Monday, September 1, 2014

Completo's and Bucket Showers!

This week has been really eventful but at the same time we spent a lot of time on buses or waiting for something, so naturally my thoughts and feelings turned to home. I thought about all of you, family and friends, and things I wish I would have done and said to you all. I am forever grateful for you all, and if I never said it to you personally just know that I am, because really I am grateful for every single one of you in some way.

This week has been crazy. I’ve been having to take bucket showers every morning, which includes mixing boiling water with freezing water in a huge bucket, the ones they use for mopping and stuff, then standing over it splashing water on myself until I get wet enough to put all the soap on, then rinsing myself over it so I can reuse that water. Boy what a sight it is to see!

Elder Miller, one of the missionaries I live with, has been in and out of the hospital all week because he got a stomach infection or something but one of the nights he was trying to sleep at our house, he was having terrible pains and it was pretty scary. It was hard to go to sleep that night. But he is good now. He has a ton of meds, so he just walks around our house high, so funny.

I ate my first completo this week during an Almuerzo at a members house. A completo is a hot dog, but the bun is huge and they fill the rest of the bun up with tomatoes and guacamole.  Completos are really popular here.  I somehow choked down the THREE that they gave to each one of us. So hard.

Last Sunday I had to get up in front of the ward and introduce myself. That was really nerve wracking. But after when I was walking back to my seat, a man with special needs stood up, grabbed my forehead, and gave me the biggest kiss on the forehead you have ever seen. Pretty shocking but funny.

                                              Check out the matching ties!

Sometime in buses or at members houses there will be popular music from the United States playing, it sounds so good to hear them again. My comp calls them tender mercies, so true. I miss music so much, I literally have dreams of listening to music and I wake up homesick, such a joke. Lots and lots of walking. I am dead tired by the time we get home at nights.

We were angels in a play of the Plan of Salvation dressed up in our baptismal clothes for a stake activity. That was pretty fun. There is  a word that describes how Chileans act, Chamuyento, it’s like dramatic and exaggerated in everything they do and say. So you guys must know now... that I was supposed to be called here!! Haha exactly like me. but yeah, I have to learn the language first before I can act like me.

The language.. I don’t know what to say. It’s incredibly difficult, very frustrating, and discouraging at times. I try to have a good attitude about it but I feel like it is an impossible task. I turn to the Lord for help constantly and I know he strengthens me. I just want the Chileans to open their mouths and enunciate their words for once. Not some big glob of sounds haha. But I don’t know... Elder Casperson says I’m improving, I don’t really see it but I’m just going to continue to do my best.

 If there is anything that will change about me on this mission and I will learn these two years, it will be humility and gratitude. Two things I thought I had back home, but I have found out now that I lacked. It’s funny, me and my friends would make fun of people who would say on twitter and other social media "blessed".  I don’t know it was just the typical thing everyone would say. But really on this mission I have realized how blessed I was in my life. Be grateful for what you do have, and make sure that you show and express your thankfulness. 

Last Sunday after church we went to Charlotte’s house for lunch. It was pretty good, but they had music playing that I knew. It was making me really homesick haha The Scientist by Coldplay killed me. But yeah tender mercy.  I ate my first artichoke, it wasn’t bad. Keep eating different stuff, some good, most bad. In all, the experiences I am having are helping me grow and learn so that I can be a better person.

I’ve been talking a lot to Elder Casperson about changing on the mission and both of us said that one of the biggest reasons why we both decided to serve a mission was because we could see things in our lives that needed a change and we knew that the mission would be the best thing for us. The mission is an amazing experience. It is incredibly difficult at times but Ether 12:27 and D&C 122:7 come to mind. We are given hardships for our benefits. Remember that. I listened to a talk this week and the message from it hit me hard because I had been thinking about that same thing since I started my mission. The message was that there is one things that even Jesus Christ and his amazing Atonement can’t give us back. and that is time. Don’t waste your time doing stupid things and don’t procrastinate the day of your repentance. Even if it’s something small. I don’t want to sound like some preacher telling you that you should do something but just think about your life and the things that might need a change. Don’t waste time like I did doing things because at the moment they seemed like they would be fun. I know that your life will be a lot more happy. Well that’s more than enough for this week. Hopefully everything is going well at home. Miss all of you so much. Until next week.

Elder Clay

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