Monday, September 28, 2015

Ankle Injury and Hospital Visits

Familia y amigos,

Well everybody, might as well start off with the bad news that I have because it is the biggest thing that happened this week.  Last week I said I had rolled my ankle playing soccer and thought it was sprained. Well, Tuesday I went to the hospital because our mission nurse wanted me to get an x-ray of it to make sure that nothing was wrong with it. Something was wrong with it, I went to the hospital in Temuco and got it x-rayed and my ankle is fractured.  I have to walk around in this huge boot and with a cane.  It’s not like a cool walking cane, it’s more of an “injured old guy who can’t walk” cane, pretty embarrassing.  My foot is pretty much a purple stump right now, it’s really swollen and the bruising covers my entire foot except for my toes.  However, it was fun there in the hospital because we ran into Elder Celestino and Elder Casperson, who are now living together in my old sector Millahue, so it was fun talking with them and chilling for a little bit. Going home was difficult because it started raining and I was just hobbling to the bus station to get back to Victoria.  I am still working here in my sector doing contacting and teaching, but now I leave a little bit later and I can’t be outside if it is raining.  Unfortunately, Spring rains are coming and have been starting this week so I have had to spend some time in the house.

Another event that happened this week is we had a conference with our Mission President in Temuco, so we had to go down there again.  It was a good conference and I liked it a lot.  After, Elder Faas and I went to the hospital there, because a friend of ours, who lives in Cunco is in the hospital going through the procedures to get rid of cancer that she has.  She was so happy to see us and very grateful to have us come and visit her.  Also her son is one of the coolest kids I’ve met in Chile and is a really good friend. 

English classes are still really good, and I’m getting to know a bunch of the people who I teach and now we’re all friends, it’s fun.  Lately in our sector it has been really hard because we had to do a ton of things this week and we weren’t able to do the work in it   We haven’t been able to visit our investigators a lot this week but we are doing everything that we can.  It’s been hard but I know that we will keep doing everything that we can and the Lord will bless us.
and on top of that, now I have this problem with my ankle.

 To wrap up this week I want to invite you all to read Jacob 6.  And you have no excuse not to do it because it is very short :) It’s one of my favorite chapters, although it’s very direct and a bit harsh, it helps me stay close to the rod.  Cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you.  Love you all, have a good week.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pictures, Chile's Independence Day and What Earthquake?

Hey friends and family, this week in Victoria was another week that went very well!  It was the week of the 18th September so it was full of preparations and then parties the entire weekend.  Unfortunately as missionaries we couldn’t do a ton of stuff but we were still able to have our church activity party that was a success!  It pretty much consisted of games and a LOT of food , but I’ll talk more about that later.

Not a lot happened at the start of the week but on Wednesday I was able to do an exchange with one of my best friends in the mission.  Elder Faas!  I’m not sure if you guys will remember but he was in Temuco with me and we did an exchange together when we were there!  We had a ton of fun together here in this sector and were able to teach a bunch of our investigators and even fit in a game of soccer against some teenagers that were egging us on haha.  Also that day supposedly a big earthquake hit Chile, but it was a lot farther up north than from where I was so nothing really happened.  A few missionaries, including my companion said that they were able to feel it, but no damage was done here.  So don’t worry about me, I’m all good.

The rest of the week was full of 18th activities and parties in the city of Victoria.  We did have English classes on Thursday which has turned into just me being the teacher teaching the class because no one else in my house wants to do it haha  but it’s all good.  I enjoy doing it.  Also me and Elder Fui (that’s what we call him because his name is way too long) found this abandoned  half burnt down house that we explored and had some fun. 

As I said, the biggest part about this week was the activity for the 18th that we had in our church.  We started the activity at 12 with games and then food, then more games and then more food.  This year I tried to lay a little low and let all the little kids participate in the games but I couldn’t resist the 3-legged race and the sack race haha.  We also played a lot of soccer which was a lot of fun because we haven’t played in a while because of the rule change in the mission which was that now we can’t play Saturday mornings, only P-days and holidays.  When we were playing soccer tragedy struck, I was jumping up to head a ball and when I landed I landed on my companions foot and twisted my ankle worse than I ever think I have.  In only moments it was swollen up to the size of a baseball just sticking out of my foot.  I wasn’t able to walk Friday or Saturday but Sunday I started to be able to waddle around.  It’s pretty lame not being able to walk and just staying in the house.  The ankle kind of put a damper on the end of the day for me but I still enjoyed the company of everyone and the festivity in the air. 

The next day we pretty much had a second 18th at a members house. It was quite the scene watching the Elders in my house carry me to the house where the party was at, but I felt like a king and they were my servants haha.  The end of this weekend has been spent chilling in our house, listening to the carnival that is a couple blocks away from our house but we can still hear it inside our house #Chile. 

Church was good but unfortunately none of our investigators showed up.  I think it is because they  all partied a little too hard for the 18th, but next week they’ll be coming.  Anyways that’s about it for this week, I just finished 2 Nephi  in my reading of the Book of Mormon for the 4th or 5th time in my mission, can’t remember which.   I think all the words of Nephi are awesome, he was a great prophet, and how he said when he ended, study his words, for they teach men to do good and will strengthen our weaknesses.  Have a good week everyone, Love you all!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Teaching and Service

Hola gente,  this past week in Victoria felt like a really fast one!  The weather is starting to change and you can tell we are coming out of winter, although it stays a bit chilly in the night and in the morning.  This week was full of preparations and this coming week will be even more because the 18th of September is here once again!  The 18th is Chile’s Independence Day, similar to our 4th of July by Chileanized.  The people get pretty pumped for it and the celebrations last about 3 days.  Last year I remember being a little disappointed because it didn’t turn out to be all that they said it was going to be, but hopefully this year we can make it even better!  In our house we all have over a year in the mission so we will be having our last 18th in Chile so we are going to have to make it big!  It’s crazy to think that it has already been a year since I was with Elder Casperson in Catrihuala celebrating it there! 

This week all started with an emergency trip to Los Angeles, which is a city here in Chile about 2 hours away from where I am.  My permanent retainer broke and I had to go get it fixed.  It was a good time traveling by bus, and besides getting lost a couple of times, the big city of Los Angeles was really cool.  The Orthodontist was a member and a really cool guy and didn’t charge me much to do it.  We got home when it was really late and we had to walk quite a while in the freezing cold but it was a good day! 

This week I am going to tell you guys about the people we are teaching because that is what we have been doing this week, contacting and teaching.  We have someone named Juan Pablo, he is really good!  He’s about 30 years old and has a girlfriend and a son, who is a cute little guy.  He has attended church 5 times and really wants to be baptized.  It’s really cool to see his attitude towards things because even when things aren’t going too well, he always has a smile on his face and a good attitude.  The only thing that is holding him back from being baptized is he has to get married. We are working on that but it has been pretty difficult.  He is an amazing guy and really does want to do what God wants from him.

Then we have Alejandra who is the girlfriend of a less active member named Victor.  They are both about 25 and both are really cool.  Alejandra has grown up her whole life in the Evangelical church so she knows quite a lot and has a lot of faith.  Victor, even though he’s less active has a strong testimony of our church and in the restoration.  It has been really cool to work with them and see them come to church even though it is extremely hard with Victor’s work.  Alejandra knows she can get an answer from God and she really wants to but the biggest problem is they don’t have a lot of time and are busy with their 3 year old daughter, Daphney.  Also, they have to get married haha.  They’re getting there little by little.

The last one I want to tell you guys about is Maribel.  She is a very impressive single mother with 3 kids who are 14, 11 and 8 years old.  They are pretty much the craziest kids ever and it’s amazing to see the patience Maribel has with them.  Maribel has been Catholic her whole life but feels like it wasn’t the Church of Jesus Christ.  She is very receptive in lessons and has expressed to us the spirit that she has felt since we have passed by.  She still has some doubts and questions but she is progressing very well. Those 3 people are the main people we are teaching and I have developed a love for all of them. I hope and pray that they can overcome everything they need to and receive the blessings that this church holds. 

I want to end this week talking about callings and service. A calling or service that God has given you to do is NEVER an obligation but a blessing.  We never DESERVE a break after a calling or a service.  Jesus Christ was our greatest example in that aspect.  After the spiritual and physical suffering that he had to pass through and yet the moment his spirit left his body and entered the spirit world, I have a strong testimony that the instant he got there, he started preaching the Gospel.  He could have rested, and probably deserved a rest more than any other person at any other time, but he didn’t because he understood the importance of the Gospel and was obedient to his Father’s commands.  A couple of scriptures to end with, 3 Nephi 13:3, Mosiah 2:17 and one of my most favorite scriptures, one that my Dad sent to me James 1:27.  I love all you guys and hope that you guys have a good week

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Service, Elders Healey, Wallace & Noyce,and Brian

This week in Victoria was another good one!  At the start of the week it was actually warming up pretty well but in the night and mornings it was absolutely freezing!  This weekend it started raining and I don’t think it has stopped since then!  Regardless of the weather we have been able to teach a lot of people this week and do a lot of service. I have loved it.

I will start off from the start of the week so I don’t forget anything.  This week we started running as a house.  It has been a lot of fun and we are helping Elder Wallace get in shape because he is ending his mission this transfer.  It’s been pretty hard to get my companion out of bed early so we can go running but once we are out there, we have a lot of fun.  I never thought I would be this out of shape haha. 

My relationship with my companion has been really good.  I don’t think we have ever not had something to talk about in the streets.  Also I think this house is the most fun one I have been in and I am making life-long friends with Elder Healey and Elder Wallace.  At the start of this week we had been putting up a lot of signs everywhere because we are starting an English class here.  We even went to a couple of radio stations for here in Victoria and announced the class over them, pretty fun!  In the middle of the week I did an exchange with a kid named Elder Noyce who is from South Jordan!  He only has been on the mission for 3 months but he is a really good guy and played lacrosse before so we had a good time.  We were in his sector called Curacautin and it’s very beautiful there.  You can see three volcanoes at about all times and is a very touristic spot because of the skiing.  I realized that day that I can pretty much find something in common with every person I work with, it’s pretty funny. 

This weekend was probably the coolest thing that happened this week.  So some lady told us, after rejecting us so hard J, told us about a guy named Willey who was in need of a lot of help.  We weren’t sure what to expect so we went there to see what we could do.  He was a 65 year old man who can’t walk by himself and his house burned down about a year ago.  He is now living in a room that doesn’t have a door, the walls are like arms width apart and only a bed fits in it. He has to have people help him with everything because he doesn’t have anything and can’t do anything.  He’s family pretty much abandoned him, so his neighbors have been helping him.  The thing is that they live in a neighborhood that is the poorest area I have seen yet in Chile, so his neighbors don’t have a lot to offer either.  We did what we could that day and returned another day with everything we could that we had in our house that would help him.  When we were there a guy passed by from the government and we talked with him so that they could move Willey into the hospital or a place where old people go and he said that by today, Monday, he should be in a place.  Hopefully he’s good now.  

When we were leaving from his house, we saw an old lady receive a moving  truck full of wood and we asked if we could help.  I have never moved and cut so much wood in my mission and my hand is still sore from that day haha.  The old lady was very humble and grateful, I have no idea what she was thinking she was going to do because it took us four missionaries 6 hours to cut and organize it all and it killed all of us.  It was a really cool experience.

The last thing that happened this week that was awesome was that we were walking through the central of Victoria when someone tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around and saw that it was Brian from Cornel!  I don’t know if you’ll remember, but Elder Healey and I baptized him when we were together.  He said that he was vacationing in Victoria and was going to come to church in Victoria!  It was pretty cool to be with him and Elder Healey again talking about the good ol’ times.  It was testimony meeting and Brian got up and bore his testimony, it was sweet, it was such a good way to end the week.  I also bore my testimony on the need and amazingness of offering service.  I know of the joy that comes from it and the true spirit that we feel after doing it.  I know that there will always be people worse off than we are and it is our opportunity to help them.  You all know Mosiah 2:17 and I have a firm testimony in that scripture.  This week have been an amazing week and I hope the same for all of you.  And if it wasn’t, make this next one better!