(Note from Pam: Elder Mathewson resent his letter from week 31 – here it is)
The new stresses I’m facing would be the size of the sector. It has got to be at least 8 times bigger than El Castillo, making it very overwhelming. We get an extra 20 mil pesos a month to pay for Micro rides, but walking it takes us about 1/2 an hour to just get to where most of the work is. And it’s all up hill, because we butt right up against the mountains. We took a walk all the way up to almost the top of the sector to do a loop through the rich part, and it took us about 3 hours to do it.
The good news is that this sector is way richer than El Castillo. The poorest part here is in better shape than the richest part of El Castillo, so I started wearing my good watch and carrying my camera around. The rich part up on the mountain in incredibly rich. If they aren’t living in a really nice condominium, they have a house about the same size as the Atkins. Big change there. In fact, the Presidenta of Chile lives in our sector. On that street, there was a whole bunch of cops stationed to keep her safe or something.
My comp is my district leader, and the other two elders I live with are the Zone Leaders for La Reina. That should be interesting. Elder Granda is a cool guy. He’s very spiritual. Apparently, one time he did 3 fasts in a row, only eating lunches. The other elders said he almost died. He’s very concerned about serving with all his heart, and he often will just stop and pray without telling me. He’s pretty serious, as he went through military school, and really, we aren’t all that different. We can get each other laughing. He’s pretty nervous about being a district leader, especially since our district is only sisters and he hasn’t talked to a girl his age for almost 18 months now.
The ward is pretty big for Chile. About 130 people attend every Sunday, although 170 people were there when I had to talk and bare my testimony yesterday. We have a mission leader, which is awesome, and he actually wants to work, which is even better. Our bishop is good, but he doesn’t trust us. Apparently, the Elder I replaced, was kind of a weird guy, and they didn’t get along.
The worst part so far is how everyone is treating me. Not everyone, but a lot of people. For example, on Tuesday, we went to this woman’s house, and when she saw me, she started tearing up because I wasn’t Elder Mora. It’s happened more than once, and it’s awful. They see me when I get to their house, and their faces kind of fall and they ask us if we had changes, which is kind of a stupid question, then they talk to me a little, but it’s obvious that they wish that Elder Mora was still here. I think it is because he was there for 10 months and will finish his mission in two more changes, and no one thought he was going to leave, so it came as a surprise to them. That, and he was Chilean.
Still working hard despite all that. I can see how this sector can progress, and it should be an interesting test for my shoes. Love you all.
Obviously we didn’t stay up intentionally until New Years, but our bed time is at 11:30, so it wasn’t that hard to do it by accident. We moved my bed right when I got here to the window, and as we are on the 4th floor of our apartment, and I sleep on the top bunk because I’m the newb, I got to see all the fireworks go off at 12 across the whole city. It super cool. What wasn’t so cool was all the people shooting their champaign bottles, and everybody cussing at the top of their lungs, and how hot it was that night, making me not able to sleep. It’s super hot right now, and i’s been a bit of a struggle to get sleep. In fact, I literally couldn’t stay awake during church because I was so tired.
(note from Pam – I think maybe Connor didn’t get my email this week and I didn’t receive anything from him. It may be my new computer, I haven’t worked out all the new glitches. The post is comprised of excerpts from the emails to Todd, his dad and Ethan, his brother. Hopefully next week, we will hear more.)