Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept. 15th
Well, not to brag but we had rain too. Not nearly as much as you guys but it was a lot for Antofagasta. Some homes were flooded (because of the hill everything goes downhill) but we are fine. It was refreshing even to walk in the rain. Also, there are no private lawns in the middle of the city so no one has to mow here. I can see the benefit but I miss seeing green too. 
Too bad about the last game but Jake is tough. He will get back on the horse. The water sports sound like a blast. Sorry you crashed hard but I do hope he got it on film. I want to see when I get home! 

There is a lot of kissing in Chile. If two women greet each other they kiss on the cheek and hug. Same if a man greets a woman. If two men greet each other and they sometimes do the cheek kiss but it depends. If they are really close then they might give a short kiss on the lips (this goes for everyone:male-male,male-female,female-female). Usually men do a handshake, hug, handshake though. The missionaries do not kiss anyone. We do the double handshake thing with the men and just a handshake with women. Members, less actives, and old investigators all know this rule but some other people in Chile don’t know. I have been kissed once so far by the mother of one of our investigators. We let it happen the first time and then explain that we have a standard as missionaries where we don’t do that. I also got a kiss from the daughter of the Mammita for our clothes (she is about 3).  

We work with the youth a little. We taught a seminary class a while back. There are not very many youth though. Primary is slightly bigger but not much. I work in the Bolivar Ward. There are four missionaries in this single ward. I honestly don’t know how big our sector is. We have walked most of it by now. There are about 120 active members. The Ward Mission Leader is great. He has a great sense of humor and is very passionate about the work. He is a recent convert of not quite a year. He and his family have been very kind to me as the new missionary and have helped me quite a bit with the language. He works for turn at the mine. He works 7 days and then has 7 days off so he only comes to church twice a month. (just about everyone here works for turn at the mine but they have different turns) We have some great members here that have been very helpful but progress with investigators has been little and slow.

Our main investigators are Cristian (24 from Ecuador), Josè and Lydia (He is less active, she is non-member), Maria Jose (she is a less active single mother with 4 unbaptized kids), Ariela and Paolo (Mother and son, he is a drug addict who wants to change) and Manuel (Catholic grandfather but likes to hear about Christ). 
We teach what is in Preach My Gospel according to the needs the investigators have. We also work a lot with less active members and their families. I have met the Mission President only on those first 2 days. We keep in touch with a weekly email. I will see him this friday for Zone Conference though. Transfers are every 6 weeks. I will likely be here for 3-5 transfers. I do not know anything about the temple dedication. I do not believe I will get to see it but I am not sure.

We got the shower fixed (thank goodness). I do not know if I have tried guava but pineapple juice is pretty common. I don’t know where they grow the tomatoes but they always eat tomato here. I can usually eat the "Chilean Salads" if I add salt and lemon juice. The avocado is fine too. The main foods of Chile usually involve tomato, mayonaise, and bread. I have eaten fish only once. They also have a type of olive down here that is in a lot of foods but very few of the missionaries from the states eat it. I think it is called an aceituna. 

Thanks for the BDAY list. That should be fine for now. I have heard from Matt and Braden, not Brycen. The package has not arrived yet. Tell grandma not to worry about the no punctuation. I can understand just fine (usually). I do not know if I know a Sis Simmerman. It sounds familiar but I can’t place a face. 

Tell Dad to be more careful. He is getting banged up and it is not even his hunt! I am glad it was not more serious. That is great that they got a big Bull. I would say I wish I could have been there but it sounds like this elk was more trouble than it was worth.

Sorry but this next paragraph will just be a mess of everything else I wanted to say this week.
I had my first sick day in the field. Well, Elder Stratford was sick so we did not go out in the morning. That was on Thursday I think... days kinda blur together now. We managed to get out for the evening though. We see Mammita Estrella a lot more now. She is on bedrest for her pregnancy so she is always home when we go over for lunch. I drank coffee. Well, actually it is a coffee substitute called Echo (not sure if that is how it is spelled but that is how the name sounds). It is a wheat based drink. I can never find hot chocolate here so I may buy that so I can have a warm drink in the morning. Elder Stratford gave me a grammar card to help me with conjugations. I am getting fairly proficient with the present tense but the others still need a lot of work. The 18th of September is a HUGE holiday in Chile. Bigger than the 4th of July in the States. I dont know all the history but I know that it is NOT their Independence Day. Our ward is having an activity on the 18th at the Stake Center (our chapel is still being remodeled). We hope to get the investigators and less actives there to become more familiar and comfortable with the ward members. Apparently there will be a lot of good food this week as everyone prepares for the holiday.

That is about it for this week. I pray for you guys and I love you. Stay safe.
Elder Hunter

School just sucks in general. Honestly I thought the college classes were easier. Maybe I was just used to them by then. Anyway, good luck with that.
Good luck with ballet too. I thought I was getting in shape from walking all day but really I wasn’t. I played soccer today on a full size field. I am sore. There are definitely different types of "being in shape".
I am in the driest area in the world. What makes you think I had rain? And yes. It actually did rain and they don’t have a gutter system here (because it never rains) so there was some flooding in certain areas. 

I don’t know how I prepare. I just go and try to understand what they are saying and then respond with a gospel principle. I do not write my testimony in the Books of Mormons I hand out. I usually carry 2 to hand out. I usually have pamphlets and a list of the ward members with their addresses.
Love you too sis. Elder Hunter

I have eaten a lot of soup but no chili. And we do go downhill eventually but by then I am really tired so it feels like I am going uphill anyway.
I actually do have some stuff to send home but I think I am going to wait to send it. I am afraid your bday present will be a bit late. Possibly two years late... we shall see.
I don’t ride a bike. I walk. Everywhere. They have not replaced shoes with anything new and hi-tech so I think you might just be out of luck little man.
I pray for you too bud. Love ya.
Elder Brock Hunter

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