Note from Mom: I'm posting 3 emails at once. My computer was broken, so I got a little behind.
July 28, 2014
As it turns out, I wasn´t supposed to Skype you (oops). (Note from Mom: We had an unexpected 5-minute Skype with Connor the day before, after he lost his wallet.) I called the assistants when the financer didn´t answer his phone, and he said we could call. What he meant, and what I misunderstood, is that Elder Biggs was supposed to call, not me. The financer, the assistant, and President Obeso all called me individually to tell me I wasn´t supposed to call you.
For those of you wondering what I´m talking about, I lost my wallet yesterday. It had lots of important stuff inside, including my personal debit card, the debit card of the mission, my Chilean identification (a HUGE pain to replace), my California driver’s license, and my temple recommend. I thought I had permission to call my family, but Elder Biggs (part of a senior companionship) said that his phone doesn´t reach the United States, so I called with Skype (because my family needed to block the debit card before losing all my savings).
Today, we went to the caribineros—Chilean police. (Speaking of which, you ought to look up photos of caribineros online. They look really military and they make a lot of money.) My wallet was there, but the debit cards and money was not there. I think there were 6000 Chilean pesos and $100 US dollars inside :(
Starting this week, I´m going to train a new gringo named Elder Strait (Ithought it was Elder Strike, which would have been a much cooler name, but I suppose Elder Strait will have to do). We´ll see how it goes.
-Elder Connor Christopherson
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July 21, 2014
Maia, I heard you had a funnel cake. Those are SO yummy :D The usually sold them at our marching band competitions :) Chile has something similar called calzones rotos, but the funnel cakes are bigger and better :D
LaRee, I talked with a librarian this week and we talked about family history. She says that it´s helped a lot looking for people on Facebook and asking if they have the same ancestor. You´re able to send messages to people even if you´re not "friends."
The man we’ve been teaching is doing really well :D He´s really humble. In Sunday school, I think he´s the only one who studies the material before the class, so he gets so excited and you can tell it´s just revelation after revelation with him.
We´ve been studying the Old Testament, which has a lot of stories that you don´t really hear that often but that are really awesome. Elijah called down many miracles. I especially like the story when he challenges the priests of Baal to call down fire from their false god. It´s epic! I wish we could do stuff like that in the mission but the world´s a little different now. Back then miracles were more well-known and common, like in the New Testament when there´s a pool which an angel touched every once in a while and the first person to enter the water after the angel touched would get healed. If something like that happened today, it would be all over YouTube. The question in that day wasn`t if there was a god, the question was who was this god and what did he expect of us. They already knew that manna would fall from the sky and that they were being guided by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. What they doubted is who to worship. It`s funny how the trials are different in different time periods.
I´m learning so much about the importance of expressing love for one another. You can´t just love people, you have to let your love show. I´ve been bad at that lately.
We´ve done a lot of service this week outside of Panguipulli (gui is pronounced "gee" where the g is like the g in "goat." Two l´s together in spanish is like a" y" in English (unless you´re from Argentina in which case you pronounce it like "sh.") There´s a really nice family that has a lot of space to clear up of fallen trees and long thorny vines. The thorny vines (called Mura) cut me a lot and I look like I got in a fight with a cat. Part of the family is a young couple. He was telling stories from his mission and realized I had heard several of these stories before. I think he served in the same mission as Brett Brushke (Paraguay) with the same mission president.
I love you all very much :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson
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July 14, 2014Well, another hard week, but that`s how one grows. Is it bad if I say I have a hard week? People tell me I shouldn´t, but I´ve got to contrast the many wonderful weeks I`ve had with some tough ones, right?
I´m learning this week so much about the importance of prayer.... like, really, it´s something I need to do more frequently in my head before making decisions because it helps so much. I´ve been painfully humbled and I´m understanding more and more of my own dependence in our Heavenly Father. I want to improve how meaningful my prayers are by asking questions, specific questions, and by devoting more of my prayers in gratitude. Before I was doing about 50% 50% between thanks and asking for blessings (for me or others). I´m trying to improve.
It was hard to find Rolando this week. We kept showing up to his house to find no one there, then on Friday we found him and we ate turkey neck. It`s a bit boney, but it was yummy too. We sang lots of hymns together. I love Rolando! He is so easy to make laugh and he´s very humble in the way he teaches (sometimes he accompanies us in lessons).
We also got to attend a mission call opening of a guy named Felipe. He lives about 15-20 minutes from Panguipulli in bus and was baptized a little over a year ago. He is always willing to put other plans aside to accompany us as we teach. There were a lot of people in their house for the opening, several of them who were not members. It ended up being like a devotional, with prayers, hymns, and several testimonies (they asked all the missionaries and returned missionaries to bear their testimonies). I used the opportunity to teach about the Restoration and I bore my testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really did call Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. It was really cool :D Felipe was called to serve in Peru, but I don`t remember the name of the city.
Love you all, :D