Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Letter 40: Independence week BBQ!

Dear mother of mine,

Hey! Seriously it does feel like forever since we have heard much from each other. The pictures from your vacation look amazing though, sounds like you had a great time. We will have to do something when I get home ;) hahah. I think one of my favorite vacation spots is our traditional San Diego, a lot of good memories there. It`s true though, there is just something about home that you can`t replace. Hahaha that`s funny that you mention the drivers and the craziness of the roads..I thought that is how Chile was going to be but it`s crazy because they are wayyy overly safe. Like as a pedestrian it drives me crazy how cautious they are haha. But hey I guess it`s a lot better than almost having to be really careful in the streets! 

This week we have had zero new investigators. Actually this week was the their independence week or in other words the week where everyone drinks and eats barbecue and just wants to party haha. So I can`t say it was a very successful week. However we still were able to teach some people and have a good time. Actually our ward had an activity for the 18th and it was awesome! I`ll send some pictures but it was great. I learned how to make empanadas (which included chopping a ton of onion and crying), and then we played a bunch of typical games of Chile. But they were just normal what we did in elementary school for field day such as tug of war, sack races, etc. but it was still fun. They did some traditional dances of their country and that was pretty fun to watch, my companion took video of a lot of things so we`ll have to watch them when I get home.  For the first time in forever I ate barbecue! So as far as food goes it was a good week.

So as to your list of questions I`m just going to answer them one by one right now so I don`t forget..
-My favorite thing to eat here is probably a good empanada.
-Yes I have thought about school and I think it would be a good idea to start it in August. I have to talk with President but from what I have heard from other missionaries is that for educational reasons you can go one month before the ¨release date¨. I think it would be better to get home and just start instead of having a few months of waiting. But I don`t know, what do you think?
 -I think I`ll stay for another transfer but I have no idea if Elder Huertas will stay or not. 
-Things are fine with my companion, we get along pretty well so there aren`t really any problems there we just want more success!
_-There are no signs of going to the temple sadly, man do I miss it!
-Some of my pants are kind of dying..but nothing to bad. I`m a 30-32
I hope I didn`t miss anything! Oh and it`s been a while since we have had interviews with President so we should have some soon. The transfers come the 8th of October right after General Conference. Speaking of which I am excited to hear the General Conference! It`s going to be a good one (like all of them haha). I`m trying to think of some questions or things I want direction with in my life to be able to have in mind as i`m listening. What about you?

I have seen a lot of blessings in my own life and in the life you you guys too. It`s good to know that the Lord really does take care of us when we do what is right. I have to say I have learned a lot through this past year in the mission and I wanted to share with you a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 135:5.After Joseph Smith had died and they were recounting the experience how Hyrum had put corner of a page turned on Ether 12. It really struck me as I read it this morning. It basically says don`t worry that the gentiles (all of those not of the church), don`t have charity, that has nothing to do with you, you have been faithful and you will inherit the kingdom of God. It says something like that..I read it in Spanish. But I have found that at times I get discouraged in the mission for lack of success or for when people don`t want to hear our message and I have come to realize that it doesn`t matter because i`ve been faithful. I want to continue to be faithful and I know that your support as my family has been essential in helping me do this. I know God put me with you all for a reason and I thank him everyday for it. I love you so much!

I truly do miss you as well but it no time we`ll be together again. In the meantime I will keep working hard and striving to do whats right so all can be blessed. Thanks for all you do and know that it doesn`t go unnoticed. Have a wonderful week! And save some pumpkin roll for me ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Letter 39: Darko's Baptism!

My dear wonderful, beautiful, and youthful motherrrrrrr!

Well a lot has happened this week! But first of all it was amazing to hear about your trip to Trevor`s graduation. Missionaries coming and going eh? Sounds pretty exciting haha, Will is back, I heard Dallin is back too. And to Argentina? Supposedly they eat pretty well there so he might end up gaining a bit of weight haha, a lot of barbeques and pasta! I miss your Sunday dinners thats for sure, yesterday I ate some noodles with red sauce, it was pretty...good. Hahah oh man, the mission, too good. Don`t worry, soon you will have GRANDKIDS to fill the house as well haha. Also that`s super exciting about your trip to the domincan republic, i`m excited to see the pictures when you go. I heard that they speak really fast..but then again you will be at a resort so youll be speaking English. Or you could learn spanish and we can talk when I get home. 

Okay well this week was full of adventures! First and foremost we had a baptism! Darko got baptized on Saturday at 4:00. It was great to see how many people came out to support him despite the rain (when it rains hardly anyone leaves the house). Here is a little shortened version of his story. Okay, his friend at school invited him to go to church one Sunday and he went. He told us how that day changed everything. He had been into alcohol and stuff not so great and he told us how after he went to church he changed, he stopped doing those things. Well he attended church there for about a month and a half and his friend (lela) sent us his address and everything though the other missionaries there. After 2 weeks we finally found him and started to teach him and MAN he had so many questions! Over the course of about 3 or 4 weeks we taught him everything, answered all his questions and helped him feel more sure about baptism. I remember the lesson where he decided to be baptized, we red Ether 12:6 and he sat there thinking for a good 15 seconds then told us he wanted to be baptized. The young men and young women of the ward accepted him completely and befriended him right from the start. Actually the young mens pres. baptized him and two of the young men were the witnesses. It was a really special day. Darko`s friend that invited him ended up coming with her family and got pretty emotional during the service and started to cry. All I could think is how her one small action to invite him to church completely changed the course of his life. How amazing it is to me that she decided to act and have the courage to open her mouth. Darko`s mom, aunt, and uncle came to the baptismal service as well and were moved. Overall it was a great day and i`m thankful for the opportunity I had and have to teach him and get to know him. Anyway, we left the chapel and were walking with our umbrellas (it had been raining off and on all day). We contacted a few houses and were walking down one of the main roads (which means lots of powerlines),  and all of a sudden the buildings next to me begin to shake and I hear a lot of trembling. Finally it dawned on me, earthquake! At first I ran for the wall of a building to get cover or something, i`m not sure what I was thinking but then I realized hey...buildings can fall. So I ran with my companion to the edge of the street and as my mind is racing I remember hearing something about get away from powerlines. As I thought that I looked up and was right under some powerlines that just happened to start sparking and all the lights went out. Then it stopped and all you could hear were car alarms and people yelling or crying. If I remember right it was like a 6.4, relatively small for Chile but for me it was huge haha. We went to our pension to see that everything was alright and there wasn`t any light, the electricity had been cut for our house and several blocks. Well to make things short we went to a members house and stayed there for a while. There were a few aftershocks during the night that woke me up and the light didn`t come back until Sunday night. So that was a pretty crazy experience. No worries though, i`m alive :)

We have Transfers this Wednesday and i`m pretty sure i`ll be staying here but I have no idea if my comp is going to go or going to stay. I`ll let you know what happens. The weather here is getting hotter and hotter already! Well minues the days that it rains. It`s kind of like Utah weather here, one day is super nice and the other really blah. But we are going to be warming up here pretty soon. I`m still very happy with my area and with my companion, obviously there are trials with every comp. and every area but there are also a lot of blessings. I can`t believe that in about 2 months you guys are going to have snow! I feel like you just barely came out of winter. Time is passing pretty quickly, I hope you have a great week and enjoy your last little while of warmth! Haha Trevor is the best! He wrote me and i`m going to forward this email and right him something right now. I love you mom! Thanks for all your love and support!

Love your favorite child, Elder Barton!