Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 9

Hey everyone! This week was actually really great. Chilean is coming along. I'm starting to understand a lot more but speaking is still really hard. But I am able to help teach a little in the lessons now but everyday conversations are still really tough. As far as investigators go, we're teaching quite a few but almost all of them seem to have something holding them back. We're working really hard to clear up their doubts and help them see the Lord's hand in their life. One of our investigator's name is Yenifer Lopez so that's pretty cool. We have one investigator that I think is pretty close to getting baptized. She's reading and praying and has tons of questions. But she's just waiting for her answer. Anyway, I love the ward here. They're so awesome. I'm the gringo in the ward but that's alright lol. Also they call Utah "La fábrica" which means the factory. I guess they have a lot of missionaries from Utah lol. We eat lunch with the members almost everyday. It's always so good. And they feed us so much. Yesterday I actually had probably my favorite thing so far. It was this fried caulflower cheese thing. It was so good. 
A couple days ago, me and my companion went to this Evangelical church gathering thingy. But it was a complete accident lol. We got a reference from someone in the ward so we go to the house and this super nice lady comes out. We tell her we're missionaries and ask her if Fernanda is there. She says yeah and invites us in. We go into the living room and there's a preacher just preachin his heart out and probably 10 people gathered around sayin "Sí Señor" "Gracias Señor" and other stuff I didn't understand. I'm freaked out and want to leave but at this point, we're in too deep lol. We decided to stay for a minute to be polite. After a few minutes of preachin, this lady gets up and says this 5 minute prayer and the whole time everyone is mumblin spanish words to themselves. Then after the prayer, 2 of the teenagers there bust out there amps and electric guitars and start playing Spanish Christian Rock songs. It was awesome lol. Somehow everyone knows all the words and me and my companion are just standing there. After 2 songs we decided to leave lol. It was awesome. But we made an appointment to come back when they weren't singing. We'll see what happens lol. 
In conclusion, I love Chile and I love the people here. Even though I can't understand everything right now, I love it. Being a missionary is so so hard but I wouldn't want it any other way. Thanks everyone for the prayers. I could really feel them this week. 

Hola familia. This week was great. My companion is so awesome. It would be so hard to train a gringo how to speak spanish and be district leader and help me learn how to teach the lessons lol. He's so cool. And I found out he's the only member in his family. He's a stud. I love Quintero. It's awesome. Most of it is paved but some of it is dirt roads. It's sweet cause it's a peninsula and surrounded by the ocean. There are some gorgeous views. I love it. The food is great here. A really popular food that I've eaten quite a bit is called porrotos. It's like a soup with lots of beans and noodles. It's pretty good most of the time. A lady in our ward does our laundry. And I email you guys at this internet cafe in downtown Quintero. And I found out I'm gonna be able to watch conference in English. The one guy in the ward that speaks a little bit of english said he would watch it with me cause he wants to practice his English. I'm really excited. And three new apostles. That's pretty sweet. I don't know if I'll have time to do pictures and email everyone this week cause these emails were long but next week I will try to. I love you all so much and thank you everyone for the prayers. 

Here's a picture of him and his companion from the mission blog

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 8

Hola everyone! This week was so much better. And then we had an earthquake. We lost everything. Our house was completely destroyed. Lol just kidding. We´re doing great. The center of the earthquake was like 4 hours away or something so it actually wasn't that bad here. We felt it and everything but there was like no damage anywhere. We we were actually in the church for a meeting and we were reading a scripture about teaching with the power and authority of God when it happened lol. Kinda ironic. Anyway, this week has been way better. I've been praying so hard for help with the language and adjusting to Chilean lifestyle. Heavenly Father answers prayers and he knows us personally. I've literally had a million tender mercies this week. I'm no where close to being fluent but I've been able to understand more and comunicate more than I thought would based on the first week. Chilean is easy once you learn what words don't mean anything and take them out. Then add the letters into words that they seem to forget lol. Every day it gets better. Anyway, I love the people in Chile. Everyone is so humble. Most people don't have a whole lot but they make the best of it. I love them. I'm learning a lot from my companion. He's a really hard worker and takes over when I can't understand. I love the food here too. Almost everyday we eat lunch with members from the ward and it's been so good. Anyway, overall this week has been so much better. I love Chile and I love being a missionary. Thanks for the prayers. I've really been able to feel them this week.

To the family: This week was actually really great. It was much better than last week. Chilean is coming along. Slower than I want but I know that I have to do my part in order to get the gift of tongues. Thanks so much for the prayers. I really could feel them this week.

Casa sweet casa 

Shampoo in a bag lol

Baño sweet baño

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 6 and 7

(Since he flew to Santiago last week he didn't have a P day)

Hola everyone! It's been a while so a lot has happened. I want to talk about everything that's happened but I don't have enough time. But I'm gonna say as much as I can. So we got to Chile Tuesday morning and we waited at the airport for 4 hours for the Elders to pick us up lol. Then we get to Viña and it's beautiful. And the first thing we have to do is place a Book of Mormon and find our way to the mission home. It took us a while but we finally did it. We ate lunch there and then stayed the night with the missionaries that work in the office. The next day we found out who are trainers were and our first area. My first Companion is Elder Leto. He's from Argentina and speaks like 2 licks of English but he's awesome. It's so hard cause I don't speak Spanish and he doesn't speak English. Somehow we manage though. My first area is a town about an hour outside of Viña. It's called Quintero. It's awesome and I love it. Something I found out though is that they don't speak Spanish in Chile lol. It's Chilean. I have no idea what anyone is saying like 90% of the time lol. But they're so nice. I love the people here. The first member I met gave me his coat cause he said I was gonna get cold without it. Chileans are the best. Another thing I found out is that 80% of the dogs in the world live in Chile. And about 60% of those live in Quintero lol. There's always a dog in sight at all times no matter where you go lol. It's alright though cause most of them are really friendly. One of them actually followed us around all day yesterday lol. He was like our guard dog. Anyway, being a missionary is so much harder than I thought it was gonna be. There's no way I would be able to do this without the help of the Lord. No way. I know he's helping me everyday. I love this gospel and I know it's true. I hope everyone has a great week.

To the family:
Hey guys I don't have a lot of time today but I just want to say that I really missed you guys this week. In the MTC we kinda made our own family but I had to leave them too. It's been really hard to stay motivated cause I can't understand anyone. I want to talk to them and share what I know but I can't cause I don't know what they're saying. My companion tries really hard but he has an Argentina/Chile accent so it's so hard. I've been praying really hard this week cause it feels like that's the only way I can express my feelings. I haven't talked to anyone who speaks English in a week and it's been so hard. But I see tender mercies everyday from our Heavenly Father that help me get through each day. Being a missionary is so hard but it's gonna be worth it once I learn Spanish. I might not have time to respond to everyone individually but I love all of you so much. Keep your prayers coming cause I really need them. And I'm trying to figure out how to send pictures but I'm not sure yet. I love all of you so much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 5

This week was awesome! It went by so fast! I can't believe there's only 6 more days here. It's gonna be so hard to leave because I've gotten so close to my district. Everyone has such strong testimonies and they're all gonna be studs. We actually just barely got our flight plans and stuff. Me and the guys headed to Viña del Mar are leaving Monday night and the guys going to Milwaukee are leaving Tuesday morning. I'm so excited to get out and teach real people this wonderful message. 

Anyway, on Wednesday, Elder Christofferson came and he did a devotional/question and answer thing. It was so cool. I've never seen an apostle that close. It's crazy cause he's just a regular guy but the power and spirit that he brought was amazing. He didn't have a single note and talked for over an hour about awesome stuff for missionaries. And then he did a question and answer thing. In his talk, he talked a little bit about being thankful for the blessings that we have before we ask for more. And it made me think about my prayers and stuff. I ask for a lot of blessings. Please help me learn the language, please help me not get sick. When in reality, I've already been so blessed with how much I've learned and grown. My prayers are a lot more thanks now and a lot less begging for blessings. In summary, Elder Christofferson was awesome and I learned so much.

On Sunday, we watched the movie of the restoration. I've seen that movie several times but I've never appreciated it as much as I do now. I owe everything to Joseph Smith. No one can comprehend everything he did for this gospel and for us. No way in the world would he sacrifice all that he did if it was all fake. No way would he risk his life, his family's life, be tarred and feathered, beaten, imprisoned if it was fake. I am forever grateful for everything he did for this church. But the coolest part is, we can find out for ourselves. We can read the Book of Mormon, pray to our Father in Heaven, and know for ourselves that it's true. We can have our own testimony that we know that this gospel is true. We don't have to lean on anyone's testimony. We are blessed to have the Book of Mormon and the knowledge that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. And if we pray and ask to know that it's true, we can have our own testimony just like Joseph Smith. Go reread Joseph Smith history and pray about it and I know that Heavenly Father will testify of its truthfulness.

Well, less than a week till I can preach this amazing gospel for real. I´m so nervous but excited at the same time. I know there's people in Chile just waiting for this amazing message. I love all of you and I'm so thankful for all the support. Next time I email, I'll be in Chile. This gospel is true. Go share it with someone who doesn't know yet.

From the family email: I can't believe there's less than a week left. Time is flying by and it's scaring me a little bit haha. Anyway, we got our flight plans and stuff today. The Viña del Mar boys are outta here Monday night at 8:25 PM. We have a direct flight to Santiago. We'll get there Tuesday morning at around 7 AM. I'm so excited but I'm so nervous too. We talk a lot to some of the Latino missionaries. Most of them are from Mexico and we asked them about Chile. All of them said they can't understand Chileans when they talk. They said they talk so fast and so much of what they say is slang. So I'm starting to think a lot of the stuff we've learned won't really apply once we get out there lol. But I know we're gonna speak it eventually so I'm not too worried. I might change my mind when we get out there. I'm gonna call Monday night or tuesday morning. Depending on how the airport goes. Have an awesome week and the next email will be from Chile.

These were gone in like 8 minutes

The squad minus two of the guys

Always eating nutritionally 

Saying goodbye to Elder Allman

See you later Mexico