Friday, February 17, 2012

February 6, 2012 Last week's email

**I did send this last week but I tried to send pictures and I think it got rejected.**

That's nice that the weather there is warming up and that the temperatures have been nice this winter. I really wish that it would cool down a little here as every day seems hotter than the last right now. You mentioned before that you are jealous thinking of me walking around all day in short sleeve shirts, but I wish I didn't have to walk around all day in black pants - it's not all upsides. On the plus side, I think that I am past the point of needing sunscreen the majority of the days here, which is nice.

I really have flubbed on excercising here and I am really not getting into it in the mornings. It was really difficult with 4 people in the old pension with the room restrictions, but the new pension is so much better space-wise that I can probably do a full aerobics routine (if i wanted). 

I hate soccer here. The weather is stupidly hot for sports, I suck at it, and the local 8 year olds beat me. I start out trying to do good and by the end of an hour I end up just giving up. Plus, I usually have to go play soccer after the rest of the day walking around. /end rant

I totally forgot that Blake should be coming home soon. If you could try and get a copy of his homecoming talk (if he even has one) and send it to me that would be cool to read. If not, just paraphrase what he said in your e-mail. 

I have been getting e-mails from grandma that are really short and always say something about getting off the computer so people don't get mad at her. You would think she is staying in a jail (she is actually in Phoenix). But I still enjoy getting them as she tells me some of the news you guys forget/don't know and they are always good for a smile.

I have been loving the time here in Chile. My two favorite things are spending time working with the members as well as teaching our investigators. With the new mission vision coming to Tocopilla this week which focuses on working with the members and investigators I am super excited.

There is a saying in the mission that I think is a local saying. "Giving juice" is when you are wasting time on useless stuff. Some of the missionaries are calling this the Big Juicy Vision, but I am super excited. Me and Elder Revi have been talking about the idea of going around and teaching the lessons to the members which I think is a good idea and a good way to keep from "giving juice".

I have made some audio recordings. I think 3, but I wasn't planning on sending any of them home because I don't want to risk losing them. I also don't think I am going to send any of my picture memory cards home, but I'll try and send home pictures. Then at the end of my mission I will just have some that you haven't seen. (Speaking of which, I included some pictures of the old pension, some of tocopilla, and some just random Chile shots).

We don't really have set service projects or a certain amount that we do. It's kind of just whenever someone needs something, we set a time and go. For instance, the Hermana Isolina who owns the home we're at, wants us to paint so we will do that one day soon, but the people here are really unreceptive to service or help of any kind for the most part.

I borrowed Elder Christensen's cord this week to do the pictures, but Elder Revi says he know where I can buy one and I imagine it won't be that expensive since it's just a cord. There should be one with my camera box but I don't want to wait 4 weeks so I'll just buy one.

Our investigators our progressing really good. One of our baptisms for Febuary fell through but we still have one on that date that is solid. We are currently working with 6? people who are really strong investigators. We had 3 people in sacrament this week and 2 menos activos (inactive members). With the other companionship in Tocopilla we had more people attending sacrament meeting than the rest of the zone which was a pretty good indication that we are doing good work. This next week we are planning on getting into more member homes for lessons and also getting more members involved with our lessons with investigators. One of our new investigators is Hugo, who is the dad of one of our previous youth investigators, which is pretty cool.

I realized the random Spanish sentence was in my last email, but I started writing it and just went with it because I was feeling a little lazy. The problem with how I talk right now in conversation is that it is a random mix of Spanish and English. I can talk for a long time about the gospel stuff, but it is really hard to use words like "atonement" and "repentance" in regular conversation. I am working on being able to speak better in everyday situations. One of the problems is the phrases that they use.

We had a cool experience yesterday in church. President Bruce showed up to the church to attend the meeting. None of us knew and then he was just there when we walkied in. Elder Revi was feeling pretty happy with our church turnout given that President Bruce was there. I also had the opportunity to meet Sister Bruce briefly for the first time. That was nice because everybody always talks so highly of her. They took the 3rd hour and gave talks on ward unity. Sister Bruce barely speaks Spanish so Elder Revi translated her talk for her and then the President gave his talk. Sister Bruce's talk was super simple, but really powerful and President Bruce's talk was about half an hour on 3 scriptures which was really good too. It was nice when President Bruce gave his talk as I could understand everything he said, which is not common. Elder Revi says it's because President Bruce talks like a Gringo, but I'm fine with that.

Well... that was my week.