Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

Hey howdy hey!

Ok, I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Los Angeles, and I'm ready to get some writing-to-the-family done.

I saw the picture, it's not very good quality but I was able to make out who was who. It's good to see the family all together! I haven't seen recent pictures of you all in a few months now! Hopefully that photo album will get here pretty soon.

Glad to hear that the Christmas program went well! I'll bet everyone loved it. It's really interesting to hear about the activities of a really strong ward in the church while I'm here in a small branch in Cabrero. We didn't have any special thing during sacrament meeting, but we finished up the day at church with something even better....a baptism! Maria, the half-deaf abuelita got baptized! I'll include photos of that today. It was a really good week for us here in Cabrero despite the fact that Elder Rodriguez and I weren't in our sector for 3 out of the 7 days. On Monday I went south with President Swenson, Hermana Swenson, and Elder Kamalu to play for the mission conference down there, and then Wednesday was another mission conference in Talcahuano at which we also played. It was really cool to travel with President Swenson and his wife - I couldn't have asked for a better mission president. Anyway, we had 7 investigators in church yesterday along with 3 less or inactive members, so we're pretty satisfied! We have 3 baptismal dates for the 9th of January, and then 2 more for the 16th: Danitza, Yanitza, Diego, Diego, and FREDDY! Hopefully all goes well with them and they can keep progressing to these dates. It's so amazing to see the change that happens in all these people's lives as they come closer to the Lord. I love working with these people.

Ginger bread houses! Now there's something I wouldn't mind doing with the fam again. Well...I would probably be like Ian and eat my house as I built it. Or maybe he wouldn't do that...but he's a Haha. That's nice of you to let them invite friends over, make sure Cami invites a girl! Haha, just kidding Cami, just make sure he's not dweeb.

Snow...what's that? Is that some kind of soup? Hmmmm... Yeah, so it's full on summer here - hot all day every day. And sometimes at night, it usually cools down a bit in the evenings though. I won't complain, though, I love it when it's hot outside. I know you'll all tell me about the time I called summertime a poohead, but I've changed my mind hehe.

Marriages, weddings, graduations, marriages, more marriages, AHHH!! BOOM. Congratulations to all that have gotten married, told someone you're going to marry them, and as for those that have graduated...I'll send you a Bon-a-bon or something ha. But seriously, congrats to everyone!

I hadn't heard that Nathan was in the MTC, but that's really cool! He'll do great. I didn't know Jacob was either, but I'm sure he's doing great things. Let me know if you hear any updates on them.

Yes, I can talk with Justin on Christmas, if you just want to pass along the number I gave to you that's where I should be. You can call him when we're done talking and then he can call me. Bummer that I'll be missing Jasmine and Joel...maybe next time.

I don't remember who it was, but I remember you telling me about someone who said they never felt in danger on their mission, and I'll testify to that. Yesterday Elder Rodriguez and I were walking to Freddy's house because we were going to pick Maria up for church and her baptism, and this drunk driver sped out of a street, and skidded to a stop about 2 inches away from hitting me. There was also a family with a few youngsters standing behind me, so it was a miracle that he stopped. He backed up a little bit, turned and sped off wrecklesly down the road. We wrote down the license plate number, and then Freddy called the Carabineros (police) who came and took care of it. The Lord takes care of his missionaries :-)

Well, that's about all I've got for right now - I'm really looking forward to talking with you all this Friday! Once again, thank you for the goodies, the shoes, and the presents that I haven't opened yet (Santa has to bring them to me on Friday hehe)! I'm sure you'll be there, but try to be home on Friday until I call you, and then you can go out and party. I'll probably be calling in the afternoon here, because Freddy, Carmen Gloria, Elder Rodriguez and I are going to go to Salta del Laja in the morning. But it will probably still be morning for you guys when I call. Anyway, I love you very much and can't wait to talk to you! Merry Christmas!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Yay, a letter! What a crazy day - it was Elder Hodson's last day here in Chile so we went to ConcepciĆ³n for his last interview with President Swenson, and then we went to Coronel (one of Hodson's old sectors) to visit some of his converts, and we just barely got back to Cabrero. It's nearly 10 so I'll have to hurry and write this so we can get back to the house. My new companion's name is Elder Rodriguez from La Florida, Chile. He'll be my first latino companion, and as far as I know he doesn't speak any english. Should be fun! I'm not worried about it, I speak spanish well enough now.

As for the Christmas packages - we're having a conference this month at which I will get any mail that has arrived. If they haven't arrived by then I'll just have to get it next time we have interviews. Who knows, I might get them at a zone conference we have this week. But I don't think there will be any problems. Did you get the package I sent?

It's really weird to think about all the Christmas stuff and breaks and all that fun stuff while it's hot and sunny here every day. Some people here have put up their Christmas trees and's too hot for Christmas. Maybe next year...haha.

Now for the list of things:

1. We found the Chilean Johnny Depp! He's a 19-year-old named Pablo and is an amazing guitar player. He accepted the baptismal invitation on our first visit, so we're really excited to continue visiting with him.

2. We had a family home evening with the two chinese guys this last week - it was really interesting because they don't speak spanish and their english is rocky, so there was a lot of translating going on on my part. We watched the restoration in Mandarin which was really interesting...hehe.

3. One of our investigators, Maria Cuevas, said that she saw us and the Book of Mormon in a dream! How crazy is that? She'll most likely be getting baptized this month. It's just a little more difficult with her because she's half death (we have to shout the lessons, hehe, GREAT for feeling the spirit) and she lives in Monte Aguila just outside of Cabrero. But she's great, I love her to death. The last time we visited her she was feeling really sick and was shaking, and asked us for a blessing, so we gave her one and yet another miracle - she was instantly better. The power of the priesthood is such an amazing thing, it truly works by faith.

4. One of our investigators, Erasmo Aravena, fasted with us and paid fast offerings! He's an amazing guy. Also, he and his future wife (they haven't gotten married yet, but they have 2 adorable kids) Karina want to get married in the temple. Golden! He wants to visit me after my mission (he's an english professor), so that'll be cool if he ends up being able to do it.

Well, I had better go - it's getting pretty late. Thank you for writing! I love and miss you very much! Tell everyone I say hi and that I love them!