Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28th, 2014 "Life as a dog!"

Well when the stake president said I would go through hard things he was right!  The reason why the title to this email is "life as a dog" is because I have fleas! ya.... seriously  I have fleas and they are so bad.  The only thing that I can compare them to is like a mosquito bite but worse and they spread becasue the fleas move around. Its because in Chile for every person that lives here there are two dogs.  Everywhere we go we see dogs and its way hard to talk becasue when one barks the whole world goes nuts.  But I absolutely love it.   My comp is great! his name is elder ARTIGA and he is from the beautiful contry of Guatemala  Yep! my prayers have been answered and I seem to have the best comp ever.  It took a couple days and a ton of hand gestures but as of right now I can say about anything I want.  People laugh when I read and I laugh too because the pronunciation is way hard when you read because in your mind you just assume english and it take awhile for you to realize that it needs to be spanish! 

Oh ya my area! I live in the town of Quilpué!  But if you try to google it I live in the mountains and not really in the city.  I hardly come to the city except for district meetings and p day.  The actual area is called Pasa Hondo. like I said before beer, fleas and a whole lot of crazy people and dirt roads.  But I love it so comp is funny.  He used to be a salsa dancer and every morning he does yoga while i do push ups and sit ups.  But the funniest thing is that he loves Christmas music and we listen to it evey morning.  I already know the songs by heart but he loves it and so do I.  He is such a great example and we already have had lots of stories.  Like the fleas for example.  It's so bad we bought a dog collar that is anti flea and we wear it around our necks during bedtime.  One time all I had on was shorts and he vaccumed my body for me to try to suck the fleas away.  It was nuts but I think it worked.  Another instance is we got chased by dogs and we gave up some sandwhiches to save our lives.  Living here in Pasa Hondo has been a seriously humbling experience for me and I appreciate it.  People live off nothing.  What is weird is that dogs are expensive and this one family has eight dogs, five cats a rat and a turtle and a buch of chickens.  I love this family especially becasue we are trying to get them to come to church.  They where baptised but dont come anymore....obviously.  But they live in such poor conditions...I feel so bad everytime I walk into there home...if you can call it a home.  Mom, its about the size of our kitchen and the walls are straight concrete.  They have one window and it is coverd by cardboard and they have these two small beds squished together for the three of them.  They have one dresser and a small stove and a table and a mini fridge.  Dad i think you would be friends with the father because their prized possision is this lab puppy they just bought. I told them we trained labs and they freaked and told me how smart it was and bragged about how much it cost. but I dont understand why they bought it when they go to bed freezing everynight and they dont have alot of food.  But never the less I love them with all my heart.  Not everybody is that poor but the culture shock is real.  My shack is pretty ghetto as well you have to turn the shack on and off about five times to start the heater and turn the shower off and flush the toilet to get hot water.  It works I promise.  I'm almost positive that we have black mold on the ceiling but what does not kill you makes you stronger right?  Never the less I have never been this happy, NEVER. 
By the way I got my first baptism date!  It was super hard and the investigator whose name is Elias by the way is super set in his ways especially with smoking but he has been taking lessons for three months most with my comp and the other elder but I helped him a lot with not smoking he said.  He was talking about how he could not help smoking because he felt like God was not with him so I took out a picture of christ and wrote on the back, "God loves you and you are his son."  I told him to always keep it on him and God will help him stop smoking.  He has had it on him ever since and he is having the official interview today with the district leader and I will baptise him on the Fourth of May!  Please pray that he continues to follow the iron rod.  I hope so because it was the highlight of my week.  Don't get me wrong I have had drunks yell at me and this dude swear and I had no idea what it was but it made my compainion cringe and I could not feel the spirit.  

A ton of our work is with inactive members.  One is named Osvaldo and he has been excommunicated.  But with a coulple lessons we have a interview with the bishop because he wants to rejoin the church because he says he misses feeling the love of god in his life.  Its so great to love these people and nothing will stop me from helping them come closer to Christ, not fleas, my lack of Spanish, not my leg, nothing. they are all children of God and I will help them.  I love them so much.  We are already known as the crying missionarys because me and my comp cry so much haha.  But tears of happiness, and it works.  
I have some things to say to the people in the state. First to my awesome cousin Paul, thank you for your words of advice. You probably wont remember them but you changed my life brother.  Thank you.  To my grandparents, thanks for your examples.  I love you all.  
Oh one last thing that I thought was funny.  When you get called to your first transfer the president of the misssion calls you up and you stand by him and then he calls off to your trainer and area!  Not gonna lie I felt like I was in Hogwarts with the sorting hat.  I was thinking not a white guy, not a white guy haha.  Oh man the simple things in life.  My comp is good at pics and I hope I can get some out to you on the way.  I love you all!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16th, 2014

This is my last week in! then I break out of my little oasis and into this crazy world!  So many things have happened this week and I cant believe they want me to go out and serve.  I seriously hope i am ready.  I love you guys so much and I can tell that you are praying for me.  I feel it in my heart and right before lessons and especially when i'm walking around on this bum leg of mine. I still feel like I am new and have no idea whats going on but I press forward in faith and I know that there are people out there who need this gospel and I am ready to share.

This week has been nuts!   I seriously think that i made yet another life long friend. his name is Elder Lavin and he is brand new latino in the last group and my roommate.   He is seriously exaxtly like me and we have some serious fun!  He loves playing the rubix cube and his favorite tv show is Kick Butowski! haha but thats no all!  He says he plays Mario cart and Super Smash bros all the time and his favortie person to play with is Peach.......ya all of this was found out through a dictionary as well as lots of practice and laughter. he is so funny becasue we are so alike.  Before his mission he had so gnarly dreads that looked so sweet!   But more importantly his testimony is so strong and he is full of the gospel, we chill all the time and he uses phrases in english now as well.   His favorite that I told him is like a boss and atta boy.   Every goal he scores in football he says its for me so ya I got a crazy cool latino that seriously can own a rubix cube in like five minutes.  We also do some of these crazy workouts and I have never been more sore in my life.  I did beat him in a race of push ups so i feel pretty acomplished.  We like to sing Bob Marley before bed and I don't know if it is against the rules but I seriously have a ton of fun that really helps fight the stress..... anyway im glad I am friends with guys.

So guess what! i might be doing tons of time in acts of service when I get down to the mission becasue there is a huge fire going on right now and from what I heard it is still raging.  I heard that it is a city fire that has already burned up about a thousand homes and i think 18 people have died two of whom were members.   It is so hard to see people so humble go through such trials but I know that they can overcome it becasue of the hard type of people they are.   In my mission it has been made a new rule that no coke is alowed.  Huh that figures huh right when I get to start liking and wanting some coke they ban it becasue of to much caffeine..... bummer guess i'm stuck to dishwater but what does not kill you makes you stronger right.  I love this place and I cant wait to get out in the real world and go and preach the gospel I have sent some letters and to all of those who have not gotton them yet i'm so sorry and im seriously hoping they will get there soon.
The craziest part of my week has been when I was in the temple I was praying before going into my session and thinking about you guys all the time and then I get a tap on my shoulder and I seriously look up and it was a blast from the past.  It was Sister and Brother Cottle!  In the temple in Chile!  I was so shocked I for sure thought I was dreaming.  I wanted to give Sister Cottle a hug so bad because she is a mother figure to me and all I had to do was shake her hand and tell her how much I love my family.  I was seriously what I needed and I hope that she is okay on her plane ride back.   She was picking up her daughter serving in Santiago.  I seriously am living the dream in Chile and that blast form the past is so crazy and it makes me think of such a small world we live in. I cant wait for my family to come down here so they could see the most beautiful temple on earth!  I love you guys and i'm so grateful for the Lord to bless me with the gift of happiness.

The stories keep rolling in for you guys I guess.   Well hear me out on this but I got my first kiss in Chile...... ya nuts huh.  But don't worry mom it was not on the lips it was on the cheek and i seriously had no idea what to do and my comp was freaking out!  We where out proselyting on the street and all of the sudden we got stopped by these two college girls who seemed to have questions so we thought nothing of it and we taught them about our church and gave them a Book of Mormon.  We started to say goodbye because they had class soon and thats when the terrible awful happened.   So the custom is for the people to give a kiss on the cheek to say goodbye but obviously missionaries can't do that so we shook there hands and all of a sudden they planted a kiss right on my comp... I was like...what happened?  haha then they came for me.  It was so weird and I felt like a was a twelve year old boy agin. haha but know I can say that i'm still in the game even though i'm on a mission.  But seriously I have had to repent for this crazy girls mistake haha and i think its funny now but before I thought I had committed the worst sin ever

I love you guys so much and I want you to know how much of an influence you have been in my life. Luke I  seriously look up to you and i think that you would like this scripture that I have been reading, its my new fav.  Its Joshua 1 and the verse is 9. read it and email me what you think.  Life can change so much in a month.  Tell the ward I love them and they have changed my life especially Doug Osmond.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 8, 2014

Well guys after testing my skills against the Latinos in soccer I clearly lost.  As most of you probably know because of my mom I am in a boot,  well for at least two weeks so my mtc soccer days are clearly over.   This week has been so crazy and a roller coaster of emotion.  I hope all of you watched general conference!

First off this girl is the reason I hurt my leg.   Girls really are nothing but trouble and just to let you know I was not trying to show off.   This girl just ran straight at me and I tried to cut with the ball on my bad leg.   My leg landed on the ball and I felt it just bend in an awkaward way.  But the way I look at it it saved my life because this girl seriously would have killed me.  I hope you guys understand that. After walking all the way back to the mtc. the president decided to play dad which I love him so much for because I needed it.   He paid for a taxi and we went to the hospital for x rays.  Wow I hate hospitals way down in the South America.   This lady just kept switching out the robes and there where blood stains and hair all over the robe.  If i ever have to go back just remember it is probably not the leg that is a issue but becasue I caught some disease. After that we went back and the doctor that is working here for his mission told me all this bad news like I could not serve a real mission and I might need to go home to the states.  I was in tears and they called and informed my dad.  This was way harsh because I could not really talk to him and tell him how much of an influence he has had on my life.  I love him.   He kind of tore me a new one and got mad but he loves me all the same.   Seriously I love you too mom but you have this tendency to never answer the phone so I had to make my one call count.

This week has been so crazy!   In my practice investegator lessons we got three baptism dates which for all you reading this probably dont care but it is really hard and my spanish is getting better.   Oh!  last P day I gave a Book of Mormon away to a real investegator!  I was just minding my buisness getting my shoes shined when this thought came to me "Why don't me and my comp ask this dude if he believes in Christ...."  so as i'm sitting I give my comp the nod and I decided to pay him two hundred pesos to see what he would do, he counted the money and started to hand me the money back and I asked if he believed in Christ?   He said yes and I told him we did too and our church follows the examples of Christ such as charity and kindness and I put the money back in his hands and then my comp jumped in and gave him a Book of Mormon and got his contact info!  BOO YAH! to all my beehives out there i did this huge jump for joy and shouted hoooollla!   The work is so hard but I really love it so much.

I have had the same roommates for my whole time down here in the mtc and today was the day they left for the field.  It was so sad and I tried to get as many pictures as I could.   My room feels so empty and i feel like i'm always missing something.   I'm also starting to get cold.   Its a windy cold and I resent it.   To my fam I love you guys and are super jealous you have the spring to look forward to.

My bishop.... guys my bishop from home is the bomb and I hope he reads this because he has saved my life. I needed some of his letters and I read them over and over again and consider them doctrine.   He blessed my life so much and he was more my friend than bishop.  I will follow that great man into whatever is needed of me.  To all those who read this in the ward I hope you guys respect and follow his example.  Until recently I have noticed that there is this huge glow all around him and if I get the opportunity to be a small percentage of how strong he is in the gospel I  will freak out and be happy the rest of my life.  I pray for him every night.

How was conference?   I can answer that it was the bomb!!!!  I can honestly say that this was the first one i got to watch the whole way through and it was crazy to see how spiritual it was.   Luke..... read the talk about the Olympics,  Dad and Nate read the talk by Boyd K Packer.  Mom and Rachel and all those other girls out there who are my heroes as beehives, read the priestood talk by Dallin H Oaks.   It was so great to hear from the prophet and I cant wait to share the words of God.   I am gaining a huge testimony here and I love it.   So many blessings in such a short time

To my grandparents and cousins, you guys need to be examples of Christ.  You are already doing a great job of that becasude you have blessed my life.  Until next time guys! oh p.s. avocados are seriously growing on me and I always want a cold coke

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 2, 2014

Part one:

hey guys!  Well here I am just learning a different language and putting my time in.  Its so hard to tell you guys everything but Im trying my best.  This week was very productive.  I learned alot about being humble. but it was a good thing.  I'm trying my very best with my companion because we have had a couple of arguments already but we always seem to put aside our differences to teach the investigators.  Here is how my  P day works.  I get on on either Tuesday or Wednesday and its always in the morning.  The problem however is that I have to write before my crazy adventures we have every P day.  Last P day I gave a Book of Mormon away by myself!  An older gentlemen kept making eye contact with me and I was feeling the spirit really strong and I started talking to him and it was such a spiritual experience.  My spanish is improving but the Chileans just talk so fast that its hard to understand sometimes.  Anyway we are getting way more time to go out and try to teach people around the temple.  True they are all members....well most of them but its still way fun and in all honesty I talk so much more when I am outside of the prison of the classroom.  One night we where assigned to teach about tithing and fast offerings.  That is way hard to talk about given the fact that the people of Chile are struggling with that right know and thats why another temple down here can not be built because the people are not paying there tithing.  It was fun but my comp was way nervous and did not want to talk at all to the people.   But no need to fear Super Schomge is here!  I just said follow me and we started talking to other people and it turned out to be a good experience.  I am trying to focus as much as I can on being humble and praying as much as I can.

I had to talk to the teacher about my district becasue we are having a way hard time focussing in class but our spanish is doing better then some of the guys who are leaving this week so I guess they are starting to feel really justified and stuff.   I am running out of time but I am logging on again to send another part to this email.  I need to talk to you guys about this crazy Russian.....ya i said it.  A crazy Russian who told us that the protesant church was going to blow up the world...only in Chile.

Part 2:  

First off, Rachel the people down here are not fat haha and Nate I'm so stoked about your marbles!  You guys are so awesome. I hope you guys are getting along.  Rachel you can use my longboard but remember not to ride it in the rain and on loose rocks because the wheels are that gum material.  Luke watch out for those salem hills girls man. I  miss you guys so much and i really miss waking up and chilling.  I am not a planner and this part of my mission is hard.  ... oh Luke by the way your score was an April fools joke.  Mom told me you got a 18........ I know this church is true.  Pray and read the scriptures as much as possible.  Right now my favorite scripture hero is Abanaddi. he is such a stud!  Go look him up.  I want to have his boldness and faith mixed with the power of using the Holy Ghost to have people here my words like King Benjamin, he is a power house.  I want to here about everything. Nate, be careful about losing your marbles and get good.  I love you all and all of you go get a coke and tell mom you love her.

Part 3:  Ten things I love about you Mom:

Number one:  I love how you look goofy in all the pics you send. It makes me miss you so bad
Number two:  You care so much about me it makes me cry.
Number three:   Even if i'm half way around the world you teach me lessons everyday.
Number four:   I dig the nice brace
Number five:   You are an example to all those young women.   We need more of you in the church.
Number six.:   You are working hard to get better.
Number seven:   You are such a gift to the family and I look up to you like an angel
Number eight:   You cruise in a gas guzzler
Number nine:  You let me have coon hounds
Number ten:   You love me and I love you for it.  There was so many times that you could of gave up on me but you always seem to pull love out of nowhere.  I hope you post this on the blog because I want you to know how much I love you and I want the world to know that I have the best mom in the whole world. I miss those times we just went off and did our own things together!  I love you so much and I want you yo know you are one of the biggest influences in my life.  I want everyone to have a mom like you.  I have to go and i hope you get whatever your looking for.  Trust in the lord.