This week was one of the best weeks of the mission for many reasons! It all started with a deep cleaning of our house, I love cleaning. We cleaned a ton of black mold, thought I found a dead rat, and did some reorganizing and threw out SO much stuff. I had to say good bye to the first missionary who I’ve seen leave to go home, Elder Farias, it was sad to say good bye because I looked up to him, he was an amazing missionary, and he was way supportive and encouraging to me always. He always challenged me to be better. I almost cried, such a baby haha.
Okay now for the story of the week. We were having a lesson with Diego and Vicky teaching the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, touchy lesson I know, but it went really well. After everything, Vicky said "Elders I have something to tell you. Last Saturday I prayed, and Sunday at the program.... I felt something strong." What came next is still ringing in my head. "Me voy a bautizar"!!!! Which means I’m going to be baptized! It was amazing. I was so happy. She will be the first investigator that I get to see from the start when we began to teach her and watch her progress all the way to her baptism! It’s going to be this next Friday and she requested that I baptize her. I’m excited! This past Saturday Elder Casperson got to baptize our investigator Diego on his birthday! It’s starting to be so clear and apparent the joy that this Gospel brings. This past week with Diego and Vicky has just been incredible. After the baptism the whole family was crying together as they congratulated Diego. Vicky is his sister, they have one more sister who is 14, she is next:) but it’s cool to see all of this because their parents aren’t members but they are doing these things because they can feel that this Gospel is true. It is such a testimony strengthener for me. I know that God gives answers to people who seek it with a sincere heart and true intention. Amazing experience and I know that there are more to come.
The 18th of September (because of the Carnival holiday) the mission got off as a Pday because NOBODY would listen to us if we tried to teach. So we hiked a smaller mountain with a bunch of missionaries, had an amazing lunch, WE HAVE HAD AMAZING LUNCHES LATELY, so many barbecue like lunches. So much meat. I love it. Heard some more music from the states in the house where we had lunch, Made In The USA by Demi Lovato killed me. I swear the members are just trying to tempt me. After that we went back to our house by 6 pm for safety reasons, so we played Uno, talked, and cleaned. It was a pretty chill day, but kind of a letdown because it wasn’t even that different of a day or week in Chile. The craziest thing I saw was a hanging skinned pig with some crazy Chilean sawing it in half with some rusty hand saw with a pan full of blood underneath it.
Things are going really good here! We have 2 people that are for sure going to get baptized this next cambio. A cambio is 6 weeks and today marks the start of the second cambio. Four baptisms in my training... I got pretty lucky. Elder Casperson told me about some missionaries who go their entire mission without baptizing. But yeah I was born very well. Mission birth. The 20th was my dad’s birthday! Elder Casperson is now 20 and said that it was his best day of his mission. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. We had a feast for a lunch, he got to baptize Diego, then we had a mini party at Diego’s house after Diego’s family gave him a bunch of gifts, including probably the sickest soccer jersey I’ve ever seen, it’s a throwback team Chile jersey, absolutely ridiculous, he got spoiled but I’m happy for him:) super jealous.
Yesterday I had to give my first talk in church, everyone said I did really well and that they could understand the whole thing so I’m pretty pleased. My Spanish has been getting better, Elder Casperson says that he has seen a jump these past 2 weeks. It’s been good. Still get hit with homesickness waves sometimes, but I overcome it with the mission work. Haha also.... next to the Holy Ghost, Elder Miller is the second best Comforter. Alway telling me how good of a missionary I am and how good I’m doing haha. The start of the mission was really hard for him so he knows how to help me out. I think that I have hit all the big points of this week.
Charlotte made me a sick dream catcher, and Vicky gave me some souvenirs of Temuco. I played some more futbol with some flightes (chilean gangsters) and ran some more. I have gained 15 pounds since I got here haha. At this rate I’m going be breaking 300 by the end of the mission.. so yeah, prepare yourself for that.
We found out cambios today. Elder Williams is leaving our zone and going to be a zone leader somewhere else. Kind of sad to see him go. We somehow lost all of our district leaders in one cambio, but guess what... Elder Casperson is going to be a district leader! He’s excited but kind of nervous. I know he´ll do a good job, he’s smart. But our house is staying the same, still living with the zone leaders Elder Miller and Elder Rivera. Four new missionaries are coming tomorrow! I and Elder Lowe aren’t going to be the newest any more. Six missionaries are going to be training in our zone.. Crazy stuff but I’m excited. Well that wraps up my week in Chile.
Always, hope everything is well back home. All are in my prayers. Take advantage of the time you have and read the scriptures! That is one thing I have learned to love here. Ciao until next week.