Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 24, 2013

Your question about the new mission president... I personally don't think that I will really notice many changes in my time with the new president.  The first month he will be travelling the mission doing conferences and interviews, then I think he will have to do transfers and he'll probably spend the next transfer starting to get used to everything. Then the changes will probably start after the second round of transfers, which will only leave me 6 weeks to go, which is ridiculously little. So, I think I will see some things, but not that much.

We didn't end up doing anything with the dog before we left. He's still with Elder Martinez to try and figure out what he was going to do with it.

I have always been taller than President Bruce, but he looks bigger sometimes because he is a lot thicker than I am and his shoulders are really wide.

We didn't do any fancy cooking this week, I didn't even buy food.

Love Jord.

Audio summary...
This is the end of the first week of this transfer in Copiapo with Elder Gillespie. I possibly had the worst bus ride of my mission coming here from Calama. It started off pretty good with 2 movies - the first one I'd never heard of, abut a tsunami in some little islands. The 2nd was The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon, but we didn't get to see the end. I have seen it before so I know what happens, but it was still a bit annoying. The ride was horrible because they cranked up the heat and it was ridiculously hot - I was sweating. They give you a little blanket, so I took that and my pillow and stuffed it around the heater that runs by your feet so that it wouldn't fry my legs. It was ridiculous! I had my head and arms plastered against the window trying to cool off. When I got off the bus, Elder Gillespie picked up my juice which had been beside the heater and it was hot, not warm. It was really hot, almost like hot chocolate. He said "Wow, you like your juice hot!", but no, not so.

My 2nd day in the sector we did some service, painting a house. That was fun. The lady doesn't go to church, actually she's not even a member, but her son is on a mission. We painted "Go to church" on one of the walls. Apparently her son painted over it but you can still see it. Good times!

We were looking for less active this week. We found one lady - we knocked on her door and she answered and enthusiastically greeted us and said Elders, come into my house! We hadn't even introduced ourselves or said a word. We were there for about 20 minutes and had started sharing a lesson. We were about 5 minutes into when her husband came in and said hi and asked how we were doing. We kept talking for a little bit and I asked her a question and she gave me this blank stare and just said Elder, I'm not really focusing at all, you should probably just leave... so we left. It was like 2 extremes all in the same visit.. kind of funny, kind of weird. That was a first for me. However, I think we have an appointment to go back. We think it may have been because her husband came in.

We also went to the home of a less active 15 year old girl this week. Before the lesson started we were talking and her father was there doing some stuff. Somehow it came up about her kissing a boy and we were teasing her and embarrassing her a bit. Then her dad walked into the room and she told him were were bugging her, but when he asked what were bugging her about she was too embarrassed to say. It was pretty funny... we had a good laugh.

On Friday we were supposed to run an English class, but nobody was there except our popita, the husband of our mamita, who feeds us, along with their 3 year old son. I played soccer with him, or basically he kept kicking the ball at me. It was fun... I think we did some bonding and are becoming buddies. It was good.

Last week I saw a clip on YouTube of  President Holland speaking to a group of missionaries at the MTC. He talked to them about being a missionary in the Preach My Gospel era and doing what it takes. It was good, but he was pretty harsh in some spots. We were able to rip it from YouTube onto an MP3 and we've listened to it a couple times in the pension this week. It's a bit harsh, but good. You should look at it - type in Feed my sheep Elder Holland MTC and it should pop up. It's about 53 minutes so you need some time.

Yesterday was the worldwide broadcast. I expect dad went to that - it was 100% about missionary work, which was fantastic! It also was a bit of a drag too because all the stuff they say should be done like ward councils, meeting with the ward mission leader, talking about contacts, going out with ward missionaries and teaching lessons with members present hardly happens here. But I'm hoping the member here take alot away from it and can improve. That would be awesome. One of the examples they gave was about 1 week with 16 lessons with members present, but there goal was 20 lessons. I think the most lessons I've had members present in one week so far on my mission has been 4... and that was like a dream week. Lots of room to improve there. If you didn't see it, make sure you watch it... if you did see it, watch it again because it was fantastic.

Otherwise we're just getting to know people - members, less actives, investigators, etc. I'm really having a lot of fun here with Elder Gillespie because we don't have the "getting to know you" period which most new companions have because we were in the same group in the MTC. Yeah... fun times in Copiapo!

That everything. Talk to you next week. I love you guys!

Bye, Jord  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 17, 2013

The cambios happened... refer to my recording.

I think I have become a sissy about the weather now. I am way too used to having hot days... everyday, instead of a lot of really cold weather every year. But I will get my fair share of cold weather when I get back in October. We'll see how I adjust.
I am not praying for a drought there, unless you pray for rain here. : )
That is good to hear that I got my acceptance into school for January. Let me know when they start registration so that I can start going with that.
Also, one thing I forgot to say was that this week I made curry...twice actually. It turned out really good. Minor problems...I though that I had found coconut milk, but it was actually coconut cream. I thought they changed the name here because it was the only one, but it was actually like coconut in a syrup. I threw it in anyway and it turned out good, but really sweet. I made some changes the second time, but I went a bit overboard with the salt. It was really good and I think I did pretty good for what I had to work with, but it wasn't the same as at home. 
Anyways, I love you guys a ton and am looking forward to this transfer a lot.
Love Jord

Audio summary...
We received the cambios yesterday and I am leaving Calama. I'm to Copiapo. It is south. Antofagasta is about the middle of the mission, then it's about 5 hours down to Chanaral and 2 more hours down to Copiapo. So it will be about 12 hours on the bus - super fun time. I'm going to be in sector Copiapo and my companion is going to be Elder Gillespie which is super sweet. He is actaully from my group at the MTC so we already know each other - we're going to pound it out! I get to go as junior companion - it might not sound great, but I'm super happy. Being district leader isn't too bad, but it's not my favorite. I'll have responsibilities, but won't have to report numbers and stuff. I will just be able to focus on my investigators - that will be awesome!

It's possible I will be have 1 cambio after this or that I could pass 3 cambios in Copiapo, depending on the new president. This could be my last sector in the mission - crazy stuff! It might not be, but it could be.

My companion is staying here in calama and Elder Trolta from Peru will be his new companion. Elders Steiner and Galvez who have been here in the pension are also moving - their both going to Vianar, about 2 hours south of where I'm heading. The other 2 coming to Calama are Elder Paralta - born in Honduras, but lived in Canada since he was 3 years old and Elder Pope who has been both my District and Zone leader and was also an Assistant. They'll be good, strong missionaries here.

We had a crazy thing happen this week. The front and back doors in the pension are in a line - you come in the front and you can see the back. Sometimes the back door opens if you don't latch it well, but not right away - I'm not sure if it's the wind, but it could be 2 - 3 hours later. I came in the front door one day to go to the bathroom and the back door was open. I look down and lying on a blanket on the floor was a golden retriever puppy. He was ridiculously cute just lying there sleeping. We looked that night for the owner and couldn't find them and we couldn't just put it out on the street so we kept it in the pension. I'm sure it's against mission rules, but we couldn't just abandon it so we're looking for the owner. In the meantime he is so cute... but really stinky. He also bites alot when you play with him because he's a puppy and has really sharp teeth, but I love him. It actually makes it feel more like home in the pension - a bit more comfortable and relaxing. It's temporary, and I'm leaving, but it was kind of nice.

One of our current investigators is Aileen, who lives across the street from us. She's super good. She has wanted to go to church, but has had some conflicts. She has been reading her Book of Mormon, but we need to get her out to church. We finally caught up with her as we hadn't seen her in about 2 1/2 weeks - she works a ton! We asked if she had any questions about anything and she said yes, about a couple of things she had read. She asked if we had our book because she'd left her's at work. I said "yes" and gave her my Book of Mormon to refer to. She flipped to Mosiah and I just stared, thinking she couldn't be that far, but she asked a question, then went back to 1 or 2nd Nephi and then to Alma 6. I couldn't believe she was reading in Alma 6! I don't know what it's like for the missionaries back home, but when we give people a BoM to read here they often say yeah, they'd love to read it, but we go back 20 times and they haven't read. This has been my first investigator to read with this kind of dedication on her own. I told her that was awesome and she said she'd promised to read it and so she was. She also said she's been praying everyday to know if the book is true or not. I was just... wow! It hardly seemed real. It will be great for whoever baptizes her because she will be a convert for life - I know it. We say "studly" here. She's going to be studly! One downside to leaving... I'm so jealous.

Also this week the Armanas went to the market and this lady approached them and said her daughter had been to our church before, but she didn't want her to go to that one because it was too far away. She wanted them to go and visit her daughter so they're like... sure. They ended up not finding it because it was in our sector, so we checked it out, but the house didn't exist. We looked for about 45 minutes without any luck, but knew we had to find it and finally did. She said we could come back on Thursday so we did. We actually had one of the zone leaders with us and this was the first time we shared a lesson and we set a baptismal date for the 29th. It was like miracle that fell from the sky. I'm a little sad I'm leaving and won't be here to follow through with what's going on, but that how the mission goes. I kind of figured I was going to leave with the special cambio and such, but this is a really good sector. And... I'm pretty excited for my companion to be able to continue working here. It will be good for him.

Next week I'll be writing from Copipo and will let you know what it's like there. My new companion, Elder Gillespie is from Utah - I can't recall which city. He's super cool and relaxed... most of the time. I think we'll get along really well. This will be the first time I've seen him since we left the MTC, which is a little weird.

I love you guys and will talk to you next week!

Some pictures...

Jordan with Pres & Sister Bruce - they leave at the end of June
He's been an awesome mission president.

The golden retriever puppy - I love him 

Sooo cute... but stinky too!

Getting together with our zone

Just hanging out

Me & Elder Galvez

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 10, 2013

No... cambios aren't this week, they are next week. But, when you listen to my recording you will hear about a little surprise that happened this week.

That is great to hear that (Uncle) Blaine had a good time seeing and getting a chance to ride in the Dukes of Hazard replica car.

You need to test drive the more interesting cars... like the boxer or 370z, for example. I'm not so sure about the Camry. However, Paddle Shifters... that's a fun option.

How did they change the boundries? Is it vertical instead of horizontal? That is cool that grandma is in our ward now.

Feliz Dia del Padre, papá.  (Happy Father's Day, Dad)

Love Jord

Audio summary...
This week was a bit interesting. There was a bunch of stuff happening so we really didn't do much in our own sector. First of all, we had President Bruce's last conference before he leaves the mission, which is on June 28th. Our new mission president will be President Dalton, from Idaho. It wasn't a very long conference - he talked a little bit about President Dalton and then some other stuff and took some time to talk about what we need to do when the new president arrives. Sister Bruce talked briefly about being obedient to the new president's rules and then the Assistants did a video... it was alright. It was about the growth of the mission during President Bruce's time here. What was really cool was that during the video there was a little segment with Elder Revierego (Revi), who was my first companion and trainer in the mission field. It's kind of interesting because he's actually home already, and he did it from there. So, I got to "see" my popito (??) -  my "little dad". It was pretty cool!

After we left the conference we had about 3 hours so we went to TGI Fridays. I had a cheese burger and steak cut fries - it was pretty fantastic. Then I had a brownie with ice cream for dessert - ooh, that was really good. I miss American food so much. I am getting pretty tired of the food here. One of the days this past week we had chicken (boiled) and plain rice... again, and I just couldn't finish it. I think I'll still eat chicken when I get home, but not boiled, and not with plain rice. Oh, with soy sauce. That would be fantastic.

As we were going back from the conference on the bus Elder Lopez, my companion, got a phone call from the Assistants and he had a special transfer, so he's not going to be my companion anymore. He left on Thursday morning and my new companion, Elder Martinez arrived later in the morning. He is from El Salvador. So, Elder Lopez is now enjoying the weather in Antofagasta.

This week they had a Stake Conference here in Calama. There was a Seventy here from Argentina - Elder Reseck. He was pretty funny and I really enjoyed his talk. He cracked the whip a bit on tithing. The Stake Presidency spoke and gave really good talks as well. The whole thing was really well put together. The choir say and even that was pretty good -  the singing is not always the best here. They had one guy who was really into the singing... he reminded me of Brother Dahl in our ward back home - made me smile. It was a really good conference, but we didn't end of taking anyone which was a drag. It's hard to get them to commit to go and we weren't really in our sector much to meet with them before.

This week coming up we have cambios so I'll be able to let you know if I'm staying or going. My guess is that I'm probably leaving. Actually, I really have no idea. I'm about 10% sure... ha!

We didn't have light in the pension for about 3 days this week. I talked to the financer a while ago and he said he was going to pay the bills for April and May. He said he paid it, but the transaction didn't go through or something so we hadn't paid for 3 months and they turned the lights off. I had to go one day and pay for that in the morning and they turned the lights back on later that day. It was a bit of a drag because I had to go charge my cell phone in weird places so the battery didn't die. It wasn't too long so it wasn't too bad.

One kind of strange thing happened this week. Our mamita, who makes us our food - she got mad at me for something I didn't even do and now I think she doesn't like me. She charges us $10 extra for doing our laundry and I said I was going to talk to the Financer t include it automatically in her payment so we didn't have to deal with it and neither did she. She was fine with that. So I talked to the Financer and he called her and either he didn't understand me or she didn't understand him correctly, but she didn't like the way he handled the situation and so she got mad at me... and I didn't do anything. Apparently she doesn't want to feed us anymore because of this little exchange. I'm kind of annoyed about... I don't understand what the issue is. It's a bit crazy, but it is what it is. I guess we'll see what happens.

Some fantastic news... I bought everything I need to make curry... it's going to be chicken and curry. It's going to be great and I'm going to love it. It will possibly be the fanciest thing any missionary has made here in northern Chile.

As far as people we're teaching, not too much change for the week with all that was going on. Talk to you later!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 3, 2013

I'm sure there are challenges in every mission when it comes to the work. The main problem for the missionary work here in northern Chile is that the people are not very willing to make commitments to do things, even when they know it is probably what they should be doing.

I am glad to hear that your dandelion garden is flourishing this year - hopefully you are able to keep it up.

I think I am probably feeling the passage of time even faster than you because I don't live in days. I live in weeks, months and periods of six weeks (transfers/cambios). It is flying by. I don't know if you realized it, but I hit 19 months yesterday?

I really, really, really, really want more rain. It was so nice because everything was wet and it smelled fantastic. It was actually cold and I had to bundle up. I loved it!

I saw the pictures of the bathroom renovations and it looks really good. All the pictures were sideways, but from what I saw it was pretty impressive. I think when I get home we might have to change up the computer room a little bit. It will probably be a good idea to sort it anyway.

You do need to stay up on your visiting teaching there - it's so important! You too dad, well...home teaching. 

I know Kensey of course, and assume Alex is her husband). It seems strange that they've had a baby. I have not been away long enough for people my age to already have least that's how it feels.

I love you guys,

Hello Maxine,
I have been away from home for a while now without writing you, but I wanted to tell you that I am doing good. I have met a lot of really nice people here who have been very good to me. I am loving serving a mission and sharing the gospel with the people here in Chile. I hope that you are having a good time with your work and I will see you in not too too long.

Love Jord

Summary of audio...
I'm doing this recording on the way to the Cyber - you may hear lots of wind and sound effects. We just got back from playing soccer with the zone at the Stake Centre. We also had a BBQ with "salchicha en pan", which is basically sausage on bread. It's not as intereting as it might sound, but it was fun. We basically just hung out... fun stuff.

We had a really good week. We had lots of lessons and found a lot of new people to teach. We actually did an inter-cambio, where we switch off with another companionship. Elder Steiner and Lopez worked in our sector and I worked with Elder Galvant in their sector. Elder Steiner and Elder Lopez found an investigator and they came to church this week. It was a girl and her mom. Her mother is living with a guy and they aren't married so she can't get baptized, but she came with her daughter which was great, and her daughter could get baptized - that would be great for the primary!

We're having really good success finding people, but just need to get them out to church more. We're working really hard so I don't feel that bad. we'll just keep trying.

There lots of dogs here - every second house has a barking dog. (This is true - their are always dogs barking in the background of the audio and often in pictures if they're on the street.) There are also 2 dogs that always follow us. At first it was kind of cool, but now it's getting kind of annoying. We're now trying to get away from them so they don't follow us, but they're pretty persistent.

We were teaching one family but they haven't been to church in about 4 weeks and they aren't being very upfront with us. It looks like we won't put too much attention on them and may stop passing by, but we're not sure yet. It's frustrating when they're not truthful.

Dad will get this, I don't know about mom... we came across a less active girl and shared a lesson with her and she kept making a high pitched squealing noise when she laughed. It sounded like R2D2 in Star Wars when they were in the X wing and he got hit and made a really loud squealing sound. Someone would make a joke and she would make this noise and start laughing... it was hilarious.

We had our weekly episode on the street with a couple of drunk guys. They were talking to us, kind of random stuff - a bit about Joseph Smith, trying to confess their sins and then they were trying to say my last name. That didn't go so well. We distracted them and were able to leave. We looked back when we were a couple blocks away and one of the guys was on the corner playing air guitar. It was pretty funny.

I don't have much more to say because our weeks are pretty similar. We did teach one lady this week who was really smart, or at least everything just seemed to make sense to her. As much as the gospel is generally simple, that's not very common. People just don't seem to put it all together. It was really refreshing! She knew quite abit about the Bible. It seems many people say they believe in the Bible, but they don't necessarily read or study it. I'm actually reading the Bible currently - I'm in Daniel. Some of the stuff is kind of weird and some of it is really cool. Near the end of Ezekiel it talks about what's going to happen before the 2nd coming. It's cool stuff - you should give it a peruse.

That's about it for the week. I'll talk to you later. Caio!