Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Note from Mom:  We received these photos of Connor from a woman in Chile,
along with an awesome email that brought a huge smile to my face: 
"Today, the missionaries had lunch in my home. We are always happy to help the missionary work, and we love very much your son; he is a very good missionary. His Spanish has progressed very much, and we can talk with him without problems. We are a family that love a lot to the missionaries, and we are always caring for them; anything you need, we can help you. We send you much love." -- Sister Marcia
 Lunch at Sister Marcia's house.
Rain and wind in Puerto Montt!

Carrying firewood for Sister Marcia.
September 1, 2013
Wow! I have a lot to say! Hi, everyone!

Oh! First... answering questions of my mom.

On P-Days, we get up, prepare, and study at the same time as other days. Usually our Mondays go like this: We go to the central part of Puerto Montt to the Mall, doing all the emailing in a cyber, which I think is "internet café" in English. After that we might buy things in the mall (like umbrellas or fast food). Today, we ran into Hermana Marcia and she told me she sent you the photos. (Her son was able to help type in English. He knows a little bit. Her husband is learning lots of English now because he´s working in Saudi Arabia, and her daughter who´s serving a mission knows English very well because she studied at BYU). She was very excited to hear that you received the photos.

After the mall, we usually take a bus to Lider, which is a lot like Walmart. There we buy groceries and whatever else we might need. If we didn´t need anything at the mall, there´s a cyber there, and we can do our emails without going ... oh ya ... downtown ... that´s how you say centro in English ... I was having trouble remembering that.

I do use the sleeping bag and the sheet liner. They are both very very good and I can sleep comfortably.

The shoes are good too, but they sure get beaten up when I use them every day. They´re pretty dirty now, but I think they´ll hold for a while. I just need to clean them. I use the boots when there´s lots of rain.

This week was awesome and also really hard. My new companion is from Southern California (in a northern part of San Diego). He´s really enthusiastic. He knows how to teach very well, and I´m learning a ton from him. He´s takes the time to explain things thoroughly, which I like a lot. A lot of times I felt like I was following my last companion, not knowing what we were doing. It´s also interesting because I know a lot about the sector that my new companion’s just learning.

However, I´m realizing how much I really don´t know. He´ll ask me questions about the ward or about the area book that I feel I should know, but I only have a vague idea. It´s especially difficult to plan. It normally took a half hour with my old companion, but because my new companion is learning the sector, I spend about an hour and a half each night on it.

I´ve been directing him to houses where I remember meeting people, but I don´t really remember anything about them or I only have a vague idea if they were receptive because I usually didn´t understand what they were saying. I´ll lead him to a house and he´ll ask, "Who lives here?", and sometimes the best answer I have is, "I don´t know, I just remember knocking this door and they were friendly and we gave them a pass-along-card to mormon.org. I don´t know what they said, but they were smiling. That´s good, right?" Not much to go off of, but my new companion's very good at talking with strangers and being friends really fast. I want to be able to do that. He´ll ask about their families and their jobs and they just open up! I run out of ideas of what to say or ask and there´ll be awkward silences. I´m also learning from him ways to incorporate the ward in the work. We´re going to show them a clip from the "Work of Salvation" broadcast (the one about missionary work in June).

It´s been super stressful this week, especially when I don´t have the answers to basic questions like, "Who´s the Elder´s quorum president?" However, I know that this is the work and that I´m at the point that God expects me to be. I know that learning comes little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept.

My Spanish has improved a ton since arriving in Chile. I was introducing my new companion to the bishop´s family, and I was an active part of the conversation. I remember the first night I met them, and I couldn´t understand diddly-squat.

I love you all so much! God loves us too and gave his son, Jesus Christ, so that we could follow his example, repent through the Atonement, and be like Him. We´ve met some people who say they are religious and believe in Christ, but they don´t know what to do about it. They don´t understand that there is a plan for us and road to follow.

Our purpose on this Earth is to learn and grow and gain those experiences we need to progress. Without opportunities to be lazy and procrastinate, we could never learn to be hard workers. Without opportunities to be dishonest, we could never learn integrity. Without temptations, we could never learn self-mastery. Our choices make us who we are, and when we make good choices, we become more like Christ. That´s why Christ established His church, so we can have faith in him, repent, make covenants, and endure in his path. I know this church is true. It is the path that Christ has laid out for each of us, and it is your choice whether you will follow that path. It is freely offered to all.

I love you all!

Elder Connor Christopherson

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