Troy’s Letter: January 25, 2010

25 01 2010

Hola from Chile, Familia!

How’s the cold in Colorado? It’s taking me forever to get used to these Spanish keyboards—so nevermind my punctuation. I don’t even know where to start, haha. The last week at the MTC took forever; it felt like time was dragging by, but the time finally came for us to leave. I was on the plane with eleven other kids. Our flight to Dallas was delayed by an hour.  Luckily, we made it in time for our flight to Chile.

The flight to Chile was miserable, haha. It was 10 hours long—throughout the night, and I couldn’t even sleep. I was too uncomfortable on the plane and I was too excited as well. The plane was huge and they served us dinner and breakfast.  It wasn’t bad for airplane food. Finally, we arrived in Chile and took about an hour to go through customs. After we went through customs, our mission president, his wife, and some others greeted us outside of the airport. We ate a sack lunch and threw our luggage on a bus and a truck. It was pretty hilarious to see. It was a pretty dirty bus and truck, but fun, nonetheless. We drove for like two hours and talked to the AP’s while we were looking at the country of Chile. It’s gorgeous. There are hills everywhere– I can´t explain it. We first drove to the mission home in Viña and took pictures by a famous clock. Then they dropped us all of in groups of four at random parts of the city and we had to find our way to the mission home, haha. We definitely learned how to talk to people and find our way around very quickly.

 At the mission home, we had orientation, a big lunch, and interviews with the president. Then we met our first companions and were assigned to our first sector. My trainer’s name is Elder Blood (hahaha)–which is hilarious because he is one of the nicest kids ever. He is a gringo from West Virginia and has been on the mission for almost a year and a half. His Castellian is way good and he is helping me to improve every day. The area we are assigned to is called Valparaíso; it’s about 20 minutes from Viña and right on the coast.

 The hills are ridiculous. Every square inch of the hills are covered with houses. Our apartment is right in the middle of the city, and there are definitely some sketchy parts of the city. The basement—the other side of our building—is a strip club, haha.  We do all of our tracting and teaching on the hills, which is definitely a lot poorer. People’s houses are very small and most of the time, just covered with like a tin roof. Every square inch of every hill has a house or a path way or stairs. It’s crazy ridiculous. I will have to send pictures next week. (We can send pictures through the computers here. We have an hour and a half on the computer each p-day to email the president and home. I have more time to email here.) The hills are extremely steep, and it’s a ton of work. Sometimes we will be tracting a hill so steep I can lean over and my tie will touch the ground.

The people are awesome and most of them are super nice and welcoming. The first day I got here, I couldn´t understand a word of anything that the Chileans said. There accent is extremely different from what I heard in the MTC, but each day I find myself understanding more and more. We teach an average of five lessons a day here—much different from the missionaries in Colorado—I’m sure, haha. We teach lessons to mostly investigators and less actives, but sometimes to members, too. My favorite lessons are to the members because they always feed us a ton and they don’t care if I mess up my Castellano. A lot of people here have complemented me on my Spanish and when I say I’ve been here for less than a week, they are all surprised. There is so much for me to learn though. I’m quickly learning Chilean words and phrases that I never learned in the MTC.

Our daily schedule goes like this—we wake up at seven, get ready, exercise, eat breakfast, personal, and companionship study, pray, and leave. We teach and tract until we have lunch at a member’s home at 1:30. Lunch is like the only meal we eat here. Breakfast consists of a small bowl of cereal, but lunch is huge. The members serve us like a three-course meal of soup, bread, salad, main dish, and then desert. The food is way different but I like it a lot. Usually I’m so hungry that I don’t care what I’m eating, haha. Then we start tracting again around three. We tract and teach all day until 9:30, unless we are in the middle of an appointment—then we get back to the apartment at 10. In the apartment, we plan the next day, first thing, then make something small to eat, and pass out, haha. I am definitely getting used to walking a lot; I heard that there are only two sectors here that use bikes.

 Oh, my new email is troyt@myldsmail.net; they made a new and better email account for us so that is my new account name. And for the Valentine’s Day box, could you send a couple more short sleeve shirts? I only have four and we and I definitely use them everyday. We don´t really have a maid for our house who cooks and cleans. We do have a mamasita, as they call her here, who does our laundry. We take here our clothes every P-day and we get it back a couple of days later. So we do all of our own cooking and cleaning. All of our free time is dedicated to planning whom we are going to see and by what route we are going to take. Elder Blood and I are opening up a new sector, so he has never been here either. It’s a lot of work to open up a new sector, because we have to find all the new investigators, which means a lot of contacting for us.

There is so much more to say but we have to head out now. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. I’ll email again next week.

Love,

Elder Teeples

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