September 1, 2014 (Week 13)

Today for p-day, we fulfilled our dream of staying inside and sleeping all day. Unfortunately for Elder See, we did this because he was puking his guts out. We were actually planning on going shopping, but since we literally couldn´t we got permission to go and do them tomorrow.

One of the funny things that happens to me in Chile is no one knows where I am from. Obviously, if they see a missionary, they automatically assume the United States, and if they know anything about Mormons, they assume Utah (La Fabrica) and 90% of the time they are right. Seeing as I can technically say both, and just to be different, I say I am from Canada. There is only one other Canadian in the Este mission, and Chile, I think. And, surprise surprise, he is actually from Canmore. No, we don´t know him. Usually, though, Chileans think that I am anything from Italian, Mexican, or even Chilean. I honestly don´t look that much like a Chilean. They have different eyes; kind of slanty and not very deep, like a Native American. And when I tell them I am from Canada, they automatically assume that I speak French, then proceed to try to speak French to me. What a weird country.

Another funny mannerism of a Chilean is that they will literally argue with you all day over the difference of being “Americano” and from “Los Statos Unidos”. They argue that everyone who lives in the Americas is American. (Actually, they teach in school that America is one continent.) Like, they argue about that more than Canadians do with people from the states about that proper pronunciation of “Garage”. And yet, as soon as they get anything that is from the United States, they call it “Americano.” For example, they are “Americano”, but a 1990 Chevie Truck Classic is also “Americano.” WHAT a weird country.

When I went to Chile, I was not expecting to get cat-calls. But it might just be our area, because as Elder See and I walk around, we get a LOT of hoots and whistles. I figured that thing probably happened to the Hermanas, but I didn´t think it happened to the Elders. It is weird, and I wish they would stop. Between them whistling and drunks trying to speak to us in English, it all adds up to one thing. Chile is SUCH a weird country.

I have had a few struggles as of late with Spanish. For example, when I prayed after lunch one day with a less active, I said “Estamos agradecido para la oportunidad a visitar y comer con esta Hermana”, which literally means “We are grateful for the opportunity to visit and eat this sister.” There was much snickering.

I also gave my first real church talk yesterday. The way church talks work is if the bishop needs to, he reverts to the missionaries to fill in. So, 15 minutes before church, the secretary called Elder See and told him I was giving a talk. Needless to say, I winged it. I found a Liahona, skimmed over it and shared thoughts for 10 minutes. It was awful. I survived, but by the end I was dehydrated from sweating and I was told I was too far away from the microphone so no one heard me. That was probably for the best. What sucks is that Elder See had his first talk a few weeks ago around his 11 month mark, and I had mine around my 3 month mark. Life is hard.

We have not being doing very well with street contacts, and we are supposed get 10 per person per day. So, we decided to try to do 5 per day and work our way up because usually street contacts are not very much fun. We saw a guy on the sidewalk and decided to talk to him. When we first started, he was super cold and wouldn´t answer our questions. By the time we were done, he had a Book of Mormon and said for us to give him a week to read it and to call him. I have no idea what we did. The spirit, man.

Elder Mathewson

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