Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Week in Chile!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Hey, sorry I didn´t email yesterday! We had Zone conference in Puerto Montt yesterday. It was super sweet!! President Rappleye and his wife spoke, also Elder Zaballos from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy spoke. It was super cool to be there with a bunch of the missionaries. I love talking with the natives! They are funny. There is an Elder here named Elder Murayari from Peru. His Spanish is significantly easier to understand than the Chileans. Dave Clarke will have no problem with the Spanish in Peru. Anyway, I was talking to Elder Murayari for like 10 minutes. He doesn´t speak any English. After about 10 minutes of talking with him he told me not to worry, that I would learn Spanish if I learned the alphabet. I said to him, "elder, I have been speaking to you in Spanish for the last 10 minutes, and you understood what I was saying." Then he got super embarrassed and realized that I was right, and that I was actually communicating to him in Spanish. That is the mind set of all of the native speakers though. They automatically assume that us gringos can´t speak Spanish.
Before I forget, I want to say that I didn´t forget Jordan´s birthday... I just forgot to mention it in my last email. So... Happy Birthday, Brother! Also, Mom I forgot to wish you and Brett a happy anniversary on the 11th. It is the 11th, right? Anyway, Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids!
We do have a few investigators right now, but things are pretty slow. We are teaching an older guy named Antonio. And guess what!? He came to church on Sunday. How sweet is that?? Getting people to church here is difficult because most people don’t live very close to the chapel. But he came! We are going to keep working with him. We are also teaching a couple. Their names are Hugo and Eduvges. We found him one day when we stopped and asked him if we could help him with his firewood. He said no at first, but we insisted that we should help him. We helped him for like an hour, and then set up a cita to go back and teach him. We were teaching them the other day, and we ran into the same problem that we usually run into. These people are Evangelicos (Evangelicals). This means that they agree with everything that we say. They immediately accepted Joseph Smith as a prophet. But here is the problem: Eduvges also thinks that she is a prophet and that she receives revelation for her neighbors and that she has visions about all of the natural disasters in the world. This is the big problem we run into here. Almost nobody is Catholic. They are all Evangelicals. They all either want to Bible Bash with us, or they simply can´t understand that they are not prophets or that their pastors are not prophets.
The hair? It is definitely human hair. Haha. The package you send needs to be through the US Postal service. There can be candy in it, but just not Beef Jerky or Raisins or any kind of fruit. Basically the Chilean customs people don´t want their food to be contaminated. And you can just send my old backpack. Or you don´t have to send it at all. There is a store in the next city over that sells backpacks; either way. And also I am about 2 hours away from the mission home and don´t ever go there. On p-day we go and chill with some of the members. I always write a letter to Makayla and clean the house.

Hey, gotta run!

Elder Warren

PS. Congrats to Makayla for getting accepted to BYU!!!! You are the coolest!! I am writing you a letter later. Soon you will have three letters on their way to you!

"The Wood Pile" 

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Monday, February 18, 2013


I was pretty happy to get your email here today! I am sitting in some run-down little place on a computer that is as old as I am! It seriously is the definition of a dinosaur. This place is really ghetto, and the computer has probably every virus known to man. I don´t dare try to plug my camera in here because I am afraid it will get a virus too.

To answer some of your questions: We do not have a computer in our log cabin. We do have a phone, well, Elder Brindley has a phone. He is the district leader, so he keeps track of some other companionship’s in the district. He and I get along pretty well. He is a very nice guy, like super nice. But he is a little bit socially awkward. Like, I can tell that he really gets uptight talking to people. He gets super uncomfortable when we are eating lunch with the members. He is just.. a little awkward. So, we are the king of awkward moments here in Llanquihue. I don´t have the conversational Spanish to save us from these awkward moments. So I kind of sit there and smile. It is actually kind of funny to me. Also, the only thing that really bothers me about him is the way that he chews his food. But the way everyone chews their food, bothers me. But on average, I think that he chews each bit of food 28 times before he swallows it. This is including soup! Who chews their soup like that?! It contributes to the awkward moments because someone speaks to us and he holds up his finger as if to say, ¨"Just a second while I finish chewing this.¨ when in reality it means, "you might as well sit there for a few minutes, because I need to chew my jello 26 more times before I swallow it." Haha. It adds to the awkward moments for sure. He is nice, though. He is from Minnesota.

I told you about Mamita. She is a member and we go over to her house almost every day for lunch. She is super nice. She makes.... food. Is it good? Sometimes. The problem with the food here is that they eat a lot of stuff that I don´t like. Like Mayonesa (Mayonnaise). They put that on almost everything that they make here. They put it on their potatoes, rice, meat, salad, and everything else. They also eat a lot of guacamole, which I don´t like. They also eat tomatoes on everything, which I don´t really like either. Also, they eat hardboiled eggs... which I really don´t like. But, I eat all of it. It is good that mamita (her name is Rosa) is not in the room when we are eating usually, because I pretty much gag on it all. But in time, I will learn to like it all. Oh!? Were you asking what a mamita is? Mamita literally means "little mama¨". That is what she is. Also, I will inform you, that I have yet to eat a meal without the Chilean national condiment. Hair!! There is ALWAYS hair in the food; without fail, every single time. It is... gross. haha.

Well, I bought a new umbrella today for like 10 dollars. It is a little bit chanta (cheap), so we will see if it lasts. They say it is summer in Chile? What a lie! Maybe in the North! Here we wake up in the cabin and it is 48 degrees! It is freaking cold here! It is about 60 during the day, but our cabin is always cold. We don´t have central heating or anything, so we have to light fires. Here is the catch with the fires: we aren´t allowed to use mission funded firewood to light fires until May 1st. So it is going to be cold here for a while. I sleep with a sweater and a hat on.

Feet problems: Everyone here has problems with their feet. Me? I am no exception to this rule. I have huge blisters still. I have some kind of foot fungus that is pretty common for missionaries to get, and I have an ingrown toe nail that is also very common for missionaries to get. It is all okay, though. I will continue to endure. I am tough... sort of.

Yeah... I would explain to you what Chile is like... but I can´t. People here are… interesting. We always get followed by drunken people. They try to share their alcohol with us... or something like that. Old women try to kiss us in the street. (Don’t worry, Makayla, I have perfected the side step.) Haha. They also shout some pretty interesting things at us like, "Hey Sexy!” which is uncomfortable. I am easily the tallest person here in Llanquihue; I can´t even stand up straight in the houses of some of the members.

Well, I gotta wrap this up here. If you want to send me a package, you can send it to the address i gave you. It takes three weeks to get here. Don´t put beef jerky or raisins or anything in it, because they will open it before I ever see it. If you wanted to send me anything, I would request the thermals that I sent home in a package. I didn´t think it would be that cold here right now. I would also suggest maybe a small back pack and a sweat shirt? I would say put money on my card... but the city I am in is not big enough, so they don´t take cards most of the places here. You don´t have to send a package, though. I am doing just fine here.

Also, keep strong, Mamma. Life is tough sometimes. You are a strong lady. Occupy your time with good things. Read some good books. Just keep busy, that is the key to not getting depressed.

Love, Elder Warren

A Missionary Blister :-((

McKay's Log Cabin in Llanquihue, Chile

Monday, February 11, 2013

Naci en Llanquihue

Monday, February 11, 2013 

Well, there wasn´t an email to read from you today. Maybe you were busy or something. No hay nadie que sepa. (nobody knows.). You can send me emails, you know! Don’t send dear elders anymore, because I won’t see them for three weeks. My pday is Monday, so it would be best if you sent emails before Monday. Sunday would probably be a good day. You can email me more than once, as well. I will just read them all at once. Also, anyone can email me. Tell Makayla that. She can email me, I just can’t email her directly back. But I can respond in my email to you!

Well... I am definitely NOT in America anymore. Imagine the most ghetto place you have visited in your life... and it is probably nicer than where I live. I live in a city called Llanquihue (pronounced yawn-key-way). I live in a log cabin with mi compañero, Elder Brindley. I always dreamed of being a mountain man, and my wildest dreams have come true. Why? Because I live in a log cabin and chop firewood every day. It is pretty legit.

Things are… "going" here. The work is a little slow. We don´t have a ton of investigators. We walk probably 10 miles a day. We live at the top of the city, and it is like a 45 minute walk down to the bottom of the city where we have most of our lessons. Do I have huge blisters from all of this walking? You better believe it. Have I already broken out the anti-fungal cream because my feet are always wet? Most definitely. Have I already gotten sunburned because it was sunny the first few days? Yes and my face is peeling. Have I been soaked head to toe in the rain? Yep. I have, multiple times. I need to buy a new umbrella. The little one I have is already not making the cut. Do I already have scoliosis from carrying all of my books in a shoulder bag? Probably. A shoulder bag wasn´t the best idea. Have I already had my books and scripture’s soaked from being out in the rain with my shoulder bag? Yes, more than once. This whole being wet all the time is going to take some getting used to.

There are wild dogs everywhere in the streets here. Literally, everywhere. They roam in packs and they hate us. They absolutely hate everything about us. Have I been chased by a dog here? Yes. I have; several times every day. What do I do about it? I hit them with my umbrella or throw a rock at them. My companion says that he has been bitten a few times by the dogs. When I get home, I probably will give Hazel the cold shoulder for all of the poor experiences with her kind.

The Spanish is actually going a little better than I thought it would. People speak really fast, but most of the time I can catch the main theme of what they are saying. My companion tells everyone that I am fresh from the US, and they say "oh, el no entiende nada." That kind of gets old. I usually tell them that I can understand them and then they feel really bad because I understood that they were talking about me. I had to get up and introduce myself in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I receive a lot of compliments about my lack of an accent. The members don´t believe me when I tell them I got to Chile 5 days ago because they can´t tell when I speak Spanish. I don´t have a gringo accent like most gringo missionaries do. They say that they can understand me really well because I sound like a Latino when I speak Spanish. That was my goal when I decided to read El Libro de Mormon en voz alta. My companion decided that he would try it because he has been here for a year and a half and he has a really bad gringo accent. I don´t think he likes it that people compliment me on my lack of an accent all the time.

It was really nice to be able to talk to you ladies on the phone the other day. That seems like forever ago, but it was only one week. Talking to you at first was a little weird. Using a phone was weird. After you went to your appointment, I probably talked to Makayla for over an hour. That only killed a small portion of our massive layover, but I definitely enjoyed that.

Well, I guess I will tell you about the food here. I don´t think that I am going to get fat. We eat breakfast on our own at the cabin. I usually have Life cereal with warm milk. Why warm milk? Because apparently milk doesn´t need to be refrigerated here... which is weird. For Almuerzo, we go to our mamítas house. She makes us food Tuesday-Friday. On Saturday we eat with a member and the same on Sunday. The members do our laundry for us.. which is kind of nice. We wouldn´t have time to do it ourselves, and there really isn´t a laundry mat close to here. We eat a lot of rice and such. I have had a few completos. We don´t eat a ton, and we walk a ton. So.. I don´t believe weight gain will be an issue.

Did you get the letter from me from the mission president? With the address?

Casilla 7-0
Osorno Los Lagos, Chile

Tell Makayla she can send letters there.

I got to go now, so I will wrap this up by telling you I am doing just fine!

Love, Elder Warren

ps. tell Kathryn Maddix that is a picture of the super bowl party we had with her food!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Three days left!!!

Friday,  February 01, 2013
Hey mom!
I haven't heard from you this week! I hope everything is going well. I got a package in the mail yesterday, but I can't pick it up until 11:00 today. I have a feeling that it might be from you.. but I don't really know. I guess that I will find out.
Did Makayla give you my flight plans? I hope she did... because I can't really remember them off of the top of my head right now. I know that I leave the MTC at four in the morning on Monday. We fly to Los Angeles. We have a five hour layover in Los Angeles!!! How crazy is that. I think that I am there between 8-1:30, so I will be calling sometime in that time frame. So... keep your phone close by and make sure that Makayla is right there the whole time. Deal? I already bought my phone card. Guess how many minutes? 500! I doubt I will be able to talk the entire time, but I should be able to talk to you lovely ladies for a while. :) After Los Angeles, we fly for 14 hours to Santiago. In Santiago we have a three hour layover, and then we fly to Osorno. So it will be like... 26+ hours of travel. I will be the bearded wonder when I meet my mission president, because I won't have a chance to shave the whole time I am traveling! haha.
I finally met the Osornites!!! Haha. That is what all the other missionaries going to my mission call themselves. I knew that there were seven of them here somewhere, and I finally met all of them on Wednesday! We will all be traveling together. They all seem like really nice guys! They were all pretty friendly. They kind of acted like I was the long lost sheep, haha. They knew from day one that I was there somewhere in the MTC, and they always wondered who I was. It will be good to travel with them. Well, hopefully. They all know eachother really well because they have pretty much spent every hour of every day together for the last nine weeks. They are all in the same district, and they all live in the same dorm. So it will be a challenge for me because I will still be kind of like the outsider. That is okay, though, because I will just win them over with my smile (Haha... I have been wearing my retainer every day! Who would have ever guessed that would happen??).
This week has been a good one, and it has really flown by! We have been just as busy as ever! Our classes haven't been as productive because everyone is just anxious to leave! My Spanish teacher sent me a package this week! It was full of some pretty awesome cookies! How nice is that?! Also, I live on the same floor as a kid from my Spanish class in high school! Elder David Stoker! He just got here on Wednesday. He is going to Argentina. It was cool to see him. I love seeing all of the kids from school here! There are a bunch of them. I see Tyler Belliston around sometimes. I talked to him yesterday, and he is leaving for Iowa on Tuesday. He just barely got here! Lucky guy! Oh!! Dave Clarke sent me a letter! I read it last night! What a stud of a guy. Peru will be lucky to have that kid and his winning smile!
Well... I have a confession to make. I broke a rule here at the MTC. Wanna know what it was? Well, the rule is that you aren't allowed to dunk the basketball during gym. I got so excited on Wednesday because it was my last gym day that I dunked the basketball!! Haha. And let me tell you, it was a dunk to remember! I threw it down like I was playing in the all-star game! It was actually pretty funny, and news traveled around our Zone like wild fire. I have random Elders coming up and calling me Elder Duncan! I didn't get in trouble or anything for dunking it. The gym supervisor was pretty impressed, actually. He just told me that I shouldn't do it again. I explained to him that I wouldn't, because I didn't have gym again before I left the MTC. He was really nice and he actually thought it was pretty funny.
I got all of my stuff handed over to Wendy Jones yesterday! Hopefully my bags will be light enough now. I think they should be fine. She told me that Nate gave his farewell. Did you go? I heard from her and from Makayla that it was pretty awesome! I am so bummed that I am missing him here at the MTC by only two days! It would have been awesome to see him! Nick is finally gone and in Tahiti!! I saw him a million times right before he left. He came and found my classroom and we took pictures. I didn't have my camera, so you need to ask his mom to send you the pictures of us when she gets them. We hugged each other and I told him that he better be with you at the airport when you come to pick me up in two years! He said he would make sure that you took him with you!
Well, I am almost out of time... so I gotta type quick. This week has been really weird. It is the strangest feeling thinking that you are spending your last few days in the US. I have been a little nervous all week. I have been nervous about the flight. I have been nervous about my spanish. I have been questioning whether I know enough to be a good missionary. I have been nervous about meeting my trainer. I have been nervous about that a lot, actually. I hope he is a good one! I have been wondering about if I will be a good missionary or not. Bottom line... I have been a little stressed this week about all of this. But I went to the temple this morning. There is this huge painting of Christ in the temple that I was sitting there looking at. While I was looking at it, my anxiety just melted away. The thought came into my head, "Don't worry, McKay. Just have faith in me." I was overwhelmed with just a fantastic feeling of peace. I looked at the picture and I remembered who I represent. I represent Jesus Christ. I have been called to do His work, and He is going to take care of me. I am not nervous anymore to head down to Chile. I am pumped! I am gonna go down there to invite everyone to come unto Christ and to slay sin!! I can't wait!
I love you, Momma! I will talk to you on Monday!
Elder Warren

Superbowl Party at the MTC!!!???