Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Buena braco cochis ¿cómo estaí? Hey everyone, how are things going, is basically what that sentence means in Chileano, because if you look it up on the internet, half of those words are not even real Spanish words, just the ghetto Chilean Spanish. But anyway things are going super good down here, I honestly love the mission with all of my heart, meeting people and helping them with their lives is the best work that I think anyone can ever do. This week was really good, but as always in life there are the altos y bajos.
So lets start with our investigators. This past week we have been having way more success getting into houses and having lessons because we have been persistent in setting appointments and not letting the flojera win. We have had much more people to teach because of it, and we actually have a few baptismal dates for some old investigators who are interested again! We are going to meet with them three times a week until the 22 de Octubre when they will be baptised! Elder Jones and I have had some great lessons and discussions with other people, and overall I would say that the work in our sector is going pretty good. This Sunday we had a giant meeting as a mission where all of our Haitian investigators from all over came and we had a meeting in Creole which was pretty cool. President Gwilliam and Hermana Gwilliam were there as well as an Area 70, so it was a pretty big deal. However, our Haitian investigators are having longs hours at work, little money and a hard living situation, so that has been pretty rough this week. One of our other investigators sells these amazing sugar covered peanuts on a street corner, and everytime with talk with us he gives us some, his name is Ronald and I love him to death.
But yeah things are going really great down here, I do not think there were any super funny Chilean moments down here this week, except the usually getting hit on by girls, the people walking drunk in the street, and the dogs. The Spanish for me is really coming and I cannot say enough how grateful I am for that blessing, I can talk with people to help bless their lives and it is great. I honestly love being down here (except when it is super hot and we walk around all day, that part kinda stinks) and I love my companion Elder Jones, if he ever reads this one day, he knows that I love him. I hope you all are doing well, keep me informed with everything!
Matthew Chapter 5 is pretty swell
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
This week was awesooooooome, both with the people and with the fiestas and the food. Ok so since last week, nothing exciting really happened, we were just working in our area and contacting as normal. However, September 18 is the National Day of Independence for Chile, and the people go crazy with the parties and everything down here.
Ok so first things first, our work and the people. So this week was a lot like a rollercoaster because we had some ups and some downs. On the upside we had a ward party this Friday and a ton of our investigators and less active members showed up which was awesome. We also have been having some success by arraging meetings with old investigators, and we have appointmens to go visit them again. However on the other hand our Haitian investigators are not doing to good. They have not followed up on any of our commitments, so we had to give them palo, which is like a little stern talking to, and we told them about the importance of our time as missionaries and we love them, but they need to do their commitments in order to progress in our lessons. They took it pretty good, but we have not really heard from them since, so it was a lessoned learned in the power of agency that people have, and it was a hard lesson learned. But as always, Elder Jones and I are working hard, and it is so fun to be with him because he is like my best friend and big brother, I love the guy to death.
Yeah so about the 18 of September, it was nuts for like three days there was just non stop parties. The one thing I have learned really well about the Chileano people is that they love to party and they love to riot, so, these are my type of people. We ate a lot of empenadas and chorizos this weekend, and during when we were walking in the streets it was like a three day BBQ and party, I freaking love the Chileanos.
Everything is going good, I love the Elders I live with and for everything that they do to teach me how to be a better missionary. The Spanish language is really coming I have to say I have been really blessed with not having that big of a language barrier. I can say all of the ghetto phrases now so when I come back I am totally going to use them. And no Nico, you cannot start a Go Fund Me account to come down to Chile and fight me, I do not want to hurt you too bad anyways ahhahahah. But anyways I love all of you guys I appreciate your letters everyweek. I love this work and I love the gospel. I am growing so much in the gospel it is awesome to see, I love you all!
Moroni Chapter 7 is very spiritual, I think you guys will like it.
The boys of the casa
Hermano Belmar, he is super funny
Johnny Rockets with Elder Jones, Elder Shirrod and Elder Moore for P Day today
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
This week was so awesome, the people, the experiences and the danger. So a little background, apparently every year in Chile on September 11 it is basically the national day of rioting in Chile, and they are very good at that. Missionaries cannot go out on that day and they have to return to their house early on the day before because it is pretty dangerous because all of the flites just go crazy. But, it was really cool because we got to do some stuff that other missions do not, I will explain later in the email.
But this week has been a really great week for the missionary work, Elder Jones and I are having a ton of succes and the people seem to be popping up out of the blue. WE have started to teach people who we met in the street and others who were referred to us by the missionary office, and all of them are super receptive. One of the families lives right next door to the chapel, and they finally want to know more about the church and what Mormons do, so that was great news. And our other family lives next to a house that used to be the old missionary house where the Elders used to live before us, so they have a ton of experience with the missionaries. One of the boys in that family, named Renato, reminds me so much of my little brother Conner it is ridiculous, they have the same clever smile and love sports and video games, it is a little creepy how similar they are. Elder Jones and I are having a little difficulty with our Haitian investigators now because they are super tired after work they do not want to meet with us or read the Book of Mormon, so it is a little frustrating. But, we are working with them and if they can develope the desire to change, which I know they can, they will see miracles in their lives.
Ok, so about the crazy events of this week. First off, all the time we run into super drunk people all of the time just laying on the ground or walking in the middle of the street and they always ask us for money. I know that phrase in Spanish super good know because we hear it all they time, and every time Elder Jones and I always say, "Disculpe amigo, no tenemos nada, no tenemos plata." So I got that phrase memorized I think.
The big day this week was the 11 of September, and it is way different than how it is honored in the States let me tell ya. So down here it is actually pretty bad because all of the people just like to riot, and all they do is break stuff and light buses on fire all day, and it is very dangerous so we have to be in our house all day and then return very early the previous day becuase the rioting starts that night. So, on Saturday the tenth of September we went home early and then left again to go play soccer with the APs, do not worry we were safe and we kept an eye out for anything bad, but it was super cool to play with them. Then on Sunday the bad day we had to go to church in the morning, and it was not too bad, we just met people who were drunker earlier in the day, and after church we went straight home. That afternnon we had naps in our house and the that night we had a BBQ with the APs, and it was super awesome, we shared stories all night and just chilled, it was one of the best mini vacations ever.
I am doing good, I love the mission, and I love you all I hope you are all doing well! Love you and do not forget to write!
3 Nefi 20:23
Y sucedera que llegara el dia en que les sera predicada la plentitud de mi evangelio. (Sorry for the lack of accents)
This is Elder Guitierrez, one of my other District Leaders, we had divisions and he is super capo
We killed it on the soccer field
BBQ con los chicos
My board and closet with all of my stuff
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
STAR WARS. Well actually I have not seen the movie yet while I have been down here, we are going over to our Presidents house in about an hour to go watch it, and we will get to eat Papa Johns at his house too, so basically today is better than Christmas. This week was really good and full of brand new experiences for me which was awesome. And our teachings and investigators are making progress, which always makes me feel very happy for them.
This week was full of meetings at church and with our investigators. On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference, which is where all of the wards in a certain area go and meet up, and it was good. But pretty much all day on Saturday we were in meetings and learning, so we could not accomplish much, but it was great to be able to learn from some of the speakers. On Sunday we had the general meeting of Stake Conference, and we invited a ton of investigators and they showed up! Our Haitian friends showed up and some of our new investigators that we invited, so it was a great experience. Monday was a great day too, a girl in our ward got her mission call so we went over to her house for the opening and she is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, so that is really cool. And while Elder Jones and I were at her house we met her friends and other ward members who said they know people in our area we can go teach! We stopped by one mans house and he literally straight up told us he wants to be baptized, and I almost died of happiness. So, the work is good, our Haitian friends will be baptized next week, and we have a ton of new people to teach which is always a good thing.
I personally had some new experiences this week too. On Sunday at a members house I had my first sushi ever, and it is not half bad. I just wish my first sushi could have been from a nice restauruant and not a convienence store, but either way it was still good. Elder Jones had to go renew his VISA on Friday and we had to travel to downtown Santiago where they have the nice buildings and it was really cool, it was like being in New York. But, the trip took most of the day, so for lunch we went into the mall and ate... Taco Bell! It was so good, I think it might be better than the States, but yeah Friday was a cool day. And of course, I had another experience with drugs this week! Yesterday while Elder Jones and I were talking to a member in front of his house he told us to look over in the park across the street and all we could see was a teenage girl. The member told us that she is the biggest drug lord in our area of town and that she is super scary. We did not believe him at first but then he told us stories about how she has been in shootouts, almost died a few times and about how she pays of the Carabineros (Police) so that they do not come drive around and interfere with her operation. And we believe him because our area that we work in is super rough and we never see any cops, but now we know why hahahhahahahah.
Things are going good, we walk everywhere to get around because it is small enough to walk everywhere, but we take the Subway and the buses to go to places that are far away. Overall I love the mission, it is the most fun I have had in my entire life, both with helping the people and having fun with my fellow missionaries. It really is the best two years. I love you all, I love to hear about things happening at home, do not forget to write!
(I do not have a scripture, but feel free to go look up Alma 40, it is a great chapter.)
Thursday, September 1, 2016
How in the world has is already been another week? The time here flies by, the days feel long at times, but the weeks feel like days, if that even makes sense. This week has been very good and and have been able to see progress in everything that has been happening with the work down here in Chile.
So this week was a good week for our investigators. Our friends from Haiti are making good progress, and this week they had some questions that Elder Jones and I are answering, we are making sure that they understand. All of our Haitian investigators have huge hearts, and they are awesome, everytime I see them in the street they always yell "Hey Tagman!", because they cannot say my last name right hahahaha. Our Haitian investigators have a baptism date for next Saturday, so I am praying and working with them to make them ready for baptism! This week was also good because Elder Jones and I have a few new investigators that we are teaching and some of them also accepted the invitation to be baptized! We work hard everyday and I am absolutely loving it.
So a little background about Chile, the culture here is so much different than the US it is crazy. Our schedule is different than other missions because we have to wake up and go to bed an hour later because Chile is infected by a disease called laziness. Everyone here is so lazy it is crazy. So anyway, the people here also only eat one giant lunch for their meal of the day, so our lunch appointments are always a ton of food and it is a ton of beans, and if you know me, I hate beans. But, I am learning to love them. Chileans are so funny because all of them try to learn English so that one day they can go to the US, so everytime we are walking in the street we hear, "Hello, how are you?" I hear this probably twenty times a day hahahah.
Yesterday we had a meeting with a man from the church who is in charge of all of the missions in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru and he was really inspirational. He made me want to work harder and he really helped me to understand our purpose as missionaries. I have found that when I am working I am much happier than when I am not.
There was a super funny incident that happened this week and I thought that I would share it. So the place that I am assigned to work in is called La Granja, which in English means The Farm. And it definitely is a farm, but not a farm that grows food, our area is a farm that grows all kinds of drugs. I have seen more drugs and drug deals down here than I ever even knew existed, and the Chileans have no shame, they do drug deals in the middle of the day right next to a busy road, it is awesome. But anyway, Elder Jones and I were teaching a lesson in the street this week, and we saw some guys walking towards each other with a purpose, which means that a drug deal is about to go down. So I kept an eye on them out of the corner of my eye to watch the deal. The guys met up and tried to make the exchange all smooth, but they dropped the little bag of cocaine, so it was just laying in the street. They yelled at each other and then one of them picked up the bag and they ran away. It was super funny.
But yeah things are great down here in Chile, I am loving life. Everyday our entire house gets up an hour early and runs a couple of miles, so it is a great way to start the day. Spanish is really coming along, I am able to understand almost everything, so now I am working on speaking! Life is good, for our P Day today we played soccer and basketball, and we ended up playing gringos versus latinos, the gringos won basketball, but sadly my fellow gringos could not pull out the win for the soccer game. Things are going good, life is awesome, I can see myself learning everyday. Love you all!