Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

Guess what?! Thanksgiving happened for us in Chile this year! Boom baby! It just so happens that a lunch we had arranged with a member who makes giant cooking ovens fell on the same day as thanksgiving! So we had tons of Chilean meet, some yummy rice, and some other Chilean salads and goodies. Topped off with some ice cream, of course. So I hope you enjoyed the food you were going to eat for me, because I also got me some grub :) Haha.
I'm in Los Angeles! Yup, they transfered me again. Haha, just kidding. We had a meeting with President Swenson (consejo) and this time all the district leaders were invited as well, so we met up in the middle of the mission, which just happens to be LA. I don't think I'll be able to go visit any friends or converts or anything, but I thought you might like to know my travel adventures. We had to wake up at 4:30 this morning (which actually ended up being 5:30 because I fell asleep again after turning off the alarm, hehe) to catch a bus at 6:30 from Temuco to Los Angeles. We got here at about 9:30 and we'll be headed back there pretty soon.
Let's see...what happened this week that was interesting...

1. One of the nights this week we were at Mario and Jimena's house (amazing investigators), and I was playing around with their little daughter Graciela, and Mario was trying to get my attention. After saying my name a few times with no response (I didn't hear him - you know me, hehe) he said, ''¡ey! ¡Gringuito tonto! ¡Escúchame!'' hahahahaha. That basically means, ''Hey! Stupid white guy! Listen to me!'' Everyone got a pretty good laugh at that.

2. Yesterday we went out to work with one of the ward missionaries named Cristina. And of course she decided to wear boots that made her walk REALLY slow, so I transformed into an ox and made her hold onto my back pack and then we walked missionary pace, hahaha. She was pretty much like a waving flag behind us, but she kept up - totally worth it!
So I'm going to get together a Christmas box to send to you all - not exactly sure when I'll send it out, but it'll get there. Any special requests? Let me know by next week!
Here's a cool scripture for the week:

Jeremiah 20:7-9
It talks about how he was about to give up because of all the bad things that were happening to him and the lack of success that he was having, but there was something burning in his bones that kept him from giving up. In our lives there were are many, many trials and many opportunities for us to just throw the towel in. However, if we understand the love our Heavenly Father has for us and the potential He has given us, we can have the strength to press forward and endure. This scripture gives me a lot of motivation as a missionary and as a son of God.
Well, that should be it for this week. I'll see if I have any pictures to send to y'all. I love and miss you all very much! Be good!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

You're telling me that time just keeps charging ahead - today I completed 16 months in the mission! And it's almost Christmas again - that's just crazy. My last one of the mission...:( I don't suppose God would let slow time down if I asked him?
Wow, when was Spencer supposed to be home? President Swenson only lets missionaries extend their missions one month maximum if they want to do it. And he doesn't let sister missionaries do it at all I don't think. I don't think President Swenson would let me extend my mission because it would mess with my study schedule...I think. That would mean I would get back August 19thish...hmmmm, maybe it wouldn't mess with the schedule. But then again that would mean I would get back and then basically the next day I'd have to get up to Logan to start school, haha. Oh yeah, that reminds me, when am I supposed to register for classes? It would be good to know that and then find the papers that I left with you so you can help me out with that (get me into the classes I need, etc.)
Let's see if I can remember a few things from this week:

1. The other day Elder Neira and I were knocking some apartment buildings up, and on the way out we found out that the gate was locked and we couldn't get out. So I went back to knock a few doors to get someone to come open it for us. Nobody answered until about the 5th door, haha. So an older man came out and opened the door, Elder Neira went out, and I assumed that the gate would just stay open, so I started to walk out as well. Little did I know that the gate was spring-set or however you say that, and it swung and smacked me in the side of the head, haha. I thought Elder Neira had just pulled a prank on me, but I really just walked into a closing door. I am so smart, s-m-r-t!

2. The other day we were doing an interchange with the elders in the town of Carahue (I went there with an Elder Gomez and Elder Neira went back to Maquehue with an Elder Quispe) and there was this old man that yelled ''LIAR!'' to me. I walked over to him and asked him why he had called me a liar. He looked kind of like professor Trelawnmower from Harry Potter - the lenses from his glasses were taped to the frames, one of them upside down, haha. He said that the other day I had given him a card and told him that I would pass by, but while talking he realized it wasn't me, said sorry and then just scuttled off, haha. Funny old people.
So there are now six missionaries in the ward here. An Elder Whitehead from Canada is training a greenie named Elder Lusk (from Utah, I believe. There aren't too many missionaries from there). An Hermana Pielago who is training an Hermana Noxon from Orem. It's fun to watch them both because they hardly understand anything and they always look at me or at Elder Whitehead with a look of ''Help me!'' on their faces, haha. I imagine that's something like what I looked like when I got here.
I'm starting to feel like an old guy out here. There aren't too many missionaries that have more time than I do. I remember back in the MTC when you got to about the 7-week mark the new guys started to be like ''woooooah, he's so old! He'll be leaving soon!'' It's kind of like that when you get out here but it obviously takes more time to get old. Anyway, I may be an older guy, but I've still got all the energy in the world. I love being a missionary - so maybe I'll give President Monson a call and tell him to give me another 2 years, haha. Nah, is a joke. Birdy num num.
Well, that's just about all the time I've got this week. I didn't take too many pictures this week - just one of a dead dog without a head that we found last night while we were working with one of the young-women from the ward, haha. She loved that. But I don't think you would enjoy that picture too much, so I'll just keep that for the after-mission slideshow. I love and miss you very much!

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

Howdy y'all!

Yeah, it is pretty crazy how fast this year is going by. One of the missionaries today actually called me ancient, haha. He was a greenie that just got here two days ago and asked me how much time I had on the mission - 16 months! Pretty crazy stuff, huh? I guess I am one of the older fogies now. Not an old fogie, just an older fogie.

Well, I have been transfered from Los Angeles. Because of some mission-president conference in Santiago that President Swenson has this coming week the new missionaries from the MTC were sent this last weekend and we had cambios on Saturday. I was pretty sure I was going to stay, but President called me on Thursday morning and told me that I'd be going back down south to be a zone leader with an Elder Neira (from Santiago) in the zone of Temuco Cautin. That's right, I'm back in Temuco! Haha. Well, the sector I'm in now, Maquehue 1, is actually in a branch of Temuco called Padre Las Casas. At the moment there are six missionaries in the ward here, two of which are sister missionaries. And now I know why - this sector is HUGE. I'm really enjoying it so far - I've always loved Temuco. Hopefully I'll get to go back and visit some people from Lican Ray soon. Temuco Cautin is quite a change from Los Angeles South, though. LAS is a zone of 6 companionships (12 missionaries) and TC is a zone of 11 companionships (22 missionaries). So there's a lot more work to be done, but I'm really looking forward to it. Elder Hall, my son, is actually in my zone - so I'm pretty excited about that. Elder Laurito is also in the zone, so this is going to be a fun cambio. So far Elder Neira and I get along really well - I've never really had serious companion problems. Call that a blessing, haha.

Cool experience from the other day:

It was a rainy day when I got here on Saturday, so of course that made working so much more fun. At one point we were knocking doors on a street, and this especially nice grandma came out and said she wanted nothing to do with us and slammed the door. Sweet old people, haha. So we walked to the next house, and we turned around to see a young man open up the window to the second floor of the house that we had just knocked. He told us that he was studying at that moment but wanted us to come back during the week to visit him. We set up an appointment for Tuesday, but also said that we'd love him to come to church with us the next day. And he came! His name is Ariel, he's 19 and is studying social work here in Temuco. He loved church and is excited to share with us and attend the salsa and marengue classes that are given in the church every Saturday evening. Welcome to Temuco, Elder Vincent, haha.

Oh yeah, something interesting I found in my studies this last week. I don't have my bible right by me, but I believe it's at the end of the 2nd or 3rd chapter in 1 Samuel. So there's a war, right? And the priest Eli's two sons both die. The messenger comes to tell him, and then what happens? This is the image I had in my head when I read the verses: The fat old priest (it says that he was heavy) Eli was leaning back in his chair, heard the bad news, fell over and cracked his head and died. Then his daughter-in-law comes in the room, sees him and hears about her dead husband and then just plops out a baby. Hahaha, it made me chuckle reading that. Read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Hehe.

Alrighty, my time has gotten pretty short. I'm going to try to get some pictures attached - this computer is really slow. Oh yeah! I thought of something else I would like for Christmas! Ghardetto mix! I haven't had that in a LONG time. Hermana Barillas (one of the sister missionaries) also asked that you throw a small bag in for her, haha. Well, that should be it for this week. I love and miss you very much!

Halloween party - I was Elder Heiser

Mis tres viejitas de Los Angeles

Saying goodbye to Elizabeth

Zona Los Angeles Sur


Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Hola mamá!

Hope you all had a great Halloween! I spent mine on a bus up to Concepción because we had consejo with President Swenson today. Last night we stayed in Boca Sur with Elder Hall (my son) and his companion Elder Martinez. Some little kids came and knocked the door and said that they would egg our door if we didn't give them some treats (they actually do the tricks here, haha) so we made Elder Hall hand over some of the snickers that his family had sent him. All for a good cause, of course. Nobody wants to get a little boy with rats crawling out of his eyeballs (the mask he was wearing) mad. No sir.

Alrighty, so I've got the wierdest experience of all to tell you this week. So a few days ago we were in the house of one our investigators named Luis - we we're talking about the importance of knowing if the Book of Mormon is true or not, when a pastoress showed up from one of the evangelical churches his mom apparently goes to (Luis is 29). They told Luis to come into the other room for a minute, and he said that he couldn't because he was with us. But they insisted and said that they were going to share a scripture. He asked us if we wanted to acompany him, and we said sure, why not. What could a scripture from the Bible hurt, right? So we go into the next room, and the husband of the pastoress opens the Bible to some scripture in Romans and then starts going on about how there are no righteous people on the earth and that we are all useless. Then he ran out of things to say but didn't stop talking, if that makes sense. So he filled the gap with some phrases like ''God loves you, he helps you, come to God, he is love, glory to Him'' and then he picked up his train of thought again but it was on a completely different set of tracks, haha. In other words, the sermon was pretty incoherent and really didn't...edify would be the word I guess. So he went on for about 15 minutes and then out of nowhere he said, ''And now we're going to pray!'' They all got on their knees. Elder Heiser and I just kind of looked at each other and then slowly knelt down, haha. The guy started praying really loud, nothing too wierd. Then Luis's mom just threw herself on the ground and started crying and yelling at the floor. That's when I leaned over to Elder Heiser and said, ''Dude, if they start jumping I'm getting the heck out of here.'' He started to laugh a little, so he hid his face behind a wall. Then the pastoress, who was kneeling against a chair, started to cry uncontrollably and out of nowhere started screaming in gibberish. I looked at Elder Heiser and whispered, ''This is going to be good!'' Hahaha. Anyway, then she crawled over to Luis's mom and grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up and put her hand on her chest. All the while saying stuff like, ''Sshylykamy! Shmeeelookally!'' It sounded like a mix of Hebrew and German with a little of Blowyournoseanese haha. In my head I thought, ''This would be a perfect opportunity to apply what I learned from Steve Carrell in Bruce Almighty: NNNNNNNNEEEEWWWWSSSS!!! LAWEGIhewañfoiejwañflekawjf AEWIFEIFJEIJFIEJJJFOOOOOO!!!! OOOOOOOOOOODocacapoopoo! MMMMMMNnnnnnMMMM!!'' You know, just to participate, haha. When that happened Elder Heiser and I just stood up and walked out of the room and waited until it was over. It was like a devil trance, because afterwards they went back to being completely normal people. If only they had read 1 Corinthians 14 before...haha. That was a pretty fun experience that I don't think I'll be forgetting anytime soon.

This last weekend Elder Amado, of the area presidency, came to our stake conference. On Saturday President Swenson called us to see if we could come open the chapel for them (they had an interview) and we got to talk with him and Elder Amado for a little while - he's a great man and a very inspirational speaker. We had an investigator show up that we had met that same day (Saturday) to the next day's session. Her name is Sissi. Anyway, she loved the conference and when we visited her after church she asked about baptism, so we're positive that she'll be getting baptized very soon here. It's just an amazing find, because we were in a huge hurry and we had the impression to talk with her and she just happened to be a golden investigator.

What do I want for Christmas? Hmmmm...ties! I always love getting ties. I would also enjoy more peanut butter, haha, mine is gone now. More CDs of the Tabernacle Choir would be amazing. I only have two on my iPod and I'm pretty sure I've listened to each of them at least 50 times each. That's about all I can think of for right now :)

Well, we need to travel back to Los Angeles. So I'll get some pictures attached and get them sent off. I love and miss you all very much!