July 20, 2015 (Week 59)

I have a few things to explain before I respond and get started.  Firstly, this will be my last regular Monday P-Day.  Starting on the 27th, I will have a new companion, but from the 28th and from then on out, we will have p-day on Tuesday.  This does a few things for us.  Firstly, in Chile, there is almost nothing open on Mondays, so now with p-day on Tuesdays, we will be able to start attending museums and galleries (EEEEE!).  Secondly, and more importantly, we will now be able to use 1 p-day every 3 months to attend the temple.  President called a special meeting to explain this to us, and he almost choked up, he was so excited.  It is a big change from only being able to go once a year.

Secondly, I finally bought a camera.  It was a little expensive (as you will be able to see on the credit card) but it was honestly the cheapest one that they had that didn’t have wifi, which I am not allowed to have.  One quick question: Are you guys at home saving the pictures that I send you?  If you aren’t, I would suggest it, because this email address will be deleted when I come off my mission and every photo that I send and you send will be lost, and I don’t have a good way to save them.

We had a hard health week.  I seem to have received the stomach problems that my comp was passing through, giving me a stomach cramp and making me have to stay in bed for 2 days.  I started taking a pill against ulcers, and I’m back on my feet.  I think that part of the problem is that, as Elder Granda is leaving, the Chileans are celebrating by giving us even huger lunches, which is really starting to take it’s toll on us.  One day we ate for lunch alvocado filled with tuna, soup with bread, fried chicken, pig steak and sausage, mayo-potatos, mayo-corn, rice; with the Bishop for dinner tacos; and with Javier more mayo-potatos, steak, sausage and ribs for “once”, and the next day during church I had THE WORST stomach ache.  President came yesterday and gave an awesome talk, but I was suffering so bad that I wasn’t listening too well and after, when our bishop stood up, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom.  The worst part is that I think that we are going to continue eating like that, and there is no obvious solution that I can see.  I can see and feel the negative effects that the poor diet is having on my body, but we can’t exactly say no.  I am doing to best I can to only eat a little with each person, and now that I am better I can start exercises again, which will help me burn off some of the grease I am eating.

While we were with Javier, we were given intestines.  That was the first time we ate them.  I didn’t like them much.  They were like liver, in that they had a weird grainy texture that seemed to dissolve in my mouth, but at the same time being really rubbery and awful, and tasting bitter.

Javier has been acting a little weird, and it is probably due to the deaths that his family is suffering.  Last week, his wife’s niece committed suicide, and this week on Tuesday, the niece’s husband also killed himself (apparently by a hanging).  Another family member was going to kill himself, we he was cut down in time, fortunately.  It has been really hard for the family, and Javier seems to be suffering.  Also, Mauricio suffered the death of his grandmother, making him unable to see us for a while.  For him, his grandmother was his mom, and for Marisol (Javier’s wife), her niece was like her sister.  As such, they haven’t been able to see us and they have really struggled with it.

Some personal progress for me has been with Elder _____.  Elder ______ is the companion of the other missionary that will go home this week in our pension.  He never has gotten along with us very well, and has become a little distanced from us, especially Elder Granda and I.  We started to notice that he seened to be angry with us, so I finally sat down and talked with him.  I do not know what was happening with him, but I do feel a difference between him and I now in the pension, where we have a little more confidence.

Finally, I would like to explain the rain from last week a little better.  That was actually a bit of a miracle.  We were asked, along with the members of the wards here is Chile, to fast and pray for rains to come during fast Sunday.  I can already say that fasting and prayer brings miracles, but this example was a little more visual.

Love you all.  I’m praying for you.

Elder Mathewson

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