November 24, 2015 (Week 77)

We found the biggest, baddest anchor of all time in our exploration of the center.  Typically, it had graffiti.

We found the biggest, baddest anchor of all time in our exploration of the center. Typically, it had graffiti.

The district.  I am bad at taking these photos.  Starting on the top left, then the bottom in the same order: Hna Villalba, Hna Stokes from the states, Hna Fordham from the states, Hna Ellis from the states, Hna Cabrera, Hna... oops, I mean Elder Spencer, Elder Turner, Yo mismo, and my beloved daughter, Elder Henriquez.

The district. I am bad at taking these photos. Starting on the top left, then the bottom in the same order:
Hna Villalba, Hna Stokes from the states, Hna Fordham from the states, Hna Ellis from the states, Hna Cabrera, Hna… oops, I mean Elder Spencer, Elder Turner, Yo mismo, and my beloved daughter, Elder Henriquez.

This week, we did exchanges with the zone leaders, and we had too very different days.  Elder Henriquez stayed in our sector with Elder Spencer, while I went to the sector of Elder Turner.  We live together, and our sectors are right next to each other because we are from the same ward, so it was really not that dramatic of a change.  We had an extraordinarily ordinary day, which is weird for exchanges, as usually they are either excellent or horrible.  The only weird thing that happened was when we both crashed on the couches in the pension from exhaustion, hoping to take a 10 minute nap, and accidentally taking one for 1.5 hours.  Oops.  But when we got home that night, the other elders came to us and told us that my comp had gotten bitten by a dog.  It had to be him, too.  It is hard to describe his character, but he is the kind of person that dumb things happen to frequently.  Not because he is mischievous or deserves it, nor is he clumsy; but just because that is how he is.  The bite was on the back of his thigh.  It was pretty superficial and hadn’t even torn his pants, but it had bled a little and we needed to go to the hospital the next day to get the first of 5 shots.

We spent all day that day and all day yesterday in the hospital.  Even though it was a private clinic that we went to, I testify that the emergency rooms here in Chile are just as horrible as they are back home in Canada.  We waited 4.5 hours the first time and 3 the second.  The second was quite uneventful, and we went exploring around the city center a little in the free time we had.  But the first time was an adventure.  While we were sitting there, bored and confused, a man came up to us and began to speak to us.  He was a Catholic leader of some kind, worked as an electrical engineer, and was very intelligent.  We had an enlightening conversation for an hour, and I even got to speak to him in English.  He finally had to leave, and we gave him a Book of Mormon.  The only problem that happened was that I talked way too much, not letting my companion speak at all, which was a little embarrassing.  I was humoured and gratified for the second chance when, not having passed 15 minutes, another woman came up to us and starting talking to us.  I felt almost smug, thinking how awesome it was for everyone in the emergency room to see how the people were flocking to the Mormon missionaries to speak with them.  And people actually were watching, so I sat up to make sure that they knew that I was paying attention and put on my best wise religious-guide face on.  She started talking to us, and at some point, I asked for her name.  She said that she didn’t know her name.  I was obviously a little confused, and asked her (thinking that perhaps it had something to do with why she was in the emergency waiting room) why she was there.  Her behaviour changed entirely.  She suddenly looked dissappointed and looked off into the distance for a moment.  I watched her, and she turned back toward me, looking sadly into my eyes.  “How sad,” she said, and she slapped me lightly across the face and stormed off.  We were in shock.  We sat there with together, sitting straight up with our jaws dropped.  Everyone else in the room wore exactly the same face.  I started asking my companion what had happened, and if I had said anything wrong, but he didn’t have any idea either.  Everyone in the room that was watching started to make signs to us expressing their opinions that she was crazy, and one very sick man leaned over to us and said (in English, surprisingly), “I think that she is crazy, dude.”

I think that they were right.  In fact, watching her behaviour a little afterward, I suspect that she had some form of schizophrenia, because she acted strangely in general, taking reactions of other people wrong and seemingly to be constantly in fear.  I noticed that she also seemed to have completely forgotten about the incident afterward as well, because we interacted with her a few times during the night.

Today we had a zone activity were we brought a food from our country, one per companionship.  The crepes struck again, but hardly anyone ate them, because we all way overestimated the quantity to cook.  Oh well.  More for me.  We also learned to do a traditional Chilean dance named the Cueca, with permission from President Morgan.  I liked it.  I felt like I was doing the “modesty shuffle” (Ethan will understand that.  Look it up).  The man never touches the woman, nor the woman the man.  It is supposed to imitate the mating dance of a hen and a rooster (go figure).  I thought it was pretty funny when we were learning it, because it was like being in middle school again.  All of the Elders were pegged onto one wall, and all of the Sisters to the other, and all were feeling very uncomfortable.  Maybe it was because we were doing p-days with sisters, which when President Wright was president, was a no-no.  Still, it was fun, and if I could find a class of it when I go home, I’d learn how to do it better.

Love you all.  Stay safe from the bad guys and stuff.

Elder Mathewson

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