Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 23, 2012

We had a really good week here in the sector. We were able to get some new people to church and also had a lot of success finding new people without too much difficulty. We have been doing really good and it looks like we can expect a baptism on Friday, as long as nothing changes.

This should be my last week here in Gabriela Mistral. Next week are transfers and it would be a little weird to be here for another transfer, given that Elder Rodriguez should be moving to Senior companion. Really, the only way I think that I would stay is if I am training next transfer, which is potentially an option.

That is sad to hear that Blaine is having more troubles with his arm, but hopefuly he will be able to recover well. On the one hand it is bad that he broke the same arm, but it might be better given that he won't have injuries on both sides.

I can't believe that Jeremy Colling is home already. It has definatly not felt like two years, but I have really been amazed at how fast the time seems to go here in the mission. I am kind of noticing how short my life before the mission actually felt. It is a lot easier to see how the time is moving when looking back on it, than looking at the moment or to the future. The days may seem long, but the weeks seem short. It is good that he was able to give a great homecoming talk. I would imagine that it is pretty emotional to come back home and talk in that setting. Probably didn't help that his sisters sang right before.

I was actually wondering the other day what some of the people I know are doing. Like Alex, Garret (did you have him over?), Jeff, Andrew and some of the girls. 

You should try and let me know a little what happens during the Olympics even though Canada usually isn't strong in the summer Olympics.

I had mentioned that we were going to have a baptism this Friday. It is a girl from here that Elder Rodriguez found. She is fourteen, but her understanding of the things that we are teaching is really amazing. There are a lot of adults that we teach that don't understand like she does, and when she doesn't understand something she asks, which is refreshing.

We are also working with a couple that we found that are from Columbia. They came to church for the first time yesterday and I think that they really enjoyed it. We are really excited to see what goes on. We will be trying to get them to commit to a baptisimal date this week which would be fantastic because it's always like to find families instead of single family members. 

I couldn't help but notice that in the picture of you guys by the fountain at City Hall during Taste of Edmonton, that mom is holding green onion cakes.....that's just mean. (Not intentional - Jordan's favourite.)

Love you,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 16, 2012

It is really interesting that you guys are getting your hot weather there while we are getting our cold weather here. I knew that it worked that way obviously, but I just never thought about it. It is actually starting to get a little cold during the nights and I have been putting on my jacket a little more than usual. One thing that is different here is that the houses really have no insulation and they are not even close to closed off from the environment, so the indoor temperatures drop and rise a lot with the outside temperature. I heard one time that if you add up all the little cracks and holes that are open to the outside in the houses in Canada, you'd have a hole the size of a basketball. Here it's like having your door open all day, probably more.

I have been thinking about making pizza from scratch, but I have been lazy, not much time to do it, and I have no idea how to regulate the temperature in the stoves here because they are gas.

It doesn't feel like Theo and Jeremy have been out long enough to be coming home already, but like you said, I have been gone 8 and a half months and it doesn't feel that long either.

This week was probably our worst week here in the sector, but we did have the baptism of Eduardo (I'll send pictures next week). We are really looking to work a little harder this week. There were a lot of meetings and things this week that took almost all of our mornings, so we should have more time this week to work and get stuff done.

One of those things was the interview with the president and like always, it was really good. It is kind of interesting that I only get time to talk to the president once every three months and only for about 15 minutes, and yet when we get together, most of the time we swap stories instead of talking about specific things. One thing funny was that he asked me if I had a drivers licence and could drive a stick shift, which made me think a lot. The only people who drive are the ones in the office, but it looks like he asked everyone that question, so it was not really a big deal.

With the baptism of Eduardo we still have people to teach, but we will have to find more because some we were teaching are starting to drop off. Hopefully we can have another really good week like we had two weeks ago and get rolling again and finish the transfer strong.

Strange Cultural fact of the week: the people here water the area in front of their house more than we do, but they are watering only dirt in order to keep the dust down... I don't think that it is working.

Love you guys,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 9, 2012

You really shouldn't feel too worried about telling me things that are going on and distracting me because I hardly think about home during the week. Really only on Sunday. The mission is just too busy and Elder Rodriguez and I are working really hard so it's not really a distraction. I have been amazed at how fast this transfer has been going - it hasn't felt anywhere close to three weeks. That usually happens when you are focused on the right things... so there you go. 

I really don't think you could bore me with your pictures. I will give you an idea of some things that I have not seen in a while: grass, carpet, doorknobs... any kind of plant. One thing that I would really like you to send me, but might take some effort to get, is a couple pictures of a project or two from work last summer (landscaping). I would really appreciate it if you could get me the pictures this week, but if it takes another week that's fine.

I am convinced that during my first two months in the mission that I could have beaten anyone at charades, so you can tell Mandy I know what that is like. (Friends Mandy and Jacek went to Poland, his homeland, during Euro. Mandy doesn't speak Polish... they didn't speak English, but her charades were excellent!)

I am so happy to be working with Elder Rodriguez here in Gabriela. We have one baptism set for this week and we have a handful of people that are progressing so we are looking good. 

Eduardo is that one that we have been working with whose girlfriend is a member. He is doing really well in order to work towards this Saturday. The only thing that we really have left with him is to get him his interview this week and actually do it.

Elder Rodriguez found a girl on Saturday while he was working with another Elder and she went to church yesterday. She was saying she wants to go to seminary so we will probably be working with her throughout this coming week. I really don't know much about her situation, but it sounds like her mother was an investigator a long time ago, but never got baptized (maybe because of the dad).

We also have two families of Colombians that we are working with, thanks to my companion. A couple of them are progressing well, but have yet to go to church.

Ilrick was our other investigator that had a baptisimal date for this Saturday, but it is looking like we are going to have to work with him a little more. He was attending an Adventist church and I think he feels uncertain on a couple of things. What he really needs to do is read and pray, but I don't think he wants to at this point.

In other news...tomorrow we have interviews with President Bruce so I will be able to give you a lowdown on what happens next week. Also, I will upload some photos today.

Strange cultural fact of the week: From what I can tell, there appears to be no speed limit here, or it is really not enforced.

I really need to start writing down more things that happen. Some guy came and told me this week that he was a prophet and had spoken in tongues. The spirit told him to tell me that I need to stop living in the flesh and start living in spirit and loving the people. I would love to tell you that it was a weird experience, but stuff like that happens all the time. However, it's something I haven't mentioned before.


Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

There is not really anything here for either Canada day or for the US Independence Day because the Chilean Independence Day is September 18 (which I hear is ridiculous - a whole weekend where you are either in the pension, church or with members). But I am not super patriotic so it won't really be that big of a deal for me. That's good that you sang all 4 verses of the national anthem though because I think that many people forget entirely that there is even more than one verse.
I really miss going to the temple. I was able to go almost every week in the MTC and now I haven't even been able to go once, and won't be able to until I get home. I had already heard that the temple in Calgary was nearing completion. That is really cool that it is somebody that we know being called to serve there and Temple President.
I have indeed recieved Brother Kennett's letters. The thing is that they get held back a lot because they have to get here to Chile, then there is the chance that they get stuck in the mission office for a time. I was pretty happy to recieve the letter and actually read it to my companion during our weekly planning. It was good reminder not to lose track of why you are on the mission.
I received the package you sent. It was really nice to open it and see some things that I haven't seen in awhile.
I should let you know that we are killing it here in our sector. Me and Elder Rodríguez are both working really hard and it is showing. The way the vision of President Bruce works is that he gives you four different levels to work towards. His vision is that everyone should be able to get to the highest level, but he gives you the lower ones to work yourself up (I think that's why, at least). That being said, to get the highest level is a lot of work, but we were able to do it this week. The hardest thing to get is new investigators because you can't just go out and find them based solely on your desire. The number for the highest level is 10 and this week we got 17. We also had 31 lessons which is double what I was getting last transfer.
We are having a lot of success working with the members here and even though we are in a really small sector, our work is paying off and we are really finding the success that we want.