Thursday, July 30, 2015

Poor sick companero

My stash of healthy food.
July 22, 2015

         Well today was sweet!  I really had fun with our p-day which I will explain, but everything was overshadowed by the incredible lesson that we had today.  So for p-day we essentially just did a CRAZY workout in insanity (the 2 hardest workouts back to back) and then we planned a lesson.  Usually we don’t have a lot of time during the week to plan our lessons, so today it was a great use of our p-day.

Miracle #301:  This is a really long miracle.  A week ago we met a family who seemed very nice but we really didn’t know how it would turn out.  Today we had our first real lesson with them. It was amazing.  The spirit was mind-blowing throughout the whole lesson and Elder Furner and I were super unified.  During the lesson, I was guided by the spirit to say things that I’ve never said in ways I’ve never spoken. Throughout the entire lesson I also had the desire to invite them to be baptized.  My mom had just emailed me a message today about the importance of being bold and extending baptismal invitations.  So, with a lot of trepidation, I extended the invitation and they accepted the invitation!

         The mother commented to us that when we shared our message with her with such happiness, she felt curiosity piquing and the beginnings of the spirit witnessing to her the truth of our message.

July 23, 2015

         Today was tolerable.  We did our weekly planning while at the same time making whole wheat crepes.  They were so good!  After planning, we started setting companionship goals and we both decided that we need to shift into high gear.  It is so great to have a comp. who has a high gear to shift into!   
         Other than that, my day was rather diarrhea filled.  I don’t know what was in our lunch, but it did not sit well with me at all.  On the bright side, my time on the toilet was well used memorizing scriptures.  We had a fun family home evening with Perez Guzman.

Miracle #302: A less active member we have been teaching went on divisions with us today and she remembered all of the things that we have been teaching her and applied it to the lesson.

         The funny part of the day was talking about the plethora of Chilean sayings that I have been learning.  When the Chileans spout these idioms, I can now understand them. I may not have a 100% Latin accent, but I am now able to understand everything that I hear.  I need to keep working hard on the language so that I can master it in the next year. 

July 24, 2015

         This week is a heck of a lot slower that last we.  We haven’t been able to find all of the best people in our sector and it is so frustrating.  Everyone who was progressing kindof disappeared.  I lost my last agenda which doesn’t help us either.  It is really hard to find people when you don’t have their contact info.  Elder Furner and I did alright today with everything.  The only bad part of the day was some of the wastes of time that the members had us do.

Miracle #303: Rosita got over her fear leaving with missionaries today.  We didn’t have a lesson for her because it fell through, but she still went out with us and it was a good experience.

         The funny part of the day was probably stretching tonight with my companion.  He cannot stretch at all.  But we are determined to improve his flexibility!  It was also funny when both me and my companion were practically falling asleep in the visit we made to our old senile friend.  I am still not entirely sure how long we were there…but neither is Elder Furner.
July 25, 2015
         Today had the potential to be a lot better of a day than it turned out to be.  We ended up contacting for around 2 hours and found some good people.  It was the first day that we really have done contacting as a companionship and I really enjoyed working with Elder F. Right now, my comp and I are stretching and writing in our journals so it is hard to concentrate…but it is an efficient use of our time.

         So today we had some rough lessons which were made even less pleasant by the fact that we were fasting.  Fasting is getting easier for me, but still I am definitely not a fan. 

Miracle #304: We got a last minute division with a member so that we could go and visit a single woman and teach a lesson.

         The funny part of the day was the huge waste of time that turned out to be our last two lessons.  We brought an old talkative man to visit an old talkative woman.  We sat there for WAY too long not knowing how to start the lesson, then we didn’t know how to end it. I was exhausted all day today so we are sleeping in a tiny bit more tomorrow (in other words we will get up less early than usual.) This sector is tiring.

July 26, 2015

         I’m sick of Chilean church.  The talks that people give here are so confrontational and given without love.  I miss the spiritual talks given in the states.  The saddest part for me is hat I know what it should be like and how powerful the spirit can be in sacrament meeting.  I suppose that I will go home and appreciate what I have a whole lot more because of my experience here. Other than that, church was all right.  We had some decent visits with the people we teach, and our fast turned out really well.

Miracle #305: We were fasting for a few people and one of them came to church today.  We found another one of them right after church after over a week of being unsuccessful in finding him.

         The funny part of the day was seeing the Chilean justice system work today.  As a preface, you need to know that the Chilean police are so poor that the civilians take matters into their own hands. So, instead of having a house alarm that calls the police, their alarms set of a siren that alerts everyone in the neighborhood so that everyone comes running out of their house with guns and running around like a bunch of batmans.

July 27, 2015

         Today turned out to be a good day. It started out with a really weird lesson with R. where he told us that he wanted to retaliate against a man who wants to kill him.  Naturally, we advised him not to do anything. After that lesson, we went to interviews with the president.  I miraculously did not get chewed out in this interview.  He told me that someday I might be a good leader if I could get control of my pride.  It looks like I won’t be getting a responsibility any time soon. (oh dang)  This afternoon absolutely everything fell through and we ended up having a blast knocking doors.  We actually found a lot of new people that I am looking forward to teaching.

Miracle #306: We got to he end of about 4 hours of contacting while having fun the whole time.

         The funny part of the day was when Elder Furner wasn’t feeling well so he laid down for a rest.  He said, “My whole body hurst!”  I told him that he could be getting a fever and should take some ibuprofen.  He refused to believe me. Then a few minutes later he said he was nauseous and had a headache.  So I repeated myself and he refused to believe me again.  Then he started getting chills which is when I said, “Elder, you say that you don’t have a fever, but you are describing fever symptoms.  Take ibuprofen and you will feel better.”  He finally conceded and took the meds.
July 28, 2015
         Well my comp was sick today, so we were in the house most of the day.  It wasn’t an entirely unproductive day, however because I organized the crapily make contacts list in our cell phone (almost an hour) and updated our area book (the rest of said hour). 
I have spent way to many days in the house in this sector.  Between the soccer tournament, lazy companion, frustration, and disease…possibly 3-5 entire days worth of time have been spent inside.  While I was in today, I read a ton of the Bible.  It really wasn’t a bad day except for the fact that we had a ton of citas set up. Oh well, my comp. is a good hard-working elder and he needed the rest.

Miracle #307: When we left to do morning contacts at 8:00, we taught a lesson!

         The funny part of the day was making fun of Chile in a way.  I have decided that when I hear the word “Chilena” (Chilean woman), the image that pops into my head is a really attractive 20 year old woman with a 3-5 year old kid latched onto her leg and maybe another one on her hip.  Seriously, it is a common site here. The fun part of the day was working on a musical number with Elder Furner.  We are singing the words of “Divina Luz” to a special version of “Savior, Redeemer of my Soul.”  For the last verse, I made up some sweet harmony parts for me to sing.  We are psyched for it.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Forward Progress with Elder Furner

July 15, 2015

       Today was a good p-day….finally.  Being with Elder F. feels really weird in a good way because it seems like we are just on a very long division.  We finally got our room all set up and it so legit.  Today we just bought some stuff for cooking as a companionship on weekly planning days.  

I had a really good time just talking with Elder F. all day long.  Even though he had a good comp in his last change, today he told me that he feels like he is working better with me than he was before.  I sure do reciprocate that sentiment and it is nice to have a comp. who actually seems to like working with me.  We also teach well together and I feel really excited about the missionary work in this sector.

Miracle #295: We had not 1, not 2, but THREE burgers today.  One was a fish burger, and 2 were hamburgers from 2 different less active members. Mmmmm

       The funny part of the day was when the califont (water heater) ran out of batteries so we couldn’t take a warm shower.  Hermano Perez, the member we live with, started flipping out about it because he felt so badly about us having to take cold showers.  The nearest store is about 5 minutes away, but I think that he was only gone about 2 minutes.  HOLY COW, by the way he reacted, you would have thought that his house was on fire and he had to get the hose.  I really love this family that I live with.

July 16, 2105

       Today was another stellar day.  This morning we had another good lesson with R., the ex-drug dealer.  He has stopped selling drugs and feels a ton more calm about his life.  His family really likes me, which has helped me feel better about my situation.  In the afternoon we had a stake young men’s activity where the kids of the stake left with the missionaries from 3:30-8:30.  Elder F. and I are really cheap, so instead of taking public transportation, we just walked all the way to our sector.  We walked a TON and we also taught a TON of lessons today.  The member kid that we got died with all the walking and the work.  I forgot how well conditioned we are as missionaries to doing this work.  By the end of the day, this poor kid sweated through his suit.  I think that we walked around 20 km today.

Miracle #296: Despite losing 3 hours of our day to the youth activity, we had 4 good lessons and 3 divisions.

       The fun part of the day was probably making cookies with Elder F. while planning for the week.  We then took the cookies to our lunch appointment as our dessert where the members made fun of them….until they tried them.  Chileans suck at making cookies.  I think that gringos are the kings of desserts.

July 17, 2015

       T’was another marvelous day!  Elder F. and I are killing it in this sector.  We started this day with a not-so-great morning contacts, but had an incredible rest of the day.  We spent the morning finishing our weekly planning session and putting our area books together (combining them).  We also made pizza pockets at the same time!  After a really really late lunch, we got so tired that we almost crashed but them we finally hit the streets. ALL of our lessons were good, but one of them stood out above the rest and it was once again with M. 

Miracle #297: We desparately searched for a man to go with us to our lesson with M. (since she is a single woman), but we couldn’t find anyone. The miracle is that when we got to her house to tell her that we would have to reschedule, there was a man in the house so we were able to teach.

       There were a lot of fun parts of the day today, but probably the funniest thing happened during the morning contacts.  We walked past  R’s house and the light was on so we yelled “R., wake up!” Then as we walked away we heard him yell back, “I hate you!”  Another fun thing is that we met a new dog friend today who likes to run in front of us…I named him Toyota, you know, like a 4-runner.

July 18, 2015

       Well I guess that 5 killer days in a row was just too much to ask.  Today was only a good day.  We had to do a new morning routine because another missionary in the house complained about us doing our exercises too late in the morning.  We actually get up an hour and a half before he does, but he doesn’t like the time that we choose to do our exercise.  We thought that it would be more thoughtful of us to do our quiet studies early so that we didn’t wake the other missionaries, and then exercise when they are getting ready in the morning.  But I guess that they would rather us do it the other way around.

Miracle #298: We got through an entire lesson with 2 very active boys.  It was definitely a battle, but we won.

       The funny part of the day was probably when one of the little boys played a joke on me that ended up with me getting kicked in a very sensitive place. Another fun part of the day was when we talked with a very respectful Jehovah’s Witness.  This is the second time that this has happened on my mission and it is really a nice experience because usually they are very rude to us missionaries.

July 19, 2015

       Today was a hard Sunday because our strongest investigators didn’t go to church today. Ughh!  We even left to look for people before church and after sacrament meeting we tried again to find them.  We walked well over a mile and NO ONE was home.  It was super disappointing to get your hopes up when people promise to come to church and then have them dashed as you call at their door and realize that they aren’t going to leave. #missionarysadness.  Other than that, I gave a talk today about the need for missionary work and it turned out okay. The rest of our day was a bit slow, but overall it was another good day.

Miracle #299: V. read all three of the chapters in The Book of Mormon that we asked her to.  She says that she never wanted to read before, but now that she is reading, she loves it.

       The fun part of the day was getting tons of food from members.  A lot of it is really bad for you, but we have figured out how to turn down food without being rude.  Elder F. and I are having a good time working together.  We make fun of each other in a happy way. 

July 20, 2015

       Today was zone conference.  We learned a lot but we went hungry and didn’t get out of the conference until 6:00.  All of our other plans fell through today and we just had to contact for a few hours and then have a family home evening.

Miracle #300:  Carlos and Hermano Perez went through our list of members that we need to visit and cleaned it up for us.

       The fun part of the day was telling stories with Elder F. all day long.  I really appreciate my new companion, he is a great missionary.
Elder Furner's morning contact hairstyle.

July 21, 2015

       Today started with contacts in the subway (not my favorite) and then with divisions with the district leaders.  I say DLs because we have 2 of them now.  They are a companionship and they are all right I guess. I didn’t really want to go on divisions because things are going great in my sector right now.  My district leader did not want to speak to me in Spanish, which was weird for me. Also it was weird because the members just gave us money for lunch today. Then it got even weirder when the DL took me to lunch at a place where the sister missionaries were also eating.  So we ate lunch with the sister…2 elders, 2 sisters…ughhh not super comfortable with that.

Miracle #300: I was able to convince my DL to let me do my personal study even though he didn’t want to do it, and I learned a ton.

       The funny part of the day was realizing how uncomfortable it made me to be around girls.  
       One of the best parts of the day today was finding out that ONE OF MY INVESTIGATORS FROM MY TIME WITH LEÓN IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Elder Furner to the rescue!

July 7, 2015,
This was a good day overall.  We had 2 divisions in the same day.  The first one was a funny one where we went around with the recently released relief society president and NOT ONE PERSON accepted us.  It was pretty hard core rejection….good times.
Miracle #286: On the other division of the day, we taught  a woman a lesson who we met the day before on contacts, and it went really well!
It's chilly in Chile.
July 8, 2015

         Today was a cruddy p-day.  In the morning we went to a zone activity that I really didn’t want to go to because they played soccer for 4 hours and ate a bunch of junk food.  I ended up doing an insanity workout with an old mission friend, Elder Jaeger so it turned out to be a little bit fun.  I went to the activity because my comp. wanted to go and I really didn’t want him to throw a fit, lose all motivation, and then blame it on me.
Miracle #287: The other elders each have a member of their companionship who is sick, so they needed help with their appointments which meant divisions for me!!!
         During the divisions, Elder Valle tried to give me some tips to use with my comp which kindof helped.  The worst part of the day was the scathing letter that I got from the president. The gist of it is that I am a terrible, angry, out of control missionary and I will be miserable my whole life if I do not change.  Yeah, it was a really motivational letter.  So I have been torn apart my all of my leaders while they believe anything that my lazy, unethical, disobedient companion tells them.  I need a change.
July 9, 2015
         Today was even worse than yesterday.  I don’t know what to do because everything that I have done so far has been wrong according to my leaders.  My comp. doesn’t want to do anything and I am sick of trying to do everything.  I get in trouble for not somehow getting him to do his part, and I also get in trouble if the work is not done.  It is a no win situation.  He is worse than a brand spanking new missionary.  He fell asleep AGAIN this morning because “his head hurt” and he ignored me when I wanted to do weekly planning, so I had to do it on my own again.  Then he magically recovered from his headache just in time to go to lunch.  BUT today something good did happen, I just stopped caring.  I know that it is awful, but I just gave up trying to think of ways that I could change to make this companionship work.  He ended up just sitting around the house while  I planned lessons and studied.  We did have one lesson today and a miracle.
Miracle  #288: In the one lesson that we had today, our investigators accepted a baptismal challenge and set a date for August 2nd!
         The funny part of the day was nothing. Right now I am hating my life and I don’t know how to fix it.  I can’t figure out how to love my lying, lazy companion and according to my president, I am screwed for the rest of my life. I am feeling pretty much like a loser missionary going nowhere.
July 10, 2015
         Today was slightly better than yesterday. I told Elder R. that we were going to work today and that he was going to lead.  That ended up meaning that we basically walked around all day long doing nothing in particular.  I tried to talk to him all day, but he really is not interested in talking. 
Miracle #289: We actually still found a couple of interested people in our random wanderings today who my companion actually spoke to.
         The funny part of the day was leaving my comp out to dry in both the lesson that we taught.  I just stopped talking and it was pretty darn rough and awkward….but he needs to do SOMETHING.  The other thing that happened today was that we got to attend the funeral of Elder Boyd K. Packer.  That was a great blessing to me because it helped me to feel the spirit.
July 11, 2015
         Today wasn’t a good day, and not because I didn’t try.  We started with a good lesson with a less active member who has had some drug abuse issues in the past.  I really feel for this member and I have such a strong desire to try to help him.  When we came home, we found that the crazy member of the ward had come into our room and DESTROYED it.  I have had it…I can’t stand it anymore.  I just lost is and was so ticked off. I am sure that the president will hear about my temper again, but to be fair…why should we have to put up with this crap?  If I don’t clean all this mess up, my leaders will get after me again.
Miracle #290: A neighbor who lives in front of us, knocked on our door wanting to learn about the path of God.  He was only a little drunk so we will see what happens when he is sober.
         Today I once again handed the reins over to my comp.  At 8:00 we ran out of things to do and he just wanted to go back to the house.  I advised against it, but we did want he wanted anyway. Thankfully, changes were announced tonight and Elder R. was indeed promoted but he will be leaving our sector which is being shut down.  I get to stay here in the sector that will absorb my old sector and my new comp will be Elder Furner.  I did indeed get demoted to junior comp., but I don’t care because Elder F. is the best and we are going to have a blast while working hard.
July 12, 2015
         Today was an interesting day.  It was mostly filled with goodbyes to members of our ward. At church, my comps said his little talk/testimony to say goodbye to the ward.  After church we changed all of our appointments so that he could say goodbye to people. It was honestly just him hanging out with members, I mean seriously it was a lot of doing nothing productive. To make it even harder, it poured down rain all day long. 
Miracle #291: My “boots” which all the other elders said would get water in them, ended up working just fine.
         The funniest part of the day was when a less active member decided that he wanted to dance.  So he turned on his disco ball and started blasting music.  The other funny part of the day was Elder Valle splashing through puddles with his waterproof pants and rain boots.  He just sloshes through shin deep rivers in the middle of the street and thinks that it is pretty fun.
July 13, 2015
         11 month anniversary in the mish.  I am WAY TIRED! Like exhausted.  How am I every going to do another 13 months? Today was good though.  This morning, before our district meeting, we had a cita with R., the drug addict.  It was a great lesson and I can see that he is really improving and changing.  I really hope the best for him.  After that we went to the lamest district meeting of all time.  We did a few lame practices and then he had to leave so we just messed around in the chapel waiting for everyone else to finish so that we could take a zone picture.
Miracle #292: Elder Furner and I were able to plan everything for the week in an hour.  This almost never happens when you are in the beginning of a change because you are usually so busy.
         The funny part of the day was just joking around with Elder Furner.  We did some divisions while our comps said goodbye to more people and I learned that I am going to have a GREAT 6 weeks working with my new companion.  We are going to get a lot done and I know that I will be a lot happier.
July 14, 2015
         It was an awesome day!  The morning was a little bit hard for me personally because when we went to changes I was told that I would be the junior comp.  This just reinforced to me that the president has no trust in me as a missionary.  Yeah….well I am just gonna forget about trying to play the game and just do my job no matter where I get stuck.  Other than that blow to what is left of my ego, today was great.  Moving rooms really sucked, but wrking with Elder Furner was awesome.  We had a super busy day trying to get to the people in both of our sectors.  We were able to make appointments for later this week to fill our planner.  The only ting that we didn’t really do today in the work was contact….but we were busy, so I didn’t mind too much.
Miracle #294: Today we had another lesson with M. the miracle from last Tuesday.  It was a great lesson and we have lots of hope for her.
         The funny part of the day was when we visited this ANCIENT old man who is not all there, but who needs company.  We just made up stories to tell him and he enjoyed it. It was the first time in 6 weeks where I have felt happy almost the whole day.  Despite being demoted to junior, I am super happy with this change. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Red, While, and Blue Week!

 July 1, 2015

         Holy cow! Half of my calendar year in Chile is already gone!  Today was actually a goo day.  I had a lot of fun.  We took out our monthly allotment and I uncharacteristically blew half of my budget on food which I am hoping will last me to the end of the month.  I made my companion buy me ridiculously overpriced candy to replace what he stole from me yesterday.  Overall, I felt a lot better.  I woke up with energy at 6:30 and studied, prepared, and played ping-pong for an hour.  All of that got me in a really good mood especially after I was able to email my family.

Miracle #281: We found an ATM machine that didn’t charge extra for a withdrawal.

         The funny part of the day was when all of us (except my companion) were doing exercises together.  It was a really hardcore workout and my companion decided he was going to join us because he wants to loose weight.  He lasted for about 20 minutes and then crashed on the bed while we finished the workout.  It was funny to see three people working hard and 1 sleeping. 

July 2, 2015

         Today was a really good day.  Elder R. and I are getting along a lot better because of my resolution to just help him in anyway that I can.  Today we had a companionship inventory where we calmly talked about our strengths and weaknesses.  It went rather well because I wrote only some selected weaknesses that I thought he could and would work on.  The good part is that typically when my companion is told to do something, he does try to do it if he remembers.  He can’t seem to improve by himself but he will try if you tell him what to do.  Even thought he constantly studies, nothing sticks in his head.  What really helps me to deal with this is to ignore the actual issues and think instead that he probably has a mental or developmental problem. 

Miracle #282: We had a lesson with evangelists and they didn’t fight with us.  Also we had divisions with a female member of the ward that went very well.

         The funny part of the day was when we went to the lesson and the woman answered the door telling us that her husband was not home.  I told her that we wouldn’t be able to come in to teach her without her husband present.  Then the woman said in English, :Don’t be a square!”  Well that was surprising and funny and a little frustrating. Non- missionaries just don’t understand the whole obedience thing.  I may not be 100% obedient, but there are some rules that I just won’t break.  Fortunately, the husband was actually there, just hiding in the basement.  He can upstairs after hearing the exchange and we were able to teach the lesson.

July 3, 2015

         Today “we” did morning contacts.  Basically they consisted of mus leaving the house at 7:00 am walking to a bus stop and talking to people.  I talked to a bunch of people and quickly forgot that it was freezing cold.  While I was contacting for an hour, my companion just stood there shivering.  He didn’t talk to a SINGLE person.  Afterwards I kindly asked him how his contacting went, to which he answered, “I was too cold, I couldn’t do it.”  I told him that it was no excuse and he just wasted an house of his time. Then while we were studying later he decided that he was tired and got back into bed.  At that point, it finally got to me but instead of blowing up, I went to Elder Furner and Valle and asked for a division.  Generally, you should only do divisions with your leaders, but my district leader doesn’t care at all about what is going on with us.  We ended up with divisions all day.

Miracle #283: I was able to have a relaxed and productive day where I laughed and worked well with my companion.

         All day was fun for me, but the funniest part was probably when Elder Tormow bought a flashlight tazer and we played with it.  It wasn’t a powerful tazer, it just stings really bad for a few minutes.  He bought it for less that 10$.

         We are looking forward to the 4th of July celebration for tomorrow with hamburgers and lots of good food.  We plan on watching the finals of the Americas Cup soccer tournament tomorrow where Chile faces Argentina.

July 4, 2015

         This morning the zone leaders came over and big surprise….they chewed me out again.  This time they got after me because my area book was not 100%.  I have been working on it solo since coming here 4 weeks ago, but it is not quite up to their standards.  My comp. has never touched it.  I told my ZLs that and they just said to stop making excuses.  Seriously?  I am basically training someone who has been in the mission a year and a half.  Then on top of that, they told me that I need to stop ACTIVELY helping him, that he needs to do things for himself.  Then my leader said, “ Elder Colvin, for the last week of this change, you’ve gotta take it up the butt. It’ll hurt, but just shut up and take it.”  I was actually feeling pretty good about how things were going with my comp. until this talk, now I am completely frustrated.  The only good part of the butt chewing was knowing that the ZLs are going home this week.

 Miracle #284: Chile won the Americas Cup for the first time in history, and it happened while I was here on the mission.  It made for a memorable 4th of July. 
        I actually had many fun parts of the day.  Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to a group of 6 gringos was fun.  Playing Ping-Pong Beer with juice was really fun.  We literally drank 2 liters of fluid in 10 minutes.  I can’t believe how excited the people in this city were over the soccer game.  Screaming, horns blasting, fireworks, etc!  North Americans never get that excited over games.  Today we also had a gringo BBQ with hamburgers and baked potatoes.  It tasted soooooo good.  
July 5, 2015

         Today was different.  First off, it rained a ton.  It was pretty cool because Chile has been in a drought for a while and the area 70 asked for a country wide fast for rain.  I am thanking my lucky stars because the air quality here is ridiculously polluted.  We needed a good air bath.  The pollution here is so bad that just being outside all did does the same damage to your lungs as smoking 8 cigarettes a day.  At least it is better now.  Other than that, today was pure contacting, for literally 6 hours.  I actually really enjoy myself while contacting because I love talking to different people.  Miracle #285: Elder R. actually talked to a few members during church and set up appointment for them to teach with us!

         The funny part of the day was a bus stop contact with a lady who was sitting down.  As I started the conversation, she turned around and WOW…let’s just day that she was a beautiful daughter of God.  I kept having to remind myself that I was a missionary throughout the whole contact.  I remained focused and kept the whole conversation directed on missionary work…AND I got an appointment to teach her tomorrow.  Anyways, my comp. got a huge kick out of the whole thing.  I was super proud of myself for not getting flustered and for staying focused on the work.

July 6, 2015

         Well today was a game changer kind of day for us missionaries.  At our zone meeting, there were several announcements that came as a result of the recent visit of the area 70 to our mission.  The lamest of all of the changes was the announcement that the missionaries are no longer allowed to carry shoulder bags.  The 70 decided that we need to walk around carrying our scriptures in our hands.  I am super lucky because I brought a HUGE scripture case for my Spanish scriptures which is large enough to fit some teaching supplies in it.  I can’t fit as many as I need for the day, but I have to obey even it it defies logic and I hate it.

Miracle #286: President changed the definition of a lesson to include a contact if the contact teaches a doctrine or principle of the gospel.  I think that he wants to motivate the missionaries to contact. 

         The funny part of the day was when we were in a lesson and my comp said, “This reminds me of a scripture….well I don’t remember it right now.”  This is a common phrase that my comp. uses and the members we were teaching know this.  They gave him a really HARD time for not remembering.  I try really hard to be nice and understanding with him about his memory problem because I think he has a legitimate learning disability.  But, it really is annoying to other people when he frequently tries to share scriptures that he can’t remember. The challenging part for me is to figure out a way to smooth things over in the lesson so that we can still feel the spirit. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015


June 24, 2015
Chile won the quarterfinals in the American Cup.  Today was just yet another p-day.  I basically spent the entire day with Elder Furner who companion is really sick. We did our buys together, wrote together, and ate together.  We played both phase 10 and Monopoly and I won both.  I have never won games before the mission, but I am now on a 6 game winning streak.  Will the madness end? 
Elder Asplund is tired and his comp Elder Tornow has no mercy
Anyways, my comp basically shut himself in the room and listened to worldly music and watched videos.  He intentionally slept in until 11:00 and got super trunky. 
Miracle #274: We can/did buy all of our food for less that 10 dollars.  SOOOO much fruit.
The funny part of the day was when my companion, despite sleeping in until 11:00, went to bed 2 hours early.  We didn’t let him sleep though and he hated us for talking to him, but we did it anyways.  I don’t know who to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to even be here.  I did insanity workout with Elder Furner which is way more fun with 2 people, but it killed him.
June 25, 2015
Another really good day with my not so great companion.  Our absolute coolest part of the day was when J. and M. told us that they wanted to be baptized.  My comp was unfazed, not even a grin.  Come on bro.! This is part of what we hope for and work for…and you are not even excited about their decision to make this step.
Miracle #275: Despite all the dumb and annoying things that my companion did, I didn’t lose my temper
The funny part of the day was when we went to the house of a less active member who just barely decided to accept missionaries after 10 years.  My comp started interrogating the guy about his history but then I just took over and calmed things down.  In the end we learned that he has a testimony of the church and just majorly screwed up and wants to fix things now.
July 25, 2015
Today wasn’t the worst.  Elder R. was a lot more talkative today. That made my day a ton more enjoyable.  Most of the morning was spent planning a lesson about the armor of God.  Well actually we spent way too much time trying to get Elder R. and Elder A. on board with the lesson. It ended up all right because the lesson cancelled that night anyway.  Today flew by because we actually talked and I forgot what that felt like.
 Miracle #276: We had an amazing contact in the end of the day.  There was an open window and we were throwing cards at it.  When I made a care in, a man leaned out the window sincerely grateful for a little card about Christ.  When we said we had a free movie about Christ, he begged us to come back tomorrow.
The funny part of the day was when I was making a little paper warrior for the armor of God lesson and I designed him to be a patriotic soldier.  I am very proud of it.
Captain Mormerica
June 27, 2015
Two week til the end of the change….can I make it? Honestly, I am not suffering that much, but I am not enjoying myself either.  E. Turner and I talked to our comps about their issues and it wasn’t the most fun thing to do.  I really tried to keep a sense of love in my correction, but I don’t know if I succeeded.  I am at least grateful that my comp. tries to listen and says that he wants to work on his issues.  Unfortunately, I think that he might have a learning disability because he literally forgets everything especially scriptures and references.
Miracle #277: We went to visit a reference from another missionary which was given to my companion about 6 weeks ago, before I got here, but my comp. forgot about it until now. This contact was a very interesting man who had a Book of Mormon that was given to him about 35 years ago.  He traded me his old one for a new one. 
The funny part of the day was when we took some GIFs with Elder V. camera.
June 28, 2015
Today was a fun Sunday.  My comp. decided it would be cool to play with a Rubiks cube throughout the entire block of meetings. The saddest part of that whole scenario was that he couldn’t figure out 1 side. After church, he just sat and waited for me to set up the divisions. I really like this ward a lot, but they are not the biggest fans of my comp., so it makes it hard because they don’t want to work with him.
Miracle #278: The ward has really reached out to get to know me in just 4 weeks and our mission conference really helped me personally.
An rm from my last ward that I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to.  She was at the mission birthday celebration.
 I am not sure what the best part of the day was, but it probably had to do with the mission birthday.  We had a special mission conference to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary of the Santiago South Mission.  We had a knowledge bowl about random scripture facts and it was rather entertaining.  We had a really good cake/cakes to celebrate!
June 29. 2015
Today was pretty good!  It started with an okay district meeting where I got a PACKAGE FROM HOME!!!!!! I love packages and this time it was patriotic themed, just in time for the 4th of July this weekend.  I am excited because the finals of the America Cup will be held on the 4th so we will be in early and while Chile plays, we will be celebrating the 4th!  We have 3 gringos and my mom happened to send 3 little American flags.  I think that I am actually more patriotic now than before my mission. Chile is great and all, but there is no place like home.
Me and my merica themed package!
 For some reason I was pretty irritated the rest of the day.  I decided to pray for help and it was at that point that I resolved to work with what I have.
Miracle #279: I figured out that my comp does better if I propose solutions to problems rather than just critiquing him.
I have had a really bad cough lately, and my family knows that when I get a cough, I sound very croupy and it sounds like I might be near death.  Anyway, the members who live with us, made me use and inhaler for my cough.  That was random, but I think that it made me really tired.
June 30, 2015
Well my comp. actually ate all of the candy out of my care package….5 kitkats, 5 twix bars, and 2 Reeses packages.  This was candy that I specifically requested from home which upset me, but the dumbest part of all of it was that he completely denied doing it. I can’t stand the lying, it just makes me crazy, which is the worst part of the whole thing.  Naturally I am a hot head, and naturally I react with anger and violence.  I hate that it is my nature, and I especially hate it when people bring it out in me.  I wanted to punch my comp. in the gut (sorry family), but I did not.  I did get pretty steaming mad at him.  All the other elders just say, let it go and love the guy anyway.  That sounds so easy, but is just so hard for me.
Miracle #280: I did not hit my companion. Instead, while he was pooping out my candy bars (for like 20 minutes), I learned how to play ping pong. 
The funny part of the day was coming up with a solution for my problem.  I know that it is exactly what my parents would have done to us kids under similar circumstances.….I made my companion spend some of his precious hoard of cash on replacing my candy.  That kind of candy is really expensive here, but what the heck – he has the cash to do it.