January, in Melipilla with Elder Balcón from Concepción (but kind of an Argentino because he lived there for 10 years).
[At this point, let me define "changes" or cambios.
In March, still in Melipilla, now with Elder Gambini from Argentina.
|Elder Gambini far right.|
In May, transferred to El Parron, La Cisterna with Elder Inalef from Argentina.
|Jesus on the left, Mary on the right, Joshua in the middle.|
|A family Josh was teaching was homeless. A TV show spotlighted them and the wealthiest man in Chile donated a lot of money for them to buy land and build a house.|
In August, still in El Parron, training a brand new missionary, Elder Tasso, from Utah, aka "la fábrica."
|I know he wishes Kike could be his companion!|
In September, transferred to Maipú with Elder McBride from Arizona.
|Shout out to Mom's mission to Ecuador. :)|
So things have been pretty good. Last Monday we went to Santa Lucia and it was pretty cool. We ran into some Brazilians so now I´m studying (in all the spare time I have haha) Portugese. My Bishop is a linguistics fanatic and has every book on every language ever (I´m pretty sure he´s got Adamic and Reformed Egyptian somewhere back there) so it wasn´t too hard. Supposedly we can understand Portugese a lot more than they (the Portugese speakers) can understand Spanish. I wonder if I´m going to come home and actually study all the languages I want to study. There´s just so much power in speaking languages and it´s so much fun.
But that day was one of those days where all the pressure and weight of things hits you at once. I´m amazed how often it happens on the mission. Before my life was so EASY. Anyway, You know, it was one of those hot, sweaty, sacrifice-lots-of-time-and-
have-no-time-to-sleep kind of days. I really don´t mean to be a complainer and I just try to put on a happy face every day when we go out but there are days . . . . I feel like I´m so inadequate, so weak.
. . .
. . .
I think I received revelation this last week in Church. I was sitting there thinking about how my companion and I as missionaries simply can´t worry and keep tabs on and notice every member, investigador, and family that we need to. We get people to come out and start turning things around and then they just don´t have support from the ward (you know, everyone´s nice and everything, but nobody actively makes the effort to be a true friend) and so they go inactive after joining or refinding the church a few weeks after the missionaries leave. There is so much inactivity. I´ve never seen a ward here that has a functioning home teaching program. As I thought about everything we were trying to do to get the ward going with activities, family home evenings, etc, I realized something- a ward is only as strong as its home teaching program. Just about every problem there is could be solved if every Priesthood holder just did his home teaching every month. I´m convinced missionary work would increase too, if only because those the missionaries find and baptize would have real friends and attention from the ward. And you know? It´s nothing very complicated or difficult. But boy, is it complicated and difficult when we ¨go to the rescue¨ after they´ve already been forgotten, offended, or unnoticed. Nobody wants to feel like a ¨project.¨ Nobody wants people to start worrying about them only after they´ve stopped coming to church. And in any case it´s a myth that only the ¨weak¨ or less actives need a strong hometeacher. The program is so inspired. The Church really does have everything figured out. If we could just get it together as Priesthood holders we would see more miracles in this church.
. . .
Sylvia's doing really well, already inviting people to her house and everything. We've been struggling as far as finding people to teach and having lessons. We are getting the ward excited for home teaching, ward council, etc.´ I also discovered this week that I like skinny ties a lot.
My mission just got extended two weeks to accomadate all the new missionaries. We're coming back like the 25 of August now or something.Crazy huh? I still have nine months left now! :)
We're living with two other elders from Cinco de Abril, so I´m with Elder Nilsen again hahaha. I love that guy.