Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011

Note from Trevor's mom: Oops -- I'm having the hardest time with his new p-day schedule! I did indeed forget to write him, but at least he's in the office, so I was able to connect briefly last week, and now I've written. Maybe he'll get to check tomorrow...

Looks like I've been forgotten about! Haha. This is my second week without a letter (I think)! Lucky for you all I'm able to jump into my e-mail account at times during the week so I'll be able to read it when you send it. Actually, this week I won't, haha. We'll be traveling around the mission again this week doing training sessions with all the zones. And on Monday we have consejo with President Swenson in Los Angeles, so I won't get on that day either. Oh well - stuff happens, right?

What's new in the life of Elder Vincent this week?

One of the office elders, Elder Brimhall (from AZ), and I have started to play a new sport. Well, maybe not-so-new, but for us it is - office soccer! Yup, after lunch to burn some calories we set up some goal lines in the office and kick a mini-soccer ball around. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but that's actually the most popular kind of soccer here in Chile. Not office soccer, but with the mini ball - they usually play on mini-concrete flats like a basketball court. It's called ''Baby'' and is insanely fun. I've actually gotten alright at it and have pretty much lost any ''skills'' I might have had before to play on a full-sized field. That's alright, though. If I play on a big field I just load my team up with latinos and then I'm good, haha.

Today Elder Moreno and I went on a trip all the way out to the tip of the Talcahuano peninsula to a place called ''Caleta Tumbas''. Directly translated that means ''Cove Tombs''. When Elder Moreno told me the name I thought I had better get prepared, so I brought along my eye-patch, my wood leg, and my arrrrrrr voice...but then didn't end up needing it because everyone there was alive...haha. I was actually surprised to see that people lived there, because it's on the other side of a ton of military land and then it's just this tiny little cove at the tip of the peninsula before the biiiiiig ooooooooll' ocean opens up. I'll include some pictures - it's really cool.

Caleta Tumbas





a nice place to retire

climbing the reef

a boat that got knocked over in the earthquake

boat building

Tonight is the one-year anniversary of the earthquake last year. A lot of people think something huge will be happening tonight, but that's all just superstition garbage. I'm sure the earth has its earthquake calendar just sitting on the table saying, ''Oops! I quaked exactly one year ago in Chile! Which means I have to do it again the same day this year! It's a tradition, you know!'' Hehe, silly people.

Have you found anything out about USU yet? I would really like to not have to worry about that - but if I need to do something I want to get it done early. As far as what I'm going to study, I think I'll stay with the music performance major, and then do a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. I've been reading and thinking about it a little this week and I think I'm beginning to decide exactly what kind of law I want to study: at the moment either Litigations or International Law. Out of those two I think I like international law more, but I've still got some research to do on all that. Anyway, just wanted to make sure all the education stuff is lined up, because I don't really have that much time left to do that. (I tried to log on to my USU account the other day and it wouldn't let me - do you know why?).

I have a recommendation this week for all interested - WATCH Elder Holland's talk from the October 2009 General Conference. It's a big testimony builder, and nobody quite conveys this type of message in the way that Elder Holland does. One of my favorite lines from the talk is when Elder Holland states that ''no wicked man could right a book (the Book of Mormon) such as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.'' The Book of Mormon has changed my life in so many ways - and there's not a chance in this world that that could have happened by only reading it. I had to pray about it - a lot. Along with that it was necessary to put into practice the things I was learning, to see for myself if the blessings really were true. The Book of Mormon is not just another book - it can bring us all closer to God than we can even imagine. I encourage you all to read, and STUDY it - this requires effort and time, but is worth every second. I promise you that if you make it a priority to study this sacred volume of scripture regularly, it will change your life forever.

Well, we've gotta head back to the apartment to get ready to go work now. I love and miss you all very much! And I'll look forward to hearing from you soon!

drummer at a ward party


Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13, 2011


Sorry about not being able to write the day after an earthquake! We were on a road-trip for the week! All last week and this coming week we are traveling through the mission with President Swenson while he does interviews with all the missionaries. So while he does the interviews we train the elders along with their zone leaders. Busy, busy, busy! When the earthquake happened we were in Lebu - a coastal town! There wasn't a tsunami, so no worries there. When it happened I was loading things into the truck, and Elder Moreno had just been there, so when the truck started shaking from side-to-side I thought it was just him goofing around. But then I realized that he had already gone back inside, haha. So I ran in and all the newer elders that hadn't been here for another quake were pretty scared. It wasn't nearly as strong as the one last year, so I didn't get scared at all, but you could definitely feel that the earth was shaking. The epicenter was pretty close to Concepción, so it's been shaking pretty consistently around here with all the aftershocks. We even had one during sacrament meeting today! Haha, it was right when the person who was speaking was giving his testimony, so we all joked that he has a really strong testimony if he can make the earth shake. Then I threw in a side comment that maybe it was just God's way of telling him that his time was up, haha. Could be either one, right? People told us that there were also several during the night, but only one woke me up - stupid aftershocks robbing my sleep after a sleepless week! (I fell asleep in elders quorum, haha).

Above Lebu

Driving by the coast near Lota

Driving with style

Moreno fell asleep...hehe

It was really cool to be able to travel around and visit all the missionaries this week. It's kind of weird - all the missionaries know me now, but I don't know the majority of them (a lot of new people have gotten here in the last year). I'll get to know them in the coming months, though. The ones that I have left! On Saturday I was able to go visit Curanilahue! That was SOOOO cool! It was good to be able to see the converts and hear about how their testimonies have grown and the challenges that they've had. Gerardo and his sister Jocelyn were so excited about it that they called me after they went to church today to tell me what they had learned, haha. Just thinking about how it will be when I go back to visit them in a couple of'll be amazing.

Fabiola and the fam

Visiting Freddy and Carmen. Gloria!

A little side note before I forget: I have gotten several letters in the last week and a half, but I won't have time to respond to them for at least another week and a half. I don't have them with me, but I believe I've recieved letters from: Addie Lott (I don't remember her new last name, haha), Serena Lever, Katrina Broughman, Lauren Berry, Aunt Marianne, anddd....I think that's it. When I get a moment I will respond to those letters, but for the mean time: THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE WRITTEN! I APPRECIATE IT!

This week we'll be starting off with interviews in Los Angeles (I hope to be seeing some converts there as well), then we'll be going to Angol and Victoria, and then we'll finish up the week Thursday and Friday with the 2 Temuco zones (Cautín and Ñielol) and Nueva Toltén. 11 zones, 2 weeks of conferences, lots of driving, and less sleep than I've gotten in a long time, haha. But that's ok, I'm loving the experience.

That sack-person thing is pretty rad! I'm in the process of getting badges made - I'll be sure to get one home to you asap. But what kind do you want? I can make the pocket ones, magnet ones, and the ones with pins. So let me know on that one and I'll get it made.

Let's see...what else could I say from this last week...

I had the chance to work with Elder Tonumaipe'a again! He's a zone leader now with Elder Neira (my old companion) in the zone of Coronel. They work in Lota, which is a coastal town/city (it's pretty big), so I got a chance to see the ocean and get a wiff of the wonderful fish factories in that area. I don't know how I would do living in a sector like that...the fish smell is pretty strong, haha. President Swenson once said that if you start to get used to the fish smell, it's about time that you move to another sector.

Yesterday Maikel (convert from Maquehue) baptized his mom and brother! His dad is going to be getting baptized on the 25th of this month - how cool is that? I wish I could have been there, but I was too far away to make it. I'll be sure to drop by when I go down there this week, though. Maikel is going to be an amazing missionary - he's excited to share the gospel and use the priesthood. Awesome convert!

Well, I kind of feel like I'm just spitting out random thoughts, haha. And plus, I should probably get working on all the stuff we have to get ready for this week - just wanted to send a quick e-mail to all y'all! (yes, I do remember the plural of y'all, hehe). I love you all very much and I'M NEVER COMING HOME! Mwahahaha. Just kidding, I am. But not for another....5 months :(. Mission-ending-time? Mission-ending time poohead. That's what I say. Anyway, haha, love you all, take care, be good, and take advantage of these last months TO WRITE ME!!!!!


PS. Send more ghardettos :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

Alrighty, so about the updates on my end of things:

At about 4 o´clock on Saturday, President Swenson called me up and asked, ''Elder Vincent, how long have you been in Maquehue?'' ''About 3 months.'' I replied. ''You haven't been there nearly long enough,'' (YES! I'm staying! I thought) ''but the Lord wants you to be in a different spot for now. You're going to go to Hualpencillo 2 with Elder Moreno.'' ''Wait a minute...'' I thought to myself. ''That's the...assistants sector...'' So here I am working in the office now as one of President Swenson's assistants. It's a lot of work, but I'm loving it. I get to drive a stick-shift truck, hehe, so that's a bit of a plus. Our apartment is awesome - it has real carpet, two bathrooms (there are four elders living there - all the office elders) and a Chilean bunk-bed. Why would I say Chilean bunk-bed, you might ask? It has an exceptionally small space for the bottom bunk, which just happens to be where I sleep. And for some reason I have woken up in the middle of the night each night and sat up a little to get more comfortable, and smacked my head on the boards above me. Haha, so my head has got some stylish bumps on it for now.

Missionaries of Maquehue (Jensen, Noxon, Lusk, Vincent, Laurito, Sanchez

Dad, you won't have to ever worry about me scratching a car again - the parking garage where we park the truck is like driving through a small cave. Well, there are two places we park, one smaller than the other. There is one below the office building, which is a maze of pillars - and our parking spot is on the second level below, so you have to go down twice. Other elders have scratched the mission van, but the mission truck hasn't been touched yet. *Knocks on wood* The other place is a normal parking garage, but it's a little tight, so you've gotta be really careful while parking.

My companion's name is Elder Moreno - he's from Vahia Blanca, Argentina. I've known him since I got to the mission (he was in my district my first cambio in Cabrero, and then we lived in the same house for a cambio when I was in Lican Ray) so we're already friends. I'm really enjoying being his companion - every elder that calls me thinks they're talking to Elder Moreno, haha, so I think his accent might be sticking to me a little bit. That's ok, though. I was also with Elder Laurito, and the Argentinians and Uruguayans speak very similarly, so that could have something to do with it as well.

I've finally been put in a sector that is ''dangerous'' haha. It's in the rural area of Talcahuano (the city north of Concepción on the peninsula) and there's some delinquency there. But I'm not worried about it - on top of being one of the Lord's missionaries, someone told us that whenever we drive through the neighborhoods (we leave the office around 6-6:30 so we need to drive to be able to get things done; it takes about 20 minutes to get from the office to our sector) people get scared because the truck looks like it's from the PDI (Policia de Investigaciones) so they don't do anything. Pretty cool how everything works out, huh?

I feel really blessed - when I was a zone leader I noticed that the Lord blesses the leaders in the mission in their sectors because they dedicate a lot of time helping the other missionaries. Now I spend even less time in my sector (maybe 3-3 1/2 hours a day) but Elder Moreno have been able to find great people in that little window of time. In the next two weeks, however, Elder Moreno and I probably won't be able to be in our sector at all. Starting Tuesday of next week we're going to be traveling through the mission with President Swenson so that he can do interviews with all the missionaries. Those meetings usually go from 9 am to about 3 pm, but after that we've planned to work with certain companionships from each zone to check up on their progress. Road trip! Haha.

Temuco Cautín January 2011

Well, I think that's about all I've got time for this week. My p-days are Saturday while I'm in the office, so don't forget to write me! I think you can still write on Sundays, I just won't respond until Saturday - that is, if I have time on Saturday, haha. If not, it'll probably be some day during the week. I love you very much and love hearing about the family. I wish I could hear regularly from all of the family, but I'll be happy with what I do get. Take care, be good, and don't sit on your sandwich.


Crossing the bridge on the way to the office

View from the President's Office

Working hard

Working harder


What do I do with this?