First off I want to start out with a shout out to the best twin sister ever. Happy Birthday Melanie!
Its been an awesome week in the CCM. last week we were playing soccer with the latinos in the morning. We are blessed to have two professional soccer players in the CCM, one of which is elder Cifuentes. Elder Cifuentes is very good at kicking the ball hard. he got paid to kick it that hard in Argentina. when we were playing the team that I was on was waiting on the sideline because the other two teams were playing. the keeper on one team asked me if I could switch out with him for one second so he could check on another player who had hurt his knee. I stepped into the goal and not even 10 seconds later elder Cifuentes comes up with none of my defenders in site and kicked the ball with all his might. I stopped it! with my face! Im pretty proud that I can say I've stopped a shot from a professional soccer player, and in the future I won't mention how I accomplished the task.
there was an awesome land mark this week in the CCM. it was my first fast sunday in Chile. here in the CCM we start fasting after lunch on saturday. I felt so blessed this Sunday as I was fasting. they work you hard in the CCM and it can be difficult to stay on top of things and stay happy. this is why I love church, especially the sacrament. through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we don't have to suffer through our afflictions alone. we are never alone because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
That Sunday night we had the privilege of hearing from the president of Santiago Oeste mission. we sat in the front row because my companion elder Stephens is going to that mission. I was trying really hard to undertstand him. I was able to clearly understand his wife who spoke beforehand, but for some reason I could not understand the president. he was from brazil and I thought it was because of his accent. halfway through his talk I hear a familiar two words: Elder williams which was then followed by a frase of words that I didn't understand, but that frase ended with a slight increase in the pitch of his voice. this indicates that he was asking me a question. I had no idea what he said, and I asked him to repeat and he did and it was still unclear, so I just said what the latinos behind me whispered was the answer. I was really confused why I didn't understand him until I was talking with the brazillian missionaries. apparently, he was speaking as much portugese as he was spanish so it was nice to know that Im not a complete failure at Spanish.
Yesterday was Elder Stephens birthday. there is a tradition at the CCM that if it is your birthday, herman Doll, the presidentes wife, brings you cookies and the CCM sings happy birthday to you. I was fortunate enough to enjoy that same experience this morning. first, before hermana Doll got there, the brazillian elders sang me happy birhtday in portugese. then hermana Doll arrived and it was sung in spanish. its been a great birthday so far.
I forgot to mention something funny that happened yesterday. We taught a lesson to our teacher and we thouught, wouldn't it be great if we did it in the garden of the temple (because it was a 3 minute walk away)? we wanted to show our investigator the importance of an environment that is welcome to the spirit, an environment that is tranquil and quiet and peaceful. We thought the temple garden would be perfect. when we arrived, there were tons of workers with leaf blowers and when we sat down away from them, behind us in the trees was a man who had just started up his pressure washing machine. needless to say, we had to relocate, and it was OK because the rest of the lesson went great.
One more thing, yester day we got to go on the street and contact people. It can be a little scary when you don't know how to speak the language, but according to my brother Evan, you can't let those doubts (which do not come from God) impede you from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with every person you meet. my companions and I met a woman named Rosa. she was sweeping the sidewalk across the street from the CCM, and we talked with her. apparently we weren't the first ones to do so because she informed us that she had an appointment with the missionaries this Sunday. she was extremely nice and she said that she has never been approached by missionaries from the CCM before. she thinks we are good jovenes, but she said she never met any of us. I told her that I was sorry that was the case. I told her that new missionaries can be afraid to speak the language, but I told her that that shouldn't be the case. I told her that I was here in Chile not for myself, but for the people of Chile. I told her that we are hear to share the truth of God with her and bring more happiness to her life.
I love my mission here in Chile. Im excited to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, because through that gospel we can live with our families forever, we can return to live with God, we can find peace in this life. anything is possible through Jesus Christ. I am honored to be his representative. I only hope that I can strive to attempt to fill that title.