Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Letter 20: First "Fight", Exchanges, and Progress

Hello mom and fam!!

Well this week has been a good one! I will start by answering your questions though.
My companion and I will be staying together for this change (which will last till about March 12th)
and we are both staying in the same area. So nothing too new on that front. My companion and I got
in our first fight...so that was interesting. He was mad at me because I was walking too slow or something, which made me mad because i'm always walking at what I like to call "brisk pace", honestly I never have just like sat there a lazily strolled along. But anyway, he said some pretty offensive things and I was getting mad so I just ended the conversation and stopped talking for a while. Then everything was fine again. And that's that. (: haha. I think that sometimes when you're with someone 24/7 little things just begin to bother you and you have to push them out of your mind or it gets to you. 

We have about 124 active members in out branch, but within our boundaries we have about 600 members...so we have a ton of work to do! The thing is that where Elder Holmes and I work is one part of the branch and then there is another sector called San Juan, that is huge, and also has 2 missionaries working there. But we all are the same branch, just in different areas. We have a lot of good members as well. We strive to have members with us in the lessons that we teach and that is REALLY hard because the members always have stuff going on or just don't want to. So we've been working to get them to come out with us and get excited about the work. It's interesting to see the really faithful and converted members verses those who are so below their potential. 
I still have not been asked to speak in sacrament meeting, the missionaries here almost never do. But we take turns teaching the second hour class of Principles of The Gospel if we have investigators or Recent converts at the church that day.

This week has been a good one. We were walking the other day in the street and we hear "Elders!!" Haha we turned around and down the street a random guy was yelling our name, so we went back and talked to him and turns out he is a mission leader up a little more north. He is here working for his friend to do some construction. He introduced us to the family and said "he guess what? Missionaries do service, did you know that? They can help us build this wall".  It was awesome, it was like hey, here's an opportunity to teach a family and do service for them. So we have helped them twice and been able to teach them one time. Also, a friend of this family who is about 15 was there helping us and turns out that he has had lessons with the missionaries before and wants to be taught more. He said his mom would not let him get baptized. Anyway, we invited them all to church and only Jose came (the 15 year old friend) but that was great. He said he wants to get baptized and all, AND that his mom is fine with it now. We're going to go teach him and his family tonight. Hopefully if all goes well, we will have some baptisms soon! They're awesome families and we're excited to teach them.

On a bit more of the funnier side, we were walking around just knocking doors and we came across a group of about 6 kids from the ages 8-13 and we talked to them for a while. They asked a bunch of stuff about our country and how to say certain words in English. And we explained a little bit about why we are here and what we're doing and all and when we went to leave one of the littler kids bows his head and tells me "give me your power" hahah. Oh man. The things that happen sometimes. We told him that he has to wait 2 years until he is twelve. But we got their info and we're going to pass by later on.

I went on interchanges with Elder Bessey the zone leader here and after our first lesson he says "wow, you have improved SOO much! Seriously that was so good!.." I was honestly surprised, and taken aback, but I just felt happy too. It's good to have that feeling of improvement, because sometimes we don't see it in ourselves as we live day to day, its harder to catch. But him, who went on interchanges with me about a month or two ago and then now, can see. So even if you guys feel like you're not improving or anything like that, know that from some one elses view, you definitely are! We had taught the a less active family and it was a really good lesson. We just kept it really simple. We talked about the sacrament and what it really means, and about the love of Christ. You could feel the spirit. Those are always the best lessons. It's surprisingly hard sometimes to get the spirit in the lessons, just because there are so many distractions and things going on at times. But those lessons where it's there really are special and make it worth it. But at this time we have a few investigators and a lot of less actives we are working with. But i have big hopes for those to families I told you about and have been praying for them. (: 

Ohhhhh a small package, YES! Hahah hmmm...Homemade treats? I don't know, something good! If you can you should send it soon so it gets here  by march. (: But the dentist...ugh. I went in this morning and got my temporary crown and still have like 2 or 3 more appointments. This will be about a 2 month treatment altogether. Unreal!! But for now I have a crown. And then next Monday I go in for an impression, then next time I get the final permanent one. The only worry I have is about my retainer..and what will happen there. Maybe you could ask our ortho? I'm not sure what to do. Ill put on my retainer all the same, I just don't know if it will fit the same.

Anyway, I love you so much! Don't forget that! I'm so grateful for your support and love for me and for whats going on here. You guys have been such a help to me, not only through the mission, but throughout my life. I hope that you have an amazing week!

Love you!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Letter 19: Letters from the Ward

Hey mom!

Well first of all, I'm glad to hear that you're all doing well, (minus the Superbowl, sounds like the team you all wanted lost pretty badly haha). But seriously, everything just seems to be good for the most part! That's awesome. I'm also doing super well! Well..this week has actually been kind of just a boring week. Mostly because we have been walking a ton, and during this time of year everyone is at the beach or on vacations, so it makes it hard to find people in their houses sometimes. But all the same we have been teaching and what not. I feel a lot better from my sickness! So that's been a blessing. Its amazing how hard missionary work it when you're sick. 
Whoa, those drawings that Bridger does are wayyy better than my drawings now! Hahah seriously! Hmmm, I don't know what I would like him to draw me, surprise me! That would be awesome though. Have you sent of those other letters by chance?
I received a letter from the Vanderhorsts and from the Ballards this past week which was awesome. They sent me some chocolate coal, and a grab bag from Reams haha. It was great to get some stuff from the ward. The letter from the Vanderhorsts was really nice, and gave me more excitement for the work. I didn't know they were converts?
But we are just out here working, I hope that it will pay off soon. We have some baptisms in different areas of our zone but right now, we don't have anything lined up. Hopefully soon!
I just want to really thank you for all of your prayers and words of encouragement. I can feel your love and I hop love you all know that I pray for you all everyday and love you so much. Thank you for being an example to me. I Love you.

Interesting facts
1. Chile doesn't have a noise ordinance, therefore, you can play your music in your house super super loud. And a lot of people here like American Music.
2.The smell of the air is either baking bread, or poop (from all the dogs)
3.It is very common here to not be on time. It drives me nuts.

Haha love you guys!
have a great week!

Letter 18: Oh, Patrico!

Hola mi madre!
This week sure was interesting, yes it went by fast but I got soo sick! Turns out that I got the flu, and had 3 days of non stop cramps in my stomach and trips to the bathroom. And we had interviews with our mission president! Over all it was a really interesting week haha. But i feel a ton better now! Just getting over the fatigue. I'm really good. How are you all doing? I miss you guys too! 
Hahaha Bridger! That kid makes me laugh. Looks like he is now old enough that he cant get out of these things (which he should want to get out of anyway haha). Stake conference is always good. It seems like a theme church wide is hastening the work. Not only on the Presidency level but on the level of wards and stakes as well. The work really is going throughout this world. I'm glad that you're feeling better though, being sick LITERALLY (parks and rec) is the worst thing. Well...close. Haha. 
To answer some of your questions. I don't think we will be able to go to the temple at least till the end of this year if we reach our goal. Every missionary goes at the end of his mission though. We have changes this Wednesday, but I think we both will stay, who knows though!
Its very true though about the mission President. He just has something about him. During interviews this week I just told him the things I was struggling with and my worries, things like this and he just said the things I needed to hear. I can feel the love that he has. Its interesting because he and his assistants are in a rush always to keep on schedule, but regardless I can feel his love. Hahah yes mom, Skype is soon! ish.
Hmm, I think the thing I enjoy most is really getting know people and their stories. And when I make a connection with someone and they become more than a member, or investigator, but a friend, a brother, a sister, and I really feel like they're my family from before this life. I had this experience this week.
right now we have this family of investigators that we found in a contact one day. THere names are the mom Teresa, the daughter Coni, and the son Patricio. We contacted Patricio and he wasn't interested in our religion but he did want us to come back and talk about our lives with him. We went and found that one day and met the family. We ate some food and were just talking, he showed me he added me on FB and wrote on my wall haha. But after a while we began to talk about why we are here, and what our purpose is. Patricio was saying that is was just because we were born in our church, like he was born in the catholic one, and that's why we believed the way we do. We talked with them about how we aren't here to tell them how to believe, but to provide an opportunity for them to take this chance, put there faith in God and find out for themselves through God if this is His church. The spirit was there and it was really quiet for a while, then the mom *(who we found out was baptized a long time ago) said she would do it. Read the BoM and pray to know. We ended because Patricio had to leave with his girlfriend. But as we were walking with him to the bus stop he gave us a letter. It talked about how when we contacted him he was interested and how he wanted to know more about us and our lives because he has seen a lot of bad things in his life, a lot of realities, how people who have so much don't know how to thank, and how people who have had so little are willing to give everything for the people they love. He talked a lot about how he wants to hear about our lives and why we are the way that we are. I don't think we are going to be teaching him the normal way of lessons. But perhaps through hearing some of our life stories he can see how God has always been present. This is an amazing family. They have a lot of potential. 
And I don't know, Its so interesting how you can SEE the potential these people have. And I just want to help them realize it. 

But that's definite a good part. I love you Mom! You're the best mom ever. Obviously... (:
Have a great week!