Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 18, 2014
I arrived in Chile and spent the night in a Hotel. The next day I met my trainer and I was shipped out. His name is Elder Stratford. Training me will be the last thing he does in a mission. Then he heads home. There are four elders in our Pension and 3 of us are gringos. The fourth is from Argentina. He speaks very little english so even though my trainer is from California I always get to practice spanish. I do in fact have mammitas who cook and do laundry for me. Yeah, I know, you are jealous.

I am in Antofagasta, the main city for my mission. We are opening this area so everything is new for all four of us. The ward is good and I had the opportunity to share my testimony in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. I have been told that my pronunciation is very good. I just need to know more words... and conjugations... and those phrases that apply only in Chile. But other than that. I had my first real invitation to baptism last night. It was nerve wracking to say the least. My papito is good at getting me out of my comfort zone. (in the mission field Elder Stratford is my papito and I am his hijo). It kinda reminded me of my first deer. You (Dad) were more excited than I was. Likewise, Elder Stratford was way more excited than me. I guess I was just focused on what has to happen next. The man I invited to be baptized was a street contact. Now he is a new investigator. I hope everything goes well with him.
My Pday is Monday. I will certainly try to email each week but we use public computers so I cant always use one when I want to. (you should have seen us trying to print out a map of our area).
Hope school is going well and that everyone can adjust to their new schedules. I was told that regular mail takes between 2-5 weeks and that packages take 4-7 weeks. So yeah... 
I can listen to LDS music. Tabernacle choir, hymns, EFY songs, ect.We were going to buy stuff today but our plans changed so I dont know when I will buy most of my stuff... But I should be fine. Thank you so much for worrying about me.
I love you guys. I think I answered a lot of these in my email to dad so I will just answer a few specifics. In Antofagasta at this time of the year the temperature is really cold in the morning and at night but the afternoons are great. It has been really cloudy. No rain though. Weirdest feeling ever after rain everyday in Mexico. Trying to understand people is rough. Chileans really do speak very quickly but I have also taught people from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Supposedly I will be able to recognize where they are from just by their accents eventually but right now I just always struggle. I can usually follow the main idea of a conversation but I miss the details. It is better during the actual lessons when we discuss the doctrine vocabularly I learned in the CCM. I was told I needed to pay for my second piece of luggage but when I showed up at the airport they just took my bags and I made it through to Chile so... yeah. First night was a hotel. Very nice. The pension... is different than I expected. I am told this is one of the nicest pensions in the Mission so this will be a fun two years. I am technically on a split bunkbed now. I just could not escape the bunk bed from the CCM it seems. 

I dont know what else to ask you to send. It seems like I already have, or I can buy the things I need here for the most part. The cord, a USB, family pics, if you send music then maybe find a cheap MP3 player and a speaker (i cant have headphones). Other than that... I should be good I think. I will let you know if that changes but by then you will have already sent the package so... yeah. I will pray that I dont need anything else.
Jake, I am glad that football is going well. The new safety rules are not very fun but they will do what they think they need to. I hope you win your first game. You are a better athlete than I ever was. I could barely catch a football. I could never have been a quarterback. You are awesome buddy. Good luck.
Dad, you got the other email. I am good for now. Thank you.
Kate, SOCCER SUCKS. I tried playing a game with some members and other Elders today. Some native, some not. I was terrible. Truly horrendous. It was about half the size of a normal field so ball control was very important. I am sure I will play a lot more soccer here and I am glad you made starting varsity but soccer is terrible for me. We are opening this sector, which means both of us are new here. We know no one. We have spent the past week getting to know members, less actives, and old investigators. Most of our lessons have been with less actives. We get ready in the morning, study for an hour, try to go out and make contacts and recieve references in the morning, go back for companion study, go to the mammitas house for lunch, go back to the pension for language study, then we have (or try to have) appointments for the rest of the day. We try to be home between 9 30 and 10. Lights out at 11. Get up at 7.
Good luck with school. You are smart. You can handle a few hard classes.

keep praying for me because I will be praying for you.
Love all of you guys. Talk to you in a week.
Elder Hunter (or according to a few members here Elder Hamster)

1st Assignment

My trainer Elder Stratford

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