Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nuevo Companero

April 22, 2013


Wow… I have a lot to say today!  A lot of things have happened here this past week! I’m pretty pumped, actually.  I don´t know why, but I am just excited today. I feel... energized.

I will be having a new companion on Wednesday.  His name is Elder .... well, actually he is from Argentina so you say it .....  That is how they pronounce the double L sound.  I talked to him for like an hour on the bus today because we went on a zone trip again.  He has been working in the Colon Sector of Puerto Varas.  He is a really nice guy. He doesn´t speak a single word of English, though.  That will be a nice change of pace.  Elder .... and I did well speaking Spanish sometimes, but other times it was just easier to talk to each other in English.  Besides that, I am funnier in English!  Haha.  But yeah, it will be different speaking Spanish all the time.  I think my Spanish is going to improve like crazy with him.  Hopefully I don´t develop his Argentine accent, though; because the Chileans don´t really like the Argentine missionaries.  Actually, they don’t like the Peruvians or the Bolivianos either. Yeah, but he will be here Wednesday and at least for the next six weeks.

Elder .... is leaving to Chiloé.  Chiloé is a big island near Puerto Montt.  I think he is pretty excited to go there. (Hopefully not because he is sick of me!)  Anyway, I think I am going to miss that little guy. He has been a good companion and we have had some good times.  We did receive the packages!!! How legit! I gave him his half of the candy... and he has eaten like two pieces.  He likes to save things.  He still has the candy that his family sent him for Christmas.  Me? I ate mine and shared it with the familia Angel.

The zone trip today was pretty sweet!  We went to Saltos de Petrohue again.  Also, we went to Lago Todos los Santos.  We went to Laguna Verde, También.  Wow, southern Chile sure is a beaut!  Everything is so green. So green! I have a lot of pictures that I want to send to you, but this computer isn´t reading my camera for some reason.  I will send some good ones next week.  But anyway, we traveled with 23 other missionaries to do some good sight-seeing and to eat lunch.

So I have a legit story to tell you.  I was on an intercambio with Elder .... from Perú.  We were working here in Llanquihue and we went in to share with these Evangelico people.  They wanted to examine my bible.  So I whipped out my biblia y libro de mormón.  They started looking through my Book of Mormon to find the name José Smith.  As soon as they found it, they started yelling at us! Like… loud.  They were screaming at us and jumping up and down the whole time. They were asking us all kinds of stupid things and telling us that we were going to hell for preaching false doctrina a la gente.  We sat there and smiled at them (all three of them) while they did this. Just try and picture someone yelling at the top of their lungs.  Then they asked if they could pray with us.  We said sure. So they started praying... now try to imagine every scary movie you have ever seen about an exorcism.  That is what it was like.  It was really creepy.  They were legitimately trying to cast devils out of us with a lot of screaming and such.

So after we left there, I decided we were going to try and find this guy named Raul.  Now let me tell you his story quickly.  Raul was a total drunk that was living on the street.  We had seen him a few times and he wanted us to help him.  One day after not having seen him for about two weeks we saw him and didn´t recognize him. He had received a haircut and was wearing clean clothes.  He was Sober!  He told us that he had drank too much and ended up in the hospital after having some kind of heart attack.  His borracho drunk friend’s didn´t come to visit him in the hospital, but his wife did.  This was huge for him because she had kicked him out of the house and filed a restraining order against him.  But she let him go back home.  He told us all of this and told us to call him and set something up.  We tried calling a ton of times and he never answered.  We passed by his house a few times and he was never home.  One time we passed by and his vecino said that he wasn´t living there, that he was still a drunk in the street.  So we stopped passing by and thought Raul had been lying to us.

So, I am with Elder .... and I decided that we should go visit Raul.  We knock his door and he invites us right in!  We talked to him a little bit and found out that he has not had a single drink since he was in the hospital.  He is indeed living with his familia again.  And here is where the story gets legit--- He said, "right before you elders showed up I was sitting here wondering if God really cared about me. I was wondering if he loved me.  I wondered what evidence there was that he loved me.  Two minutes later, you elders knocked on my door.¨” Wow!!! What evidence that is that this really is God´s work.  We talked to him about prayer.  We invited him to pray with us in the lesson and he DID!  That never happens with anybody.  He said he wanted us to come back and teach his family! We have an appointment to visit them today.  Anyway... that is the story of Raul. The rest is still unwritten, but we are going to invite him to be baptized today.

I hope you are having a lovely week!  I really liked the packages. It is really nice of you to do that for me!  The BACKPACK!!! Ahh... I feel like a real missionary now that I have ditched the shoulder bag.  Totally sweet.  Adrienne has some cute kids! I show the picture to everybody and they all love DeShun´s hair.

Don´t worry about me, mom.  My toes are looking better.  I stopped soaking it in salt water and I just keep it clean and it looks a thousand times better.  It doesn´t hurt at all and it isn´t infected anymore.  The fleas... I hate them. But I am still working hard and focusing.  I am on track to finish the Book of Mormon again here pretty soon.  That will be three times on the mission, twice in Spanish and once in English.

Love you!!

Love, Elder Warren

Makayla… your email was a hit. Me gustó.  I will write you a letter today.  And... Elder Brindley isn´t a merleiver... (He doesn´t believe in mermaids... or Bigfoot.) Que triste

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cualquier Frio

 Chopping wood on P-day in the famous red shirt!!
 Elder Brindley and Elder Warren wielding a REALLY BIG axe!!
Some very big hands; dirty and blistering after wood chopping.

April 15, 2013

Hey mama!

There are some sweet pictures for you!  They pretty much describe what we do....which is chop wood!  I am getting pretty good at it.  I have developed some nice blisters on my hands from chopping, but I feel manly chopping wood.  We haven’t actually chopped our own wood yet... because we aren’t allowed to use it until May.  We chop wood for members of the branch. It is rather unfortunate that we can´t use our wood to start fires... because it is freezing in our cabin!  We consider it a warm day if it is 50 degrees in our cabin.  The other day it was in the 30s!! It is cold here! And we never have an opportunity to warm up because we leave our 39 degree house to go out and work in the freezing rain. I wear a beanie to bed, along with a scarf and my gloves! Studying when it is that cold is difficult! I shiver so bad that I can barely write in my journal! Oh well.  Two more weeks of this and then we can light fires! What a great day that will be.

As far as my toe goes... I think it looks a little better. It doesn’t hurt at all. The nail has grown out to the end of the toe, so it is no longer digging in.  I am with you, though, I don’t trust the doctors here at all. The guy didn’t even really look at my toe. He just saw that it was red and said that I needed to have the whole thing cut off.  I am still waiting to hear back from the mission nurse about what the mission doctor, who is an American, says about it.  I hate having to worry about this. It is a hassle, because we have to ask permission from everyone before we do anything. If we want to call the mission nurse, we have to ask permission from the Zone Leaders. If she doesn’t know something, she calls the mission doctor.  It is all just really complicated. I hope that this is the most serious problem I have here, because it is expensive and really inconvenient.  I don’t really know how much it will cost to cut the nail off.  I am kind of opposed to having it done, mostly because I don’t think it will really help.  The mission nurse said 18 mil, which is like 36 dollars. I don’t believe that for a second, because if the pills cost 100$... imagine what they would charge to numb my foot.  So I can’t really give a good estimate of how much it will cost.  When I talk to her I am going to ask her if it is even really necessary.

In other bright news... I discovered that I am allergic to the fleas.  Not only do they bite me, but the bites swell up like huge mosquito bites.  Just imagine having over 150 large mosquito bites on your right arm... and you will be imagining my right arm. It is really annoying.  I have Raid that I spray in the house every day before we leave, but that doesn’t seem to work.  All the members have lots of helpful suggestions of how to get rid of them.  They also recommended that I see a doctor about some kind of anti-alergico.  I would do that that...but it is all a complicated process and I would rather just be itchy than pay a ton of money for pills. They also said there is some kind of cream that I can buy that I can put on to relieve the itching.

This is the last week of my training.  That is pretty crazy, right?  I won’t get your package before Elder .... leaves, because The Zone Leaders were in our last district meeting, which means I won’t see them or any of my mail for three more weeks probably.  I would share it with him... but I won’t have any way to get the candy to him.  They have strict rules in our mission about sending mail to other missionaries in our mission.  Oh well.  My new companion will be happy to have some treats.

I love reading your email, Mom.  I miss you. I like hearing about how everything is going back at home.  It sounds like you are doing well and that you are happy!  I love the pictures that you send, too!  Keep pictures coming.  The members all ask to see pictures of my family.  I only have pictures of the dog and of Makayla. I think there is a place here to print pictures.  That will be our rule. I will send you pictures if you send me pictures.  Actually, I only send pictures if the place we are using internet doesn’t have a lot of viruses.

As far as the work goes... We are teaching a sweet guy named Marcelo.  We spend 15 minutes teaching him English, and 30 minutes teaching him the gospel.  I think right now he is a lot more interested in learning English, but we will get him eventually!  He is always very nice to us!  We also are working with some really less active people.  We went and watched some really good conference talks with them.  One guy, Mauricio, is totally legit!  He played basketball for the University of Concepción.  He is a referee for the professional basketball league!  All he ever wants to do is talk basketball with me. Haha. I told him if he was free one P-day that I would teach him a thing or two about how to play basketball.

Tonight we are going to do a family night with the Familia Retemal.  They are the coolest members in Llanquihue!  We are going to teach their teenage son how to use Preach My Gospel and we are going to make no bake cookies!  Too sweet!

Anyway, I gotta go to the grocery store. Tell Jordan he is a handsome devil.  Adrienne has a cute baby! Tell Brett hello!  Tell Hazel that I don’t really like her species, but she is still cute.

Love Elder Warren

Makayla--- Guess what!? Hay SIRENAS en Lago LLanquihue. Yep, that is right; Mermaids. Just thought you should know. And... If the coconuts are missing, half of everything is missing. Maybe I’m not allowed to send coconut flavored things. Who knows?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

La Conferencia General

April 8, 2013


Hey, it´s a dang good thing that you remembered and wrote me an email! Haha. I was actually in Puerto Varas earlier and checked my email to print off all of my letters and there wasn´t one from you yet! Haha. It’s okay. You have redeemed yourself. I got a nice email from Dave and two good ones from Makayla. Speaking of those two, I lucked out and got a letter (snail mail) from them both yesterday when I was in Puerto Varas! We just happened to pass by the Zone Leaders house when we were rounding up their investigators for conference. The letter from Dave was a homerun. He knocked it out of the park. Dave always comes through when it is big; enlightening me with all kinds of spiritual wisdom and power. And Dave: You couldn´t be one of the "homies" if you didn´t chill in the Provo MTC for at least awhile. It’s a blessing in disguise that you don´t have your visa yet. All of the "greats" passed through Provo: Nick, Me, Nate, and pretty soon Carter. So... eso. Find joy in the journey my friend! Makayla´s letter was about reading the scriptures, and it was also very good. It made me want to ponder more when I read the scriptures. Sometimes I am in the habit of just reading them, but there is power that comes when we ponder and then apply the scriptures into our lives. She is pretty sweet, isn´t she?

I am pretty dang pumped to hear that you watched every session of conference. I was thinking about you as I watched and I was hoping that you were watching too. People here do gather in the capillas to watch the sessions. Although, they could just stay at home and watch it on the internet. Well, I guess not all of them have internet. But we had to travel to be able to see it in English. We went to Puerto Varas and watched it with six other missionaries in English. It was SO good. Mother... Those prophets and apostles are the real deal! I hope you paid close attention. Here is my advice to you: Read a conference talk frequently. It doesn´t have to be every day, but at least once a week. And then apply it. Apply all the teachings of general conference to your life. Apply everything you learned and felt for the next six months, and then guess what will happen? You will be the happiest that you have ever been in your entire life. You will feel a sense of peace that you have never felt before. It is good to hear the words of the prophets, but we are not true Disciples of Christ and faithful members of the church unless we apply them. As a person who has made sacred covenants, it is your obligation and responsibility to apply everything those inspired men have taught. (And women, because Sister Dalton´s talk was pretty legit.) So... that is my challenge to you. And in six more months they will enlighten us with more. Will you be ready to apply the new teachings in six months if you haven´t applied the ones we just heard? Probably not. So get to it, Mama. :) I left conference pumped UP! We are so blessed to receive that kind of guidance, you know. I am motivated to take my game to a whole new level. This missionary is ready to step it up.

I am glad to hear you are doing well. I am doing well down here in Llanquihue. We spent a lot of time in Puerto Varas in the last week, and we will be going there again tomorrow. We were in Puerto Varas last week in the Emergency Room for a few hours. Don´t worry, I am not hurt. We went there because the mission has a contract with the Emergency Room and I went there to have them check my ingrown toenail. I learned two things there. One, that my toe is infected. Two, that I don´t really trust the Chilean doctors very much. Wanna know what he said I had to do? He said that I needed to be on complete bed rest for FIVE days with my foot elevated above my heart. That is what he prescribed to me. You better believe I was on the phone with the Mission doctor within five minutes asking him if I really needed to do that. He said no... And that elevating my foot would do absolutely nothing for me. He told me to soak my foot in salt water while I am studying and to put Neosporin on it twice a day. Also, I have to stick cotton balls under my toenail twice a day. He said that it should get better if I do that. Well, that and taking my anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory. That cost me a $100!! I am grateful we have always had insurance, because medication here is expensive! The mission should reimburse me for that. Also, if it doesn´t get better they are going to have to cut my toenail off. And I have to pay for that upfront… and I don´t really know how much it will cost. The mission will reimburse me for that, but it might be a good idea to have more money on my card to fall back on incase I don´t have enough cash. Do you think you could help me out by putting some money temporarily in my account just in case? This is all worst case scenario and shouldn´t actually have to happen. Anyway… I guess this is what happens when you clip your nails too short and then walk ten miles a day. Hopefully between all of my foot soakings and pills they won’t have to cut the nail off.

You asked about how long I would be in my area? I have been in Llanquihue for two cambios now. My training will be done in like two weeks. What will happen after that will be a mystery. More than likely Elder .... will be transferred and I will be here to direct the sector with a new companion. It would be pretty unusual for me to be transferred, but I guess it could happen. Something else they could do is split the sector and send one of us to one side of Llanquihue, and have the other stay where we are now. It is a possibility that I could train a new missionary, as well. There are a lot of possibilities... so I actually don´t really know what is going to happen or how long I will be here. I should be here for at least another cambio (six weeks). But I have heard of Elders only being in a sector for one cambio, and other Elders staying in a sector for seven months! Crazy, right?

Anyway... Love you! And tell Linda Gunther that her name in Spanish means beautiful. I always knew that, but I didn’t make the connection until I met a lady here named uberlinda... which means super pretty. That is un poco nada que ver… but oh well. Have a nice week!

Elder Warren

Makayla.... I have a picture with my very first letter from you! I write you a letter every week, but I don’t always get to send it every week because the post office seems to never be open. ¿Sea paciente, vale? Some weeks you may get no letters, but other weeks you might get two or three. Keep being awesome. Suerte con the housing situation!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Fools!!!

April 1, 2013

Hey Mama!

Today is April fool’s day!  I was going to tell you this long story about how I was being deported from Chile or something, but I decided that would be kind of a mean trick to tell you that.  I was going to use my story about how I got punched by a drunken guy as my April fool’s joke... but that one actually happened! Haha. Don´t worry, he wasn't trying to hurt me. We have a drunken friend that hangs out in front of our house usually.  We always talk to him.  He told me that he was a boxer on the weekends.  I told him that I didn´t believe him.  So he decided to prove it.  He just wound up showing me, but then hitting me really soft. Haha. He was pretty drunk. After he ¨hit¨ me, he felt really bad about it and started hugging me and telling me that he loved me. It is sad how addicted some of these people are to alcohol.  We talk to a lot of drunks because they are the only ones who want to talk to us at all.  They usually talk to us because they think that we will give them money.

Well... I wish I had good news about how things are going here in Llanquihue.  Things are tough.  Last week we only taught one lesson.  One lesson. We should be teaching ideally more than 20 lessons every single week.  The work is slow here.  If anything, things are getting worse and not better.  I am excited for my interview with President this week. It will be my first interview with him.  I am excited to hear his advice on what we should do.  Something needs to change here.  These people just really don´t like the missionaries.

Tomorrow I am going to be directing the sector!  I am a little nervous.  That means that Elder Brindley will be leaving to Puerto Varas and Elder Larsen the zone leader will come here. It is my responsibility to run the sector. He will be here with me for 24 hours.  I am excited to learn from him.  He is one of my favorite missionaries here. He is just a stud!

Easter was good.  The bunny didn´t come to visit us, unfortunately.  It is okay though.  We had a good day.  I studied out of Jesus the Christ. I usually don´t do that because I don´t have a copy of it in Spanish, but I made an exception because it was Easter.  Actually... we didn´t eat with a nice family.  We didn´t eat with a family at all.  We usually do on Sunday’s, but we didn´t receive an invitation yesterday.  It is okay though!  We went to Puerto Varas to the fancy grocery store and bought Macaronis con queso!  It is kind of funny, because before the mission I wouldn´t eat anything but Kraft macaroni and cheese. The only American brand they have here in Chile is Great Value, the Wal-Mart brand. In American Fork, that is kind of the cheap stuff.  Here, it is what all of the quico people eat (rich people).  Most people don´t buy Great Value because it is expensive and you have to go to a different city to get it.  But Yeah, Macaroni and Cheese for Easter dinner!

To answer your question about the money:  I am good on money for now.  I haven’t really purchased too many things.  I bought a few things that weren´t for me.  I bought Elder Brindley a cake for his birthday tomorrow.  I bought some other things for some other people.  But depending on what it is, it would be easier to just send money.  Well, to put it in my account at least.  I don´t have too many needs right now. I am doing well.  It hasn´t rained in a week, so it is like a miracle!

For breakfast I eat one fried egg, a peach, a banana, and some yogurt with granola.  I am working hard to be healthy.  Missionary’s don´t eat healthy because it is faster to just eat cookies and chips.  I don´t eat many of those, though.  I take the time to make a good breakfast.  I eat well.  My exercises?  You better believe I am doing them.  I usually do jumping jacks and things like that.  I do a lot of push-ups and sit ups! I am staying in good shape here.  I always listen to David Archuletta Christmas music in the morning while I work out. Haha.

I am glad to hear that you are having fun with your new kindle!  I wish I had spent more of my time reading.  Watching TV seems like such a waste of time now.  Hmm…I don´t have much time left to write this email... Tell Brett that I mentally wished him luck on his talk, because I didn´t forget. I am glad to hear that you supported Dave! Such a stud!  I have a lot of Peruvian Friends now from the mission, and I always think of Dave when I talk to them.  I wrote a letter to Nick!  I doubt he will get it, because the postal worker seemed really confused by the address.  Ask Nick’s mom if it is French Polynesia America, or French Polynesia Oceania.  Apparently they are different regions of French Polynesia.

Anyway, I love you mom!

Love, Elder Warren

P.S.  Tell Jan Stafford that I got her email.  She wanted to know if I got it.  And I printed the stories to read later.

P.P.S.  Kathryn Maddix didn´t want a shout out, but I really enjoyed her email.

Makayla... I should probably receive my first letter from you in the mail tomorrow! How neat is that!  Keep your head up! I have some... good things headed your way in the mail.  I have a feeling you should probably appreciate them. Just remember... What I think is funny is actually really Cheesy. You’re my favorite. Ever.

P.P.P.S... Tell Adrienne and her kids I say hello and they can expect a letter in about a month!