Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 1, 2013 - Canada Day!

You guys bought a new car and didn't even send me a picture... seriously!

That is interesting that you got sister missionaries in the ward now, but not really surprising given the huge influx of sister missionaries in the past few months.

Contacting new people is something that has been a weakness since we got here, but we are going to put a lot of effort this week into finding people. There is a story on the recording about one guy that we found.

Copiapo is pretty big in the mission, but not gigantic. It's just kind of an average sized city here. The ward is about 80 peple every week, but since the change (disbanding a branch in the Stake), it should go up to 120-130.

I really miss buffalo chicken wraps...even the homemade ones...

If you want to go to Machu Picchu when we come to Chile, I am all in. I have heard a lot about it and think that it would be pretty cool to see. The option could then be to go from Peru to Arica. I have been thinking off and on about some of the things that we could see in some places and really the only other thing would be San Pedro. The rest are in cities or are people to visit.

Love you guys,

Summary of audio...
It's Monday... Canada Day... one day before I hit 20 months in my mission... and we're shopping today. So today we did an activity... last week the armanas were complaining because they don't like that we play soccer every week on PDay, which I am in agreement with, but I didn't do anything about it. I just complained a bit. They set up an obstacle course and some activities - it was fun, I have to admit. Afterwards they played dodgeball with a soccer ball. I didn't really want to get hit with a soccer ball so I opted out. (Interesting from a guy who felt playing dodge shoe was a good idea in Young Men's.)

A lot of things happened this week... we were sitting in the house of one of our recent converts and her family who are investigators and I got cat called by a bird - that was pretty fantastic. Even funnier though, later that day we were walking around and saw someone coming towards us down the street. At first we thought it was a lady, then when they got closer it looked more like a man. Elder Gillespie decided to say hello and he got cat called by the guy. It was hilarious. Cross dressing is actually quite common here.

There's a lady here whose family are recent converts, they got baptized last October. She's been looking for a house and nothing has really happened, then all of a sudden on Friday, she saw us on the street and called us over and said, Hey... I need your help moving. We helped her pretty much all day except for stopping for lunch. She has so much stuff... mom, you would have hated it. Lots of random things... junk... All her cabinets had spider webs underneath and some live spiders which was kind of gross, but we got it done. In the evening we went to a talent show for the Stake. Talent shows are pretty popular here - they do them a ton. One of the recent converts of Elder Gillespie was playing the guitar in one of the acts so we went and watched.

President Bruce left this week so he's no longer in our mission - that's a little sad, but also exciting to see what the new mission president does. It will be interesting to see if we notice changes in the short time we have left. I'm not aware of any big changes right off, which is where we'd see a difference. We'll probably have 1 or 2 conferences and interviews and then our going home interview.

Wards here are called barrios. All of Copiapo has wards and then there's 1 branch. We're in Copiyapo - that's my sector. They actually disbanded the branch this week. We had a bunch of extra people at church and wondered if they were visitors, but we asked around and then they announced that they are closing the branch and having them join the ward, so we've grown a ton, just like that. It should be interesting.

This week was unique in that we gave 6 blessings, which is a lot. Typically we don't give that many - just 1 or 2 now and then. We got to the point we just alternating.

We went to see one family and were talking to them and the father asked us if we had any diamonds because he wanted one. We were a bit confused - he had been studying about the breastplate of Aaron and he wanted to get one of each of the types of stones on it. We asked him if he was making his own breastplate, then his wife came out of the kitchen and confirmed that her husband wasn't crazy... just so we knew. It was pretty funny... perhaps you had to be there. Chuckle...

We went to 1 less active lady's home to have a lesson. Generally I don't try and smooth talk anyone into coming to church, I like to use scriptures because I find that more effective. She hasn't gone to church in many years, but claimed she hadn't moved away from God. I said that can't be so and referred to the 10 commandments and some scriptures, then I just stared at her and said, "You need to go to church." She looked at my companion and then back at me and said, "It's like your eyes are looking right through me." It was a really serious moment, but it was kind of funny too.

We had a cool thing... we were singing the last hymn in church and this sister came up to us and asked us to follow her out. There was a guy in the foyer who had come to this ward about a year ago. He said he'd been here with some sister missionaries a long time ago and asked if we could start teaching him again. We said yes... obviously! This week we only had sacrament meeting and no classes due to elections being held (based on civil laws for meeting in groups during elections). SO, it was easy to get a member and we taught this guy and it was really good. We don't know when we'll see him again because of his work schedule, but it was cool... a small miracle.

Reading update... I'm still reading the Bible. I'm done the Old Testament and am reading in Matthew currently. I thought I should read it because I hadn't done so before.

We're teaching 2 people - 1 less active and 1 non-member, but they need to get married so we're encouraging them. They want to get married, but we have to keep pushing them to set a date. It's harder/different here in Chile because only the government can marry people. You can't get a bishop, clergy, etc to do it. It's easy if you just go there, but if you want someone to come to your wedding it takes about 2 months before you can get a date. It looks like they would like someone to come to their wedding so we're trying to get them to set it up. They are planning to do it, so that's good. So... in Canada (and probably most places, I think) you just go to the temple to get married and sealed, but here in Chile you actually have to get married by the Civille (gov't official) and then go to the temple within 7 days to be sealed - that's how it works. Different because of the laws here.

We're also working with another family but we need to get out and find more people for our teaching pool as it is still a bit small.

This week we didn't cook anything fancy, we just made subs. It looks like we're going to make hamburgers and do a little 1st/4th of July celebration in the Pension. We're going to get some ground beef and make fresh burgers - fantastical, magical goodness! 

That's our week. Love you all, Ciao!

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