Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Wow the time really does fly by in the mission field it is crazy! It feels like just yesterday I was leaving the CCM to come to Chile, it is nuts how fast time flies. This week was very fun and very spiritually powerful. Everyday I am learning both in the language and in the Gospel, and it is so awesome to measure how far as an individual I have grown in just a short time. Looking back on who I was and how I acted even two months ago it is amazing to see the growth that comes from the mission.
This week Elder Jones and I have been working with more contacts on the street with people and working with our Haitian investigators to work them towards their baptism date in about two and a half weeks. I love street contacting because you have to be guided by the Spirit to know what to say and what people to find that will be ready to listen to you. But, Elder Jones and I do meet some interesting characters while out in the streets of Santiago. Almost everyday without fail we see people blackout drunk laying in the dirt on the side of the road at 2 in the afternoon. And we also see a TON of teenage girls with children, it is really sad but that is how the culture is down here. Anyway our Haitian investigators that we are working with are really awesome, they have the great desire to be baptized and really want to listen to our lessons. They are progressing really well and I am excited for them. Whenever we teach them we can always feel the Spirit, and this week they told us that they cannot wait to get baptized and that they will do whatever it takes to follow the example of Jesus Christ. That was an awesome miracle. Everyday and everytime we meet with them we are always impressed by what they are learning and how we are learning too as we teach with the Spirit. The Spanish is coming along a little more everyday, and it is an interesting challenge for sure, but with time it will come.
This week I also went on divisions with my zone leaders and they are super great guys. It was weird because I had to spend all day talking in Spanish because Elder Anguita, my zone leader, is from Argentina and speaks no English. But it was great we laughed and we taught many lessons that day. That night before we went to bed Elder Anguita and I were talking about movies and TV shows and I learned how to say the Spongebob Theme Song in Spanish which was really funny, it is so much more funny in Spanish.
Today for our P Day some of the Elders from our zone went to the Andes Mountains to go play in the snow. It was awesome. The mountains are huge, and are only like and hour and a half from us, so we hiked around and went and had a great time in the snow. It was really cool because up that high the air is so clear and the view is awesome, I hope I can go back again.
But anyway things are progressing really well, and I take it one day at a time with the work and learning, that is the way I can learn the best and still work hard. I love all of you guys, do not forget to write!
I do not have a Scripture, so I will just send out our mission vision:
Somos misioneros consegrados cuyos vidas y trabajo se centran en la Doctrina de Cristo.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Alright so all I can say is that the mission life is the best life on the planet. It is so awesome to be able to learn Spanish, teach people and have fun with your companion all day, I do not know if I ever want to come home. Well yes I still do, but it is so awesome out here in Santiago, Chile. Everyday my Spanish gets better, and my trainer and the APs are teaching me all of the ghetto Spanish slang down here, so when I return to the states I am going to sound like a hood rat. ¿Cachai? No but anyways things are going great, I love my companion, he is such a really spiritual and good guy, and he is a total nerd so we talk about movies and such in Spanish which is super crazy hahahha.
Currently we are teaching a bunch of people who are less active in the church, as well as people from Haiti! I love the Haitians they are so humble and really funny, and they speak broken English and Spanish so we teach our lessons by going to the chapel and showing videos that we can find in French so they can understand. It is really cool because our lessons with them will have three languages going on at the same time which is awesome to hear. Everyday as we are walking in the streets Elder Jones and I have a goal to make three contacts with people in the street and he lets me take the lead so that I can work on my Spanish. I have no fear of doing it because I start the conversation and then when I dont understand Elder Jones takes over, so it really is not that hard to start to talk to people. But we have been teaching and working hard everyday, which is super awesome and it makes the time fly by. The days feel like months, but the weeks feel like days, if that makes any sense. We are working and learning Spanish and trying to avoid the gangsters, this is the life.
Everyone wants to know what the culture and people are like down here in Santiago, and I think my mission is different from the rest of the city. For those of you who do not know, my mission is the smallest in the world, but we have a ton of people because we serve in the slums of the area. The people down here are so funny they make me crack up. For example, we will be walking in the streets at like two in the afternoon and there are people blackout drunk laying in the dirt on the side of the road, or they are super drunk and try to talk to us but they end up falling over because they are absolutely hammered. It is different here than in the States, but I love it, everytime Elder Jones and I get approached by a drunk person it cracks me up because they say the funniest things and they try to speak English hahahahahah it kills me.Even though the people are different I love this place because I get to learn more and I am able to see the blessings of living a Christ centered life and the benefits and protections that it brings. But I honestly love the people and look forward to helping them everyday.
During one of our street contacts this week, we were talking to a lady in a store and her little three year old daughter walked in and started cussing us out, like hardcore. The words this little girl was using were very, how do I put this, colorful. She just did not like strangers I guess, but it was funny because she would not even look at us. I could not understand what she was saying, so Elder Jones translated for me and she was calling us names I had not heard since highschool, if you know what I mean, so I learned a lot of bad Spanish that day. When the little girl left the room she turned to us and yelled "Sangre Sucio" which means Mudblood, a term from Harry Potter. The whole time her mom was apologizing to us, but after the lesson Elder Jones and I started dying laughing because we had just gotten chewed out by a three year old.
No but really things are going great down here and the Spanish is coming more everyday. We have seen some Olympics as we go to members houses for lunch appointments, but I really do not know anything that is happening other than we watched the US Mens Gymnastics team perform. Things are great down here, teaching, preaching and learning. Today we went to a mountain in the middle of the city for our free day and it was sick, there will be pic on my blog. I love you all and I hope you have a good week, keep in touch I will try to respond to all of you if I can! Ciao!
Y porque ha hecho esto, ¿han cesado los milagros, mis queridas hermanos? He aquí os digo que no, ni han cesado los ángeles de ministrar a los hijos de los hombres.
This is my bro Jacob Jupiter, one of our investigators. I guess I am a barber now because I cut his hair.
This is my dad Elder Jones, hard at work
Elder Antre made peanut butter, it is literally butter and peanuts, it is not bad
Yeah I taught him how to do this
Candid picture, and shout out to Zach Ward for my shirt
Elder Scott, Jones y yo
We found this street today, it is pretty sweet.
This drink is so good, I forget the name but is has corn and peach in it
We took a trolley to the top of this huge hill, it was really cool
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Ok the time here is literally flying by, it seems like just yesterday that I was emailing you all telling you about my first week in the mission field, it is unreal. This week has definitely been a week a miracles and hard work and I love it! It has been so amazing to see people and their lives change in just a short period of time. However I am always thirsty because Chilean people never hand out water, only juice or soda, and it kills me. Pero, es no importa.
This past week Elder Jones and I have been doing a lot of work with less active members of the church and we have been teaching lessons to many people from Haiti, and they speak English!!!! It is really cool but weird to speak in English now, it kind of freaks me out but it was easy to talk so I loved it. Anyway our ward that we are serving in has a ton of people who were baptized in the past, but they never come to church, so there are about 900 people in the ward, but only 60 come to church on Sunday. So Elder Jones and I have been going to as many of their houses as possible and trying to talk with them and to let them know that we love them and that the Lord loves them. Many of these people have problems with drugs or alcohol, so we tell them that we want to help them overcome their problems, which we do and it is amazing to see how much people want to change, but how powerful addicitions can be.
Everyday as we work to find people to teach, we were not having much success getting into peoples homes to teach, but that all changed on Sunday. In the ward that I am in no one can play the piano, so I have to play every Sunday, and people are very interested in playing the piano. So when we go visit people we offer to give piano and English lessons if they will let us teach them, and it has opened doors for us. Also, as we have gone and visited people this week, I have used my nerdy math skills to help out people and let them teach because all of them want me to tutor their kids. So the moral of the story is, study hard in school and develop any talents that you have because you never know how you can use them to help bless the lives of other people.
All of you are probably wondering why my email has this title, and it is a funny story. Down here in Chile, there are dogs everywhere you look, literally if there is air to breathe I guarantee you there will be a dog within 15 feet of you. That may sound cool, but all of these dogs are scarred and dirty from living on the street, getting in fights with other dogs or being hit by cars, so the dogs are nothing like the cute puppies you see on social media. As Elder Jones and I were walking home this week we were almost bit by a huge brown dog, it followed us and chased us, but luckily it turned around and went back to its lair. There are also a ton of cats here too that hop from roof to roof of the houses and fight each other on the roofs, it is hilarious to be walking down the road and see a literal cat fight break out on the roof hahahaha. So the snake part of the email is not about the animal, it is about the women that are down here. So someone once told me there were beautiful women in Santiago, but whoever told me that is a liar because they are definitely not. As we walk home all the time they yell at us, I do not know what they say but Elder Jones says they are calling us, and I quote, "delicious gringos" and if you hear the way they say it, you would barf. So we call them snakes because they are exactly like them.
Things are going good down here in Chile, we are working hard and teaching everyday, and my Spanish is always getting better it is so cool to see it improving. I love you all and miss you, and I hope you all have fun with whatever you start doing this fall!
1 Corintios 14:9
Así también vosotros, si por la lengua no dais palabra bien comprensible, ¿cómo se entenderá lo que decís?, porque hablaréis al aire.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Ok so if you know me, ever sinc I got my call I have been waiting to use that subject line and it feels so good to use it. Anyway these past six days have been AWESOME! Over the weekend we had our final meetings and we had to say goodbye to all of our teachers and friends in the CCM and that was awful. I have made so many lifelong friends, it hurts me right now thinking about them, but I know we have work to do. On Sunday night I said goodbye to Elder Dolenar and my district, and it was sad because I love all of them. On Monday morning I left for the Mexico City Airport with Elder Scott from my district at the CCM as well as some other missionaries. It was cool to sit in the airport because the place is huge and we saw the mom of another missionary there and she took our pictures and sent them back home which was awesome. We were going to start teaching in the airport, but the police said if they saw us doing that they would kick us out, so we had to just sit there hahaha.
So we waited for our flight to leave and then we got on our airplane for the eight hour flight to Chile which was both fun and boring. I probably watched my last movie for two years, because the lady next to me was watching movies on her TV, so I would casually sneak a peak every now and again for about two hours. I understand now though why people stay in Chile for two years, it is because they do not want to make that long flight again. It was boring and I tried to sleep but to no avail, but es o si que es. When we arrived in Santiago we were greeted by some missionaries who work in the mission office and they made us feel right at home. Their Spanish is amazing, and they told us ours would be like that too one day, so I have hope. We stayed the night in the apartment of the office missionaries, well at least the Elders did, the Hermanas went to the big fancy mission home, which looks like a house from Hollywood. That night it was cold, so it really is chilly in Chile, no lie. That night we went and ate completos, which are basically three foot long hot dogs with guacamole, mayonaise and mustard and ketchup and I think it was the best thing I have eaten in my life, but there was no way I could finish it! That night the missionaries also told us that the Spanish we speak is very ghetto because we serve in the hood, so basically all of the good, proper Spanish I learned in the CCM went right out of the window. Actually I take that back, it cannot go out the window because there are bars on the windows for safety.
On Tuesday we woke up and went to a church building to start our orientation and to meet our trainers, and all of us newbies were so nervous, I felt like I was going to poop my pants before I even entered the field hahahhaa. We had our orientation and they announced our trainer and my trainer is a Gringo named Elder Jones! I was so excited because it was someone that I could relate with because he went through the language barrier before, He is a great guy, he has trained before and he is very nice and patient and willing to help, and he is pretty good looking, almost as handsome as me. No, but he is a great guy, and he speaks to me in Spanish alot because he wants me to learn the ghetto way to start talking, which is pretty cool. We went to our house after our meetings and it is very nice, way nicer than the CCM, but it is probably nice because we live with the AP missionaries which means they are basically the best of the best and they help out our mission president with his job. So since I am living with them, I figure that means they think I am very disobiedient and that I need tons of help hahahahah. They are super nice guys and me and my companion talk with them all of the time they are great. After our meetings on Tuesday, we went to our area where we proselyte and right away we went out to go to some teaching appointments! The Spanish here is not that much faster than in Mexico, they just use words I have not heard before because they are just different because it is a different culture. However, I can understand basically the basics of everything they say, so I can be involved in the lessons alot, but talking is a little harder than understanding. But my companion says he is very impressed, and so do the other people here, so I have hope as long as I continue to work and try to learn as best I can.
Yesterday we had three appointments at night and I felt like they all went very well it was great. We walk everywhere here, so I get exercise all of the time! Last night when we were walking back to our house it was a little sketchy because our area in the mission is considered one of the more dangerous parts, and it is true because past eight oclock at night, shady people come out and hang out in the alleys, but it is all cool. My companion was telling me stories about all of the times he has been mugged, and again I almost pooped my pants in the mission because he was almost kidnapped once, but it is ok because he was not. It still scared me though because now it is real, and it could happen.
Today is our P Day, so we will email on this day from now on, and today was really fun. This morning we got up and we ran a few miles and then worked out in our house, and it got me really focused to start the day it was great. Afterwards we went and played volleyball with our APs zone, and that was awesome.This afternoon we went and bought all of our food for the month so that way we only have to do it once a month and it saves time. And then we ate lunch, oh yeah so in Chile we only eat breakfast and lunch and we eat them super late because our day starts late because I guess Chileans are lazy but I do not know. Anyway life is good, my Spanish is getting better and I love my trainer!
3 Nefi 18:19
Por tanto, siempre debeis orar al Padre en mi nombre
Elder Jones is the GOAT Trainer
Miss these guys
11C and 11D for the final time