Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 2012

Hola hola!

Well February is almost over and I can hardly believe how quickly time flies by. This past week we had interviews with President Humphrey. I anticipate that I'll be staying here in this area for one more transfer from what he said, but there is always a chance that I'll change. Nothing is final until we get the call Monday morning. He did tell me that I need to be ready to be a senior companion or a trainer in the next two transfers! Yikes, I still feel so new in the mission, but it's about time I started taking on more responsibility.

Hot. Hotter. Even hotter.

all sweaty from the heat (cute!) 
Remember in December when I said it was really hot, and then in January when I said it was even hotter? Well now it's February and it's even HOTTER! It's hotter and humider, all of the sudden. Whew! I don't think I've ever been so hot in my life! Nor have I sweat so much!

In March it should start cooling down. The thing is that in Concepcion (about 6 hours from me) it is raining, the missionaries there are pulling out their raincoats and rainboots, and here we are still putting on sunscreen and freezing our waterbottles. I am in the hottest sector in my mission. It gets the most heat and the most cold (hopefully I'll miss the cold part:)

Cultural Tidbits

Here are some Chilean cultural tidbits for the week:
Lunch here is a big deal. Normally during the week we only go out to work between 11:30am and 1:30pm two times in the week, but this week we worked these hours 4 times!!! It was killer, the most unproductive four mornings ever! Everyone is eating lunch and so no one answers the door and if they do they are 'busy' preparing or eating lunch. On top of that, Chileans get up pretty late. 9:00am is early here. So to knock on someone's door at 11:30, is a's possible they are still sleeping! This also means that they stay up later. We asked a lady who is probably in her 50's when was too late to call her in the evening and she said we could call until midnight. After that it was too late!
Mail here is NOT a big deal. In fact 95% of the people here do not have mailboxes. If you get mail they just throw it on your lawn or doorstep or shove it under the door. People don't get a lot of mail here anyway. What comes first the chicken or the egg...they don't have mailboxes because they don't get mail, or they don't send mail because they don't have mailboxes?? I'm not sure.
Comments and Honks
And my last cultural tidbit for the week, here it is much more common for people (men) to make comments in the street at you. (Particularly if you are american or female). Since I am both american (or gringa with light brown hair (people call me blonde here)) and female I have grown accustomed to honking, whistling, hollering, and really funny comments. My latina companions say that it's just part of the culture. Even if I were a latina female, I would still get these comments and honks.

Normally people just say 'Hermosa rubia' (Translation: Beautiful blonde), but sometimes the comments are much more elaborate and laughable. One time me and my companion were walking down the street. There were two guys, one on either side of the street, they were middle-aged neighbors talking. All of a sudden one yells to the other '¿De donde sale tanta belleza?' (Translation: Where does all that beauty come from?) The other responded 'De la naturaleza-po' (Translation: It's natural). We had a good laugh once we had passed them:)

And just the other day, the four of us hermanas were walking down the street and a man on a bike passed by and said 'Hola, soy de la planeta tierra' (Transaltion: Hello, I am from planet Earth). The four of us looked at each other and laughed. My companion looked at me and said, 'Y nosotras, ¿que somos?' (Translation: And what are we?). Apparently we are extra-terrestrial, or maybe angels:)

Be not weary in well-doing

This week was pretty slow and unproductive for us. I'm not sure why, but I think I may be hitting the point where I'm comfortable with what I'm doing and it's starting to become routine. It's also the time of the year where there isn't really a nice break in sight (no holidays or fun things ahead). Life is feeling a bit mundane and never ending. The 'I'm a hamster on a treadmill' feeling.

In life sometimes we have those times and push ahead, but in the mission, where our time is so short and temporary, I can't be feeling this way. It's true we do the same things over and over and over and over, but everything we do has a great purpose, it has a reason, and an end goal. This week I am determined to awake my excitement and draw on all my faculties to push ahead out of the funk. I like the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 which says:
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Right now this is what I need. A reminder that the little mundane things in my life make a difference. And that I need not be weary in doing them because they are the foundation of something greater. Our whole lives are made up of small things, and the great things we hope to accomplish also will be made up of small things.

Like parents, being a parent is probably mundane at times, the same routine over and over, years of small efforts and tasks, but when your 24 year old child gets married and has a good job and is happy and successful you can see the great work that all those years you were building.

It is the same for me with my mission. Everyday we get up at the same time, we exercise and study, we leave the house and talk to lots of people, teach lessons, come home, plan for tomorrow and get in bed. Everyday is a compilation of small mundane things, but when i look back at the ways I have grown and changed and the lives of people who have been changed by the Gospel, i can see the great work that i was building through my everyday tasks and actions.

Take a look at your life, what are the great works you are building with your everyday mundane moments? Be not weary then of the small things of your life, rememeber the great work and foundation you are laying for the future!

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, and for reading my letters:) For me that is a way that you are supporting me here in the mission. So thanks for taking the time to read a little about my mission life and experiences. I love you and I hope this week is full of hope and happy moments!

Love, Hermana Bowns

No comments:

Post a Comment