Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Packages in Chile, Bus crash in Argentina

Dear family,
I got a wonderful package from home.  I also got a package from the Victory View Relief Society.  It had candy, letters, oat meal, and ramen noodles.  It also had a lot of CTR stickers. Please be sure to tell them thanks for me.

Did I tell you they have Subway here in Concepción?  And Dominos pizza too.  It is awesome.  
That is awesome that the Olympics are up and going.  I love you all more than the number of peanuts it would take to fill an Olympic ice rink for these games.
Elder Withers

Dear family,
We are writing a little bit early today because we have the Hermanas from Santa Elena who spent the night over at our place (our zone is having a special P-day today.....volleyball on the beach of the Parana River and a member is BBQing for us.....sweet!)

This week really was so typical I struggled coming up with things to write about.  But don’t fret!  There is always something to write about :)

Earlier this week we were riding a colectivo, which is bus system that EVERYONE uses. Interesting to note is that there is no capacity or limit they have for the amount of people that can be riding it at once, they just keep shoving more and more people on when its rush hour.  Anyway we were riding the bus from the furthest part of our area (about an hour walk) back home for the night, when the bus pulled over at the next stop, to let some people off and others on.  The new passengers got on, the bus driver put the thing in gear, and seconds after that a car going decently fast slams into the back of the bus.  In my head I was thinking, great this is going to take forever....now we have to wait for police to come and check everything out, make sure everyone was okay, and so on....considering that it might be better to just walk home at this point The bus driver got out to go check out the situation, was gone for about 30 seconds, got back on the bus, and kept driving as if nothing happened.  I was floored..... thinking.... don’t you need to exchange information for insurance purposes in case of necessary repairs or liabilities?!  Ha!  Oh well.  The laws are clearly not the same here.  May God Bless America.  

On Tuesday we had a rainstorm that would put Portland to shame......it was raining SO HARD when we woke up, and was like that solid all day until 4 in the afternoon.....it didn’t even stop or let up once.  It flooded some houses and made a mess of all the roads, but it cooled everything off and everything looked so pretty with the gray clouds for a backdrop and the moisture in the air.  Funny thing though.  You know how we say in English that it’s raining cats and dogs and how even though the expression makes no sense, you still know what it means?  Well in Spanish they say it’s raining pitchforks.....an expression that also makes no sense but everyone here knows what it means.  You should have seen us talking to the member about it, he was trying so hard to explain what a pitchfork was, and we were trying so hard to figure out what the heck he was talking about.  We gave up, wrote down the word and looked it up later.  We get it now :)

This week we had a small adventure at the doctor’s office for my companion.  Hermana Giuliani gave us a list of doctors we could go see.  My companion looked at the list and said, "I want to go to Dr. Lawrie.....his name looks the least Argentine and most reliable."  I was like.....ha okay.  All these docs are going to be Argentine, but pick whoever you want.  (It’s not that we don’t love this country, we do....but when it comes to medical things sometimes being in a foreign country is scary.)  We made the appointment for that afternoon, showed up and ended up waiting for 2 1/2 hours.  When the doctor finally got to us....he read her name and then in English says, "she speaks English, come on lets go into my office!"  We got into his office, and he goes onto explain that he was born and raised in La Paz but that his grandma was very strict and that every time they went over to her house they had to speak in English or they didn’t get to eat.  He said, "You can talk in English or Spanish to me....it’s all the same concept" and I think he was right.  His English was incredible, if not fluent.  He said he learned English with a British accent, and it was kind of funny to hear him speak british english with an argentine accent....but he really does know English.....it was so cool!  My companion starts to explain what has been happening, and he gets a wicked grin on his face and says, "you know we have a little problem.....I would love to help you but I am an orthopedic surgeon....I have no idea how to help you"  Haaaaa...........what a bust.  The list of doctors Hermana Giuliani gave us weren’t all general practice ones like she thought they were.  He gave us our money back and we were on our way out.  We have an appointment with the doctor’s brother (who works in the same office but is general practice and can also speak English!)  It was just a huge waste of time more than anything, but we are working on making it all better!

This week really was a great one!  All is well and life is good.  We have visitors over for today and its going to be a great day with volleyball and barbeque and zone meeting tonight. 

I’m doing well and love you all.  I love you more than all the glasses of chocolate milk I have consumed this summer!  
Hermana Withers

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