Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Querida Mama --

I was able to download and watch the video of Alexis :) That just made my day - Elder Tonumaipe'a got a kick out of it too. I'm still waiting for that tape to get here of her saying my name! She has grown a lot - I couldn't believe it. Last time I saw her she could barely talk and now she's screaming OKAAYYY at the top of her lungs haha. It would probably be a good idea to teach her the word ''movie'' at some point, right?

I finished doing all the paper work to get my Chilean ID card today, so on March 4th I'll go pick it up and I'll be an oficial Chilegringo! Pretty cool, huh? Some people in the international office here in Temuco messed up Elder Tonumaipe'a's stuff so he's having a little difficulty getting everything done. He got pretty angry today, but he's going into the office again tomorrow with Elder Moreno to get it all sorted out. From what I've seen it doesn't seem like the Chilean government is very well organized. But then again I haven't seen a lot of it, so I could be wrong haha. Oh well.

Hmm, some updates or things that happened this week:

1. This morning while I was reading scriptures and stuff, Elder Moreno ran into the room and told me to grab my camera and come into the other room. So I did that, and when I got in the other room there was a huge Weta there! For those who like LOTR, the Weta is the mascot of the digital design company that did all the special effects for the movies. I took some pictures, so I'll attach those in a minute.

2. We found a family of 8 this last week, and the 3 youngest kids are triplets! And they all turned 8 today! We've been sharing with them for a little while and they say that they feel that what we're saying is true, so they'll be coming to church with us and I'm sure they'll be getting baptized in the near future :)

3. One day this week Elder Tonumaipe'a and I were walking over some construction boards, when suddenly one of the boards I stepped on lifted up behind me, and Elder Tonumaipe'a tripped over it and almost fell flat on his face. It was sooooo funny - we both got a good laugh out of it. It wouldn't have been so funny if he had fallen would have been HILARIOUS! Haha, just kidding. But seriously. But just kidding....seriously...banana.

Well, I think that's about it for this week. It's always really good to hear from the family! I love you all and I always keep you all in my prayers! Stay strong, stay close to the Lord, and don't play with fire. Love you!


PS. I almost forgot - the parents of a family here want me to ask you how long I breast fed...HAHA! And at what age I walked, what time I was born, and how much I weighed. Next they'll want my passport number...silly Chileans. Ok, I'm going now. Love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

So you all have church at 1, eh? I'll bet all the kids love that. I don't think a ward exists here that has meetings at 1. Or I haven't heard of it at least. Our ward here in Lican Ray (Temuco, there's a little tourist town called Lican Ray a little bit to the south of here) starts at 11. I like having a little bit later of a starting time as a missionary, because then we have more time to go pick the people up to go to church with us. This last week we had 5 investigators in church, so we were pretty happy about that.

I'm glad to hear that you're getting out with some of the family to appreciate the arts. That's something I very much miss about being in the States - there really isn't a whole lot of that around here. There might be more in Santiago, but around here there's basically nothing. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity you get to do stuff like that! It would be even better to have the whole family involved :)

Are you all having family home evening on Monday nights? That's something I always took for granted as a kid. I didn't really understand the importance of it until now - seeing it from the outside with the families that we visit. Taking some time to spend together, sharing from the scriptures, and growing in the gospel together is such a big help.

I don't remember if you told me that Cami is doing an internship in the hospital. Cool! I think it would be really cool to have a job like that, but I don't really have the dedication to learn all the science and stuff. Maybe someday I'll do it. I've been having some thoughts about maybe changing my career possibilites when I get back, but I haven't thought about it enough to say anything concrete about it yet, really. I'll think about it more towards the end of my mission. Speaking of which, today I complete 7 months in the mission. Crazy, huh? Time sure does fly by, I'll testify of that...

How's Ryan doing in the MTC? Ben, my roommate from USU, e-mailed me and said that he's going to the Greece, Athens mission. Isn't that where Nathan Taylor went? I think he said he goes in on the 24th, so that's coming up pretty soon here. How's Jarom doing in Mexico? Is he still talking in Book of Mormon language? Honestly, I don't even remember what the scriptures look like in English anymore. And I definitely don't remember how they sound (reading aloud) in English. I haven't opened mine since I was in the MTC. My brain is in Spanish...francisco....
francisco (there's an Elf moment for you ;) )

Ok, some things that happened this week real quick:
1. I saw a mailbox! It was the weirdest thing in the world!
2. We have officially found Satan's dog here in Temuco. Elder Tonumaipe'a and I took a video of it, so I'll try to make a cd of videos I've taken here in the mission to send home to you all as soon as I can. It might take a little time, but I'll get to it eventually.
3. So we got a reference from Bishop Dote this week named Catherine. In the first visit she said the words every missionary wants to hear: ''Me quiero bautizar'' In English: ''I want to get baptized'' We told her we might be able to help her out with that, but we'd have to think about it for awhile....yeah right! We did the baptismal interview just to see what she needed to prepare to get baptized, and she gave amazing answers to each question. So we put a date for the 6th of March, and we'll be helping her to prepare for that. So there was a neat blessing we got from the Lord this week :)

Well, that's about all I've got for this week. Thank you for writing, as always! We actually aren't cooling down here just yet. It is a bit chilly in the mornings and a little bit at night, but everyone is saying it will be hot through March and then it will start to cool down. Time will tell, I guess. Either way, it doesn't really matter because we'll just keep on working anyway. Anyway, I'm going to get some pictures sent. I love and miss you very much!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 8, 2010

Hola hola hola,

Wow, the weeks just fly by. It seems like yesterday I was sitting here writing you.

The organized snowball fight in DC sounds like a lot of fun! I think it would be fun to do that sometime. Is it still illegal to throw snowballs in school? I remember getting yelled at a few times for silly things like that, haha.
Glad to hear that things are moving forward with Justin and Mandi. I really hope she gets the job so that they can be closer to the family. Well, our side of it anyway. Will they be living in Clearfield? I don't remember if you already told me where they're looking at building.

Alexis said my name??? Awesome! I'm excited to get that tape so I can hear it :) When I show people her picture out here I call her my ''huasita''. Literally translated it's my little cowgirl-redneck, but it's a term used here to show affection. It's like saying my little shookums or something like that. I do have a few empty tapes that you sent with me, so don't worry about sending new tapes just yet. I'll let you know when I run out.

Glad to hear that Cami continues to make good choices with the guys. They'll get over being rejected, that's part of high school. Plus, they should all be preparing to go on missions anyway, so they don't need any sort of serious relationship. USU! Aggies all the way! Go Aggies, go Aggies, hey! hey! hey! USU is a great choice, I'll see her up there when I get back ;) But if she does end up staying at UVU that's cool too. But not as cool.

How's Kelton doing? Is he keeping up in school? Are you studying scriptures as a family? I would love to do that as a family when I get back (while I'm there, anyway). Let me know how the other members of the family are doing. I haven't heard anything about Ian or Dad in ages. Jasmine and Justin do write me from time to time.

Alrighty, things that have been going on here:

It's been a bit rainy for the past couple of weeks, so it's been a bit colder. From what I've heard it starts to cool down in March - so this summer fun is starting to end. I'm actually excited for summer to end because lots of people leave for vacations and don't really have set schedules so it makes missionary work a bit more challenging. We've got about 15 people that are sharing with Elder Tonumaipe'a and I right now. One man named Juan Jose has a baptism date for the 20th of this month - that depends on if he's determined enough to quit smoking. I'm confident that he is - we've been teaching him for a few weeks and he fulfills every comitment we leave him and really has a desire to know more. He is gradually quiting to smoke as well, so that's great. I'll write more about the others as they progress more.

I've decided I'm a cat person. Done and done, cat person. I loved dogs before the mission, but now I'm pretty sure I hate them. Hate is a strong word...I strongly dislike them. I'm empathetic to the mailmen now. And that's all I have to say about dogs...haha.

Central heating does not exist here unless you are REALLY rich. We have space heaters which are fueled by gas. Naturally we have to be very careful. President Swenson recently sent out a memo to all the missionaries through the Zone Leaders that as it starts to cool down and as we begin to use the heaters we have to be VERY careful and it is imperative that we not sleep with them turned on - not too long ago two missionaries in Romania died because the gas heater was left on. Don't worry about us, though, we'll be sure to be extremely careful.

Temuco is a really pretty city - see if you can find some pictures of it online. I'll also see if I can find a postcard or two to send to the family. Tell dad I have found a scarf for him that he's going to love. I'm also going to try to make a cd of the various videos I've taken with my camera to send up to all y'all (I too miss the snowed-in days in good ol' VA).

Well, that's about all for this week. Thank you for the letter! I love and miss you very much!