Monday, July 27, 2015

Millahue a tough sector, A stove at last! Elder Cumlef

Mis chiquillos, I have to ask forgiveness again for not writing a group letter last week, not gonna lie I was just really lazy and procrastinated until the last minute and then didn’t end up doing it, but don’t worry I’ll inform you on all the big things that have happened these past 2 week. Haha and that’s the thing, not a lot of big things have happened these past weeks.

Elder Shapiro and I have almost literally contacted all day every day for these weeks.  It’s been pretty rough here, I’m to the point where I’ve contacted every house in my sector at least 2 times so they already know me and recognize my hair!  Millahue has always been known for being a pretty tough sector but we are keeping out attitudes up and trying to stay positive and have a good time through it all.  I know that after my time here I will be able to appreciate the hard work I have done here and will be able to look back with a smile. 

My time with Eder Shapiro has been a good time, we get along very well and he’s a homie.  When he arrived two weeks ago, making it back to our house with his suitcases was probably the easiest experience I’ve had traveling back to sectors with suitcases, so that was a tender mercy.  I now live with Elder Shapiro, (my comp), Elder Celesino, a Chicano who lived in Utah his entire life and speaks like 5 languages; and Elder Barco, a Mexican who just came from starting his mission in Coronel where I was previous to here.  It is cool to be able to talk to him about all the goings on in Coronel.  Our house is a pretty good time we all get along really well so that’s good.  FINALLY, after about waiting two months for it, we got a wood stove in our house so we’re not freezing 24/7 anymore.  It’s pretty fun to chop the wood and practice making fires as much as we do now. 

Lately with the members at lunch we have been asking about their conversion stories and how they came to know the Gospel.  It’s been really cool to hear the stories and all the experiences that people have had. It is a testimony builder for me and helps my faith to hear about everything that has happened in their conversion process.  It’s just the best when we ask the big strong hard dads and watch them getting all choked up when they tell us, so cool.  Also Elder Shapiro and I have been listening to a lot of Brad Wilcox talks, he is one of my favorite people who gives talks to the youth.  Everything he seems to say either makes me laugh or reflect about something so it helps me a lot.  Lately with the few people that we have been able to find to teach a lot of them have seemed to be Mapuche, the natives of Chile.  They have their own traditions and background in religion so it’s been really cool to learn about what they believe and how they practice religion.  Most of them don’t believe in a set figure of Jesus Christ or God, so it’s just like we are teaching as Ammon was teaching to King Lamoni in Alma 18 haha!

Oh a really funny , well I thought it was funny, experience that we had is we contacted a house and this big, old guy came strutting out of his house.  The thing is he had one of those while Catholic collars on and had a GIANT gold cross hanging from his neck and was puffing a cigarette. Haha it was quite the sight.  He actually turned out to be very respectful and we had a good conversation, Chile is the best. 

Last P-day we went up to a sector in our zone with about 10 missionaries and played  soccer with a bunch of teenage Chileans because they are on winter vacations.  We played full field and I hadn’t run in a long time and it killed me!  But it was a lot of fun to play soccer with a bunch of my friends on the mission.  I missed the physical contact of lacrosse!  Another thing that happened last week was I did an exchange with Elder Cumlef from Argentina!  The funny thing was that about a year ago we did an exchange together in my first sector.  We’ve always gotten along really well so we had a good time.  His English is good and is improving but Latinos accents when they speak English are so funny.  I can say that because they all say that about gringo’s accents when they talk in Spanish.  We had some crazy experiences together, ranging from thinking that he had gotten stolen in the house of these people to setting a baptismal date with a woman that we found that was a miracle.

Nothing happened here for the 24th of July unfortunately.  I didn’t even realize it was that day until around 10:30pm that night.  Actually that day I stayed in the house with one of the other Elders who was really sick.  I watched all the Bible videos that our church has put out, they are so sweet.  Jesus was just the best ever.  Oh that reminds me of this little old lady that we taught.  Well mainly she was just teaching us about what she believes.  She told us all about aliens and how the USA knows all about them.  She was going off but she was a cute little old grandma type so I couldn’t help but smile and nod.  The people that we meet on the mission are incredible and the experiences are unlike any others.  Well I think that’s about all that has happened.  Hope that everything is going well back home for everyone!  Know that you all are in my prayers! Have a good week!
Elder Clay

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trying Times, New Companion Elder Shapiro

Family and friends, this week was another cold and hardworking week.  It was the last week of work for my companion so he made sure that he lived up to it.  I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a missionary go out as strong as he did, very impressive.  Right now he is chilling in our mission office just waiting for his last interview with our mission president and then he will be off for his house.  Crazy stuff. 

Well, at the start of this week I had an exchange with a missionary named Elder Loose!  He is from Argentina and has little time in the mission.  He is probably the shortest missionary in the mission and just has the most baby face ever haha everyone is surprised when he tells them how old he is.  But we had a really good time together and we actually ended up finding two really good new investigators…  a lot of fun.

The rest of the week has been pretty tough.  This entire transfer Elder Katschke and I have been working extremely hard and contacting just about everyone we can but even with as much work as we have been doing, Millahue is just a really rough sector and we haven’t been able to see as many of the fruits as we would have liked to.  We were able to prepare the sector a lot better for the next person to come, but it’s been a hard time. 

It’s been a learning experience for me, and I know that the Lord blessed us with success at the most difficult times.  But also we have been able to work a lot with less active members and recent converts which always is a good time for me.  We also were able to do some service for some of them so that was good.  At the end of the week my companion got all packed to go home and we said goodbye to some people and as fast as Elder Katschke had come, he was gone.  It was a little sad saying bye to him but I know that his time in the mission was used very well and it was his time to go. 

Something else that was very cool that happened was I was able to see my convert Charlotte this past week!  She was in Temuco  for a winter vacation and she stopped by to see me!  It was really cool to see and talk to her again and rough to have to say goodbye again. 

That was pretty much everything that happened this week but today is transfers!   My new companion is going to be Elder Shapiro!  He is going to be my second companion that is from Kaysville and went to Davis!  Also he is going to be the second person who I “kill” in the mission.  So yeah two companions in a row who are ending their missions haha.  But it should be a good time.  That’s all for this week, love and miss you all!

Elder Clay

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Illness, Copa America, 1 Year Mark!

Hey guys, this week my letter is not going to be very long because I was sick in bed due to a pretty bad sickness.  Last Sunday in the night I started having really bad aches and pains in my neck and my back and also up and down my arms and legs.  It was horrible haha.  Monday and Tuesday I was in bed trying to get over it but it wouldn’t go away.  We thought it was the flu or a virus or something.  Wednesday I finally went to the doctor and he told me that he couldn’t hear my right lung very well and I had to have an x-ray.  My right lung didn’t show up very well so they came to the conclusion that I either have bronchitis or pneumonia and they gave me some pills to take.  I have another appointment with the doctor today I’m pretty much all cleared up from my pains but I’m still stuck with a bad cough.  The doctor’s office in Spanish is a lot more complicated and harder for me that the Gospel in Spanish.

Another huge thing that happened this week was the end of the Copa America, which was a tournament that has been going on down here in Chile.  On Saturday Chile played Argentina in the finals and Chile won it!  It’s the first time that Chile has ever won it so it was huge.  It was so cool to be here and experience it, the people we were with started crying and then they left the house and went running in the streets screaming. Haha, the people here are very emotional about soccer. This all happened on the fourth of July so it was kind of like we were celebrating the independence of the United States.   For lunch that day the people made us a disco which is pretty much a barbecue but the meat is cooked in liquid, it’s the best.  

Probably the last thing that is big that happened this week was I completed 1 year in the mission!  It was also the birthday of Elder Casmuz in our house so we celebrated both of them by buying pizza and lemon pie.  I also burned one of my shirts as a representation that I completed one year!  It was a lot of fun and it was a good night.  This past year in the mission has been amazing and I’m looking forward to this next year.  Chile has treated me well.  That’s it for this week, but next week is the last week in the mission for my companion so it should be a good one!  Hope that everyone has a good week!

Elder Clay