Buenos Dias! This week has been a wild one filled with lots of mean dogs, walking and the Chilean sun cooking us. It is really not starting to look like Christmas! It is hotter than el inferno. It is great though. I am getting really tan! Well, only on my forearms and face. We get these sweat lines on our shirts from our backpack straps.
But things are just great here in Chile. Here are some of my experiences from this week. First of all, it has been a week where dogs just really don’t like us. They usually don’t like us, but this week we were attacked a lot more. A couple of days ago, we were walking through the blocks going to an investigator’s apartment and this dog came running at us. It was growling but we didn’t think much of it till it got closer. I have gotten good at telling when dogs are just barking at you and when they want to bite you. So my companion and I dropped down and grabbed some rocks. Most of the time, the dogs run away but not this one. It kept threatening us and almost bit my companion. So then we started throwing rocks at it and it backed away. So we kept throwing rocks at it and snuck around it into the block. We then went on our way to the apartment. Every time we walk by there now, we always have a rock ready. It sounds bad, but when a big angry dog is coming at you and trying to bite you, you got to do what you got to do.
Yesterday we knocked on a door and we started hearing all these dogs barking, I mean like a chorus of angry barking. Then we heard somebody walking towards the door and the dog barks got louder. Then the dogs started hitting the door and we backed away a little. Then like a dam breaking, the door opened and 8 big dogs came out barking and fighting. I bolted to the other side of the street and my companion was engulfed by the onslaught of dogs. Luckily, he got out without getting hurt and the dogs ran away down the street. We then talked to the lady at the door and gave her a pass along card. It was pretty scary.
A couple of days ago I stepped in poop for the first time. There is poop everywhere because there are dogs everywhere. Also, we were walking down this street that is by the highway in our sector and this man was standing by his car that had broken down. We walked over to him and told him we would push it to the next street. So we pushed his car about a mile down the highway. We were dripping in sweat but he was very appreciative and will probably be more willing to accept the missionaries in the future.
Yesterday we helped this group of old ladies carry their bags to their apartments on the top floor of a block. They just got back from a trip to the south of Chile. After we got them to their rooms, one of them gave us this block of cheese that was fresh cow cheese. She got it from a farm they went to in the south of Chile. It was so weird tasting and very sharp. I kind of liked it though. It also had a really weird texture. We still have a ton of it. Here is another weird food story. We had lunch at this member’s home on Thursday and it was really good. But afterwards we were talking about fruits and juices from Chile. I wrote home a while ago about this fungus juice that Chileans love to drink for energy. They told us about this fruit from the Polynesian islands that is super healthy and gives you a ton of natural energy. It is called “Noni”. Supposedly it is super common in the Polynesian islands. But people in South America like it and they drink it too. So we asked if we could try it. People take the fruit and grind it up and make it into juice. So they made us some of the juice and we drank it. It was the most fowl thing I have ever tasted. It literally tasted like “appley” vomit. It gave us a ton of energy that day though. I really saw the effects of it and it worked.
Some other things that I have noticed about Chile are the amazing life spans of Chileans. We meet people all the time who are in their 90s and they are walking around and doing everything. We helped this man clean his front porch the other day. We were sweeping and he was bending down and picking up trash and talking with us. We then asked him his age because he looked really old. He said he was 93. It was insane. Also, all of the old people here in Chile love to just sit in a chair right outside their front door. They just sit and watch everybody. It is so funny.
One thing that I have learned this week and really have been learning throughout my mission is how blessed I have been. I am so grateful for all of the many blessings God has given me. I have decided that I am willing to do whatever I need to do for the Lord during these two years. I don’t deserve anything more than what I have. I am so blessed to have knowledge of this gospel. I am going to work as hard as I can to try and help others receive the same blessings I have received from this gospel. That’s all for this week! I miss you all! Feliz Navidad!