What? & Why?

Sydney is serving a year and a half for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Chile Concepcion Mission from November 2013 - May 2015.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 12: A Weird 1st Six Weeks

Okay, well to start, today we found out about transfers and whether or not we are staying or leaving our areas, and whether we will have new companions. I already knew I would have a new companion b/c my companion has been having a lot problems with migraines this cambio, and so she is going home to get fixed up hopefully. (That’s why it’s been kind of a strange 1st six weeks for me in the field.) I’ve had a lot of traveling to Concepcion for doctor’s appointments and such with her. She also needed a lot of time to sleep, so I got LOTS of study time, which I actually enjoyed b/c I really like studying. I spent a lot of time reading about the gospel & such. I probably should have spent a little more time on the language, but I figure it’s more important I have a firm understanding of the gospel 1st! It got hard after awhile to stay motivated, but I did it!! :D) Its interesting how I became her companion since I have migraines too, so I could understand and maybe be more empathetic than others who don’t have them. Even though it wasn’t a completely normal 1st six weeks for me, I really enjoyed them and learned a lot. My companion was great - she was patient and funny, so I’m sad she has to go home, but I think it is right.

Andes Mountains
Almost Looks Like Indiana
So anyway, me and the other hermanas in my casa dropped her off yesterday at the bus station in Chillan with some other missionaries who are going home also. (its the end of their missions) That was sad, and I am now in a trio for the time being with 2 other latinos! It’s a good thing I can understand Spanish as well as I can. I definitely believe the Lord has helped me learn and understand the language a lot quicker than I could on my own. Its weird b/c in high school, I struggled with Spanish a lot, and to memorize words I would have to write them over and over. Since being on my mission, often times, I just have to hear a word once and its meaning and then I remember it! I know more everyday! It’s so cool & crazy! Obviously, I still have a lot to learn and I wish I knew more, but I am amazed how fast I am learning. It really is crazy! Right now, I am at a point where I can understand quite a bit of a conversation, but I have a very difficult time trying to talk and find the right word and how to conjugate the verbs correctly. I hate conjugations. lol!

Local Home
Entonces, (anyway) I am getting transferred to a new area (Chillancito B near Andalien) so I am going towards Concepcion now. I will be more in a city area instead of campo (farm area). I am excited since everyone has been way excited for me and keep telling me the area is awesome! :) Also, I am getting a new companion to finish my training (a 2nd mom! weird! lol! mission vocab) She is from Bolivia, so therefore, only really speaks Spanish. I am now going to have to learn to speak Spanish at a much faster rate. Lol! Her name is hermana Tejerina! Everyone has also been telling me she is way nice & awesome, so that’s good! I hope she’s patient with my lack of being able to speak Spanish too! lol! 

So yeah, that’s that! Tonight I am going to have to pack like crazy, and then tomorrow I will leave for my new area at like nine in the morning! Luckily, one of the hermanas in my casa is also being transferred, so we will travel together for a while. :) The other hermana of our casa is staying in Coihueco, where she is going to "die" (another mission term we say when someone is going to finish their mission. We also say where we are "born" - so I was born in Coihueco, since that is where I started my mission. Just kind of a fun & goofy thing we do) She will have a new companion and there will also be two elders in Coihueco. This past 2 weeks, we hermanas got to search to find a new house they could live in. This week we got to help clean up & even paint a little to help it get ready for them. It was fun. Hopefully the owner fixes the roof better though, b/c it had a major leak in one room...she said she will, so lets hope for those poor elders sakes. haha!
A Fresh Coat of Paint
Cleaning Elders New Apartment
Hm, okay, now for some random things!‬


-Apparently Chile is one of the earthquake capitals of the world. Good to know huh? I’m pretty much guaranteed to feel some earthquakes while I’m here. Hopefully none too scary. I know Chile is expecting another big one sometime soon, but hopefully not while I’m here! lol! But, if it does, I feel certain the Lord will protect His missionaries. I definitely believe the Lord protects his missionaries if they are doing what they are supposed to.

- Speaking of which, random, but cool... some of the members in my ward in Coihueco were telling me about a big earthquake that happened a couple years ago. Almost all the buildings and houses of Coihueco were ruined or damaged, but they said that their church there in Coihueco was completely unharmed besides a little bit of flooding from wild rains and such. Not even the chairs that were leaning against the walls had fallen over! How crazy is that! What a blessing! One of the teachers in the CCM told me a similar experience about the Mexico City temple, and how during an earthquake, lots of buildings had been damaged, but the temple was completely fine!

- Random fact about Mexico City- it is sinking slowly. Since the temple was built, in the 80s I believe, it has sunk about 16 ft! I would never have guessed. There is a pole at the temple that they’ve kept up that is randomly popping up out of the ground from the sinking ground. Weird huh? (I think it’s b/c the area used to be a lake)

- OH, & a random funny thing about how close the cars in Mexico drive. To give you a picture- during our 1st bus ride to the temple, some of the elders in my district were being silly, and when we came to a stop, they put their arms out the window to touch the bus next to us. It was seriously only an elbows length away. lol! Mexico city drivers were crazy! I don’t know how they don’t have accidents all the time! Here in Chile, the drivers are still quite crazy, but not quiet as bad as in MC. :P

- Also, my mission had a Facebook page if you guys are interested in checking it out. I don’t know what’s on it, but maybe there are fun pictures of our mission or something, www.facebook.com/misionchile.concepcion

-I’m a little worried about my ankle. It’s been 7 weeks since I sprained it, and it still hurts when I put pressure on it at certain angles, like when I’m kneeling. It still feels really weak. I don’t think its broken since I have been able to walk on it since it happened with almost no trouble. I don’t know what to think about it still hurting. The doctor said it should be healed by about 6 weeks.

-And so far, my migraines have mostly stayed away! It’s been quite a blessing! This week I’ve had a couple, but they have been pretty bearable, and a lot less strong than I usually have! They don’t seem to last as long! I’ve only had to take one medicine since I’ve been here! Also, good news, the mission can provide me new migraine meds since they have it here! Yay! SO no worries to you guys on that part at least! :)

-Also random, I guess it’s possible it’s just taking longer to heal maybe since I twisted it again about 3 weeks ago while walking down a grocery aisle. I have terrible luck with twisting my ankles/breaking bones in the most uneventful ways. Lol

‪- Here, instead of knocking, ppl shout "Halo" from the fence. (everyone has fences here) Very few ppl have doorbells, so we have to shout out Halo all the time. My comp calls it "Halo-ing" :P I feel so weird shouting out Halo to all the houses though. I much prefer knocking. :P (And no, I don’t mean Hola. I mean Halo. haha!) My hermana roomie from Guatamala said in her country ppl either knock, or ring doorbell, or shout "buenas!"  My other roomie from Argentina said in her country ppl either knock, ring doorbell, or clap!  The Coihueco's president's wife, who is from Brazil, said they mostly clap, but otherwise knock or ring doorbell, or sometimes shout out the name of the owner. Weird stuff huh? ‬

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 11: Buses & Broomsticks

Well, this week we lost power in the night 2 times (all of Coihueco for no apparent reason), so we had to plan and such by candle and flashlights! So that was fun.

Um, random thought/fact: Houses here are all made of wood or plaster-ish here b/c it gets cold in the winter. Up further north like in Santiago, Mexico City, Guatamala or in the Northern parts of Brazil (I’ve talked to ppl from all over the world here. That’s how I know this.) they have cement houses b/c it helps keep it cooler. Its funny though, b/c although these house are wood, almost NONE have insulation and the walls are all extremely thin, so its not extremely helpful. haha! But, it would b better than cement I suppose. The really REALLY nice apartments probably have insulation though, b/c they have heating in the winter. But even the nicest apartments around, like what the mission president & wife live in, still don’t have air conditioning. It’s different. Only a couple of the gigantic stores and a very few long-travel type buses have air conditioning. Which, speaking of, btw, I get to ride buses here ALL the time! And when you’re on the bus, there is no such thing as personal space! lol! Usually we’re lucky enough to get seats, but there have been a lot of times I’ve been packed in like a sardine on the bumpy, crazy bus rides - that gets me a bit bus sick. :P Its an adventure though!

Funny Moment:

The other week, we were at a member’s house for lunch, and she had some brooms that are seriously way legit! Like she carved the sticks herself, and tied on dried grasses to make the sweeper! So my companion & us hermanas got to take some fun goofy pictures as witches on them! There are 4 hermanas in Coihueco right now, so we all go eat together a lot which is fun! The members are so great to feed so many of us and so frequently! A lot of them feed us once a week! But anyway, while we were showing her our fun photos, I told the member/ Sister that her brooms are way cool! However, on accident, I said “Sus brujas son bacan” instead of “Sus escobas son bacan!” So I actually said your witches are cool!! lol! We all had a good laugh about that one. Opps! :P Mistakes can be kind of funny, if but a little embarrassing. haha! 

Bus Trip With Coihueco Companion
Homemade Brooms
Homemade Brooms
"Your Witches are Cool"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 10: Home of the Chicks

It’s hot here. It feels like our summers pretty much, but sometimes the sun feels hotter-supposedly the rays are more direct here? The thing that makes it harder is having no air conditioning. Haha! The house gets so stuffy! :P

My apartment is actually a little house tucked in between two other buildings and is surrounded by a garden & some chickens! It’s actually funny to hear/ see chickens running around outside my window. The rooster is annoying though. I have decent water that stays warm for the most part, until the gas tank runs out (lasts about a month-ish at most) and we have to wait until we can order another. We have the basics like a microwave, fridge, even a washer! yay! No oven though. We have a little stovetop we can hook up to the gas tank if really want, and we line dry our clothes. It’s pretty good. It’s a nice lil casa. 

And here’s a quick funny moment of the week:

This week, I was walking with a Spanish comp of mine (we were on a mini-transfer) and we walked into some shade & I was like, "Yay we are in the shade!" but I accidently said "yay estamos en el sombrero!" (yay we are in the hat) when I meant to say, "yay estamos en la sombra!" (we are in the shade.) Oh well. She knew what I meant, & we had a good laugh. lol!

The Yard
The Laundry
The Bunks

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 9: Paintball

Thanks to everyone for the emails!!

I challenge you all to re-read the Book of Mormon, like you are doing, but as you do, look for and write down all the promised blessings given and what you can do to receive the blessings! My mission president’s wife did it and said she was able to find about 118 - see if you can do better! She said it made the read an even more spiritual experience for her. So DO IT! :)

ANND this is random, but here is the website of the place about the Book of Mormon and some historical geographical research on it. I haven’t gotten a good look at it, but I’ve heard its pretty cool! Check it out, yo! ((AncientAmerica.org))

AND GUESS WHAT I GOT TO DO TODAY FOR A ZONE ACTIVITY!!! I got to play a giant game of paintball for the 1st time in my life!! (its funny b/c its as a missionary, and in Chile! lol! whodathunk?!) It was way fun! We had to zones get together to play! And there were 3 other ppl there from my district at the CCM (including my comp from there) so it was a good time! :) I’ll get pics sent to u guys of that eventually. 

I’m doing good, and am grateful for the opportunity to be here doing the Lords work!