We had a pretty interesting week for a couple of reasons. First, we had our cambios (transfers) and that is always fun. I spent the whole day with Elder Pope, our zone leader, because his companion left on Sunday instead of on Monday. We did a lot of running around to get everyone picked up and dropped off in time so that they didn't miss their buses.
Then on Thursday we had a conference with President Bruce where he really just talked about us and the work that we are doing in the mission and what our focus should be while we are here. It was really good and I really enjoyed it because it is helping me line up what I want with what I am supposed to be doing in the mission. That coupled with the studying I was doing last week has been helping me a lot. I kind of made me feel bad because of the lack of success that I am having currently, but at least my focus is shifting in the right direction.
Also, we are heading into the Sept 18 Independence Day and it is a huge deal. In Canada or the States its kind of a small thing comparatively. Here it's like 3 days off work linked with a weekend and the people are just crazy excited. For example, the District here is having a celebration that starts today from 7pm till 10pm and then tomorrow from 8am till late in the night (don't know exactly when). This week should be fun.
I can only imagine that the Chinese wedding dad photographed would have been a little different. I attended the wedding here when I was in Gabriela and it was largely the same, but with the change in culture there are things that are a little different. The Chinese people tend to be a little bit more over the top with their celebrations from what I understand. It sounds like dad got to see a bunch of interesting things though, which is cool.
That kind of sucks that Blaine has to move given that you just finished decorating his room in the last year, but obviously his safety is more important than a can of paint, especially considering what he has been through lately. At least someone moving into the old residence will have a nice room and they and their family can hopefully appreciate it.
I miss volleyball so much. I know I didn't play a lot at home, but even just playing once and a while was nice, and then in the MTC. Here, soccer is the only thing and I think that I am losing desire to play it, instead of gaining it. I don't think that I will ever need to play, or watch, or even hear about soccer when I return because that is all there is here. That being said, I am happy that the Stake Volleyball Tournament went well and that people showed up and there was some decent play going on.
I really wish there was a temple here in Antofagasta. You guys will have three temples (with the Calgary temple opening soon) within 6 hours and we have one temple more than a day's travel away. I am really looking forward to going when I get back. That would be cool if the new converts could go to the temple openhouse. You should think about taking her to do baptisms - that is one thing they say really encourages people to keep active. It is something like 80% of people who go to the temple to do baptisms within 6 months of getting baptized stay active or some kind of ridiculous statistic like that.
With transfers happening, the weeks are always a little disrupted, so it is hard to tell how things are going to go with the work. But... I do know that we are being really obedient and working really hard, even if it is not showing as much as we would like it to. Now we just need to work on working smarter instead of just harder. One interesting thing is that President Bruce defines levels of Key Indicators so we can measure our progress. The indicators are to help us work more effectively and today he changed those key indicators. It is an interesting way to see how President Bruce thinks that we should be working in order to find sucess here in the sector, and in the mission as a whole. (Key indicators are in Preach My Gospel, ch 8 if you want to look it up instead of me explaining it.)