Mom- I'm pretty sure the flower clock keeps time, but don't quote me on it. I just remember that if you google "chile viña del mar" the flower clock shows up on about the first hundred pages. Or so.
The sun has been out for the past two days, but before that it was always foggy and pretty gloomy. But now it's gorgeous. I can see the sea every day, and I decided that it's actually kind of beautiful here. But now we're headed into winter, so that'll change real quick.
Ricky - tell Michael Mace I'm in San Juan and everybody here talks about him. Especially Hna Mary Ledezma and her family. Such awesome people. And Krishna (?) is still waiting for him to come back and marry her. And have him add me on Facebook so it's easier for the members here to find me through him.
Dad - so how our branch works. President Kahnlein geographically split the area in half, and the hermanas get one half and the elders the other. This is the first time in the whole mission it's ever been done, so we keep finding out new rules all the time. It gets pretty tricky with the members feeding us lunch. But we're not supposed to have any contact with the elders except in meetings with the branch pres and ward mission leader. We're not even supposed to talk to each other too long in chuch. It's pretty weird, but all rules have reasons right?
The grossest thing I've eaten so far? Papaya juice and yams. Yuck. But I guess I really have nothing to complain about.
I'm deciding that traffic lanes don't exist. Every time I read a bus I feel like I'm on a roller coaster with dozens of tracks and you're never supposed to know where you're going. That probably sounds weird - you'd understand if you were here. And once we took a taxi (stick shifts) that was driven by a man with only a left hand. I've never been so terrified and impressed in my whole life.
I know I said I'm not expecting any packages, but I also know you're going to send one anyways. Sooo... I don't have an SD card with music. I don't remember if I ever made one, but there's a playlist on the mac. And if you feel like going crazy, there's this alarm clock at Bed Bath and Beyond that tells the weather and all sorts of cool stuff that I really regret not buying. And my garments are already getting gross from the tub I was them in and the dirty clothesline. So at one point I'd love some new pairs. But those aren't necessities, so no se preocupen.
Everyone who can speak any English here wants to practice with me. Which is awesome - sometimes I need a little English just to stay sane.
The iPad mini has hit Chile...
I love being obviously a gringa because when scary old men yell mean things at me I can just say "no entiendo" and smile. Of course I try to share my testimony and stuff, but usually it doesn't work.
And I'm realizing that old men usually aren't very receptive, old women could go either way, young men are polite enough to listen but don't commit to anything, and young mothers are the best to contact. But of course we contact everyone anyways.
And people always say "no" nicer to a smiling gringa. So I always smile.
There's nothing funnier than an ambulance trying to get through Chileno traffic.
I think I've heard every 80's song I know.
Whenever we knock at a door (well actually we yell "a-loo" at gates) and there's obviously somebody there but they don't answer, I always feel like Kirby Heybourne in the RM trying to go home teaching.
I'm deciding that people here live forever, and they always look a generation younger than they actually are. For example yesterday we contacted this 95 year old man who was just out for a walk. I seriously thought he was in his 60s.
We gave talks in Sacrament yesterday, and it went really well. Everyone laughed right where I wanted them to, and it was hilarious how vigorously they would nod their heads when I wasn't sure if I was explaining myself well enough. So that was cool.
And I don't know if it's like this in all of South America, but nobody knows the hymns. Before I came they would sing a capella, and the purpose of the chorister was to sing loudly enough for everyone to be able to follow her melody. So funny. So now I play in Sacrament and it's all good. And in Relief Society part of their opening exercises is to learn a new hymn every week. I have no idea how they were doing it before I got here. It's just so cute and funny all at the same time. I just love these people!!
So yeah. Still alive, still doing fine, still loving you all.