Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 26, 2012

Just so that you guys are aware the cambios (transfers) for this 6 week period are next Monday so I will be able to say something about them in my next email because I should know Saturday night. De los quatro misioneros aqui en Los Industriales (Yo, Elder Hernández, Elder Galovich y Elder Alvial), sabemos que se va Elder Alvial porque él está terminando la misión y probablamente se va mí compañero porque ya tiene casi quatro meses y medio. (Translation??: Of the four missionaries here in Los Industrial (Me, Hernandez Elder, Elder Galovich and Elder Alvial), we think that Elder Alvial will probably be my companion because he has almost four months and is ending his mission.)

I just fell over in my chair and it was really funny. Sitting in the ciber with 4 missionaries and a couple old dudes and I fell backwards off my chair. SPECIAL.

I am starting to realize that I really really really miss movies and television.

I am really happy to hear that you guys are going out with the missionaries to help teach and getting to know the new people better. That is something that is really lacking here in the north of Chile. Elder Heràndez says that his best guess is that the church here in the North is about 10 years behind what it is in the south. We are statistically the best mission in Chile, but the church here really is not as strong as it could be. When you can find someone that can go with you to the appointments and become friends with the people investigating the church it really becomes a lot easier for the missionaries to teach them. It really allows the investigators to integrate themselves into the church easier and adjust to the lifestyle that goes with it.

I had my first opportunity to do baptismal interviews this week. Within my district there were 3 baptisms that were planned. I had to go and do the interviews for those baptisms. It was a really good experience, but it's a bit hard because they just kind of tell you ``Oh, you are a district leader now, figure it out.`` We had some bad luck though with the baptisms though. One of them was all ready to go and the lady never showed up for it, so we have to see what happened this week. That really sucked for those Elders. The other two went good and according to plan more or less, but then there was a mix up on Sunday and only one of them got confirmed. That made one of the missionaries really angry because it means that the baptism doesn't count for this month. It had already happened so there wasn't really anything to do about it, but it was frustrating. The other confirmation happened, but they got the name wrong and had to do it again afterwards. Fun times!

If I am here for the next transfer I will be here in Arica until January 14, so that will include Christmas and New Years which I hear is also a pretty big deal.

Wow how foreign...one mission over (geographically - Courtney's call to Vancouver, Canada mission). Just jokes. That is super cool, wherever you go. I am actually a little jealous because she will be going to a place where the church is stable and the members know what is going on. She probably won't have to deal with the frustrations of wanting to do things, but not being able to because they aren't being done or they don't know about them, or you realize there isn't even a ward mission leader. Que bendiciòn. (What a blessing)

I really like that quote, I wrote it down in my planner. ("We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."  - Aristotle)

I figured that I should probably protect my eyes so I bought glasses that have about 60% protection against the UV rays. That should help and they let me relax my eyes instead of always squinting.

Well that is about it.

Love you guys,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 19, 2012

We may not be able to sleep in here, but we sure do take advantage of the afternoon nap. We come back hungry at lunch, eat a ridiculous amount and then get really tired. (We should be doing language study, but it is really hard sometimes.)

I really need to get back to doing a workout again. I will probably ask Elder Galovich to rip me out of bed because I don't have any problem waking up on time, but the act of getting out of bed is what kills me. I know that I need to get going again on that so that I can stay in shape and have good habits when I get back home of working out everyday.

I did not understand a lot of what mom told me about her job situation but it sounds to me like both of you are looking at possible opportunities to switch things up a bit at work. I totally understand that. The mission is basically like a 2 year job sprint here in Chile - the work is basically always the same, but something as easy as getting transferred to a different sector or  city to work makes a big difference to your efficiency and how you function. Changes allow  you to go in with renewed energy, just like after the interviews with President Bruce.

Tell the missionaries there to buck up and not get down because their teaching pool may be small currently. They are in the mission to baptize and they have a baptism scheduled, so they are doing good. Also, you should give them references, names of people that are just good people that they could possibly visit. With only a name and a direction it is so much easier to get into a house to teach someone and that is all most missionaries need.

It's good that you're having grandma over more regularly. You should be spoiling her and not  just the dog.

I think that I am actually eating smarter now, not necessarily just eating less. I have really cut down on eating bread. The mamita here gives better portions and I feel like I am actually more fit than before when I weighed a bit more. Interestingly, I have a muscle on the outside of my shin where I never had a muscle before - we are pretty sure that it is from all the walking. I may not be the most fit in my upper body, but I can walk at a pretty decent speed for about 5 hours straight if I am not ridiculously hot.

Oh... on P-day we weren't really playing soccer. We were playing in the sand and I made a little mountain of sand and put the ball on it and tried to score goals in a 10 foot rugby standard by chipping it over my companion's head. We were mostly just goofing around and it was more fun than actually playing. (I hurt for about 4 days after throwing the baseball.)

Well, we had a baptism this week that I completely forgot to tell you about last week. It was a lady, Dora, that was going to get baptized last transfer, but she decided not to go through with it on the day of her baptism. Her husband got baptized alone. We have been working with her since I got here and we were all really excited when she got baptized this week (most of the zone).

We have some other investigators that are progressing, but there is one that I am most excited for - a girl named Mary who went to Dora´s baptism. The problem is that she goes to Tacna, Peru every Saturday and Sunday so she can't go to church here. We got her all the times and locations of the wards in Tacna and she promised us that she would go to one there to see what it was like.

I am really happy here in this sector and this city. I really hope that I can spend Christmas here.


Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

Your letter had a lot of information this week, BTW. It was nice.

We got to go to the beach today and it was a lot of fun. The four of us were going to meet up with the other group before going, but decided to just go straight there. I think that it was a good idea. We took some baseball gloves that the papito (dad) had here in the pension and the other two started playing catch while me and my companion started messing around with  a soccer ball. Then me and Elder Galovich started throwing the ball around a little bit until it turned into a throwing competition which was really fun. I forgot how fun it was to throw a ball around like that. When we got warmed up we were probably throwing it half the soccer field or more in distance with all our strength. It was really fun and I even started sweating. Then the zone got there and we played ultimate frisbee until lunch and went home. GOOD DAY!

That is cool that you are getting snow....I'm not. I really miss it. One difference here in Arica is how hot the sun is at mid-day. It really is remarkable. It's interesting that it is summer here and we are going into the hottest months while you are going into the coldest. I know you think that I am so blessed here with perfect weather, but I would love to get stuck for an hour and a half in traffic caused by a snow storm right now.

Last week some time I was actually thinking about your soccer ladies because the mamita here in the pension is married, sealed in the temple and a solid member but still has a good sense of humour like the soccer ladies. It is kind of nice because it is not all Book of Mormon jokes and I sometimes slip back into some typical humor. I never said I was perfect though.

There is no such thing as November 11 (Remembrance Day) as far as I know because that has to do with the World War but Chile as a country is rather new so they were not part of it. Really, September 18th is the big holiday here and there is nothing else I'm aware of. They have a lot of days off for a variety of reasons, but  there are really not many big Celebrations.

You can tell Garret to keep up the fitness routine. When I get back from the mission I want to keep eating a bit more and work out when I have a bit more time and my schedule is not quite so rigid. Hot personal trainer girlfriend... I'm impressed, Plesty. You really need to stay in touch with him for me. I'm glad you had him over for supper to catch up and pass along some news - I'm sure he enjoyed the homemade pie too.

Dad, as scary as that sounds that as Ward Mission leader you might be as busy as a bishop, it's worth it.  The Ward Mission Leader has the most potential of any person in a ward to make a difference in what happens with the missionary work, Bishop included. (Book of Jordan 13:23).

That is really interesting about Courtney putting in her mission papers, let me know when she gets the call.

I have to go now but...

Love Jord.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 5, 2012

I am sorry to say mom that I looked at your picture and the first thing that came to mind was ¨wow my mom looks older.¨ (Thanks! I'll have to look for a camera with less mega pixels.) I don't think the change was anything big, but you have obviously gotten a little older and then the glasses (generic magnification glasses for reading) didn't really help. That being said the glasses are definitely what I would expect you to buy. It is a little bit interesting to me that they are seeing a slight decline in your sight, but I guess given your work - the fact that you spend a large part of the day looking at a computer screen it really isn't all that surprising that it is happening (uh... and my age...).

About your wedding anniversary - I obviously just ran out of time last week to mention that because I am so good at remembering the dates of important events in my life like birthdays of family members and stuff. 

Oh, believe me, I already knew that I was coming up on one year (Nov 2/12) and mentioning it would not have made any difference for me. We didn't really change anything because I did not let anyone know except the other missionaries in the sector... and my mamita the day before. We just burned a shirt and then went to bed. It is pretty much what I wanted. I am pretty sure that when I am in my last transfer I may tell people that I have less time. It is just not a big deal for me to celebrate the milestones here in the mission with anything other than what I should be doing, that's working.

We moved pensions this week. About 4 hours after I finished writting about how awesome it was, we recieved a call from the zone leaders telling us that we had to move. We were going to have to move to an apartment, but we talked with one family here and we moved in with them. It is a couple - she used to be the food mamita for the missionaries about three months ago, and years ago, they had the missionaries living in their house in Santiago for 15 years. They are used to missionaries. I think the mamita loves it because they can't have any kids and we love it because they are awesome. We switched all of the food and washing to her so now it is all in the same house and easier for us. Also this lady can cook anything... we had fetuccini Alfredo for lunch today....I am happy! 

We are having more success here in this sector than I was having before although we really don't have anyone that has gone to church, so I will wait until next week to let you know what is going on there. But, I am definitely more happy here.

It will indeed be really interesting to see what effect the age announcement will have on the missionary work around the world when the younger missionaries start coming out. Apparently the church is looking at the growth here in South America and the South America South Area and are not going to be building anymore meetinghouses for now. Apparently the areas of China, India and Africa are all very very close to being ready to recieve missionaries. This is information that I have managed to gleen from a conference that all the mission presidents from the South America South area had with Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks in Argentina.

I have really not had any problems adapting to the food here - it is largely the same as what we eat at home, just prepared in a different way. There are some things that I don't like very much and some things that I am sick of eating (like rice and chicken), but it is really all pretty easy, though my bowels quite frequently protest a little bit. I have not really done any cooking here, but I could see making a thing or two at some point.

I have been praying for my shoes to arrive soon, ever since I asked you to order them.

Tell maxine HI!


Elder Santos, Elder Kennedy, Elder McCaskill

Family from Antofagasta

 Making donuts

Me and Elder Chota (not my companion)