known to man. Papas con mayo (potato salad), papas fritas (home-made french fries), papas con pretty much anything is a Chilean dish. Usually paired with the papas is some slab of meat. Yummmmmmm. They also have these delicious salads that they prepare. Basically, a Chilean salad consists of tomatoes and onions cut into chunks with oil, lemon, and salt. It was weird to eat at first, but now I am really fond of it. PAN is HUGE here ... and oh my word, it is good. I think that there are recipes for Chilean bread online. They are definitely worth a try!! I am probably going to cry when I leave Chile ... just because I am leaving the Chilean pan.
Deserts are also something that Chileans LOVE and are really good at. They always make these things called queques (which is just a bready cake without frosting). When these queques are moist, they are DANGEROUSLY GOOD. They also serve canned fruit with pure cream on top. They don't refridgerate their cream or their milk until they open it ... which was something that was hard to get used to. Flan is a staple desert ... so is icecream with galletas. The galletas are not like mom's home-baked delicious cookies ... they are basically any type of packaged, Oreo-like cookies. Super good ... and really easy to get addicted to (which is the bane of every sister missionary's existence).
4. Smells -- Chile has got a distinct smell ... it is like China ... mixed with wet dog, sea, and campo. The fresh bread is a delicious smell. All of the women walk around perfumed from head to toe with the same scent. There actually aren't that many crazy smells that I have noticed.
5. Feel -- So, I could talk about feeling the cute little cats and the cheeks of chubby babies that waddle around here ... but that would be even shorter than the smells of Chile. I think that I love Chile so much because it is all about feeling. There is no way to really show you guys how wonderful and crazy and beautiful and breathtaking every day is for me. Do you remember how I love sunsets and taking pictures while driving and enjoying the pretty things of life? Those feelings have AMPLIFIED while I have been in the mission. I look out my window every morning at the sea and the hills and I just have my breath taken away. I look at and talk to the people and feel the same way. I have just been stunned by my increased ability to love every second of every day. Being a missionary is SOOOO hard ... but I am SO GRATEFUL to be here. I would not want to be in any other place doing any other thing. The only thing that would make it better would be if I could share this love with you! Seriously, if you guys lived here in Chile, I would probably stay here my whole life, poverty and all. I am in love with my little life here in the hills of Chile.
So, I think that this makes for a little more insight into Chilean life. If you want more details or have any questions about the culture, just ask me!! I am excited for this week. We kind of hit rock-bottom with lessons and investigators, so we are GOING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES THIS WEEK! I already feel pretty comfortable navigating my way around Frutillares and Hermana Peterson and I are working so hard to build, build, build. I love you guys so much. I am sorry that my questions to you were so lame last night, but I really do want to hear more frequently from the kiddos and from Mom and Dad. I am going to do my part. I bought some cute card stocky material and I am going to start using them to send little notes to you guys. I have almost been in my mission for SIX WHOLE MONTHS. DUMMMMMMDUMMMMMDUMMMMM ... I can't wait a minute!! Pictures and journal writing and complete consecration are in the future!!
Thus ends the lamest letter in the world! I LOVE YOU ALL!