Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spring is here in the Mountains! P-Day in Portillo

20 October 2014

I received eight orange envelopes in the mail this week! I couldn't contain my curiosity and opened them before we even got on the bus. I love your Halloween cards! The dog one was the first one I opened and it was hilarious. The same day I received your Halloween package and I am so delighted! Mom, those Scotch tape restickable things you sent earlier are genius. I used a few of them to decorate my room for Halloween. Thank you for thinking of me. It's fun to remember that there is a holiday happening in the United States. I haven't seen signs of it here yet, but don't worry, I will celebrate with your help.

We had some emergency transfers this week. Hermana Gomez traded places with another sister in our ward. Now Hermana Gomez and Hermana Alvarado are resting for three weeks and I am training Hermana Nunez. She is a 19 year old sister from Mexico and this is her first transfer in the mission field. She knows how to teach simply and with the spirit and I am excited to learn from her. I am also excited for the chance to be able to work at a normal pace again. 

Friday we had Zone conference with President Videla and he talked about family history. Hermana Videla shared an amazing story about a dream she had that lead her to look for records in a library. As soon as I get home and have more computer time, I want to do more family history. I've been inspired by them.

I also am inspired to be more prepared for emergencies. We haven't had an emergency, but we were without water for part of a day. At first, we thought the mission hadn't paid our water or something and I was about to call the office but then we talked to a neighbor and realized that he was without water in his house as well. When we took a bus later that day we saw people digging up pipes in the street. When we got home the water worked but it was brownish. I was grateful that we had several gallons of clean water stored in our house so we could have something clean to drink, brush our teeth, wash our hands, and cook with. I've also been using my filtered water bottle more. President Monson wrote in the September Ensign about preparation and I think I want to be more diligent about that.

Today we went to Portillo again. All of the snow is gone but the lake is beyond gorgeous. I just sat by it and skipped rocks and it felt so good to breathe clean air and see the mountains reflected in the water. I was longing for a canoe and remembering Dad teaching me how to skip rocks on several occasions and canoeing with Adria at Mirror Lake for hours and fishing with Grandpa Vern and now I'm tearing up writing about it so I'll stop. It was beautiful. I'm having trouble uploading the pictures today but I'll see what I can do.

English is starting to become really hard this week. It wasn't before. There were some bikers at Portillo who had biked from Santiago to Portillo and then were going to Argentina. They were from Brazil and spoke Portuguese but one of them had lived in Pennsylvania and spoke English. He spoke really well but I found myself struggling to respond and I was surrounded by sisters who don't speak English fluently. I think my Spanish will start to improve because Hermana Nunez is my first companion who doesn't speak English. I'm eager to learn from her.

Lots of love,
This graffiti reminded me of both my cousins.  Hannah, because it's a cat with interesting glasses, and Lauren, because it has a Harry Potter scar.

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