Friday, March 23, 2012

Catching up

She did it!  Our Hopey did it!  She finally popped :]  we now have 2 minis in our cardboard box.  But, its not all good news.  You see, we don’t know exactly how many she had, but we do know that there are 2 in her stomach that will never be coming out as puppies.   …..she ate them.  It was…awful.  But, I guess that is what happens to stillborns?  Let’s go back to being excited tho.  The first one she had we decided to name Patrick, since it was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  I also thought that Douglas would be a good name for him.  Distinguished and all, ya know?  So Patrick Douglas….PD for short, which sounds like Petey :D  the second one is white and looks like a little rat pig.  So Piglet :]  Now, we haven’t actually discussed these names officially, and we also don’t know what gender they are, so the names are very likely to change.  But for now in my brain they are Hopey, Petey, and Piglet, the happy little family.  I am not sure how the little guys are going to last the winter, but I really hope they make it.  And don’t worry.  I’ll keep you all updated on our pet situation each week :]

Now, for some more pointless information, today we bought a ping pong table.  They LOVE ping pong.  And I have to say.  They are VERY good.  Nacho and E are like ping pong ninjas.  E looks like a boxer when he plays, jumping around and grunting every now and then.  So hopefully I get better while I am here.  Look out, Skylar.  I am finally gonna beat you :]

But ok.  Now for some real business.  I am having a hard time remembering what the last thing I posted about is.  And its been a little while.  The past 2 weeks have been….very different.  And its going to be kinda hard to explain, so get ready. 

Ok.  So last weekend we went to Chiloe, but the Thursday before that, E left to go diving for some work.  He got back on Friday night, and we left early Saturday morning for Chiloe.  It was our whole team minus Beth, and 12 other people.  Yeah.  Big group.  Beth stayed back to keep an eye on Nacho, Diego, and Johan who weren’t going for a lack of room.  So we took 2 vehicles to get there.  Fernando, his wife Cati, and his daughter Jasmine (8), plus Anais (12 year old daughter of Roberto) and our whole team rode in the infamous truck/van thingy.  The back had a bench seat and a mattress on the ground for us to sit on.  Jeff drove, and it was actually not that uncomfortable.  Nothing compared to our Concepcion trip.  In the other car, a 4 door Mazda, was E, J, Elizabet, Josue, Mirian (3), Roberto, his wife Anita, and Maria.  The trunk was PACKED with our luggage and sleeping bags.  Their ride was definitely worse than ours.

But anywho.  The trip takes like 5.5 hours driving, but on the way there, we made quite a few stops, attempting to visit people.  First, we stopped in Castro, the middle of Chiloe, and basically stretched our legs, snapped some pics, and used some bathrooms.  At this point, we asked # if we should buy food for lunch, but he told us that we would get food in a different city.  No biggie.  So we drive some more and end up going to another missionary family’s house.  That was a good visit.  They could speak English :]  and yeah.  It was just a very encouraging visit.  Then we drove some more and went to visit E’s dad.  He wasn’t home, so we went to a stadium place thing.  E and Roberto went inside for awhile and talked with him.  We were all chilling in the cars and by this time, I was VERY hungry, restless, and in desperate need of a bathroom.  It was about 3:30 and all I had eaten was cereal at 7am and a few cookies and crackers.  So after that, we went to try and find E’s brother.  He also wasn’t home, so we gave up and decided to keep going.  Now, this was the city that we were supposed to get lunch form.  But since the visits took longer than anticipated, we were just going to wait til we got to our final destination to eat.  Great.  Luckily tho, we did stop to use the bathroom.

So we finally get to this house at like 6.  It was Fernando’s brother’s house, and it was NICE.  The outside didn’t look like much, but the inside was great.  The nicest house we have been in so far.  And they had hot water!  When we first got there, the family was not there.  But we settled ourselves right in and started making dinner.  A little over an hour later, we were eating a delicious rice and meat mixture.  So good.  Granted, a plastic bottle would have prolly tasted pretty good at this point (ok nto quite…I just like to be dramatic), but really, it was delicious.  Then, around 8 or so, E, Jeff, Roberto, Fernando, his brother (who did end up arriving with his wife and little son), Cati, and I left to visit a house of a man with terminal cancer.  I was VERY intimated by this.  What do you say to someone with a terminal illness?  And, at this point, we didn’t think he was a Christian.  But, we went, and it ended up being a very good visit.  E did most of the talking and the guy knows just what to say.  Also, we are pretty sure the guy was a Christian.  He was just filled with questions which is quite understandable.  But yeah.  It was very good.  We left around 10:30 and by the time we got back to the house, I was pretty tired.

So by about midnight, 8 girls were sleeping in 1 room.  Yes.  8.  There were Jean, Anais, Jasmine, and I on the floor, Mirian, Anita, and Cati on the bed, and Maria, squished on the floor between the bed and dresser.  Haha.  It was pretty great.  We were jolted awake twice by the sound of Mirian screaming for no real reason, and since I was sleeping right by the door to the room, I had about 3 times of being hit as someone got up to go to the bathroom.  That was fun.  But all in all, I did actually sleep pretty good. 

The next morning, we got up and had some bread and coffee for breakfast.  Then we basically just sat around and were getting ready to put on a little church service at the terminal cancer guy’s house.  That sounds awful, but I honestly cant remember his name.  So we went back there and ended up having a really great mini service in their living room.  Cati and Jeff played for worship and E gave the message.  It was nice to be able to see them again.  We actually want to go back to them again before we leave if we have time.  I really hope we do.  They said over and over how encouraged they were to have us there, and it was just a really great visit.  I enjoyed it a lot. 

I forgot a chunk of information back there.  Before we left for the TC guy’s house, we found out that Maria and Roberto’s 30 year old sister who has been battling cancer for the past 10 years just made a turn for the worse.  She lives in Santiago, which is like 12 hours from Puerto Montt, so when we finished the service at the house, we ate lunch as fast as possible, and then headed out.  We left at 4 o’clock and got back around 9.  It was a pretty uneventful trip back.  We did have some laughs in our vehicle, teaching Fernando how to say fart since he wanted to know.  Haha.  The guy is just funny.  But other than that, nothing too interesting happened.

When we got back to Alerce, the goodbyes were pretty fast.  Roberto, Maria, and E were going to head out for Santiago that night, so they quickly got ready to leave.  But when they got to the bus station, they realized that it was like 10 dollars cheaper per person to wait until 8 the next morning.  So that is what they decided to do.  We found out that next day, a Monday, that Roberto’s sister did end up dying, and that they were too late to see her. 

Now, you see.  This whole situation just looks kinda impossible to our human brains.  Their sister was still young herself.  And she has two little kids, between the ages of 2 and 4.  Her husband apparently has something mentally wrong with him, so he can not take care of the kids.  And her parents just don’t know if they can handle it either.  We still do not know exactly what is happening with the whole situation.  All I know is that God’s ways are higher than anything we can imagine and greater than what we could ever orchestrate.  Trust and unwavering faith in this truth is all that we can do.  God always keeps His promises, and we know that He works everything out for the good of those who love Him.  And Roberto’s sister did in fact love Jesus.  And she is now in a MUCH better place than here on Earth.  So yeah.  Anita and all of their kids ended up going to Santiago Tuesday morning.  It has just been a very hard time here.  So if you all could please just keep that family in your prayers, that would be AWESOME.  I have no doubt that God is going to do something beautiful through this situation.   We just need to have faith, patience and confidence in our All-Powerful Savior. 

So this is getting a little confusing a realize.  The problem is that all of this happened about 2 weeks ago.  The limited computer time makes blogging difficult sometimes, but I will be getting caught up on everything in the next week.  So expect another post in the next week as well.  My apologies though.  I am trying to wrap this one up so that I can start fresh with my new thoughts and news on what we have been doing recently.  I feel like my head is so full and jumbled with too many thoughts right now.  So I just need a fresh start. 

Basically, the next few days while E was still gone, we just did some more visiting and little projects around the house.  He usually runs the show and makes the plan for our team.  So life with him gone was a little more difficult.  There were a lot more opportunities for us to just study the Word and look for outreach opportunities on our own.  We picked up trash around the area 2 days and thought of some people that we could visit, but nothing too exciting happened during this time.  E had been gone from home for like a week straight basically, except for a few hours of him sleeping and packing to leave the next day.  So when he got back on Friday, he just took some time to rest which was very good.  The guy is a machine.  I admire him so much.  Nothing gets in the way of him ministering to others.  He is a real, passionate Jesus follower that I have learned so much from.  I am so thankful that we can have him as our coordinator.  It is quite the privilege. 

Some more pointless information would include that I got my first Chilean hair salon experience that week.  I went in just to get it trimmed and cleaned up.  I mean, who doesn’t love a hair cut?  They really are very therapeutic for me.  I just love em.  So I went in, but its kind of hard to explain what you want when you don’t speak the same language, and I basically just ended up telling her that I still wanted it long and the “points” cut.  Well, she did what she wanted with it, and it isn’t terrible, although I don’t really think I would call it a “trim”.  Haha.  I got some pretty extreme layers going on right now.  So I guess you could still say it is “long”, but by the time you get to the shortest layer, it is quite short.  O well.  It’s Chile, it was cheap, and it was an experience. 

Also, I have officially lost my first fingernail.  The week before we were moving firewood, and Clay was pushing the wheelbarrow.  There is about a 2 inch jump from dirt to sidewalk at E’s house, so I was grabbing the front of the wheelbarrow to help pull it up which was successful the 2 other times we did it, but this time, Clay accidentally went forward instead of up with his end, and my finger got jammed in between the metal bar and concrete slab.  It didn’t hang on for too long.  There was a lot of air under my nail, so finally, while we were in Chiloe, I decided to just speed up the inevitable.  And now, I have a hotdog looking nub for one of my fingers :]  It is really unattractive.  I have come to the conclusion that with all of my nicks and scars on my hands, that an arm amputee would have a better shot at being a hand model than me.  But o well.  At least my hands still work :]

And now for one more bit of exciting news.  Mail day happened last week.  Mail day here is quite interesting.  I think that it is about every 3 weeks that a mail man comes around and delivers mail here in Alerce.  Now big packages, you have to pick up from the post office.  But letters and small packages get delivered to the door.  It is quite a mystery when that will happen though.  But I guess that is just how life is without mail boxes.  So anywho, mail day happened, and I would just like to give a quick shout out to my friends Rachel, Carrie, Liz, Brittany, Nut, and Janelle.  You guys are pretty much the greatest ever.  And I am being sincere.  Thank you all so much for blessing me and showing me how much you care.  I was quite emotional as I was looking at all my goodies and reading your notes.  Made me miss you all SO MUCH.  And I am just so blessed to have you all in my life.  I love you guys.  Also, thank you Aunt Mae for your card.  It was just such a huge blessing to get all of that encouragement and news from home.  Cant wait to have one of your delicious butterfinger milkshakes when I return :]

Guys, can you believe that I have less than 2 months left here??  It is crazy!  We just got our schedule this morning for the rest of our time here, and it is going to FLY by.  With all the trips that we still have to take, I am realizing just how precious our time here in Alerce really is.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for the last month and 3 weeks here, but it is scary at the same time.  I need to make the most of every single opportunity here and soak up as much culture and Truth as I can while I still have the time here.  Also, I know it is just going to be so hard to leave all the amigos we have made.  I really cant spend too long thinking about it without getting quite depressed.  And with this realization of how few our days left here are, I have been made aware of just how quickly my approaching decisions need to be made.  So here comes the part of this post for specific things I would love prayer for:
-        -  God’s eyes and heart for the ways that I personally can reach out here and take initiative with on my own
-        -  Guidance on what the future holds for me.  I have some pretty big decisions to be making about what college God has planned for me to attend, or even if that is His will.  I want to do exactly what He has purposed for my life, and I don’t want my own thoughts and preferences to get in the way of where He is trying to lead me.  So prayer for ridding myself of my own preferences and really seeking His will would be great. 
-        -  Roberto and his family.  God is so much bigger than any problem we are facing.  Pray for comfort and peace in the situation and that God would use this to bring more people to Himself. 
-         -  My upcoming sermon.  I will be preaching on the 15th of April.  Just pray that I allow God to guide my words and have Him speak through me.  And that I use my time wisely here in planning for it, seeing as to how we have some trips in between now and then and my history with procrastination :]
-        -  A continued increase of stepping out in faith.  I am learning so much during this time, and faith is a huge part of that.  in my next post, I will be talking more about some things that have been on my heart recently and the things that I have been learning. 
-        -  Also, I would love continued prayers for our team.  Just more unity and a united vision for what God has for us here.  Patience and love are huge. 
Thank you all so much for all of your support and love throughout this whole experience.  You guys are incredible, and I pray that God would bless you for the huge blessing you have been in my life.  Thank you all for showing me in practical ways that you care.  It means more than you will ever know.  I love you guys. 

I don’t even know what I should call this post.  I feel like it is all over the place and very scattered.  But like I said, next week I will be posting again and catching up.  Being behind and trying to recall past events is hard, especially when I feel like the things on my mind have changed and grown from then.  So yeah.  Stay tuned for a hopefully better look inside my brain and life here. 

And before I go, I will leave you with one more thing.  The song of the post this week is Always by Switchfoot.  Just a great song that I have loved for a long time and that I listened too again recently on a bus ride.  Soothing and filled with truth. Enjoy and God bless!  

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