Week 49: in which I become a papà!! :D

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Dear friends and family,

I’m a papà! In mission lingo, the first trainer you have is your “mom,” and the second trainer is your “dad.” The trainer(s) of your trainer(s) are your grandparents, and if your trainer trained other missionaries, they’re your “siblings.” Since I’m the second trainer of Hermana Scholl, I’m her “papà,” complete with dad jokes. 😀 It’s fun. 😀

On Tuesday I traveled from Los Àngeles to Concepciòn to meet my new companion, Hermana Scholl, and to receive training for new trainers. Training is a new experience, one of much growth. 😛 But we’ll have fun. 😀 I love Hermana Scholl; although she has 7 weeks in the mission field, she teaches with sincerity and love in the little Spanish that she knows. And she’s an example to me; she really wants to improve a lot in Spanish, so we’ve been talking in Spanish almost 24/7. 😀 I’m surprised by the fact that it’s less of a challenge that I thought, and it’s gratifying to realize that I’ve really improved a lot in my Spanish!

And now I’m here in Arauco, about 15 minutes from the ocean! This is my first time in a little city, and it’s a… different experience. We have a branch here, which means that about 30 people attend church on Sunday. 😛 We also work in several other surrounding towns that are even smaller, so we spend some time traveling. Downtown shuts down around 7:30 at night, and very few people open the door after the sun goes down around 6:30. And it rains. A lot. I’m very grateful for warm clothes and rain gear. (Froggtogg for the win!) We live with another companionship, Hermana Lopez and Hermana Vasquez, in a house we’re renting from a member. (Tip for anyone headed for mid-or southern Chile: bring a sleeping bag because it is often freezing at night, even with a heater. :P) It’s a safe and comfortable house, and I love the sisters we live with. 😊

On Wednesday we had district meeting. It was nice to see some familiar faces; Elder Contreras was my DL in Los Àngeles; Elder Ramos, our current DL, was also in Temuco; and Elders Smith and Howes have been in other zones with me. AND I found another Sky View buddy! Elder Duffin was in the same grade at Sky View in Logan; we never met, but it’s cool. Que chico el mundo….

I still have so much to learn about being a missionary, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to train because I know I’ll learn a lot. I’m grateful that even though I’m so imperfect, God is infinitely patient and can use me in His perfect work. I love being a missionary!

I hope you all have a great week! Be safe, be smart, be kind. May you always remember who you are!!

Love,
Hermana Saunders

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