Here are some photos from previous preparation days:
Here is Elder Nate's weekly email home:
The whole zone of missionaries went to the Santiago Zoo
Here is Elder Nate's weekly email home:
I love getting the weekly updates on how the family is doing. I never really realized how busy we always are! That´s just the Schwartz style I guess! OH MY GOODNESS. THE TIME IS FLYING! I have been on my mission for 3 months. What? 3 months? There is no way that I have been out here for 3 months. I feel like I just got to the MTC 2 days ago; I can´t beleive that I have been in Chile for a month! The time is going by too fast!
Well, just like every other week, this week has been equally as busy and equally as fun. Tuesday was an amazing day for Elder Garcia and I. It started out with almost all of our scheduled lessons falling through. We had a huge gap in our day, so we hit the pavement and started knocking doors. (Note: In Chile, you dont literally knock on doors, because every house has a fence around it, every single house. The richer families have really fancy elegant fences, and the more poor families have more ghetto fences. So instead of knocking on the door, you simply yell ´´Aaaaallllllllllllllloo!´´ through the fence and hope that they hear you). So we were doing that and not really having a lot of success, but later in our second neighborhood, we ended up with 3 new investigators and taught 2 lessons right on the spot. Elder Garcia and I figured out that the people respond better if I do the initial contacting because I´m a gringo and they enjoy talking to me because I´m different; and its good practice for me too. So I do most of the initial contacting now and then he talks to them about all of the other stuff that I dont understand yet..... but I´m learning. After knocking for a couple hours we met up with a sister from our ward who was going door to door to pick up packages from people for some product and it turned out that we went along with her. When she picked up the packages, she´d introduce us and then we would talk to them for a little while about our beliefs. We ended up having 2 discussions with 2 different families with her present. It was awesome. Having a member with you in the lesson helps out so so so much. Then we ended that night with a family home evening with members of our ward who invited a non-member friend to come who apparently was going through a really rough time. We had the opprotunity to give her a blessing of comfort. Tuesday was a very cool day. We are meeting with all of our new investigators again this week and I am super excited.
Today for P-Day we went bowling for Elder Clyde´s and Elder Kirk´s birthday. It was a lot of fun having the whole zone was there, and we had cake; it was a grand time. Oh! And Elder Clyde´s teacher from the MTC was Matt Bell! How crazy is that?
On Thursday we got to have interviews with President Wright, and every time I meet with him I like him more and more. I wish I could just talk to him about life for hours, but I can´t, as he has 176 other missionaries to tend to. But he is just so amazing and so inspired and I am so happy to be working with him. He and his wife and I just clicked really really well for some reason, and I am so happy that it happened. I have seen them every week since I´ve been here, which is more than I expected, but it has been great.
The language is coming along really well. I am learning more and more every day, and I can definitely understand so much more than I was able to a couple weeks ago. My ability to speak I feel is similar, but I can definitely pick up a lot more of what people are saying. I still get a little frustrated at times, but I am getting more and more comfortable every day. Chileans speak spanish a little differently than in other places. If a spanish word ends with an ´s´ they don't pronounce it. So like if you were going to say ´mas o menos,´ they just say ´ma o meno.´ So that makes the words kind of slur together and it was really hard to understand at first, but I'm starting to get it. They also randomly put ¨´po´´ at the end of their words, so instead of saying "si" they say "sipo" or they say "nopo" for "no". It's really interesting, but I'm starting to get it down. First I'm going to try to get comfortable with speaking Spanish, before I get comfortable speaking Chileno.
Yesterday we had almuerzo at the house of a member from the bishopric in our ward. The father/husband is from Chile and can speak both Spanish and English fluently, the mother/wife is from Japan and can speak Spanish, Japanese, and English fluently and so can their 2 kids. They lived in the states for 12 years and they met at BYU while they were both learning english. How cool is that! The Hermana from the family pulled out her scriptures in Japanese and tried to explain to me how the language works. I just want to let you all know how incredibly thankful I am to be learing Spanish. I would be crying myself to sleep every night if I was learning Japanese or Chinese. I don´t know how Phil was able to do it.
Oh! Another thing that happenned this week! I got more letters! Including one from Cindy!!!!! I was so excited when I got it, and we are trying to pull strings to see if we can meet up before she leaves! It sounds to me like she´s having a blast up north, which makes sense because Santiago is the greatest place ever.
I love getting your weekly updates. I love hearing about all of your triumphs back home. I know the Lord is watching over our family. He has blessed us with so much. I love you all so much, and I cant wait to hear from you all again soon!