Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

Elder Hernàndez is from Talca, Chile. He is interestingly, my first Chilean companion. District leader is really the same except that I have to run the District meetings and take numbers to pass to the zone leaders a couple days a week. I also pass along any information that is needed by the sectors. I am only over three sectors including my own so it is not too bad.

This might be the nicest pension in the whole mission. I took you a few pictures so that you can see, but it is really nice. We have a living room that has a TV (we don't use) and it is fully furnished. We have a Ping Pong table (we do use) and it has a really nice bathroom.

Arica is pretty nice. It is really hot here, but the night time is just like Tocopilla, almost perfect. I will not use a jacket in my whole time here unless something really weird happens. I think there are things to see, but we usually don't go to do those things because we are ultimately more lazy on Pday than anything else.

I am really happy with my companion - we get along really well and we both just want to get out and work, so I think that we'll have more success here. Also, the people here are just more open to the missionaries... so we'll see what happens. 

We had a pretty good zone activity today (which in typical style, I took no pictures of). We went to the house of the mamita that used to have the missionaries here in Los Industriales and she made the whole zone mexican food. It was really good... it only cost us about 3 dollars to cover the cost of food for the activity...I doubt that covered it all.

Don't worry about my feet, I have been dealing with my shoes just fine this last little while and I can keep it up for a couple months more if I need to.

I know this is really short, but I uploaded about 50 pictures so you can enjoy that this week.

Love Jord

Older pictures:

Jordan and his mamita (Antofagasta)

Missionary shoes - waiting on new ones

Elder McCaskill and Jonatan (member in Tocopilla)

Elder Lopèz - "fanning" the coals

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 22, 2012

I would like to start off this e-mail by saying that Denae (Jordan's 8 year old cousin, once removed) does not really look the same at all. She is definitely starting to mature. Granted, it has been almost a year and it will be a little different to see everyone. I am sure that I will look different to everyone when I get back.

These last few days have been a little slow because it is cambios (transfers) and it always slows down the mission. It always picks up the next week, but beforehand everyone is a little preoccupied and the few days before it gets a little hard to focus, but we are better now.

I get so jealous when you talk about volleyball. It pretty much doesn't exist here and I miss playing sports that I enjoy (soccer is "the" game in Chile, but not Jordan's thing). That is cool that you get to play though, probably a nice change for you also. Also nice that it is a woman's only league so you don't have to deal with the guys trying to crank it as hard as they can.

I still can't believe that you even have a motorcycle.

That is a little bit of bad news about Jacek. Has he at least been doing alright since he started changing up what he was doing? Obviously no one wants a heart attack, but it could lead to some good changes in his life (looking on the upside). Also good that you guys are starting out strong in your soccer season.

I guess that I might as well just say it because I am sure that you are wondering anyways - I did get transfered. I am now in the sector of Los Industriales in the city of Arica. I am here with my new companion Elder Hernandez and I have moved up to be a district leader now. I am happy to be here in Arica because it never gets cold like Alto Hospicio. It is quite possible that I will not use a jacket while I am here.

I have now destroyed the shoes to the point where they are almost unuseable so I am really looking forward to having nice shoes. I am just hoping that I can make the old ones last until I recieve the new ones. I will let you know when I get the parcels so you know.

I really have nothing to write about the new sector so I will just leave it at that for now.

Until next week,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15, 2012

I was so glad that you sent me the pictures of my ties. Elder Mikesell is here in the ciber (internet cafe) with me and we were looking at them. I miss having my really nice ties. I am super glad that I did not bring them because they would get filthy and I don't really want that. I am strong and can wait. 

I can't believe that you slept in until 11 in the morning - I have never seen that from you in my whole life. If it really did actually happen, I would have to believe that you were really tired. I am learning that being constantly tired is just a norm here in the mission and something to get used to.

We had some special transfers in the zone this week so it was a little hectic at some points. Both of our district leaders were transfered to be zone leaders in other zones so we had to fill in for them while we were waiting for their replacements in our zone. I got sent to Pozo Almonte which is a small town outside of Alto Hospicio and had to organize a baptism in one day because it was happening the next day. It was really fun because it was really just a logistical challenge and that is basically how my brain works, so I had a great time. However, I was ready to leave by the end. Just so that you know, the next normal transfers are on the 22nd so I should know for the next letter what is happening with me and who my companion is.

It sounds like you are making a number of changes or renovations this year to the house. I will be able to benefit from it all, even though I know you will probably have projects for me when I return.

The inteview with President Bruce was a really big pick me up, like always. I am finding myself with more excitement to work even though we have very little going on. When talking with President Bruce he indicated the sector hasn't historically had difficulty, but I know and he is also aware that I am not good at finding people to teach. So, we spent a lot of time talking about ways to fix that through improving myself or by changing other things. I am really glad for these 15 to 20 minutes that we get every 3 months because they really make you feel alot better as long as you are working hard.

As far as how the sector is going, we are basically working on trying to find people, and attempting to keep our obedience and work level high, to make sure that we are not losing blessings that are easy to get or easy to lose.

Here you go: Estoy muy feliz que voy a estar recibiendo zapatos nuevos porque los que yo tengo ahora son horrible y murió super rápido. Ni tenía estés zapatos tres semanas antes de que saliera un hoyo abajo en el suelo. Y ahora tengo una división in los dos zapatos y el suelo esta dividido en dos partes. Yo estaba pensando que iban a durar mas tiempo porque son de la marca Coleman pero son muy mal. No puedo creer que yo rompí mis zapatos en menos que un mes. Obviamente voy a tener que usarlos hasta que lleguen mis otros (gracias por mandarmelos) pero he visto los de Elder Mikesell y creo que van a durar hasta el final de mi misión porque después de once meses sus zapatos se ven como los míos después de como un mes (no mis botas, los otros).

I wrote in Spanish but the google translation is horrible so here is what it should translate to.

I am really happy that I am going to be recieving new shoes (in the mail - one from us and one pair ordered/sent from Mission Shoes) because the ones I have right now are horrible and died really fast. I didn't even have these shoes three weeks before there was a hole in the sole.  Now there is a split in both the shoes so the sole is divided into two parts. I was thinking that they would last longer because they are Coleman but they are really bad. I can't believe that I broke my shoes in less than one month. I will obviously have to use them until my others arrive (thanks for sending me them) but I have seen Elder Miksell's and I think they will last until the end of my mission because after 11 months his look like mine did after 1 month (not my boots, the others).


Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

I love conference. It could be the greatest thing of all time. We are going to have a really powerful week this week as we also have interviews with President Bruce to round things off. I took about 11 pages of notes from the conference and I was able to pull a lot out of it - hopefully stuff that I am able to apply to my life in order to have the success that I want to have here in the mission. One thing that really impacted me as a small theme for the conference was Service, and how it is not always going to be convenient or easy, but that it will allow us to have the spirit stronger with us and direct our lives.

It sounds like you are not having any trouble having fun without me. I am however, glad that you had a good time on your vacation and were able to get to do some new/different things. Hopefully when we go again, you'll have a good idea of stuff we can do while we're there. 

I don't really know who Train (band we saw in Phoenix) is, but Elder Mikesell does and says its cool, so that's alright.

That's really sad that you only got to see one session of conference because of your schedule, but at least they are all already up on the internet so you can see them afterwards. I am really glad we have a separate room for all the Elders (and members) who speak English to watch because it is really so much better. The priesthood session in English was half without volume here, so we had to watch in Spanish. While it was nice to have that option to be able to watch it in Spanish, it was apparent that there are flaws as things are left out or changed simply because live translation is hard and not exact (we did have English subtitles). You should give thanks everyday that you speak English and are able to hear your church leaders and read the standard works without any errors. It is a great blessing that we have - English is the language of the restoration.

It's ok that I missed Thanksgiving because last year I got 2 - it all works out. I will probably have one here too. I miss turkey, chicken is good, but it's just not the same, and we eat it all the time.

You go hermanando those conversos recientes (friendshipping those recent converts). Sigan con eso, es lo mas importante. (Keep with it, it is most important.)

I was doing some thinking the other day and after our Christmas phone call I will have two five month blocks before talking with you, and then seeing you. How the mission flies... I feel like just left the MTC.

Sorry but I've got to go.

Love Jord

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 1, 2012

The Independance Day celebrations here sure was an interesting experience. I wish that I had been able to take pictures of some of the stuff that went on, but I didn't have my camera to do that with.

That's nice that you are having a good time there in Arizona, getting to see some interesting things. I am looking forward to the vacation that you take me on next year. It sounds like this time you were able to take more time to go see and do things now that the house is set up, more or less. 

It is looking like the weather here is starting to get hotter.  We are going to begin the suffering of walking around in the heat. It is not really that bad, but you have to get used to being constantly sweaty, which sucks. At least if you can get out of the sun, the heat drops significantly because the temperatures are not that's the intensity of the sun.

My fitness routine has actually picked up a little again from where it was. I am trying to get it done, but have really been tired. Although I am getting up on time to do it, I am still being a little lazy. That being said, I think that I am doing pretty good at keeping my weight in a healthy place - a little bigger than before, but not fat by any means. I just need to do a little better at working out to tone it up and cut out the little bit of chub that is sneaking it's way in.

From what I have heard Santiago is a lot different than here in the North. The people there are apparently more motivated, whereas the people here tend to be a little lazy comparatively. For example, the people here in the North have lots of jobs, but don't want to fill them so the people from the South come and fill them because the mines here are enormous. That is what we hear from talking to other people, but we really aren't too involved with the outside world.

I really miss the temple. The temple in Provo is the same (we went to the Mesa temple while in Arizona) where you can walk in to whatever session you want, pretty much. From what I hear it's the same with the Salt Lake Temple. I think that a trip to the temple at this point in the mission would be a nice refresher - a little bit of time with absolute relaxation and a time to meditate and enjoy the calm.

I am so excited for General Conferance. Today me and Elder Mikesell went down to Iquique to buy food to have during the sessions, since we have a separate room where we can watch in English. Last year I took a ridiculous amount of quotes and notes. I'm hoping it's exactly the same this year. It is pretty cool because it is like two straight days of revelation for you as a person, and as a missionary in my case.

I am glad to hear that Spencer is adapting to life outside the normal (in the mission field). One thing that I am really learning is that everyone tells you how great your mission is going to be and about the great experiences that you are going to have. Everyone also seems to forget to mention the stress, worrying and sheer exertion - physical, mental and spiritual, that you have.

Oh, we had a baptism this week. There was a member whose records were lost and had to get baptized again and that fell to us in this case. It happened all really quickly and was a lot of work in the middle of the week to get everything ready. His name is Francisco Ignacio Nicolas Ibaceta Flores.

That is really all I have and all that I have time for, so I will talk to you next week. Aprovechen la Conferencia (seize the Conference - we assume this means to seize the opportunity of listening to general conference).