Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dallin's snail mail description of the initial culture shock

Hola mi familia!  Holy toledo, there is so much to say I don't even know where to begin.  It's insane.  I'm in CHILE!!!  I have no idea what I'm doing here.  I barely understand anything.  I don't know where anything is.  Yeah. but que bueno. I guess the situation is this:  I know that in a few months I will understand and speak pretty much everything.  I guess I just worry about the next few months.  Am I just going to have no clue what's happening all the time?  That's what it's looking like so far.   I think I am still just in a daze.  It's hard, but I'm sure it's hard for my companion too because I don't speak much Espanol. It's just he and I in this little town.   I like seeing familiar faces (the other elders). I feel like I have something in common with them.  Tomorrow we have a zone conference and also a district meeting.  It will be good to see people.
Sorry if I don't write to everyone much in these first few months.  I feel like I have no time.  I haven't even written in my journal for the past few days.  So just in case, keep good track of this letter  and my first email, because these are some of the days I will want to remember the very most out of all of them, you think?  Maybe not. ha ha. It's hard here. I probably keep saying that, because that's what I've been thinking so far!
    I bought food -- rice, corn flakes, milk, peanut butter and jelly, and bon bons. 

There is no church building or post office in Labranza so we have to ride the bus thirty minutes north to Temuco for that.  Today we are here  - it's pday.  I am sitting at a mall at a table in the food court. I just had a weird hotdog and then I was still hungry so I bought a "McFlurry" from McDonalds.  You can interpret those quotation marks however you want. You're probably right.  
I made my first contact yesterday and it was alright. Then when we were tracting for a short time, we stopped at this man's house and he was going off about something in his backyard.  So he finally came to the door and started talking to us.  I didn't understand anything he said, so I asked Elder Chavez afterwards what he had said and apparently the man was really really drunk.  He just looked REALLY happy to me, he shook my hand and held onto it for a long long time and was just smiling.   So, yeah, he was drunk and I didn't catch on.  Funny though.
We also went and visited a member family - Los Castillos.  Nicole who is 14 is the only active one in the family.  They were all baptized 6 months ago.  It was good.  Nicole is very funny. (if I understood  her right.)
I am doing better, even just in one day since I started this letter I can see improvement in understanding people. Members are great!   Hopefully this makes it to you, as well as the letter I gave Sister Swenson at the mission home to mail to you.   Love, Elder Gomez

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