We're in a little shack with chickens and ducks and dogs and a donkey outside, outside Illapel. Our responsibility is this whole district, which includes Canela, Illapel, Salamanca and Los Vilos. We will probably be moving to Los Villos shortly. That is where the mission president wants us. He wants us to serve in district presidency positions to strengthen the leadership and branches.
Illapel is in a beautiful mountain valley, not too high in the Andes. The snow covered Andes are in the background. Our branch here has 480 members, only 40 attend. The house is cold. We have a fireplace and no other heat. Hot water only if you light it and undo the propane take from the stove and hook it to the in-line water heater. I washed some clothes and hung them out on the line the other day and all the ducks and geese in the compound came running over thinking they were going to get a handout. They're worse than Sophie (our old dog). The girl that lives in the house in back of us is named Sophia. The dog that guards our "compound" of two houses fenced in, is Diana. She barks all night to keep us safe, but is otherwise a harmless and nice german shepherd.
I'm sitting outside the church in our car on the street so I can get internet. Its busy and noisy and full of people and vendors. The chapel and storefronts are right on the sidewalk in typical S.A. and European style. Your Ma is home in bed. She got very sick with cough/flu/seasickness/dehydration/tooo tired on the way down here. We travelled from SLC at 2 pm till 10PM the next night to get here. She's back at the house sleeping. Yes I can leave my companion. The church has wireless. No internet availability at the house except via cellular. I bought a wireless pendrive, but don't have a Chilean Tax # so can't get it initiated.
Mom is getting much better, but still gets tire easily and has to take a nap, like right now. She's been a champ through it all, smiling even when she feels terrible.
The mission president and wife are very nice. He finagled a car for us, one of only 5 in the entire country of Chile that the church has for District type missionaries like us. We pay a monthly fee for it plus gas and all. Gas is about $8/gal.
Gotta go. We're loving it and the people here and having fun. Might get to go on a district temple excursion bus ride down to Santiago tomorrow if Mom feeling up to it. Its probably about a 6 hour drive one way.
P.S. Calvin, those one-match fire making skills have come in handy!