Wednesday, January 1, 2014

1st Christmas in Chile

Christmas Eve dinner with the Gonzalez family

Ivan and his daughter Milita, and me and my companion Elder Voyles

Me and the Gonzalez family on Christmas Eve

Hi Everybody!

Hayden did not email the week of the 21st so that he could Skype on Christmas Day.  It was so great to see his face and hear his voice as we were able to chat for some time  on Christmas afternoon.  These are some of the things he told us about his mission so far.

1. He lives with his companion and the district leaders in a 2 story apt on the outskirts of the city of Temuco.  His ward is the Catrihuala ward in the Nielol Stake .  He lives in a ward with 1600 members of record, but only 100 or so are active in the Ward.  Because of this the missionaries have what is called "Project Alma."  Half of the missionaries work on baptisms and the other half work on reactivation.  He and Elder Voyles are on the reactivation side right now.
2.  He sends his laundry out because the missionaries have no where to do it.  It costs $12 a month.
3.  They drink a lot of fruit juice in Chile. There is a juice for about every fruit. He drinks a lot of mango juice.  Also, the food is good but it is bland.  They don't use spices when they cook.  Steve is jealous. 
4.  Lunch is the big meal of the day.  He usually has a breakfast burrito in the morning and then they have a huge lunch, usually at a member's house.  He said the first day they brought out a bowl of chicken soup and some bread.  He ate it and was full, then they brought out the next course which was pasta.  He said there was so much food he couldn't eat it all.  It is like that everyday.  They don't really eat a dinner, just maybe a snack.
5.The breads there are delicious.  In Chile everything is cooked with lard, including the bread.  He said there are little markets on every corner that sell fresh made breads.  He is worried he is going to get fat on the bread because it is so good.
6.  There are open markets to buy fruits and veggies and other things on just about every corner.  They do have a store like Walmart called "Lyders" but it is in the city and he hasn't been yet.
7.  Chile does have a McDonalds but he hasn't been yet.  He says that it is expensive. Also, his favorite foods, Top Raman and mac and cheese are expensive, too.
8.  The missionaries walk or ride the microbus everywhere.  The weather is anywhere between 60 and 80 degrees.  It is summertime down there now. They will be heading into fall around Feb.
9.  Keep writing.  The mail goes to the mission home and he only gets it when he goes there. He hasn't been to the mission home since he arrived at the beginning of Dec, so if you have written him and he hasn't written back, don't fret.  He may not have your letter yet, but keep writing.

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