Saturday, August 3, 2013

With my first companion in Chile, pointing to Puerto Montt.

With Mission President and Sister Rappleye upon arrival in Chile.

Here is a letter Connor wrote upon arrival (scanned and emailed). Full of excitement! 

¡Hola, mi familia!

There are always a million things I want you to see and know and understand about my experiences. I have written a letter to you that I will send in a few minutes, I hope that it arrives quickly.

Sorry I don´t have my camera with me right now. I´ll try to remember to send photos next week, although I haven´t known what to take pictures of. We can´t take cameras with us while proselyting so I don´t have many photos.

Ok, experiences.... I can´t emphasize enough how wonderful the ward members are. We attended a mutual (weekly time where youth of the ward do stuff together) about missionary work. The teachers and priests have been teaching with us and they were all sharing their experiences and the leaders bore testimonies. The bishop showed us videos from online (clips from the "work of salvation" broadcast). It´s so weird how everything is translated from English, all the videos, all the talks from General Conference. A part of me is always expecting people to start speaking English and say "Ok, everyone, that was fun speaking another language, but now we´ll talk normally." I know that´s a very silly way to be thinking, but it´s definitely bizarre living in a country where everyone speaks another language and few people speak fluent English.

It´s very frustrating teaching people without understanding what they´re saying. I want to really get to know people, and I know that will take time for me to be able to do that. I know that this is all part of the Lord´s plan, and He knows what´s in store. All I can do is put my trust in Him that we´re doing the right thing.
We were walking to the house of a potential investigator at about 7pm and we saw a man in the street pulling a big cart with lots of wood on it. Not logs of wood, but wood that was once part of other stuff and this man found in the streets. The wood was for leña, or firewood (in Chile, everyone heats their homes with little stoves). I was really shocked to see how hard he was struggling, but it was my awesome companion who saw the opportunity to serve and started helping him. I was surprised how heavy it was, and we moved it a little more than half a mile in the middle of a busy street. It was very bizarre, but I´m glad we did it. He doesn´t live in our sector so we can´t teach him, but it was really nice to serve. Two days later, we saw him in the street again. My companion and I both gave each other looks saying "Again?" We did end up helping him again, pulling the same cart with different stuff the same distance.

I love you all very much!

Elder Connor Christopherson

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