Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011

Note from Trevor's mom: Trevor and I have been, as he says, back and forth all week getting him registered for USU in the fall. His itinerary actually arrived in my email the other day, too -- time is getting short! So I didn't get an actual letter written to him this time, but he still wrote us a nice letter.

Well, we've been back and forth all week, so this week's letter may not be so special, haha. But I guess I could tell you about some things that went on during the week.

First things first, the cambios...dun dun dun! President Swenson decided to keep Elder Rubilar and I together again here in the office so I won't be going anywhere for another six weeks. I'll definitely be leaving the office for my last cambio, though, so that'll be good. This week we've pretty much just been working on cambios for the mission. The last two weeks have been draining - interviews and lots of intercambios with the missionaries of the mission, the volcano llaima trip, so it was nice to get back to our own sector. Also, it was nice to get back to my own bed :) There's something we tend to take for granted.

The other day we had a pretty insane wind/rain storm. It just so happened that Elder Rubilar and I also had an appointment out in Lenga (a tiny little coastal village about 15 minutes outside of Hualpén), so I got to see raging ocean for the first time in my life (in person, anyway). The wind was so strong that I could feel it pushing the car off-course. The sand from the beach was also pelting pretty hard against the car. Well, we got to the house and found that the family wasn't home, so we decided to go out onto the peninsula because there was a house up on the hill we hadn't contacted yet. We drove up the hill until we got to a closed gate and then forced the car doors open against the wind so we could walk up to the house. I'm fairly sure that it's a summer home because there was no sign of life when we did get to the house. So we walked back down to the car, backed down the hill (the road was a thin Agner's-Mill-Road-esque thing with ruts in it) and started heading back towards Hualpén. Just before leaving Lenga we noticed a number of houses on the edge of town that we hadn't contacted either, so we decided to pull over and do it. Elder Rubilar needed to get his rain jacket...which happened to be in the back of the truck - meaning that we would have to get out, run to the back and open it up to be able to reach it. So we parked with the back of the truck facing away from the wind so as not not get the back of the truck filled with water. I pushed the door open against the wind and rand behind the truck to shelter myself from fierce wind and pelting rain. Elder Rubilar, on the other hand, jumped out with his umbrella. Instantly the wind pulled him out of the car and all I heard was a yelp and then a few seconds later he appeared behind the truck with a massacred umbrella. I got a good laugh out of that. We got his jacket out and then we went to knock a house - the lady inside opened up the curtains and looked out at us...and did absolutely nothing else, hahaha. She refused to let us in, so we just ran back to the truck, now soaked, and drove back to Hualpén. It was like being in another Hurricane!

Elder Rubilar and I had a fun lesson this week that taught us a lot of patience. We're teaching an older lady that is a little bit slow, and just when it seemed like she was understanding we asked her questions to make sure and she either went blank and said I don't know or gave an answer that has nothing to do with anything, haha. My feeling is that she hears us, but doesn't listen to us. Two different things. Anyway, so we were very patient with her during the lesson, and when we got out to the car Elder Rubilar said, ''Wait a minute.'' He bowed his head and started to breath deeply (I thought he was going to pray or something). And then out of nowhere he flipped out and let out a good yell (the car did shake from side to side, hehe). We were afraid that she might have heard us, so when we got home Elder Rubilar stood about the distance from the car that the house was and I let a good yell out and shook the car a little bit. Couldn't hear a thing, so we're good :) We love the lady, she's very nice and very humble. I'm glad I have had so many opportunities to learn patience.

We are teaching a really good person in Lenga called Marilín. At the end of our first appointment we asked her to give a prayer, which she did. By the end of that prayer she was crying and she told us that she knew she had to come to church. Yesterday we invited her to be baptized and she said she would be baptized when she knew that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Church was restored. She also introduced us to her boyfriend last night and he was a REALLY nice guy. They'll be coming to church this Sunday, so we're excited for that.

Well, I think that's about all I've got for this week. Today I'll be going down to Curanilahue for a baptism of someone I taught while I was there. It's nice to see everyone down there again. I don't have any really cool pictures for right now, but I'll be sure to get some over the weekend and next week to send to you.

I hope you're all doing well. I'll look forward to hearing from you!


Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

Hello there!

Well, looks like the Disneyland trip ended up taking away writing time, but that's ok - it's bound to happen every once in awhile. I didn't have time to write on Saturday nor Sunday, so I guess we're a little more even.

Last week was craaaazy. We left Concepción on Monday evening and didn't get back until Saturday evening. Each day we had a meeting with the zones of the middle and south regions of the mission, and then following each mission Elder Rubilar and I did some intercambios with the missionaries of those zones. I really enjoyed working with all the missionaries - it's a great learning opportunity on both sides and it gave me a chance to get to know some parts of the mission where I had never been before. The focus I had in my head when I was working with the missionaries was to get into houses and teach families, so each day we worked really hard to do that. I would say each intercambio we got into at least 4 houses and found a lot of good people that are willing to listen to and hopefully accept the gospel.

On Tuesday night I had the opportunity to go back and visit one of my old investigators in San Martín - her name is Patricia Provoste. I believe I actually sent a tape to you all with a short story about teaching her when I was with Elder Heiser. After I left San Martín she had continued to go to church and had even tapped into genealogy a little bit, but for one reason or another had stopped going to church and reading the scriptures a few months ago. I didn't call her to tell her that I was coming to visit her (I actually went with Elder Harper, my MTC companion, because we did an intercambio with him and his companion Elder Bustos) so when we showed up her mom let us in and then went to get her without telling her who was in the next room. She was really surprised - didn't expect that I would ever be back there to visit again. We talked for a little while about what was going on in her life and why she had left her spiritual progress to the side (she had been making REALLY good progress), and I could just tell that the Spirit was teaching her because she was thinking a lot and kept saying that she knew that she had fallen away a bit. When we left she told me that she knows now that answers come from the Lord in one way or another. I didn't really know what she meant by that (could have been a lot of things), but when I opened my e-mail last night she had written me telling me that the next day she received her answer and had decided to go back to church and to be baptized. That made me SO happy! Elder Heiser and I worked so hard with her; I had to learn a lot of patience, but I'm glad I did. Patricia is a miracle - the Lord prepared her and helped her to gain a firm testimony - she'll be a great member.

Another cool bit of news: An investigator I left in Curanilahue named Paola Morales is getting baptized this Saturday! She was actually supposed to be baptized the week after I left, but for one reason or another she stopped her progress for a little while. Last week I was able to go visit her with the elders in Curanilahue and she committed to baptism again. She asked that I be there so I'll have to get permission from President Swenson. Maybe this peanut butter that you sent me will help out with that....haha.

This last Saturday was probably the most adventurous p-day I've had in my whole mission. Elder Rubilar and I spent Friday night in a little village called Cunco (we stayed with the missionaries), so that we could wake up early the next morning and drive out to the Llaima Volcano. So we got up at 7, left at about 7:30 and got to the volcano at about 9 am. Earlier in the week it had rained for two days straight, but on the volcano it didn't rain, it snowed! So we got there and everything was covered in snow. As you may already know, missionaries are always equipped for all weather conditions - so for mountain climbing we pulled out our trusty ol' sneakers, put on a coat, borrowed some ski poles from the base camp, and made our way up. Obviously we wouldn't be able to reach the top of the volcano without climbing gear and a guide, so we just went as high as we could on one of the neighboring peaks. The view from the top was gorgeous - you could see the entire valley and even the Villarica volcano off in the distance. When we were going down we decided to hike over to another peak (we later found out that the peak is called the Japanese Hill), and there we encountered a military Sergeant - Sergeant Muñoz. We talked with him for a bit on top of the peak and then he took us down to the barracks and gave us an apple before we headed back up to Concepción (about a 4-hour drive). I'll be sure to include pictures. We did take a little time to eat a snack on top of the highest part we got to, I took a video of it so I guess you'll just have to wait until I get home to see that.


Llaima (again)

Rubilar and me by a cross they put up when Juan Pablo 2 died

Rubilar and me on our high point

The valley below (there is a drop-off behind me)

We decided to ski down

I'm also going to include pictures of when we went to Collipulli - what is so important about the little town, you might ask? Well, the biggest bridge in South America is there, it's called Malleco. We were going to go out to the middle of it, but it was a rainy morning and the planks were all wet so we decided that would be a bad idea. Maybe next time! We did get some good pictures, though.

Gettin' a little queezy on Malleco

Well, that's about all the time I've got for this week. Better get back to work now. Love and miss you tons! I'll look forward to getting your letter!