Monday, April 4, 2016

First Few Days in Antofagasta!

Hey Everyone!!!  It´s been a crazy week!!!  So, I left Mexico on Monday afternoon, and we drove to the Airport.  The flight from Mexico to Santiago was eight and a half hours!!! It was really long, but we got dinner and breakfast on plane, so there were upsides.  We got to Santiago at 7 in the morning, and at 10, we borded the plane to Antofagasta, which was only two hours.  It was sad to leave my district from the MTC, since all of them went to Concepcion, but I´m glad for the time in the MTC I had with them, and to now be in the field.  When we got to Antofagasta, the Mission President and his wife were waiting for us, with big smiles on their faces.  We then stopped to take pictures at the Portada off the coast of Antofagasta, then went back to the mission home for empenadas and interviews with the president.  That night, the elders stayed in the mision home, and the next morning we drove to the mission office to get our trainers.  I found out that my trainer was Elder Francis from Farmington, Utah, and our area was in Alto Hospicio... about 20 minutes away from the big city of Iquique, several hours above Antofagasta.  Elder Francis is fun, and sticks to the rules without being an overbearing trainer, and I´ve enjoyed teaching and meeting people with him.  So many people here are so full of love and need for guidance, and it has been somewhat frustrating to not be able to say what I am feeling, in order to help them, but I know God has been and will help me as I continue to trust in Him and stay optimistic.  I hope everyone has had a great week, a beautiful Easter, and an uplifting Conference!!! Continue to pray for the success of the missionaries to help people who need them!! Love you all, and I´ll update you more next week!!

-Elder Checketts

(And additional funny story from PJ...)

Alright everyone.... So I know all of you will like some of these stories from my short time while in Chile.  To start, while Chile may be more civilized than the rest of South America.... it is definitely still South America.  Dogs wander all over the streets, and people don´t care when dogs and birds wander all through the bus terminal (that includes the food court).... I couldn´t help smiling when I saw a pigeon fly into a cafe without anyone stopping it, and thought about the Chipotle video, and ¨ Bird came back.´´ hahahaha!!!  Well anyway, we got to Iquique, and a brother brought his car to take us to Alto Hospicio.  There were two of us new missionaries, and two trainers, plus four suitcases.  The man opened his trunk, trying to fit as much as he possibly could into the small back, and when it looked completely stuffed, and he saw one of us still had another bag, he would mutter, ´´there´s still room.´´ and somehow fit it in there.  Even with that, my trainer in shotgun had a suitcase on his lap, and one of the suitcases had to go in the middle seat of the back.... that left two small bum-slots for three of us.  The driver looked into the back, and came to the conclusion that as the smallest, I would have to sit on another elder´s lap. He was pressed up right next to the suitcase, and I had to stand in the back for my whole body to fit in, with the other elder´s arm raised, to provide more space lower down.  This resulted in me sitting half on the edge of the car door, half on his lap, with his arm awkward having nowhere to go except over my back.... it was quite the experience.... especially because so much was packed in the trunk, so anytime we went over a bump, the heavy back scraped metal against asphalt. It was really uncomfortable, but funny in retrospect.  My first day out in the field, we also saw a woman pushing a stroller with her son of about two in it.  As we passed, it looked like the little boy was flinging a water bottle all over, but as we got closer, we realized he had not pants on, and was creating a trail of pee from his seat in the stroller.  It was super weird, but what made it funnier is when we passed them, we looked ahead of us, and saw that the trail had gone on for nearly a block!!!!!  Anyway, hope you all enjoy that, and have a great week!! I got to watch conference luckily!!! Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!!! Love you all!!!


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