Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday dad!

I am glad that you liked the Fruit Ninja - it was fun.

That picture of me in the scarf and hat is actually on the sky drive so if you want it, you have it. The little girl looked at me, told me that I was cold, and then made me put that on.

The activity of Scripture Jeopardy turned out really good, eventhough it was rather small.

For news on transfers, you'll need to listen to my recording. (See audio summary.)

If time seems to be going quickly, think about these trunky mission facts:
  • In 13 weeks I will be in church at home
  • I will only tell you guys about one more transfer
  • The next time I talk to you it will not be over the computer
  • After General Conference I will be home in 16 days
I could keep going but for sake of my sanity I am not going to. I don't want my mission to end BTW, but I am looking forward to seeing you guys again.

Love Jord

Audio summary...

It is the end of one transfer and the start of another. I know what's on your mind. Everybody's wondering... what happened to Elder McCaskill? Where is he going? Where is his companion going? And... we got the transfer call about 1:30am Saturday evening/Sunday morning. We're both staying - no changes. There are only 5 transfers in the whole zone. Apparently 80 - 90% of the mission stayed the same. So, Elder Gillespie and I are both staying - it'll be a little weird as we're both close to the end of our missions. I'm almost positive one of us will leave next transfer, but we'll see. That will be the last transfer. I can't believe how fast my mission has gone and is still going.

This week we made empanadas with the kg and a half of cheese we bought. We didn't use much last week because everywhere we went people gave us food so we weren't hungry when we returned to the pension. We just made them up one day this week and as we wanted them, we fry them up. That actually worked great, a fantastic, little thing. So we've had a bunch of empanadas. This week we've tried to go a little more to the healthy side... we're going to make salad. We found dressings for salads which is weird because here in Chile they don't really use that. For a salad here they typically take a bit of tomato and onion, they cut it up and mix it together and put a bit of oil on it - not olive oil, just vegetable oil, squeeze a little lemon on it, sprinkle a little salt and that's considered a salad. It's not my favorite, but that's what they do. You don't get tossed salad like we're used to at home very often so we're going to make a real salad. We bought some lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, our dressing and some chicken and we're going to make a simple salad with chicken on it. It's going to be delicious.

A little bit of empanada left... hmmm!

There's a movie that missionaries use a lot here. It's called Together Forever and it has about 5 little stories of couples that had problems and how the gospel helped them resolve their problems. We watched it with the couple who are waiting to get married so his fiance can get baptized. His mother and her husband were also there - the husband isn't a member. I don't know exactly why, but he's a super nice guy, really receptive. I don't know if he'll get baptized, but he's a really nice guy... just a swell fellow!

This week we had rain one day, which is cool but it was the lead up that was really crazy. I was sitting here in the pension studying and I saw a flash of light from the window out of the corner of my eye. I didn't really think much of it, then about 15 seconds later there was an enormous crack of thunder. It was incredible. It shook the building - I was amazed and could hardly believe how loud it was. After that the sky just opened up for about 15 seconds and then it started raining for a bit and then a couple more times through the day. Actually the next day it was a lot warmer. I would have thought it would be colder, but apparently it always does this. It rains and then it gets warmer. Weird stuff!

One day when we were getting ready to leave the pension, my companion went into the bathroom and I hid underneath one of the beds. They're really low and I couldn't fit under one of them, but managed to shimmy under the other. He came out of the bathroom and I could see him walk around a little bit checking around and I heard him doing some stuff. Then he came into the bedroom and lifted up the bed beside me. He didn't lift up the bed I was under, but then he kneeled down and saw me. At first he was like ha, ha, and he was looking around and then he kind of starting getting worried because he couldn't find me. But we had a good laugh after - a little hide and go seek.

Yesterday we left one house and had walked about 3 blocks on our way to the church to meet a guy for another lesson. This guy called to us and asked us where we were going, so we told him the church and he said he'd take us. He wasn't a member or anything, but he was a cool guy, but he didn't take us to our church. He took us to another church, so we ended up having to walk to our church from there which ended up being a much longer walk. But nice guy, Edwardo, interesting and we got to talk to him for a little bit. It was fun.

We did our Scripture Jeopardy instead of the Talent Show. Jeopardy - whooaa! There were only about 15 people but it was fun and we had a fabulous time. Everybody who went loved it. The game turned really, really good. Someone actually took it afterwards to use it in seminary. I was surprised how good people did. One funny thing... one of the youth who was about 14 or 15 years old was up one time and the question was: What book in the Old Testament is made up of songs and poems? The guy who she was competing against said "Songs of Soloman", but I couldn't give him points for that. So she had the golden opportunity, a chance to take all the time she needed to answer and she blurted out "the hymn book". Everybody just died laughing. I gave her another chance and she got it right - Psalms. It was hilarious - everybody was laughing and laughing. We teased her a little because she yelled Hymn Book with such certainty and gusto, but no. There was another guy from here who's a return missionary from about 11 years ago. His name is Giermo. He was super amazing. He knew all the answers, even the scripture masteries - I was super impressed. It was completely amazing. It was sweet.

Jocelyn,the young woman who is a convert of about a year had a weird week. We stopped by on Tuesday and she was all down, crying, saying she didn't want to go to church anymore and stuff like that, but we encouraged her and told her she should go. Then we went back there on Thursday and she was all happy and smiling, reading the scriptures, asking about patriarchal blessings and all was great. Friday she came to the FHE Jeopardy activity, Saturday she went to a baptism that wasn't even in our ward and came to church on Sunday, even an hour early. We just didn't understand... but we keep going. (uh... teenage girl!)

Last week I mentioned the friend of one of the members who was at church. Her name is Mahoa. She came to church last week and then went to the baptism on Saturday and was going to come to church, but she didn't make it. She's from Antofagasta so we're going to try and send the reference there and maybe she'll get baptized there - she's super good. Her friend here is super, super strong so that's really good.

We met one lady from Columbia - Paola, a contact from the other missionaries on Monday evening and she told them to come back. We followed up and she was there and invited us in. From her accent I guessed that she was from Bogota, the capital of Columbia - and I was right. One of my companions, Elder Rodriguez was from Bogota and his accent was exactly the same. I noticed it right away.

Very serious... Elder McCaskill

That's the news from this week. I'll talk to you guys later.

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