Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seven again, an amazing run and no cold water till Monday at the soonest...

This week's workshop, Antonio, Sarah, Me, Claudio, Maria Jose, Katuskia, Rodolfo, Valesca and Maximo.

The last day this week wasn't hard at all. I feel kind of bad about saying that, but the majority of the participants in our workshop were there for the PEF and they were not all that interested in what we had to say. They just wanted to get the three days over with so that they could continue with their application process, so they got about as much out of it as they put in it. I'm not saying they were bad or anything, but they just weren't into it. We had to practically force the phone into their hands to get them to make their phone calls. Two of our students were actually looking for work and still didn't want to make any phone calls, and the funny thing was, the lady was expecting their phone call because it was a reference from one of our other students where they KNEW she was looking for people. Oh well. What can you do?

This is me and Antonio Pena, we served together in Osorno. I didn't really know him in the mission, but we have hung out a couple times since we have been here.

We also had another person join our workshop the last day, but this time I was okay with it. Mainly because he was 6 months old and was the son of one of our alumnos. I held him for part of the workshop so his mom could do her work and Sarah held him for part of it too. It was funny to teach with a baby in my hands. I felt like I should have been teaching relief society or something ha ha.

Valesca with Maximo. Don't worry he only got fussy after the workshop was over. Most of the time he was extremely calm and fun to have around.

When we got to talking about negotiation, we got a little more life out of them as we talked about it. There is a phrase however that I HATE more than anything that people try to tell us. 'Its different in Chile.' Every time someone says that I want to point to the part where it says 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'. This program was designed by the prophets and apostles, if they say it will work, then it will. I don't care what country you live in! We talked about it in that way and I think they understood.

I discovered a new running route on Thursday that is still safe and lets me get some serious milage in. I just kind of took off running and realized that there are about three different parks that are connected so I just kept running from one park to the next until I had gone out a half hour then I turned around and came back. I got to this museum, so when I got done I google mapped it to see how far it was from our house and found out it was 5.5k one way which = 11k total which = 7 miles! I have NEVER run that far in my life. I got home absolutely exhausted, but it felt so good!

I woke up yesterday morning and ran my route again and then went about doing homework. I didn't get a whole lot done, but I finished one paper and realized I am two papers and a book summary away from finishing one of my classes and three interviews away from finishing another. After that I have a TON of reading and a research paper left and I am done. The beauty of it is I haveuntil May 31st to turn all of that in! I love it! My goal is to be done by the time the semester ends for everyone else so that I don't have to worry about it.

We had a going away party for one of our volunteers, Manuel. He is going into his first week in college and he was so cute about it. He was asking about the hazing they do here and what is the best way to avoid it. Our manager said there wasn't any way, you just had to endure it. It is really bad here. They will paint them all, cut up their clothes, take their shoes and they have to go around the streets begging to get their shoes back. I remember seeing them when I was at the bus stations as a missionary during transfers.

Sarah and I went with our YSA group to do baptisms. We didn't want to do baptisms, so we just helped out with towels and what not. President Lyon (the temple president who was also the president of my mission way back in the day and is an AMAZING man) asked us to help out with the closing duties which we did. I really love this temple. I don't know why I feel so connected to it, but I am always so excited to be there and be with the people there. Maybe it is because I know they are all volunteers and they are all here sacrificing their time. It has been really neat.

After that I went to the first FUN YSA dance since we have been here. My companion Hermana Mercado came and so it was fun to hang out with her. We are gonna do things more often which I am excited about and she is an AMAZING dancer. For any of you who know what Samba is, it is really hard to do and I have NO clue how to do it, but she does it so well. She tried to teach me but after a while I had to explain to her that my North American body just didn't move that way. She doesn't go to YSA dances very often, so it was cool for her to be there and to get to dance and laugh with her. She is awesome. There was a ton of people and they played good music you could actually dance to. If I had known it was gonna be so good I would have gotten there sooner! Ha ha oh well. I guess now the dances should be a lot more fun because people are back from vacation and institute starts next week. I am thinking about taking a class, even if it is just for a month and a half.

Yesterday I noticed that our cold water wasn't running, but because we had hot water I assumed they were doing some sort of construction on it. Today when it didn't come back I asked the consierge about it...Apparently we were supposed to have gotten the bill and given it to our manager to pay, but since we didn't know, the bill didn't get paid and they turned off our water...but just our cold water. I am choosing to see this as a blessing because being without water in general would be terrible, as it is we just have to shower really quick because the water starts to come out scalding hot very fast. Sarah and I were really greatful that we had two water jugs in the fridge full of water. ANOTHER TESTIMONY OF FOOD STORAGE! Ha ha I never thought I would actually NEED it, but I am glad we had it!
Sarah with her really good Pastel de Choclo (Corn Casserole...or pie if you are chilean:)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Then there were six

So yesterday we started out with seven people in our workshop, then Hermano Alfaro our assistant manager escorted two teenage girls in. They were obviously not there by choice and giggled throughout the whole day. Needless to say they didn´t come back today, which we weren´t all that sad about, but we did lose an older man that was looking for work Herman, so I am sad about that. We are left with all PEF students, which is an ABSOLUTELY new experience for us. You would think that them all being younger, the activities would be more interactive and they would all have a great time, but we are finding that the small group makes for a lot quieter of an experience. Sarah and I were talking about it and we find we are kind of comparing our groups to each other which probably isn´t the best idea...

Our mock interviews went pretty well today, Hermano Alfaro was there for the whole experience adding questions of his own which completely elongated the process, but we have come to grips with the fact that since he normally teaches the workshop, he has nothing better to do and so he pops in and out. He is having withdrawls. He says things sometimes though that drive me nuts, like today when he explained to our workshop that we were doing an internship so he had to come in and see what we were doing and then told us things we needed to improve IN FRONT OF OUR CLASS! That is an educational no no, but at this point, Sarah and I are just learning to shrug it off. We had a lot of fun with our mock phone calls and they started to liven up a bit after that. One thing that I really like about this group is that although they aren´t really excited about the process, they ask a lot of questions which makes it easier for us to lead discussions and what not.

I wrote another paper after the workshop. I have four more for one of my classes and then it is over. I am proud!

After work, Sarah and I decided to go out to dinner at this restraunt near our house that hs typical Chilean food. We had to sneak in because we are friends with all of the guys that work at all the restraunts around our house who try and get people to eat there. It was actually kind of funny. We went to the store, and then turned around and came back and slipped in. Sarah had Pastel de Choclo, which looked so good and I kinda wish I had ordered, and I just had this really good juicy chicken dish with veggies and mashed potatoes. While there, we watched the Universidad Catolica get creamed by O´Higgins Institute in soccer. It felt like a real latin American experience. Our waiter wanted to speak in english, so we did a mix with him, but he called Sarah´s corn casarole a corn pie. When I said that casarole was a more appropriate word, he got a little offended. :)

We left the restraunt and were headed home when this one garzon from one of the restraunts (his name is Christian) stopped us and asked us how the food was. We felt kind of bad. ha ha we totally got caught. But oh well, I guess it serves us right for eating so close to home!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today´s new group was absolutely asleep all day. I even had them all stand up and jump on one foot as long as they could so that they would be awake, but to no avail. How do you wake students up? I have no clue. They are a good group though and this week is met with the challenge of teaching one of my friends that I actually knew in the mission which is kind of interesting for me. I am grateful that in real life I will never have to teach a friend of mine, maybe their kids, but never anyone that I have hung out with before. The group is a lot younger, and most are here for the Perpetual Education Fund, with the exception of one man who is a plumber and without work. He seems to have little education, so we had to focus a lot on him. Today while playing ´Jefe Jefe´they really got into it which was fun to see. I lost my Jefe seat because I am an idiot and said someone else´s name as my own. Yeah...Sad.

I finished the last book for one of my classes, so now I just have three papers to write for that class and it is over and I am done with it. I am just pluggin right along with school work which is quite shocking. After work today I stayed back and talked with my bosses about the economy and politics here in Chile for an assignement I have to do. It is really interesting the way that the senate has been set up here. It is quite corrupt and the constitution (which was radified under the dictator Pinochet in 1980) has made it absolutely hard to change things. There are also some senators who were appointed as ´Senator for life´under Pinochet that are STILL in power. That is crazy to me. Learning about their government made me grateful for ours. Even if I am not always happy with what is going on, at least we have a system of checks and balances that can right any wrong that is done. Pinochet had so much power and there was no way to stop him. I´M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! ha ha!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As promised...(a.k.a. Angie here you go!)

I am finally getting around to posting some pictures from the last week or so. I didn't do anything to terribly exciting this weekend, so I have a ton of pictures I took at the temple. I love my camera, and I have had a lot of fun playing around with it. When I get back to Utah my friend Scott promised to show me how to use all the settings, so I am excited!

This is our workshop from last week. Back row: Eugenio, David, Eric, Me
Front Row: Sarah, Tailyn, Jacqueline, Patricia, Marisol

Me and Juanjo at the dance the other weekend.

Juanjo taking funny pictures of me with my camera.

The sun setting in Valparaiso.

So everyone was taking pictures with this guy, but nobody dared to touch him, so I put my arm around him. I though about kissing him on the cheek, but then thought better of it. :)

This is the building where the head hanchos of the chilean navy meet. It was such a cool lookin building!

Valparaiso from the window of Pablo Neruda.

Pretty sure this is Blue Steel...But you never know. I have no clue why I took this picture nor why I look so serious. America's Next Top Model?

This is where the temple pictures begin. I had a lot of fun with these.

Juanjo took this picture. He said it made it look like the sun was coming out of my head.

Juanjo and I at the temple. I swear I never ask people to take pictures, I just do it myself...ridiculous!

The front spire. I really like how the sky goes from white down at the bottom to blue at the top in this picture.

I LOVE this picture. I am going to frame it.

The fountain.

I promise!

After the workshop today I will post some pictures, but I wanted to share with you a really neat experience I had on Sunday. Sister Webber, the american sister serving in our ward, and I had planned on singing for a devotional that was Sunday night, so before church she was showing me some music she had. She sang for me a song that I had never heard before that just brought me to tears. It is from the Women of Destiny series and the words are so beautiful.

The Child* I Was Before

I was there when the Father laid the pl an before our eyes
When Jesus stood saying I will go and the glory shall be t hine
I´m sure I raised a shout of joy for all that was instore
Heaven help me to recall the child I was before.

Through the dispensations I was held in reserve
The memory of my life with God forgotten at my birth
The way this world defines my worth leaves me searchin gor
The spirit´s voice to remind me of the child I was beofre

I was there among the noble when we had so much to lose
Fought one who wished to take away God´s precious gift to choose
Courageous and determined, faithful to the end
The child I was before knows the child I´ve always been

So I am called out of the world to help His children see
There is so much more than meets the eye to our true identity
And if we listen we will hear the voice of the Lord
Reminding us of the faith and strength of the children we were before

The child i am, the child i´ll be forever more
Will be stronger by knowing the child I was before.

When I heard those words tears just came to my eyes and I just felt like it was so true. I know that is something really small and not this huge spiritual manifestation, but it was really neat for me. I love the gospel so much. It is such a blessing in my life!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another post without pictures

I have been to lazy to compress some picture files to put them up here, but I promise a great big post with a ton of pictures on Monday.

Thursday was our last day of the workshop, and we have just had the best luck with our alumnos the last few weeks. Patricia, the really negative lady, walked in on Thursday to tell us that she had found a job and she started work Monday. I really have no way to describe to you what it feels like to hear that, but I love it and I hope we keep up our streak of at least one every week. Even though this week`s group was really chill, I was so proud of them on Thursday. We got to the part where they were all going to make their own calls and none of them tried to chicken out. In fact, all of them made at least two calls. It was AWESOME! And the cool thing was they all had some good results including an interview. When we finished up the workshop it was so great to hug them all and just see how excited they were. I am helping one of them translate his resume into english. He is pretty fluent, and he needs it for future job interviews. (He is an engineer)

Thursday night we helped the sister missionaries again. Yeah I know twice in one week is kinda out of countrol, but they needed help so we came. I got to share my testimony of my mission. I think Hermana Webber just likes making me cry. :) Either way it reminded me of how important that time was for me. They were 19 very hard months, but I have never grown as much or felt as close to my savior, and that was worth every tear.

Yesterday I went running and made it to the 4.5k mark (and it is about 1k from my house) so I felt pretty good. I didn´t sleep very well the night before and it affected my running. I was not feeling quite so powerful :) but I did it and that is what counts. I am getting closer and closer to the top every day. I think it is 8k total, so I should make it before I leave if I keep going like I´m going.

I went to the temple with Juanjo and Sebastian in the afternoon. I have never gone to the temple with friends before, so it was kinda of different, but it was pretty cool. A lot of really little things stood out to me that were really cool. I love the feeling I get every time I walk into the Celestial Room, especially after a session in spanish. I don`t know how to describe it, but its like coming home after being away for a long time, or finally realizing that you have been able to overcome a huge trial and a huge burden is lifted off of your shoulders. I love it.

I went to this party last night with some friends from the ward. It was supposedly gonna be the biggest part we had ever seen...Aparently they don`t know what parties are like in the states. It was fun, the music was lame so dancing wasn`t all that exciting, but I`m glad I went.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

(Place original post name here)

We started off the second day of the workshop with interviews as normal. I fell like this week, this activity was much more useful than it has been in the past. This particular group had a lot of things that we noticed in the tape to work on. Our assistant manager allowed another random dude to come into our class today after not being there yesterday. The guy is an engineer and has a job, but wants to broaden his employment horizon and is seeking other oportunities. Hermano Alfaro assured me that he had ´gone over the first day with him´. The man is obviously a professional and was very eloquent in his interview, but when asked to tell a little about himself, he talked for almost two minutes! Now I know that doesn´t seem like that big of a deal, but we teach in the workshop a technique called ´Me in thirty seconds´. It is an amazing tool because it teaches to say only the necesary and to highlight all of our skills and not waste time with too much useless information about our sports teams or how we love board games. Hermano Alfaro was there when we were watching it so I made a point of saying, ´I know you missed the material we talked about the first day, but when asked about yourself, you talked for almost two minutes. You should never exceed thirty seconds.´ I´m a brat, I know.

There were several members from the group that had a bit of a difficult time with the interviews and it gave us a really good starting point to get through the rest of the activities today. Power statements were fun to do with them and I loved hearing them practice. We also got through transforming our weaknesses into strengths which was a big deal for us because the second day is where we always get behind, so I was happy about that. One of our participants is a woman named Patricia, who is a fairly negative person. When we were working on power statements and transforming weaknesses into strengths, she did not understand it at all, so I sat there and helped her think of examples and what not. It was hard, but I was really glad we could get through it and though I´m still not sure she quite understands, she was able to get it done. It is a really intersting feeling getting ´down in the gutter´and helping them build themselves up. I feel sometimes like they have been told their whole lives they aren´t worth anything so we have to show them how much God truly cares about them.

After work we went and did exchanges with the sisters. It was my week to stay on the temple grounds and do tours. It is so much fun to do and it helps so much in the work here in Santiago. The sisters do such a wonderful job at creating such a calm peaceful environment and then keeping it throughout the whole tour. I got to teach a few principles about the church including missionary work, the activities that we do in the church, institute and then share my testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon. At the end of each tour they watch a 4 minute video about Christ´s ministry in the Americas and then they are given some time to write down a reference and their thoughts. Hermana Webber randomly asked me if I would share my testimony, which I wasn´t expecting, but I had been really focusing on the eyes of the people in this movie (it has no words) and I was impressed to talk about the emotions we will go through seeing the savior again. The very last woman in the video is blind and you see Christ heal her and then she opens her eyes and sees him for the first time. Her expression is one of relief and joy and I hope that is my reaction when I see him again.

Hermana Webber and I are going to be doing a special musical number at some point, so we practiced this amazing arrangement she did of Where Can I turn For Peace. We were talking and she asked me what my plans were for after I graduated. I told her I wanted to start teaching, but go back and get a degree in music media so I could record EFY type music in spanish. She got really excited and said that she had been thinking about the same thing, so we are probably gonna start writing some stuff when she gets back. I really feel like the Lord is guiding me in this. I have thought about it a lot and after talking with her I knew that that was one of the reasons I needed to be here. Lovin it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Come Nobody Ever Writes A Song About Tuesdays?

It´s not that bad of a day...Someone should really write one.

Today started off another week for us in the workshop. We only had eight people confirmed, which is always a little nerve wracking, but they all showed up so we were pleased. This group is VERY different from last week´s group. We have quite a few Perpetual Education Fund participants (it is required to receive the PEF) so you would think that it would be a very lively bunch, but it is quite the opposite. We had one participat who was quite the enthusiastic one, but he was only going to be there today because he works and could only get out of work one day to come (he is one of the PEF students). Our assistant manager told us to just let him take it the one day and to count him as being their all three...I´m not sure if that would have flown if our manager was here, but since he is on vacation, I guess there isn´t much we can do.

Sarah and I were talking later on about how different our managers are. Hermano Alfaro (the assistant manager) is a very charismatic person and you can tell he goes out of his way to accomidate people, but I´m not sure if that really helps them in the long run. Letting people enter the workshop two hours after we have started just teaches them that it is okay to come late, and in the end, they will keep up the same bad habits that transfer over into the workforce. I could rant for hours about this, but I´ll just stick with saying that it is difficult to teach examples if we aren´t setting them.
After the workshop I got to making some more of the visual aides that we use on the computer. By next week I want to have them printed off, blown up, and laminated so that we can use them and the center can use them after we leave as well. The ones that we are using right now are falling apart and I think in a few more weeks will probably die if we don´t do something else.
I wrote two and a half papers tonight! I am very close to finishing two more classes and then I am just left with my reasearch paper that I will write in the two weeks I have in Utah before heading back to Alaska for the summer. I am really proud of how diligent I have been in homework. It isn´t easy, and last night I did not want to do it, but as I started writing both papers I realized just how easy they were, so I feel great about it! Tomorrow I am going to write one more and finish the half of one which leaves me with just one paper left to write for my cultural proofs class. It will be nice to just have reading left to do while I am here.
I went running tonight. It was a short run because I was tired and it was getting dark, it was definately a struggle getting through, but it was nice to just do it. I hate running, but I love how I feel when I get done!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Success, failure, goals and 24 with Jack Bauer

Today was a full and wonderful day, though not without its frustrations. Being Monday, I don't work, so I started off the day with my run up 'The Hill'. It was another great run. Every day I get closer and closer to the top by getting up one more switchback. It is such a great feeling when I get to the point where I stopped the time before and then keep going. Today was funny though because it was apparently the day for the entire Chilean Army to run up the same hill, so I was not alone at all the entire time I was running. That was kind of embarassing at one point because I was listening to my music as I ran and at one point I started singing along and then I got some funny looks from the two military guys that had been behind me as they ran past. ( I had no idea they were there...)

Being my day off, but wanting to use my time wisely, I went with Juanjo to try and take a tour of La Moneda to write my last paper for one of my classes. (Then I have 4 interviews to do for that class and I'm done, woop woop!) Well when we got there they said that it was going to be closed in the morning because of some protests that they anticipated, but to come back before noon and it should be open. So Juanjo and I went to pay a bill that he had to pay and then we went to this museum with a ton of Mapuche art and stuff which was pretty cool. Then we went back around noon and they said it was closed but that it should open up around two or three. So we went to lunch. When we came back it might open around four! So we decided to bag the whole idea and head home to play guitar and burn CD's. I was so frustrated! Oh well...

Tonight we went to an FHE with the senior missionaries. I can't even explain to you how much I love being around all of these wonderful faithful humble senior missionaries. Today the lesson was particularly wonderful. They talked about the things they could do as 'non-proselyting' missionaries to still proselyte and share the gospel. They talked about goal setting and one sister said 'A goal that is not written down, is just a dream.' which I thought was just such a great thought. Another thing that was read out of Preach My Gospel that called my attention was that our goals should reflect the desires of our hearts. One brother got up and shared his testimony of what they had been able to do in the ward where they were attending. They asked for a list of inactive endowed memebers and reactivated one family that is now going to be sealed in the temple, they taught some basic keyboarding classes, taught a class on leading music, the brother is teaching gospel doctrine and his wife has taught women how to crochett. I felt the spirit so strong as this Elder talked of the ways they were able to love and serve their ward. The closing song was Faith In Every Footstep, my mission song, so I just cried through the whole thing. And another random connection, the couple that taught the lesson, the Andlaines, are the parents of a friend of mine from last semester who married my relief society president! Small world!

After FHE we went to Todd's house and ate hamburgers and watched 24 with a couple other guys. It was fun and felt oddly normal!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What a way to wanna be

Fridays will forever be known as 'Pump It Fridays'. Ha ha I love Fridays! I woke up Friday morning and went on my run up the hill. Well it was the coolest thing, I was able to make it to the point where I have been turning around without stopping on Friday and when I got there I thought to myself, 'I can go farther.' So I did! It was amazing! I felt so strong and it felt so good to keep going up and up and up. I have been feeling so strong lately not just physically but spiritually as well. I have mentioned to a few people how much this experience is like the mission, but it seems that I am a much more successful teacher than I ever was as a missionary. I can't describe how awesome it is to see people come in with that excitement in their eyes telling us they have a job.

Friday night we met up with a guy in our ward Victor and we drove to the YSA conference which was held in a place called El Belloto A.K.A. the armpit of Vina del Mar. It wasn`t the nicest place on the planet, but we had a lot of fun getting dressed up and heading to the dance. We met some more friends, made some more connections and danced the night away. I still am not a fan of YSA dances here, but I guess it is something I will have to get used to. You`d think they would at least play a lot of salsa or merengue, but they play mostly regeton which is kind of like spanish hiphop/rap. Not my fav, but oh well. After the dance I stayed up playing guitar with my friend Juanjo till about 4 am. Seriously, I wish he would move to America and be my best friend. He is awesome. We spent the night with the conference goers which entailed sleeping on a very cold tile floor, so much fun :) I woke up about a billion times throughout the night without the ability to breathe, but I was better off than a lot of girls.

Pancha, Natali, me and Sarah at the dance.

Saturday morning was kind of a crazy experience. Everyone had gone to the beach the day before and aparently they hadn´t put on enough sun screen because our friend Natali had to go to the hospital with a really bad sunburn and what Sarah thinks was heat stroke. She is fine now but it was crazy. The night before they had to take two other people to the hospital because they were so burned. We had breakfast and then everyone was packing up, cleaning the building, but we didn´t feel all that obligated to stay, so we took off for Valparaiso. We went to the house of this famous poet, Pablo Neruda. He is CRAZY! Well not crazy, but just very intricate. Every wall was painted a different color or with different patterns of designs and he had a plethora of things, lots of stuff. He was an amazing poet, horrible husband and an upstanding statesman of Chile until the government was taken over, at which point he was thrown out of the chilean congress (he was a senator). After his house we went to the beach, hoping that the clouds would burn off...They didn´t. It was a fairly boring Valentines Day.

Victor, me and Sarah in Valpo.

In the front yard of Pablo Neruda´s house facing the beach, this was the only sun we saw all day.

Sunday was a great day. AFter church, the sister missionaries came over and ate with us. I made fajitas and they were SO good! The sisters are so great and I just love being around them. One of the sisters, Sister Webber, and I are going to sing in sacrament meeting and at a fireside. She has an AMAZING voice. I am really excited. In the evening we had a family home evening and a lot of the Single Adults came over. It was really fun to have them in our house and become better friends with them. We are hoping to continue it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fiesta fiesta!

This is our group from this week, they were my favorite thus far! Me, Cristian, Richard, Jean Claude, Pilar, Claudio, Nikol, Monica, Sarah, (Bottom) Lucia, Gabriela, Renee, and Elizabeth.
I can´t believe another group has come and gone. The time just seems to be passing so fast! This week`s group has been so much fun and they have helped eachother out a lot. I was sincerely impressed with the way that they worked together and helped each other out. I am going to miss them next week. Today was wonderful! We had a lot of catching up to do, but things worked out wonderfully and we had some amazing news! Renee one of our workshopees found a job! It is going to work out so well for her. She is from Peru and has been in Chile about 16 days stressing over finding a job. She has been living with some family that lives here, but she needed to get a job so that she could find a place to live near by. Well yesterday after class she stayed after and one of our volunteers Hermana Lily helped her make some phone calls, but she just happened to be here when this woman came in looking for a maid. Renee was there, the woman was there, they talked and it just worked out. The best part is, Renee is going to LIVE with this woman in her house which means she doesn´t have to find a place to live and she is esentially living for free while working. WOOP WOOP! She gave me the biggest hug when she left today and told me how grateful she was for what we do in the center. Renee is awesome!

This is Renee ringing the job bell!

After the workshop, all of our students went to the store and bought some food and came back and we had a little party. It was so much fun! We danced, we sang, we laughed and it was just a really great moment. I got to know a lot of our students more through it. My favorite part was talking with Claudio. I told him I wanted to meet his wife because he is just hilarious and I asked him what she was like. His response was perfect, without missing a beat he said, ´She is beautiful, and she never stops laughing with me.´ SO CUTE! I now know what I am looking for in a husband, one that will answer like that! ha ha! It was so fun to hang out with our group. Hermano Alfaro, our assistant manager came in afterwards and told me that they must have really loved us to do that. I smiled and said ´I know.´ This is so great.

I took this picture out of our window. Smog makes everything look cool!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well That Was Strange!

Oh today was such an odd day! It all started with my choice of breakfast. We bought some honey dew and watermelon on Monday for a potluck we went to with all of the senior missionaries. We made a fruit salad out of it and it was so good. I brought some for lunch Tuesday, and ate most of it, but I had a little left over, so I brought it home. I put it in the fridge, but then I took it out last night thinking I was going to eat it, but then left it on the counter all night. When I woke up this morning, I decided to eat it for breakfast...BAD IDEA! We started the workshop out just fine and I was doing fine but then I started feeling a little sick. I didn't think it was that bad and during break I went to the bathroom and I was okay, but still not feeling so hot. Well, we were going over our mock interviews with our students when I realized, that if I didn't leave right then I was going to throw up in front of everyone. So I ran to the bathroom and got there right about the time that the honey dew and watermelon decided to revolt. Since I hadn't eaten very much and since watermelon and honey dew are mostly water, it was not a pleasant experience to say the least. I came back to the class and sat down for a while and just taught from there, and eventually I was fine. Only one person noticed anything, so that was good. Ha ha!

Todays class was so great. I just love this group. All eleven came back today and the interviews were great. It is funny to see how each group approaches them, some are more hands on bring it on type people, while others are a lot more timid. We have two students we are struggling to get to and we are trying our hardest to help them understand, but it was a good day over all. This group has really grown together in the last two days and it has been really amazing to see them help each other out and get references from eachother. They have even planned a potluck for after class tomorrow. Sarah and I are gonna make rice crispie treats and guacamole with chips. This group also has had so much fun, we have laughed a lot more. I owe most of it two of our students Christian and Claudio. Christian is an RM who served in Portugal and finished his studies. He is SO funny. Today he was saying something and right now I don't remember what and I was laughing and finally said 'Cristian what am I going to do with you?' Without missing a beat he looked at me and said 'You are gonna miss me next week. You'll look around and wonder where I have gone, you better fail me so I come back.' Oh man it was funny. Claudio is the recently baptised/married man. He is pure Chilean. Everything he says has some hidden meaning and he is just so much fun to be around. They have really livened up the group a lot.

After the mock interviews, Pilar our Columbian non member kind of disagreed with what we were doing saying that interviews needed to be natural and that practicing what we were going to say wouldn't help us at all. I was shocked as the whole room came to our defence explaining that practicing gets the nerves out so that we can be natural. The idea isn't to memorize answers, it is more to think about what you are going to say before hand so you don't have to think about it in the moment, 'If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.'

We went to the temple tonight. It has been closed for two weeks, so it was nice to go again. We had been told it was going to be a session in english, but it wasn't. It gets hard for me to pay attention in Spanish, but today was actually really good. I was impressed with the amount of trust the Lord has in us. Agency is such a wonderful and powerful blessing, and yet he has given it to each and every one of us. I know that for me it isn't always easy to use it wisely, maybe because it is so powerful but tonight I just soaked in how much love that shows he has for us. I love the gospel.
Someday I'll have someone else take a picture of me, but for now, here I am in the gardens behind the temple in Santiago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some pictures

Because your life couldn't go on without it, here are some more pictures and hopefully some videos will come later....

Lautaro listening to his dad play the guitar.

Lautaro bothering me while I jammed on the guitar.

Martin and Lautaro. Martin has the coolest voice ever!

This is a party we went to last weekend with some friends from the mission and others we met there. These are two elders from the mission, Valverde (the one playing guitar) and Pena.

This is Boris Yanez, we finished the mission together.

Felipe Osorio, he was my Zone Leader in Puerto Varas.

Sarah and an elder from her mission, small world!

Me and a sister from my mission, she got there after I left and right now I cannot remember her name, but she is coming to Utah in August to study english, so I am excited to be her friend!

Typical me, where there is a guitar, I am also.

And the girls again, the other girl with Sarah will also be going to BYU in August.

Stop me oh oh oh stop me

Another week, another workshop to begin! We were very surprised when 11 of the 14 confirmed showed up this morning. Each week, we sign people up as they come in the center. The maximum we can have is 20 and each week we have between 15 and 23 people signed up. On Mondays we call everyone that has signed up and verify that they are coming. Each week of those 15-23 we will get around 14 confirmed, and the last three weeks of those 14 only 8 have shown up. So to have 11 alumnos was awesome! We have some recently returned missionaries from the greatest mission on earth (La Gran Mision Chile Osorno) three non members (including another of our Hatian friends) a few other members and this man that will have been a member a year in March (also he was married the day before he was baptised, so cool!) Sarah and I were talking yesterday about how priviledged we have been to get to know some pretty amazing people during our time here. All of these faith filled members have shown up in our workshop and we have had t he opportunity of being the next step in their conversion process showing them that the church truly does care about every aspect of your life. It is so great to be here!

After the workshop I gave myself the project of cleaning out the room where we teach. We have a big closet that was just FULL of junk. Old telephones, old manuals for a workshop that doesn´t even exist anymore, all sorts of garbage! So I spent the last portion of my day cleaning that out in order to get some boxes which are stacked along the edges of the room unpacked and into the closet. My goal is to get all of those boxes out by the time we leave so that they have more room to work with when we are gone. I am such a McCarrey. Tomorrow my project is to type up all the visual aides we use and then print them off so we can go to a place and have them blown up and laminated. The ones we are using now are all tearing at the edges, so I figure if I can get them all typed up and laminated, the center can use them for years to come. That´s my plan anyways.

I did homework tonight and went on a run. I didn´t go to the hill because I was tired, so I ran through the park. Its been a couple of days since I have run there, and it was a lot easier for me than it had been before I discovered the hill. I got home feeling wonderful about life. :) I am learning that the more I push myself, the easier it is for me to build strength. How true that is in life in general. As we push ourselves and stretch ourselves little by little, we will find our abilities increasing, our walls breaking down, and us becoming the more perfected selves we are trying to become. I have been reading conference talks every day from the last conference, and I was impressed by Elder Christofferson´s talk on coming to Zion. The part that most called my attention was becoming unified. He talked about first becoming unified within ourselves with the Savior, and then once we had done that, to strive to be unified with those around us, lifting them up and ourselves along with them. He also talked about how becoming Zion meant more than just being a little bit better than everyone else (a.k.a the world) it meant becoming a righteous people, a perfected people. As I come to meet these wonderful people here I realize that though I have been a member all my life, I have a long way to go to match the kind of faith that they have and that the Lord requires.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mondays are great!

I am going to throw some pictures up here later on today, just for reference.

Today was another great day. I don´t know if I have talked about it, but I decided that I am going to run a marathon in September, which gives me eight months to train for it. I don´t even know how you do that, but while I am down here I am focusing on building stamina and endurance. There is a huge hill that we hiked up on Thursday, and on Friday I went running up it. This morning I did it again and it was amazing. I can already feel that I am building strength and it just feels really good. I ran about 3k uphill, stretched out a bit, and then turned around and ran back down. It was easier today than it was on Friday, so that was good and I made it all the way to the 3k mark without stopping, so that was also good. Now I am not running fast mind you, but I am not stopping. At some points I do what I call the survival shuffle. Its almost like walking but you keep moving your feet so that it is still running. Ha ha, that is probably more information than you needed to know, but oh well.

I did homework most of the day, reading and what not, and then Sarah, Juanjo and I went to Family Home Evening with the senior missionaries. It was a farewell for a senior couple that has been reassigned. They are the Rice´s and they have to leave Santiago because Elder Rice has had really bad breathing problems since he got here a year ago. (There is A LOT of smog here) It was bitter sweet for them, they were serving in the temple, and they have been reassigned to the temple in Uruaguay, but it was fun. We sat with the MTC President and his wife for the MTC here in Santiago. They are amazing people! They served as mission presidents in Ecuador 30 years ago and had 5 children under the age of 14 (Sister Farrel even HAD a baby while in Ecuador). Every single one of their children served missions because of that experience. It was really amazing to see their faith and hear about their time there.

After FHE we headed back to our house and Juanjo and I jammed on guitar for a while. I think if he lived in the U.S. he would be my best friend. He is the coolest guy on the planet. We gave him his birthday present (His birthday was yesterday) and he was so stoked! Birthday presents here are funny. They sometimes just find something random and buy it, like a small mirror or a change purse. We wanted to get Juanjo something cool and useful so we bought him some paddles and a ball for beach tennis. He was so stoked w hen he opened it! We bought him that because of the Young Single Adult conference that starts tomorrow. It is going to be held in Vina on the beach. We aren´t going to make it for most of it, but we are going to get to the big dance on Friday and then hit the beach with some friends on Saturday so we are excited about that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Its a great day to be alive!

This weekend was a lot of fun fun fun! Friday I did homework all day which is just so much fun. Diligence is not one of my strong suits, but I am working on getting it all done before my dad gets here because the last thing I want to do is have homework to do while visiting the mission. Friday afternoon I went to Lautaro´s house for a bit. He was leaving for Punta Arenas so I wanted to stop by and say goodbye. His dad was there and when he found out I played guitar we pulled it out and started jamming. I have a video I want to upload on here of him playing. He is an amazing guitar player and has an excellent voice. It was so fun to just hang out with a ´typical chilean family´. His dad was so nice and taught me a song that he expects me to have perfected by the time Lautaro gets back from Punta Arenas. I´m a little nervous. I have a video of him singing, I will post it soon.

When I got home, Sarah and I ventured off to a party that a friend of mine from the mission was having. It was a bit of trouble getting there. (We got on 3 different buses that told us we were on the wrong bus and we had to change buses) It was so fun though! We met some more friends that we are hoping to hang out with including two girls that just got back from serving in Osorno (where I served) that are going to be in BYU in August to study English. I am excited to help them out up there! The party itself was so fun, but so different from american parties. We played guitar and danced pretty much the whole time. It was fun! When it came time to leave we realized that the subways weren´t running anymore (it was...late :) so my friend Boris from the mission took us home in his car. He is awesome!

Saturday we got up at the normal time, but it felt early. :) We went to the Museum of Bellas Artes with the senior sisters that work in the employment office with us. They are such dear hearts. We had a funny experience trying to find the place. We got of the subway and we weren´t sure exactly where to go, so we stopped this very tall bulky man who was standing in front of a map. He looked at us and said ´I don´t speak spanish, I speak english.´ He was from Australia and is here in Chile working for a University...he speaks no spanish. We keep finding these people. The sisters thought he was ´in to´ us. We think they are crazy. No digits were exchanged I assure you. That night we went to Todd´s house and watched a movie. It felt strangely normal to be hanging out watching movies.

Sunday was church as usual and then Sunday night we went to Family Home Evening with a bunch of YSA´s. We played pictionary, except that we didn´t draw, it was like charades. Charades in english isn´t my strongest game, charades in spanish was worse. I tried to cheat and say things to Sarah in English really fast, but there were quite a few that understood english, so I kept getting caught. We figured out that we are going to be able to go to the big dance for the YSA conference this weekend and then to the beach with some friends from the ward, so we are really excited about that!

Friday, February 6, 2009

This is starting to get hard!

Here is this week's group. Sarah, Fabian, Jose, Leo, Fabrizio, Nikens, Me, Daniella, Maria, Yanet.

Have I mentioned how hard it gets to see our classes go on Thursdays? Because the more I love these people, the harder it is for me to say goodbye and send them on their way. This week I felt like our group got to be really good friends with eachother, which I think had a little to do with the fact that we told them thats what we wanted from them at the beginning of the class. They were getting references from eachother and really helping eachother out in every way. Daniella, the girl that isn't a member, even sent out an email to all of us with a few other typical interview questions so that everyone could practice. I just love it here!

Today was a wonderful day as well. The first person to come in was Jose, who is the young men's president in his ward and has been without work for about 2 months. We knew that he had had an interview yesterday so the first thing we asked was how it went. You should have SEEN his face light up and tell us about his interview. When he shared his story with the rest of the class, and then went to ring our bell (which is what we do when people find work around here) it was the greatest thing on the planet. I wanted to laugh and cry and just hug him to death. We were able to get through most of the third part yesterday, so we only had a little bit to go over before we started with the phone calls. We had some cool experiences with the phone calls including a job interview on a cold call which of course always makes us happy! This week at the end of the class a few of our class members took the time to thank us and say some pretty awesome things which made me feel really good about life. This RM Fabrizio took us aside and told us that we still taught and seemed like missionaries and then told us about this quote by Elder Bowen that says we should never stop being our missionary selves. That made me really happy.

Tonight was an adventure! We climbed up the hill San Cristobal. Lautaro and Juanjo took us all over the place and I almost slid down a part of it, but it was fun and I got some amazing pictures of the sunset. So of course, here is a ridiculous amount of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

This is this really cool fountain I found. I am trying to get some cool angle pictures in,so this is me messing with the camera.

These are the plates of wood...Another testament of my travels ha ha!

Sarah, Me, Lautaro and Juanjo by the fountain!

This is a statue to the Boy Scouts of Chile, but right now it just the boys of Chile. Ha ha so clever!

Juanjo just loved my sun glasses.

Its always a party with us!

Sarah in deep thought.

I was trying to get Lautaro in deep thought but he looked over at the last minute.


I don't know why I like this picture so much but I do.

Lautaro being the boy that he is and climbing out on ledges, don't worry, we didn't follow!

Juanjo and Sarah

Another view of Santiago. I am getting good with my camera eh?

Me and my one handed photography

The sun dipping down.

Evolution of a sunset.

Lautaro and I.
This is Lautaro totally getting in Sarah's bubble, you can see how well she is responding.

Juanjo loving being the photographer

This is Sarah trying Mote con Huesillo for the first time. It is so good! Its like puffed wheat in ice cold peach juice with dried peaches. Yum!

And the city lights turning on with the sun dying in the west.