Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Baptism, Cold Showers Again, and more...

Hey guys, this week actually felt pretty long to me but I had a lot of pretty fun experiences. I started off the week going to Lota Park the last P-day. It was incredibly beautiful and it made me think of all the trips I´ve gone on with my family and friends to National Parks or hiking and things like that. There was an amazing view of the ocean and a beach and the scenery within the park was very beautiful as well.

The next day I had an intercambio with my district leader, Elder Murphy. He´s from California and has one more cambio left in the mission. Crazy stuff but he had a lot of good advice for me and gave me some suggestions on how to make more out of the mission. And that´s what I´m trying to do every day so I was grateful.

This week while we were contacting, all day every day ;), we found a guy and his family who have shared with the missionaries before and they belong to an Evangelical church, the dude was pretty convinced about his church. haha We taught him for about an hour then he taught us about his church for about 2 hours, haha we couldn´t get out!  But he was very respectful and it was interesting for me to hear about his church, which I had never heard about. Pretty interesting what they believe but everyone has their own beliefs.

Oh a thing that was amazing that happened this week, is that I got a call from my old sector Catrihuala and... CHARLOTTE'S MOM GOT BAPTIZED!!! It was honestly the greatest thing to hear and it made me so happy. I got to talk to Charlotte and her mom and they both sounded very happy. I wish I could´ve been there and seen it but still so happy to hear that it happened. I think that I have talked about this before but it is just amazing the love that you develop for people you teach and how fast and strong it comes.

The things that are constant right now in Coronel are that we have been taking cold showers for about two weeks now because our water heater is broken so that has been cool... I have actually learned to love cold showers and how good it feels after them. Also I found that it is impossible to stay away from the fleas here haha I’m going to have scars all over my legs and body when I get back from scratching them. But I’m taking many precautionary measures to try and keep them away!

The biggest thing that happened this week for sure is we had an activity for our mission! It was a giant P-day where we were all together! I have met so many people and have made some good homies. The bus rides there and back were filled with story time from all the missionaries and talking about life after and before the mish. I had a good time. It’s pretty crazy how small the world is and it’s surprising how many connections I can make with people just by knowing other people they know. At the actual activity itself we played a lot of sports, which was sometimes frustrating because we were playing a bunch of gringo sports with Latinos and they didn’t understand a lot of the time hahaha but it was a lot of fun. We also watched Meet the Mormons which was a very good movie and I recommend it to all. Well that’s about it for this week. Hope that you guys have a good week and you are all in my prayers.
Elder Clay

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Service, Getting Lost, Home Repairs

This week in Coronel was pretty good and I had some funny experiences. On Wednesday we did service in the morning for one of our investigators and helped them build, adding on to their house. Later that day, I walked more in one day than I ever have in my life. We went searching for a referral that we received and walked 2 hours north looking for it. Then we got lost. So we walked in the direction we thought the beach was and finally hit it. We then followed the beach line south all the way until we hit home haha. We walked for five hours straight and covered so much distance. Along the way we got to see the beach which was beyond beautiful, we found a pack of sea lions, found a jelly fish, watched a Chilean who didn´t know how to surf, Elder Knecht thought that was pretty funny, found a group of drunk guys who we talked with for quite a bit, it’s pretty funny that the nicest people to us here in Coronel and the mission are the drunk guys haha. 

Also this week there was a protest from a ton of people really close to our house because the city is going to destroy all their houses because they never bought the land they built on 12 years ago and they’re  going to build a train rail there. Pretty crazy stuff, there were burning tires everywhere blocking off all the roads and people were throwing garbage and glass and concrete blocks in the street. Smoke was everywhere. Sketchy stuff because some of the people whose houses are outside the area were trying to put out the fires and clean up the streets but that made the people who were doing it even more mad. Crazy stuff.

Another day this week we had a conference with our mission president and two other zones. That went really well and I got to see a bunch of my friends and met a bunch of other homies. I miss having Elder Casperson as a comp, we are just so similar it’s funny. Also during the conference we found out a bunch of big changes that are happening in our mission. Some good, some bad, but change is always good so I’m looking forward to that.

I received this week, the DVD that my mom and dad make every year that has a slide show of videos and pictures of my whole extended family and the experiences throughout the year, that was the best thing ever.  I love those movies. It was pretty weird seeing a half a year of stuff that I missed and next year it will be the whole year that will be new stuff to me. But this year was a lot of fun to watch and it made me realize how much I love my whole family. That’s been happening a lot on this mission. It was a pretty trunky experience but I loved it so much, so amazing, and it was all good.

I played some more soccer this week, I’m still playing so much like a gringo haha gotta get better so I can play with my soccer friends when I get back. Yesterday I had to give a talk in church that was on the importance of missionary work that was pretty easy, seeing as how that’s all I do. haha.

Also another funny experience that happened this week was me and Elder Knecht decided to do some home makeover projects which ended fairly short when I cut a wire with wire cutters and it exploded because it still had electricity running through it.  I don’t know how because I swear it wasn’t connected to anything! Elder Knecht thought that his comp died haha so funny, but external wiring is so ugly so we fixed some stuff up and now we just need to paint! I can’t wait to have my own house, going to be the best. 

Okay, spiritual thought for the week. I heard something in church that I really liked and realized. Everything that we do is directed towards our Heavenly Father but is through the name of his son, Jesus Christ. Everything. There are many ways you can interpret that sentence but I’m going to leave that up to you guys. Love and miss you all. Hope you guys have a good week! 

Elder Clay

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year in Coronel 2015

Well this week in Coronel went pretty fast with the New Year and everything. I don´t have much to write about because this week was just a lot of contacting, looking for people to teach in the extremely hot weather like usual. I am fried, but only on my face and half of my arms haha missionary tan lines are the best.

At the start of the week we came across this woman who just told us how bad she hated Mormons and was just bashing us but then we said we were from the United States, she invited us right on in haha. That´s been happening a lot with us lately where people let us in but we are pretty sure that they aren´t interested in our message, but just interested in us and want to talk to some gringos.  The new year for us as missionaries was pretty much nothing. New Year´s Eve  we spent with the Ortega Family, the same place as Christmas, where again, we spent the night with way too much blasting loud Latino dance music, eating too much food, but this night we had to be in our house by 11 and we decided to walk home instead of having a drunk guy drive us again haha. We almost got attacked by a gang of dogs which was pretty sketchy.

I passed the new year laying in my bed and I´m not sure if I was awake at 12 or not, pretty boring. I will be here for the whole year of 2015 which is crazy to think but I’m looking forward to the experiences I am going to have. 2014 was definitely one of the best years of my life and 2015 should be pretty good with my New Year´s Resolutions ;)

The first day of the new year we had free because in Chile they pretty much do all their celebrating that day. We had a zone activity where we played a lot of soccer and volleyball, ate these really good brats sandwich things, and watched the Saratov Approach, it was a pretty good day. That was the day that we just got burnt so bad so the next day we went and bought Aloe Vera and sunscreen.

Last Saturday we went and played soccer as usual. There is starting to be an abnormal amount of little kids who come and play with us. Pretty much have a whole Primary playing with us! Later that day we went to an investigators/members house where they made us sushi, which I ate for one of the first times in my life. It was surprising actually good! Kind of sketchy though, eating raw fish in Coronel.

We ended the week staying up all night because our new neighbor who just moved in is a young guy and had his birthday party.... It started at 11 and ended at 6:30 with them just blasting music and yelling and laughing all night. The comps in the other room got woken up by one of them who had been at the party and opened our window, whispering for us to open the door because they had "something" to share with us haha pretty funny. But that was the new year for me in Coronel. Hope that all you back home had a fun time celebrating and that you guys have a good 2015!