Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Winter, Funny Grandma's and Goals

Dear family and friends, this week in Temuco was a cold one. I think it got colder this week than it ever has been for me since I got here.  I have to thank my parents for sending me prepared with the things I need to not freeze to death here! haha  The cold and rain combination is very cool and pretty hard to deal with as missionaries.  However we are still working and just trying to stay dry! 

I’ll start off with this week talking about these two cute old grandmas that we visit occasionally. I don’t think I laugh harder when I’m on the mission than when I am with them!  One is 84 years old and the other is 76, they have been friends their entire lives and they decided that they were going to finish off life together.  They have a lot of problems due to their age with hearing and seeing but they are always quick to make a joke of it when they can’t do something.   They have really learned how to look at the good or funny side of things, and that’s what I’m learning from them.  I decided I’m going to visit and talk with people of an older age more when I get home, they have more experience in life and know what’s up!  Also they are funny!

The work here in my sector, Millahue, has picked up since I got here and we are starting to find people that we can teach.  But the majority of the people that we have right now have one thing in common that they are all lacking… it is marriage.  Chile is really relaxed in that sense,  a lot of people live together without being married, so we have to teach about  that subject a lot.  Before I end my mission, I want to get a couple married and then baptize them, it’s going to take work but it’s going to happen!  Then the other thing is the authority of God.  We try to explain and teach it so clearly but a lot of people don’t understand or don’t accept it.  We continue passing by and helping the people with whatever we can.  The constant search for the people whom God has prepared continues as well.   

Another thing that happened this week was on the 21st of May. Here in Chile they celebrate that day in remembrance of when Chile beat Peru in a war. It was pretty funny being with a Peruvian as a companion and being in Chile that entire day.  People were throwing in sly comments here and there but nothing too serious happened. 

With it being so cold lately, I can see by breath when I breathe in our house, haha.  We have been helping a lot of people with their wood, like cutting it and arranging it, and also their stove chimney things.  I even installed one this week! 

Well that’s pretty much everything that happened this week but I would like to share with you guys something that I learned this week.  It’s something that I have realized and put into practice in my life.  It’s the act of making and completing goals.  I have learned that the magnitude of how fast we can grow or learn is greatly increased when he have goals set and we are working towards them.  Also is helps a lot when we have a plan on how we are going to accomplish what we set out to.  That’s it for this week, love and miss you all!

Elder Clay

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Advice and Instruction

Hey guys, this week in Temuco went really well, lots of rain and cold but I had the opportunity to work with a bunch of different people so I enjoyed it a lot!  I started off the week with an exchange that we did throughout the entire zone.  I got put with a missionary named Elder Gomez, which we had a very good time together!  This is his first sector in the mission, he has about 4 weeks in the mission, he is from Argentina.  He was a DJ and a clown for work before his mission.  It’s pretty funny because he doesn’t seem anything like that, he’s a very chill, laid back guy.  We were working in his sector and it’s pretty hard to work in a sector when he is so new to it.  However we managed it pretty well and were able to contact the people we had appointments with and all that.  It reminded me a lot of when I did an exchange with Elder Parkin when we both were so new to our missions, that was a fun time.  For being so new Elder Gomez is a really good teacher and missionary, so we dominated the sector! J

The house for the missionaries in his sector is ridiculous, it’s so nice, it reminded me of houses in the United States!  You could say I’m pretty jealous of them.  I enjoyed talking to Elder Douglas who also lives there, all night about a bunch of things.  He ends his mission in two weeks and I always love to talk to people who have that much time, because I can ask for advice and experience.  He gave me a lot of advice and helped me out a ton with some other things.  He’s a very impressive and chill missionary in everything he does and he live in Utah so we will be homies after the mission.  I will also add that he is the second funniest person I’ve ever met. 

Another thing that happened this week is the Assistants to the President came and worked with us in our sector!  We worked with Elder Catschke which was a lot of fun even though we contacted almost the entire day.  He only has one cambio left in his mission so it was cool to be able to talk to him.  He was companions with my Dad in the mission, Elder Casperson (my first companion) so we had a fun time talking and laughing about him.

In the night both the Assistants sat me down and had a talk with me haha I was pretty taken back.  They talked to me a lot about my mission and the reasons why I am put where I am.  They also gave me a lot of advice.  I feel like I received so much advice this week, I’m overwhelmed haha but I’m good, learning a lot.

So pretty much my entire week consisted of working hard with different people and having a lot of talks, receiving advice and help.  People say that you can learn something from every person you work with so I really try and apply this to everyone I meet.  But I have realized a lot on the mission that things come with time and life requires patience.  I have devoted myself to trying to serve the people I am with in this moment and learn from them.  I realize that I am where I am for a reason and how I respond to the situation is up to me. 

To end this week I am going to share a scripture that Elder Douglas shared with me.  It’s Romans 8:38-39.  Some of the truest and best verses in the scriptures that I have ever read.  For me, life is very hard to understand and sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But I always seem to find, at the lowest point where I’m about to give up, something keeps me going,  I like to think and I believe that it is the love from our Heavenly Father.  He is at our side.  You all are in my prayers.  Miss and love you all.  Have a good week!
Love Elder Clay

Monday, May 11, 2015

More Mission Happenings & Mother's Day Skype

 Hey family and friends! This week was a pretty good week and ended amazing because I got to Skype my family for Mother’s day.  I’ll start with last P-day and what we did.  At lunch time we met with about 30 other missions in the center of Temuco and we all went together to an all-you-can-eat restaurant!  It was amazing, and we stayed there for quite a while socializing and eating.  I had a lot of fun chilling with some missionaries who are really good homies and I met some other new cool Elders too.  I’ve said this before but there are people that I have met on my mission that I will be friends for life with. 

Another very cool thing that happened this week is we had interviews with the president of our mission, President Bluth.  My interview with him went very well and I was able to talk to him about many things. The man is so smart and helpful.  I feel like I could talk to him for days and days.  He’s a very impressive guy and I have a lot of respect for him  I don’t think I could ever be a mission president, with all the missionaries who they have to deal with and help with all their problems and questions. Haha  I find that it would be excruciating!   But President and Sister Bluth do it very well and in a loving manner. 

We had a pretty exciting Friday that started off in the morning with wind that I thought was going to blow the house down.  It turned into a hard down pour and it just happened that it was on the day we had to head into the center of Temuco to go to a doctor’s appointment for my companion.  We didn’t know exactly where the office was so we had to search for it for a while and when we finally got there, the doctor wasn’t there so we had to wait for an hour until she finally arrived.  He got his check up and then she told us that we had to go to a clinic to set up an appointment for him to get a scan. So we had to start our adventure in getting there at night in the busy city of Temuco, with millions of people in the street and on the micros, it made it quite hard.  It actually reminded me a lot about the adventure that I had with Elder Rivera one of the first weeks I was in the mission when Elder Miller was sick in the hospital in Temuco. However today was different because I was having to translate everything because our mission doctor was talking to me in English and then I was having to translate it into Spanish to the other doctors and receptionists.  It was quite the fiasco.  It was pretty cool to see my Spanish tested in an area outside of talking about religious things with people.

To end the week, Saturday night the other Elders who live in our house had a baptism for two of their investigators which went very well, one of the best baptisms I’ve seen.  After the baptisms when we were waiting for them to change back into their normal clothes, there were Mormon Messages playing.  The videos of them really touched the families of the people who got baptized, who aren’t members, and a lot of them were crying. The dad of one of the people, I could tell was so proud, it was really cool to see.

Yesterday, being Mother’s Day, I got to Skype with my family and grandparents!  Even though it was the second time, it feels like it had been such a long time since I had seen them!  It went really well,  I love and miss my family.  Distance away really brings out the emotions for people, but makes it that much better the few chances you get to see them , and I am sure will be the same when I return.

One last thing to end this letter, Brian, my convert in Coronel called me last night.  He told me that he is doing really well that he’s thinking about serving a mission.  He blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday, got called to be the Young Single Adults Leader and a bunch of other things! Such a stud!  That’s it for this week, hope you guys have a good week at home!  Love you all!

Elder Clay