Friday, January 30, 2009


I think this is week #3, if I'm not mistaken. Sometimes you can lose track of things like that when you're having too much fun. And fun we had this week with our second official workshop. What a difference in students we had! This week, we had more PEF students and most all were members. One, Renato, was not a member, but they all were so good to him explaining things about the church and about missions, because most of the guys in their were returned missionaries. By the end of the week, he offered the very last prayer after we taught him how to pray. It was such a neat thing to see!

They all worked very hard in their participation of the activities and we did our part in having much more activities for them to participate in. We improved 100% this week in our teaching. It also helped that the class members just caught on to things so quickly. They were a smart group. I think our highlight of the workshop was playing a game "Jefe, Jefe" (boss, boss) which involves rhythym and constant awareness of your number. If the boss calls your number, then you have to respond without skipping a beat. Then you call out another number. If you mess up, you move to the end of the line. For those of you who might now, it is also known as "big booty" or something like that. It was a hit! We asked them what they learned from the activity in regards to networking. They mentioned various things such as paying attention to who you're close to becuase you might miss opportunities. It was very useful, thanks to our pre internship training and an idea from a fellow intern!

I almost didn't make it for the last day. Wednesday night, I had gotten sick from one of two things: food poisoning or a flu that has been going around. I came into the workshop late, but was able to finish it up. Don't worry, I'm on the mend!

Jody and I have also spent our outside time doing splits with the sister missionaries in our ward which have been so neat. It's been nice to be a "full-time missionary" once a week (not to be confused with the idea that every member a missionary all the time. I just don't do street contacts quite like the sisters do outside of that time ;) ). We met a chilean who practices Islam and it was such an interesting conversation. We tried to do some teaching with him, but he was very obstinate. As we left him, he said "Que Allah les bendiga", a change from "Que Dios les bendiga" which is a common saying they tell people as they go (something similar to "God bless".) I had never heard that before, so one for the record.

I had my first competo last night, a hot dog with a mix of a green salsa and salsa of tomatos (not to be confused with ketchup). Apparently, it's not a "real" completo, as Jody was telling me, but at least I enjoyed it.
This is what a completo looks like, except the one I had didn't have guacamole. Oh well. Next time.

Sorry no pics other than the completo that I pulled off the internet ;) - Jody has all the ones I want and I haven't gotten them from her yet. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend/ New week

Sunday was Jody's birthday! So Monday we had two parties for her: one in the office and one at home. It was so nice of the Hermanas in the office to prepare two cakes and a plate of jello for her. We all enjoyed each other's company, especially the dear Hermana Lily who made sure we all had our pieces of cake. Poor Hermano Nuñez has to spend all this time with women! He always makes comments about our "women talk". It's so funny! But the best part was when Hermana Lily was passing a piece of tres leches to Hermano Nuñez when the cake fell to the floor! We all gasped as Hermana Lily said "SH**!" Twice! We all laughed so hard (those of us who understood English!)

The second party for Jody was also fun as friends from her mission, from the ward and from the workshop came to our tiny apartment. Lots of friends, but too much food was left over. Why oh why?

Today was our second taller (workshop in Spanish) and we improved so much from last week! Most of our class consists of students who are members and then two non members - one man from Peru and a Chilena. I have high hopes!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Big sigh of relief

Another week has come and gone!

This week was our first time teaching the Career Workshop. Needless to say, Jody and I were nervous as ever. We were surprised at who were in attendance: two Columbianos, two uneducated Peruvian women (who arrived a couple hours late), three returned missionaries for the PEF, an older Chileno who was also uneducated, a young Chilena who just finished her studies, and two Hatian men who spoke very little English and Spanish. We knew we were in for a doozy. Our first day, we fumbled through the new ideas and concepts (to us, at least) in Spanish. Towards the end of the day, we realized that we rushed through the explanations a little too fast just to get to the activities, but in doing that, the class was confused and we would have to go back and explain again the objectives. It was harder than we thought.

The second day was so much smoother than the first, but then we ran out of time for all the activities we wanted. We started with filming practice interviews. They didn't like it too much to be videotaped, but they saw the importance of seeing themselves and what they could work on. We were also surprised when mostly everyone returned. All came back except for the Peruvian ladies and one of the Hatian men. That was a good measure of our "success". The last day, some made phone calls to actual companies and one PEF applicant left with an invitation to an interview! We were all excited.

Even though not everyone was as successful, I think they left with greater confidence. Some more than others, though. Since each one came from different backgrounds, it was a challenge relating to their specific needs. Pedro, the elderly Chilean man, was looking for work after being taking care of the bulk of his life by his parents. We are still unsure about how that exactly worked for him, but now he's paying for it by trying to get a job with very little work experience. Jean Goodson, the Haitian man, still can't work here legally (he moved here two months ago), but he made the effort with every activity we gave him, even with the practice interview! It was actually funny since I was the one "interviewing" him. The last question I asked was "Do you have a question for me?" (As if I were the actual employer). He said that he speaks very little English and very little Spanish, and then said "No cachai" a Chilean phrase meaning "get it." But how he said it was so sweet and simple, everyone laughed, including him. It showed he has what it takes to do everything in his power to get a job. One of the Columbians, Ricardo, wants to run for president of Columbia in 2012. His high ambitions will help him along his way as well.

At the end, I realized how much I cared for each one and their success. I hope that they will keep us informed as to their successes and even failures!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First week

This week has gone by too fast! Our alumnos finally finished their workshop and even did some calls to companies - man, were they nervous! As you can see, we had a fairly large group. One young man continued making phone calls and by Friday, was hired by a wine-making company. I'm not sure what his position, but he seemed very excited about. So were we!

Thursday, we enjoyed a night at the temple, where I ran into one friend from BYU-Idaho (she's engaged to a Chilean) and then the Rapid City South Dakota's mission president's sister. It was a pretty random night, but fun seeing the temple and participating in Spanish! Here, this is the view of the temple from behind. The MTC is right there too, along with the church office buildings.

Jody's mission friend Eliazar's mother had a birthday, so we braved the metro to his house for a surprise party. That part of town resembled more of mine and Jody's missions - a poorer section of town and without the skyscrapers.

Here, this is Eliazar's dad holding his grandson, Andres who was so cute!

Here's Eliazar's mom surprised to see us all there.

I was the lucky one holding the cake! It was so cool mingling with the family and friends of Eliazar. They were all really nice! We found out that his mom isn't a member, but his dad is. We thought it would be neat if she were baptized by the time we left :D! This also gave me a close up look at the Chilean people and how wonderful they are. I can't wait to get to know more!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pictures of a new day

Here are some pictures so far of our adventures:

Here's Jody in our tiny apartment, but it's so great!

Here's a view from our apartment window

This is a view from the teleferico ride we were in.

This is Jody's mission friend Eliazar in front of a huge Virgen Mary.
This is the Pope's Shrine they built when he came to Chile last.
We caught a view of the city and it was amazing. I couldn't believe how big it was! I can't wait to do some more exploring!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm lovin' it!

So far, Jody and I have been here three days. It's been amazing thus far and we intend for it to get better and better! We've already seen the temple here and have mingled with some members and missionaries. Here in the office, two sets of senior sister missionaries work here. Two are from the U.S. and are learning Español, but very slowly! They are all way cute. The latin sisters made us a "special" pie and by special, do I mean really special. The kind where you cringe with every bite. It's the thought that counts, right? Monday night, we attended a FHE with all the senior missionaries from the Santiago West Mission. They were so cute! There, both Jody and I knew people serving here. One couple served in the Quito Ecuador Mission - in Tena where I started my mission! I caught them up on some of the people we mutually knew. So cool.

Yesterday we began the first of a three-day workshop and there were 15 people plus two interns plus one missionary plus our manager Hermano Nuñez. We all crammed into a small room amazingly. It was interesting seeing the differences between how our manager teaches compared to how we were taught in Salt Lake. It will definitly be interesting.

Jody and I haven't ventured out too much, but enough to not feel chained down to our apartment. I took pictures, but it takes to long to load the pictures, so maybe another time.

I miss you all and I hope to add more info next time, especially pictures!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane

Tomorrow, I start the long journey from the comfortable United States to the far reaches of South America. Dang, I'm excited. Our group of 12 interns has completed a week-long training on teaching a workshop that will help people gain employment, gain self-confidence, start a business, improve interviewing techniques and other useful skills.
This is our group - we will be serving in 5 different countries: Chile, Jamaica, Argentina, Peru and Ghana.

Today, we toured Welfare Square and Humanitarian Center. There, we were able to see how the church puts into action the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in helping people help themselves. I'm so excited to be a part of that and I feel so privileged helping build up God's kingdom through this small service.