Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 17, 2012 - Sorry for the Delay

Sorry that this is a day late but we were in Antofagasta yesterday from 7 in the morning until around 10 at night because we had to go to do interviews with the Mission President. On the plus side we went to T.G.I. Friday´s and I got to eat a cheeseburger with fries and a brownie and it was awesome. It cost as much as this week's groceries, but it was awesome.

I have been trying to take pictures when something cool presents itself but I really haven't taken that many because we are pretty much always busy and Elder Revi doesn't like it when we stop to take pictures. It says not to look like a tourist in the manual, but I think that stopping to take a picture every now and then is probably alright so I'll try and get more. I will try and get some on the computer next week if I can but the computers we use are not the best and the internet kind of sucks.

It is a lot of walking but I am getting used to it. We walk everywhere in our sector and have no access to bikes.Our sector really isn't that large but the people here have almost zero sense of scheduling, so our appointments don't happen a lot. It is really different because you will go to an appointment that you set up and the people won't even be at the house. Then sometimes you  just stop by and share an hour long lesson, so it is really weird. As a result though we end up walking alot. There are three cars in the whole mission and all of them are in Antofagasta, used by the President, his wife and the AP´s. There are collectivos here in Chile which are like taxis that we can use, but usually we only take those once or twice a week for a special reason. They are really cheap though - its 1$ a person for anywhere within their route, but we just walk most of the time because our budget isn't huge.

I have not been sick at all, but sometimes in the mornings I get cramps until I...well you know, but its not that bad. I'm trying to be as clean as possible and I don't think that's bad. I am indeed taking my vitamins. I have taken them almost everyday since I left home and they are really good (he took adult gummy vitamins.), so sometimes I take an extra (smilie face)(Curse you Spanish keyboards and language setting). 

I know that you wanted me to take some pictures of some bugs here (dad) and send them home, but there is really nothing here. I am in the middle of the driest desert in the world and nothing grows...nothing. Within the city I have seen about 4 cockroaches and really nothing else. There are people... and because there are people, the dogs live here alright... and because there are dogs, there are flies... and that is really the end of the food chain. They say that nothing lives in the desert, not even snakes or bugs or anything. There are no cactus in the desert or anything and I am not exaggerating.

That's cool that you got a new calling (teaching 5 year olds Sunday School) and that you are enjoying/thinking you are going to enjoy it. Also, make sure that dad keeps in contact with the missionaries because a ward mission leader that stays in constant contact with the missionaries is a really big help, especially for setting up stuff like splits and lessons with members.

Currently we have the potential to be teaching about 10 people because we were working really hard last week and got 8 new investigators. We will have to see how it is going to work out this week, but we have one with a date who is going to need a lot of help. We also have a group of kids that we are teaching and some of them look pretty good. It is interesting that at home the adults tend to be the ones more open to the message, or at least the ones that are a little older. Here, they tend to be the ones who are like "I´m a Catholic and I don't need your religion" and the youth are usually the ones who except it most easily. Obviously there are exceptions, but that is kind of a general statement.

I don't know if I told you this, but there are two companionships here in Tocopilla. One was here before along with his new trainer so they continued with the existing contacts. Me and Elder Revi are new to this area so we had to start from nothing, so we feel like we're doing really good. It is interesting that at home when I would do well at something, I would just kinda coast on that, but here I feel like if I did that good last week, I kind of need to do better this week. This is the vision of President Bruce and the whole mission which is good, but it is just interesting.

This week we had the opportunity to go to Antofa(gasta), like I said above, which was really cool. We got to see the APs, have our interview with President Bruce and see the mission office, which was Elder Revi´s last area. He was secretary. He still proselyted, but he was in the office during the days. The temperature in Antofa is so much nicer than here in Tocopilla, but I am getting used to it so it's not that bad.

Last week I wanted to tell you this, but I forgot. This is something you can share with Jacek that he will probably think is cool. The other week we had an hour long sit down with Martina Sanchez who is the mother of Alexis Sanchez. If you don't know who Alexis Sanchez is, he was born in Tocopilla and plays professional soccer for Barcelona. We were able to spend some time talking with his mother and she is super nice. We walked in and there were pictures of Alexis everywhere and Elder Revi started asking questions. It turned out it was his mother. I had no idea who he was, but it was still pretty cool for me because football is so huge here.

We went on P-day and another day to go play football with the young kids and it was pretty fun having my butt kicked by 12 year olds. One of the kids that we played with is 17 and I think and he plays for a local professional team, here or maybe Calama, which is pretty close.

Also, yes the time is passing quickly. I am really trying to get lost in the day and not worry about time and stuff. Elder Revi made a comment that an ordinary missionary counts the time and an extraordinary missionary makes the time count. The saying for being ready to go is trunky (when you are packed and ready to go home). It is interesting that the missionaries who are trunky, their missions last longer than those who aren't, not literally but figuratively. So, the more I want to go home, the harder I have to work, and the more I want to stay, the more I will work.

Until next time...