This week I experienced my first Christmas in Chile! It was weird to experience it without there being snow or family and friends but I had quite the experience! Christmas Eve we had to work as missionaries until 7 and then we could celebrate with member after that. The first house that we went to there was a ton of food. There ALWAYS is a ton of food in Chile. The dad dressed up as Santa Claus and sat us missionaries on his lap one by one and gave us a present. It was pretty funny doing it in Spanish and everything.
At 10:00 we caught a miracle taxi that carried us to a family´s house who are investigators but they have a son who is on a mission. It was pretty insane there haha all the lights were off but they had Latino dance/jazz type music blasting throughout the house and they had flashing dance lights. We sat in this environment for an hour while they prepared us a huge meal. People here eat dinner at around 10:00 pm, and gave us a present. At midnight we needed to be home so we asked if someone could give us a ride. One of the sons drove us home in his ancient pick up truck thing. I’m pretty sure he was drunk and he was flying to our house on the streets of Coronel, blasting dance music. Haha it was quite the night!
I think I did everything I could’ve to keep my mind away from homesickness but it was still a little rough. I definitely missed all the family traditions we do every year but I had some crazy fun times and experienced a Chilean Christmas! One down, one to go.
On Christmas day it was very tranquil in our house just waiting to go see our families on Skype. I opened some presents that some family and friends had sent me for Christmas which was amazing and I´m so grateful for those who did. We left for lunch and ate an amazing lunch at a members house but I was so excited to see my family I couldn’t focus on the food. After what seemed like an eternity for a morning until 4, I finally got the time to skype my family! So I got on skype and called... and called... and called... and NOBODY answered. For 20 minutes I was just chilling calling with no response haha. Finally I got answered and all my extended family had been at my house for Christmas and they were all getting ready to leave but I was able to see them all! It was so amazing and such a shock to see them I couldn’t get words to leave my mouth haha it was funny. After saying hi to all of them and speaking a little Spanish to my Grandma and cousins who know it, I had my skype sesh with my family. It was incredible to see and talk to them all. We talked about a lot of things but I feel like I could have talked to each of them for a straight day to see what going on in their life and how they’re doing but I had to summarize it all because we didn’t have a lot of time. Saying bye to them was very hard and the past couple days I just keep on thinking of more and more of things I wish I would have said to them, but as fast as Christmas came, it was gone.
I learned a couple things over this past week. How incredible the members are who invite us and accept us, as missionaries, on Christmas, into their house when they could just spend it with their families, how much I miss and love my family, and how a Chilean Christmas is! A very good week. I hope that you all back home had a very good Christmas as well and remembered the true meaning of Christmas.