Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elder Gomez first email from Chile :)

November 8, 2010  
Hola familia y amigos. I am in Chile now. After a long time of traveling.
Wow...there is a lot to say. First off, this will have bad punctuation
because this keyboard is in Spanish.
Well, I´m in a city called Labranza. It´s a small town just outside Temuco.
It´s five hours south of Concepcion. When I arrived in Concepcion and met
the mission president and his wife, I thought my travels were about
over...they weren´t. I still had 5 more hours! My companion´s name is Elder
Chávez, from Santiago Chile. Yeah, I´m lucky! Native Chileno as my first
companion in the field! It´s been really good. I´ll just say that Chilenos
speak really really really fast! It´s pretty hard to understand them
sometimes.
I guess I´ll just go through what happened. So, I left from Utah at 6 in the
morning on Friday. I arrived in L.A. at 11:30 or so. We left from there to
Lima, Peru at about 2 or 2:30. We made it Peru about 9 hours later. Then we
sat on the airplane for about an hour until we left to Santiago. It took
about 5 hours to get to Santiago. Then we were there for a couple hours
until we caught our final flight to Concepcion which was about an hour and a
half. We got off the plain, picked up our baggage. Met President and sister
Swensen there. They took us to the mission home, which was WAY nice. There
were 14 in our travel group, and one Elder from Argentina met us in
Santiago, so in total, 15 of us arrived at the same time. We had a meeting
at the mission home and learned some things about the Chile Concepcion
mission, then we ate a late lunch with them and President Swensen
interviewed everyone pretty fast. I saw a picture of Elder McConnell on the
board. Que bueno! I haven´t seen him here yet though. By the way, president
and sister Swensen are way nice. They are awesome. Then we headed to a
church where we were going to meet our trainers! Basically this whole time,
throughout all of the things which I have mentioned so far, I was freaking
out. Not in a bad way, but I was really excited and curious for the unknown.
So...drum roll. I´m with Elder Chavez from Santiago. He´s been out 14
months. We are in a Labranza like I said before, which was another 5 hours
south. It´s COLD in Labranza. I hope it warms up soon (as we are just
starting summer here). 5 other elders from my group went to Labranza also.
And one sister. I´ve seen a couple of them today because it´s p-day, and all
the elders tend to go to the mall on p-day.
Yeah....so, we made it to Labranza WAY late. I´m in a little house, it was
pretty messy when I first got there. The last elder left a lot of
stuff...garbage...some clothes. But I´ve slowly been cleaning it all up. I´m
still not fully unpacked. So that was on Saturday night that I arrived. We
finally got to bed around 2:30am. Yikes. And the next morning was Sunday.
Basically, my feelings as I was going to bed were: I´m completely filthy
because I´ve been traveling for 2 days and I haven´t changed out of my suit.
I´m WAAAAY tired and I just want to go to sleep. I have NO idea what I´m
doing here. I´m in a little tiny town in southern Chile and I can´t
understand anything. I don´t know how to talk to my companion! I´m freezing
my butt off down here. I´m on the other side of the world as my family and
friends. And more things along those lines. So for awhile it was a lot of me´s and
my´s and I´s...I´ve had to really remember why I´m here! Everything was
great at home, I was super excited, the MTC was different but still not EVEN
hard....then I´m sitting here in Chile not knowing what in the world is
going on and finally I feel completely like a little child again. I really
need to read my scriptures right now. I haven´t had an opportunity yet. We
had early church on the first morning, we didn´t eat breakfast or anything.
We just went straight there. The members are really nice and talk REALLY
fast. We had two investigators show up to church. That was cool. The new
members here are really cool. One lady is a very recent convert as of just a
week or two and she´s way strong.
I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting....yeah...it was nerve-wracking but
I knew I would regret it if I didn´t. We went home after church and then to
a members house for lunch. They were a very nice family with four kids and
fed us a lot. And of course....they spoke really fast! We stayed there for a
long time. I think longer than we should!
Finally, we went back to the house and then contacted for a couple hours. My
first contact was crazy. I was so nervous. But it was good. I can hardly
even remember it. My companion helped me out whenever I needed it. Which was
all the time. We got two or three people who were interested in learning
more, so we´re going to come back to them. And we got a member referral
(which I asked for!) I know, way awesome. :)
Now it´s p-day. We still haven´t even had personal study, and I´m missing it
pretty bad. We just read some things as a companionship and then got ready
for p-day and left to the mall. So I really really want to read my
scriptures. I was going to only read my scriptures in Spanish, or try, but
now all I want to do is read my English scriptures because I´m sick of
spanish right now. Ha ha. That´s horrible but true.
It´s just a big trial of your faith to get dropped off in a different country
where everybody speaks a different language and you´re there for DOS AÑOS.
I´m definitely still adjusting. I know it will be good here though. It´s
only my second day here! I met some other gringo elders in our zone at the
mall, we all met there and played pool and ate, it was pretty fun. All of
the american elders can speak great spanish but all of them have told me
that their first few months they had a hard time. So that was comforting. I
also saw three of my friends from the MTC at the mall. Elder Lusk, Elder
Laird, and Sister Noxon. So we all compared first two days experiences. I
was so happy to see them.
I´m afraid this is coming to an end. I miss and love you all. Keep praying
for me and I´ll keep praying for you. Good deal, no? :)
This won´t be long as my time is running out. I have an hour now. I
am writing a hand-written letter right now to the family. I haven´t had much
time to do anything here (write in my journal, unpack, etc.) so it´s a
struggle. I´m alright though. Trusting in the Lord.
I love you,

Until next time-
Elder Gomez

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