Como estan?! This week has been a crazy week with lots of experiences. First of all, on Wednesday Elder Ferreyra made an Asado! It was so good. We have this grill/asado maker in our house so Elder Ferreyra wanted to take advantage of it! The whole house was filled with smoke afterwards but it was really good.
In Chile and in many South American countries there are laws that protect dogs in the street. You can’t kill them or harm them and because of these laws there are tons of stray dogs running around in the streets. They are stray and don’t clean themselves so they get all kinds of diseases and they have all kinds of bugs in their fur. But the most common bug is a tic like bug called a garrapato. They attach to the dogs and suck their blood and they get huge. So on Friday we were knocking on doors in this block and a dog was following us. So to spice things up and have a little fun Elder Ferreyra bent down and searched the dog for a garrapato. He found one and picked it off and then threw it on the ground. He told me to step on it. I said no way! He said it’s really fun and said he always did it in Argentina. So I gave in and stepped on it. Right when I did this a huge spray of blood came out from under my foot. It was pretty disgusting but I agreed that it was kind of fun. We did it a couple more times then decided we should probably stop covering the ground in blood.
Street markets called ferias are really popular here in Santiago. There are two main ones in our sector on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are really fun because there are a ton of stands selling all kinds of food products and other things. They line the both sides of the street and they go on forever. It is always really crammed because there are tons of people trying to buy things and bargain and there are dogs running between your legs. We like to do contacts in the ferias because there are so many people and they can’t escape from us easily! Ha! So we went to the feria on Saturday and were walking through it and this lady stopped us. She talked to us and told us that she was an inactive member. She asked me if I could help her carry her cart for her and also help her with her little daughter. I said yes. So I pulled her cart and helped her buy things from all of the venders while my companion contacted people. It was fun bargaining with the people and getting into the culture. The lady was really grateful for the help afterwards, but hopefully her heart was touched enough so that she comes back to church.
Also, there is this funny drunk guy in our sector that always talks to us. He loves talking to me because he knows some phrases in English and he loves saying them. He has 3 phrases that he loves. One is “Wasuuuuuup Dude!” Another is “My name is Juan, how are you? The third one is my favorite. He said this one the other day while making a gang sign and pointing at the street. He yelled: “This is my street man! Do ya understand? This is my street!” I always yell back at him in reply. He is really nice though and always laughs at our exchange.
We had a very cool experience during a lesson this week. We were knocking on doors and came to this one door and a man named Enrique answered. He was receptive and let us in. We talked and we asked him questions to get to know him and understand his religious background. He told us that he had 5 kids that were all grown up now and he recently divorced his wife. He told us that he got married to her when he was 17. They had been married for about 35 years. He was wearing this necklace with the Star of David on it so I asked him if he was Jewish. He laughed and said no. He said it was a gift from his children last Christmas. It had all of his children’s names engraved on it. He really loves his kids. But the part that was most interesting was when I asked him if he believed in Jesus Christ. He said yes. I asked him why Jesus Christ was important in his life. He told us his beliefs in Christ and said that it was interesting that I asked. I asked why and then he told us that he wanted to show us something. So he led us to his room and pointed to this cross that was lying on his bed with a Christ figurine next to it. He explained that the Christ figurine was originally nailed on the cross but recently he was looking at it and didn’t like the image of Christ suffering so he took the cross down off his wall and took the nails out of the figurine and separated Jesus from the cross. He said that he believes that Christ was resurrected and that he lives. We then taught him about Christ and his sacrifice for us, but then also explained that he does live. From this experience I learned many things. I learned that as missionaries we really are put in the path of people who are prepared. But what I liked the most was the thought that Christ lives and that he was resurrected and that our last memory of him is not his crucifixion. Through his sacrifice, he conquered death and gave us all the opportunity to live again. We must not forget Jesus’ sacrifice for us but we also need to remember that he lives and that we can live again also. That’s all for this week!