Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to Adrienne!

September 30, 2013


I want to start out by saying that I didn’t forget Adrienne´s birthday. I remembered, and she should be expecting a letter sometime soon.  Also, I am a little ticked off at the Post Office. They used to only charge me a dollar to send letters to the US. Now, it is more expensive every time I go! I have no idea why. I sent two letters today, and they charged me 10 dollars! Lame!

Anyway, it was a pretty good week down here. The best part was that it hasn´t rained in 10 days here!!! How sweet is that? I am happy about that. Working here is so much easier when it isn´t raining. We can just focus on working, and not on staying dry. So... that was good this week.

The investigator scene is looking pretty good. We have quite a few people that are reading the Book of Mormon, which is excellent. We are still teaching Claudia (English Professor). She informed us that when she was reading the Book of Mormon the other day, she felt like it was written specifically for her. She is progressing. We invited her to come with us to the baptism of the Hermanas and she came, which is fantastic! The Hermana’s had an investigator get baptized on Saturday. He is an old guy. Don´t ask me how I feel about it, because the guy has only come to church once in the last three months. He is already inactive. But apparently the Hermana’s got authorization from President Rappleye to have the baptism. It is a little frustrating to me. We have a list of all the people who have been baptized in the last 2 years here in the branch. There are like 15 people on the list. Guess how many of them come to church? Only two. It just doesn´t really make sense to me to baptize people who don´t have testimonies.

Sorry... Venting a little bit. Anyway, back to the investigators. Marcelo is doing well. He came to church yesterday. The struggle with him is being able to teach him frequently during the week. We have only been able to find him once a week recently. We need more frequent contact with him to help him progress more. Alexandra wants to get baptized and the strike in the Registro civil ended!!! Now we are going to plan a wedding and see if we can make this baptism happen. She is awesome. She reads the Book of Mormon every day and marks all kinds of stuff in the book. She is really progressing nicely.

To answer your question, I will know Friday or Saturday the cambios. We have cambios on the 9th. One of us is leaving for sure, but we have no idea who because I have only been in Villarrica one semana longer than Elder Aburto. So we will see what happens.

And General Conference is going to be legit!!! I am so pumped. So pumped! It isn´t televised here like in Utah. We have to go to the chapel in Ancahual to watch it through satellite. But we gringos here in Villarrica are going to watch it on the internet to be able to see it in English. It is going to be great. Hey, I am going to challenge you to do something. This week, you need to pray. You need to fast, and you need to think of questions, questions that you have in your life. Maybe you need help with something. Maybe you need to hear something in particular, or you are looking for an answer or a sign from Heavenly Father in your life. Write down your questions. And I PROMISE you that you will receive the answers and the counsel that you are looking for during the sessions of general conference. I have my questions ready, and I am inviting all of Volcan 2 to do the same. Powerful stuff.

I have been keeping in touch with some friends and receiving emails from some people, too. Mom... I don´t think I remember sometimes that other people read my blog. haha. Today I received an email from a person that I didn´t know. She is from the Philippines!  Here is what she said to me today:

"Hi! My name is Jen from Philippines. I was reading your blog that I think your mom made? And I like all the sharings and stories that you made there, I'm preparing to serve a mission and I kinda feel really nervous to put my papers in, so I was looking for any mission blogs to read just you know, to have that inspiration and motivation, and I found yours. 

It's really great to read missionary experiences not just to get an idea on what will happen during a mission but to get inspired by what missionaries are really doing, their purpose and the focus they are giving in their work.

So I do lots of work with missionaries in our area and attending ward missionary training as part of my preparation, and thru lots of missionary work I learned to be humble, to listen than to speak, to be flexible and all so it was a great part of experience. And reading your blog it's like a novel that I really like to read and read knowing that you enjoy your missionary work and you got the love for your investigators.

Well Elder that's it, I know you're doing great in your mission and always remember no matter what NO EFFORT IS EVER WASTED! Never give up on all the investigators you have, trust God's time! Take care! :)" 

----- Who knew!!? People actually read my blog! Haha. I am glad that people find it interesting and hopefully it helps people. That made my day today to receive that nice email. :)

I am keeping in touch with my people who are on missions. Carter is training! Nate trained someone! Dave is training! And Nick is kicking some butt out there in the ocean. Bora Bora? How great is that!  And Sister Flinders as well! She is alive and doing well in the MTC! Haha. She is such a nice girl, you know. She sounds so excited and enthusiastic about serving, which is fantastic. She is going to do great things up there.

Momma, you need to go and try empanadas! Baked and fried! They are great! The most popular kinds are Pino (meat and onions) or queso (cheese). Get yourself on over to Pantrucas and try them. That is as typical Chilean as you can get! They are really good!  They also have fruit empanadas, which is basically like a turnover.

Are you really going to send ties? Haha. You are funny. If you are really going to send them, also send another shirt I can wear on P-day. I think almost all of the pictures of me are me wearing the red plaid shirt. Haha.

Hey, I love you. Be good. Read your scriptures. Pray, and ENJOY general conference. You better watch every minute of it!

Elder Warren

I went swimming... sort of.

September 23, 2013

Hey Mom!

How are you doing? How was your week? I am glad to hear that you made a turkey in the crockpot. I miss being able to eat your good food. The food here... is unhealthy. Haha! Even the salad, because they dump half a bottle of oil on the salad.

This week was a different one, than like I was describing last week. The 18th, 19th, and 20th we didn´t have permission to go out and work like normal. So on the 18th; we went to the branch activity in Ancahual in the morning. We ate empanadas and played traditional Chilean games. Later, we went to the activity in Volcan. We ate more empanadas there and we played basketball. You better believe that I brought the American flare to the Traditional Chilean Festivals. Haha. I like playing basketball with Chileans... mostly because I am significantly taller than they are. After the party, we went to an investigators house to eat empanadas.

On the 19th... we went to Molco. It basically is in the middle of nowhere, but Mamita maintains a few cabins there. So we went there and spent the day with the mamita, papito, papi, Juan, Julio, Macarena, y Alexandra. They are all members except for Macarena y Alexandra. They are the girlfriends of Juan y Julio. So we were able to still do some good teaching. We also did service out there in the forest.

Are you ready to hear about how I sort of went swimming? Okay... so first of all, swimming is definitely against the mission rules. The only time we are allowed to be in the water is when, "it’s a baptism, you are showering, or it is pouring rain." -- President Rappleye.   So we were out in the forest and it was pouring rain, like usual. We were cutting down trees with a chainsaw. We also had to haul the tree trunks back to the cabin. So I had this giant tree trunk on my shoulders and we started walking. We had to cross a little bridge that crossed the river to get back to the cabin. I started walking with the giant tree trunk across the bridge.... and the bridge broke!!! And I fell in the river! Can you believe that? I have never laughed so hard in my entire life, I don’t think. Holy cow! Good times.

We also did some good hitch hiking this week to get around. I am not really sure if that is allowed, but we have met some interesting people hitch hiking back and forth from the cabin of the mamita to the highway, where we have to wave down a bus to get back to Villarrica. So...I thought of another story that I can tell you. We left the cabin of the mamita at 8:30 at night... and it was pitch black outside. We tried to hitch hike... but nobody picked us up that time. It was pouring rain and we had to walk four miles to get to the highway. Guess how fast we made it? 30 minutes. Now... ask me how that is even possible to walk 4 miles that fast, and I will tell you that I don´t have an explanation for that. It was really a miracle. Something... miraculous. We had walked the route before and it usually takes much longer. It was awesome. We were able to make it home on time! The Lord provides a way for his missionaries who are trying to be obedient!

Yesterday we had some investigators in church. Alexandra. She has a baptismal date for October 5th, but she needs to get married first. Her and Juan plan on getting married, but the freaking Registro Civil is on strike. How does that even happen that a branch of the national government goes on strike? The Registro Civil needs to be open for them to be able to get married. Good gracious, Satan works against us sometimes. Actually, he is ALWAYS working against us. So... we just gotta be patient, but the fact is that she will get baptized after the transfers on the 9th. She is cool. She has come to church three weeks in a row. Also... we had another investigator come to church! We had been inviting him for like... 12 weeks now and he finally came to church. How legit!

Some... other interesting things happened this week that were definitely journal worthy and will make excellent stories someday, but I should probably wait to tell you about them until after the mission so that you don´t freak out. Haha.

As far as my birthday goes... I don´t need anything. The only thing I could possibly think of wanting would be some ties. But it isn´t worth sending a package with just ties. So, just save your money. Or put it in my account. I will put it to good use someday.

That is about all for this week. Time is flying by. I am enjoying it quite a bit here.

Have a good week!

Elder Warren