I have just completed my first week at the CCM (thats MTC for all you gringos)! I want all of you to know that I am fine and its really fun here. Alright where to start.
My compañero is the best! His name is Elder Vidal and he is from right here in Santiago. He speaks very little English, but I can undersand him, most of the time. Im also teaching him a little English here and there. In my room there are two English speaking Elders, Elder Newson and Elder Reneer, and two Spanish speaking Elders, Elder Martinez and Elder Benites. Both of the English Elders are from Utah and they are hilarious. They are so fun to have around. Elder Martinez is from Argentina and Elder Benites is from Peru. They are so funny as well. We have great times in our room!
Every day we have time for exercise, and they have a soccer court here! I love to play soccer with these guys! Some of them are pretty good, but I am pretty good too ;). Although the past four days we couldnt play because there was a tent set up for a celebration, but more on that later. Since we couldnt play soccer they let us run through the streets of Santiago!. We had limits on where we could go, but it was still really cool.
The food here is alright. Its pretty much the same thing every day. For breakfast we usually have a piece of bread and ham and cheese with some cereal, but instead of milk they you like strawberry or peach yogurt. For lunch and dinner its basically pasta or rice with some sort of meat on top, its pretty good. But like I said we had some sort of a celebration. The 18th of September is a big day in Santiago, it the aniversery of the first meeting of the government to discuss independence. Its kinda like cinco de mayo but for Chileans. Anyway for that we had empanadas and grilled meat, which was really good. But now we have our soccer court back, which is good too.
Just so you know I have not felt any earthquakes here, but, I know it sounds weird, I cant wait for my first one. I just want to know what if feels like. For those of you who thought I was good at Spanish, you were only half right. I can understand people most of the time, but sometimes I just cant figure out what people are saying, especially my compañero. Its also very hard for me to speak, but all I need is practice.
My district has 8 people and three of us are native English speakers. Theres me and my compañero, then Elder Sanchez from Texas and Elder Vergara from Chile, then theres Elder Smith from Logan Utah and Elder Orellano (I hope I spelled that right) from Chile, then theres Hermana Vera from Peru and Hermana Jarppa from Chile. I can understand them most of the time, but I can almost never understand Hermana Vera, she speaks way too fast.
The air in Santiago is actually really bad, so a lot of the Elders are getting a little sick. There are some people that have athsma, like Elder Smith and Elder Newson, and it makes it really hard for them. They cant go out and exercise with the rest of us. To make things worse they might get transfered to a different CCM (MTC gringos) and I dont want that to happen, they are way to fun for that.
Anyway, thats my life right now. I love it, but I cant wait to go to Viña del Mar. Whenever I tell people that Im going there, they always say that it is the best mission. Elder Smith is actually going there, and Elder Newson may be reassigned there because the air is better. Im gonna have so much fun! I hope all is well back home, and I miss you all!