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. 

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