Thurs. 12 Sept 2013. Met the Elders at Lider Expres (like a small Wal-Mart) in Punchuncavi to exchange vehicles. (We moved from Illapel to Los Vilos yesterday and used the mission pickup during the process). President Kahnlein made them wash our car before returning it. He called us on our way back to Los Vilos asking us to print off a document for the house in Illapel before we went on back to Illapel tonight for district presidency meeting. This turned out to be an inspired request, along with his request that we move this week.
We stopped off at the house in Los Vilos on the way to Illapel thinking we’d need to get my laptop and go to the church to get internet and retrieve the document (a lengthy process just to open all the locks at the church). To save time, I decided to see if any of our neighbors had a internet signal we could latch on to and that was unsecured. I found a super strong signal, unsecured, with extremely fast internet. COOL! I got the document and printed it off. Then, later, late that night, Calvin called and mentioned Emily’s wáter had broke. Because we had internet, Carolyn and I were able to FaceTime with Emily and share in their joy 4 minutes after Maybelle was born later that night/morning. Who would’ve thought that the Lord in his tender mercy would work all those miracles to put us in a place and time so that Schramma would not miss her grandaughter’s birth? She had been sulking about that thought for months. This could not have happened if we’d still been in Illapel. Maybe we would have found out about it a few days later, rather than watching and talking to Em and Jake live and seeing Maybelle immediately after. After she was born they just handed her to Emily and said we’ll be back in an hour, so she called us.
Later we found out from the neighbor across the street that the internet signal comes from a large cell tower in back of his house beaming a signal across the ocean in front of our house. He said he’s had free internet for 4 years since it was installed. They made it unsecured because it led for a better/faster signal or something like that. Not sure he really knows, but the 3 or 4 houses under that tower between it and the ocean get free internet, courtesy of Airlive2, a wireless networking company. Wow, its like beaming forward to the 21 century.
View from our house in Los Vilos.
14 Sept. 2013. We went to Canela for the district “Mormon Helping Hands” service Project. We travelled from Los Vilos along with two Sister missionaries plus one member in our car. Four other carloads left Los Vilos. Around 11 p.m. a bus from Salamanca and Illapel arrived in Canela with the rest of the folks. 60 in all. We all donned yellow helping hands shirts and set out in Canela Baja and Canela Alta cleaning the streets of litter and dirt and rocks, and painting all the poles and trees with white wash. We worked till about 3 pm.
This was not the typical US Project where you plan for months and then have a 2 hour Project that gets a lot done and everyone is back home by noon. We had 2 weeks to plan and announce this project and it was an all-day affair. Yet we had about half of the total sacrament meeting attendance in the district show up. And while we were working, a few sisters from the tiny Canela branch (13 average sac. Mtg. Attendance including 2 missionaries and visitors) cooked up meal for everyone worth remembering. The day before they slaughtered two large goats. All this meat was cooked along with rice, and salads, and fresh bread and pebre (kind of like pico de gallo with less onion and more tomato) and mote con huesillo for dessert. Everyone ate until they could not eat more. We were sooo hungry.
Mote is cooked whole wheat placed in a cup, to which is added a couple of reconstituted dried peaches in their very very light syrup. Its barely sweet, and a very interesting meal in itself that you drink and eat with a spoon. The goat was delicious, as were the salads, hand made bread and pebre. By the way, this dinner for 60 people in the tiny 4 room church was not part of the “planned” activity. We had to eat in two shifts because there was not enough room,or plates.
Anytime anyone goes to Canela, the Canela branch has a tradition of feeding them. And this was a sit down to table cloth and porcelain plates kind of meal. Every square inch of that building was packed with chairs around tables. To get to their seat, some people had to go/come through the windows.
We won’t mention all the big gas burners and even charcoal grills (contrary to church policy) they brought into the church to cook all this food while we were working for 4 hours. Everyone left around 6, full, content and happy. It was a great activity that everyone will remember for a long time. By the way, except for the white washing on the trees, the streets didn’t look all that much different to me afterwards, but everyone kept saying “we need to have an activity like this in OUR city”. Canela is a small town of 1700. Hopefully this made an impression. It certainly did on us. This was the 3rd such experience we’ve had in Canela.