Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Time has been passing more rapidly these last few months. The pace of city life is non-stop here in Valparaiso. We live on the 15th floor of an apartment complex that has an ocean view on one side and the hills, covered with houses on the other. They are built on top of another. Everything is vertical. Below our apt is Calle Argentina. It has a median that is lined with double rows of tall palm trees. There are several universities nearby. (DUOC). It’s fun to watch the students coming and going either by foot, train (located one block away) bike or micro bus. They like to hang out, use the internet at hotspots and visit during the day. The street vendors sell their wares and Mote con Huesillo (drink of fruit and softened grains) and snacks. At night they hit the bars and wake us up when they walk home about 3am.
There are also many smallish, industrial plants nearby. One of them toasts coffee or another grain (we think) another makes Zuko which is a popular powdered, instant drink. They don’t commercialize any of these with outside advertising so we just have to observe and discover what they do.
 I’ve been tempted to ‘pelt’ them from above-- but so far the only ‘bombing’ we’ve done was with marshmallows. It was our special way of saying farewell to our dear friends the Saldivar’s, as they were getting into their car below to leave their mission for home in CA. We couldn’t resist dropping a few on them, but we wouldn’t waste perfectly good (and expensive) marshmallows on anyone else.
Here are a few of our highlights from the past few months as we’ve been transitioning from life in the country/campo to big city.
·       Returning to Los Vilos to baptize a ‘golden’ family. Soledad & Marco Conejos
·       Visiting friends in LV (Rosa Martinez, Gabriella y Jaime, Ada, Milena, Patricio…)
·       Reuniting with members from the Illapel district at the temple and seeing the Adonis (Marcia y Manuel) family sealed with their children.
·       Touring around Vina with the Saldivar’s
·       Making new friends with 2 other matrimonials (Senior Missionary couples) working in Valpo on Family History missions (Gilberts from Las Vegas & Smiths from Boise Idaho.)
·       Getting to know the members in our district here in the ramas de Edwards, Levarte, Quebrada Verde.
·       Traveling to visit and speak at other stakes.
·       We love renewing acquaintances with the missionaries we’ve known from other areas.
·       Having a mall and Jumbo/Lider (Wal-Mart type) stores nearby.
·       Reuniting with our Pizza Club before Hna Actis Piza returned to Argentina

THINGS I DON’T LIKE: having to slice my own slivered almonds for a salad recipe; Using the narsty laundry room downstairs; the apartment only has a standard-size bed; Washing produce in a soapy solution before we can eat them; Crazy bus and collectivo drivers!
THINGS I DO LIKE: fewer fleas here; not having to light matches for hot-water/oven etc; having a variety of shopping and restaurants; our fantastic view of ocean and hills; getting packages from home; growing our family with new Grandbabies; being a part of missionary miracles every day!

A mission is like having Christmas every day, all year long! Merry Christmas to everyone!

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