Monday, April 27, 2015

Temuco, COLD, the Utah Jazz, demolishing a roof and more!

Good Ol’ Temuco,

Friends and family, saludos from Temuco Chile once again!  Last week I wasn’t able to send the group email so this week I will send that one and one for this past week, to catch you up on what’s happened.  Transfers were last week and I got transferred out of Coronel and I’m back in Temuco where I started my mission!  I’m in a different stake than I was the first time but as far as my sector looks, feels, smells and sounds, I’m back in good Ol’ Temuco. 
                                 Glad his welcome back wasn't like this from everyone!

Saying goodbye to some of the people in Cornel was pretty hard, even as prepared as I was to leave that sector.  I thought I’ve learned how to control my emotions a little bit better since I’ve been on the mission but saying goodbye to some amazing friends, a few tears were shed.  Transferring all my stuff from Coronel to Millahue (my new sector) was honestly a pain due to getting on and off of all the busses and also there was fog covering everything in the morning.  I had so much stuff, and I wasn’t sure how to get where I was going.  But I arrive in Temuco again with all my stuff safe and sound after a 5 hour bus ride pretty much laughing the entire time because I sat next to Elder Torrente.  

My companion here in Millahue is Elder Ludena! He is from Peru and has 20 months in the mission.  We actually lived together for a transfer together in Cornel. So I know him pretty well and he’s a chill guy.  I have hit it off pretty well since the beginning when I got here with all of the members and the people we are working with.  In this sector, they don’t have a lot of investigators but we have been working a lot with less active and recent convert members.  My days this past week have been filled with lots of walking and lots of contacting.  The people haven’t been the most receptive or  haven’t even come out of their houses to give us the time of day but we are keeping up the enthusiasm and keep up the hard work.  

In Chile now it is freezing.  In the morning we can see our breath in our house and we dress in coats to study haha.  In the night Temuco is just covered in smoke due to the stoves that people use to heat their house so pretty much all my stuff smells like smoke now.  

A couple of cool things that happened this week…  We were contacting and an old guy came out of his house and started to talk to me in English.  He told me he has shared with missionaries before and he has a Book of Mormon and everything, but he doesn’t really want anything.  Then he started to talk to me about the Utah Jazz and how John Stockton is his favorite basketball player in all time and how he is the best player of all time.  Also how Karl Malone wouldn’t have been anything without him, it was pretty funny and cool. 

In my house, I’m an Uncle!  A missionary named Elder Hatch is training and my nephew is from Argentina!  He’s a pretty cool kid and we get along well. Crazy that he ends his mission in 2017. We tease him by saying that year is so far away and is never going to arrive, just like I got teased and everyone else when they start the mission.

My zone here in Temuco is full of cool missionaries, Elder Knecht, I get to watch him die,( end his mission), Elder Parkin, I get to play lacrosse with fiddle sticks again and some other missionaries who are cool.  

This past Saturday in the morning we did service for this Hermana which required us to remove the roof off the side of her house and take out a bunch of stuff.  It was pretty funny but pretty dangerous, luckily we were able to do it without any injuries.  

We had an activity this week in the ward which was pretty fun.  It was a get to meet everyone night and everyone brought desserts.  A lot of people showed up, we have about 150 people in the ward which is the most I’ve ever seen yet. 

Oh my house! My house is pretty good as far as houses in the mission go.  I stay with the streak of not having a good shower in my house, hot water only like half of the time.  But everything else is pretty nice.  Well nice in the mission ha ha.  That has pretty much been everything that’s happened this last week.  

I want to close this out by saying how great it is to be able to have a patriarchal blessing.  Throughout my mission it has been amazing to have.  For me, it is an end-goal.  The advice and blessings promised have helped me carry on through the difficult times and I encourage everyone to read theirs often or if they don’t have on start preparing to be worthy to receive it.  The Lord has provided many ways and sources of comfort and guidance, and that is one of them.  I hope and pray that you all can have a good week and be protected and guided by the hand of the Lord.  Also if there is anything that I can do, just ask.  Love and miss you all.

Elder Clay

Coronel, Concepcion, Boca Sur, Los Angeles and transfers today

Family and Friends,

This past week in Cornel was a pretty good one, a lot of hard working and contacting, we are still looking for those people that are prepared to receive our message.  I started out this week with an exchange with Elder Torrente.  He was actually in the zone that I arrived, so I have known him my entire mission.  He’s from Columbia and has about 15 months in the mission, he’s from a really secluded place in Columbia. He grew up on a farm and with practically no technology or anything like that, and he literally is one of the most funny, goofy, crazy guys I have met.  He reminds me of my friends back home, so we had a good time.  He is actually our zone leader so it was cool to work with him and learn some new stuff.  He kept me laughing all day with his facial gestures and how he talks to people. haha

 Goodbye Cake from a great family!

                                                          My Coronel Soccer Team
Another thing that happened this week is I had to go to Concepcion with Elder Espitia, one of the other missionaries in the house, to go to the doctors because he did something to his wrist.  I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I love going to Concepcion.  It reminds me a lot of Salt Lake City, but it’s a little bit smaller.  We thought the appointment for his wrist was at 2:00 but it was actually at 4:00 so we had some extra time.  Pretty funny that when we started to walk, the assistants drove past us in their car and we ended up going to lunch with them.  It was a good time.  

Also this week we had a conference with our entire mission! We had to sleep the night before in the house of a place called Boca Sur.  It’s pretty sketchy here and it’s the most dangerous/gangster part of the mission.  A couple of weeks ago, just outside their house, four people were killed by a fight and drive by.  Pretty crazy stuff.  I would want to experience this sector!  But where they live is horrible.  The Elder’s that are in that sector and who we slept with are all homies.  Elder Maguino who was my old companion and had lost a ton of weight, Elder Stevensen who is from Weber and played lacrosse and know people I know, Elder Yson, a kid I’ve known my entire mission and is really funny and Elder Goires, who is from Brazil and is the most chill and cool kid ever.  All in all it was a really fun night spent there.

In the morning we left at 6 am for a place called Los Angeles to go meet up with all the other missionaries.  At the conference we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Dallin H. Oaks by transmission from Santiago.  At the start the connection wasn’t good at all and we couldn’t hear anything, but after some prayers and messing with some stuff we got it to work.  It was amazing to hear from one of the twelve apostles and I was able to receive some instruction I needed. 
After we ate lunch and socialized for a bit I mainly talked with Elder Knecht, who ends his mission next transfer.  I miss that guy.  Well that’s pretty much everything that happened this week but as you guys might know, today is cambios and…
                                       Saying goodbye to Elder Healey & Brian

Monday, April 13, 2015

Service, Elder Yamado, Strange Taxi Ride

Another week come and gone here in Coronel.  We are entering winter here in Chile and we saw a little bit of what is to come this winter during this past week.  I had to bring out my big rain coat one day because it was pouring pretty hard.  I can’t decide if I like the rain or not.  I have mixed emotions, it’s a love-hate relationship! 

We had a pretty eventful service project this week at the house of one of the sisters in our branch. The Hermana asked us to come to her house to help her cut wood, but that’s all she told us.  So we showed up in church clothes not thinking that it was going to be anything that hard or big and that we could do it pretty fast.  We were wroooong.  We were SO wrong. What she asked us to do included us practically rearranging all this wood in her backyard and taking apart and cutting all the big pieces into smaller.  I’m thinking all the wood came from a house that fell down during the earthquake because I was pretty much tearing apart a house out there.  What made it worse is that it changed from raining to a heat wave within the time we were there.  I was just dying, I came out of that service project with a ripped shirt, cut up arms and beyond sweaty, but it’s all good because we helped a cute elderly lady :)

Also this week there was a fog storm where we wouldn’t see even a couple of feet in front of us, that was pretty cool.  I had an exchange with a missionary named Elder Yamado.  He is from Lone Peak in Utah, has a cambio less than me in the mission and is a homie.  He was actually companions in Mexico at the CCM with one of my friends Jackson Anderson, who I played lacrosse with all growing up.  All in all he is a very cool kid and we had a really good day together.  Talking to other missionaries about their previous life is always really fun. 

Something that was pretty creepy that happened to us this week is we had to take a colectivo, which is like a taxi.  About half way through the ride the driver stopped on the side of the road, he had been asking us really weird questions.  I’m pretty sure he thought we were all spies from a different country and that we were here to smuggle drugs in and out of Chile, pretty funny.  We came to find out that he is a pastor and pretty much just the typical Chilean who doesn’t want us in his country, haha.  We finally got out of his car after about 25 minutes that was supposed to be a 5 minute drive, pretty crazy.

We continue searching and teaching and looking for the people the Lord has prepared.  This upcoming week might be my last week in Coronel which is pretty weird to think.  In the time that I have had in Coronel, I have learned many things  and had some bad times but I have had many more good times.  I have met some amazing people that are my brothers and sisters and I will be friends with them for the rest of my life.  I’ll never forget Coronel.  I will talk more about this next week when we find out our transfers.  Well that’s it for this week, love all of you guys and pray for you every night.  Have a good week!
Elder Clay

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter, Family Is Number One Priority

Pictures from today's zone conference

Hey friends an family, this week in Coronel went pretty well!  Yesterday was Easter, but here in Chile, I’m not sure where else, they celebrate Easter as a whole week of holidays.  They call it the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and it’s pretty much a week dedicated to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I thinks it’s pretty cool that they give a whole week to think about that marvelous act.

General Conference happened the last two days and I hope all of you were able to try and watch at least a couple sessions.  There were a couple of talks I loved.  I felt the majority of the talks Saturday were about marriage, families or being a dad.  It helped me put things into perspective and helped with my priorities.  Families really are the only true source of eternal joy and are the most important thing seeing as how they are one of the few things that are eternal.  I could go on and on  about families but the one thing I’m going to invite all of you to do is check and make sure that your family is number one on the list of your priorities and to think if your acts reflect that one priority on the top.  I love my family more than anything and have a firm belief and hope that I will be with them forever.  But to receive the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us, we know it takes work and more importantly, patience.

At the start of the week we found this amazing family, they all live in a group of 3 houses and there are probably 25 of them.  The mom/grandma and one of the older daughters are members but inactive.  Hearing about their experience with the missionaries was amazing.  Missionaries for some people are literally like angles on earth, they definitely were for this family.  

There were more riots in Coronel this week but not as extreme as the ones last week,  the fishermen are crazy here!  Also I got pretty sick again this past week I could hardly walk, and my body ached everywhere, after rest and a lot of prayers I was able to recover pretty quickly.  

Brian is doing really well and was able to come to all five sessions of General Conference!  He had an interview the President Foentes, our Branch President, and he should be getting the priesthood soon!  Very cool to see how he is progressing even after his baptism.

Love all of you and I hope that all your faith and testimonies can keep growing and strengthening.  I can’t remember who gave the talk or which President of the Church it was but before he was about to die, one of his last prayers was that his faith would stay with him.  For me, that is an amazing example and shows us that we all have more to grow and strengthen when it comes to our faith.  I encourage all who missed the General Conference talks to go and read or watch them online!  Hope you all have a good week.

Elder Clay