Monday, August 31, 2015

Victoria, 4 Investigators, Funny Skit

Family and Friends,
Well I am going to have to stop asking for forgiveness for not writing some weeks because I know that I will not be able to write every week haha. But as for last week we had transfers and I got a surprise transfer so I was not able to have time to write out a weekly letter for all of you. A lot has happened these past two weeks so I will fill you all in on what I can remember!

I got the transfers and found out that I was heading up to Victoria! And that I was going to be with Elder Fuimaono! To tell you a little bit about Victoria, it is the coldest sector in the mission! I have heard a lot about it because Elder Casperson, Healey, Katschke, and Shapiro were all here and they have all been companions of mine! I am actually living with Elder Healey right now and it is a blast and really fun living with someone who I have already been companions with, plus he is from Davis County and a homie!

We are living right now with four gringos so we have a really good time in the house and it is really funny. The companion of Elder Healey is Elder Wallace who was my zone leader in Temuco and he is a homie too so it’s just the best house ever. Our house is really cool, it’s a lot like the house in Millahue, but here we don’t have a Mamita so we have to do all of our laundry ourselves, which means there are always clothes hung up by the fire!

To tell you guys a little bit more about my companion Elder Fuimaono, he is from Hawaii and is, as you can tell by his name, Polynesian. He is really funny and we get along really well with each other. We have had an amazing week and we were able to have a  lot of success even with this sector that hasn’t had success in a long time. We had four investigators in church yesterday! And they are all really good! The only problem is that we have a lot of investigators that need to get married here haha. I think that that is the biggest problem here in Chile.

Saying bye to everyone in Millahue was pretty hard. I had met some amazing people and I love the members there. I was able to pass by successful for ten houses in 3 hours so that was amazing to say bye to all of them. I will miss that sector a lot.

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was our activity that we had in the church. It was supposed to be an activity where people brought desserts and stuff and it turned out amazing! It was the most successful activity that this branch has had in a long time! We were cooking cinnamon and cookies all day and practicing our skit that we did. We did the thing where there are four people but it looks just like two midgets who are together and having a conversation. I have it all on video and the people just thought it was the funniest thing ever. I was the arms for Elder Fui so I had a good time:)

On Saturday I was asked to give a talk for the next day.  Gotta be prepared as a missionary. But it went really well! I surprised myself on how easily I gave it without preparing at all. The Spanish is not a problem now and the gospel and teachings and scriptures are just habit in my mind now. All in all I have loved my time here in Victoria. I’m not able to write a lot this week and I will try and answer other questions that you have next week! Love all of you! Have a good week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Moving, Have Faith Elder & Stake Conference

This week was a rather interesting one, but don’t get me wrong, it was a very good one! This week was filled with service and events and it has been amazing to experience the feelings that come along as we serve. To start off, last Monday we helped a brother in our ward because he had to move or rather change office buildings.  He was told on short  notice and he had to have everything completely moved out before the next day, so he called the missionaries haha.  It was us three and his old little pickup truck.  I will never forget the experience of driving in the city on busy streets with the back of his truck filled above the top of the truck with tables and desks, just praying we didn’t get in a crash or that something wouldn’t fall out the back.  It was a pretty crazy and fun experience.

I have felt a lot like a mover-man recently because another day this week we had to go to a house in our zone of a sector that they are closing down and we had to move all of the stuff out by the next day.  We also had to clean the whole house and you can imagine how the house was, being as how missionaries had live there for like nine years.  But it was pretty cool because we were able to take some of the furniture and stuff out and bring it to our house.  So now our house looks really nice inside and actually like a real home!  It was also funny too because there was a ton of stuff from my old companion, Elder Knecht, because he had ended his mission in that house.  So we cleaned everything and took everything out and then we had to call a movers truck to take all the stuff from there to our house.  There was SO much stuff we needed to take and we thought the guy would be coming in some huge truck, but then he showed up and it was just this tiny little van, that people usually drive around selling vegetables and eggs in.  But miraculously that little Chilean fit all of our stuff in that little van and then after he talked to me about faith.  Ha ha I never thought that on my mission, a mover man would tell me that I need to have more faith!  He was a pretty funny little guy and we drove with him all the way to our house talking to him about his life.  He told us that right then he was working, in the afternoon he was sleeping and in the morning he had been drinking, hahaha I love people.

                          New furniture and notice the air freshener on the table! 

Also this week we had interviews with our Mission President.  Every time I talk to him and his wife, it is a good time.  They are both loving and smart and believe it  or not they are already talking to me about after the mission and preparing me with tips and advice, they’re the best.

To end off the week we had stake conference!  We had visiting one of the seventies whose name is Elder D. Giovanni.  He is from Argentina and a very funny and smart man.  There were a lot of things that they talked about in this conference that strengthened my faith and testimony.  I absolutely love the joy that comes from the gospel and the plan that God has for us and our families.  I love as well the happiness that comes from temporal things as well, and I’m very grateful to God for letting us experience these things. I would like to share a scripture to close this letter off.  It’s found in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Our difficulties and day to day struggles will pass, but the joy of the gospel and plan of salvation are eternal.  You are all in my prayers,  have a good week.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Wet exchanges, Moving the Sisters, Two investigators came to church!

This week in Temuco was a really good one, but a really wet one!  The Winter rain keeps on going hard here but in about one month it should start to clear up and Spring should begin.  My companion now only has two more weeks in his mission and I have yet another good example as a companion of a missionary who keeps on working hard until the end. 

This week we were able to find and teach some really cool people and have some fun.  We started off this week with an exchange within the zone and I was here in Millahue with Elder Hoffman.  He is one of our zone leaders and is a really chill guy.  He has 3 more transfers than me in the mission and is from Wisconsin. He played lacrosse before the mission, one of the very few, and has a pretty cool story how he got to the mission.   We contacted the entire day but it was a good time because we were able to enter into some houses and we were actually able to find an old investigator named Joaquin!  I and Elder Katschke were teaching him about two months ago but for a while we lost contact with him.  However,  we passed by and he remembered everything we had taught him and is just as receptive as before! Pretty cool to see how the Lord is always preparing people to hear our message.

The day after that was also a day to remember.  We got a break from all the contacting and we spent the entire day helping some sister missionaries in our zone change houses.  I didn’t think it was going to take that long but I don’t think I realized how much stuff that girls have, SO MUCH STUFF.  The entire day was spent loading truck and car loads of their things and taking them to their new apartments, which are SO nice.  Probably the nicest in the mission, up on the fourth floor.  So I bet you can imagine how my legs and arms felt carrying all the stuff up and down all those flights of stairs haha.  But it was a fun time doing all of it and organizing and setting up their new houses.  It was cool to see that the member who had trucks and bigger cars offered to come and help, there were about 7 of us in all who performed the moving of all the stuff.  Setting up the bunk beds was probably the most complicated part because we had to set it all up and we didn’t really look how we took it apart! Haha  All in all it was really a good day of service.

That night, back at our own house, we decided to do a type of sleepover thing and we moved all of our mattresses down stairs on to the floor in front of the wood stove and then we got the fire going so hot, and that’s how we spent the night.  We talked about everything ranging from the mission to back home.  Pretty fun experience. 

The next day I did another exchange but this time just with the other Elders in our house because Elder Celestino is our district leader.  I was with Elder Barco, he’s from just a little bit out of Mexico City and is a homie.  I get along very well with him, I think he is one of the chillest missionaries I’ve met.  We were in their sector and I swear every time that I go to a different sector to do an exchange we find the most amazing receptive people ever and it makes me want to stay in that sector!  But we had a good time together.

On Saturday, I probably got more wet outside than I ever have before in my mission.  It was raining very hard the entire day and we were outside the entire day contacting and we didn’t enter in one house, it was pretty rough.  But we did pass by this garden cemetery where there were statues of Jesus and other figures in the Bible, so that was cool. 

Yesterday Joaquin and one of our other investigators  Jeny came to church, it was awesome.  All in all this week was a really fast and fun one!  My faith and knowledge keep growing on this mission and I’m having amazing experiences!  Let me know how everyone is doing back home!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lots of love in Chile, Harlem Globe Trotters, Zone Attack

Hey family and friends, things went well for me and Elder Shapiro this week here in Temuco.  We have been able to find more people to teach and we have been trying to live up the last weeks that my companion has in the mission.  We have met some amazing people who really want to become closer with God in their life and they are looking for the truth.  I have realized here that the more humble a person is the more easy it is for them to get answers and help from God.  It is an amazing thing.

                                            This shows you how wet I get contacting!

I don’t know if I have already said this but my favorite thing in my entire mission is the opportunities that I have had to meet people.  I have met ALL types of people and I find myself loving meeting them no matter what type of person they are.  I do believe that there is good in every person, even the people who yell at us or slam the door in our face the moment they see who we are! 

To tell you a little bit more of this past week, last P-day was a pretty cool one.  We went to the title defense of a thesis of a really good friend that we have here in our sector who is a recent convert.  His name is Alex Huenupe, he’s Mapuche and speaks English really well!  He actually just graduated from college and now he can be a teacher of English.  So that’s what we went to and he did really well and passed!  It was cool to be there with him and his family and see the accomplishment that he has done.  His story is so cool to see the past that he came from and then he met the missionaries and got baptized and see where he’s going now.  He is a really good friend now and will be for the rest of my life.

One day while walking down the street in the central of Temuco we saw on a billboard that the Harlem Globe Trotters were going to be in Temuco this week doing shows.  About five minutes later we crossed paths with five gigantic black dudes and I didn’t realize that I had just walked past the Harlem Globe Trotters until after.  I was so mad at myself for not realizing and asking to take a picture with them, I still am.  They were just walking down the sidewalk haha.  It was pretty funny to see them in Chile because they are so tall and the Chileans go up to their waist haha. 

Something else cool that I was able to do this week was talk with Brian from my last sector.  He is doing really well, and is actually President of the Young Mens now!  He has the Melchizedek Priesthood and wants to go on a mission!  He’s such a great guy and I’m so lucky to have him as a convert, he’s already an example for me.  Also I was able to talk to another very good friend from Coronel, Kiki and his family which is pretty much my second family.  They told me that they had moved to a new house and they had prepared a room for me already for when I go back there and visit them, they are the best ever.  Lots of love here in Chile.

Another fun thing that happened this week is we did a Zone Attack in Carahue.  A zone attack is when all the missionaries of the zone go to one sector and contact it all.  It was a lot of fun and I was able to be with Elder Whiting.  He is probably my best friend in the zone right now.  He is from Arizona and has the same time as Elder Casperson in the mission so about 19 months.  We are very similar and we get along really well because we were both nerds before the mission.  We have plans to play Worlds of Warcraft after the mission and go to Lake Powell, should be a good time.

All in all this week has been a really good one and I know that the Lord has been blessing us with people to teach.  Hopefully a few can progress towards baptism but I am just glad to be able to be here helping the people in whatever it might be.  I hope that everyone is well back home and that everyone has a good week!

Love Elder Clay