Tuesday, August 25, 2015

One Year Out.

August 12, 2015
Today was a blast! I got over a few issues with my comp and now I really like the guy. (There is hope for me). We started the day by doing Crossfit.  I kill the stuff that uses body weight, but when we get to actually have to add weights, I am terrible.
Miracle #322: My companion got a 60 pound care package of candy today from his family (no exaggeration). They literally filled a suitcase with candy.  This is his Chilean family here in Santiago.

         After Crossfit, we went to visit with Elder B. family/cousins.  It was a really fun visit and he has some very attractive female cousins who live in Utah. The last fun thing that I did today was cook empanadas with one of our families to celebrate my one year baptism anniversary!
 August 13, 2015
         I just finished a year of my mission.  Holy Cow!!! Well today was a great day of division with Elder Diaz.  He is actually a gringo and he was in my house in pensamientos.  He was with me at my 6 month mark and now at my year mark.  I don’t even care about telling about the day other than the fact that ALL day long I wore an autographed shirt on under my jacket.  It was fun.

Miracle #323: We had 3 contact lessons and they weren’t even lame.
         As a crazy, but fun tradition, I burned a shirt today marking my anniversary.  Now for the special part of my day, I spent some time thinking of 15 miracles for the first year of my mission.  Miracles #324-339:
·      I love the people here with all my heart.
·      I am gradually becoming a more patient person.
·      I haven’t yet had any assignment here in the mission (not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it is very unusual.)
·      One of my comps actually became my best friend. (Elder White)
·      I have never had a real “snake” pursue me.
·      What others think about me has stopped bothering me. (Other elders think I am a moron.)
·      No one has robbed me, although I have been offered many joints.
·      My motivation to work is still strong.
·      I can now get up early (by myself) by at least an hour and a half before the other missionaries are up.  It is my favorite time to study.
·      I haven’t been bitten by a dog.
·      I am now bilingual!
·      I have actually LOST weight on the mission.
·      I learned to love the scriptures
·      I haven’t experienced a major earthquake.
·      My Dad went from being incapacitated due to his cancer…to being able to WATERSKI!
 August 14, 2015
         Today was really rough.  I stayed up way too late last night talking to Elder Diaz and I still got up at 6:00.  Because of that, I was wiped out all day long.  One of our lessons was rather boring, so I fell asleep ( I have got to stop doing that!) All of our “sure” citas fell through which wasted a fair amount of time. This morning we did morning contacts and I am almost ashamed to admit that I contacted super attractive women.  Hey, they need the gospel too!  Most of the missionaries just don’t contact the cuties, and I agreed with their premise, but today, well I just didn’t have that problem.
Miracle #340: Elder White called me today to just to see how I was doing at the year mark.  I really love that guy.
August 15, 2015
         My comp had a rough day today.  He was low on energy and enthusiasm.  He also might be irritated with me, but I am not sure why or what I can do about it.  I am hoping that my personality is leveling out a bit.  I have been really working on being steady and consistent. 
         Today we didn’t work with the greatest urgency, but we were able to do service for some members who needed their roof replaced.  They have these ancient concrete blocks that they use for roofing here.  They are about one inch thick and poorly constructed.  No one replaces them until their house gets flooded. 
Miracle #341: J. accepted a baptismal date and it is one week before Elder White leaves. Elder White was the missionary who first contacted him.
         The funny part of the day was following up on a “great” reference given to us. Turned out that the guy was way drunk and just ripped us apart.  Being Americans didn’t help us either.  He was such a jerk to us, BUT, I did not lose my temper even a little bit and I kindof even impressed myself. This guy was a hopeless case, but his buddies actually started defending us.  I love being a missionary, but the life is so unpredictable and dependent on others, that I also really don’t like it.  Tomorrow is a new day.
August 16, 2015
         Today was pretty decent.  The morning was irritating when very few of the people we are teaching came to church.  He good news is that I finally feel settled into this ward.  The members all know me and I know them so that makes it nice. It is weird having a comp. who knows no one.  I had to set all of the divisions and stuff, but that doesn’t bother me to much.  Elder B. was ticked at me today for silly stuff and we had to work that out before going out to work. All of our issues were just stupid little things, but they were important to him and it was impeding the spirit, so we had to work them out.  We ended up having a pretty decent day.
Miracle #342: We taught a lesson where we essentially just visited for an hour joking around.  Even though it was not serious, we got a text tonight from the person that we taught saying that it was exactly what she needed today. 
         The funny part of the day was the lesson with S. The other funny part was watching a bunch of E. Blaser’s mission videos.  He did so many silly/dumb things. I honestly hate reporting numbers.  Whether good or bad, the numbers game just makes me uncomfortable.  This week they just happened to be really good numbers, but I still hate it.
August 17, 2015
         Well today was pretty good.  We got a really crazy call this morning telling us that Elder Blaser is leaving tomorrow.  Well, that lasted a long time.  Oh well. My new comp. is gonna be Elder Corbo.  He is supposed to be an awesome missionary from Argentina.  I met him one time before.  There is one definite advantage to being seen as a “problem/moron” in the mission, and that is that you get better companions.
         We had a fun district meeting today, and the rest of the day was filled with decent lessons.
Miracle #343: My companion prayed for an adventure as an answer we saw a dude get hit by a car and break his thumb. The real miracle was when we had an exceptionally good English lesson. 
         The funny part of the day was when our drug dealer investigator tried to make me jealous by giving Elder Blaser a tie. Yeah, …no.  In good news, I finished reading the New Testament AGAIN!  It is a great book!
August 18. 2015
         So I go my new comp today and he is a pretty cool guy. We had a pretty iffy first day because I was feeling off.  The lesson we had wasn’t too great,  but then we had a really pretty good experience during contacting.
Miracle #344:  A Peruvian guy let us come in to teach him and the lesson went really well.
         It feels good to have a real comp. again!  For the last week it just felt like I was on extended divisions, but I am feeling like I can get settled in now. Elder Corbo is going to kill my diet because he eats like crap.  He has about 6 months in the mission, and is a really nice, humble missionary.  He was skeptical about me inviting our investigator to be baptized in the first lesson, but I felt like I should, so I did.  Oh well, we will get used to each other. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Losing Elder Furner to the Office

I will miss this good missionary!
August 5, 2015

         Today wasn’t horrible.  I don’t know if there is such a thing as a bad p-day.  Shoot, even when we don’t do anything special, I really enjoy myself. Today we just went shopping, exercised, and went out to eat with an investigator.  We went to a Peruvian restaurant where we ordered this fried seafood dish that was essentially like a good plate from Red Lobster. I was expecting something way different or exotic, but I guess Peruvian food is really pretty normal.  After lunch, we went to a civer where the miracles happened.

Miracle #315L Her in Chile, they take very very inconvenient lunch breaks and close businesses for around 2 hours in the middle of the day.  All of the civers let us in anyways to write our families while they eat lunch.

         The funny/crazy part of the day was also kindof a miracle.  Okay, it was a miracle.  On our way to the civer, a guy stopped us and said that he wanted the missionaries to pass by last week, but they didn’t.  He really really wanted a Book of Mormon.  Typically on my p-day, I don’t have anything on me, but for some reason today I had one copy of The Book of Mormon.  I literally had nothing else except for that book.  He was so excited and he is super interested.  We were blown away.

August 6, 2015

         Today kindof sucked, like a lot. First of all it RAINED all day long which meant that every Chilean stayed indoors and didn’t want to do anything.  All of the streets were flooded because the drainage system here is horrible.  The worst part was that the bishop cancelled the ward activity because of the rain.  We invited a ton of our investigators and less active members to that activity, so we had to cancel everything and come up with a new plan.

Miracle #316: I was feeling down today, but when we made a visit to one of our families, I remembered how much I love these people. This realization helped to turn my day around.

         The funny part of the day was how everyone reacte to us.  EVERY single person said, “What are you doing outside in this rain?”

August 7, 2015

         Today was a rough day.  I had motivational issues today.  I got outside and did everything, but I was in an off mood.  It didn’t help that I was exhausted thanks to our District Leader who begged us to stay up and play a game with him for an extra half hour.  For someone who gets up at the normal time it would not be a big deal, but I get up early so that loss of 30 minutes really hurt me.  PLUS, staying up late is disobedient, what the heck is our leader doing by encouraging us to be disobedient?

         Miracle #317: When we went to visit the G. family tonight, they were getting ready to go to the ward talent show (the one that got cancelled and no one called them).  Thankfully, we arrived in time to tell them and we had a nice visit with them.

         The funny part of the day was that it stopped raining which was the reason the activity was cancelled.  We ended up contacting for a while at the end of the day and it turned out rather well.

August 8, 2015

         Ugh! Elder Furner is getting transferred early.  We got a special call to let us know that my comp is leaving for the office.  He is going to be one of those “special” elders.  Basically, he will be living in a really demanding work environment with tons of work, a horrible diet, no personal time, no sleep, and a ridiculous amount of stress.  I will miss the guy.  Other than that , the day was mediocre at best.  It is cold here in the mornings, then it warms up just a bit in the afternoon, and then it gets freezing cold again in the late afternoon.

Miracle #318: For once we made a call to a future investigator and actually had a lesson result from the call.

         The funny part of the day was going to say goodbye to Elder Furner’s recent convert A. It was funny because when we told her that Furner was leaving, she didn’t believe us. She said that we have played so many jokes on her that she doesn’t believe us anymore. She remained incredulous for over an hour.  We also made delicious no bake cookies for our last normal night together.  It is going to be hard for these next few weeks because I get a temporary companion for a week or so and then my official new companion.  This means that I will be the only one with any clue what’s going on in my area. 

August 9, 2015

         I am really hating one of the missionaries in our apartment right now. He is really hard on me, especially in the mornings.  He acts just like a teenaged girl and just tears you down emotionally.  Any ammunition that he can think of he throws at me and especially pitches hard at my insecurities.  He is the first person in a more than a month that has made me want to punch him in the face. It’s all “up to me” as to how I will react, but I can honestly say that I haven’t gotten much more patient since Castro.  But this does lead into my miracle for the day;

Miracle #319: Elder _____ does NOT have a broken nose right now.

         The fun part of the day was that Elder Furner and I had a good acapella musical number.  We also had fun visiting all of the people that Elder F. wanted to say goodbye to.  I try to make my goodbyes a final opportunity to bear testimony and leave a spiritual message, but not everyone tries to do that.  Elder F. just likes to hang out with people.  I am okay with that, just not for LONG periods of time.  I have gotta get more serious, motivated, and obedient.  This sector has a lot more potential.

August 10, 2015

         Wow, my temporary comp. is going to be quite fun…NOT. He thinks that he is hot stuff and corrects everything that I do in an offensive way…and has atrocious Spanish.

Miracle #320: We had a great lesson from contacting where we even invited them to be baptized.  The only bad part is that my new comp didn’t want to share the first vision with them…so we didn’t.

         The funny part of the day was how we got into this lesson in the first place.  I bumped into the grandson for scaring a cat and started talking to him and making friends with him.  When the Grandma said she was too busy with her grandson, I asked the kid if he wanted to hear our message.  He shouted, “Yes!”  and with that we got into out appointment.  Who knew that being good with little kids would come in handy in the mission field.

August 11, 2015

         Today was a good work day. We had a ton of lessons set up and only 2 fell through. Even though we taught 5 lessons we still had time to contact and sadly didn’t find anyone who was interested.  I think that I will do just fine with my temporary companion…not sure how I would do if it were permanent. He has good insights as a missionary and that is all that matters right here and now.

Miracle #321: Today we had a division with a youth in our ward but when we got to his house he wasn’t there.  Just about 1 minute later, his dad drove up and agreed to go out with us.

         The funny part of the day was listening to two American missionaries in our house talk about their high school days.  They were HORRIBLE.  They were mean and cruel and played jokes (mean ones) on the less fortunate people.  I told them that I was glad to never have set foot in a high school.  This was a mistake because then they turned on me and started mocking me for being homeschooled. It was just ridiculous. Somehow the subject turned to how I can’t throw a ball worth a crap, which they related to the fact that I never attended public school.  One of them said, “What if you are at the fair and your girlfriend wanted you to win her a stuffed animal by winning a throwing game?” I told them that I would never have to worry about that because I plan on having a good enough job to be able to buy my girlfriend what she wants.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Week of Ward Activities

July 29, 2015
         Today was a pretty good p-day even thought we just kind of sat around due to the fact that my comp is till sick.  We had a fat-kid moment when we made and ate tons of oatmeal cookies.  I tried to let them sit for a few hours before my workout, but I didn’t wait long enough…I actually got sick.  It’s over now though and other than that we had a very uneventful day today.
Miracle #308:We had a ward council meeting today! (It is only the third time on my mission that I have been to one of these.)  It was a good meeting.
July 30, 2015
         Today was an all right day.  We had a lot of our citas fall through.  We also contacted a TON today , but it really didn’t turn out very well.  The worst part of the day was getting totally chewed out in a lesson for falling asleep.  This member heats up her house really warm, which is not common here in Chile. So here we are wearing all of our warm clothing, in a warm house after lunch…it was just a killer.
Miracle #309: The miracle family from last Wednesday was our 9:00 appointment, but just as we walked out of the house, the mother drove by and stopped us to let us know that they wouldn’t be able to meet today.  The miracle is that she told us that she wants us to call and reschedule and gave us her phone number.
         The funny part of the day was having a totally immature, yet hilarious Zone Leader in the house.  All he wanted to do was talk about women, and he kept making crude jokes and generally inappropriate comments.  I just don’t see how guys like that make it into leadership positions.  There is literally nothing that I see in him that I want to emulate.
July 31, 2015
         Today was a pretty stellar day.  We basically just went from person to person teaching lessons today.  It was well executed, although we weren’t able to plan any of it in advance because our ZL took up all of our planning time last night. There was a huge contrast between yesterday ad today.  I was unusally off yesterday and uncharacteristically on today.  I would like to be able to even things out a bit so that I am more consistent.  I did struggle to stay awake in a few lessons today and I am trying to come up with a solution to that problem.
Miracle #310: We had a really good lesson with someone who’s basically heard every missionary message before, except for the lesson that we came up with.
         The funny part of the day was probably when Elder Furner got swarmed by cats in a lesson.  He had one on his lap and was petting it when another jump up.  All of a sudden one of them started growling and hissing.  Elder Furner had no idea what to do when they started fighting. Poor guy was just caught in the middle.  We visited our old senile friend who is all alone.
August 1, 2015
         Today was a great day but not because we had lessons, because we didn’t, but we had an awesome ward activity today.  Most of the day was absorbed in the activity and related jobs that needed doing.  The activity was my 2nd dessert competition. It was, if possible, even better that the first.  Practically the entire ward came and supported the activity. This time, the desserts didn’t run out, so we all stuffed ourselves to the bursting point.  It was totally worth it!  After the activity, we had an appointment that we couldn’t make it to because the judging went way too long. 
Miracle #311: There ended up being 4 nationalities who participated in the competition: Peru, Canada, Chile, and USA. So it was the first international dessert competition.
         There were 2 really funny parts of the day.  The first was with the other elders.  We couldn’t find our magnetic name tags earlier today and we had to leave without the outer tag on.  When we got to the activity, the other elders revealed their dessert….9 kilos of jello!  Then it clicked, they put our name tags in the mountain of jello!  

        The other funny part of the day was playing a missionary game where the point was to get someone else to volunteer to offer the prayer.  The game is to say “Yo” followed by something to do with water.  In the end someone says, “Yo lago” which sounds like “Yo la hago” – which means “I’ll do it.”  It is a game that only works in Spanish.  There was one other fun part of the day and that was when the members that we live with played Queen on their stereo during our dinner hour.  We rocked out to Queen while cooking our dinner.
August 2, 2015
         Today was a good day as well.  We had the most spiritual testimony meeting that I have been to here in Chile. We had some people come to church who never show up and it was super cool. After church, we went to give the sacrament to someone before going to lunch. The rest of the day was really good.
Miracle #312: The ward was really unified today and I think that it had a lot to do with the activity yesterday.
         Today we had a giant ward division where we left to invite people to the activities that are happening this week.  This Tuesday we have a ward family home evening, and this Friday we have a talent show.  We have all this stuff because this week is our ward conference and they have a weird custom of doing a week of activities before the conference.  I am not complaining because activities are the bomb!
August 3, 2015
         Today was pretty good.  This morning we had an unusually good district meeting, which helped us to be more motivated to obey.  I am not a disobedient missionary, but I could be stricter with myself. This meeting motivated me to want to be better.  After the meeting, we went to lunch where we wasted time talking to a family in the ward. I’m really the only missionary in the ward that tries to get out of appointments on time.
Miracle #313: We had a lesson with a super stubborn less active members who never agrees to go to any type of church meeting.  But, through gentle persuasion, they agreed to come to the activity on Friday.
         The funny part of the day was when passed by to visit a new investigator family.  Here in Chile, neighbors watch out for each other and try to protect their neighbors.  When we knocked on this family’s door, the neighbor told us that they were not home, and he insisted on it even though we pointed out that their gate was open and their lights were on.  Then just 2 seconds after that, the father of the house walked out to greet us…the neighbor quickly ran inside.
August 4, 2015
         Today was a good day.  We started out the day by going to a cita with R. They were going to get bread, but we volunteered to get it for them.  We decided to run a kilometer to go get this delicious whole wheat bread.  When we got back, they freaked out and claimed that wheat bread tastes nasty.  Ughhh!
Miracle #314: We had an awesome activity today with a really good turnout!
         The funny part of the day was when one of the families we visit made fun of poor Elder Furner….he was not amused.