Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nuestra Patria

The Smell of Burnt Meat is thick in the air.
The 18th was a blast. We went from house to house to talk to people, and each time we went in, they gave us some sort of grilled meat, empanada, or this awesome drink called Mote con Huesillos (it's like dehydrated Peaches they rehydrate in a sweet juice, with lots of oats). It was delicious. We had a huge lunch, which rendered me unconscious for a few minutes after eating. We had some special rules this day though. We were to be in the pention an hour earlier, (or an hour later if we had a member with a car to drive us home). We chose the second option. But dang, what a day. I didn't manage to get any pictures of the Cueca, but there's always a tomorrow.

As for teaching, everyone and everything leaves Ovalle for the 18th, so not too much went down. Up in Coquimbo (my last sector), they have a party for 3 weeks, which is where the majority of Chile goes. We're expecting the steady flow of investigators this week sometime around wednesday. We're working very closely with the Branch President these days. He's a young guy, with 3 kids. We're teaching one of his nephews. I don't seem to understand it though... Everyone says I'm an Elder with lots of patience for kids. Where did that come from? Weird. Well, Take care family, be nice, supértense bien, read your scriptures, and have your pets spayed, or neutered.
Ovalle - This is Ovalle. It's the Zone Leader sector, but that's Ovalle. Our sector looks about the same, but without the huge Plaza and various shops/stores.

Chat the Chirimoya? - This is a Chirimoya. I don't know if any of the brothers ever had any of these on their mission, but they're pretty delicious. They're white on the inside with big brown seeds.

Alien Egg - A close up of the texture of the chirimoya. I'll get ya'll one of me eating it later, as I cut this one open right away and it wasn't ripe yet. I bought another one today, so we'll see how it turns out. I've had em before though, they're real real real real sugary. I dig the Chirimoya flavored Milk and Yogurt though.
Asada - This was my lunch on the 18th. ¡Cualquier Carne!
Go Diego! - This is Diego. He's a funny little kid. As they say around here, él pinta monos. As is to say, he paints monkeys. Duh. Hah, nah, it just means he likes attention.

Sat down to meat - This is what I REALLY ate. As you can see, I'm pretty sad. My comp was pretty happy though. Pap soda = delicious. They need more Papaya flavored Soda in the states.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

¡Tranquilo Papá!

It's quiet... too quiet...

So this week in Ovalle slipped by rather silently. It's weird. At about 9:00 everything shuts down and dies. One night we were walking and suddenly I stopped, something seemed out of place... There was no noise. It was probably the first time I've heard absolute silence in Chile. It was odd. Regardless, life has been more or less the same. Not too much went down this week. Everyone's getting ready for this next week, which just so happens to be the biggest celebration in Chile, the 18th of September. It's the Chilean Independence Day. I'm expecting much Asado this week, or Chile fails me. I'll get some sweet pictures for y'all next week, and possibly a video of the National Dance, La Cueca. It's the funny little dance with cowboys and handkerchiefs. Well, take it easy, Congrats on the new young'n Tami. Shoot, He's gonna be 16 months old when I get back! Bah. But let's not worry about that.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I got... moved¿

Ah, it's true!

So changes are in, and I got moved! After only 6 weeks in Sindempart, Coquimbo, I'm now about an hour south in the city of:
¡Ovalle! Sector Ovalle Norte
[Oh vaszh yae]
This is pretty exciting. My first companion (Elder Mendez) always talked about Ovalle, and now here I am! It's pretty much the most tranquil zone in the mission. It's a very, very small town with farms everywhere (everythings green right now from all the rain! yeah!). The sector itself doesn't have any farms, but it does have a lot of old people. There's probably 2 families where the parents are younger than 70. It's also got a lot of less actives, so there's lots of work to be done. My new companion is Elder Remy. Elder Remy is from Utah somewhere, he moves around a lot, but his parents are now living in Ogden. He was going to BYU before the mission. He's been in this sector for about 5 months, so he knows everyone and everything pretty well. We'll, here's a story that I'm sure you can all relate to (or at least those of you who are in California right now).

My second day here, we decided to go visit someone who was just about ready for baptism. There's just one problem: He's 92 years old and has severe short term memory loss. His wife got baptized recently, and is a pretty solid convert. (before we go any further, on our way to their house, we had to pass by a pack of dogs, one of which managed to get my left leg =[. Luckily it did not break the skin, but my pants got ripped.) So after 3 days of teaching him, (Mañuel, he calls himself), it became evident that he was not having any sort of progression. This last Sunday was a fast Sunday. We decided to do a fast for his memory, which went pretty well, and here's why: Yesterday, when we went back to go teach him, we decided to do a test to see how long he could remember that he needed to be baptized. We waited 15 minutes, all the while talking about other random things from his childhood, which he remembers just fine. After the 15 minutes were up, we asked him if he was ready for his baptism. He got kind of angry that we hadn't talked to him about it before. My comp got kind of frustrated, as He had been hearing stuff like that from Mañuel for about 3 months now. He then asked me what he thought we should do. I said a silent prayer asking for guidance, and recieved a very distinct answer that told me that he did not need to be baptized at this time, for he did not meet the requirements for baptism as given in D&C 20:37. Well, we left, down one investigator, but it felt so good that we had listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Well, that about does it for the week. There's tons of work to be done out there and I need to go get a jump start on it. Chao pescao*

Here's some pics of the week (in Sindempart):
1 - The zone! We all got together for a last hurrah!
2 - Rolando, Tiare, and Me. We worked with Rolando, who's the investigator. His wife, Tiare, recently reactivated herself.
3 - La Familia Olea Diaz - A complete family of investigators! They have everything taught to em, just need to get their hiney(s) to church.

The Hazz

So this was a regular on the dinner table. It's called the Hazz (yeah, i know, in Spanish it sounds like a bad word, but it's not, OK!). Here's what you do:

1) Chop up some steak real thin, we use this kind of meat called Churrasco meat, it comes in a packet already chopped up, but it needs to be real thin, and about the size of a quarter.

2) Fry said steak in a frying pan (without oil). Feel free to add such seasonings as: salt, pepper, or lemon juice.

3) Chop up an Avocado (palta) like you'd make guacamole (also called palta), but only add salt to the smashed mixture.

4) Dice a tomato. If you're chilean, add olive oil to the diced up tomatos. Also skin them (if you're chilean). Personally I like em just diced.

5) Toast a Hotdog bun.

Aiight, here's the order of the stack: 1-Toasted Hotdogbun, 2 - tomatos, 3 - palta, 4 - Mayonayse, mustard, ketchup, and Hotsauce (Ají).

When eating, you shouldnt be able to bite through it all in one swoop. Normally Take a bite from the top, then a bite from the bottom.

*****Completos are the exact same thing, except you use Hotdogs instead of Steak.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The 4th is gone...

Ah, where does the time go...?

Avast ye swabs, the sun sets on another change. It just goes by so fast doesn't it? Seems like yesterday I just waltzed in through the MTC doors... Well, nostalgia gets us nowhere!

This week was a little on the slow side, but that doesn't mean that it won't pick up speed! Just needs a little elbow grease I suppose... We learned a lesson in Diligence this week! As previously stated in the last letter, we're being a little more "Franke" in our lessons. Not to the extent of REPENT OR PERISH but, firm in the cause of inviting other to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the message of the restored Gospel through, faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. In other words, the entire purpose of missionary work (see Page 1 of Preach my Gospel). Well, back to the diligence story. A few weeks back we met a man who was raking his lawn, with three small childrens watching him in the window. Naturally we talked to him, and he made it known that he did not believe in any sort of organized religion, and did not really have interest. We talked to him a little about the apostasy, and why there's millions of churches in the world today. This piqued his interest, and we set an appointment for later that week (he's a mechanic that works 4 days in a different city up north, and 4 days of rest in his house). Well, he wasn't there. We passed by day after day after day after day, we talked to his wife, his neighbors, people walking by, trying to find this man. Well, we finally had a lesson with him this last week, and it was pretty awesome. He's highly focused in the family, and his kids seem to have a strong attachment to him (his 1 year old son refused to let him be put down, screamin' for Papá 'n' all). We taught the message of the Restoration, and his wife listened to the part about the First Vision. Turns out that his wife had gone to church many moons ago when she was but a lass, and had good impressions of the Church. We'll be teachin them, later! He goes by the name of Elias. But the moral of the story is: Don't give up! Even when things look like they might not go anywhere, don't give up on somebody! I suppose the trick is learning when to persevere, and when to leave behind those who refuse to repent. Well, Keep safe, be good, and Happy Labor day (it's my comps birthday! Happy 20th Birthday Elder Cole!)


So here's some pictures of last P-day. We decided to do a little hike from the Bay to the Cross of the Third Millennium. You can really see how big the cross is in these. Our goal is to take the tour that they have inside of all the Popes, and get some sweet pictures from the view up top. (it's a little cloudy today, so we'll see if it happens).
The Stairs - The climb to the cross consists of about 3 sets of these stairs. From the Bay to the Cross, it took about 15 minutes to walk (missionary speed).

View from the Top of the Hill - It was a tough climb, but we made it! And this was the reward that awaited us.

Me and the kiddies at the Cross - There were some kids playing soccer nearby. Of course, the presence of 2 Gringos was called to their attention and they halted their game to look at us. I used this to my advantage, and in their dazed state had them come over and take some pictures with me. The cross is about 50 yards back, and about 20 feet higher up.