Monday, August 23, 2010

Alex's First Letter from Chile

Hola Family!

I am in Malloco which is in the Campo (or rural area) and I am stoked! First off, yes I have a ward and I cover only one. The retention down here in Chile is terrible so I am gonna be doing a lot of reactivation work. The Chileans talk sooo fast my biggest problem is understanding them. Everyone says when I talk in Spanish they can understand me which is good so that's not the big problem. I just don't know what they are saying it is so hard. And yes, they had me introduce myself so I just said where I am from that this is my first area and I am straight from the MTC. Then I shared my testimony with them and told them how excited I am to be here and I am ready to serve and get to work. When I first got to Chile I was not tired at all I was so ready to go and freaking pumped. I was the only one whose credit card didn't work so I had to pay with my own money which sucked (he's talking about his Visa). I talked to the financial guy and he said he will get back my money. Besides that the airport went smoothly and really did not take long at all. The people here in Chile love the missionaries so it was good. The tired thing hit me on Saturday all those hours and what not hit me all at once. I was dying on Saturday. When we came out our AP's were waiting for us. The mission president was stuck in traffic cause there was an accident on the freeway. But it was not long until they came. It's so funny, everyone thinks I am like the favorite because every time I have met them they are all like "Elder Leavitt!!!" Haha little do they know I have only met them just as much as they have.

My area is awesome. It is actually really big but it is all rural so everyone lives in a smaller area. Where everyone lives it would take a good 45 min walk from one side to the other. The temperature is perfect right now. It is still cooler but like all I need is a long sleeve shirt and I am good. I have had no need for a jacket yet. Me and my companion live in a gated community and in a duplex on one side so it is actually pretty nice. Of course all the buildings are old and worn down and not all the good quality but it could be way worse and I count my blessings. Elder adairs toilets cannot flush toilet paper so they put it in a bag so I am better off than him haha.

Holy smokes, never in a million years would I have honestly thought I would say eating next to Spanish is my biggest problem in the mission. The people here eat and feed us so much. Even if we are stopping by to say hi they will feed you and in Chile it is very offensive to one deny food and two not finish the food they give you. Every meal they have at least 3-4 courses, usually soup salad the main meal and then dessert. It is insane. The food is so delicious that is not the problem. The problem is I am getting so full! When you are full and cannot eat anymore you need to be very careful how you say it. The best way is saying "thanks I am satisfied" and then compliment their cooking haha. The big meal of the day is lunch which is around 1 or 2. Then they don't have dinner and have once which is at like 6 or 7. Now Alycia would be jealous because in Chile they have some of the best bread in the world and they have it with everything! Every single meal bread and a ton of it. The members are amazing, everyone is living in such humble circumstances but are so giving. When I said people feed you everywhere I go I mean it. Even if you are there and all they do is bring you a cookie cut in two and give it to us and then we have to eat it. People save up money so they can have a meal with us and save up their money so they can buy the missionaries cokes and you know there kids have like never had one. The people here are just amazing and I love them so much. They are really the prime example of serving your brother and all that. I just love them. Everyone says hola to each other on the side walks and what not it is just great to watch.

My first day here a couple of cool and weird things happened. One we went and bought me some cereal and some other food oh! quick interruption they don't have milk here or at least real milk its kinda weird but it is fine. Ok so we got me some food and on the way back this drunk Chilean walks up to us starts talking I shake his hand I would not let go! One I don't know Spanish so my comp translated and two I was scared he was gonna like stab me or something but at the end of the conversation this guy plants a big wet kiss on my hand! I had literally been in my area a total of like 20 minutes and a drunk Chilean kissed me. Then my first day we taught an investigator. We had an appointment already set up haha. I like didn't talk at all haha. But cool, we have this 19 year old investigating and we have a baptismal date set up for Sept 11. I really hope it goes through cause he is a great guy and really looking to change his life. I don't know if it is the same everywhere else but in my mission because the retention rate is so bad the investigator has to go to church 3 weeks in a row or they cant be baptized. If they miss one week they start over. I guess they just want to see that they are truly committed. Elder You is great, he has been so patient with me and is working with me. Me and him get along so well. I don't know if it is because he is from California too or what but we really are just laughing the whole time together and we get along great! He was baptized 4 years ago like in a couple weeks. He is awesome and I love him a ton! Dad that story about Tom was funny and I was not too scared to pìck him up (Tom is Alex's snake). The only time I refused to pick him up was when he bit my foot and I didn't want to put him back in the cage haha

Well I thought I would share some other cool experiences seeing now I have answered all your questions. Well what they said about the girls here being forward is true. It seems about everywhere I go they seem to be saying or cat calling something. I actually had a car whistle at me! This car full of girls drove by and they had programmed the car horn or something so it let out one big whistle it was insane haha but ya crazy! But a cool story one day last week me and Elder you went tracking or knocking doors. Which you don't actually knock because every house has a gate around it so you yell "ALLO" don't ask me why they say hello with a Spanish accent to get into someones house but they all do it and they answer phones like that it is really funny. But we were going around "alloing" peoples houses and this lady comes out. We are talking to her turns out she and her family just moved here from Mexico. We asked if we could come in and bless her house she got a little excited said we could so we went in. We asked if there was anything that her family needed or anything she wanted us to remember in the prayer. She told us and then we blessed her home. It was so cool. The spirit was so strong and I loved it! We set up an appointment to come by this week I think Wednesday and we are gonna teach her. It is so neat that as representatives of the Lord we can do things like this. That through his authority we can do as something as simple as blessing someones home having them feel the spirit and becoming more receptive to hearing the gospel. I am so happy to finally be hear in Chile, finally be able to serve the people I have been thinking about for a long time now and serve my lord and god. I am so excited for the time I can actually understand them haha but it is all good I have been here less than a week so I can't really start complaining yet haha. I Love you all and I miss you a ton but know I am working hard and loving it here! It is so beautiful here I cant even describe it haha.

Much Love from the Chile!

Elder leavitt

HOLY SMOKES!!! I don't know how I forgot this I remembered right after I clicked send. But on Wednesday we went back to Santiago because Elder Richard G. Scott came to talk to our mission and one other. I was a little scared at first because I was pretty sure he is the one who talked at Brandon's mission if not then my bad. But guess who I saw there! Elder Crowley haha small world, but we took a picture together and everything so it was way neat to see him. We talked a little bit and just kinda caught up it was way cool! Well thought you would like to hear that haha (Elder Crowley is Alycia's brother-in-law and he is serving in the Chile Santiago Rancagua Mission. This really is a rare incident because typically different missions are not combined for anything and it's even more rare that Alex & Derrick would see each other - pretty cool!)

Elder Leavitt

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