Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hate to see them go...

Here is our group from this week! Sarah, David, Iris, Renato, Yerco, Andres, Walter, Herman and Me

It was hard to say goodbye today! I know I know how silly, but it was a really fun group and we did a lot of really fun things with this group. They seemed to get the workshop so much more clearly than the other group so it was a fun time by all. This morning was kind of a different experience because Sarah was really sick last night and decided to stay home, so I was teaching by myself. It wasn´t as easy as I thought it would be more than anything because I felt like something was missing, but it was still fun. We worked this morning on turning weaknesses into strengths and I actually had a lot of fun teaching this principle to them. Yesterday someone had answered to this question in a mock interview that their biggest weakness was waking up on time. We talked about the kinds of weaknesses you should admit, and ones that you really should never ever say in an interview (ie: sleep) Then we had a lot of fun practicing turning weaknesses into strengths. They were all SO SMART that they caught on right quick and had wonderful answers.

Then it came time for the dreaded phone calls. We had a few tiny successes including a contact of a reference that ended in a job interview, but nothing to extrodinary. Renato (the only non member) had a bit of a hard time, but we practiced and he ended up getting directly to who we call ´The decision maker´which is the idea. It was a good time by all and it seemed to just flow. Sarah came in about this time and we finished the taller so strong. I felt so good about it! At the very end we asked for a volunteer for the closing prayer and Renato volunteered to do it, but he didn´t know how, so we taught him and he said the most beautiful things. The spirit was really strong and we invited him to a dance tomorrow night. I´m excited for him to make more member friends and hopefully join the church! All week our workshop members were so good about explaining to him about our church, about missions and what not, so we have high hopes for him!

In case you haven´t noticed...I really love it here.

The Taller Day 2

I don´t know if I have said this before, but I absolutely LOVE the second day of the workshop. We start out reviewing a little, and then we go right into practicing interviews by videotaping them and then we play them back and give feedback. There is something about this particular group that has made it really easy for us to teach them. They are all so willing to participate and help eachother out and they are all just so much fun! I feel so good after activity and I can feel that they are understanding the principles that we are teaching. It is really a good feeling.

We started with interviews and it was a lot of fun. There were two of our alumnos that had to leave a little bit early yesterday, so they had missed out on part of the things that would have helped them with the interviews and it was really apparent. Now this might sound weird but that made me really happy because it meant that those that had stuck around had learned something that prepared them that much more than the next guy for interviews. I was happy about that. The interviews were so much fun as normal, we all got a few good laughs in a few places but over all our group was always able to find more good than bad in what everyone else had said and done. I love them for that!

We then worked on power statements. We had them practice these a lot because they are so important and we felt like last week we maybe skimmed over them a bit more than we wanted. In our manual it says to have them practice saying each of the four that we help them create to five people in the room so we decided to have them do that. We had given them a bad example with an actual story about a man who had said he was ´extremely creative´but then couldn´t think up an example. Well a few of our alumnos got a kick out of it so for the rest of the day they kept saying ´I am extrememly creative!´though they actually had examples as to why. Such jokesters!

Then we moved on into practicing contacting references and getting more information from cold calls. Yerko (who served in my mission woop woop!) was having a really hard time with that, so we had some really good discussions about WHY it was important to practice these types of phone calls before you did them and make little outlines of what you wanted to say. He had a phone call that he needed to make tonight to follow up on a resume he sent in so I am excited to talk to him tomorrow and see how it went. Here they are practicing with their cellphones

After talking about that, we put them into pairs and had them do their own little outlines for calling possible places of employment. Sarah and I were observing and discussing a few things we wanted to cover when all the sudden I look over at Yerko and David, and they both have their cellphones out. I think to myself, how odd, why would they be making phone calls in the middle of an activity. Well upon looking just a few seconds longer, I realized that they had pulled their cell phones out to practice making phone calls to make it more real. I started giggling, but they thought it was hilarious. So did I.

I think in the two weeks that we have been teaching this workshop I have already learned so much about so many things. More than anything I know that I LOVE teaching and I am very grateful that Heavenly Father has guided me to that profession. I also love being able to teach gospel principles intermixed with temporal advice. It is like the best of both worlds! There is a quote by president Hinckley that they have read us many times that I can´t remember word for word but it goes a little something like this, ´The church cannot expect to save a man on Sunday if it is an innocent bystander to the crucifiction of his soul throughout the week.´I think that is why the gospel is so WONDERFUL! There are so many programs and services that are FREE and THERE for us to use to help us in EVERY aspect of our lives...We just sometimes don´t take advantage of it.

Tonight we went with the Sister missionaries to do our weekly divisions. There are two new sisters as well as on of the ones we met when we first got here Hermana Webber, so there was a bit of confusion as to where to meet because they didn´t know where they were! But it all worked out and I ended up leaving with Hermana Coteno who is from Argentina to do contacts in the street. I watched her do one or two and then just jumped right on into doing it. It was fun to feel like a missionary again, but it felt a bit different not having the name tag and knowing that I wasn´t set apart. We contacted this really amazing man in the street who was with his two year old little girl. His name was Santiago and he was from Porto Natales! (Its part of my mission) He lives here now with his wife and daughter and we had a really amazing talk about the restored gospel, the plan of happiness and baptism. We told him about how missionaries worked and invited him after hearing the lessons to pray about what he had heard. We then challenged him to be baptised when he knew that they were true and he said ´If I feel it of course!´ It was really fun and he even lives in the Hermana´s area so we are hoping to see him at church in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taller take 2

Before I get to the post here are some pictures from my birthday for your enjoyment. :)

This is a book I have to read for one of my classes, but the cover has a pretty risque picture on it, so I had to make it its own new cover so that I could read it in down time at the office.
This is what I put on the back so that no one would pick it up and try to read it.

This is the view from the window in the room we teach. Santiago is beautiful!

Preparing for the birthday feast!

This is Hermana Lily cutting up the cake...
Hermano Nunez, Sarah and Hermana Lily gettin ready!
Me and Sarah in our teachin room.
Hermano Nunez and Hermana Lily again, he is always laughing because he is the only male in our office and he always seems to walk in on our ´Girl Talk´. Sarah is engaged so we always seem to be talking about weddings.
This is the infamous piece of cake that fell on the floor.

Here I am with Hermana Lily and our matching shoes.

The next few shots are scenes from the birthday party.

Clearly it wasn´t that much fun since people were texting...:) Just kidding we were all getting eachother´s number so that we could get together on Friday. The girl in this picture is my companion Hermana Sepulveda. It was sweet to see her!

This is Lautauro, he was in our Taller last week! We were stoked they came!

This is Jose, he´s another one of our buddies from the taller.
Okay now that that is out of the way, I can talk about the workshop we started today! We were really nervous at first because when we started we only had two people. We had made calls yesterday to confirm who was coming and who wasn´t and we had 10 actual confirmed people, so we were a little confused as to why no one was there. Slowly but surely we had people trickle in and we ended up with a group of 8 for this weeks workshop. They are awesome! We aren´t sure if it is just because we are a bit more used to teaching, or because the group is a bit younger and energetic, but today was so great! From the get go we were spending a lot more time explaining things and they were having fun and all working together. We spent a lot more time practicing as well this week which we saw helped them a lot more. They all laughed at first when we started having them practice with the wall, but then they saw how important it was to start out like that and they were really getting into it.
We played a game with them to help teach them a few principles about networking. It was a modified version of ´Big Booty´but we called it ´Jefe Jefe´ (which means Boss boss) The game consists of keeping the rythm of the game and trying to trick people into messing up and the idea is to become the ´Jefe´. Well let me tell you they LOVED it! (Thanks Nicole and Juliann for thinking it up, we have a game in th e works for the second day, and once we perfect it we will let you know!) After we played the game we asked them what they learned as far as networking is concerned. THEY WERE SO AMAZING! They absolutely understood the principles and some of their feedback was so great. We are just loving this group.
After the workshop I had an opportunity to interview our manager for another class I´m taking about his other profession which is Law. It was really intersting to hear him talk about why he studied law and the doors it has opened up for him. It takes 8 years to get your law degree and be able to actually practice law here! It was cool to see him just absolutely light up talking about why he had chosen to study it and the positives. It was pretty neat.

It´s My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday. Another birthday in Chile can you believe it?? It was so nice to be here. Sunday we didn´t do much for my birthday, though the missionaries made me brownies, like the real kind which were amazing. I got to talk to my wonderful sisters and family and of course we went to church.

Today was another day of work. I think I am going to do full days Tuesday through Thursday and take Monday´s off because it is SO SLOW on Mondays and I could use that time for homework and what not. After work was over, the sisters here in the center threw me a birthday party. It was the coolest thing! (pictures coming soon) There is a sister here Hermana Lily who lived in the U.S. for a while, and she is the most giving person I have ever met. She organized the whole party, they had ice cream, cake and jello (which is randomly a very popular dish around here) and they all brought me presents. They were strange yes, but it was really neat to be with people who I could tell loved me so much and gave gifts of the heart. Hermana Lily came to me the other day and asked me if I liked her shoes. They were these very chilean sandal looking things and I said yes and then asked her where she had bought them, she said she wasn´t going to tell me which I thought was kind of random then. Well she bought me the exact same sandals so that I could have a pair. What a sweet heart! She is also hilarious. She was trying to pass a piece of cake to our manager, but she dropped it on the floor, then she looked me straight in the eyes and said SH** twice. We all started laughing SO hard.

After work and the party, Sarah and I skipped out on FHE and went to the store to buy food for the little birthday party we threw. I wasn´t sure how many and who was coming, but we ended up having quite a few friends show up which was great. We have been feeling a little friendless, but some friends from the mission, a few friends from our ward and some friends from our workshop last week came to hang out. They all made sure to invite us to a dance coming up this friday so we are excited. It was a great birthday! I promise to put pictures up tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday is a special day...

Its a day where I get to do whatever I want! Ha ha, it was a great day, pretty chill. I woke up and went running again which was so nice. It was cloudy, but I was still so hot running, so I ran through the sprinklers as I went to cool off. yeah I am so cool like that! I really like running, it gives me time to think and reflect and kind of regroup my thoughts and whatnot. It is a great time.

I did homework and then we went to the office for a bit to use the internet and so that I could send my homework. I tried skyping, but I am a dunce I guess and couldn't get it to work. Plus with the time difference from Alaska to Chile, I'm never online when other people are online...Lame.

We went to a fireside that the missionaries were putting on. It was really cool to be on the other side of activities like that and meet their investigators and help them feel comfortable in the church and all. I am excited to see them at church tomorrow and be that girl that says hello and helps them feel welcome. Ba ha ha I love missionary work. Tomorrow the missionaries find out about transfers and even though I have only been in this ward two weeks, I really love these missionaries. I will be sad if any of them leave.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


This is my good friend Pedro de Valdivia. He is responsible for the founding of Chile, and for that I am ready to go into battle with him. :)

Today was so awesome! I started off the day with a nice jog through the park by our house. This is the second time I have gone running there, but it has been closed for this big jazz concert that they have been holding every night. (Which we heard from our apartment every night because it was so loud, keeping us awake and not allowing us to sleep as well as we would have wanted, but oh well :) Well as I went running through this park, their were all these really cool statues and art sculptures. It was so awesome! I am trying to be diligent in my physical activities. Sarah and I are playing the biggest loser here and whoever wins...well our prize is lame, they just win bragging rights, but we want to be really healthy so we are trying really hard. I am really grateful we live where we live. It is one of the safest parts of Santiago and I can go running and not be too scared about something happening. Plus this park has dirt paths so I don't have to run on asphalt which is really nice.

After my little run, Eliaser came and took me to the center to go to a museum for one of my classes. The museum was so cool! It started with the history of the indigenous people of Chile and then went from there telling the history of the country. I got kind of bored in the middle but learning about the indigenous people and then the more recent political history was SO interesting! In the 70's there was a huge military take over, and in this museum they had the broken glasses of President Allende who was the president who was taken over by his General Pinochet. It was really cool.

Then we went across the Plaza de Armas to the Cathedral here in down town Santiago. It was so beautiful! I sat and listened to a bit of the mass that they were having and then we explored the inside. It was amazing. They had paintings on the ceiling that were very Sistine Chapel-ish and amazing stained glass windows. There were also sculptures of all of Christ's apostles. I'm not sure how they knew what they looked like, but somehow they were able to do it. :)

This is the main hallway. It was so much bigger than I thought it was going to be!

I had to stop by and take care of a few things...:) I couldn't go to a catholic chapel and NOT take a picture of the confessory, I wouldn't let myself go sit in it though.

Just to give you an idea of how big it is, this is the main part of the cathedral. So big!!

This is the outside of the cathedral. It is so beautiful!

After that I met up with Hermana Monje from the mission! It was so great to see her. We didn't stop talking the whole time. She is so awesome and wants to come to the U.S. to study, but I guess you need a host family or something. I want to help her, but we'll see how that works out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What a way to end!!

Here is our first workshop! From left to right Hermana Graham, Cesar, Goodson (the Haitian), Jose, Sarah, Ricardo, Pedro, Julio, Marcos, Yoseline, and Me!

Today was the last day of our workshop and it was so great! We were a little nervous to start out because not everyone was there and we were afraid that we were going to have only a few graduate with us, but they trickled in one by one. We had a bit of a scare at the beginning because the camera we had used for recording had gone missing. It was found quickly, though the heart attack we suffered was not that much fun. We ended with 8 alumnos including one of our Haitian friends. We were really surprised to learn that he worked nights, so he would get off work at 9 a.m. and come straight to the workshop. As my dad said, ´People who are willing to work and sacrifice will always be successful even if that success is not defined in terms of money, wealth or possessions.´ It was hard for us to work with him, but he was just so wonderful and willing to work.

We started off by finishing the end of the section we should have finished yesterday, but I actually think it went off really well so that they could see how important some of these parts were. After that we had them make some phone calls to actual companies. Marco, one of the PEF students started off calling a contact of one of his friends to try and get more information about refrigeration because he wanted to work in that field. The woman was so nice, gave him so much information and then said that their might be an opening and invited him to call her back the next day to set up an interview. What a way to start! He asked her if their was anyone else he could talked to to which she replied ´No I´m in charge of hiring.´ He hadn´t even thought that he was going to get that opportunity so it worked out really well for him. After that phonecall everyone was a little nervous, and one of the other PEF students, Julio, said he wanted to call but then got really nervous. I told them what had happened to me the week before and then I told them what Hermano Nunez told me, ´This is nothing that a child of God can´t do.´ He wasn´t convinced so he and I went to the phones outside the classroom so he could do it with just me sitting with him to help him if he got stuck. He started off well, but then got nervous and it didn´t work out as well as we had hoped. He and I sat down for a few minutes and talked about things that he could do differently and he seemed a lot better after that.

After the phone calls we finished up with making resumes and then talking about how to be successful once you had a job. This involves talking about making sure you are aware of all of your responsibilities because ´I didn´t know´was not an acceptable excuse. We also talked about planning for disasters before they strike (ie: the babysitter is sick, who do you leave the kids with, you are sick two days in a row, your car breaks down, stuff like that) They responded really well to this part because they understood how important it was to KEEP a job.

All in all it was a great workshop. I am so proud of them and what they were able to accomplish in those three days. Two of the PEF students, Marco and Jose invited us to an institute dance next week, so we are excited about that!!

Then tonight I took the metro by myself all the way across town to visit Roxanna. She is from Puerto Montt, my first area in the mission. She always came with us to lessons and she is living up here now with her husband and their adorable little boy, Julian. I spent some time with she and her family, and then they put me on a bus to get back to the Subway station. What happened next is kind of a funny story.
This is Roxanna and I in her house. It was so good to see her!

The bus and subways here run on a system where you have a card taht you charge with money and then you sipe it every time you get on. When I got on the bus to head to Roxanna´s house from the subway station, I thought to myself that I should put some money on the card, but I thought I´d have enough to make it back to the subway station and I´d do it there...Well I was wrong. So I get on this huge bus and I have no money, and I look at the driver and say ´What do I do now?´He said I could just sit on the little ledge by him and he´d take me anyways, which I was grateful for. I started talking to him and he was telling me about how the bus system used to be better because they made commission but that they didn´t now so he didn´t really care if people paid or not. We talked about the church a lot because he wanted to know how I had learned to speak spanish so well and then he started asking me about the bus system where I lived. He started laughing when I told him that I didn´t know too much about it because I had a car. We got closer to the subway and a lady got on who had the same problem with not having money on her card so the bus driver asked her where she was going, she said the subway and he said ´Could you take her (pointing to me) with you so that she gets there safe?´The lady (Jaqueline was her name) said of course so she got me to the subway station and we rode most of the way back together. I was so grateful Heavenly Father put these people in my path, otherwise I would have never made it home!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Today´s workshop went SO MUCH better. With Hermano Nunez yesterday we joked about how the way we could tell whether or not our class was terrible yesterday was by how many showed back up the second day. Sarah and I were sure we would have at least three because the young men that are trying to get the Perpetual Education Fund HAD to be there, so we knew they would be. When we started off the class we had six people show up, but by the end of the first hour, all but the two peruvian ladies and one of our Hatian friends were there! SO GREAT!! Yoseline the non member showed up even though she was feeling REALLY sick. We were very excited to see everyone and see that we hadn´t done such a bad job that they didn´t want to come back.

We started with filming interviews which they all just loved...(yeah they weren´t such big fans, poor Yoseline looked like she was about to die the whole time) We had some interesting moments. We have an older uneducated man from Chile who talks a lot and while he was interviewing Jose (PEF applicant) instead of just reading the question, he was reading all of the directions. Jose reacted by laughing and wanting to start over, but like the mean slave driver I am I just told him to keep going. Pedro (The older Chilean man) was so funny in his interview. I don´t think he understands half of what we say, but he always leaves the class telling us that we are wonderful people and that he is very grateful for our service. Another funny moment was when Goodson (our Hatian friend) was interviewed it was obvious he didn´t understand a lot of the questions, and so right at the end of his interview he (in very broken spanish) said ´Yo no hablo espanish, no cachai´(Cachai is a chilean word which means understand pretty much) Everyone started laughing. After videoing the interviews we went through and everyone got to rate themselves and then the class gave them feedback. They were so wonderful to eachother and pointed out more good than bad. It was an awesome activity.

We then worked on what we call ´power statements´which are ways that they can answer questions in interviews highlighting their strengths and down playing their weaknesses. We finished off the class talking about phone calls and references and they went home to practice for the phone calls we are going to make to companies to get more information and try to get interviews if at all possible. They are a little nervous I can tell, but it was a good day!

Sarah and I had a really amazing talk with one of the Sister missionaries here in the center. We have two senior sisters that are serving here, they are both divorced and are just neat ladies. We talked about the temple and a lot of different things and Hermana Grahm told us a little about her story. She is such a wonderful lady and I think she will be blessed. I asked her if she had dated since her divorce and she said that she had been set up a few times, but that she had made a covenant to love her husband for eternity and that she felt like she needed to keep it. It was pretty cool.

Tonight we went with the sister missionaries and did divisions. I stayed with Hermana Weber and we did a tour with this young man Juan Carlos of the church building and the temple grounds. In Santiago they have the church offices of Chile, the MTC, the temple and the church building where we go all on the same property and it is an EXCELLENT way to be able to teach parts of the restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ and about the temple. The spirit was so strong and Juan Carlos was so receptive. Unfortunately he lives in the West mission, but it was a really amazing experience to be able to help out. He told me I sounded like I had lived in Chile my whole life ;) I was excited about that.

I am really grateful we got to do that today. That is one thing that I always feel I´m missing at BYU, its so much harder to be in contact with missionary work, or maybe I just don´t seek it out. We are set to leave with the sisters every Wednesday night, so we are definately excited about that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taller Day 1

Oh man...What an experience today was...

When we got in this morning the first thing we did was get everything ready for the workshop (Taller in spanish) I was so nervous I couldn´t really speak. We had 11 people start out with, two were from Columbia, two were from Haiti (yeah you know, people that speak neither spanish or english, they spoke french...) two ladies from Peru (who came in about 2 hours late) and then three chilean return missionaries that are trying to get the Perpetual Education Fund (you have to take the class to get accepted into the perpetual education program) two chilean men (one educated, one not) and a non member girl who just graduated from College. WHAT A MIX! We were really excited and kind of zoomed through the first part and then realized that we were going way to fast for everyone so we slowed it down, but by that time we had kind of lost a few people along the way. We had 4 of our attendees have to leave early for work, so by the end of the workshop we were down to eight people. Needless to say we were a little discouraged after that.

We talked with Hermano Nunez and he reassured us that with time it would all get worked out. I didn´t feel that much better buy I understood his intent.

I went home to do homework after that and ended up falling asleep until Sarah got home. We had planned on hanging out with Nacho and had decided to meet up at 6. Much to our surprise the cell phone rang at 5:30 and it was Nacho wanting to know where we were. I guess I should explain that there is a guy that used to work in the center that came in on Monday and asked which one of us served in Chile. When I told him it was me, he said that he had been talking to Nacho (who is in his ward) and that I should be careful because Nacho really wanted to get to the U.S. any way he could. Well I was less than thrilled to hang out with him after that and Sarah and I started noticing things that were really weird. We went bowling and then went to see Madagascar 2 (which is HILARIOUS by the way) and then he tried to commit us to going dancing with him on Friday. Bah. Sarah and I talked about how frustrating it was later to have to deal with stuff like that. (We should be missionaries again, then we wouldn´t have to!!)

We were quite proud of ourselves though because we took the metro back home all by our selves! I know, two 20 somethings were able to do it. Woo hoo!

We planned a little differently for tomorrow, so we are hoping it all works out better....

Monday Monday Monday

Normally Mondays are pretty busy, but today was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO slow. I spent most of the day calling people to remind them of the workshop starting tomorrow! We are REALLY nervous for our first day teaching, and we should have about 15 people there, so it should be full which is nice. We have talked a lot about what we are going to do, but we aren´t quite sure how its all gonna work out...

After work we went to FHE with all the senior missionaries from the West mission. I think that is going to become my most favorite part of the week. They are such amazing dedicated people and they just have so much fun together. This week the Waltons showed us pictures from their first mission in Quito Ecuador (Which was also Sarah´s mission and they even served in the same place so it was cool for her to get to see pictures of people and what not) I was overwhelmed by the dedication this couple has to serving and shed a few tears at the things they had to say. I miss being a missionary down here sometimes, but I am starting to recognize how what we are doing can be a huge missionary tool. We talked with the Sister missionaries on Sunday and they are going to send a few of their investigators our way so we are hoping to help drive the second nail in as they say to help them out. We are also going on splits with the sisters on Wednesday so that is exciting.

Sarah got her haircut after FHE, I went straight home to continue with homework and a few other things. I walked back a little ways with the McCowns (the elder´s parents that I know) and they are just so cute. All the senior couples are going out to dinner on Friday and they invited us. Sister McCown was so worried about me walking home alone, but I made it just fine.

When Sarah got home we planned our teaching for tomorrow. I don´t know how well we are going to do, but I am hoping that we make it through. I am really nervous, but I´m sure with the Lord´s help we´ll get by...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ahh the weekend!

Well our first weekend was really nice. Saturday was a little errand day, we bought some things for the house, hung out and of course I did homework. I am trying to be really diligent in my school work because the LAST thing I want to be doing during the last few weeks of my time here is hurrying up with homework and what not. We´ll see how that all works out.

Sunday we went to church of course. We went to a different ward this week because we are under the understanding that it is the ward we are supposed to go to. There are a lot more young adults and they were closer to our age and a lot more friendly, so even if it isn´t our ward, we are going to go there. (We really can go to whatever ward we want because our records stay in the states so it doesn´t matter) We made friends with a few of the YSA and we all got together that night to watch the fireside from last week be rebroadcast in spanish.

We showed up with our two friends Pancha and Natali and NO ONE was at the church so we were a little worried that they weren´t going to rebroadcast it, but they did. It was funny though because our ward was the only ward that showed up for the rebroadcast, so we all sat in the first row, even though we had the whole chapel to ourselves. After that our friend Fernando offered to give us a ride back to where we lived which we of course accepted.

On our way home, their was an entire street blocked off and we heard there was going to be a big doll erected or some sort of show or something so we walked around because we wanted to be there for it. The show ended up being kind of lame, and quite dangerous. This man was lifted up on a crane all dressed in white with wings and then these people climbed down the side of this building. Then the ´flying man´got in this huge four wheeler thing which at one point was set on fire (Did I mention this huge four wheeler thing was in THE MIDDLE of the crowd and it was extremely dangerous and I was worried people would get burned or ran over) Then this huge hampster wheel full of people attached to the oversize four wheeler and they ran through the crowd. It looked a little like the running of the bulls with people trying to escape getting ran over. Then they advertized that the doll would be build next sunday (By birthday in case you forgot) All through this performance cheesy techno music was playing. We all laughed at how silly it was.

We are excited about our new friends. They all are bilingual (Fernando served his mission in Idaho, Natali´s family lives in Utah and she went to U of U for a year and Pancha has pretty much just taught herself) which is really nice because we can ask them all of our spanish questions. Last night we talked a lot about sayings and compared them in each language so we would know how to say things. It was really fun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 8 and my 1st day off!


So today was really nice. Sarah still had to go into the office because she has to work 40 hours a week since she isn´t taking any classes. I got up and we said prayers before she left then I went on a really nice run through a part near our house. It was funny because I knew that the men were saying things to me, but because I was wearing headphones, I didn´t hear them! The joys of not being a missionary! Ha ha! It was really nice to get out and run.

After that I emailed some homework to some professors and then read by the pool that we discovered on top of our building! It is not much bigger than a hot tub, but it has cold water and really, I don´t want to go swimming, just get wet enough to cool down and continue reading! I am living the life I tell you! I started reading Altazor today (its a series of poems written by a Chilean poet Vincente Huidobro) and I didn´t think I was going to like it, but I really do. So I am excited to continue!

Then I met up with my old companion Andrea Mercado. She is crazier then I remember her being. I love her so much! Eliaser came by too and when Sarah got home we went to do some exploring. I found this ring that I have wanted forever! I am really excited about it. It is kind of a thicker ring and it has a map of Chile that rolls all the way around it. It is seriously so cool. We didn´t bring any money with us because we were headed to a little bit more shifty part of town and we didn´t want to have anything that could be stolen with us, but we are going back to get stuff for sure!
Andrea and I.

We went to Eliaser´s house because it was his mom´s birthday and we got to be there and meet them and participate. It was really cool to meet their family and just hang out. We left there around 11:15, and in metro we could have been home by 11:30, but the metros (subways) stop running at 11, so we had to take a bus which takes about an hour! Eliaser and his friend Rodrigo (Yo yo is what everyone calls him) took us home just to make sure we got there alright.

Eliaser´s mom when she came home and we surprised her. They love that here. We turned off all the lights and Eliaser had told her that we weren´t going to come, so when she walked in we turned on the lights and started singingThis is Sarah with the cake. She kept telling us that she was turning 54, but she was born in 1954 so we kept trying to explain it. It was really funny.

Did I mention that I found a husband here? No not the old man, that is Eliaser´s dad, but this is his nephew. He´s only a year and a half years old, but I´m pretty much gonna marry him.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 7

I really need to think of a more interesting name for my titles, but oh well.

Today was the last day of our first workshop and WHAT A DAY! We started off reviewing again what we had talked about yesterday and I was impressed with what they all remembered. Of course they also remembered that today was the da that we were going to call companies to try and get interviews and man could you cut the tension with a knife. Nobody was looking at anybody and everyone was really nervous. As Hermano Nunez was handing out the phonebooks, he looked at me and said ´You are going to call a company called Tronwell here in Santiago´I guess I had kind of assumed that I was void of that part of the workshop so my stomach started to turn a little bit but I knew that if I made a big fuss about it everyone else would not want to make their phone calls either, so I took one for the team, smiled and said ´Great!´

Well it comes to me and I am really nervous but I just go for it. I didn´t get to talk to the person I needed to to actually get an interview, but I got the number of the person, their name and what time they were available. It was really easy once I had done it and everyone was shocked! It was neat to see the phone calls after that and see them all leave the workshop so much better than when they come in. I really hope that I can help them do that next week, seeing as though we actually start TEACHING! BAH! I´m nervous, but I´m sure we´ll do fine.

This is everyone that completed our first workshop. We already know one of them has found a job, so we are really excited to hear about everyone else´s success! We have a bell in the office that we ring every time someone finds work!

After the workshop I went straight home to do homework which consisted of a lot of reading and what not. I am keeping up on the elections that are coming here in Chile this November. They have the primaries in March and it is really interesting how they do all this. Instead of having one candidate from each party (there are 7 that I have counted thus far) in the final election, they have the primary where the candidate from each party runs. The two candidates that win over the others in the primary go on to the final election. It has been pretty heated from what I can tell, and from what I remember, we won´t go out the day of primaries because it was pretty dangerous from what I remember.

After that we went to the temple and met up with a friend of mine from the mission Elder Bello (or Nacho since he isn´t a missionary any more) We went through a session in spanish which was cool because I paid attention to a lot of different things because of the language. As we got into the celestial room their was a couple that was going through for the first time to get sealed on Saturday. It was the most beautiful thing to see their little family (Mother, father, daughter and future husband) all huddled together crying in the temple. I decided to get married after that. Ha ha! It was really great though. Nacho walked us to the metro where he got on and we went to grab some food for the apartment before heading home.

This is the temple in Santiago! So pretty!

I love how every day has a new lesson for me here. It really is a lot like the mission in that respect. Tomorrow is my day off! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 6

Day 2 of our first workshop was AMAZING! Before everyone left yesterday Hermano Nunez told them to show up in the same clothes they would wear to an interview. THEY LOOKED AWESOME! They all just seemed so much more confident in themselves and it was a great thing to see. We started off the day by reviewing a little and seeing what everyone had remembered from the day before. They remembered quite a bit and I was surprised at how much had sunk in. A few brave souls gave their ´Me in 30 seconds´which is a nifty little tool we teach them to help them present themselves in an interview in a way that shows them they are amazing candidates for the job they are applying for.

After that we had a mock interview where everyone took their turn getting filmed while in an ´interview setting´ It was really fun and hermano Nunez even made me do an interview in spanish. Jesus, who interviewed me, (yeah that´s right I got interviewed by Jesus) spoke SO FAST so everyone got a good laugh out of me trying to decifer what he was saying to me. We then watched the interviews one by one and everyone gave feedback to the person. It was really good and I learned a lot about the things I do in interviews that work against me. At one point he asked me about a weakness, and I said the first thing that came to my mind, which was a total lie and wasn´t a weakness at all! They asked me later about it and I said I got nervous and had to say it because it popped into my brain! Everyone got a good laugh out of that. (For the record I said that I was ´too organized´which you all know is not true at all!)

When we were working on power statements (which is another interview tool we teach them) it was really neat to see everyone´s reaction to them. I heard one woman say, ´I can´t believe I never thought of this before, this is such a good thing to do!´ In all everyone seemed so much more confident and hopeful in attaining jobs...We´ll see how tomorrow goes when they actually have to make some phone calls and call potential employers!

I went home after the workshop because I had a ton of homework to do and I did a little. When Sarah got home, we went with my friend Eliaser to el Cerro San Cristobal, which is a hill in the middle of the city really close to where we live. You can get in these little tram lift thingies and they take you all the way up to the top of this hill where there is a HUGE virgin Mary and it overlooks the entire city of Santiago. Let me just tell you it was BEAUTIFUL! I loved it.

So this is what we rode up the hill in. It was a little scary and I was a little worried, but we made it just fine!

This is me in the little cart thingy and of course that is Santiago behind me. The city is HUGE!

This is Eliaser. He was in my first district in the mission for 3 transfers and was my zone leader for the last 3 transfers and we ended the mission together. He is slowly becoming our local tour guide.

This is me up at the top of the second hill! The view was AMAZING! It is so crazy how the city just kind of disappears into the distance.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 5

Today was another amazing day! I got up at six with the intent to go running, but of course it was dark outside and being the lazy bum that I am I went back to bed. Ha! I´ll get to it eventually, I just need to find a safe time and place to go running, so we´ll see how that works.

We had the first day of our first workshop today, but we didn´t teach it because Hermano Nunez wanted us to get a bit of a feel for how he wanted the workshop to be done as well as get down some facts and figures and words that are more specific to Chile. He claims that people don´t respond well to the goofy applauds that we learned how to do in training, but Sarah and I still want to try it out once or twice so that we know if its just because he thinks they are nerdy or they really don´t work. The room we do the workshop in is tiny and Hermano uses the old visual aids because the room is so long and they are looking pretty ragged so we are going to probably make some new ones and get them laminated so that they can always have them. There were 15 people in the workshop and they said that was normal, so we are excited to have a lot of alumnos. We have a lot of ideas for games and what not and there they even provide food like in training!

The workshop went really well. We still have two days and we´ll see how many show up again, but we are excited for it all!

We got a cell phone down here so that we can be gotten ahold of. If you want it let me know. Tonight we got together with Hermana Santana from my mission, her husband and their baby girl. She is so great and will probably be attending our workshop in the next couple of weeks because she and her husband are both applying for the Perpetual Education Fund. I hope they get it because she is amazingly smart. She taught her self to speak perfect English in the mission.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 4

What an amazing day we had!! Today was our first day in the Employment office. Our office has workshops every Tuesday through Thursday, so today was more of an administrative day which was fine with us since we really don’t know what we are doing quite yet and we had a lot of questions that helped us to kind of get the feel for the kind of work force we are going to be looking at to help our wonderful students.

We got in to the office this morning and met the two sister missionaries who work there Hermana Mehew and Hermana Graham. They are just so great! Hermana Mehew has been out the longest, and Hermana Graham has only been here about three months and they have a bit of a hard time with the language, but they are just truckin right along and doing all they can. They are the sweetest ladies and just love the Lord so much. Hermana Mehew has a brother with some serious health problems and decided instead of throwing in the towel on this whole mission thing to go and help him to stick it out and trust that the Lord would take care of everything while she is gone. Hermana Graham is the same way. They are just so faithful it is a testimony to me. Today made me want to serve mission after mission after mission.

Today in the center we mostly helped with fielding phone calls and kind of getting the hang of how things are done in the office. The Hermanas aren’t the greatest at phone conversations so they are grateful for all the help they can get. We had some fun people come in to work on the computers and make phone calls. My favorite was this boy who isn’t a member who showed up with his mother. They walked in the door and she said, ‘Is there anything he can do?’ I directed them to the job board we have there and then told them about the workshop that starts tomorrow. She looked at him and said ‘You’re going.’ I laughed so hard, but he looked excited about it too. Then he made a few phone calls from the job board we have and got two interviews! So he is going to be a little late to the workshop, but we told him it was fine because work was always better.

I also helped a few people with their resumes and sending them in emails. I was helping a young man and had to ask him his name twice and make sure it was really his name because it was really funny. Elmer Smith Guiterrez Gallardo. Yeah that’s right his first two names are Elmer Smith. I cracked up.
I talked with Hermano Nunez (that’s our manager here in the center) today for a little bit because I felt a little useless or like I wasn’t doing enough. He talked to me a bit about a few other things that we could do and a little bit about the Perpetual Education Fund and how it worked and how we could help with that. He is a great man.

Tonight the Hermanas from the office invited us to a Family Home Evening with all of the senior missionaries from the Santiago West Mission. They had us introduce ourselves and say where we had served. When I said where I had gone, a couple asked how long ago and when I told them they said I might know their son since he was there the same time. It was one of my buddies Elder McCown and I had actually been to their cabin last year. We got a good laugh out of that because during that same trip to the cabin, we went wakeboarding in October while it snowed so they told everyone else.

As Sarah and I walked back to the apartment we talked about today and just how happy we were to be here. Seeing all those wonderful missionaries and getting to help people today was just so wonderful and fulfilling. We were impressed by all those little grandparents that could be on a cruise or flying around the country visiting grandchildren and they chose to pay their way through missions and serve. I want to serve with my husband someday.

This is me in our tiny apartment trying to get everything organized. not a ton of room, but we love it and it is starting to feel like home!

This is the view from our window of the area we are living in and of course my little pidgeon friend. We always leave the window open and I am always afraid they are going to fly in, but they never do!

Day 2 & 3

The past two days have been kind of a blur. We woke up on Saturday, packed our bags up in the hotel room and cruised down to Provo to pick up my sister so she could take us to the airport. I don’t think either of us really felt like we were taking off and leaving the country, but we did! We had a 3 hour layover in Dallas and ate donuts as our last American food before leaving the country. They were great! Then we hopped on a non stop flight to Santiago! I tried to read some of my books for classes on the plane, but I couldn’t pay attention, and finally I just fell asleep. I was in and out of consciousness the whole flight, but poor Sarah didn’t sleep at all, so she was wiped out when we got to Santiago.

This is us just as we landed in Santiago. So yeah, we look gross, but we were EXCITED to get here to Chile!!

We arrived this morning and had to go through customs and all that jazz. It took forever, but luckily I didn’t have to pay an entry fee again. To get into Chile you have to pay an entrance fee of $131 U.S. dollars. (It was only $100 when I came for the mission) But apparently its only once per passport, so I can come in and out of Chile without a fee until 2015! Exciting I know.

We finally got to where our bags were and then we headed out to the crowd of people waiting for people coming off flights. It was a mad house and I was really nervous we weren’t going to find Hermano Nunez. We walked away from one side and I saw a man and felt like he was the one (I had seen a picture of him, but it was a couple of months ago and he had glasses on) I almost walked passed him, but then felt like I should ask him if he was Valentin. He was and we were thankful. IT IS SO HOT! When we got off the plane at 10 a.m. it was 75 degrees, it has only gotten hotter, but it’s cooling down now that it is later in the day. Hermano Nunez took us from the airport straight to the church, so it was a little embarrassing to show up in jeans and a stinky t-shirt I had been wearing for two days, but it was nice to get to church. The ward seems so friendly and welcoming. They made sure to get our email addresses to send us information on activities and what not. I am excited to serve there as well as in the center.

After church we stopped by the center where we will be spending most of our time and took a little tour. It seems really nice and though our instruction room is really tiny, I am excited for the workshop that starts on Tuesday. We still don’t know if we are actually going to teach it, but we will have a better idea tomorrow of what our weeks are going to be like. We went and grabbed some bare essentials for eating and headed to the apartment after that.

Our apartment is tiny, but really cute. It’s a nice size for the two of us and there is definitely ‘enough and to spare’ J After Hermano Nunez left, Sarah was so tired she slept, but I for some odd reason had a lot of energy, so I got as much of my stuff put away as I could without hangers, then I took the most glorious shower of my life and read a little bit. I called a friend from the mission and he came and hung out with us. It is so amazing to be back here and get to visit with my friends from the mission. It is going to be hard trying to balance school work, work in the center, and socializing, but I am sure that if I keep the shoulder to the wheel I’ll be able to do it all. I’m really excited to get to the center tomorrow and scope things out. Today feels like the best day ever. I’m hoping each day feels like that.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 1 (Well actually 5, but its post one, so its day one)

I'm hoping this little blog thing will help me do the journal entries required for my classes, and also keep track of all of these amazing experiences. This week has been jam packed with realizations, shocks of lighting, light bulbs turning on in my head and just a wonderful spirit. I have really gained a testimony of the Career Workshop and also of my decision to go on this internship. One of these days I'll explain the whole story, but I just have felt so much this week that I was supposed to go at this time and with these people. I couldn't have picked a better group to be with and I am so excited to hear everyone's stories.

Today we went and toured Welfare Square and the Humanitarian Aid Center here in Salt Lake. What a great way to end the training. I was on the verge of tears all morning as I learned about the different ways that the church helps the less fortunate. I was so impressed by the way the church has organized each of these programs and how the overlap in such a manner that all are cared for and every detail is thought of. As I sat at the end of the tour in the Humanitarian Aid Center I cried and just thought of how perfect it all was. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! That's all I could think. I silently thanked my Heavenly Father for giving me such a blessing as to be a part of this church and for the opportunity that I have to administer part of it through the Employment office down in Chile. I can't believe we leave tomorrow!

Then we of course had graduation from the training and the weirdest thing happened. One of the former interns walks in and I say to myself, 'I know that guy...' Turns out he came up to Alaska last summer and I was his tour guide on the trolley. What a small world! And now that I think about it he told me about the internship, so it just goes to show that the Lord has his plans and purposes and sometimes we don't even realize it until His plan comes full circle. So amazing.