Hola familia y amigos!
How are you all? NEWS: Cambios were this past Wednesday, and me and Hermana Hanks are staying! At least for another 6 weeks. Which means that we will be here for September 18th, the Independence Day of Chile, and the biggest holiday in this country! Everyone in our ward and our investigators are so happy that we are staying. So happy. It makes me happy. :)
Last P-Day, my "mamá" (Hermana Garcia, my trainer), went home to Panama! She finished her mission and is now home. But before she left, on P-Day she came to see us with Hermana Hanks's trainer, Hermana Ortega, and our aunt Hermana Estrada. It was such a pleasure to see Hermana Garcia! She looked happy but she told me that she didnt want to go home. I wonder if I will feel like that when it's time for me to leave.
Speaking of timing, TODAY is my 8 month mark in the mission. My halfway mark is September 10th. Crazy, eh? But I feel like I have oh so much more to learn here in Chile, so that day in the future, June 3rd, seems like a lifetime away. A lifetime full of Chilean adventures and pure mission! Woohoo!
Along with transfers, our dear beloved district leader got moved to Coquimbo as a zone leader. We really got along with him and we miss him! Haha he always had funny mission stories. But guess who came to our district, who's in Esperanza! (right next to Recreo). Elder Abarca! He was in my Quilpué district my first cambio! So we are reunited. Love it.
So, news about the family we are teaching. They found a job and have been a lot happier, but sadly, did not come to church. It is typical to have lame excuses in Chile, so we will try EVEN HARDER.
We visited Blanca this week, that cute little Chilean abuelita, the one with Alzheimer's. Her daughter Irma told us that usually when people come to visit, even when they're relatives, she gets confused and bothered and says, "What are they doing here?" When we come, however, she welcomes us with a smile on her face. She obviously doesn't remember us, but she must see or feel something different when we are there cuz she smiles and watches us and tells us to come over whenever we want. When we leave down the apartment stairs, she pokes her head over the railing and watches us and waves until we are out of sight. So. Cute.
This week we had ordered pizza at a little Italian restaurant in Esperanza, and the people there know us. But this time there was a new head chef, and when he saw us, he said, "Misioneras? Santos de los Últimos Días?" And then he told us that he just got baptized and moved there! And he gave us free appetizers just cuz we were missionaries. Awesome.
We had a zone conference on Friday in Con Con, and it was a beautiful trip up there. We rode the micro (bus) along the sunny coast up through Reñaca to the heights of Con Con. So awesome! We learned a lot in the conference about many things. One of my favorites was remembering WHO we are here to serve. Not ourselves, but others. And by serving others, according to Mosiah 2:17, we are serving the Lord.
This week we had another run in with a drunk who carries his poodle around. Last week he saw us from afar, ran up to us and held out his poodle and told us to pet it. Ummmm.... very soft poodle. He then asked us our names and we told him Hermana Schrader and Hermana Hanks. Then he said, Nooo your real names! So we decided to have a little fun. Hermana Hanks said her name was Shaniqua. It was hard to keep a straight face, but I nodded my head seriously and later told him I was from Africa. He was very interested. Haha oh the poddle man.
I got to see some Ninja Turtles this week! My new snake, a 5 year old that also loves Ninja Turtles and hasnt stopped telling me about them since he found out I have a ninja turtles tshirt, showed me a couple of the old episodes while we were visiting the bishop. Sweet!
We played basketball this week for a ward activity, and there were many people who came to play with us! Dont worry, I represented the US well. :)
While I was doing laundry by hand one day out on our apartment balcony in the sun, I thought to myself, I'm in Chile! This is so cool! It really is cool. I love the sounds of Chile too. Barges on the sea, the melody of the gas trucks, squawking seagulls, the megaphone of the nearby high school, millions of dogs barking, distant catcalls and whistles to every female to walk past a construction site, and everyone playing Adele, who apparently, according to Chileans, is the best singer in the world. Ah you gotta love Chile. :)
Well, guys, Im thankful to be staying here in Recreo with my good friend Hermana Hanks. We have so much planned to make this cambio the best there ever was! We are gonna love the people and we are gonna baptize! :) Which is difficult in a place like this, but we ain't givin up.
I know this church is true!!! Everytime I read the scriptures I realize how real it is. They are not just legends or stories, or something made up. I KNOW that it's truth and we shall all see one day. If you want to read a couple really good sections in D&C, go for 135 and 137. So cool.
I love you all! Until next week! Everyone that wrote me, I will write you back personally after our zone activity, our internet time has been split for before and after. So. See ya!
Love you and Miss you!
Hermana Amy Schrader
P.S. Sorry if the pics are repeats! Cant remember which ones I've already sent.
First one is us as Sith lords.
Second one with Hermana Hanks's friend that is studying abroad here in Chile.
Third is me at a thrift store in Chile! Look what the shirt says!