Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

Next my week was a little strange as it seemed  we were hardly in the sector. It was something like this...
Mon- in Chañaral
Tues- half day in Diego
Wed- full day, but travelled to Chañaral at night
Thurs- conference in Copiapo
Friday- got back to the sector at 7:30 in the morning. Worked all day - about 4 hours of sleep.
Sat and Sun- same as usual

One cool thing that we started this week was we held a nighttime sacrament meeting at 9pm for the miners that are here in Diego, so we had 2 Sacrament meetings. I was looking at the binder that has the record of our church meetings - in the last 11 weeks I have done something like nine talks, maybe ten. Needless to say, I am getting pretty good. It has gotten to the point that while I am conducting the meeting my companion prepares a talk, and then while he is giving his talk, I prepare mine. I realize that it would probably be better if we prepared talks, before but when it comes down to it we are both a bit too lazy to do it when it's getting so easy.

That sucks that Grandma's car didn't start when you went to pick it up. I know that's a pain, but at least it you were able to get it to the garage and it was pretty simple to get fixed.

Not surprisingly, soccer is huge here and we play it a lot when we get together for activities. An interesting thing that I have noticed is that when there is a team of Latinos and a team of North Americans that know what they are doing play, the North American missionaries usually win because the Latinos tend to keep the ball and usually lose control trying to do tricks, but the Gringos pass a lot and score. I am not a good example of that because my soccer skills are not very good.

I don't think you guys realize how the church is here in the north of Chile. It is not established in the same way it is in North America - many of the things we consider routine, are not actually done. In the whole of my mission, I have seen only one high council visit - that was in Antofagasta. It was because he lived in the ward and wanted to say something. There are really strong members here, but they are few and far between.

Coming home a little bit early is definitely confirmed and will be happening. (Jordan heard previously that he will be coming home 2 weeks earlier than originally expected.)

It looks like Grandma did not get the time to write me this week, but maybe I will receive something in the next week - a little bit of the goings on and more importantly, the gossip about the eligible ladies of Sherwood Park :P  .

Love you all,

Summary of audio clip...
This was a weird week- atypical. (As above)  It started by us going to Chañaral for activities - mostly soccer.  We had our normal PDay and got to relax a bit. We got Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday to work in the sector and then travelled to Chañaral and onto Copiapo, which is a big city 2 hours south, for a conference with the 2 zones there and ours.

It was a pretty big conference with President Bruce. He spoke about some pretty cool stuff - the interpretation of the Tree of Life, the difference between the Holy Ghost and the Spirit and how the light of Christ plays into that. I also got to eat quesadillas, made by Sister Bruce.

After that, we came back to the sector and worked until Sunday. Tonight, everyone came to Chañaral to do "the attack" here. We're in Diego right now.

Our investigators - we found 2 families, both from Columbia, and possibly a 3rd we may meet at the end of the week.These families are really good, very receptive, but they are a bit lazy about going to church, making appointments and following through, stuff like that. We really need to make an extra effort this week to pass by them and get everything worked out.

We also have another really good opportunity here in Diego - we have worked it out to hold 2 Sacrament meetings, the regular one at 10am and one at 9pm because the miners wanted one. They couldn't hold it at the mines and they aren't home to attend there. We weren't able to pull it together for this week, but next week should be a lot better.

We went to one of the families this week and the father was a little drunk. He was asking our names, where we're from and a bit about what we do. He'd had a bit to drink, but just a little bit.
We went back again and this time he was drunk, drunk, drunk. At one point he was talking to me and said "sorry" in Spanish and then caballo, which is horse. He probably meant to say caballero, which is gentleman or sir. Then he tried to say my name and it came out as something totally random... nothing like McCaskill. It was super, super funny. We laughed our heads off.

In the morning we had our district meeting, which was normal. Played some soccer... again. We're now waiting for a Cyber to open so we can go on the internet. That's about it.

Oh... this is the last week of cambios. Next Saturday evening I'll find out if I'm staying or going... my companion and all that stuff. You can look forward to that news. We'll have PDay in the sector next week... that will be nice.

That's what's going on here.
I love you guys,

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013

I am glad you guys are really enjoying the recordings, but I didn't do one this week...I ran out of time. Sorry. Il'l do one next week.

Quickly - as far as the sector goes we had to let Orlando end as an investigator because it turns out that when we asked him if he was living together without being married the first time, he was not completely truthful. He has no intention whatsoever of getting married.

That being said though, we were able to find a couple from Columbia this week, and then they told us that their neighboor really liked talking about God. We went over there too and now we are teaching them as well, so we are in a lot better spot. There is also a chance that
we might have found a really good family of 4 that we can share with. We started talking to him because he had music that I liked playing. He 
just kept talking with us and said we could pass by another day as his wife was preparing the house to have a party.They were all really nice though.

It sounds like your new position is going to be completely different from what it was before. I get the impression that it was going to be a change of you role with some things around you staying the same area,  
but now it sounds like almost everything is changing.

I am kind of at a loss for things to say... and this computer I'm using is really annoying me so I am just going to answer some stuff.

As far as the food goes, I have not had a single day eating pasta in my sector this week. I don't know if I told you, but I made honey mustard sauce a couple weeks ago. This week I made chicken wraps with honey mustard sauce and cheese - it is like a lame buffalo wrap.
I also managed to find gravy here and bought some cheese and potatoes and made poutine. I have to say that this could be the greatest meal that I have had in my whole mission. I will definitely be making it again this week. Other days I just had random things.

These are the typical things we always eat here in Chile:
Chicken and rice
Chicken and mashed potatoes from a box
Soup of some kind that all tastes the same
Porotos (basically beans in flavored water mixed with overcooked
noodles)(my least favorite)

That is pretty much it, but just over and over and over again. We rarely get fish or chicken that isn't boiled.

Well, this is really all I have for right now, so I'll talk to you next week.

Love Jord

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 4, 2013

Something to tell you right off the bat - I have just learned that I will be going home 2 weeks earlier than expected. I will not be leaving in November but instead sometime in October. I don't know if you can change your vacation days, but that's what is going on. From what I understand, it's happening because of the age change for missionaries and also because they shortened the time in the MTC.

Today we had an interesting and somewhat different P-day again. This morning we went to go and do some service here in Tal Tal where we are passing p-day this week. In the afternoon it looks like we are going to be doing some meetings and also watching a church movie if we have time.

I will answer your questions first.

Firstly, I will not be ending my mission under President Bruce as he goes home in July and I go in October (see above). I will have a couple months with the new President but probably not enough time to really get into the new vision and everything.

I talk about it a little in the recording - Orlando didn't go to church this week, but we still have to go and see why this week.

It sounds like you guys had pretty hectic weeks at work to keep you busy. It is kind of a bummer when, but at least when you have lots to do it goes really quickly and the days never  seem to drag on.

You were a hundred percent right - I do not know who either of your visiting teachers are, but it sounds like they are good. On the bright side, you have visiting teachers. I think the only place that I have seen a functioning visiting teacher here is in Arica.

Random thought from Jord: He is dying to see snow!

I also can't wait to go and get a haircut that I like. I guess I can't complain too much given that a haircut here costs 4 dollars, but I don't think I've been truly happy after getting my hair cut here.

I'm glad you liked the article I referenced. Apply it.

Love Jord

Summary of audio clip:
As mentioned, we are in Tal Tal today, about 2 hours north of Chañaral. It's actually a pretty nice city. They put a lot of effort into keeping it clean.

It's been a hard week as we hardly taught any lessons - pretty much everyone is on vacation so we have only had a few lessons. One day we didn't have any lessons - I don't know how they do it in Europe where they can go days without teaching lessons. The branch president is on vacation so we are the only priesthood here. There's also a family of 4 away. So this week we had 8 people in church, including us. Next week there could be less. We're not even sure what to do - this sector is a little weird in that it's so small.

It sounds like I'll be coming home 2 weeks early - I'll confirm that with President Bruce to make sure it's not a rumour.

Today we did service - digging holes in the desert. It was kind of fun, but the ground is just rocks and sand, not quite like landscaping at home. I was really hoping for some black dirt - but that  didn't happen.

I got Brad and Julia's parcel (Jord's cousin and family). It's sweet! I like the t-shirt - the art is nice. It's funny getting little kid's art - it's sweet. So cool. The photos were also really nice. They're way more recent than the ones I brought almost 15 months - wow, time flies!

Hope you're all good. Love you guys.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January 28, 2013

I'm sorry that I have not been uploading photos to send to you but it's because I have had really brutal internet here. I have tried but it was just too slow to get anything up onto the website.
You mentioned that dad was looking at gettting a gym membership - that is probably a really good option. It is really easy to just not do it when you are at home. I am really findng that to be true here, as it is way easier to just read than find the motivation to get up and start doing exercise immediately. Interestingly though, your level of physical fitness impacts your ability to feel the spirit. That is why the word of wisdom is so important.
I really want you guys to check out this talk that I found reading in an Ensign from Feb 2005. ( It talked about 7 things that we can do to share the gospel more easily. I am going to list them, but I encourage you to read the article because it is really well done.
1. We cannot predict who will be interested
2. Friendship is not a prerequesite for sharing the gospel
3. Despite not being very experienced we can count on the missionaries to teach well
4. Inviting others to help serve allows them to feel the spirit
5. Having success in sharing the gospel is gained by sharing the gospel, not by how the person progresses
6. We need to set deadlines
7. We can expect to recieve miracles when we are doing what we are commanded
I hope this helps you a little bit as you had mentioned you're not very good for giving references to the missionaries.
Oh, we went and climbed a little mountain (actually it was pretty big) outside of Chañaral and I will send you photos next week including a picture of my hand because I fell and cut it open. I seem to always have some sort of injury with my hands. (I hit my thumb with a hammer a week and a half ago and it is all black underneath the fingernail. I have a photo.)

I have kind of been unable to find a lot of weird cultural facts lately. Everything has just become so normal now that things just don't seem to stick out like they used to. This is weird - the most popular place to buy pop and bread and stuff is like a little shop that someone set up in what should be their livingroom. It's a place that I would never even enter back in Canada.
I love you guys.

Summary of audio clip:
As mentioned above, I am in Chañaral  - we came yesterday for interviews with the president. It was interesting - we talked about our investigators, the sector and some things I've wondered about in the mission over the last 3 months. We mostly focused on finding your place in the mission, or What do you bring to the mission? That was an interesting conversation - we talked about the mission as well as after the mission.

This week one of our best investigators, Orlando, came to church. He's the one I mentioned last week, from Columbia who knows lots about the Bible. We had a great discussion with him last Saturday. We intended to teach the whole plan of salvation. We started with the pre-earth life, talked a little bit about Adam and he started asking a lot of questions which we answered. Then instead of continuing with the lesson, we stopped. Both of us felt prompted to just invite him to church and leave, which we did. He did come to church and it was super sweet.  We weren't sure what to expect, but it was really cool.

One of the sector's in my district is having lots of success currently - they had 3 investigators to church last week. They're in my district so I'm really happy about that. I always care, but now even more.

Today was my first real P day in this sector where we got to go and do an activity - climbing the "mountain" that I mentioned in my email.

This week was pretty routine so I don't have too much else to say about it. I'm understanding my companion better now - not language, that was fine, but more as a person. That makes it better now.

Random thought - we're getting tired of pasta every day (they are having to do their own cooking).

I have to go, they're all waiting for me. Love you guys.
Ciao, Jord