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Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 1 in the field - Our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The view from my window
I left the CCM and headed into the mission field on Tuesday! In a 45 minute underground metro ride, I moved my bags from the vintage embassy to my new home on level 18 of a great and not so spacious building. haha. The metro reminds me of Space Mountain... except it´s all shiny and everyone looks like they want to hurt me. (to quote Elf.) The week has been everything they say it´ll be. Hard, spiritual, amazing, fun... yep! My companion, President, and his wife are all amazing. We went straight to work when we got here. There´s LOTS of reactivation to do. To give you a taste, one of the elders that was in the MTC with me said his dad served in this mission and baptized 300 people. 

My companion is from Costa Rica but she really wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with me because she knows that's what we usually do in the States. We don't really have turkey or pumpkin pie stuff on hand, so I decided I´d teach her how to do Thanksgiving in a Charlie Brown style. During our prep hours we made the popcorn, toast, and jellybean plate like they do on the movie. Haha

People here don´t even care that I don´t speak their language well. They just talk to me anyways. For example, one of my roommates just sits by my bed at night and tells me stories and laughs her head off while I´m trying to sleep. Hahaha! I don´t even know what she´s saying.

They´re also VERY quick to help. For example, we were in an elderly member´s home the other day and she saw that I had a blister on my foot. Next thing I know, she had it up on her coffee table and was pouring some medicine stuff on it. It actually stung like the dickens but my feet feel great now!

This week I had the opportunity to visit a 16 year old girl named Cata every day because she was scheduled to be baptised yesterday. I love her. We went to take her on a tour of the chapel on Saturday and she came out of her house crying because her dad had been yelling at her and telling her she was wrong to join the church. After the tour she said she felt better, but at about 11:00 at night the elders called my companion and I and said Cata could not be baptized without her dad´s consent. We didn´t think it was possible that her dad would ever sign. Before church yesterday, though, we decided to stop at her house. Her dad was there and my companion ended up bearing her testimony to him about why the church is important for us and for Cata. I watched his countenance change completely and he signed the paper! I got to watch my first investigator´s baptism.

One of our investigators told us she couldn´t stay for all of church because she had to go to work in the afternoon. Shortly after church, when my companion and I were walking to our next lesson, we saw someone in the park across the street look up at us and start sprinting away. SPRINTING. haha. Then we realized it was our investigator hiding from us. We stopped walking for a second and looked at each other, then just busted up laughing. She´s going to learn to love church. I can feel it. haha.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 5

Hey so I'm not going to send a general email this week but I'll definitely always try to send one to the immediate fam. Mom you can send this to grandpa or whoever else misses my sweet spirit and ripped biceps and stuff so much that they have to hear from me each week.

This week the apostle Russel M. Nelson showed up at the CCM. He spoke to us about 9 things in the scriptures that we should know by heart for our missions. It was muy awesome. There are very few people here in the Chile MTC. I know pretty much everyone or at least their face-name. (I don't know where the slash is on this spanish keyboard. haha) Anyways, it was almost like sitting there with your family, hearing an apostle speak. We all got to shake his hand and stuff too. It was a great experience and it motivated me to learn more deeply the things that he mentioned.

I experienced my first earthquake! There are a lot here I guess. It was a nice little rush, I'd say.

This week I get to go to the temple, place a Book of Mormon on the streets, and go on splits! 

I realized I'm probably the only missionary here with every member of my family active in the true church, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, and first cousins. Thank you  for being amazing examples to me! This is the last time I'll send an email from the MTC! I'll be in the field next Tuesday!

Love you all

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 4

People say the MTC is long, but I honestly can´t believe that I´m done with four weeks here already! I've never been able to focus for as long as I've been able to. I´ve also never been able to comprehend things that I have here. The Spirit is so strong! I love the gospel more and more every day.

This week I found out that my companion is friends with a missionary in Atlanta, Georgia. That friend just so happens to be the companion of Elder Nate Gottfredson! Who would´ve thought? Also,  I was watching a recording of a devotional given by Elder Quentin L. Cook at the Provo MTC. During the opening hymn, the camera focused on some elders who were singing. Guess who was there? None other than Elder Weston Esplin! It's so awesome to see little glimpses of childhood friends from the Snow Canyon 11th ward getting the opportunity to take the gospel all over the earth! How blessed can we be?

One of the highlights of my week was doing a session at the Santiago temple. The part of Santiago that I´m in is crazy. People talk loudly, drive quickly, walk in giant crowds... but as soon as you step onto the temple grounds, there´s just a peace there. It´s the same peace I feel at the other temples I've been to. I got to learn some really great things in a devotional by the Santiago Temple President, President Alder. He spoke about the restoration and Elijah and helped me to realize things I never had before. Even after I've having opportunity to stand in the very room where the angel appeared to Joseph, I still didn´t understand half of the things I know now from that devotional. There's just so much to learn!
A fruit stand in Santiago

My "wall of inspiration"
This is my district from left to right 
Bottom: Elder Almanzor from Seattle, WA; Elder Puefua from Santaquin, UT (originally from Samoa); Elder Tehani, Orlando, FL he is our District Leader
Top: Hna. Clawson, from Southern California (around Laguna Beach), Hna. Williams from Kamas, UT, Hna. Martin from St. George; Hna. Kimball from Rexburg, ID; Hna. Cook from Rexburg, ID, Hna. Reynolds from Spanish Fork, UT, ¨ Hna. Bartholemew from St. George, UT; Hna. Sullenger from Kaysville, UT; Hna. Christensen from Thatcher, AZ

Funny Story:
On Halloween, the hermanas from my district REALLY wanted to dress up. So, during our 30 minutes of get-ready time, they all came up with some hilarious makeshift costumes. I was Nephi. My costume consisted of a headband over my forehead, Hawaiian sandals, and Hermana Bartholomew´s bathrobe. Haha. We took them off before class so we distract from the spirit, but it made for a pretty funny morning and a hilarious picture.