This has definitely been a super interesting time!
We left the MTC at midnight and flew to the Santiago airport and got there about 10 a.m. My companion and I didn't sleep very well so we were super tired. We met our mission president and he gave me a hug which was nice. We then drove to Vina Del Mar and took some pictures. After the clock picture that you received our mission president paired us up, gave us a Book of Mormon and told us we had to place the Book of Mormon and find our way to the mission home (he gave us the address) and then he left. It was kinda nerve wracking but I had a native companion for the activity so it was pretty good. We placed the Book of Mormon and made it to the house safely.
We spent the next couple days going through orientation and learning a bit about the mission. Until Wednesday when we received our companions. My trainer is Elder Cropper from Iowa and he is super cool! He is awesome and is super helpful. We are serving the the zone achupallas and we are in Villa Dulce (Sweet Village) 20 minutes from the center of Viña.
The people here talk really fast so it is super difficult to understand them. But my Spanish is slowly improving and making progress. I have already had to help give lessons and participate in spiritual thoughts.
Here they only eat 2 meals a day, Breakfast and lunch, then at night they have a snack. The members feed us lunch every day so we only have to worry about breakfast. But whenever we visit a member they feed us something, regardless of what time it is, so I am never going to go hungry :) I had my first complato this week and it was delicious! (Hot dog in a homemade bun with tomatoes guacamole mayo and other toppings).
The weather here is interesting because you can tell it is transitioning from spring to summer. It is super cold in the mornings (The houses don't have insulation) and during the day it is chilly but starting to heat up. Because we are by the ocean ish we have a nice breeze.
Chile is definitely very hilly and there are dogs EVERYWHERE. Most of them are nice and just lay there or walk by you, there has only been one really mean dog, but it is all good.
Almost everything here is different than the U.S. All of the houses have fences around them so instead of knocking on a door we stand at the gage and yell "ALLO". The houses are small and look really ghetto from the outside but are decently nice on the inside. We are staying in an apartment building that is pretty nice which is fantastic.
My companion and I are Whitewashing the area, meaning both of us are new so we don't know anyone. We started to get to know the members and some people and they seem pretty nice :)
Spiritual story of the week. This week at church a lady came up to us and asked us to do a Family Home Evening with her and her 75 year old father. We agreed and went. When we went we found out her father wasn't a member but wanted to know more about the church and maybe be baptized! It was awesome and by the end of the lesson he wanted to be baptized, so he has a date to be baptized the 26 of September. But the thing that was the coolest was after he agreed to be baptized his daughter bore her testimony and in it she said that when she saw me at church she knew her dad was going to get baptized, because she had had a dream where she had seen me, Elder Nielson, baptizing her father. She had a dream about me baptizing her father, it was so awesome to hear that. Because of that I know that I am supposed to be in Chile and that I am here for a reason.
I am loving every minute of my mission and am so glad to be here.
I miss and love you all,