Monday, December 14, 2015


December 2, 2015
         Today was a fun p-day.  We had a zone activity at the President’s house.  While there, we all played volleyball and at ate a ton of pizza.  Even though we were all sick from eating way too much greasy food, we all had a blast playing together as a zone.  I really like this zone that I am currently serving in because it is united and we are all good friends.  The only problem with the activity was that the president’s house is super far away and on the way back, the bus took forever to come and pick us up.  We go home later than planned, but it ended up working out okay.
Miracle #480: Every single missionary in the zone made it to the activity today.

         The funny part of the day was how many things went wrong.  #1. An ATM machine ate my one and only personal debit card.  #2 P-day ended late due to public transportation issues. #3 My tire got driven through by a nail. #4 my pants ripped right after I fixed my tire.  #5 We got back to the house late after a frantic 8 mile ride in under 30 minutes.  My legs were burning so badly because it is really hard to keep up with on my mountain bike with my companions speedy road bike.
December 3, 2015
         Well today was pretty good.  This morning we had companionship inventory. We came out with everything that is bothering us and it was good for us.  Today was supposedly completely booked, but practically every real plan fell through.  We ended up contacting most of the day.  My companion basically does the exact same contact every time which makes the job very dull. I have learned to change things up a bit and have some fun when contacting.
Miracle #481: When we had an appointment fall through, we went to go contact.  We picked a spot and knocked on the first door and a very nice woman answered and talked with us for quite a while.
         The funny part of the day was when my comp tried to invite an investigator to baptism, but he was so unclear in his invitation that she had no idea what he was asking her.  We got a few good chuckles about that afterwards.  Also when we did our division reports, I was really blunt about my observations and when the zone leaders called me tonight to talk to me about it, they said, “Well that was one of the most honest reports we have ever gotten.”  There really isn’t much more to report for the day.  I’a doing a little bit better in my personal goals and I hope that I can keep improving.  Tomorrow we have 4 hours of contacts planned so that will be fun.
December 4, 2015
         So today was exhausting.  We started out doing a service where we scraped off a super think layer of paint from bricks with wood chisels.  I worked hard and got super sweaty and sore.  In the afternoon, we did many hours of contacts. The whole time I was running on fumes and could barely think straight.  It was a dang good thing that the last 3 hours of the day were planned lessons.
Miracle #482: Not a single one of our lessons fell through today,  and, even though I was wiped out, I didn’t fall asleep in any of them.
         One of our companionships called us today because they are really struggling to get along.  They wanted to do an emergency division tomorrow and we suggested that they prayerfully try to solve the issue with a companionship inventory.  If that doesn’t help them, then we will do the division with them tomorrow. 
         The funny part of the day was trying to eat healthy and then being so hungry at the end of the day that I ate a giant plate of cookies a member gave us.
December 5, 2015
         Today was pretty good.  We had legit lesson in the morning with the Quinteros family, and for the first time, we actually planned the lesson well.  I’ve tied to plan lessons with Elder M., but it doesn’t work well.  Anyway, the lesson went super well and the spirit was there in a way that it is normally not.  Planning well brings the spirit!  After that we ate lunch and started fixing bike tubes.  Recently we have had a lot of fiascos with popping our tires.  I ended up putting on 5 patches.  After that, we did a few visits which turned out to be really good, and then we did a division for the afternoon to help a companionship in our district make it to a baptism and a super important lesson.
Miracle #483: In the lesson we set a baptismal date for the elders, for 3 days before they finish their mission.
         The funny par of the day was meeting up after the baptism. One of the elders is super disobedient and takes advantage of people if they let him, so directly against the rules, he stayed late after the baptism to say goodbye to the people of his old ward.  (The baptism was held in his old sector.)  My companions was with him, and he knew the rules, but just kindof went along with him and didn’t really worry about getting home on time.  He also didn’t even make and effort to speed up the process or take an faster bus, or call to let us know what was going on.  As I waited and waited in the other elder’s house, I got really hungry so I ate the elder’s food.  When he got home he was really ticked off at me.  I said, “Well I waited until after curfew, but I was hungry and normally I would be home to eat my own food, but I was here, waiting for you instead.”  We ended up getting home a full hour after curfew.  I just want to put that day behind me.
December 6, 2015
         Today was great! We had lots of investigators at church so we were happy with that part of the day.  Once again, I struggled to stay awake.  I can’t figure out how to stay awake.  After church, we went home and had a companionship heart to heart that helped us get along for the rest of the day.  We aren’t the best of friends, but we get along well enough.  We had a super lame choir practice this afternoon, but then we visited a bunch of people afterwards.
Miracle # 484: We had practically all of the kinds of lessons that a missionary can teach today. 1. New investigator 1. Future investigator, 3. Contact lessons, 1. progressing family lesson, 1. division.
         The fun part of the day was getting firm with an elder in our district about some issues for this upcoming p-day.  He wanted to do divisions so that he could say goodbye to some people.  He planned it all out without telling his companion so his companion got upset and refused to go with him.  I called the elder and told him that we could do divisions with him if he would be obedient to the mission rules for the next week. 
December 7, 2015
         Today was pretty dang fun.  This morning we had a service project with the other District leaders in our zone where we basically just moved dirt for a few hours.  After the service, we did divisions. It was way fun because even though we contacted pretty much all day long, we talked a ton.  I haven’t talked to someone like that for a long time so it was a great change of pace for me.  We even had a few pretty good lessons.
Miracle #485: I didn’t have any problems in lunch today with a super grumpy lady in our ward who usually is hard to get along with.
         The funny part of the day was in said lunch.  We though the husband was in the house but in another room, but in the end of the lunch she told us that he wasn’t home.  Yikes, this meant that we unintentionally broke the rules.  I looked at Elder J. and just said really quickly, “Well thanks for the lunch hermana, but we have to be on our way.”  The other funny part of the day was having absolutely no success whatsoever while contacting.  We tried contacting the house that appeared to have people in them, in other words the windows or doors were open.  Either everyone chose to ignore us (very probable) or were leaving themselves open to being robbed. The people who did answer us didn’t want a thing to do with us, so we just wished them a Merry Christmas and went on our way. 
December 8, 2015
         Today was rough.  I just cannot talk to my companion.  We did have 2 really great lessons today that started the day off well.  In the first lesson I felt super invigorated and just testified hardcore.  The lady that we are teaching is really great, but is living with her boyfriend  so that poses a bit of a problem.  The spirit was super strong and it was weird for me to feel the authority of the message that I was delivering. (Weird because it doesn’t happen all that often for me.) Anyway after that really good lesson, we contacted forever and didn’t find anyone.
Miracle #486: We were biking past a house and I was prompted to contact it.  The people tuned out to be super receptive.  I realize that this miracle is repetitive, but it is still a miracle to me every time it happens.
         The funny part of the day might have been a smiling dog that we saw.  It really wasn’t a very funny day at all.  I was just trying so hard to set a good example for my companion all day long without being mean about it.  

More Missionary Work

November 25, 2015

         Today was educational. I really learned first-hand that it doesn’t matter what time I wake up, I am still wiped out at the end of the day.  Today I got up an hour and a half later than normal and it didn’t make any difference in my fatigue. This morning we went on a bike ride with a member from our ward and had a pretty good time.  We just biked a huge random circle and ended by hiking up a hill to go see a very catholic statue of the Virgin Mary. 

Miracle #473: We convinced a future investigator to also accompany us on the ride.

         The fun part of the day was making myself (more accurately trying to make myself) bread from whole grain flour.  The only problem was that the bread refused to rise.  It ended up being pretty tasty, but pretty heavy.  I also tried a new way of drinking mate using grapefruit.  It was fantastic, so I ended up buying a grapefruit for every day of this next week. 
November 26, 2015
         Well today was iffy.  It was one of my few “lazy” missionary days.  By lazy I mean that we wasted too much time in people’s houses.  It wasn’t a bad day at all, but I didn’t feel very good about it.  We had an enormous lunch today and it left us in a food coma.

Miracle #474: We got a member to drive us out to the far part of our sector, saving us a 15 km ride.

         The funny part of the day was nothing really. I didn’t really have my head all the way in the game today, so the lessons were mediocre at best. I need to prepare myself more on a personal level for the lessons. 

November 27, 2015

         Today we were on divisions.  I learned that I can love any missionary if I put the effort in to see their hearts.  It was a good learning opportunity for me.  We had a weird day today.  Many of our plans fell through but new plans seemed to appear.  For example, when one cita fell through, we were invited to an elder’s quorum meeting.  During an hour where we didn’t have any solid plan, we dropped off a kid at the chapel and by chance the primary was practicing their program and desperately needed a pianist.

Miracle #475: V. and his family all have noticed and recognized many blessings that have some to their lives since they started meeting with us.  They accepted the goal to be baptized on January 16th!

         The funny part of the day was probably seeing how slowly Elder F. rides his bike. If he were my permanent companion, we might struggle a bit, but for one day we lived. I got some really good feedback from him and now have some things that I can work on.  I was really happy because Elder M. doesn’t give me things to work on personally to improve and change.

November 28, 2015

         Well today we didn’t get too much done.  I wasn’t all to excited to get out the door today, and my comp wasn’t helping to encourage me to get to work.  It’s hard because everyone has hard days where we need an extra push or pull from our companions.  I feel like I am on my own a lot of the time.

Miracle #476: We finally got back to the basics of missionary work by doing contacts and I realized that I miss it.  We were able to help someone with their multicultural homework.

         The fun part of the day was probably going to a park for a stake activity where they showed  “Meet the Mormons” to the public.  It seemed to me like another waste of time, but they asked all of the missionaries to be there.  It was a waste of time.  A fun waste of time, but a waste of time nonetheless.  Well there isn’t much more to say. A slow day of contacting that ultimately was entertaining.

November 29, 2015

         Well today was alright. It was a little bit of a let down to see the people who didn’t go to church, but at the same time, we were happy to see several other people who went to church that we weren’t expecting. Lunch today was fun because the family we ate with is pretty wealthy by Chilean standards and they had a real piano.  While they were preparing lunch, I was playing piano so I didn’t mind waiting. After a super long lunch, we just contacted until our only real planned lesson.  The lesson was with my family of miracles, V’s family.  They were also the funny part of the day to me.

Miracle #477: The Mom from the family told me that when I talk about God, it seems to her that my face shines and makes her think of an angel.  I never thought that anyone would ever tell me that.

         The funny part of the day was when we were with V’s family, who didn’t go to church even though they promised us that they would.  We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ which includes the principle of repentance.  While teaching, we taught the importance of asking God to forgive our mistakes and in the closing prayer, V. asked to be forgiven for not going to church and promised that he was going to go next week.  It was a legit prayer!

November 30, 2015

         So today was good.  This morning was rough because it started with morning contacts a 7:00 am.  After the contacts, we had a good morning lesson with a less active member about the birth of Christ.  After that we started to plan our district meeting tomorrow with the topics that we studied.  I wasn’t feeling good about the lesson so I wanted to change it.  Elder M. didn’t care either way, so we changed to a new subject that I felt much better about.  We planned a lesson for the district meeting.

Miracle #478: We had divisions today and we contacted a lot of the day and even met 2 really good future investigators.

         The funny part of the day was that as we were contacting, we didn’t find anyone who was moderately interested, it was either “go away, I’m busy” or they were super interested.  It was also funny that Elder P., the elder I was working with, couldn’t ride a bike.  We just decided to rough it and go on foot. It was so slow.  Elder P. is a talkative elder so we had a blast on the division.

December 1, 2015

         Today was really a good day.  The morning was especially good because we had a good district meeting even though it was semi last minute in the planning.  After that we had interviews with the president. I went into the interview a little bit tense, but in the end I came out feeling a ton more at peace.  I set some good goals to work on personally.

Miracle #479: My strict regime of keeping up on our area book earned us top marks when it was reviewed by the assistants.  (Thanks to Elder Leon)

         There were a couple of funny parts of the day such as when president mocked my tie and told me that I shouldn’t wear it because it had a suit of playing cards on it.  I just said, okay I won’t wear it again.  Today in the evening we visited with V’s family and it was great.  Afterwards we went to a new investigator where she shared her past experience with the missionaries, which she said was a good experience.  Then she went on to tell us that the missionaries would come to her house to play play-station with her 10 year old son.  YIKES!  But, thanks to them, she let us in and we talk her a real missionary lesson.

         The goals that I set with President to improve myself are:

1.    Talk less about myself

2.    Put more effort into my personal prayers

3.    Finish the Old Testament

4.    Waste less time in lunches and lessons

5.    Not let my negative emotions affect others
All of my shoes have fallen apart! I am waiting for replacements in the mail from home.
Stitching coming apart.

Piano Week

November 18, 2015

Today was very tiring.  We decided to bicycle all the way out to the river at the end of our sector so we had to do all of our buys early this morning. We got everything done and had a little bit of down time which I used to exercise and prepare everything for the week.  My comp chose to take a nap, and honestly, by the end of the day, I wished that I had made that choice. I was running on fumes.  It was a pretty good p-day overall.  We also go news of our new district.  I am not the DL of Elder Diaz.  He is the same elder that I have been around for more than half of my mission.  It is funny because he was my DL at one point.   He is now training a gringo.

Miracle #466: I actually found whole grain foods today.  Chileans usually eat while bread and don’t use whole grains, so this was a surprise find for me.

         The funny part of the day was getting to the “river” and seeing the poor abused little thing. There was a ton of construction work and pollution. The fun part of the day was just riding along a back road and suddenly spotting a Narnia-like entrance into a field. My comp wasn’t all that excited, but for me, having not seen nature in over a year, I was pumped. I had to walk in and explore. 
November 19, 2015

         Wow, today was good!  This morning we had to go to the church to do some computer work.  I got the opportunity to practice piano for 45 minutes or so and it was great.  I practiced a fun Chirstmas piece that I and working on.  I sure did get frustrated with my lack of dexterity.  I have lost a LOT of my ability and it bums me out.  Other than that, I tied to let my comp lead the sector today.  I have tried a bunch of different things to help him, but I think that the best thing is to just let him figure it out on his own.

Miracle #467: One of our investigator’s, V. and his family, continue to grow closer to God.

         The funny part of the day was probably being on foot all day and realizing how slow it is and how much it sucks.  We spent the whole day close to our house so it didn’t make sense for us to ride our bikes. We were able to throw cards and make lots of contacts. 

November 20, 2015

         Well today was interesting.  This afternoon we had to do another baptismal interview and once again my comp was chosen to do it. It is no big deal, the Latins just have an easier time communicating with another Latin.

Miracle #468:  The miracle was when we were biking along and I spotted someone whose lesson from today fell through.  We were able to set another one up for later this week.

         The funny part of the day was what my comp decided to do as plans B,C,D,E, all fell through.  Instead of just working in the area where the appointment fell, he decided to bike around randomly for 20 minutes.  I did a pretty good job of not showing any irritation.  I also had a fun time being the primary pianist today when they had a program practice. 

November 21, 2015

         Today was pretty great.  This morning I got to do my first real baptismal interview and it went really well.  After that, we had weekly planning and comp inventory.  I think that we got things worked out once again.  Today mostly ended up being filled with stake stuff like choir practice and adult session of the stake conference.  It was really hard for me to sit through choir practice because no one has a clue what they’re doing and the director can’t read music.

Miracle #469: This sector has incredibly receptive people.  We went to visit a contact from last week and she had already read the first 14 chapters of the Book of Mormon.

         There were several funny parts of the day.  The mission office got robbed during the time that the choir was practicing.  This is in the same building so that is tragic because no one heard it.  One of the senior couple Elders broke the glass on the door because he was so upset.  The organist for the stake conference happened to be the wife of said elder.  She got held up taking care of the situation in the office and missed the stake conference, soooo I was asked to play for conference cold turkey. When I started playing, I didn’t realize that the organ’s volume was turned all the way up.  When I played the first note, I literally jumped off the seat and then immediately thanked my lucky stars for the few organ lessons that Sister Winston taught me.  It turned out fine in the end.

November 22, 2015

         Well today I learned a lot.  I kindof has an aha moment when I realized that I need to be more loving with my companion.  I am going to start treating my like I treat the people we teach.  Today was stake conference so it was a decent day.  There isn’t a whole ton to tell, but this week ended on a good not.

Miracle #470: We have almost he entire first half of the week booked.

The funny part of the day was when someone deflated my tires as a prank.

November 23, 2015

         Well, I liked today. Sort of. We did divisions with a very sick Elder Diaz and I had to just sit in the house with him.  I didn’t like the day becaue of that, but staying in the hose did allow me to read The Book of Mormon for close to 4 hours.  I actually finished the book in this marathon session.  In the end, I felt an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for the people who gave their lives and followed the Lord so that this miraculous book could be in our hands.  I was so overwhelmed and thankful. 

Miracle #471: Once again I was able to test the promise of the Book of Mormon and strengthen my testimony even more.

         The funny part of the day was drinking 3 liters of mate.  There is not much to do when you are stuck at home all day long.

November 24, 2015

         So today was all right.  This morning we had a really good district meeting that I am pretty sure that everyone liked.  The day of work in the sector started a little late because we had to receive our new bunk beds.  They are awesome solid wooden beds that don’t squeak when we move.  The best part is that our room now smells like wood.  All of our planned lessons fell through today so we did a lot of useless contacting in a very unreceptive part of our sector.  It was an all right day talking to my comp because we talked about the scriptures. 

Miracle #472 The only two things that didn’t fall through were the most important visit of the day and the most important division of the day.

         The funny part of the day was probably being a zombie all day from being tired.  There were a couple of times today when my knees randomly buckled and I almost fell down from exhaustion.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saying Goodbye to friends

Elder White returns home.
Elder Nelson gets tranferred
November 11, 2015
          It was a very meh p-day.  The zone leaders called us last night to invite us on an excursion of theirs to climb Cerro San Cristobal (funny because by the rules we have to ask on Monday to leave the mission so technically it was breaking the rules.) My companion wanted to go so sadly we ended up doing something that I did a month ago and wasn’t excited about doing again.  They also planned to go out to eat, which is a waste of money that I didn’t want to do either. I wasn’t in the best of moods, but in the end, I did get to know one of the new elders in the zone.
Miracle #459: On our way to cerro, I was able to memorize 5 scriptures
         The funny part of the day was visiting a family and watching their clock in order to keep track of the time so we wouldn’t be late to a division.  As the time approached for us to leave, we got a phone call from the waiting elders.  Turns out that the family’s clock was nearly 10 minutes slow.  We had to leave, flying on our bikes to get to the division.  The other fun part of the day was wither meeting some English speaking German tourists, or eating in Taco Bell.  I personally think Taco Bell was better!
November 12, 2015
         Today was good.  For the first time in over a week, I was able to do insanity.  I really missed dripping with sweat.  I’ve been listening to general conference in English for hours in the last few days and it is really helped me to get some new ideas.  The conference is FAR better in English than in Spanish and I feel badly for those who don’t understand English.  Today was weekly planning and comp. inventory and it kindof made me feel badly.  I came down pretty hard on my companion and when it came time for him to tell me what I could change, all he said was, “Get angry less.”
Miracle #460: We gave a direst lesson about repentance to a less active member and I think that it went really well.
         The funny part of the day was when I asked my companion if he would rather have me exercise during his personal studies or get up earlier.  He said that he would rather not have his sleep interrupted.  It was also funny when I received a stuffed animal cow from a family for no reason.  The is the second time someone has randomly given me a stuffed animal.  The first time it was a dolphin.
November 13, 2015 15 MONTHS in the mission!
         Woohoo!  I only have 9 months left, or 8 ½ considering my release date is July 25th.  Today was pretty dang good.  We had a lot of lessons and a lot of biking. We had to bike out a good 10L to visit some people and I had the brilliant idea of jamming the phone in my helmet strap so that I could listen to general conference talks.  I got to listen to over an hour while riding and it was great!  We went from lesson to lesson today with only a few holdups.  I did get irritated with my comp for more that one reason today.  The first was when we were planning for our district meeting and I suggested that we do a practice, bur he refused.  It old him that all of our meetings thus far have been lame, so we really should put more effort into preparing them.  He still refused.  GAHHHH!
Miracle #461: Shoot, this is a tough one.  5 of our 6 lessons promised us that they would come to church on Sunday.
         The funny part of the day was when (this morning) I reminded my comp to always carry a spare tire tube with him.  He ignored me and then my suggestion proved prophetic when he, not paying attention, ran his road bike with it’s skinny tires, through a storm drain.  Needless to say, it really messed up the tire and the frame of the wheel. When I told him to pay more attention, he made excuses.  When I asked him if he had the bike tire tube, he made excuses. Once again I can identify with how my dad feels when he tells us to do something and instead of doing what he asks, we make excuses.
November 14, 2015
         Today was great! I woke up at 6:00 to cut a log that has been sitting in our yard for ages as a service to the member we live with.  After tat, we had to go to a stake youth activity where the youth did one entire day in the life of a missionary.  We got an awesome kid named Sebastian Ponce as our “apprentice.”  We started with studies, which was hard for him, but was really good.  By the time that we got done with our studies, it was time to go back to the activity for lunch.  It was the smallest lunch I have eaten here in Chile, but after only a little complaining, the three of us hit the streets to work.  We had 3 decent lessons and the hast hour, our lesson fell through so we decided to teach the kid how to contact.
Miracle #462: The very first house that I felt like contacting actually let us in and we taught a pretty good lesson.
         There were 2 funny parts of the day and both had to do with me stupidly falling down.  The first was when we were studying and I lost my balance on my exercise ball.  The other was when I went to turn onto a sidewalk, but underestimated my speed and fell headlong into a cement ditch.  Luckily, at the last second, I was able to jump off the bike and leap the ditch, thus aboiding a faceful of concrete.
November 15, 2015
         Today was a really good day.  It was also really depressing.  Church was good today except I was supposed to play a musical number, but at the last minute they told me that the program was too long and would have to cut the number out.  Turned out that the meeting ended 15 minutes early….ugh.  After church, we had lunch and went to our miracle lesson.
Miracle #463: V. was a contact and a lesson from last week.  In this time since we met with him, he spoke to his wife about us, and she admitted to him that she had been baptized into the church a long time ago. During our lesson this week, their son told us that he really didn’t like organized religions, but he felt differently about the LDS church. It was a really cool lesson.

         The funny/fun/sad part of the day was going to a farewell meeting that our mission started to put on for missionaries who are going home.  Basically, all the members are invited to attend to hear the testimonies of the departing missionaries.  I went to say goodbye to Elder Ware and Elder White, who are easily my best friends in the mission. The other really sad note is that we found out that Elder Nelson will be transferred.  We were wayyyy bummed out about that and he took it kindof rough.  He is a really great missionary and I will miss him.
November 16, 2015
         I’m beat tonight!  I have no clue why, but I had no energy today. Overall it wasn’t a bad day. It started with a good district meeting lesson. (our first good one) It was sad seeing people leave the zone, but it is what it is.  So lunch today was rough.  It was really good food, but it was with a family that got so upset about the candy issue.  Well today they decided to chew me out for using the word “po” like a Chilean.  Po is short for the Spanish word pues, which literally means “well,” but Chileans use it at the end of a word to add emphasis. Or just because they darn well feel like it. Si po and no po are the most commonly 'po'd' words, and mean yes and no, but with a little extra onda.  They told me that it is uneducated, so I told them that when you learn how to speak the language in the trenches, that is how you speak.  One of the sister missionaries form Mexico joined in the gang up on Elder Colvin for being “uneducated”, so I just shut up. It was hard to not say something when they were telling me how civilized and cultured people speak and live.
Miracle # 464: V.’s wife found us talking to one of her neighbors today, and while talking to us told us that she would be going back to church. AND, she invited her neighbor to go with her.
         The funny part of the day was watching my comp eat a bowl of essentially pure sugar with sweetened condensed milk.  I tried to convince him that it was super unhealthy to eat, but he doesn’t care.  I guess it is his “po”.
November 17, 2015
         Today was a way good work day. We did everything right today.  We left the house and worked well together.  By the end of the day we taught 7 lessons, which is really unusual for me.  The miracle was the first lesson.  WE had a decent lesson with M., who is planning to be baptized soon.  Usually he talks our ear off and we can’t get a lesson in.  But today, I whipped out my 15 months of experience and answered all of his questions with scriptures while at the same time staying focused on the planned lesson (miracle for me). Throughout the course of the rest of the day, we taught tons of new people and there were several great contacts.
Miracle #465: This morning we had a lesson with a less active member and her husband.  Her husband didn’t end up being there, but luckily we brought a member with us to the lesson so we could still teach.  This was a good thing, because the sister opened up to us and was able to talk about her concerns with out her husband there.
         The funny part of the day was brainstorming with another elder about designing t-shirts.  We will see if the other missionaries are interested.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sick Week

 November 4, 2015

         My companion and I are getting along a lot better.  Today we had a pretty good p-day.  It started off playing minute to win it as a zone which would have been more fun if we hadn’t lost.  It was still pretty entertaining.  After the activity we went and wrote and bought a few things I bought some push up handles to play with and enjoyed doing a workout with them.  After p-day ended, we had a fairly great afternoon because pretty much for the first time in this sector, our appointments didn’t fall through.  There typically isn’t anything exciting to report on p-days.

Miracle #452:  E. Blaser (my one week companion) and E. G.(my current companion’s trainer) are alive despite getting shot at.  The missionaries might get pulled out of their sector because it is so dangerous there.

         There are 2 funny parts of the day and both had to do with the bikes.  The first was when I biked down a flight of stairs (admittedly dumb and dangerous) and when I got to the bottom, I looked up to see an absolutely mortified woman watching me.  I was pretty scared myself, but I lived.  The other hilarious part of the day was when a dog took off after my companion just going crazy.  He failed to notice me as I came up on him from behind.  My plan was to give the little bugger a solid kick in the butt and teach him a lesson.  But, at the last second, he swerved right in front of my bike and I ran smack dab into his butt.  He sure did run off quickly.  We were laughing about that for a long time.

November 5, 2015

         Today both sucked and was awesome.  I was horrible because all day long my stomach was bothering me until finally at the end of the day, I vomited.  It started right after lunch and I though it was from eating too much, but I felt so crappy that I had to lay down.  I was still feeling poorly 30 minutes later, but decided to try to suck it up and keep working.  It was not fun to have to contact most of the day while feeling sick.

Miracle #453: When we went back to the house to restock on Book of Mormons, I said a prayer for a miracle contact (cause I needed motivation.)  After the prayer, we found 2 super interested new people to teach!

         The funny part of the day was getting an inspection of our house from our zone leaders.  I have been working on our house for weeks, so I wasn’t worried about it.  I have also been in our zone leaders house which is one of the messiest missionary houses I have been in.  I mean, it is an absolute pigsty.  So today, they cracked down hard on the messiness of my stack of ties in my closet, saying, “Elder Colvin, you need to organize your ties.” I almost replied, “and you need to throw the rotten meat in your frig away.”  In the end I just said, “ Alright, I’ll do it.”  On the bright side, I have all my ties neatly organized now!

November 6, 2015

         Today was rough.  I woke up nauseated and stayed that way until lunch time.  In that interval we had to bike about 15 km. overall in order to do a house inspection and go to a lesson that fell through.  I didn’t really eat anything for lunch and went out to work still feeling poorly.  During the lesson I felt 1000 time worse and I could barely stand up because my stomach was cramping so badly.  The pain flared up for the rest of the day and it was accompanied by an impressively noxious fit of gas.  Basically, I was miserable all day long.

Miracle #454: A group of kids that we taught last week, read and did everything we asked.  In fact, they even read more from the Book of Mormon, and remembered what they read.

         The funny part of the day was the activity tonigh. I had a dang good time even though I was running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  We played the flour game with the coin.  It started off all right but gradually deteriorated to the point that the kids just starting sticking their faces in the flour.  When we played a missionary round, I lost and got covered in flour.  I tried really hard to remain cheerful with my comp., but it was really hard given the fact that I don’t feel well.
 November 7, 2015

         I slept fitfully all night with horrible cramps and bad gas which was so explosive that I would wake myself up.  This left me feeling very tired.  We had a district service project this morning which was actually really fun because our district is duper fantastic.  After lunch, I was crippled once again by pain for an hour or so.  I really had no energy to work, but I finally kicked my own butt into gear, said a prayer, and went to work.

Miracle #455: My stomach didn’t bother me for the rest of the day after my prayer.

         The funny part of the day was probably hearing a random evangelist song in the street today.  I listen to the song when I work out so I know it really well, but it was weird to hear it in the street. 

November 8, 2015

         Today was another hard day.  I spent an hour of my morning with terrible diarrhea.  I recovered just in time to go to church.  I was grumpy all day because whenever I had to hold it, I got terrible cramps.  I was very short tempered with my comp, no fault of his at all.  I was just feeling badly.  The best part of the day was an open house that was held in another ward.

Miracle #456: While we were contacting for the open house, we contacted a family who had already received an invitations, but I convinced them to go and they went!

         The funny part of the day was when the zone leaders brought a drunk homeless person to the open house.  I guess the Lord’s house of prayer is for everyone.  To me it is interesting to see how God is helping me get through my work with this sickness. In the morning I feel crappy, but as we leave the house, I miraculously get better and I am able to work all day long.  Then, as we get home, I am in worse pain that ever.  I don’t know what the heck I have, but I don’t like it.

November 9, 2015

         Today was a pretty fun day of divisions with Elder Nelson.  The day started out with yet another rough morning in the bathroom.  But it got better until after lunchtime which it was so bad that I had to go back to the house to wait for my stomach cramps to pass a little.  We left while I was still hurting, but after a couple of hours, it finally went away.  Today all of the planned lessons fell through so we didn’t get the chance to really teach much.

Miracle #457: Even though the lesson fell through, I still got to meet one of the best investigators in this sector.  I have wanted to do this for quite some time now.

         The funny part of the day was trying to contact out in the fields of their sector.  I couldn’t walk because of my stomach but I was fine to bike.  The people who live out in the country are so stinking rich that they all have intercoms and on almost every occasion we were told, “we don’t need you here.” That ended up being a failed missionary experience.  Elder Nelson had never contacted out there, so we were hopeful to see some results, but we didn’t.  At least we learned that their fields are not ready to harvest. At least I had a really good time with Elder Nelson.  He is a really good guy, a hard worker, and a good missionary.  I have a lot of respect for him.

November 10, 2015

         Today was a great day.  This morning Elder Nelson and I spent our entire personal study time talking about one of their investigators and brainstormed on ways to teach and help them.  We actually came up with a lot of ideas and I hope they really help.  These past few days I have had some crazy eye and heart opening personal spiritual revelations and this has led me to be a lot more aware of the spirit.  I feel an urgency that I have rarely ever felt on my mission, and an excitement that had been waning in the past few weeks.  Today we had some really good lessons, especially with a less active member where we talked about choosing today.  She finally committed to go to church and to read. 

Miracle #458: We  were just riding our bikes along and some greeted us with, “Hola Hermanos!”  Typically, I would have just kept riding, but I felt an impression to talk to them, so we turned around and went to contact them. They are very nice and scheduled an appointment for a lesson on Thursday.

         The funny part of the day was visiting a family who just recently bought a dog.  The poor little guy was running around be terrorized by their 3 year old daughter.  The other funny part of the day was when a less active member called us to cancel a lesson for today that didn’t even exist!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Another Good Week

October 28, 2015

         Well, I’m starting in on my second journal!  The pages are a lot smaller than in my other one, so we will see if I keep on writing the same amount.  Today was p-day and sadly I spent the majority cleaning the house.  Again, even after almost a month here, there is still so much crap to throw out, organize, and clean.  Little by little, we are chiseling away at the chores.  I was cleaning from about 9 am until a little past noon.  My companion helped me for a long time so that was good.  I used up the rest of my monthly money to buy fruit for the week and we chilled in the house for the rest of the day.  I did do a pretty killer callisthenic workout ending with 200+ pull-ups and 300+ push-ups.  The most productive part of today was probably having our much needed comp inventory.  My comp confessed that he is struggling with me mostly because the way I do things is not the most discrete.  If the house needs cleaning, I say, “the house is filthy, I’m going to clean it.”  Or, if the area book is awful, I say that it is awful, and then I fix it.  I try to do things the right way, but sometimes it comes off as offensive.

Miracle #415: Hard to think of one today.  It was a lame day.  I can do a frog plank to a handstand. 

         The funny part of the day was learning that Elder Nelson, and elder in my district, is the son of one of my mom’s friend’s best friend.   She saw a picture of him on my blog and recognized him!  It sure is a small world.  I thought it was also funny that I literally cannot nap for more than 20-30 minutes as a time.  I wake up after 20 minutes and feel as though I slept for hours.  It is pretty nice!

October 29, 2015

         Today was a pretty good day to be honest.  It started off with an early bird workout session and was followed by a trip to the center of Santiago to take care of some Visa business for my companion.  We were able to some home, study, have lunch, and go to the chapel to work on the computer a little bit.  After finishing all that, the rest of the day flew by.  We had very few hang-ups and most of our plans worked out.  Just like any other day in the mission, some of our citas fell through, but for the most part it was a good day.  One of the most exciting parts of the day was when the family P. from Capitan Avalos brought me mate.  I have been missing my mate for 3 weeks, but now I don’t have to miss it anymore!

Miracle #416: We had a lesson with the A. family in the chapel, which they hadn’t entered in years.  The lesson was amazing and at the end, the bishop and his first counselor showed up randomly. 

         The other part of the day that was pretty cool was wen one member accompanied us to visit a less active lady.  The member has a son with serious health issues and he needs a strict no-gluten diet, which in Chile is super expensive apparently.  As it turned out, the less active lady has a daughter with the same illness and learned how to cool tons of gluten free food.  When she offered to teach the hermano, he just about cried.  I just kept thinking, “Wow, blessings really do come from accompanying the missionaries.” My comp and I get along a lot better when we aren’t contacting all day.  I’m going to really hope and pray to start having more lessons and a few less contacts.  The bummer is that like every new sector I’ve had, this sector was really lacking on potential new investigators so contacts are a necessity. 

October 30, 2015

         Well today just took it out of me. I haven’t been this wiped in a long while.  We did our weekly 30+ km journey to the boonies of our sector.  Throughout the process, we decided that my bike is around 3 times harder to pedal than my companions.  After riding my bike for 3 minutes, my comp was already spent.  We had some pretty great lessons today and did some contacts.

Miracle #447: We contacted two 10 year old kids who just started telling us that they always like to talk about Christ.  It was really odd, but cool.

         The funny part of the day was probably when the sister missionaries had me fix their bikes.  It was funny because the problems were simple, yet they were amazed that I could fix them. I don’t know why, but in this sector I get to use my talents a lot more than in previous sectors.  As much as I’m starting to like this sector, and love my district, I am feeling like I have been on the mission forever and it should be over by now.  Maybe I am just not truly converted, but I find it the work monotonous and a teensy bit tedious. There are fantastic moments, but it’s funny how few there really are in comparison to the boring/frustrating/crappy moments, and yet, somehow they make it all worthwhile.  

October 31, 2015

         Well it was my second and last Halloween here in Chile. Once again I wore the scariest costume of all, I was a missionary!  It’s so scary that sometimes people look out their windows, see us, and run!  This year we had to go home an hour early, which didn’t bother me one bit because no one wanted to talk to us anyways.  We contacted a lot of the day, but also wasted a considerable amount of time when the members asked me to help with some music stuff, but then not doing anything with me.  Overall, the day was pretty good.  Elder M. finally had a get to know you session with me, which at least helped me understand him better.

Miracle #448: We had 2 contact lessons for the first time in this sector.  One of them was a worker on the Santiago temple. 

         There were a few funny parts of the day like photo bombing some people taking their Halloween pictures, having all of our appointments fall through and contacting a vampire.  Honestly, for me the most ridiculous part of today was contacting a lady in our part of the sector that the sister missionaries are teaching!  It is funny because we gave the sisters everyone who we were teaching who lived in their sector. 

November 1, 2015

         Today was okay.  I fell asleep in church and one of the members gave me a ridiculous amount of crap about it.  Multiple people took pictures of me and made fun of me.  It pissed me off, but I DIDN’T react poorly at all.  Then a member showed the sister missionaries the picture just to make fun of me some more.  I erased it from his phone, and then he somehow recovered it and continued to flaunt it through the church.  To my credit, I still didn’t loose my temper, even though I was really ticked off.

Miracle #449: With one last division, we made it to the mission standard today, and we finished our leader calls by 11:15.

         The funny part of the day was talking to a returned missionary about his companions on his mission.  It is really hard to be diligent when your comp doesn’t care.  There are very few missionaries who have a problem with leaving the house late or having 2-hour lunches. 

November 2, 2015

         Today was entertaining.  This morning, we did morning contacts and the normal routine, but at the last second, the zone leaders and us decided to do division today.  I got to leave the sector and go with Elder G. for the day.  It turned out to be a decent day, especially because we got a lot of food. The people we visited here were all stellar! It kind of made me a little bit jealous.  The only bad part of the day was that our day went way too late. We finally got home at 11:00 P.M., which is the latest that I have ever gotten home.  That is just way too late! Anyways, it was a fun division and I learned quite a bit.

Miracle #450: There was a crazy small world moment today. It just so happens that of the 2 members that I met today, one of them was Hermano Soto.  When he found out that I was from Spokane, he told me that he had a companion on his mission to Argentina who was from Spokane.  Turned out that his companion was Paul Nibarger!  What??? Brother Nibarger is in my home ward, lives a block from me, and was my home teaching companion when I was a young teacher!

         The other funny part of the day was going to a house and getting super trunky when I saw a huge liter of 7 dachshund puppies that were less than 2 weeks old.  They were so cute and I just couldn’t get over it. It was also fun belatedly celebrating one of the missionary’s birthdays.  A family put on a little party for the elder and we went to support him because he is struggling a little bit. 

November 3, 2015

         Today was a pretty good day.  After a rough district meeting lesson, we had a really good day at work!  For the first time, I felt like we really did our best.  We had a good lunch that ended on time and a bunch of lessons later on in the day.  The coolest part of the day was switching my bike with another Elder’s bike.  This new bike is way more legit and now we ride faster. It also has suspension.

Miracle #451: As one of our citas fell through, I felt what was almost certainly a prompting to visit a reference.  It just so happened to be his only day off, so we got to teach him.

         The funny part of the day was probably practicing a few skits for a ward activity on Friday.  I realized that I actually like acting and I am not horrible at it.  I calculated that we rode our bikes about 14.5 mph. I am a lot less tired because the bike is so much better.  With a little extra energy at night, I am helping my companion learn English.  He is already pretty good but just needs practice. 

I am more that a little excited for p-day tomorrow!!