Sunday, January 10, 2016

Birthday Cake and Christmas Baptism

My 20th birthday cake!
December 16, 2015

         Today was a pretty sweet birthday.  This morning we had to clean our house, but this afternoon we opened our fardo of ties and spent 2 hours sorting through them.  It ended up being a very good fardo with a ton of sweet ties.  We actually found 4 really cool matching ties, one for each district leader. 
        After writing our families, we went to a less active member’s house.  The girl in that house made me an incredible chocolate cake for my birthday!  That was really sweet of her, but what made my day extra special was:

Miracle #494: On a p-day (with only 3 hours of missionary work), we had 5 lessons, and 3 divisions.  That has never happened in all of my mission.

         The fun part of the day was getting a few birthday phone calls from mission friends.  It was a nice feeling to know that I have friends who care about me on the mish.  In the end of the day, I was very lucky in having a birthday fall on a p-day.  It kind of makes up for the extra sucky birthday last year where I changed sectors and walked around lost all day with a companion that hated me. 
This awesome christmas carolling group that also came by on my birthday!
December 17, 2015

         Today was pretty dang decent.  This morning we had to do some baptismal interviews and they were really awesome. The woman I interviewed was very prepared so much so hat interviewing her ended up being a super spiritual experience for me.  After that the zone leaders talked to us about something that happened in our ward council meeting, which was not even a big deal.  Basically I was advised to just grin and bear it and not contradict obvious problems. To me it is not a council if you just keep your mouth shut and avoid expressing your thoughts and feelings.  This afternoon we had a lesson with an investigator who was just about to be baptized.  I don’t know why, but we felt that he wasn’t ready and today we learned that he decided to not come to church because he was offended by something that I said.

Miracle #495: I managed to control my irritation with the investigator and in the same day we visited with our other to progressing families.

My first Chile jersey (given by franco)
         The best part of the day was getting an American Cup Chile jersey from Franco.  Most missionaries buy soccer jerseys, but I haven’t had the chance yet.  The funny part of the day was getting a push pin in my bike tire and having to patch my tube (more Karma.)  I took advantage of the moment to patch my spare tube a well.  In the space of 2-3 weeks, we have had to put about 12 patches on the bikes.  It is absolutely absurd how many times our bikes get flats…(darn Karma).

December 18, 2015

         Terrible terrible day today.  This morning we had to get our house inspected by the zone leaders and afterwards we had to do inspections ourselves.  The inspections were fine, but it took up the whole morning.  After lunch, we planned a great district meting.  When we finally got out to work, everything fell through and we crossed a lot of people off of our list of future investigators.  We also tried to contact new people and no one wanted a thing to do with us.  The interesting part of the day was going to a member’s house and getting counseled about the choir situation.  It was silly, but it was well intentioned and tactful, so I thanked them politely.

Miracle #496: At the end of the day, we hadn’t had any lessons, but we were able to find a family we have been looking for for weeks.

         The funny part of the day was going to an all-gringo house to inspect them and seeing all of the fun and stupid stuff that they get to do as a group.  I would really like to live with other people now.  Elder M. and I are pretty good friends now, but it is more fun with other people. 

December 19, 2015

         Today was another crappy day.  We have wasted so much time this week and today was just another day of that.  This morning we went to choir practice because tomorrow we sing in a concert this and after that practice we went to a service project out in the boonies.  The service project lasted only an hour, but it was also our lunch so we ended up being there for around 3 hours.  Afterwards we did manage a lesson, and then missionary correlation. 

Miracle #497: For the third time since I got here (11 weeks ago) we had our “weekly” ward mission council.

Their names are Geni, Reghi, and Laydy
        The best part of the day was going back to Capitan Avalos again for another baptism of an entire family that I taught.  That ward is doing really well now.  It was a pretty sweet  to feel the spirit that is present in baptisms and see a whole family make that decision.  The major bummer of the day was when we visited one of our “best” investigator and she explained to us how she had felt that the Catholic church was where she needed to be. Highs and lows of missionary work were felt today to be sure.

December 20, 2015

         So today was all right.  First we went to a pointless ward council meeting where we were physically present but did absolutely nothing (just as we were told.) After that, I played a Christmas musical number in sacrament meeting which turned out really well.  It wasn’t that good technically, but by Chilean standards it was excellent. After church we studied a bi and went to lunch.  Next, we went to a member’s house to make sure that everything would work out fine for our skype calls home on Christmas Eve. 

Miracle #498: Our district is all good.  We have very good relationships with all of our missionaries and I really love them. 

         So I have decided that I am really NOT a fan of being a missionary during Christmas time.  It is not like I want to go home to my family, but I really really want to be with my family at Christmas.  I think all will be easier after Christmas. One of the hardest time for me is when everyone asks me what our family traditions are and then in telling them what we do, I miss my family even more.  Last Christmas was super lame in the mission, so this year I am going to make it much better.

December 21, 2015

         Well today was interesting.  I went on divisions with Elder Pizarro again today.  He is an elder in our district.  He is a new missionary being trained.  We walked around quite a lot and contacted a decent number of people.  From what I saw in their sector, there are more opportunities for growth. 

Miracle #499: We taught 3 lessons in a sector where for the entire week they average 10. 

         The funny part of the day was helping out with a caroling activity where in the end only Elder P. and I ended up doing all of the singing.  The funny part of the day was rearranging the elder’s room to give them more space. I don’t know why men are so horrible at organizing and maintaining their personal space.
December 22, 2015

         Today was just ehh. After meeting up again after divisions, we went to help make gingerbread cookies with a small group in our ward.  The sister missionaries got mad at us because we had to leave “early”, this was after spending 3 HOURS helping them.  As we talked, we also started to get the idea that the sisters are suffering with their numbers because they are spending a lot of time making food and eating dinner with a lot of people.

Miracle #500: I found all of the tools I will need to fix my bike.

         That’s right, my bike broke again.  This time I guess that I pedaled too hard with my superman legs and twisted the pedal arm, breaking or cracking the metal.  (karma)  The other funny part of the day was when I was biking along while making sure I stayed close to the sidewalk.  As I was riding along super fast down this little hill, a woman stepped into the street right in front of me without looking up. I slammed into her HARD.  She knew that it was her fault and didn’t even get mad at me.

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