Sunday, November 23, 2014

 Saltos de Petrohue


November 17, 2014
Kinda super super squished for time today. It´s ´cause we went to Saltos de Petrohue, which had a lot more water than the last year I went. It was cloudy, so you couldn´t see the volcano, but it was still pretty :)
Very interesting the difference in how I felt the first and second times I went there. The first time, I was kinda depressed, had a companion I only sort of got along with, and Spanish was still difficult. Going to the Saltos was like a therapy to keep me breathing. Today I went as a seasoned Elder returning to a nice place, but perfectly content to continue working in this glorious work.
Max, nice one with the upside down controller.
Maia, nice one with the chicken pillows.
LaRee, nice one with the great new job.
It´s been a wonderful week! I only saw the subject line on Tommy´s email, but it sounds like he had a really great week too. Speaking of which, Tommy, do you have IPads in your mission? We´re always dreaming of one day having IPads like the USA missionaries.
We have lots of people in teaching right now who we can visit regularly and several of them are actually making progress. We taught 2 or more lessons almost every day this week, which is SOOOO nice! Several of them are children between 9 and 11 with parents who are either not members or who have been less active. President Obeso won´t let anyone under 17 years old be baptized unless there´s at least one active member who lives with them. We´ve made it clear to the adults that they´ll need to make some progress and they´re progressing :D

These children are quite remarkable. I´ve taught children before, but they´ve been really distracted or simply didn´t understand, but these children are really spiritually mature. We were talking about Christ and the Atonement and an 11 year old pulled out her scriptures and showed us Article of Faith number 3 without us asking anything. Several of them are already in the habit of reading the scriptures every day (something that many adult members are neglecting) and one of them marks them with a different color for every topic.

We invited the son of a lady who´s not a member (the grandma´s active) to pray about José Smith and he told us that he did and he felt in his heart that he was a prophet. Honestly, there´s a really great group that´s about to enter the youth program of Rahue Alto.

Elder Nelson was also wonderful, but I´ll have to talk about that next week, ´cause I´m dead out of time. CHAO!!!
-Elder Connor Christopherson

November 10, 2014
They changed the band uniforms. Mish.
Sorry I left my camera in the house. I actually do have photos to send, but they´ll have to wait till next week.
We had zone conference this week :D President Obeso pushed them all to the beginning of the month because ELDER RUSSEL M. NELSON IS COMING :D An elder in the office told me he arrives today, even though the conference isn´t until Wednesday. I wonder what he´ll be doing tomorrow.
The zone conference was very good. My favorite part is that we watched a video that I´ve already seen where a talk by President Eyring and another by Elder Holland are sort of intertwined together along with videos showing the Atonement of Christ. It´s really good!

Hna. Obeso isn´t happy that several missionaries don´t do their half hour of exercises in the morning, but I´ve been doing them :D They also want us to all have outlines to present every lesson in 15, 30, and 45 minutes (those instructions came from Elder Viñas). I kinda flaked and didn´t get them written down, maybe because I DO think about better ways to teach the lessons. I feel like lots of people see missionary work as teaching lessons, but missionaries teach people, not lessons. I don´t know. We´ll see how it goes. I still have to get those done.

I guess you don´t really see the paperwork part of missionary work. There are lots of little bureaucracy stuff like calculating our monthly budget for our housing, transportation, and stuff like that. Every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday I´ve got to talk with all the missionaries in my sector and ask a bunch of information. Then I ask about the investigators and see what I can do to help. There´s a certain formula I´m supposed to follow, but I don´t like the way it´s made and am going to make my own today. Kinda a strength and a weakness of mine: I don´t like sticking to the way it´s always been done if I think there´s a better way. I´m very strictly obedient with things like rules, but as far as procedural things go, I don´t like following the beaten path.
We´ve been teaching lots of lessons. The weird part is that more than half of our investigators are children younger than 12 years old. There are lot´s of part member families here who have kinda neglected getting their children baptized. We try to make it clear to these families that we will not baptize them until at least one adult member of the family is active in the church. Our most promising investigator is named Juan. His wife´s a less active member (she lives 100 yards from the chapel) and his son´s going to recieve his mission call this week or the next. Juan Carlos was a caribinero and now works as a guard in the countryside. His weekends shift backwards a day every week, so with his current job, he can only attend church two Sundays for every seven. He reads the Book of Mormon out loud almost every night, but still hasn´t recieved an answer as he prays about it. My companion thinks it´s because he knows that if he joins the church, he´ll have to give up smoking, and needs the faith to do that if he´s going to recieve an answer. We´re going to focus on that in our next appointment tommorow.
I love you all! I´m very excited about Elder Nelson :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 3, 2014

Lots of technical difficulties this week, so I'll probably only be able to give bare bones today.

Business first.
1. The package with the flip flops DID arrive. Muchas gracias :D

2. Could you include Marinne Rhodes in the emailing list? (and the Mittleman twins as well and Hayden Blanchard when he leaves) Hope I didn´t forget anyone.

3. This came in an announcement this week: “Missionaries should submit Social Security numbers on the Missionary Portal. If missionaries do not have their number or have forgotten it, parents may call Missionary Medical at 1-800-777-1647 or 1-801-578-5650 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Mountain Standard Time to report the Social Security number by telephone”. Could y´all do that por favor?

4. You asked what to put in the Christmas package. There´s already candy in Chile that is much cheaper than candy that´s been sent in a pricy package. Don´t worry about the candy. If there´s anything I need, it´s the pair of jeans I asked for and new pair of shoes (just in case the ones I have don´t make it till the end).
5. MAX!!! HOLY MOLY YOU LOOK DIFFERENT! It´s like he was put in the taffy stretching machine in Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

Someone asked about Halloween. They DO celebrate Halloween in Chile. Well... sort of. It´s a rather controversial topic. Some are really for it and some are really against it. There are a lot of protostant churches here that are very opposed to it, because it´s a pagan holiday that originated from people going door to door threatening people to sacrifice stuff to a false god. Apparently it´s the most important day on the Satanic calendar. It´s also sort of an imported holiday. It´s seen as a gringo holiday being injected into Chilean culture. It´s only started becoming popular in Chile for in the last few years. Few houses were decorated, but there were a few in the newer communities. There were also a lot more trick-or-treaters in the newer communities and very few in the older ones.
Wow... there went my time. Love you all :D I actually took a few pictures, so I´ll have those sent next week.
I love you all :D :D :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson