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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Letters from Chile: Iquique

Another email to family and friends when I first arrived to intern at COANIL in northern Chile. Also, as part of my internship, I researched different aspects of Chilean culture, government, and society. I was there for the campaign and election of Michelle Bachelet, which was AWESOME. Here are a few pictures of some religious cultural events I attended (a festival for the Virgin de la Tirana).

I even attended mass.


Sorry I haven't written as I should, the internet has been temperamental to say the least. But now it's working now, so we'll be hearing from each other more often.

Today at church was really great! I was able to see a lot of the members of the ward, but the sad thing is that many of them have left and moved to other wards. I wanted to surprise a convert that I found out that is still here in Iquique and is doing GREAT, and so I didn't tell anyone from the ward that I was going to be there today. Anyway, I got there late because I thought that the ward started later than it did and I didn't see Erik in the rush to sit down and not interrupt things. But after sacrament meeting he came up from behind and said "Davies!" and gave me a big hug. It was so wonderful to see him so happy in the church and so strong in the church and in his testimony. He invited me over tonight, and told me of all the wonderful changes he had experienced because of the gospel and how special Elder Meikle and I were to him and that when he went through hard times he would look at our pictures or read our letters to him and it would give him strength. That was such a special experience to me to be able to share with him experiences, and to hear his testimony and experiences in the gospel!

Later we shared a family home evening with a family that he had brought into the church that lived with him and another sister from the ward who was visiting. It was such a special experience, it was like the joy that Alma must have felt when he found himself with the sons of Mosiah after their missions, to find that all were strong in the gospel and in their testimonies of the gospel. How great is the joy to bring souls to Christ, and what even greater joy it is when they are strong in the gospel and feel the same joy in it that you do!

The language is frustrating me a little, because the words don't come out as smoothly as they once did and how I would like them to come out. But that will get better as time passes and as I get used to everything. I felt like I did when I had first arrived in the mission sometimes, just because I want so much to speak so fluidly, only I want to speak how I once did and better. But I'll just have to be patient I guess. Other than that I'm doing well, the family here is very special and goes out of their way to make me feel as comfortable as possible. They really have been great! I went to the mamita Dominga's house and I am so glad that I am not living there, the neighborhood isn't as wonderful as I imagined it to be and I started to remember how it really was there. I guess I was just oblivious to it all as a missionary, or I just didn't let them bother me. But the area I'm living in is GREAT, and VERY SAFE, so don't worry about that, the Lord knew what he was doing in not having anything available in that other neighborhood where Dominga lives because it would have been scary.

Well, love you tons!! You're in my prayers always!



Our Family

Our Family
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