June 23, 2014
Where do I start? I`ll start with before the transfer. Our last week-and-a-half in Colón felt like jumping out of an airplane crash. We had very few appointments, and the ones we had fell through. We had one family of investigators tell us never to come back, along with a family of less-active members who also told us to never come back. The ward members are really sad that they`re taking the elders out.
A recent convert, Manuel, who isn`t well known by the ward because he only attends sacrament meeting, had to go to the intensive care unit over the weekend because water was getting around his heart (he already has to go to the hospital 12 hours a week for dialysis). There was a big fire in our sector on our last day there. We had a little extra time before an appointment, so we passed by that direction. As it turns out, the fire was a house burning down... Manuel´s house. There were tons of firefighters, policemen, and spectators. Right in the middle of it was Manuel and his mom and his aunt (it`s his aunt`s house). It was totally black inside of the house. Needless to say, his week was a bit rough. And I thought OUR week was difficult.
My new companion is Elder Petrovelli. He`s from Argentina and it shows in his accent. They pronounce their "y" like a long "sh". (ie: How shoo doin´? Shesterday I saw shoo shelling at shour pet shak.) Something like that. He thinks a lot differently than I do. He acts and works differently too. Our strengths and weaknesses are very different. He didn`t do too well in school, but is really good at soccer (fútbol) and was paid to play in Argentina. The World Cup is absolutely huge for him. He`s really up front about things. He asks people right away if they`re going to come to church (which is much more effective than I`d think) and he gets along well with people. I`m learning a ton from him. It`s a good way to analyze the way I do things in comparison and really see why I do certain things as opposed to another. I´ll change that which doesn`t have a good reason.
And our investigator with a baptismal date just almost kissed me. She`s twelve. She just saw us in the internet café and when she shook my hand she started moving in close, but then noticed that I wasn`t, so she backed and stayed composed. That`s very normal in Chilean culture to kiss friends in the cheek (women and women, men and women, but not men and men). It`s always awkward explaining to people that we missionaries can´t. Several of them get offended. Just one of those things.
I love my new town, Panguipulli! The branch is absolutely awesome and I`m now part of the branch choir. We go from house to house, family to family, and almost none of our appointments or plans fall through. It`s very different from working in Puerto Varas.
I`m out of time and I still have a ton I want to say. I love reading all your emails. I absolutely HAVE to talk about a guy named Rolando next week. Pray that he finds a job. I love that guy.
Tommy, I'll try my very best not to stab myself with utensils, but I can't make any promises.
I love you all :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson