I actually can speak pretty good now. I don´t understand everything, but there are times when no one understands what a drunk says. Even Elder See gets lost, especially if they start really talking fast, or really start slurring their words. And I can express most of what I want, so I´m able now to focus of more specific grammar concepts and hopefully tune my Spanish. And of course, there is the accent concern, but as long as I don´t get lazy that should keep improving. It´s just a manner of learning all the weird sayings they do here that are distinctly Chilean. I am technically in a red light district, so they do talk a little different here than in other areas.
I think this week, we had one of the strangest days in my entire missionary experience, and Elder See´s as well. Firstly, I´ve never been sworn at like how I have been sworn at in my entire life. There is a Chilean equivalent to “F****** gringo!¨, and lately all the people who are regularly high like to say that too us as they go by. Or they just yell it at us in English. That seems to happen a lot too.
I have a bit of a theory why. We´ve been having a problem with a girl who lives on El Lingue, one of the main streets in our sector. She´s been following us around, especially focusing on Elder See because he has blonde hair and he´s gringo, and in Chile that´s very attractive. On this weird day I was talking about, she actually chased us down the street to talk to us. Granted, she was drunk, but even for drunks, this is out of the ordinary. Normally they just yell cat calls at us. I didn´t understand everything, but she offered to give us a kiss on the face, and she asked us if she scared us. (We said no, but she actually did a little.) We got ourselves out of there, but we had to pass through that street again, and there she was again, with all of her friends. There was this flaite punk there (also drunk, I think) with his girlfriend, and he was MAD at us. He swore at us and tried to hop down from the fence he was sitting on to fight us. And let me tell you, when he actually said in Chilean “F* your mom!¨, I got mad. If his girlfriend wasn´t holding him back, if we weren´t in a dangerous neighbourhood and knew that the consequences of fighting with a potential gang member could have been disastrous, and if I wasn´t a missionary and had “Jesucristo” written on my chest, I TOTALLY would have gotten into a fight with him. It didn´t help much either when we were walking away, and he was yelling at us to keep walking, like we were cowards, and that same girl who I think started that whole mess tried to protect us.
The good news is that I made it though my second week as an actual missionary, and we are seeing progress. We got to do some service, where we helped and old man clean off his roof. I got on the roof, but I had to be really careful because it wasn´t really built in some places to support weight, so I had to stand on a part that was supported by a stone wall and lean our awkwardly with a broom. I´ll send you some pictures. The owner came us as well, but he is doubled over and maybe 70 or 75 years old, so that made us pretty nervous.
Also, that less active came to church again, which is really cool. We are going to see if we can get her a calling to give her a reason to keep coming.
I think I may be doomed to secretary when I get home with all the El Rescate stuff we have to do, especially since nobody in El Castillo knows how to use a computer, so we quite often have to do everything.
It´s dry, but really quite mild. The weather is actually a lot like Utah, except less hot and less cold, by a lot. It will get up to 36 degrees Celsius, which is plenty, but no more. The worst part for me is everyone complaining about how rapidly the weather changes, and I´m all like, ¨Listen, I´m from Calgary. You have no idea what unpredictable weather means.¨
We are going to receive a visit from Elder Nelson pretty soon here, which we are all pretty excited for. I think the one after that is President Uchtdorf, but I´m not 100% sure.