Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010


Alrighty, so I won't end up having time tomorrow, so my zone leaders called me up and told me that I could do internet today. So here's the letter! I'm glad you wrote, because I was thinking it would have been a waste to do internet without having recieved any letters!
Looks like you're all set for a great trip up to Washington - tell everyone I said ''hola!'' haha. Be sure to take lots of pictures and send me some in the next package (I like to have some physical copies around sometimes).

This week was INSANELY busy for us. On top of all the work we have to do every week we had to prepare 5 baptisms (which includes interviews from leaders, etc.) and get the sector ready for Elder Galindo's and my absence this coming week. Elder Tatasciore and Elder Laurito will be staying here working both of the sectors for a couple days. Hopefully they can manage that! I'm confident that they'll do fine. So when we went to do interviews for Jocelyn and Gerardo out of the blue their dad came home and told us that he didn't want them to get baptized (thought they were going to fast or something like that). At first I was just like, ''NOOOOO!!!!!!!'' But then we shared the Restoration with him and after that he said that it was ok that they got baptized if they really wanted to and were ready to do it. We've been sharing with them for about 4 or 5 weeks so DUR they were ready. Then President Swenson came down on Friday to do the interviews for Fabiola, David, and Fernanda - that went really well. They all loved him and he told me that we had taught them well because they were all very prepared to get baptized and even knew and understood things that baptismal candidates usually don't. So I was very happy for all of them. Yesterday we had a great baptismal service, for which the water was VERY hot, haha. I walked in and then walked right back out with red feet - everyone laughed at me. So we turned the cold water on and waited for a little bit. Afterwards Fabiola told me an experience that she and David both had during the baptism: They said that they had felt someone behind them while they were going into the font, but Elder Tatasciore (baptized Fabiola) and I (baptized David) had gone in before them. Then they said that while they were under the water they felt somebody under them supporting them; holding them up. I just sat there and listened to her as she told me how positive she was that Christ had been with them during the ordinance. I've been so blessed to have been able to experience so many miracles out here in the mission field. I absolutely love being a missionary. David and Gerardo will be getting the Aaronic Priesthod next week and then will be passing the following. Fabiola wants to sing in the branch choir and have a calling. And Jocelyn and Fernanda are strong members willing to participate in their respective organizations.

Baptism line!

David, Fabiola, and Fernanda

Familia de Jocelyn y Gerardo

Me, Gerardo, Jocelyn, Fernanda, Fabiola, David, Tatasciore, Laurito

Last night we also had a talent show in the chapel after the baptism. Everyone was pretty poorly prepared except for what the missionaries did, haha. I sang the Hallelujah song from Shrek (everyone knows it, of course, so I sang it, haha - this time with a mic, so that was fun), and then the four missionaries did a sketch of the ''typical morning of a missionary''. Somebody recorded it for me with my camera, so I'll be sending that home in the next package. Everyone died from laughing so hard, it was fun stuff.

Well, my time is about up and we have to head out to visit Fabiola and her family before I have to head up to Concepción and 6. I've been assigned to a companion named Elder Hong for the next couple of days, and will be staying in the same house as the assistents - which means I'll spend a couple of nights with Elder Kester! So that will be fun. Anyway, I'm going to get going now. I love and miss you very much! Enjoy the trip!



PS. Don't really have any time to get many pictures, so I'm only attaching the baptism pictures.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Querida Mamá,

Gracias por la carta! Siempre es una alegría para mi leer las noticias de la familia. Espero que estén aprovechando de las vacaciones porque siempre se van volando. Si pudiera, me gustaría tener una copia de la música que va a tocar este verano. Justo hoy día en la mañana estaba aprendiendo una canción de Paul McCartney! Se me olvidó el nombre de la canción...pero cuando vuelva de la misión papá y yo vamos a tener que tocar juntos.

1 year!

Alrighty, that should be enough Spanish for one day...can't take any more of that stuff...HA! Nah, I love spanish with all my heart. How are your language studies going? Sounds like with that crazy schedule you've got not too much is happening there, but you'll get around to it :) I will want to be talking a lot of spanish when I get back, so get ready - less than a year left to practice! Wow...that's we just won't talk about it haha. I didn't really do anything for my hump day...just worked a usual,haha. I did finish coloring in one side of my study journal, so THAT was pretty exciting. Lots of missionaries burn stuff...but I think I can still use all the stuff I have. And if I don't want something there are plenty of people that would like to use nothing got burnt :)

Ah, I see how it is. You get that ice thingamajig all fixed up AFTER I leave, eh? Haha, just kidding. Congrats, I'm sure it's great to have all that ice around - ICE MUNCHERS! ATTACK!

If you could have the Coveys write me a letter through snail-mail I would absolutely love to hear from them. I really do miss them a lot; last night, actually, before falling to sleep I was thinking back to the days when I used to be their home teacher with Brother Callister. When I get back I call dibs on being their home teachers again, haha. Well...for the two or three weeks that I'll be there, anyway...unless I decide to transfer to BYU. That still remains to be seen.

Well, there were some complications with the baptisms this last week (two words: female, month...I think that explains it sufficiently, haha), but it's ok because Jocelyn and Gerardo will just be getting baptized this Saturday with Fabiola, David, and Fernanda. I'll send those pictures to you all next week if I have time to do internet. The church is changing up some things in the mission work and all the leaders of the mission are going to Concepción Sunday evening for 4 days of capacitations - should be fun. They won't start teaching it in the MTC until May of next year, though, so that all the missions (in the world) can get accustomed to applying what we'll be learning. So I may or may not have internet time this coming Monday. Most likely...but P-Day just went out the window...waaaaaaa! Oh well, haha. Anyway, I wanted to tell you about a cool experience we had with Jocelyn this last week. We decided to watch the video of the Restoration one day. During the whole movie the Spirit was really strong, and afterwards we asked her how she felt about all the things that we've taught her and all that. She tried explaining for awhile what she felt and she couldn't really do it. She just said, ''I just feel a warmth inside that makes me want to cry when I see and hear these things.'' I wanted to just get down on my knees and thank God for having guided us to find Jocelyn and her brother Gerardo (who is determined to be a missionary). We shared some scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants 9 and talked about how those feelings she is having are the beginnings of a foundation of a testimony. Then we talked about what it says in Alma 32 about the seed of faith and she's very excited to continue learning more. I should say they, because Jocelyn and Gerardo are both really great. Fabiola and her kids are amazing as well - they love coming to church, and Fabiola is going to buy David a suit and a shirt (I'm going to give him a tie) at the start of next month so that he can pass the sacrament. When she said that she was going to do that I almost started crying...she's a single mom and doesn't really make a whole lot of money, but she wants her boy to be able to participate and is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to do so. I love these people with all my heart, mom, the Lord is working miracles here every day.

Well, I think that's about it for this week. I don't think I had any really funny stories this week...but if I think of some I will write about them. OH! So here's something pretty interesting: I think my Elder Long has finally arrived! Elder Tatasciore and I get along really well and everything like that, but he does some really wierd things that make me laugh haha.


1. The other day he just sat down in the main room of the apartment and started to sing a medley of himns (which means he just sat down with his himnal and started flipping through randomly). He's a tad bit tone def, so it made me laugh a little bit. I tried recording it but he caught me and asked me what I was doing so I didn't really get anything, haha.

2. When we introduce ourselves to people sometimes he says he's name with an italian accent (Táta-see-OH!-ray!) and makes some kind of super-hero pose's funny.

3. He has the sense of humor that he makes a joke, but it's in the same tone of voice as always, and you wouldn't know it was a joke unless you looked at his face and saw the smile, haha. That gives me some good laughs from time to time.

4. He does still struggle quite a bit with the language (he's been in Chile for about 7 or 8 months), but we're working really hard to improve our language skills so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

We get along really well, he just made me think of some of the stories Justin told about Elder Long, haha.

Alrighty, that should be it. I'll get some of those pictures attached for you. Thank you for the letter, even though it was short. The important thing is that you write me because it's the only weekly form of communication I get from the family. I'll look forward to hearing from you next week! Love you!

Cascade near Cañete

Hatch, me, Frankson

Me, Frankson, Kemp

I believe...I can get wet

Woooo! Cascade!

Lunch on Sunday...mmmmmmm

Fernanda and David - mini missionaries


PS. Elder Kester is going home in about 4 weeks, I told him that he should go over to our house to meet you all - he lives in Springville. Maybe you should go to his homecoming? Then you could meet my dad here in the mission.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

Querida Mamááááááááááááááááááááááááá (looks easy to do that....but I have to press TWO buttons to do those. SO much effort...hehe),

You know what, this week's letter made me really happy - there are so many good things in there! Congratulations on your fitness plan - I'm really happy to hear that you're feeling well and are able to do all of those fun things. As far as sitting...umm...I'm sure Ian and Kelton could arrange theraputic sessions for that: just pick up a videogame controler and sit down on your favorite couch and have at it! Haha, if only it were that simple, right?

Well, I've had a good week with my new companion, Elder Tatasciore. He's from Cool, California (yes, I did say, ''Wow! That's cool!'' when he told me...knee slapper!) and is a good guy. We work hard, as always (if I ever had a companion that didn't want to work I'd whip him into shape). This weekend a 20-year-old girl named Jocelyn will be getting baptized with her 13-year-old brother Gerardo. They're AMAZING! I love them so much. Jocelyn also has an adorable little boy named Javier, but he's only about a year old so he won't be getting baptized just yet. They're really, really excited about it. Gerardo actually has showed interest in being a missionary in 6 more years - so yay for that! Next weekend if all goes well we'll be having a baptism for a lady named Fabiola and her two children, David and Fernanda. So things are going right along as far as the work goes here. I talked with President Swenson in one of my interviews about how I've never really had trouble finding people to teach with all of my companions, and he told me that it has a lot to do with the attitude of the companionship. It's so true - there are tons of miracles just waiting to happen, and the Lord lets us see them if we work hard and are diligently working to find them. And everything depends on if we have the Spirit with us, so that's always a concious effort we put forth. There are tough moments, but I find that the Lord always gives a little something right after those moments to keep our spirits up :) And plus, I forget almost instantly about those things (except for the funny experiences with the drunks haha). About that, I've never had one try to kill me like Elder Money did...and nobody has ever robbed me (I try to be VERY aware of that, because many elders have been robbed), but I did have an encounter with some punks and a gun. I might have told you about this already...but here it is again, haha. It was when I was with Elder Hall in Temuco - we had just dropped our clothes off at the hermana's house that washes them, and were walking back up the hill through a small pasture when we passed by a group of teenagers. One of them stepped out of the group, pistol in hand, pointed it at my head and pulled the trigger. Turns out it was empty, so I just shrugged it off (didn't know how to call the carabineros haha), but it spooked Elder Hall up a bit. When I was with Elder Rodriguez in Cabrero a drunk guy also started to try to punch us (didn't work too well because he was plastered hahaha). He had asked us to take him home and when we did he got really mad and started throwing punches. Some neighbors showed up, took him away, and thanked us for bringing him home. Nothing too serious.

Hmmm...interesting things that happened this week...

1. I think Elder Merril (Cami's friend) will be at the conference I'm going to on Wednesday, so I should be meeting him pretty soon here.

2. This morning I was joking around with Elder Laurito and I was going to run across the room to tackle him, so I jumped over Elder Galindo's shoes...but failed to see the laundry sack on the other I landed on that and the floor is pretty smooth so I fell flat on my face haha. Elder Laurito said he wanted me to it again so that he could record it. I was too busy laughing over a bruised knee to respond...hehe. The funny things that happen :)

Well, I think that's about all the time I've got for this week and I think this letter sounds a bit scatter-brained. We're in Cañete and we're going to be going to some sort of waterfall now. So I'll send pictures of that nex week. I haven't QUITE hit my hump day just yet, that's on the 15th, but thank you sharing that experience with me. I remember that day I was pretty near crying as well - never really did (not that I remember, at least), and then I ended up absolutely loving it, and still do! You don't have to worry about me, momma, I'm doing extremely well, have great health, and have never been happier. I'm looking forward very much to sitting down with the fam on that swing on the porch to see those thunderstorms (thunder pretty much doesn't exist here...I've seen it maybe once in a year). STOP THINKING TRUNKY ELDER VINCENT!!! Haha, just kidding, I'm not trunky: far from it! Ok, I'm going to get some pictures attached and sent off. I love you VERY VERY VERY VERY much and will look forward to hearing from you again next week. Have a great week!

Chef-ing it up

Mold we found in our room

Cleaning the mold - it rains a LOT

Love times afininy (don't know why, but it sounds better that way),

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Glad to hear you all enjoyed the 4th! When I got to church in the morning all the members said, ''Happy 4th, Elder!'' So I proudly put my hand over my heart and and sang the national anthem hehe. And then some hoodies that we had a sister in Lebu make for us arrived with her husband (the district president - we had a branch leader conference yesterday) that has an American flag on the shoulder (pictures will be sent, no worries), so that was also cool.

Gotta love the red, white, and blue

Hoodies backs

Hoodies Chue

Hoodies flags

Well, we have cambios once again. I'll be staying here in Curanilahue with an Elder Tatasciore from California. Haven't really heard too much about him, so I'll be telling you all about that next week. I did meet him once briefly in a mission conference, but didn't really get to know him much. Elder Laurito is going WAY far away from Curanilahue 1....Curanilahue 2!! Haha, he's just going to be switching beds. I'm actually pretty happy that I'll be staying here another cambio because we have a lot of people that are progressing and that have baptismal dates. The two that we have for the 17th of this month are named Jocelyn(20) and Gerardo(12) - they were references from their neighbors (who got baptized in July with Elder Laurito and me) and are very excited to be sharing with us. Jocelyn has a little boy named Javier who makes me think about Alexis a lot :). We have four baptismal dates for the 24th of this month as of right now - a lady named Agustina, her daughter, Fabiola, and two grandchildren named David and Fernanda. We found Agustina talking to people in the street - she invited us over and introduced us to her family. Agustina does have health problems, but wants to come to church with us and her family. Fabiola and her kids are amazing - I love them to death. Haha, last night when we were over there I was helping Fernanda memorize a song in english for her class this week (she's 8). The song was called ''We're Having a Party'', and it was pretty funky so we had a good time. And then we have a baptismal date for the 31st of this month for a lady called Ana María. She met sister missionaries for the first time in Santiago about 6 years ago, but didn't ever get baptized because she was living with her boyfriend. But then her boyfriend left her and married her sister, leaving her with 3 children. Her house fell in the earthquake, so she's living in a small house that the army made on a soccer field (there's no grass, so with all the rain it's always very muddy there). Despite the tough times that she has passed through in her life, she's very happy to be visiting with us again and really wants to get closer to God. So I'm very grateful to be able to help her along in that :). It's really amazing...being a missionary. You have so many opportunities to see the lives of people change for the better as they begin to incorporate the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.

Zone Lebu, June

Here's another fun story for the week:
The other day we were doing some door-to-door contacts, and Elder Laurito walked up to a fence, shouted and then started waiting for the person to come out. I had stayed a little further back because I was writing something down. When I finished I put my agenda away, and started walking towards the fence. JUST as the person opened the door my foot disappeared in a foot-deep puddle of mud...needless to say my leg was coated in the prettiest mud you ever did see haha. And my sock opened the door to my shoe and let the mud pass all the way down to my toes. If you want to know a way to change your shoes from black to brown (inside-out) just take a trip down to Curanilahue, Chile and I'll take you to pasaje 7 and show you the magic! I didn't get a picture of it (because that would be touristy! haha), but you can all have fun with the mental picture.

Well, I think I'm going to go ahead and get the pictures onto the computer so I can send you some. I'd just like to express my sincere gratitude for all that you've done for me mom and dad :) I love you both very, very much and am looking forward to talking with you face-to-face again. The same goes for all you crazy siblings. I do miss you all even if I am having an amazing time down here. I'll finish up these 2 years with all that I've got and then we'll go full-force family time haha. Thank you for the updates on the family, it's good to know how everyone is. *Side note* I was flipping through some of the letters I've recieve here in the mission and I came across the letter Cami wrote me the day I went into the MTC. Cami - that letter means the world to me; I don't know if you remember what you wrote, but it made my day this morning. Alrighty, I'm really going now. Love you all very much!

My new scripture covers